Every Month is NaNoWriMo

It’s not special anymore.

Poo.

November is National Novel Writing Month. Writers of various stripes attempt to write an entire novel in thirty measly days. It’s kind of a big deal. I have teacher friends who focus the entire month in their classrooms on getting their students writing. There are accountability groups online. Everyone was Kung Fu Fighting!

And also writing novels.

The first time I attempted NaNoWriMo was about a decade ago. It was… oh man. It was such a slog. Trying to get out enough words every day? No one can live at that speed! I was insanely exhausted at the end of the month. I made it, but I also didn’t write for a while after that. I OD’ed!

…and now I’ve written a novel every month for… calculating… seventeen months, if I’m counting correctly. That seems like more than it should be, but that’s what I count. I’ve never been wrong before, so clearly this must be correct.

No one tell my wife I said I’ve never been wrong before. She’d hit me.

Anyway.

Writing is a muscle. The more you write, the more you’re able to write. The last book I drafted, I averaged 2200 words an hour. And this is awesome. It means I can get a lot done in not a lot of time.

But…

But it means November is just another month now. Well, it’s still special. We still celebrate Thanksgiving with family. We still overeat and play games. But when it comes to writing… it’s just another month.

It’s one of the weird things about writing more. Finishing another novel? It’s a monthly occurrence. Once upon a time, finishing a rough draft was cause for major celebration! Now it’s still celebration, but it’s more like celebrating Friday. You finished it! Yay! You do this often, though.

And you know what? I wouldn’t trade it. It means that I’m growing as an author.

Think about it. Do you celebrate every time you take a step? Once upon a time, there was valid celebration as you walked. If you’ve ever lost that ability due to injury or illness, and you were able to walk again, the first step is another cause for celebration! But eventually, walking is just something you do. It’s the same way with driving. The first time I drove, I was a nervous wreck. Now, at least most of the time, it’s just something I do.

Writing is just something I do, whether or not it’s NaNoWriMo. And that’s not a bad thing.

I should probably get started on December’s book, though…

Fire and Frostburn

TODAY book 3 of Madelyn of the Sky is available! Check out Fire and Frostburn!

What could be worse than a dragon?

Madelyn has always greeted her adventures with sword, stone, and smile. This time is different, though.

She doesn’t need to fight Prince Aralane. She needs to impress him. His kingdom borders her floating Island in the sky, and she needs an ally.

Which means his visit to the Island is a terrible time for a dragon to attack.

And it’s an even worse time for something more dangerous than a dragon to threaten them.

It’ll take everything Madelyn has to face this danger and protect the visiting prince!

Unenchanting

You’ve heard it if you haven’t said it yourself: Disney has gone downhill! It’s terrible! Look what they did to Star Wars! Their Marvel movies have become lazy! All the reboots are horrendous!

Is it true, though?

Last week my family watched Disenchanted, the sequel to Enchanted on Disney+. When I first saw Enchanted, I wanted to hate it. I ended up loving it. “How Does She Know that You Love Her” remained in my head for weeks after seeing it. The cast and story charmed their way into my heart. I thought, hey, why not try Disenchanted, then?

I give the movie a B+, personally. It’s not as good as the original movie, but it was still entertaining. Some of the music, particularly “Badder,” has lain eggs in my brain. The relationships between the characters, particularly Edward and Nancy, were solid. It was decent… but not great. Well, why not?

The other day my wife and I pondered the question. This is something we do. What makes a story good? What missed the mark? It helps as we produce stories of our own to see how other stories succeed or fail. And I think, personally, the misses in Disenchanted are fairly indicative of what I think has been going on with Disney lately in general.

Continue reading “Unenchanting”

Waiting to Write

Sometimes to complete a book you need to stop writing.

This last week I didn’t write a word, and for once it had nothing to do with depression nor a busy ministry schedule in my day job. Nope. This time it was my wife’s fault.

See, my wife edits all my books. She does a fantastic job, catching typos and plot holes and forcing the entire product to shine so much more than it would otherwise. She asks annoying questions to which I answer, “I don’t know!” …and then she figures out the solution to whatever she asks.

This week she had to get to editing. Because of the copious number of children in our house, it’s pretty common that only one of us can work at a time. So if she has to edit, it means I have to supervise the insanity of children that resides with us.

I’m happy to give her the time. Not only does she make the books better, but I kinda love her. So it’s just fine to let her go! I’m content to work for her benefit.

That means… two weeks in a row and basically no writing, though. For the first time in over a year, I may not have a book written in a month. I guess things happen, huh? Maybe next month I can make up for it. (Yeah… in December? Probably not. Maybe in January, though!)

And it’s worth it. This time of my waiting makes the books better. And next year ALL the kids will be in school, meaning that at least during the day we can both work! That’ll help immensely.

And until then… well, time to let my editor get to work!