Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 17: Fred the Dragon

Brain cells? Do I have any left?

Well, yes, in the literal since, but I didn’t want to drag my butt to the keyboard today. Nicotine withdrawal is still kicking me every chance it gets. If this were any non NaNoWriMo month I wouldn’t have wrote today at all. I would have vegged out and gave my brain a break. But since it is Camp NaNo the show had to go on!

I fell back on my secret weapon. Thee one weapon which never fails me on brain dead days: Writing Sprints! You know the ones. You set a timer and write until the buzzer cuts through your soul. Then you do it again. And some days again. You sprint until the words actually add up. For me, that meant 6 writing sprints of 15 minutes each totaling just under 3.8k words. Bringing me to a total word count of 31,885. I’m technically two days ahead by the NaNoWriMo calendar, but since I’m taking weekends off I’m right on schedule. Speaking of weekends… Is it here yet?

In all honesty, tired or not I really enjoyed the part of the story I was on today. It’s really close to Blake’s first *time* with his mate and though first sex scenes can be challenging I think I’ve gotten the flow of both characters down so it won’t be too difficult. I may even get to it this week.


One thing I keep thinking about today is how many readers have asked me about “Fred the Dragon.’ I didn’t expect this big of a response about a man who never actually appeared on the page. Answers will be given in the next book, but rest assured Fred is gloating in all the adoration and curiosity. What red blooded dragon Alpha, wouldn’t?

Fred would like to apologize to his fans. He will not star as a main pov character in Book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga.
Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Pep Talk: The Importance of Taking Breaks

Camp NaNoWriMo is the more laid back version of NaNoWriMo. Not everyone tries to push out a novel during Camp, but many people do. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth time there’s a rush and an urgency to the month.

An epic challenge has been laid out before you. It’s a duel you can’t turn away from. The month starts in a mad rush of words flung across the page. We move just as quickly as the heroes of our books jumping into their own new adventure.

As the month goes on we discover we don’t have the stamnia of our heroes. We’re not magical unicorns who never need to sleep! Burnout does happen. I lov the buzzy atmosphere of Camp NaNo, but in my expereince a break will help you write more in the long run. Feeling burnt out today? Take the day off. Tomorrow you’ll wake up refreshed and likely itching to get back to work on your book.

At the end of the day novel writing is like everything else in life: Best in moderation and balance.

Uncategorized

Camp NanoWrimo Recap Day 12: TJIF (Thank Juda It’s Friday!)

Today was about as great as yesterday. I’m just dragging along, but I’m still on track to finish 50k words by the end of the month. I’m looking forward to two days off this weekend to recharge my batteries and squeeze in some reading time. (I need to work on my books for O.W.L.s Magical Readathon). Blake’s story (Yep. I still need a title. lol) is moving along fine, but thank Juda it’s Friday!

****For those of you who haven’t read The Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga, Juda Hemlock is one of the two founders of the Hemlock Wolf Pack bloodline.****

What I accomplished today:

Despite being really tired today I did write through the ending of chapter 15. I have some fleshing out to do come Monday, but that’s Monday Maggie’s problem. lol

Snags Along the Way:

I had a major case of the Fridays. I’m ready for a weekend of not dancing and sparring with my keyboard.

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 22,224

Total Words Written: 1,988

Ending Word Count: 24,212

After thoughts:

TJIF! Seriously! I’ll be happy to get back to work on Monday, but for now I’m off to enjoy the weekend!

Happy writing and reading! Have a great weekend!

Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 11: The Day of Blah!

Some writing days are just better than others. I woke up pretty exhausted this morning despite sleeping in an hour later than usual. I’ve recently cut my nicotine gum down by a 1/4 and I think that’s taking its toll on me. It’s about 5 PM at the time I’m writing this and I’m ready for bed. I’m going to try to stay up a few more hours before crashing.

I’m trying not to get caught up in the fact that quitting smoking is slowing me down in every other area of my life. It’s a good thing to do, but that little ‘nicotine addict monster’ likes to claim I could write so much more if I just smoked. I don’t want to smoke. At this point it’d likely make me sick. I just don’t want to be tired anymore. Oh, tomorrow is another day. I’m so ready for this weekend!

What I accomplished today:

Today I wrote chapter 11 and 12.

Snags Along the Way:

Mostly just being tired. I think I need to write out another plot soon too, but I’m too tired to do that today.

