Tuesday, November 12, 2013


So, as I am sitting at a local write-in, supposedly writing a 50k word novel in a month, I find myself blogging instead (don't worry, I did some legitimate writing first). I love my story; I think I finally have an idea that has enough substance to actually become something, but there is SO much about the story I've created that I neglected -- not intentionally, I just had no idea where my story was going…and the direction it took me was one I wasn't at all prepared for.

For those of you who have never attempted NaNoWriMo, this is not where I sit down and write a publishable masterpiece in a month (and 50k words isn't nearly a long enough manuscript to begin with). It is a purely word-count driven, get-your-ideas-down-on-paper-as-fast-as-you-can, and don't you dare edit kind of affair. It's good for me, and good for shutting up my inner editor. Most of all, it's fun! You get to novel en masse with the best of them -- from published writers to college students -- share your ideas with other writerly types, and, if nothing else, drink a few good cups of coffee along the way. For the record, I have attempted NaNoWriMo a number of times and have never reached the 50k word mark, but such is life. In fact, I have gotten farther this year than in previous years.

The problem is that I never outline; I never develop my ideas before the November 1st start, and I have learned that I am terrible at developing plot. I may have a beginning, middle, and end -- but when I say middle I mean, "yes, at some point I know that my character will _____." I have no idea how they will get to _____. I have no idea how they will get from _____ to the end. I just know that _____ will happen. This year I fell into the deadliest of plot setbacks. I need to world build. Somehow I went from my "real world" setting into one of my character's design…that means she has to design it! (Which in turn means that I have to design a world for her to design, sigh). I could spend months on world building! And without a world, there is no story. It may be time to stop writing and starting world/plot building for the greater good of my poor, plotless story.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Title Of My Blog

I realized recently that: 1) I think I am at a place in my life where I want to blog regularly again, so you can expect regular weekly posts from me. 2) Sadly, many of the people that I used to follow and whose posts I read religiously are no longer writing…so I look forward to new blogs and new readers. 3) I have never explained the title of my blog.

So to expand on #1 and #2, I am glad to be back! I am back in U.S.A. again (in fact, I returned home on the Fourth of July!) and am so thankful to be surrounded by friends and family again, even if I am shut up in my room writing papers and doing research most of the time. Adjusting to life here has been more difficult than I thought it would be, even though I knew it would be a transition. Even now, four months later, the past likes to tug on my heartstrings. I will go back, someday, because Israel has a special place in my heart.

As for #3, you may have noticed that there is little about the title that is outwardly represented in the content of my blog. You don't see me posting poetry. I don't talk about religion. There are a surprising number of promises -- to myself (unless you're counting the promise to write more often. In that case, dear readers, I have made a number of promises to you as well). The title of my blog is inspired by the John Denver song of the same name (lyrics here).

That is what my blog is about. It's about enjoying life and making the most of it through it all, and about sharing my story. It's a place where I can be thankful for everything in my life and full of excitement for the future…"For though my life's been good to me / There's still so much to do." -- and in turn, so much for me to share.

P.S. You might notice a few changes around here in the next couples of days…it was time.