Posted in NANOWRIMO, Writing


Because I am a glutton for punishment, I am going to attempt NANOWRIMO this year. I am writing a non-fiction article so perhaps that will help since I don’t have to define or create characters and this is information I really need out of my head.

I have been going through quite a transformation over the last couple of years and I finally feel as if I’m emerging from the cocoon and ready to fly.  While I may never share this year’s NANO effort with anyone else, I need to download my brain.

I’m also going to try to do short blogs a little more often this month to prep for a possible challenge to myself beginning in 2014.

If you are doing NANOWRIMO this year, leave me a post below!

Posted in creativity, NANOWRIMO, Writing


I finished NANOWRIMO two days early, with only 15 days actually writing, which is a new personal best!  I’d like to thank everyone who prayed for me to finish strong.  I desperately needed to get this monkey off my back.    I needed to prove to myself that I could finish.  I wrote almost 18,000 words in three days, another personal best.

The novel isn’t finished, and needs a major rewrite, but I accomplished something major in the process and the novel itself isn’t what’s important.  What was important about this entire exercise was that I finished.

I now need to refill my word bank, so I will fill in on some other details later.  😉

Posted in NANOWRIMO, Writing


It’s been a busy month so far!  Five days in NJ/NY to begin the month, and I haven’t even had time to go into all my adventures yet!  I’m also 14 days into NANOWRIMO and I’ve only produced 16,691 words so far due to my jam packed week to start off November.  I’m almost 9,000 words behind at this point.  I’ve made up a lot of ground, but as I am used to finishing the 22nd – 24th, I feel a bit pressured.

Of course, this is self-induced pressure.  I do, however, want to keep trying to make it!  I have quit twice before when I fall behind, but I don’t want to quit. I have something to prove to myself now.  I have to press on!

Posted in creativity, NANOWRIMO


I am a person afflicted with too many ideas.  The light bulb comes to life, but a lot of times it burns brightly and gathers cobwebs because I always have great ideas.  The ideas are like children to me. The hardest part for me is to choose which child brings life and which I should bring to life. 
So, as crazy as it sounds, even with the traveling and all the craziness of November, I’m still planning on participating in and completing NANOWRIMO.  Keep that in mind as my sleep-deprived posts appear.  Follow me on Twitter @sassyshae for the up to the minute insanity!
Posted in creativity, NANOWRIMO, travel, Writing


About a week ago, I had decided to try to squeeze out a novel in November, as I have done twice in the last five years, for NANOWRIMO. The day after I allowed myself to make that declaration public and start getting excited about it, my boss delivered the news that I needed to travel to our New Jersey office.  The time window for this to happen was about three weeks.

I was a little taken off guard by my boss’ request because the NJ office and I had tried to schedule this trip the second week of October, when, for all intents and purposes, it was the most convenient time for everybody, especially me, but the trip was a no-go.  So now, the only week that made sense within the proposed window was the first week of November.

I will have no time whatsoever to devote to NANOWRIMO on this trip unless I get extremely creative. I could get the novel started on November 1st, but I will be packing that night and the Texans are playing the Colts in Indy on Monday Night Football.  So, while I plan on writing that night, I won’t be writing much. Tuesday, I will have time on the plane to write.  That will require me to take my laptop to New Jersey, which I hadn’t planned to do. I would also have some time to write before bed on Wednesday and Thursday nights in the hotel.

The next two nights, however, I will be in New York City with my work buddy Chrissy, and I promise you, the laptop will not see the light of day.  I can, of course, write more on the plane on Sunday on the way home if I don’t pass out first.  If I take the laptop, I only lose 2-3 days, and since I tend to finish early most of the time, that’s not an insurmountable deficit.  If I don’t take the laptop and I come back and try to start writing on the 9th, I don’t know that I will actually get started, let alone finish.

So you see the dilemma.  Do I give up before I even start, or do I go ahead and try to overcome this wrench in my plans? I still haven’t decided.  First I have to see if I have an idea that I believe is worth trying to overcome this obstacle.

I’m tired of all the things that suck my creative well dry, or obstacles I let get in my way, and I need to write 50,000 words in 30 days more than I ever have.  Perhaps this trip will provide a much needed refill of the creative well. Then, after I do 50,000 words in 30 days, maybe I should do a similar photo contest as well.  Regardless of how this turns out, I need to refocus my time on the activities and people that feed my soul, and begin to tune out all that does not.

Stay tuned for updates!