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 20,074

Total Words Written: 2,150

Ending Word Count: 22,224

After thoughts:

I’m going to have to remember slow and steady wins the race. No matter whether I finish this book this month or next – I tried despite being in the process of quitting nicotine.

Goals for Tomorrow:

Tomorrow I just want to meet my word count goals and start my weekend early!

Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 10 Recap: Am I pantsing this book??

This morning I woke up feeling great! Which was a good thing since we’re a third of the way through camp! Though, as I was writing today an odd thought occurred to me. I’ve trashed two plots so far for this novel! The beginning is still coherent and it’s still moving towards the same ending. I knew the ending since before I started writing the book, but the middle has evolved more than any book I’ve written before. For most of my life, I’ve been a hardcore plotter. Knowing what I was going to write the next day and the day after was what kept me going. Now, I know what I’m writing tomorrow. I know what happens in the next few chapters. (Inside my head at least) but I don’t have a plot outlined. Please don’t take my plotter’s membership card away! Lol

In some ways, this has been more fun than usual. I’m not saying I’m converted to pantsing forever, but this book I might be half-pantsing. I feel like I’ve written more in a shorter amount of time since taking the stress of an outline out of the picture. Maybe it changed when I quit smoking. I’m just 3 days shy of 3 months quit now. Maybe it’s unfolding this way, because I didn’t decide for certain I was participating in camp until the last minute (so to speak.)

Whatever’s happening, I’m enjoying it.

What I accomplished today:

Today I fleshed out chapters 7-9 and wrote chapter 10. It’s an exciting part of the story that I can’t wait for you guys to read.

Snags Along the Way:

I really didn’t hit any snags today. It was a nice normal boring (around the house not in my book) writing day. Which, of course, are my favorite sort of writing days!

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 17,329

Total Words Written: 2,745

Ending Word Count: 20,074

After thoughts:

I’m almost 4k ahead of schedule! Which is freaking awesome! But I’ve reworked my schedule to take weekends off. I’m bad at taking vacations from work. They usually last two or three days and I’m back to work. Maybe, I can start taking off days for the sake of taking them off instead of just for errands or sick days.

I’m really excited to write chapter 11 tomorrow. It’s a very unique chapter the likes of which haven’t been seen in one of my books yet. Y’all can’t see my devil horns, but they’re there. I swear! Lol

Goals for Tomorrow:

I’m just aiming for about 1.2k words tomorrow and I hope to finish chapter 11 tomorrow. I spent this afternoon cross checking characters to make sure I had all my details ready for tomorrow.

Uncategorized

3 Weird Things I’ve Done to Research My Novel

It’s no secret that all writers are on numerous watch lists because of our search histories. Okay, maybe we’re not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we were. For older works I’ve searched such things as how long does it take a human eyeball to decompose and how long would it take someone to die if you buried them alive.

If you’re saying that happened no where in my Hemlock Mpreg Universe books – you’re right, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t searched weird things or done other weird forms of research for my Hemlock Wolf Pack Series. Even before writing the series someone looking through my search history might have assumed I was a zoologist student, but now if I type ‘W’ into the search Wolf/Wolves/Wolf Packs are just a few of the thing searches suggested to me. That’s not even the weird parts yet.

Without further ado here are 3 weird things I’ve done to research for my novels.

1.Watched Old Boy Band Music Videos/Concerts

Yes, even something as small as Zoey’s favorite boy band took some research to put together. The Grim Howlers play small, but important roles in Omega Magic and Healer’s Oath. And I have it on good accord that we haven’t seen the last of them either. The boy band will make an in person appearance in book 5. To prepare for this I started watching old boy band concerts. Of course, I fell into the rabbit hole and ended up on some popular/favorites from my younger days. I turn 30 in May. I’ll bake you a virtual cookie if you can guess who I was watching.

2.Nagged Relatives for Childhood Stories

My earliest funny childhood memory is morbid to my now adult self, but it was hilarious to the 8 year old Maggie. My brother (then 3) would freak out whenever someone said they got ‘fired.’ The poor brat thought they meant they were set on fire. Til this day we don’t know where he came up with the idea. -No. That isn’t my sly way of saying I told him. I thought it was funny that he was clueless, but I didn’t come up with it.-

As someone who writes M/M Mpreg Romance I’m obsessed with the parent/child bond and the unique experiences each person has. I’ve explored this theme and the theme of siblings throughout my series. No, I haven’t borrowed any story from relatives, but hearing stories I wasn’t a part of does get my creative juices pumping.

