One Hour To Go…

NANO officially begins for me here on the East Coast in one hour.  I’m stoked!  I can’t wait to begin.  I’ve had little ideas for my project running in and around my head for weeks and I’ll finally get to put them down on paper.  I’m excited to finally start getting to know my characters.


On a completely separate note, I sent my book, Twenty-Five, to three of my friends to read.  I got an email from one of them, Madison, today.  Here’s what she said:

WOW Rachel! Just WOW! I finished the book this morning (I would have finished it last night but Justin MADE me stop reading). It was sooooooooo good. I can tell you really spent time and enjoyed writing it. I had a little trouble getting started with it. I read the first few chapters but wasn’t fully involved. But after my third day of reading I got so engrossed into the story and the characters. It got to the point last night that I got mad at Justin for interrupting my reading. The story was just amazing! I’m so proud of you! The characters are very interesting and they stay true to themselves throughout the story. And you had so many twists and turns I was not at all expecting. Overall, I think it’s a great love story and anyone would be blessed to read it. I tried to make Justin read it, but he doesn’t read =( I would love to see it published and even then made into a movie. I think it was excellent. If you have any specific questions for me about things, please don’t hesitate to ask.

On a side note, I loved how Abby was similar to you and you followed your heart finding your Mr. Darcy (I almost laugh cried when they read their vows!). I also love that you made a Madi, even if she was a slut.

Congrats and I hope so much they publish this!!!! I”ll totally go buy a copy and make everyone read it!

Pretty much a glowing review!  I’m sooo happy that someone I actually know has read it and liked it.  It’s huge for me.  It feels huge for me anyways.

And tomorrow I’m going to start sending letters to agents.  SUPER HUGE.  I don’t know if there’s an agent out there willing to take a chance on a book without a unique plot and story and which is completely gimmick-less, but here’s hoping.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

So this post ended up being about Twenty-Five and not NANO.  Oh well.  47 minutes to go now.  I’ll keep you updated on my NANO progress and my agent querying process.


I’m two days ahead of schedule!

I just finished the rewrites of my last chapter and the epilogue to Twenty-Five. I wasn’t supposed to be finished with those until Monday!  So I guess my lack of social life pays off every once and a while.

Now that I’ve finished the bulk of the rewriting, I’m going to start early on the minor edits of grammar and typos and suggestions from reviewers.

The big problem, though, with my rewrite is that now my book is WAY TOO LONG!  I meant to shorten it on the rewrite but ended up increasing the length by about 4000 words!  So now I’m probably going to need to do some major chopping, which sucks, because I already cut out a lot of stuff that I loved.

The editing process is never done!

Sometimes I Don’t Have a Choice

I just wrote a brand new chapter to Twenty-Five that brought me to tears.  I’ve written a lot of emotional scenes before, but I’ve never cried while actually writing before.  There is just something about the pain my MC is going through in this chapter that hit my heart.  I want to help her, to make the pain go away, but she has to suffer.  I hate that she has to suffer, but she doesn’t have a choice.  I don’t have a choice.

Do you find that?  That sometimes you don’t really have a choice in the plot of your story, or the actions a character takes?  Sometimes I just can’t help what happens.  The characters have already decided for me and my only option is to write it down.  Even if I want to change it, I can’t.  They won’t let me.  When I try to change it, it doesn’t work, and I’m forced to write it the way my characters originally intended.

I’d love to hear from other writers on this.  Do others out there find that sometimes you just don’t have a choice in what happens to your characters?

Kicking Ass

Yes, that’s right.  I’m kicking my Rewrite Schedule’s ass all over the place!!!

Not only have I not missed a single day, but I’ve actually managed to add in two chapters I didn’t realize I needed when I made the schedule.  If you notice, the title went from 23 Chapters in 15 Days to 24 Chapters in 15 Days to 25 Chapters in 15 Days. Now, as long as I keep my momentum up I should be finished with my second draft on time.  I have to write a completely new chapter today, but it’s almost finished.

