Michille: Unusual Strategy for National Novel Writing Month

NaNoAs the title of this blog post suggests, I plan to have an unusual strategy for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or just NaNo), which commences on November 1. The typical NaNo goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s about 1,667 words per day. I am taking a different approach this year and working on the words I got on the page last year and trying to incorporate them into the overall manuscript.

I started with a skeletal story of about 40,000 words that was my master’s thesis. Then last November wrote 50,000 more words to flesh it out. I wrote the first 40k in a coherent order and the NaNo 50k in random scenes. Right after NaNo ended, I made excellent progress on inserting scenes where they should go and re-figuring the plot to make some other stuff fit. In working so diligently through November and probably through about January/February, I made great headway.

And then Life interrupted. As I’m sure at least one or two of you have experienced that, I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say work stalled and then I got so far out of the story that I could never get myself motivated to get back into it. I’m going to use NaNo to hopefully get back in my story. Continue reading

Michille: Get Ready to NaNo

NaNoIt’s that time of year again, folks. Time to get ready to NaNo. Next month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.” It starts on November 1 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in that timeframe. I’ve done it several times and was actually successful last year. After November and my 50,000 word success, I kept working on the book for a month or so, then life interrupted and I haven’t gotten back to it at all.

I plan to NaNo again this year, but I’m thinking I’m going to edit instead of write. If I force myself to edit a scene a day, I should get back into my story and back into the habit of writing. If, between now and November 1, I have a brainstorm for a new story idea, maybe I’ll write instead. Continue reading

Michille: The Grammar Police

Parse_tree_1That’s not me. I’m not the Grammar Police. I am a Grammar Police wannabe. It’s on my to-do list to find a refresher course on grammar because I believe mine is somewhat lacking, which is something I usually discover when I go to edit (I don’t worry about it when I’m writing the drafts). I’m not trying to diagram my sentences, but sometimes, I think that would help. Go back to the basics to boil the sentence down. Continue reading

Michille: Romance and Natural Disasters

Dark and StormyWith Dorian soon to become a memory and already leaving a staggeringly colossal disaster area behind in the Bahamas, I looked at disasters in romance novels. I read one recently that was set in a flood (freebie from RWA Nationals in a previous year), but I got really annoyed with the author because the hero and heroine kept standing around in floodwater while the rain was pounding down, discussing their history, wondering where his brother was and if her sister stayed at work, sharing scorching kisses and wishing for a bed. I’m not thinking that the folks going through Dorian were standing waist deep in floodwater reminiscing about a high school football game that took place 10 years ago. The memory of that book and the coverage of Dorian led my brain down the path of how an author could set a romance in a natural disaster and do justice to mother nature, the devastation and tragedy, and the romance without minimizing or horrorizing (is that a word?) the tragedy or the reader. As in, people are dying and these two idiots just want to do the horizontal tango. Continue reading

Michille: Read-A-Romance Month

RARM-logo-1-1August is full of Romance. Along with Bookstore Romance Day (Elizabeth’s post), August is also Read-A-Romance Month. What is that? According to an older version of the website it “was conceived and launched in 2013 by freelance writer and romance advocate Bobbi Dumas, after she realized there was no one place where the community celebrated romance all together, at one time, in a concentrated way. The theme this year is The Romance Of Reading, The Magic Of Books, so many of the authors have written books that include magical elements.

There are three pieces to the month, this time around. The calendar has three entries on each day. The first is a guest on the The Romance of Reading Facebook page, the second is a blogger on the Read a Romance Month website and the third is an ongoing project called #100DaysOfGreatBooks. Continue reading

Michille: Chakra Yoga for Creativity

Chakras_mapFor the second year in a row, I’ve taken a seven-week sunrise chakra yoga class (6 a.m. – this morning, it truly was sunrise). Each week focuses on a different chakra, starting at the root and ending at the crown. We work through each one, trying to find it, connect with it, and make it function better to enhance overall health, well-being, and for me, creativity.

Here are the seven chakras with their associated body positions: attributes: color: and element.

  • Sahasrara: Crown: Spirituality, Universe: Violet: Thought, Ether
  • Ajna: Third Eye: Awareness, Intuition: Indigo: Light
  • Vishuddha: Throat: Communication, Articulation: Blue: Sound
  • Anahata: Heart: Love, Healing: Green: Air
  • Manipura: Solar Plexus: Wisdom, Power: Yellow: Fire
  • Svadhisthana: Sacral: Sexuality, Creativity: Orange: Water
  • Muladhara: Root: Grounding, Basic Trust: Red: Earth

Continue reading

Michille: Rom-Coms Making a Comeback

Ayesha at LastIn August of 2018, the New York Post published an article making the case for the rom-com to make a comeback, specifically referring to movies. It was the weekend after “Crazy Rich Asians” hit the big screen and not long after “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” came out. The author’s theory is the change in dating practices to one that is more digital than face-to-face. Millenials are more likely to sit at home watching Netflix and eating ice cream rather than going out and doing something social.

In July, 2019, the Houston Chronicle posted an article about the new age of romantic comedies (saw this on Jenny Crusie’s blog). The new age referred to here is about rom-com novels (and some movies) that are much more diverse than in the past. I haven’t read Ayesha at Last or The Wedding Date but I have read The Hating Game and The Kiss Quotient. Continue reading