NaNoWriMo exprience


This is not a barn. It’s a farmhouse. It isn’t that I didn’t get pictures of a couple of barns, but I wanted to show that not all of my country pictures are barns. See, I can be flexible.


With the exception of some final editing, I’m ready to submit my 50,000+ word novel. I don’t really have to do that editing because the web site doesn’t do anything but count words. Content isn’t important. I could just as easily put down 50,000 nonsense words and claim credit for completing the challenge. But where would the fun have been in doing that? No, I’m editing the document for myself.

I started the challenge just to see how long I could maintain the pace of writing, on average, 1,667 words per day and maintain a consistent story line. As an aid to doing that, the novel was based in part on things that had happened to me in the past. Of course, there was a lot of theatrical embroidery added. I was surprised at how much those Lifetime movies that Cindy watches have rubbed off on me, and showed up in my writing. That was Lesson 1.

As I started thinking about events and people who showed up in the narrative, I started thinking about other events that I had forgotten. So I threw them in as well to add to the word count. That was Lesson 2, memories can lead to more memories. Of course, some of those memories might be false memories. I’m still not sure about one scene I “remember” of a house fire just down the road from a party that I attended.

All of the names in the novel were changed to protect me, from lawsuits. Lesson 3 was that it is difficult to come up with fake names for people whom you can envision perfectly. I’m not sure how many times I ran a Find and Replace on the document using the real name and the fake name.

I’ve never found it easy to write dialogue in the past, but with this challenge it came easily. Now, I’m not claiming that it is good dialogue, but it is dialogue. Lesson 4 was that if you can remember a person’s cadence when speaking, what they say comes easier. In the past my attempts at dialogue has always been me talking to myself. This gives me a better insight.

Lesson 5 is that I had a lot more story to tell than I thought I did. Part of that goes back to Lesson 2. When it came down to my last week of writing I found myself cutting ideas for chunks of narrative that I had planned on using. I should probably save them for next year. Gosh, I’m already thinking about doing the challenge again next year.

The last lesson that I leaned, Lesson 6, was that inspiration is not always constant. As I told a friend, on some days the words just flowed. On other days it was like removing a deeply embedded splinter with a butter knife. On those other days I could not imagine a person with a full-time job finding the time to write. My hats off to them.

Just another barn

Barn and corn field  Yes, it’s another picture of a barn. I used a color picture of this barn, taken from a different angle, on October 10.

This photo is my submission to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week. Do yourself a favor and check out her website. It is well worth your time.

I’ll be finishing my novel for NaNoWriMo later this week. For the most part I have been enjoying the challenge, but there have been days when the words came hard. I’m taking a break from the writing this morning because after meeting around half of today’s goal, I found that I had confused my narrative time line. Now I have to step back and get things straight in my mind.

I should be getting back to blogging on a regular basis next week. If you’re lucky, I’ll put a temporary halt to barn pictures for a while.

For those of you in the U.S., have a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday. Well, heck, you can all have a wonderful day on Thursday and the rest of the week.

November 22, 1963

Heading towards the snow
Heading towards the snow

Cindy and I took a road trip last weekend to pick up a table that she had bought earlier. On the way I took this picture from inside the car. The sun was behind us, and the snow clouds were ahead of us. That made for some eerie lighting. I wish I had the skill to translate that light to the photo. But, it isn’t totally lost.

Every  year on this date I find myself playing these two songs. The first song is one of hope, the second of sorrow. I’ll let them speak for themselves.

It’s a derelict

Roadside shed
Roadside shed

I was driving down a dirt road in the county a couple of weeks ago, and came across this derelict shed. I thought that it would make a good picture for Classical Gasbag, but when I got home and uploaded it to the PC it just looked too drab. Then I tried grayscaling it, and it looked better. I played around with brightening and darkening (sorry, I didn’t keep track of my experiments) and came up with this image. It isn’t my favorite picture, but I like it enough to submit for Monochrome Madness this week.

Leanne puts together a gallery of monochrome pictures submitted from all over the world and publishes it on her website on Wednesdays (In Australia). During the rest of the week she blogs about her personal projects accompanied my many lovely pictures. She also introduces other photographers and their work. I always take time from my reading and writing when I’m alerted that a new post from her is available. For me it is a time to relax and enjoy the beauty of time standing still in the form of photographs.

Have a wonderful week.

I just dropped in

Wall art #5
Wall art #5

I finished working on my NaNoWriMo early today, and I ran my errands, so I thought that I should check in with a brief post. The picture is of one of the more whimsical murals in Lafayette. I’m not sure what it means, or even if it has a meaning, but I like it.


So far I have been able to meet my writing goals for the NaNoWriMo each day this month, but I need to up the goals because I know that there are a couple of days coming up when I won’t be able to write at all. I’ve amazed myself that I have written so much in one plot line. Usually I can only maintain doing that for a thousand words or less. As of today I’ve topped 22,000 words.

It hasn’t been the easiest thing to do, but I learned three things on November 1st, the first day of writing:

1) Start writing earlier in the day. For me, the words come easier early in the day. Writing in the afternoon is a slog.

2) Remember to eat. Need I say more?

3) Don’t take a break and go with Cindy on  a brief shopping excursion. It won’t be brief.

Those are my secrets so far.

Now, since I said that this would be a brief post, I’ll say farewell for a few days and get back to updating my novel’s plot. I need to do that because I’ve strayed from the original plan and need to figure out where this darned book is going.


Early Monochrome

Autumn bleakness
Autumn bleakness

I was reading Leanne Cole’s latest blog earlier today and in it she asked that the submissions for Monochrome Madness be sent in early. I had decided to use this image early this week, but I hadn’t drafted anything because I have been working on my NaNoWriMo novel. I finished composing for the day, so now I’m going ahead with this post.

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. The sky was overcast; the structure’s white paint has faded and most of it has peeled off; the ground cover had lost almost all color. The picture was darned near monochrome before I grayscaled it. A few months ago I would have zoomed in on the structure, but I’ve come to realize that pulling back from the structure adds to the bleakness. It is amazing to me that I’m learning these things after so many years.

I hope you’re having a wonderful week.

My Monochrome Monday for Monochrome Madness

Monochrome mural
Wall art #4

I decided to use this mural for this week’s Monochrome Madness picture. Be sure to click on the link and visit Leanne Cole’s website. You will see some amazing photos.

Since the mural was painted in black and white, I didn’t think I was diminishing the beauty by grayscaling everything else. I actually like the bricks in shades of gray, and the concrete area at the bottom was already gray. Be sure to click on the picture to see the mural in greater detail.

That’s it for this week. It’s time to get back to my NaNoWriMo project. So far I’ve been meeting my daily writing goals.

Have a great week.

P.S. If you live in the US and haven’t yet voted. Get to it. Tomorrow is election day!