3.Walked Around the Baby Section of Stores Despite Not Having A Baby

I will do just about anything to get inspired to write. While writing Omega Magic I was stuck and needed to do something to get into the groove of things. I found myself at Walmart and walked past the baby aisle. Two seconds later, I was exploring the world of baby clothes, diapers, car seats, snacks, and everything in between. I was wondering/deciding which items Logan and Jessie would choose for their baby and if it would hold up to a baby dragon shifter. The answer of course was a resounding no. Nonetheless by the time I left the store I couldn’t wait to get home and write!

Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 8 Recap: The Day I Wrote All the Words

This morning I felt amazing! (Well, once I had my coffee!) After two days away from my novel I was ready to jump back in head first. Okay, fingers first on the keyboard. Last night I dreamed that Blake took my dog for a walk and came back with a parrot. I swear, he’s not that strange in the book, but my dreams have a way of turning the most sane people into total weirdos. The parrot kept chatting about Hogwarts and the O.W.L.s. I think I could do a whole series on ‘weird dreams I had during Camp NaNoWriMo,’ but I’m too busy writing a novel!

What I accomplished today:

Today was my best day of the month thus far. Not only with word count, but now that the first third of my plot is set in stone I was free just to write what I plotted without stopping to considered what would happen next. I went back through a few earlier chapters and fleshed them out and added tidbits to build on throughout the book.

I finished chapters 6 and 7 and started on chapter 8.

Snags Along the Way:

Today didn’t have any snags. I woke up early while the world was still quiet and wrote my heart out. I wish every day would go as smoothly as today did. lol

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 11,186

Total Words Written: 3,064

Ending Word Count: 14,260

After thoughts:

Today I got the first fight scene out of the way. The first fight scene and first sex scene of any book are the most difficult to write. Not to worry, that sex scene is coming up soon! Today is my best word count day of camp so far. With a little luck tomorrow I’ll beat that record!

Happy writing fellow campers!

Uncategorized

CampNaNoWriMo Pep Talk: How to Make Your Writing Time Sacred

It’s Day 7 of Camp NaNoWrimo. The excitement of the first week has worn off and you may be feeling the time crunch. Committing to writing a novel in a month isn’t an easy feat! Just attempting it is a courageous act of creation!

As a full time writer my friends always ask me how I keep going. I promise I’m not a mythical creature with extraordinary endurance for pounding my fingertips against the keyboard. I have my good, bad, and ugly days. I’ve just made my writing time sacred. I don’t have another job in the mix, but I do balance family,friends, free time, and hobbies with work. There’s no one formula that works for everyone, but here are 4 tips to be a magical unicorn with a daily writing schedule.

1.Be Realistic

When I first started writing I had outrageous daily word counts. I could easily pump out 5-7k of words 5 days a week. No problem. I can still do that in sprints, but as a lifestyle it’s not maintainable or realistic to me.

Like forming any other good habit you have to really consider where it fits into your schedule. Did you need to wake up 30 minutes earlier and squeeze in some writing before the kids wake up? Do you need to write on your lunch break? Can you clear Sunday evenings?

Figure out how much time you can realistically devote to writing. Sure, there are times where I’ve sacrificed other things to write. The muse is a demanding asshat some days. He’s there and he’s ready and screw the book I started reading last night and the errands I really intended to run. But if you intend to stick with writing and make your writing time sacred you need to set the time aside daily or weekly and stick to it.

2.Don’t Wait for Inspiration or Motivation

This advice is everywhere, but it’s worth repeating. Writers are writers because they write! If I sat around waiting for inspiration to slap me upside the head and invite me to the keyboard I’d never finish a book. Inspiration and motivation are fickle bedfellows and should be treated as such. Some days they’re randy and ready to go. Other days they go out and play with their other friends. Learn to work without them.

3.Close the Door and Hang Your Do Not Disturb Sign

It’s never easy telling our friends and family we need time to spend on something without them, but sometimes you have to. We’ve all encountered those in our lives who don’t take our passion or work seriously. They’re the hardest ones to get the point across to. Be firm and do your thing. If it’s your writing time. Turn off your phone and don’t answer the door. Remember, this is your sacred time to dedicate to your craft.

