Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Sun Chaser

This morning I was looking through writing I've done over the past couple of years - short stories, short paragraphs here and there that I've written.  Some pertaining to the novel I'm Writing and some, let's just say, not so much.  I ran across this and thought I'd put it out there - here - let me know what you think - drafty draft and I"ll keep working on it.

The Sun Chaser
I'm an early riser. Now when most people say that, I bet you think, sure, you get up at six and get to work about eight. Good on you.

That might be true for most people but when I say I'm an early riser, I mean early. I'm usually up by three and out the door by four am.  And no, I am not a dairy farmer. I do not milk cows for a living.  I chase the sun.

So this morning, I'm following my normal routine and yes, you guessed it...

The alarm goes off about 2:45. I hit the snooze.  What self-respecting person doesn't hit the snooze?  Nine minutes later the alarm goes off again and I get up.  Can anyone explain to me why alarm snoozes are nine minutes?  Every alarm clock I've ever had has a snooze set at nine minutes. Is there some law in Taiwan about nine minutes?  Something in their religion I don't know about? Maybe I missed that day in school where I didn't learn something really important about Taiwanese culture?  Wait did we even learn about Taiwanese culture in school? Probably not.

So anyway, I get up.  I hit the shower, get dressed and walk into my kitchen to start my nice normal bacon and eggs  breakfast. You eat bacon right?  Who doesn't eat bacon!  Don't read this if you don't eat bacon!

So I walk into the kitchen and bam! My whole day gets sent into a tizzy and no, it's not because I was out of bacon, although that could have done it. Apparently a bird died in a bottle on my kitchen table and then disappeared and left only a feather behind.

Only, I don't know where the bottle came from or what kind of bird it was. In fact, I'm not 100% sure the bird actually died, maybe it teleported, but don't you think it's incredible it got inside that bottle in the first place?

But I digress. You see, I'm an animal lover, although I don't have any animals, on account of being allergic and that I have an early schedule because I chase the sun, remember? Sun chaser.  I figure that makes for long days that's not good for having pets.  Plus my therapist discourages it. He says I have dissociative something or other and that's no conducive to having pets. Anyway I tried it once and since I chase the sun the dog peed in the house so I gave him to the neighbor. They both seem happy.

So this morning, I was going to make my bacon and eggs, just like normal, except here was this bottle on the table. At first I thought it was empty, maybe left over from the cleaning lady. That happened last week. The cleaning, I mean. She comes in once a week and last week she left a bottle of empty cleaning detergent in the waste basket and it smelled really bad.  Only this bottle didn't smell at all.  Plus when I picked up this bottle, well, it had the feather.

That's when I figured the bird must have crawled in there and died and gone to heaven or teleported somewhere.  Well, because all that's left is a feather.  But I still don't know where the bottle came from.  So I'm sitting there thinking about all this - the bottle, the bird, and I got behind on making my breakfast and then all of a sudden the sun showed up.  It came through the window and lit up the feather like it was an angel wing sent from god.

I just sat there staring at the bottle, at the sun and the feather.  My day was over.  See I chase the sun. The sun doesn't chase me.  She was already up and gone.  There was no way I could catch her now. My day was ruined.

But here was heaven in a bottle. God sent me an angel wing in a bottle.  The sea fell from my eyes and I tasted it on my tongue.  My day was done.

Copyright Jill Friedmann 2016

Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Get Distracted by a Conference

The Arizona Library Association annual conference is in town and since I'm attending and speaking I've been a little distracted this week, so I missed writing yesterday!  I know I'm in this for the long haul, not just for the month of November, but it was really hard to get out up early this morning to write.  So what did I do this morning when I actually got out of bed and sat down at the keyboard?  I didn't open my novel and get back to my characters.  I started an internet search on how to buy a domain name.  What's the best way to host a site.  Who are the best web hosting companies anyway.  And I hate those ads from GoDaddy, so even though they sell domain names for 99 cents do I really want to buy my domain name from them?

What am I doing?

I'm totally getting distracted and not writing.

What am I doing right now?  Also being distracted.  But at least I'm reminding myself that's it's okay to be human, even when you're a writer.  It has been a good conference. Today is the last day and I'm looking forward to it, even if I am stressed with how much work I have to do, that I should be in the office not attending presentations and having fun!  OMG - I can have fun!


I'm stopping now and will try to write a few lines.

I am in this for the long haul.  Just write a little bit every day.  Remember the words of your amazing friend Deb. "Even if it's only 100 words, it still counts." And Deb, if that's not exactly what you said, I apologize.  These days, I can't remember sh*t!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I am into this routine and it feels really great. What is that saying about habits?  Some people say 21 days, some people say 30. There is a lot of info when you google "How long does it take to form a habit."  Remember what Mom said, "Don't believe everything you read." Well, I think we all know that was sage advice and even more important now that we have the internet.

