Showing posts from May, 2009

MAYO - In Retrospect

The last day of May. A little over a month ago, I heard about a challenge to write at least 20,000 words. They could be new, revisions, or rewrites. NaNoWriMo rules didn't apply. The only pressure as to how much or how little I did, or if I even participated, was up to me. Well, I'm not one to give up a challenge I see as reachable, so I decided to go for it.

Now, on the last day of the month, I can proudly say a good friend's challenge gave what I'd needed for so long - a kick in the tutu to start the first drafts of a six book saga. I'd talked about it with her. We'd brainstormed it over many email sessions. No one could say it was a new idea. Even modern television had approached my demons in some way or another, but it was something I had to do. Maybe no one will ever pick it up. That does't matter, I had to write it.

In addition to finishing the first two books of The Horseman Saga, I also rewrote a Southern mystery with a major romance element, an adult…

MAYO Day 30

Waa! Hoo! Goals met for this month in new work. Three projects started. Three projects finished. Final word count for Renegade Marshal, daily: 3071, for the month: 54013. All three? 158989! Again, not as good as my NaNo projects last year but I wasn't going for that. I know I'll really do November well now.

MAYO Day 29

The end is in sight. I can see the last three chapters clearly in my head and will plot them out tomorrow. Renegade Marshal has cemented the relationship between Jackie and Hope. They now realize their feelings for the other but don't know they share them. So word counts. Renegade Marshal for the day came in at 3329 words. For the month at 50942. Total for all books: 153918. Oh well, not as good as last November's NaNo but still good.

MAYO Day 28

I won't say back in the saddle again but my characters sure surprised me today. Just when I thought I'd wind down the story, get it ready for the ending, they threw a twist at me and I'm now scrambling to pick up the pieces tomorrow. But I did well today, taking the story to within seven chapters of finishing. Word count for the day - 3564. Book to date - 47613. All three books to date - 150589. Yes, I can see a stellar finish coming.

MAYO Day 27

Well, day 27 only produced 2 chapters but I'm heading for the end with the series plot strings dangling nicely and the story lines closing up. Poor Jackie, I just threw him a twist he needs to think about all night before he comes up with an answer for what I've done to him. Hope's running on empty but determined to figure out what the demons have in store for her next. I can only hope she can swim long enough for Jackie to overcome his problems because she'll sure need him soon.

Word count today a measly 1295 but some very important turns of events. Total for the book: 43300. Total for the month on all three books: 146025. If all goes well tomorrow, I might wind this one up with a lot of editing and revising to do when I get into that.

MAYO Day 26

Winding down. The story is finishing. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have the last chapter firmly in my mind, and all it needs are the elements between sketched out. I say sketeched because I firmly believe that all first drafts, even one done during power writing months, to be nothing more than an outline, to be expanded further, with far more detail, long after they're written.

On that end of things, great writing day. Storms battering us gave me tons of time to spend inside my story. Ended up with 4275 words for the day, bringing Renegade Marshal's total to 42005 and the three book total to 144730. Chanting I can do it from now until the 31st.

MAYO Day 25

Another slow day but I'm plotting the next section in my head and didn't want to move back to the present without getting it right. I know I'll stay up all night going over this but I hope to get a ton done tomorrow. There are only 13 more chapters planned in this part of my epic, so I want to close out the Hope learns about Jackie, and how much she can trust him, but also set up the next story.

So, words today were 2972. Total for the book this month? 37730. Total for all three books this month? 140455. Probably won't do as well as NaNo last November. My brain purely hurt after doing almost 180000 words in 30 days, but I know I'll have a good start on a story that's kept me on tenterhooks for a couple of years.

MAYO Day 24

Moved the story forward, threw in one of my infamous twists, and my male character is about to jump out of his skin. Today's installment of Renegade Marshal came in at 3100 words. Total for the month: 34757. Total words for the month: 137483.

MAYO Day 23

Hello, blogging world, or those few folks I have reading this. I bet you thought I forgot to post today. Nope. Just another way to motivate myself. See, I wasn't getting enough done with my desktop inviting me to waste time on the net, so it's back to the laptop I deliberately keep disconnected from distraction.

