My Second CampNaNo Win!

I participated in CampNaNo this past April. CampNaNo is a writing competition of sorts. You write with a virtual cabin full of people cheering you on.  I was able to set my own goal, and I achieved it! This is the second time I have accomplished this. Although last time was heartbreaking as I lost my work. This time I made sure to back up my work daily! CNW_Winner_180

I ended up sticking with my Christmas story, which is about a boy who needs to learn the meaning of Christmas. A mysterious man tells him the tale of Santa Claus, and how he came to be.

Over half the draft is done! It has been strange writing it so far because a huge portion of it is not overly Christmassy with jingle bells and elves. A lot of Nicholas’ life involves not being Santa, and this story dives into that part. However, in a few more sections I will get to the North Pole part. I cannot wait! I want to write about beautiful lights, and hard working elves.

I hope to finish the first draft soon. Then, I’m going to put it aside. It will need a rewrite, and a few edits. It probably won’t be out this year, but my fingers are crossed for 2017!

 

 

 


March Madness!

Starting from the end of February, it’s been craziness here. I have had a family member hospitalized (all is well now), a fun visit with my aunt, and this week I have been sick. Beware! I am snotzilla!

Needless to day, my writing and other goals have suffered. But I am not discouraged. Before illness overtook me, I had four good writing days. I also maintained my exercise regime until this last week. I hope to be able to get back on it by next week.

I wanted this post to be an update on my New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. I finished my Duolingo French lessons AND had a completely gold French tree around mid February. I am proud of all the work I have done😀.  This means I can have conversations in French, but that they will not be very good ones. Now I am going to move onto watching French movies, and reading French books. Yay!!!!!
  2. I have continued on with my exercise. I started both the French and exercise regime last fall. In the beginning, I only did several minutes of exercise a day. I played around with how many days I wanted to do it. Recently, I decided a few days a week is enough for me. I have also doubled my exercise time, so now I try to do around 10-15 minutes. Maybe even 20 or 25 on more ambitious days. This is the longest streak of exercise I have ever had!😀
  3. Writing. Well, most of my other posts are about this. I will add that submitting my short story into a competition has made me feel more official. I’ve been positive and happy about my writing, and that’s a great feeling. clovers

For those who celebrate it, Happy St. Patrick’s day!

Until next time,

Kalen


Picking and Choosing

I thought I would have been done with Tapestry by now. Unfortunately, it needs more editing, so I have put it aside. I did not expect this to feel so sad. I know it’s not gone. It’s just waiting for me to come back to it. However, I really wanted to publish it this spring. I’ve mourned the loss of this particular goal, and now I am working on something new.

I have moved away from the angst and emotion of Tapestry, and onto romance. It’s a big change, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve twisted a couple of tropes, and it seems like it’s going to be a fun adventure. This time, I am doing things differently.

I am going to release parts of the story separately, so people can get a feeling for my main character. I hope this builds my audience. I have planned the plot accordingly. This means I will be editing smaller chunks at a time, which will probably work well for me. Additionally, I have done character profiles this time around!

This also means I am putting aside my Christmas story for the time being. I say this as snow falls outside my window. I wish I could have finished it, but I don’t think it would have been done on time for next Christmas. I am trying to focus on a project I can get done this year without lowering my standards for my stories.

Under the sadness, I am happy. I do love my new characters. It sucks when I have to choose between my stories, but it’s part of the job.

I will be submitting a short story for a writing contest this month too! It’s my first time writing Science Fiction. I enjoy trying new genres. I am in the final draft of the story. I can’t wait to submit. That’s everything on the writing front.

How has your new year been going?

I am thinking of writing a couple of posts on my new year resolutions. I am still trying!

-Kalen


Happy New Year!

How was your New Year’s Eve? I had a calm, but fun night. I curled up with delicious chocolates and champagne.

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My new year resolutions are easy because they don’t vary by much, and they’re all long-term goals.