My habit if coming along nicely.  I've only missed writing one day this month.  Not bad.  More importantly, I am still having fun. Not every day is easy and that is important to note when trying to develop a habit. Sometimes getting out of bed early is the last thing I want to do.  But I do it anyway, because this is the month.

Thank you NaNoWriMo for being there.

The goal of course will be to continue after NaNo (November) is over.  That will be the hard and true test.  The forums will be gone, the "go-get-'em" emails will be over, the NaNo community will disappear, back into the world of static pages.  So I will be doing this on my own.  That sounds dreary.  But in reality, I must remind myself, I already doing this on my own. I"m the one sitting at the computer typing every morning. Chin up! And besides, it's only Nov. 12th.

Plus, I've got all of you - my family and friends who encourage me.  It helps a lot.  You are all great! And I really appreciate it.  Forming new habits is hard and you have my back!  Whew - thank goodness.

If you need me, ever, for anything...I'm there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is it OK Not Knowing the End?

NaNoWriMo is all about the word count. But for me it's supposed to be all about the writing.  Well really it is all about writing every day.  So far this month I've written every day but one. Yay! But these stats on the NaNo page...are they helpful. Probably to some they are a great motivator.  For me...they are complicated - since I'm just trying to write every day.  Yes it will be great to hit 50K this month but I'm conflicted.  I just want to write every day.  See how conflicted I sound?  And that item close to the bottom that says, "at this rate you will finish on..." Well, you can imagine what I'm saying to that stat every day!

Hence let's get back to the focus of my blog being called "Just Keep Writing." Maybe for this month we should consider calling it "Just Keep Writing Every Day."

I've been working on this novel for a really long time now - like years - and I "just keep writing." I've got all kinds of scenes in all kinds of journals, written at writing circles, rewritten, jumbled together, forgotten about, etc. Written over lunch breaks, on weekends, holidays, early in the morning (hardly ever at night: lark not owl).

I'm not an outliner. (Yay for those of you who are - I salute you! And no, that was not sarcastic.) I don't know what the end of my novel looks like - except that I hope it has a happy ending because I really don't like it when books end sadly.

But here's my thing for today - I haven't finish yet - so is there an end? Because I haven't finish the first draft yet.  Let's be clear I totally get that this is a draft and that writing a novel takes a LOT of work and I'm loving the work.  Is it OK that I haven't finish? Is it OK that I don't know what is going to happen? Is it OK that I don't know the end of the story?

I guess it is going to have to be.  The story keeps coming out. I sit down every morning and it keeps coming out. I'm having fun (otherwise I would stop because life it too short). But is it OK that I haven't gotten through to the end?

I don't want to rush it. When I try to push it, it gets messy and awkward and horrible, so I get up and walk away. I come back later and it gets better.

So...perhaps I'll just keep doing it the way I'm doing it and trust in the work/words.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Just Keep Writing - Because it Works

My teacher, Mary, and many of my friends have told me often that the key to success as a writer is to just keep doing it.  Well, this week with the start of NaNoWriMo, I made a promise to myself, that I would try and write every day.  I know it soothes my soul and I know my writing gets better the more I do it.

So this week, I've gotten up early and written - almost - every morning.  Sometimes life gets in the way or work or migraines, but I've gotten up and made the time to write and the story is flowing.  It's a wonderful feeling and I'm happy with the results.

So keep the pen moving.  Keep your fingers on the keyboard.  Just keep writing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Past the 5K Mark

I past the 5K mark this morning.  I've been writing every day since November 1st and it really does feel great. Although I'm not hitting 1600 words a day, I'm trying not to let the Ego.  Of course the fact that I mention it in this blog - Ha - probably is a sign that I'm only partially suceeding at not letting it get in the way.

I've got an interesting blot twist started this morning, which is always fun. I love it when my characters turn into something I wasn't expecting. A minor character becomes a badass - nice! Maybe she'll play a more important role later in the story, who knows and who cares at this point. The story will come as it comes.

In the meantime I will celebrate being able to get up early, write, and feel better for it.

Here's to all you NaNoWriMo's out there!  I saw a post from someone last night saying they'd achieved 10K words already!  Way to go!

I'm so impressed by everyone being so creative this month!  It's sure to bring so much love and wonder into the world.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Two Days In

I'm two days in to NaNoWriMo and I've got about 3200 words.  Technically I started with a partially written chapter, but who cares. The point of this for me is to write every day of the month. So what I'm telling myself it, if I write 50K words this month - that's AMAZING.  If I don't - who cares, as long as I write every day. That is the goal.

Write something on the novel, every damn day!

So I'm two days in and I've written both days.  And where am I? I'm no straddled with a new character who has to tag along with my MC's for god knows how long to god knows where.  See what happens when you get back to it?  Chaos and mayhem! HA!  But that's just fine, because I am writing people and that's the whole point!

To everyone in Nanoland - more power to you and keep those fingers moving!