How I Won NaNoWriMo 2015

nano-2015-winner-badge-large-squareNaNoWriMo is officially over for 2015. How did you do? Me? I wrote over 52,000 words during the month of November but didn’t finish the story until December 2.

The experience this year was very different than previous years. The common thread was the push to write every day. The reality was I wrote fewer days but wrote more each day. And I didn’t feel anxious about not writing every day. No nagging feelings that I shouldn’t be out with friends when I need to write a thousand words. Not sure why this change but I believe it has to do with my confidence that I could write enough words to be a “Winner.” This was the fourth year for me to participate in NaNoWriMo.

In previous years I had a lot of uncertainty about having enough words to meet the goal. My writing style is a “pantser.” I don’t outline, write a story brief, or anything that organized. I set down with the roughest of ideas for the start of a story and then I write. Characters grow as the story progresses and when I reach a point that I’m not sure what is going to happen next, I have one of the characters do something. It may be something as small as calling a friend to talk, or taking a walk, or looking through a photo album. From this action, I create a situation of what happens, what they learn, etc. and then work the story from this new information.

The ending of the story came as a surprise to me. I was writing but didn’t know how to end the story. As I wrote about what was learned through a phone call one of the characters made, the ending just appeared. And it’s a great ending! (No false modesty here.)

Thanks NaNoWriMo for helping me develop as a writer.

Excited about Lettuce?

LettuceThis time of year is a great time if you are a gardener or like fresh veggies and fruits. Where I live, almost everything is ready for eating. The big exceptions are the fall crops like apples and pumpkins. But it is harvest time on the International Space Station.

The first crop to be grown and consumed is lettuce. While lettuce may not be high on your list of favorite foods, it is a significant step forward for those living in space. Think about how hard it is to have fresh vegetables in space and how bored they must become of packaged processed food. While their packaged food is nutritious, it isn’t the same as eating something fresh from the garden.

Back on planet Earth, it is hard to imagine getting excited about lettuce. I grow lettuce in my little garden patch but many times the rabbits eat more of it than I do. Guess that is a plus for having a garden in space, no rabbits to eat up your crop.

I ramble on about this as I wonder “what would it be like to garden in space?” Consider this food for a story in the future.

Could it really happen twice on the same trip?

I was camping in a very nice Wisconsin county park where there was a great view of a lake, quick entrance to a lake trail, and quiet but friendly fellow campers. The first day was just like you would have drawn it up in a dream. Lots of fun, warm, no bugs, and plenty of downtime for recharging the batteries. Went to bed tired and the first raindrops hit the top of my RV. It was going to be a great night for sleeping – rain!

It rained all night and it was expected to rain the entire day. Decided to pack up and head home. While cleaning up, I heard water running, went to investigate and found it was pouring from the A/C vent in the RV (yes, I rough it in style these days). Water was pouring onto my bed! I made efforts to protect the bed with a vinyl tablecloth and towels.

Finished the clean up and my hubby was ready to drive the leaking RV to the shop and I would follow in the car. I opened the car door to find the seat was soaked. The seal around the sunroof had given way during the rain. So now, I am covering the car seat with trash bags and towels for the drive home.

So in one trip we had 2 seals fail. I wouldn’t have thought it possible. But on the positive side, I now have fodder for a new story.