Ehhh…a little backsliding

So, remember my big plans to finish the novel manuscript that I didn’t finish during NaNoWriMo? Well, that is taking a bit longer than I anticipated. Last week, I had good excuses–Chanukah, the fact my kids had a few days off of school, and it was an editing week for me. Continue reading

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I’m a NaNo Loser and Proud of It

It’s now four days into December, and NaNoWriMo is all wrapped up. The goal was to write 50,000 words, and I will tell you straight up: I did not make it to 50,000 words.

But, the good news is, I wrote about 39,000. That’s great! I’ve never written a number of words anywhere near that big in any other month, ever. I’m glad I signed up for NaNo, because had I not, I’m pretty sure I would have written zero words of that book.

I’m hoping to work consistently on that manuscript throughout December. If I do that, I should have a complete first draft around January 1st.

Working through the ups and downs of NaNoWriMo taught me a few things, and reminded me of a few others.

  1. When I’m going “off outline” and start to panic, if I keep writing, sometimes I come up with something better than what I originally outlined.
  2. Forcing myself to write daily meant that sometimes I wasn’t in the mood or was distracted or was just plain tired by the time I got some time to sit by myself and write. But occasionally, those very “I’m not in the right headspace” moments turned into my most creative. Weird-but-cool stuff would come out that if I’d been calm and in my usual efficient state of mind, I probably would never have dreamed up.
  3. That little “Project Target” widget in Scrivener is priceless. All I wanted to do from the moment I clicked on it each day was watch it turn from read to green as I approached my targeted word count for the day. Also, I can see that the Project Target is getting closer and closer to green, and it’s making me persist past November 30th.
  4. Pushing forward without editing is helping me just keep chugging along. It’s so hard to fight the desire to just fix, fix, fix to perfection as I move along, but I’ll never finish that way.

Anyway, I’ve got a few short pieces I’ve been wanting to work on, and I think I’m just pushing them off until January (excepting those due back to my normal employers, because: deadlines! paychecks!) so I can finish this novel. I have a bad feeling that if I stop now, I’ll never, ever finish.

Now, some questions for you:

-Did you do NaNoWriMo?

-If yes, did you “win”?

-If you didn’t win, what lessons did you learn?

-And if you did, what’s your next step?

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

Been very busy! Three pieces running this week, a NaNoWriMo update, and Adina At Her Best coming soon

Howdy readers–long time, no write.

So, I’ve been rather busy lately, but after the family we had over for Thanksgiving has gone home and the kids have gone to bed, I have a moment to catch everyone up.

First piece of exciting news: My work is appearing in three separate places this week.

  1. Tablet Magazine is running my personal essay about an ongoing genealogical adventure bequeathed to me by my maternal grandmother.
  2. Speaking of my maternal grandmother, The Wisdom Daily contains some of my reflections about her.
  3. I’m a little behind in my NaNoWriMo wordcount, and my monthly humor column explains a bit why.

(Things have gotten a bit better with my NaNo writing project since I wrote that column. The word count is still lower than I was hoping for, but I had a little breakthrough by just pushing myself to keep writing and by writing the final chapter before I was even half done, just to have a point of focus. I’ll probably write a bit more about this experience soon.)

Adina Cover-3

Cover for forthcoming book, Adina At Her Best

Next exciting news! My newest book, Adina At Her Best, is now on the Coming Soon page for Menucha Publishers. I’m hoping to do some school visits when it comes out–in person and virtually. If you are a school teacher (grades 3-5 will work best for the book) or a librarian, let me know if you’d like a visit from me early in 2019.

I’ll try to be a little more diligent about writing posts after NaNoWriMo is over. I’m thinking of doing a series of short videos with writing tips. If there’s a writing question you think could be answered in a video of 5 minutes or less, leave a comment.

 

New Piece Out on the Topic of Faith and the Shema

Howdy!

We’ve been going through some ups and downs in the Klempner household, and while today I feel like singing Hallelukah, I wrote a little personal essay while suffering through a spiritual valley a few weeks back. It’s about the Shema and relating to G-d when you feel disappointed and downtrodden. The piece is up today on The Wisdom Daily, and you can find it here.

I’m started to prepare a bit for NaNoWriMo 2018, and I’ve been looking up agents to submit my most recent novel to. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to tell you about both soon.

clouds cloudy cold conifers

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Busy, busy me!

beach dawn dusk ocean

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

Howdy!!!

All the kids are home, but I’m, baruch Hashem, getting quite a bit of writing and editing done. My last two published pieces are getting outstanding feedback. The first is about being a morning person; the second, about a wonderful experience I had recently while swimming in the ocean.

I’m working now on the fourth draft of my adult novel, and it seems to be going well. I’ve been working on a short story, too, but have had a spate of rejections on that. Happily, a couple colleagues gave me some ideas about new places to send it. I’m praying that one of those pans out.

I hope you are doing well this summer, too!!!

All sorts of great news to share

Yes, I’ve been AWOL again. And yes, I have all the usual excuses. And I have news–lots of it!

  1. I’ve finally got a title for my new middle-grade novel, coming out, G-d willing, this fall: Adina at Her Best. Look for it in Menucha Publisher’s fall catalogue. I’m not sure that it will be out in time for Rosh Hashanah, but it should be available by Chanukah time.
  2. I finished the second draft of my first novel for adults, and I’m getting a lot of feedback from beta readers. It’s been rather harrowing — there’s lots and lots to fix. (I’ll admit to some public ugly-crying.) But hopefully this is another step pushing the book closer to completion.
  3. It might not all pay off, but two weeks ago, I sent off a picture book submission to an agent, an article submission to a Jewish magazine, and short story submission to a secular venue in a matter of four days: bam! bam! bam! The article was, thankfully, accepted, and I’m very excited. I’m very doubtful about the others–they are definite long-shots–but I’m proud of myself for pushing myself.
  4. One of my editing/coaching clients is now nearly done with the second volume in their series of picture books! They’ve been working hard for months, and I’m super-excited to see the reaction with the next book hits shelves.

I’m not getting much creative work done. It’s summer and the kids are all home from school. But I’ve been doing a bunch of editing and picked up another client for picture book coaching. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get the mental space and time alone to revise my novel…

What are you up to this summer? Do you have more or less time for creative endeavors during the summer? And do you have any exciting news?