I love hand-writing.  I prefer it to typing.  It’s a better rough draft because I can scratch things out and still see what my original idea was.  Plus, when I go to type it I can fix all the little mistakes I made when writing it originally.  So it’s like a first draft of my first draft.  And I find my words flow more easily when I have a pen in my hand then when I’m at a keyboard.  Go figure.

If I finish my second draft on time, then I will be starting NANO on November 1st with no hesitation.  I will also be starting a new goal for Twenty-Five: to query at least ONE agent every day during the month of November.  That includes Thanksgiving Day.  But, I may do that one a day or two early.  I heart Thanksgiving, so much.

So if anyone knows any agents looking for a heart-wrenching/warming love story, let me know!  If I get this book published, I might just die of happiness.


Whenever I have work I have to do, or a goal I’ve set for myself to meet, inevitably I will procrastinate down to the last possible minute.  Anyone else out there like me?  What are your favorite methods of procrastination?  Here are mine:

PACMAN. Oh my goodness, I love playing Pacman online.  Here’s a free site: Pacman


Facebook. I know, its so sad to stalk your friends and people you haven’t talked to in years, but still its a helluva lot of fun.

The forums on TNBW.

Re-reading my writing. For some reason rather than doing any actual writing, I will spend half-hours at a time reading over chapters I’ve just finished.  It’s not so I get to know the story better.  It’s because I think I’m going to suck at the next thing I write.  That’s really why I procrastinate!  I’m afraid that the next thing I’m going to put down on the paper is going to be so horrible that I’ll ruin everything that’s come before it!

How to prevent that fear?  I don’t know.  Keep writing, I guess.  Put it out there in the universe.  Realize that something is going to suck at some point and that maybe something else is going to be phenomenal.  And that when something sucks it can be fixed.  Or I can at least attempt to fix it.

Oh, I forgot a new thing I’ve been doing to procrastinate.


What I Miss the Most…

I truly understand the term starving artist right now.  I’m so completely broke and stressing every day over how I’m going to pay my bills.  Financial troubles are the absolute worst kind of stress.  I hate going to work because I feel like its pointless, I know I’m not really making any money by being there, because its never enough.  And I hate that.  I’ve always been a Give 110% type of person and I haven’t been lately because I’ve been so exhausted and stressed.

I was never extravagant with my money when I had it, because I never had much.  But now that I have none, I really miss the little things I used to do or buy.  For example:

Manicures and Pedicures. I’m really more of a pedicure kinda girl, but I have been known to get the occasional manicure as well.  There is just something so luxurious about having someone else scrub and polish you til you are smooth and pretty.  Plus, I really hate cutting my own toenails.  Weird, I know, but I simply don’t like doing it.

My last manicure and pedicure, for my sister's wedding
My last manicure, for my sister’s wedding.
Oh, feels sooo good!
Oh, feels sooo good!

Sunkist. I freaking LOVE Sunkist soda.  I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I love this drink.  And I haven’t had one in MONTHS.  They only cost like $1.49 for a 20 oz, less if you buy a 2 liter or a 6 pack, but that’s how broke I am.  I can’t afford Sunkist!  Ah, I miss you orange goodness.

Christmas Gifts. One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is buying gifts for my family and friends.  I love going shopping and finding something that I KNOW the person is going to love.  And I love seeing their reaction when they open the gift.  Sadly, this year, I will be either making gifts or giving hugs for Christmas.  Still in the spirit of the holiday I guess, but doesn’t give me an excuse to go shopping!

Books. Buying new books was once a small thrill in my life.  I can’t even remember the last book I bought.  On the plus side, I read all the books I want online for free at The Next Big Writer And these are books that haven’t been published yet!  So, I’m ahead of the game there 🙂

Little things, really, I know.  But when I finally pull myself out of debt, the first thing I’m going to do is head to Barnes and Noble, buy a deliciously long book, then go to a gas station or grocery store and buy an ice cold Sunkist, then head over to my favorite Mani-Pedi place to get pampered, and then I’m going on a shopping spree to make Christmas up to my lovely family and friends.  And it will be wonderful.  Absolutely wonderful.

Quick Update

I’ll try and write something profound tomorrow, but it’s 1:46 am right now and I JUST finished my chapters for today.


