It’s NaNoWriMo Preptime!

NaNoWriMo winner's certificate
My certificate for writing 50,000 words of a novel in November for the writing challenge called NaNoWriMo 2021.

It’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month. I’m on their email list and they’ve begun a six-week NaNoWriMo prep.

Last year was my first attempt at writing a rough draft of a novel during November. I did it!

But what I didn’t do was back up my manuscript. How or why? In any case, my laptop had a hardware issue and most of my files disappeared including my 50,000 word novel!

I called Apple and they tried for days to recover my files on icloud and my hard drive. No luck.

I’ve begun rewriting my novel and changed the point of view from one character to four characters alternating their stories. I’m at about 25,000 words. It’s added depth to the characters rather than viewing them from one perspective.

The emails from NaNoWriMo have motivated me to finish the manuscript. I’ll use their prep weeks to improve what I’ve written so far.

NaNoWriMo is giving me a second chance with this idea! I’m starting today. I don’t have to begin with a new idea. It’s just the push I need to complete this rough draft — again.

Have you tried the NaNoWriMo challenge?

Would you consider doing it this year with me?

Boring words

Bunny staring at me through the window. He has a hole in one ear. I wonder how that happened?

I use boring words in my writing. I’m talking about “interesting,” “great,” “amazing,” and “important.” There are many more. If you google “overused words” you can find article after article of overused words and phrases.

I need better words.

When I write one of these words, I stop and think, what word can I use instead?

I managed to get rid of “very” and “just” — most of the time. Those words are unnecessary.

When I write, I have a choice to include overused words or ones more specific. General words don’t add flavor but make writing flat. Rewriting a sentence to avoid a boring word may improve writing rather than using a thesaurus to find a replacement.

It’s a challenge to avoid overused words. It makes my brain hurt!

What are your thoughts of overused words? What words do you use too often?

When Bloggers Disappear

Waffles the pug at the ER
This is Waffles, my daughter’s pug, at the vet. He doesn’t look happy.

I was looking at my posts from a year ago, wondering what I was up to. It turns out that we had just gotten back from the beach — after staying in the same spot we are today.

But what caught my eye were comments from a year ago.Several bloggers left comments that I follow and I enjoyed reading their posts. But I haven’t seen them pop up lately in my WordPress Reader. I clicked on their blogs and discovered one hasn’t posted anything since October 2021.

What happened? I wonder if these bloggers are okay? Did they get COVID? Did they get bored with blogging? Did something happen in their personal life that took away their time to blog?

I’d like a conclusion, an ending, an explanation. Perhaps a note that they are taking a break or they are done. If I decide to stop with this blog, I believe I owe it to my readers and friends to give a note of thanks and heads up.

Have you experienced the loss of a blogger? What are your thoughts?

A few more issues

The latest issue of the HOA newsletter.

I thought with my new laptop I’d be through with computer issues. But an issue came up with the latest issue of the newsletter that I volunteer to do for our homeowner’s association.

If you didn’t read about my computer issues, I was losing files and realized that the “automatic backup” wasn’t backing up. You can read about that HERE.

My new laptop doesn’t have the fonts for the newsletter. I get missing font messages and the type reverts to Helvetica or Geneva which doesn’t look great. So, I asked my son — who created the layout and template for me — to help fix it. He told me to email him the newsletter and he’d convert it to a pdf on his laptop. (He has the fonts.)

After my son made the newsletter look pretty, I sent it off to my newsletter co-editor for proof reading — plus the board of directors for their input.

In the end I received 10 small corrections and tweaks last night. Instead of sending the newsletter to my son to make the corrections, I thought I’d try turning on the old laptop — which has the missing fonts. I thought I’d be able to update the newsletter all on my own. What I discovered is those fonts on my old laptop are missing. too!

So, even with a brand new laptop that’s working great, I still have issues to fix.

With different fonts, spacing is different which changes every page’s layout.

What a mess.

On our beach vacation, our kids are joining us and my son has promised to install the fonts and we won’t have to be emailing the newsletter back and forth in the future.

Do you work on any layouts besides your blogs? Do you enjoy it or find it tedious? What computer problems or glitches have you dealt with?

Looking for art

The top of the bar in our living room.

Today my husband and I went looking for art, stone or something for two 16 by 16 inch spaces at the top of our bar. We found a few things including glass, natural stone and geodes. But we have different ideas of what will work. I want a bright contrasting color like orange or red. He wants green or blue. I like green and blue, but I feel those colors will get lost.

I have a feeling those spaces will remain empty.

It was very hot and humid outside. We walked around our little town of Carefree and then Cave Creek going in and out of consignment stores and art galleries. When I got back home I felt dizzy with vertigo. I have gotten vertigo twice in the past year. Hopefully this time it goes away quickly without having to see the doctor or going on prednisone like the last two times.

I’m sitting in bed typing this and finishing my neighborhood’s newsletter — hoping I don’t fall off!

Have you had vertigo? What has worked for you to get over it? Happy August First!

When you wake up happy

Looking out the sliding glass door to the back yard.

For some unknown reason, I woke up feeling very happy. It’s not unusual for me to be in a good mood, but today I feel exceptionally hopeful. I can’t stop smiling.

I’m trying to figure out what makes today different.

• I checked the temperature on my phone and it was in the low 70s. A perfect day for a walk.

• It’s bright and sunny after a few days of dark gray clouds.

• I went to sleep early and slept through the night.

• I have an entire day without a “to do list.”

• I’ve recently spent time with friends and had visits with my kids.

• I’m backing up my files on my new laptop — which by the way — doesn’t mysteriously delete my work.

• I had my home-baked banana nut bread with coffee for breakfast. Maybe it’s the sugar in the banana bread. The recipe is from my mom’s old orange Betty Crocker cookbook. It reminds me of my childhood.

• My rewrite of my manuscript is going well. I’ve decided to tell the story from the four main characters’ points of view rather than from one.

• I’m reading an enjoyable book called “The Optimist’s Daughter” by Eudora Welty.

What little things make you feel positive and encouraged for the day?

One of my favorite spots in the house. I love to sit at the table and look outside. We moved the table and chairs from Palm Springs. It was our kitchen/dining room table for 28 years and continues on in Arizona.

A fresh start

My new laptop

Last week I got my new laptop. My new glasses also came in. I am thrilled to see through glasses without scratches. Such a joy. The optometrist told me that my right eye has gotten a little worse since my cataract surgery pre COVID. But my left eye is the same. I’ve always had trouble with the right eye not being able to focus due to a hole in my retina. I think it’s congenital and I’ve had it checked through the years and it hasn’t gotten any worse. Thank goodness!

Here’s the deal. With my new computer and better vision I have started on draft number two of my manuscript that disappeared off my old laptop. I’ve roughed out a chapter outline and worked on my characters to add more depth. It was a manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month where you write 50,000 of a rough draft in the month of November.

I put off working on rewriting the draft until the new computer came in. Files continued to disappear from my old laptop. I didn’t have the desire or energy to get all worked up if I happened to lose another draft.

Which reminds me. I need to order a new back up drive!

Are you working on any new or old projects that you’re excited about? What are they?

My new glasses without scratches in my line of vision!