Tag Archives: encouragement

Who Wants to Hump with Me?

Who immediately took that innocent question straight into the gutter? For shame, for shame!

I meant with NaNo. For those of you not familiar with this, it’s a time when we writers decide to torture ourselves for one entire month. We try, and sometimes succeed, in writing a 50,000-word book in one month.

Usually when I first start my book, I’m a little bit excited but mostly fearful that every word I write will be utter and complete crap. Then, a week into writing the novel, I start to enjoy it. My characters pick up speed. It starts to feel real. Although I may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can certainly see that I’m staying on the tracks. And then…

And then comes that damn hump. It’s a big one, too.

I’m looking at it right now. Although it’s not Wednesday anymore, today will be my own “Over the Hump” day. It’s when my story should very well hit 25,000 words. But I’m a little concerned that I won’t make it up that hump. My main character has been put through the wringer lately. And now I can’t figure out how to make her life better, so she’s just sitting there waiting for me to save her. To make things right.

I know it’s my responsibility. I made her poor life miserable, and only I have the power to change her fate. Poor Brynn. She’s hanging all her hopes on someone who doesn’t have the gumption to make it over the hump.

However, the nice thing about NaNo is the encouragement we get from other writers going through the same thing. For instance, when I don’t feel like writing another blasted word, the chime on my phone lets me know that Pintip has texted with a half-hour sprint challenge. Okay. I can do a half hour. That’s nothing.

And then a half hour sometimes turns into an hour. Or two.

So, if you’re like me, and you’re struggling to reach that halfway mark in your novel, reach out to a friend. Reach out and challenge them to finish with you. To be a part of something that’s bigger than either of you.

I challenge you all—whether you’re participating in NaNo this year or not—to encourage your friends to reach their goals. It doesn’t have to be about writing. It can be about dieting. Or organizing the house. Or physical exercise. Anything that makes you struggle.

As Mary Anne Radmacher once said, “As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way.”

Go! Light your path.

I’m getting ready to hump.

Thanks for the Lift!

After having five kids, many of you might think I’m talking about a lift of a different nature, but, no. I’m talking today about the wonderful chapter of WRW and the fantastic retreat this past weekend.

I thought after my first retreat last year when I met all the fabulous mermaids that any retreat would pale in comparison. I’m so happy to have been proved wrong. It doesn’t happen all that often (when I’m wrong), but once in a sparkly purple moon, I am.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some select people from this weekend who gave me a lift when I truly, truly needed one. Although the speakers and guests encouraged me to keep writing and fighting the good fight, I’m talking about those who through small measures made a personal difference to me.

1. Deborah Barnhardt: I bought one raffle ticket for a Tarot card reading. One. After I rubbed the ticket on Carlene for good luck, I put my ONE ticket in the purple bag. And I’m sooo glad I did. I don’t know whether it’s truly my energy that she read because I haven’t felt like I’ve had much of that lately, but she told me what I needed to hear. I thank her for that reading because clearly I needed someone unbiased to talk to about myself, and when I receive my first of several RITAs someday, I will thank her on a much larger platform.

2. Kerri Carpenter: She wanted a single room. God love her, she didn’t get it. I waited until the last days of registering, and by that time the single rooms were gone. I begged her to let me share her room, and she did. Thanks, Kerri for not making me room with some neat freak with a Type-A personality. I happen to like sleeping with books all over my bed. So what.

3. Mary Lenaburg: I don’t even know how to explain my thanks. Organizing such a wonderful retreat doesn’t even enter why I’m thanking her. Her happiness is so contagious. It was such a joy talking to her, watching her dance Flashdance to Fame and listening to her funny stories. What happens at Retreat stays at Retreat. Even stories about mirrors on ceilings…No, no, no. Don’t ask. I can’t tell.

4. Carlene Love Flores: She was gracious as gracious could be as we all rubbed our raffle tickets on her for good luck. She won so many of the baskets last year that we kinda figured she’d be good luck. Most of the mermaids won several baskets because of her. I happen to think that the raffle tickets really enjoyed being rubbed against someone so sweet and kind and absolutely wonderful. She completely deserved her free retreat next year!

5. Kimberly Kincaid: Holy cow, girl! Your yoga class was the bomb! As are you! I enjoyed that class so much, even after only three hours of sleep. Thanks for christening my virgin yoga mat. Happy 40th Birthday again, and Congratulations on your Marlene win. You rocked that retreat!

6. Angelina Lopez and Suzanne Kalb: I’m lumping them together since they appeared to be attached at the hip. Thanks to Angelina for introducing me to Suzanne, who was such a joy to meet. Thanks to Suzanne for being patient as she had to answer my questions three times before I remembered her answers. Thank you both for keeping me company at the bar and sharing your stories with me.

7. Linda Williams and Pollyanne Power: Our honorary mermaids. Linda w/a Willa Blair won our Mermaid for a Day, and we love her! Pollyanne Power let us scoop her up as our Newbie for Romance Jeopardy, where we won with the most points. Granted we had approximately seventeen people on our team, but, who cares??? That game is not fair anyway!

8. Waterworld Mermaids: This one’s a given! I’m so glad we all met last year, and it goes without saying (although apparently I’m saying it anyway) that you all mean the world to me. Who knew when we were all sitting around that table at the newcomer’s meeting feeling like fish out of water that we would feel such a sense of belonging one year later? Get it? Fish out of water??? God, I’m witty.

So, thank you, thank you WRW for giving my spirits a lift. For allowing me into your midst of awesomeness.

In the middle of all this sappy gratitude, it reminds me of a special post today on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog. Our very own Amanda Brice is hosting Shelley Coriell for her official launch of her debut YA—WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE. So, join them and tell the writing world who has supported you in your writing career. At the end of the day, they will draw two names to win a $50 gift certificate to a bookstore of their choice. Not for the person posting but for the person that has been in their corner. How awesome is that? So, hop on over to http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/ and give a public shout out for your critique partner, family member or just a friend who has supported you.

Good luck! A little gratitude goes a long way! Maybe even to a bookstore near you.

Who has made a difference in your life lately? It doesn’t have to be a retreat guest—although it really should be! ☺