10 November 2017

J is for Jobs #NaNoWriMo2017

We all have a job to do, and no one is better at it in my story than Jackson King. Third generation rancher, father, community leader - whatever had to be done, he did it with little fanfare. His motto: Do what needs to be done, when you need to do it. He never did have a lot of patience for procrastinators.

Not that other characters in the story are schlumps. The 4-F Club members (standing for Four Fabulous Femmes - the heroine and her three best girlfriends) are all successful, self-employed career women. They've only been pals for five years, but they counted each other as family from the start, and were always there to help each other, no matter what the circumstances. Didn't matter if that meant emotionally or practically. The jobs got done.

And there was joy in the work, in the accomplishments, in the measurable successes that each of them earned through their efforts. Maybe that's why, despite their differences, most of the characters have some fundamental connection and set of principles that binds them together. Instead of judging the differences, they manage to cleave to their mutuality. It's an interesting thing to ponder and write about.

As for NaNoWriMo #2017? 3,192 words today for a total of 34,556. I hope to hit 50,000 by the 17th, which will complete the second third of the book. Then the rest of the writing is for the third and final segment - and just gravy as far as National Novel Writing Month is concerned.

I'm doing the job and it feels great. How's it going for you?

09 November 2017

I is for Idiots #NaNoWriMo2017

My novel is full of them right now. Nobody can seem to do the right thing, or figure out how to fix things. They're all running around like idiots.

To top it off, the presidential election is coming up in the book, and it looks like The Idiot will get elected. Well, we know that happened there, don't we?

Not that the MCs care all that much. They're discovering that politics take a pretty big back seat to love and loss when it comes right down to it.

Maybe that's something we should all consider - what's truly important in the grand scheme of things?

3,640 words today, all filled with heartache and misery for a total of 31,364. How is your story coming along?

08 November 2017

H is for Hell and Heartbreak #NaNoWriMo2017

And that's exactly where I've ended the first third of my novel. My hero and heroine have split up (not through any fault of theirs), and the friends and family haven't figured out what happened, much less how to get the lovebirds back together.

One of the hero's sons is the devil who caused the breakup:

He's on a downward spiral because of some of his own personal hell, and nobody can figure him out. All will be revealed in part 3.

The heroine is going to revisit some of her own personal hell to figure out where her life is headed. Hasn't she suffered enough already? Isn't she due for some happiness? (Oooh, another H-word!) And damn it all, politics is making her temper heat up in a big way. Damn the devil, if the orange idiot isn't going to win and make life a hateful Hades for everyone.

Meanwhile, the heroine's girlfriends are having a hell of a time trying to find a way to help their friend ease the heartbreak. Stay tuned for the big Intervention tomorrow.

Act I of my three-act story structure ended today with 2,180 words for a running total of 27,724. I'm way ahead of schedule for NaNoWriMo - oh, heaven! - but it looks like typing The End will put me at about 75.000 words. Well, hell. Couldn't happen to a better couple.

Meanwhile, she spends a lot of time curled up with her cat on this loveseat, feeling miserable.

He spends his time alone riding the ranch wondering why his lonely heart is ready to crack wide open. Life can be horrid.

07 November 2017

G is for Goals #NaNoWriMo2017

G is for Goals, and breaking them spells success. Today, I had a couple of personal bests:

  • Wrote for more than six hours
  • Broke 6,000 words in one day for the first time in NaNoWriMo
  • Passed 25,000 words on the 7th day
Better yet, I've spent a lot of that writing time totally "in the zone." Time was absolutely transcendent, and today, I had to stop myself from jumping into yet another scene. Better to start with something fresh and pre-planned in the morning. 

Writing should always be this satisfying! May the rest of the month flow like this - for me and for you!

06 November 2017

F is for Family and Friends #NaNoWriMo2017

I knew from the beginning that my hero would have sons and that family would be a big part of his personal paradigm, that his life and identity was firmly rooted in the land his family had tended for three generations, going on four.

I wasn't as clear about my heroine's family story - just that she was widowed too - and that her parents and grandparents were deceased. But she had friends - three women that came into her life after her husband died and left her destitute - that counted more in her life and heart than just about anyone.

Ann is in her 40s, an LL Bean kind of woman, who lives to be organized. There isn't a frivolous bone in her body. It's a good thing since she's a professional organizer. It was Ann who helped Elizabeth sort through the chaos of her husband's papers and financial mess, not to mention the barn he'd packed full of... well, everything imaginable, and nothing much useful. Apparently, an earlier stroke had left him a bit of a hoarder.

Penny is the flamboyant one - in her 50s, she's a professional wedding and celebrity photographer who does her best to stay single, but is readily entertained by any number of fine men willing to take a tumble with her. She's the one who took Elizabeth's artistic painting skills and helped apply them to a computer, along with a keenly developed graphic arts skill set. Pen was the foundation for E-Graphics and kept the heroine afloat financially more than once over those first few years. She's  a little bit snarky, but underneath the sarcasm and raunchy mouth is a heart of gold, and she'll go the distance for her friends every time.

The youngest member of the girlfriends club is Sierra, owner of Sexy as Sin, a fitness center that keeps all of them in shape, and gives them a place to gather (no excuses, ladies) several times a week to catch up with each other.

They might look like an unlikely team to outsiders, but no one could have a better support system, and Elizabeth figured her logical family was just as solid, if not more so, than any biological family. A whole lot easier to get along with too.

Today's writing day was awesome, with a first real date at the Broker restaurant in Denver for my two lust birds. Word count was 5,109 for a running total of 19, 460.

I need to set a fire under these two. Almost 20,000 words and they aren't close to trying out the eff-word. Talk about NOT misbehaving. Jeez, and it's not like they're getting any younger.

05 November 2017

E is for Elizabeth #NaNoWriMo2017

Elizabeth Gordon is one half of my main character team. She goes by her full name in business as owner of E-Graphics, as El to her friends, and eventually as Elly to her lover.

She is also the epitome of elegance and aging gracefully, and to that end, I had to find a timeless image to work with. Model, Yazemeenah Rossi, was close to perfect for me, at least as far as body and style.



It's no wonder the hero, Jackson King, is smitten and ready to start a whole new chapter in his life.

Only 1,334 words today, but I'm set up and ready to go with a first love scene tomorrow. The next two chapters after that are lined up too. I should easily hit 20,000 words in the next few days.

Oh, and here's a pantser surprise. This guitar worked it's way into my story. A mere $10 grand if the heroine wants it badly enough. What do you think? Might have to name her Yazemeenah.

04 November 2017

D is for Diary and More #NaNoWriMo2017

Before National Novel Writing Month began, I started a short diary for my heroine outlining the five years since her husband's death up to the beginning of the novel. I wanted to really get to know her, and the internal experiences that would color the dynamics between her and the new love interest in The Lonely Rancher.

The conflict between them is more than just liberal vs. conservative. It's largely driven by the heroine's visceral need to never depend on anyone, especially a man, ever again. Not since her husband died, leaving her with a financial mess to clean up and absolutely no security. She climbed out of that hole, and dealt with a few other issues related to her marriage over the next five years, and no way was she ever again leaving her well-being to chance or the whims of another human.

The hero's need, being a conservative rancher, is (of course) to be needed. It's part of his mindset. He has a lot to learn dealing with an independent woman. I'm not making it easy for him. The guy is getting his ego stomped on a time or two before I type The End.

How they resolve these issues is what drives a lot of the story... and drives them a little crazy.

Another good writing day for me with 3,021 words. My goal is to break 20,000 words on Tuesday.
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