I'm finally crawling out from beneath a pile of laundry and trying not to be too dismayed by the fact that only half my to-do list is accomplished and that I haven't earned a single penny today (except for some residual income from Demand Studios -- thanks, Demand!). I'm trying to go easy on myself and remember that it's always like this when I take a trip and am out of contact with my "real life" for a few days. The good news is, airplanes are a great place for finishing books, and airports with three-hour layovers are a great place for writing them!

I got back last night from the Call To Action conference in Louisville, Kentucky, where I helped organize a panel about Young Adult Catholics and social justice based around Hungering and Thirsting for Justice. The panel went very well, the room was full, and the hour flew by. A few of my "Church Justice Heroes" attended. We sold some books and even signed some autographs. And I took home six more copies of the book for gifts and promotional purposes. I sense a Goodreads giveaway coming on ...

Of course, it's still November, so my primary writing commitment remains to NaNoWriMo. I missed two days for the conference, but three-hour layovers on both my travel days helped my word count stay healthy. The experience is not as ecstatic as it was during the first week, however. Rather than making long lists of scene ideas the way I was last week (which I've burned through already), I end each writing session hoping I can come up with one more scene to start the next day off with. I told myself that November 15th was the Prince's deadline for coming on the scene, but I had to bring him on the scene while in an airport on November 8 because plot development ideas were becoming scarce. Hopefully he'll breathe a bit of new life into that lonely ol' tower!

Still, there are a few things that have contributed to this year going more smoothly, so far, than my last few years.

  1. I'm doing a retelling of Rapunzel, which means the basic story arc is already there. So that takes the pressure off plot a bit, and makes even a first draft feel a little bit like revision.
  2. Rapunzel seems particularly suited to telling her own story, considering that she probably had a lot of time on her hands being locked in a tower and all. So the story is structured a bit like a journal, and being a veteran journal-keeper myself, I know how messy and tangential they can be. This format works perfectly for NaNoWriMo, since creating a linear story can be eschewed for a more "stream-of-consciousness" one.
  3. I held off on writing anything for a month beforehand, and I've had this book percolating for over three years. When November 1 hit, it was ready to start spilling out.

I've also found this handy online timer which I've been using for my writing sessions (I set it for 45 minutes first, and if I don't meet my word count by then, for another 15). I have an egg timer, but I can save maybe a whole minute (and bust out about 50 words!) by not walking to the kitchen to get it.

Also, I learned that Chris Baty has these awesome writing posters that my new office will surely want on its walls. Christmas list, anyone?

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Tags: Catholicism, Hungering, Justice, NaNoWriMo, Thirsting, and, for

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