Posted in Advent, holidays, NANOWRIMO, random, Writing


Today, as I was looking around my apartment mentally planning my Christmas decor, I realized that I was without an Advent wreath, a Christmas tree skirt, and misc decorations. In a flashback to a time when Jene’ had to make us an Advent wreath in the buckle of the Bible belt, I knew I would have to start from scratch or spend time driving all over town trying to find a place with pre-made Advent wreaths.

Since my friend Amy mentioned the word, “crafty” (in the arts & craft sense) earlier today, I thought I would try to make my own wreath. I went to Michael’s and bought a wreath and some decorations for it. I could not, however, find any taper candle holders (all gone), advent candles or any comparable candles that wouldn’t choke me to death.

Fortunately, I often shop at Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite stores. I figured if I could find Advent candles nearby, it would be there.

Success! I found Advent candles, and candle holders, AND all ornaments were 50% off. Hobby Lobby is having crazy sales every week this season, and I encourage you to shop there. Every week a different set of seasonal items are marked down. I love their ornaments and bought a couple and got some garland for over the door and some Buffalo snow rather than material to make a Christmas tree skirt.

I have too much Christmas stuff… BUT I have an extra room, which will become the Christmas Staging Area (or CSA) and I will once again sort and pare down what I have and I can get stuff out and not clutter up any other space in the apartment. I have already started decorating (Ok… I made the Advent wreath and a tiny tree for either my room or to take to work) and hope to get in the Christmas swing soon.

In other news… I am behind on my word count for NANOWRIMO, but hope to catch up over the next couple of days… and now I can’t use the Advent Wreath Emergency for a distraction.

Posted in creativity, NANOWRIMO, Writing


I have creatively distracted myself enough this weekend, which is good in many, many ways. Though I am well over 6,000 words in my quest for 50,000, I did not write on Sunday. Instead, after taking some awesome Ultimate Frisbee photos, I went to the Menil and then to Miller Outdoor Theater to enjoy a concert by Barrage.

I was completely saturated with creativity, but still struggled to write 1800 words yesterday. I believe my story idea is good, I’m just having trouble with takeoff. Again, I usually have a bit more time to prepare for NANOWRIMO and have usually dreamt through most of the beginning of the story at least a few times. It will all click, I know, I just need to keep feeding the creative side of me.

I love to tell stories – stories of places, people, and their journeys. Any story of mine does not live without its soul coming to life. I am on the brink of that moment, I can feel it!

Posted in creativity, NANOWRIMO, Writing


The countdown to NANOWRIMO is on! Though I have been sick most of the weekend, I am excited about writing my brains out come next weekend.

I have tried to write an outline but as usual, haven’t completed one. Outlines frustrate me and limit me, so I while I am plotting (writing down what I’d like to the story to say and where I’d like it to go), I have tossed the outline aside.

Six days out, I have compiled a list of NANOWRIMO essentials.

SNACKS – Check. I have stocked up on munchies that don’t weigh me down.

CHECK OFF DISTRACTIONS – Check. I am early voting this week and will plan out my days off to maximize writing and also get those pesky things done (like getting my license renewed). By the end of the week I will replace those dishes I broke (don’t ask) and have my “miscellaneous/non-essential” shopping finished. Check, check.

PLAN CREATIVE DISTRACTIONS – Check. So far I have one concert and a trip to the movies planned. While I am trying not to add too much during this month, I do have ample days off and can’t write all day long you know.

DAYS OFF – Check! I will have three four-day weekends in November. It’s just how it worked out. I should be finished well before Thanksgiving again this year.

MINIMIZE PERSONAL DISTRACTIONS – Che…Yeah, this never works, but I have to try. Actually, the more I interact with people, the more creative I am. So as long as the drama is kept to a dull minimum, I should be fine.


NANOWRIMO SOUNDTRACK – Check, check, check. It’s loaded with British rock (Oasis, Coldplay), a little bit of The Autum Film and puts me in the zone.

PLOT – (laughs). That’s for me to know and you to find out!

Posted in NANOWRIMO, Writing


I’ve had some unexpected turns lately, which, in hindsight have proven to be beneficial, though it may take months to figure out just how beneficial. Painful as those turns have been, I know everything will work out as it should, as it always does.

That said, I’ve suddenly been put in a position to do NANOWRIMO again for myself. So far, I have about eight characters and a title, which is more than I usually have at this point, so I am happy about that.

I had a long weekend, and today while it was raining, I went to Borders to look around and breathe in ink and paper and listen to some good music. I went all over the store (it was raining really hard out there) and while I was in the periodicals section, one of my characters jumped out at me from the cover of a British music magazine. I love it when that happens.

My characters are taking more shape and coming to life, which makes this whole process flow. I still have no idea what I’m going to write, but I now have a better idea of who is going to tell the story.