I finished yesterday’s chapters on schedule, too!  So far so good.  Now I just have to keep up the momentum.

Editing/ rewriting is both one of the hardest and one of the easiest parts of writing.  Easiest because I already know my characters.  I already know the outcome of the story.  I already know how to get them from Point A to Point B.  Hardest because now I have to make it believable.  Making it believable, tweaking those parts which just didn’t work the first time around, incorporating advice from readers- is a BITCH.  A big, fat, ugly bitch who’s in your face, talking about your mama and spitting her disgusting garlic breath all over your face.  (Is it okay to say “bitch” in a blog?  If not, forgive me!)

And I want to do thirteen straight more days of this??  Have I lost my mind?

Probably.  But if I did, it was long before I took this project on!

Happy reading, happy writing, and sweet dreams…

25 Chapters in 15 Days

Okay.  So NANO (National Novel Writing Month) begins on November 1.  That means there are 15 days (counting today) to prepare for the Novel-in-a-Month challenge.

No sweat, right?

Um, not exactly.  You see, I want to have the second draft of my novel, Twenty-Five, finished before I begin working on any other projects.  And NANO is definitely a project.  In order to finish my second draft I have to edit, rewrite, or write from scratch 25 chapters and polish up the 23 chapters I’ve already edited/rewritten.

Holy Shit!

25 chapters in 15 days is probably the most ambitious goal I’ve had for myself since I started writing back in March.  And it means that I may neglect some of my friends whose work I try and review on a regular basis.  But what other option do I have?  It’s only two weeks and then I’ll be back to reviewing like normal, plus writing a 50,000 word novel!

I’m going to make a schedule and it is up to YOU to hold me accountable!

Today, Saturday October 17: Chapters 24-25

Sunday, October 18 (I have the day off!!): Chapters 26-30

Monday, October 19: Chapter 31-32

Tuesday, October 20: Chapter 33

Wednesday, October 21 (Another day off!): Chapter 34-39

Thursday, October 22: Chapter 40

Friday, October 23 (Day off, yippee!): Chapter 41-45

Saturday, October 24: Chapter 46

Sunday, October 25: Chapter 47

Monday, October 26: Chapter 48, Epilogue

Tuesday, October 27: Grammar, spelling, suggestions from reviewers edit of chapters 1-10

Wednesday, October 28: Grammar, spelling, suggestions from reviewers edit of chapters 11-20

Thursday, October 29: Grammar, spelling, suggestions from reviewers edit of chapters 21-30

Friday, October 30: Grammar, spelling, suggestions from reviewers edit of chapters 31-40

Saturday, October 31: Grammar, spelling, suggestions from reviewers edit of chapters 41-Epilogue

My 15 days of major rewriting starts right NOW!

Storytelling DNA

If there is such a thing, the women in my family do not have it.

My grandmother, mother, sisters, and I are TERRIBLE at telling stories and relating anecdotes.  I don’t really know why, but any story started by one of us will inevitably end with someone listening saying in a sarcastic tone, “Good story.”

Here’s what we do.  We begin telling the story in the middle, then realize we’ve left out important information so we have to start over at the beginning.  But before telling the entire beginning, we go back to the middle.  We don’t realize we haven’t told the entire beginning until we’re almost at the end.

It’s like Marlon in Finding Nemo.  He is trying to tell a joke about a clown fish and he just can’t get started.  If you’ve seen the movie and you know the scene, that’s what its like trying to listen to my mother, sisters, or I when telling a story.

My brother, on the other hand, is absolutely hilarious.  He is the best story-teller I know.  I think all the Storytelling DNA my parents had built up and waited until he was created (he’s the youngest).

I think my lack of oral storytelling skills prevented my writing earlier in life.  I assumed that since I couldn’t SPEAK a story out loud, there was no way I could WRITE a story down.

But here’s the great thing about writing.  EDITING!  I can write the story, get all the beginnings and middles and endings sorted out in my head before I share it with anyone else.  And I’m not too shabby at that.  At least, I hope I’m not.

So I think from now on, I’ll be writing my anecdotes down and editing them before trying to share with others!  That’s what my pen is for, after all.