4.Aim for Scenes Not Words

This may go against the Camp NaNoWriMo spirit, but it’s in the best interest of finishing your project. Sit down with an intention of writing your characters from point A to point B. Don’t worry about how many words it takes to get there. Words make up your books, but it’s the scenes that make your story worth reading.

How do you make your writing time sacred?

Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 4 Recap:The Day of Good Distractions

At 7 AM this morning I felt better than I have all week. I slept like the dead last night and woke up with Blake and Jonah on my mind. No, Blake didn’t steal all of my avocados this time 😛 I sent off a few quick e-mails to a friend who’s also participating in camp and then it was time to get down to work. I love starting the day on a new chapter that I haven’t worked on. Most of the time my flow stops in the middle of a scene or chapter, but yesterday’s stopping place left me ready to start chapter 5.

Karsyn @ KaKiJoKoJa Hope you had a great writing day too! You guys should go check her out! She’s participating in Camp for the first time and recording her experience on her blog! Go say hi, show some love, and let her know I sent you!

What I accomplished today:

Today was my best word count day of camp so far! I’m halfway through chapter 6 and tomorrow will be the day I sit down and finalize the plot for book 5. I’m so excited! That will put me coming back after the readathon ready to get down to business. I’ll also have a rough idea of how long the book will be. I originally thought Healer’s Oath would be about 80k words and it ended up being just over 93k at publication. So, I’m a bad guesser. lol *shrugs* What can I say a man like Bane Hemlock demands a lengthy book.

Snags Along the Way:

My biggest distraction today was chatting with other campers. I love hearing/reading about everyone’s camp experience and the progress they’re making on their current projects. Though, eventually I did pull myself out of the social media/blog world to work on my book.

I have a secret project in the works to release later this month. It’s taking a little bit of my time every day, but not much.

Today was the first day I spent a lot of time referencing my Hemlock Wolf Pack Series notes and making more notes for future books I have planned in the series and the Hemlock Mpreg Universe books. I’m getting a chance to introduce a new ‘family’ that I’ve only hinted at before. They’re still mostly hinted at in this book, but they’re super important for future books. That’s one of the things I both love and hate about writing a series. I love layering things together, but all the fact checking can be tedious.

The only other snag I’ve ran into is I don’t have a tentative title for this book. I spent some time staring into space thinking about it. Then I got back to the keyboard, because a book that’s not written has no need of a title.

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 8585

Ending Word Count: 11,053

Total Words Written: 2,468

After thoughts:

Today was a great day writing wise. Going into camp I was concerned I was jumping into a new book too soon, but I think camp was the motivation I need to jump into book 5. I’m really looking forward to messing around with the plot tomorrow. I’m not sure if I’ll get any words on the book itself tomorrow, but I’ll do a recap update either way. 🙂

Happy writing fellow campers! What’s your biggest distraction this month?

Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 3 Recap: The Day I Wrote Anyway

This morning the universe conspired to keep me away from the keyboard or at least away from my Camp NaNoWriMo project! But alas, as a writer I have learned to laugh at the universe and jump over boulders. lol

But no really. If this morning happened during any other month (well maybe not Novemeber) I would have stayed away from my book for the day! But it’s April. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! So, I carried on like a good like book zombie. After switching the weight of todays and tomorrows word count I only needed to write 900 words to stay on track. There was no way 900 words was going to stand between me and staying up to date!

What I accomplished today:

Today was all about chapter 3 and 4! Both of which are finished. I think tomorrow I’ll be ready to go ahead and work out the rest of the plot. If not tomorrow then definitely Friday which was my original plan. I sprinted past my word goal for the day and came in just at 2k words. I can feel myself settling into my main characters and really getting inside their heads.

Snags Along the Way:

Today errands sprung up out of nowhere and a reader messaged me to say Healer’s Oath isn’t showing up on Amazon.au! I’m so sorry if any of you reading this have been patiently waiting in Australia for Healer’s Oath! I’ve contacted Amazon to find out what the problem is. I’ve published four previous books without any problems and this morning I discover Amazon is hiding my book from a whole country!

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 6,578

Ending Word Count: 8585

Total Words Written: 2007

After thoughts:

I’m a little on the nervous side about figuring out just how many chapters book 5 will have. Once I do I’ll have a better idea of how long the book will be. If the chapter lengths so far tell me anything I think it’s going to be *slightly* longer than just 50k words.

Happy writing fellow campers!