Sunday, November 1, 2009

First day of's 2009 challenge

The challenge is to write the first draft of a complete 50,000-word novel in November. I signed up again. I couldn't do it last year because I was taking an ASU course that consumed 15-20 hours a week for homework, for one course. Not to mention mentoring my classmates, which was a part of the course -- to exchange papers, etc.

This year, no classes. It's not just that I don't have time for writing fiction when I am taking university courses, but the course at ASU, Technical Editing, was so lame that the textbook was from 1992, the instructor was unavailable for most of the time (caught up in her own drama), and I also figured out that by the time I get my degree, according to the number of classes I am allowed to take for a discount, that it would take me 10 years to get my degree, coincidentally when I reach retirement age. I tried to retool the education goals by going for a professional writing certificate but ASU laid off the teachers I needed and apparently canceled the professional writing certificate program. Subsequent phone calls to ASU went unanswered, as did e-mails. I tried to get an NAU professor to talk to me about it, but never got anywhere there, either. They don't offer ANY of the courses I want at NAU. Oh well. There will apparently not be a degree for me, however, when I get $5,000 (hubby says I CANNOT get a loan -- we have a deal with each other that we will never borrow money for education, cars, or even a mortgage) then I will take a July off and get my professional publishing certificate from the University of Denver Publishing Institute, if they'll have me as a student. *crosses fingers*

I have an editing job during the day; I write novels at night and on the weekends. I'm finding balance in it. I learn so much from editing scholarly work that I am not joking when I say I'm getting a free education at work.

Today's (Sunday, Nov 1) haul of Nanowrimo words -- a six-hour spurt of writing -- netted me 6,032 words. I started the prologue with an up arc that leads to the story's climax, then I am going to start Chapter 1 tomorrow as a flashback. I've been studying mystery structure, although my story elements also contain romance and adult familial relationships. I'm going to have a murder, economic realities, second chances at love, grizzly bears gone really wild (you'll see), horses behaving badly, Montana sapphires, truffle hunting, and an undercurrent of environmental issues as a thread throughout.

My story takes place in western Montana, where I actually fell in love with a place in May 2001 -- the Glacier National Park area. I have many good things to say about Montana in my novel, which I am researching thoroughly.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy at work. Well, first I have a mammogram at 8 a.m.. I'll run to work and start editing a new project from a young and enthusiastic professor whose project is intriguing and unique. Rather than a literature review of the research of others, she went into an inner city situation and did a certain kind of ethnology research that may be unprecedented -- I can't really give details, but I feel privileged to edit her book manuscript. She's young and vivacious and she knows how to express ideas. And, she seems to love a metaphor -- a gal after my own heart! When I say it will be crazy, that's because I have three other editing projects at the same time. Ack! One of them was unexpected.

I'll be writing my November novel in the evenings, Monday through Friday. More tomorrow! Montana Man is the working title.

I'm having trouble with's slow site. I hope to log on tomorrow night and have an easier time of searching for buddies and using the forums.