I still want to lose weight. While I didn’t lose any in 2015, I have started exercising more. I am finding my limits, and what I can stick to.

I will be published in 2016! I thought Tapestry would have been out by now, but editing is more time consuming than I thought it would be. That being said, I am MUCH closer this year. Half of the stories are on final edits! As for the others, I will not give up. They shall be edited over and over until I feel they’re ready.

I will be starting a completely new writing project too!

2015 was a wonderful learning year for me. I can only hope to do more in 2016.

I have also added a new resolution. I want to finish learning French. I have taken classes before, but I have never reached fluency. I have been learning it again for the last 3-4 months, and I intend to continue. I want to at least be able to understand most of Le Petit Prince by 2017.

What are your resolutions?


An Art Project: Books

I’m doing an extra post this month! I joined an art class, and would like to post my pictures. They are not meant to be remarkable, just fun. I love to create things. The assignment was to pick an object, and create images. I chose a book.  I have photographs and a couple Paint drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

open book

side of book

Hope you guys are having a fun and safe holiday season. I’m going to go wrap some gifts!

Until next time,

Kalen


The Struggle: NaNoWriMo

For those of you who have read my blogs before, this won’t be a surprise. I failed NaNo again. It started out okay. I decided to continue on with my Christmas story from a previous year. It was not my original plan, but I cannot write 50k words unless I know what I’m writing about. I don’t outline. What I do is write.  Just write. Not 1,667 words. Just any words that enter my imagination. I write however much I can for as long as it takes for the story to take root in my mind. Once it does, I got it. I know what the story shall be. There are twists and turns along the way, but the general story is there. I did not have this knowledge with my original story choice, so I changed it. The Christmas story already had over 14,000 words, so it was a good choice.Print

By November 2nd, I had my story. I was ready. Then, I fell behind in my word goal. All it takes is a few days before it starts to feel impossible. NaNo also does not allow for breaks, and I need down time.

Long story short, I got 9,612 new words for the month. I love every single one of them, and I love my story. I will continue writing it after I have finished editing my current project. As of last week, I reverted back to my short story anthology because I want to finish my edits.

While I did not meet the 50k word goal, I am happy with my progress.

As an added bonus to my shiny, new words, NaNo introduced me to cool, new people this year. It was awesome! For the first time, there was a weekly write-in in my area! I went to three out of four meetings, and had a great time. Breaking up word wars with conversation is fun. I hope we have it again next year, and maybe for the Camp NaNos. I also participated in an online group, and gained some writing buddies! The social aspect of NaNo is nice.

On a completely different note, how was your November? I decorated the Christmas tree this last Friday! It was time consuming, but fun. It looks glorious. Perhaps I will post a picture😉.

Until next time,

Kalen

 


Goodies Galore

It’s that time of the year again … HALLOWEEN!

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How did your night go? Did you dress up or go out and celebrate?

I dressed up as Emma Swan: The Dark One. I love it. It was a great reason to break out my dark blue, sparkling lipstick. I was excited and ready to hand out some candy. BUT no trick or treaters came this year! More candy for me😛

As a writer, the end of Halloween also marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo. I could write about my NaNo prep, but I didn’t do any. As usual, I am a quasi-rebel. I have the start of the story, but nothing else. I hope I’m ready to win, but I don’t want to talk about that. I will probably write a post about how it went, but right now I want to focus on the important stuff: CANDY.

In preparation for tonight (Halloween/NaNo), I have thought a lot about candy. I have tons of Halloween candy, which I will enjoy with my one of favorite characters, Jack Skellington. Milk Duds, Kit Kats, and Yorks here I come! I might add some chips to the mix too. I have tea and donuts, a writer’s best friend, to keep me going through day 1. I also have left over tacos ingredients for lunch. If I get reach my own personal goal, I am going to go up a notch and have gourmet chocolate as a special treat. I might try firecracker chocolate or rocky road.

