My NaNoWriMo update and Writer’s Retreat

It’s been more than two weeks since NaNoWriMo ended and I just realized I never posted an update!

I did not officially win NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words, but I’m pleased at the progress I made. I wrote a total of 28,726 words in November, which is the most I’ve ever written in one month. That alone is a huge accomplishment. About 21,000 of them were for my first book, and when combined to what I had previously written, I’m at just over 28,000. I also wrote almost 2,000 words towards the second book in the series, and then another 5,600 words towards a completely new book. This happened when I was at a write-in one day and just couldn’t find anything to write. I started free writing, and next thing I knew I had the first chapter written of an entirely new idea. It’s utterly different from my cozy mystery series. Right now I’m classifying it as post-apocalyptic, but as I’ve been moving along it’s developing into a creepy, Stephen King-type book. So excited to see how all 3 projects end up!

This past weekend, I went on a writing retreat with my fellow Hive members. We rented a house about two hours away from home and were gone from Thursday through Sunday. As usual, we brought enough food to survive a zombie apocalypse. Despite the frequent food comas I fell into, I did accomplish a lot during the retreat. I printed out my works in progress and did a complete read-through first to see what needs to be updated. I was able to make edits through about half of Book 1.


We didn’t just write, though. There was a Harry Potter wand ceremony, complete with Harry Potter theme music.

Opened wands

We also visited a local state park for a break. It was absolutely beautiful and refreshing!

That’s it for now. Here’s to getting my writing mojo back with the writer’s retreat.

Accio Words!


Get R Done

Get R Done essential oil
So it’s now day 10 of NaNoWriMo, and at the beginning of the day I was behind by 3,100 words. If I hadn’t had such a strong start the first weekend, I would’ve had to play an even larger game of catch-up.

This week I found some great ways to procrastinate. I got caught up on the current episodes of Manifest and 9-1-1 (two of my newest favorite shows this season). I would’ve watched New Amsterdam, but there was no new episode, so that was probably a good thing.

The library sent me a notice that a book I requested was available. Of course, I had to get it immediately and start reading it. I’m now about a quarter of the way through Tailspin by Sandra Brown, and am enjoying it so far. Lastly, I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody, which I highly recommend!

Something new I tried this week was dictating my story into my phone. I was pleasantly surprised to get 350 or so words down in less than 5 minutes. I’ve heard of other writers using this approach to write entire books, and it’s an intriguing concept, especially if you’re in spot where it’s not feasible for you to bring your laptop out. It’s a bit awkward to get used to, but I can see that being a great way to get a few extra words in here and there.

Today I met up with my fellow writers from our writing group, The Hive, to get some words written. The good news is that as of end of day today, I’m back on track at 16,670 words for November (and 23,735 overall toward my novel). I was definitely on a mission to get caught up, but I wonder if I had some additional help. I used an essential oil mix that a friend of mine created and gave Get R Done/Motivate is a mix of mint and citrus to help unleash creative powers. It has a lovely scent, and if it helps me feel more creative, even better! Thank you, my friend!

Tomorrow afternoon I have a write-in with our broader writers group, so even more words will be had.

Happy writing, reading, TV watching, and any other form of procrastination you may indulge in this weekend!

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo

Whew, finished day 2 of NaNoWriMo way higher than my desired goal! I wanted to hit at least 6,500 words by end of day today, and I ended up with 9,256. I’ve never written that much in two days before. I think it was a combination of all the pre-planning I did, and lots of writing sprints with my local writer’s group. 

With the existing words I wrote last year (and didn’t delete), I’m at 16,321 total. I may just “win” NaNo after all!

NaNoWriMo Eve


Happy Halloween, and Happy NaNoWriMo Eve!

On a day where most people are getting ready for Halloween parties and trick or treating, many of us writers are gearing up for the start of NaNoWriMo…taking care of last minute chores or getting those special snacks (Charleston Chews anyone?).

It starts at midnight on November 1. I don’t know that I’ll stay up until midnight to start writing, but I took November 1 and 2 off from work so I could focus on NaNoWriMo and get a good head start. Tomorrow will be spent mostly at a local Panera. Friday I will head to Panera in the afternoon, and in the evening our local writer’s group has a write-in at a bookstore. I should be able to get lots of words written in those two days.

Good luck to any fellow writers out there also participating!

The Journey Begins

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison

Thanks for joining me! This is my blog where I will share my journey finishing my first cozy mystery during NaNoWriMo 2018. It’s a global event that takes place in November, where the goal is to write at least 50,000 words, or a first draft of your novel.

I’ve tried this several years and have never won, but increased my word count each year. Last year I learned this was probably because I didn’t plan well. Some years I didn’t plan at all. Last year, I planned the beginning and the ending but not the middle. And guess what? I wrote the beginning and the end, and nothing for the middle.

So the past few months I’ve immersed myself in planning. With the help of my fellow Hivemind members, I now have my entire novel plotted out, and I’ve gone through my existing writing to see what I should keep. So come November 1, I will be ready to write!

I’m working on a cozy mystery, the first in the Realm of the Enchanted Order trilogy. It’s about a young woman who, in the course of a week, loses her job, and finds her grandmother dead. Learning she inherits everything from her grandmother, she makes a life-changing decision to move up to northern Wisconsin to her grandmother’s home. She is able to use the estate to build her dream business – a dog training and obstacle center. Close to opening day, one of her own dogs goes missing, and she receives a call from someone telling her she can have her dog back if she gives him the book. She has no idea what book he’s talking about, but embarks on a journey to find it to get her beloved dog back. During her quest she discovers new details about her grandmother, and herself, that change her life.

Thanks for following me on this new journey!