Next? NaNoCleanHouseMo


I'll get back in to the swing of responding to comments soon, I promise, but thanks so much for stopping by!

When I put FlashFlood on hiatus, I had some time-sensitive projects that really needed doing and I tend to give myself permission to let things like the blog distract me from the task at hand. I've joked that my house is never cleaner than when I have to write, because I suddenly decide that I can get nothing done until the silver sparkles.

Then I decided to do NaNoWriMo.

I found out some interesting things about myself. My outline and the beginning of the draft started out as a mystery. A woman is murdered near her home while her husband was away. Flashbacks were to tell the tale of the woman's relationship with four suspects: her lover, her husband, her best friend and a random crazy man thrown in for good measure. Flashing forward, all the woman's secrets in life come out after her death (She's has a crazy personality, I'm not surprised she ended up dead).

I decided to do it this way knowing I would get bored with just one storyline and the point of NanoWriMo is to keep momentum going for a month. I figured when I was bored with the victim's relationship with her husband, I could switch to her and another character. It was a solid plan to maintain creativity for the month of November.

Then something strange happened. I became completely overtaken by the story between the victim and her lover. He was a single man who decided to wait for the woman to leave her husband so that they could be together. It was becoming a love story and I had no idea I had one of those inside me. That's the first thing I learned.

Next, I found out I do have a competitive nature and it's against myself. NaNoWriMo became a game to see if I could better each day's writing. If I wrote a thousand words on Tuesday, I pushed for fifteen hundred on Wednesday. I didn't always do it, but the time went better when I had a goal that seemed attainable.

Finally, my house became a wreck.

One would think that a bad thing, but I allowed myself to let everything else go in order to get the words on paper. Not only was writing without any vanity at all freeing (i.e., no editing, no re-reading, no worries over holes in the plot) but spending time where writing was the only priority was liberating, too. (Thanks to the family for being troopers!)

While I hit the 50,000 word mark, the story isn't finished. I'll take the rest of the month to continue getting the skeleton on paper. After the end of November, I will not look at it again for a couple of months. I have some other ideas I want to get out and finally being able to quiet my inner editor is a great new skill I want to put to use elsewhere.

It's been a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it. For those of you unfamiliar, here's info on how NaNoWriMo works. If you've never done, think about doing it next year. You'll find out things about yourself, meet new writers in the chapter in your city and challenge yourself in ways that can only help you grow as a writer.

And lemme toot my own horn one more time. Thanks to all of you who supported me!

So, while I was away...


I miss you.




... until further notice.

I'm on a writing roll and behind a couple of projects, so I am dedicating my time to those things. You can take me off your daily tour list for a while. Sorry I haven't come around to your space. I hope to visit soon.

We interrupt this regularly scheduled game...


It's (almost) the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and as some of you may know, we've had a loss in the family.

Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday, because it means good company and food and no presents. Stress-free. This year, as we go over things we're thankful for, Marcail's father, who was our Umpa, will be named among them. He made the kids laugh a lot, which is exactly what Umpas are supposed to do. Good work, Umpa!

And so to my Canadian blogging pals, have a safe and happy holiday. The rest of you enjoy your weekend and call someone you love for no good reason.

Game Thursday


Word Association. That's it! Easy-peasy. First word in comments.

Cleansing Words of (No) Knowledge


I'm new to the whole Fast/Cleansing diet business, so I don't know a lot about what's going on. In an effort to learn more, I discovered that my doc had recommended this cleanse because it dealt with the body's reaction to acid ash and alkaline ash foods. I won't bore you with the details of the diet, but a couple of nights ago, I went to the pharmacy to buy pH test strips. I wanted to know if I was doing everything right, to get the effects I was looking for.

Like I said, I've no real clue about these things and figured I was just looking for glorified litmus paper. So I ask the fine, young pharmacist if he has any pH strips. He was pretty beautiful, so I was pretty patient when he looked at me funny.

"pH strips?"
"Mhmmm," I smiled.
"For what?"
"To determine the acidity and alkalinity in the human body." All hope was lost.
"I have ketosis strips," he tried.
"Those won't measure alkalinity." I resisted the urge to call him 'hon.'
"Al-ka-lin-i-ty," I enunciated.
"I wish I could do that," he said. "But there are no tests for pH, anyway."
"Well, there are," he explained, "but it takes a really big machine that costs about a million dollars."

That's what he said.

The magic of the web, though, allows me to purchase them for $18 per 100 strips. Oh, internet! Is there no end to your miracles?

Words have a lot of power and they are misused so often. Hyperbole can detract from a message, 'love' is bandied about with abandon, lessening its meaning. Same with hate. "I don't know" is replaced with stories and lies, because somehow we decided people who don't know are weak or not cool. Handsome pharmacist would have gained my respect had he just said, "Dude, no clue," though.

I find myself looking for courage to admit when I don't know something. I have to fight the urge to nod and smile, take a deep breath and ask for an explanation. I always come away glad, and it feels great to learn something new.

As writers, we never know what new information we may provide to the reader. As readers, I bet, we've all learned something from a novel or story we read. The last new word I learned (and am embarrassed to admit) was Ibid. I had to look it up to understand how it was being used in a play I was reading. Thinking about ibid, lead to thinking about inertia, which lead to a story. Thank you, Mr. Edward Albee! I've learned new recipes (Like Water for Chocolate), understood better the Vietnam war (A Prayer for Owen Meany), learned why one should never eat cold food with hot food (The Hundred Secret Senses), and that sneakers will give you blisters faster than anything (The Long Walk). To name a few.

Have you learned anything new from reading fiction? Are you inserting any info into your writing that will have the reader sitting up, thinking, "Aha!"? Do you have a hard time saying, "I don't know"?

And the fast is over Saturday morning. Have the cheeseburgers and beer at the ready.

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