It’s nice to have a special treat as a reward for good work. Although, it does not have to be candy. I have my eye on an incredible journal. What do you use to reward yourself? Or do you use something else for motivation?

Until next time,

Kalen


And the Writing Begins!

I have finally put aside Tapestry (my short story anthology) for the time being. The editing was tough, and there is still more to do, but I am happy with my progress. Now I am moving on to another story, and I am super excited to get back to writing! No more reading the same paragraph 8 times.😀

I will be working on the first draft of a Christmas story I started three to four years ago. I have read what I wrote so far, jotted down a few descriptions, and am now embarking on the writing journey. It’s a dark tale involving a little boy, Santa Claus, and magic spells. I hope I can finish before November, but I won’t put too much pressure on myself. I am enjoying my life and work more by thinking positively while trying not to stress over the small stuff.

Speaking of which, it’s fall! The joy! The weather is cooler. I can go for walks, or snuggle in bed. Visions of pumpkin treats waver before me. Stews and dumplings will be made. What a wonderful time of the year!

What have you been working on? Do you have any fall traditions?

Hope all is going well for you,

Kalen


The Editing Adventure

I apologize for not posting last month. I have gotten carried away in my editing and with other work goals.

JuNoWriMo was fun. I got a good portion of the editing done, and loved being a word sprint host. There were also a few life changes during June. It was hard at the time, but it all worked out for the best. I’m doing wonderfully now.

I’ve learned a lot about myself as an editor too. Sometimes I edit scene by scene. Other times I need to take notes. And I figured out what I needed time-wise. I have been working on Tapestry for awhile now, but it still isn’t ready for publication. Time is a writer’s best friend. Taking time away from a piece of work can lead to clarity when editing. I thought I could write, do first revisions, then put it aside. As it turns out, this is too ambitious. It’s hard to seriously edit anything that has JUST been written. I can fix grammar and tighten it slightly, but the magical editing muse won’t make her appearance for weeks. Time and distance is essential.

I have also learned to accept that my writing won’t be a glamorous, masterpiece during the first draft stage. Logically I have known this from day one. Many writers preach this. Yet, it’s still hard to accept. It has nothing to do with arrogance so much as self-doubt. Some first drafts are okay. Other first drafts are horrendous! It’s embarrassing. My inner critic whispers crazy things to me. It says my readers will stealthily find this copy of my work, read it, and decide I’m not good enough. I readily admit this is silly. Editing is what makes a piece shine; it’s where it becomes great. Still, it’s tough to look at bad writing and not cringe.

Anyway, my newfound acceptance has brightened my mood, and I am excited to tell you that I’m almost done with this round of editing! Woo hoo!

Hope you’ve been well!

-Kalen


How It Goes

It’s less than one week before June, and there’s so much to do! I am behind on my editing, but I am determined to finish it. I can’t wait to have the anthology ready for publication. Plus, June is the start of JuNoWriMo. It’s my first year participating and I’m excited. I am going to be one of the sprint leaders and a featured author on their website! I’ll be sprinting during the afternoons on Mondays and Wednesdays. During the month of June I want to finish editing, and write a huge chunk of another novel!

I’m nervous because there’s so much to get done this summer. Editing takes longer than writing for me. I go over the scenes multiple times, ponder how to make it perfect, add copious words, and I take some out. Sometimes it feels never-ending. The novel I am writing over the summer has already been started. I need to reread what’s there. Try to find where my mind was when I was writing it, and go back to that mental place.

I hope to squeeze a novella in too, but it’s not looking good. We’ll see and I’ll keep you updated. I hope I can do it because I love the concept. It’s a dark fairy tale with a sexy Prince Charming. I don’t want to let him go!

And I am officially a Goodreads Author! It took a few more steps than I had anticipated, but it was intuitive enough. I created my page and added my flash fiction story, Flowers, under my name :D! I can’t explain how exciting it is to feel like a real author with all the author accoutrements. Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13794103.Kalen_Williamson


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