Then I discovered I'd miscounted. So, today's installment of Renegade Marshal got going. Four chapters in the first draft stage, added to those I already have. I might have a chance of putting the end on this one, if I motivate a bit more tomorrow. Final counts?
Renegade Marshal - daily: 5367. Month-to-date total? 31657. Total for Cursed by a Pale Horse: 23,236 in May (and I promise I won't cheat here). Total for Deadly Trust: 76,490. Overall total for the month? 134,383. That's more like it. And I'll keep those numbers handy, so I don't get lost again.

Tomorrow promises more time for writing and less for mundane household chores. When the dust ris…

MAYO Day 22

Well, today was a surprise. Just when I expected to get moving, to start on the middle and reveal a couple of plot points that have hung in the air for a while, and I just couldn't. The old brain cells couldn't get past all the drama in my real life over the last couple of weeks. This is my poorest showing yet. Daily word count 552. I'm not even going to update the book and total until I get really going again.

Blah! Time to drive all these distractions out of my mind. I will prevail! The battle cry echoing in my head, I'm about to clean house - literally and figurtively.

MAYO Day 21

Well, getting there. Almost halfway done with Renegade Marshal. The tension goes up for Jackie as he has to decide between comforting Hope or going after his sister. His character, as a nineteenth century marshal given a sacred duty, is becoming very clear. Now I just have to define Hope's a bit better.

Word count for today: 1786. Total for book: 32239. Total for month on all three books: 115905. It's time to put my butt in chair and really dive into this one. Only ten days left to finish this one and start on number 3!

MAYO Day 20

Well, today produced 2 chapter that went surprisingly fast once I got started. Renegade Marshal added 2430 words with a to date total of 30453 and a monthly total for all three projects of 113475 words.

I find myself getting to know Jackie Ryan so well in this book. While Hope has a meltdown and reacts like most modern teens would when faced with something out of her ability to handle, he's ready to jump into the fray, do anything it takes to protect those he's sworn to help. But he's now at a conundrum. Two need his assistance. Both have the more important need. He doesn't know what to do, so I'll have to let his pickle stew for a while, until tomorrow morning, so I can explore it right.

MAYO Chapter 19

Still slow work but this is the set up time for the main action of the book in addition to blending in the series plot. Boy, I'd never realized how hard that can be. Renegade Marshal grew by 1147 words today, bringing the book's total up to 28023 and the month's total to 111045.

MAYO Day 18

Renegade Marshal took one of my infamous twists today, and I even managed to surprise myself with it. My MC is now stuck in a time prison, a punishment for trying to give up on her quest. Not that she didn't have a good reason. What seventeen-year-old wants to give up malls, cell phones, and fun for boring old duty. Will she learn? I'm about to find out over the next week as I bring this story to a climax and Hope begins to understand her duty.

Today's installment of 1308 words brings me to 26876 total for the book and 109898 for the three I've worked on. It truly is a fun thing pushing myself so hard. Now, it's time to do those mundane household things that constantly interrupt my fun.

MAYO Day 17

The story heats up. Hope is thrust into a harsh decision, and she makes what she thinks is the right one. Then the chapter ends with her uncertain. And so ends my writing for the day. Unfortunately, spring events wreak havoc with what I'd rather do and I'm forced to make a casserole for a family reunion. That's in a few hours and I don't have much time to go over all this.

So today's count for Renegade Marshal: 1380. Total for month: 25568. Add that to the stuff for Cursed by a Pale Horse and Deadly Trust and I'm at 108590 for the month. Not as good as last year's NaNo but I'm only 71,000 words off that. Gee, am I warming up for my annual November retreat into a story? Sure looks like it.

MAYO Day 16

Back in the mode again and going slow but understand my characters so much better. Today's Renegade Marshal chapter came out at 1427 words. I'll try to start giving a running total for the month, maybe even broken down by book. It sure is fun, pushing myself creatively. Now that I've slowed down, and admitted I can't finish everything I wanted to accomplish, I feel like I'll get the important elements of this story down so I can clean up and add small but important details as I go through it.

So, the numbers start totaling today. Very impressive but I was never about making 20,000 words, just about getting some stuff off my to do list.
Horseman Saga 1: Cursed by a Pale Horse: 25944. Deadly Trust: 53838. Horseman Saga 2: Renegade Marshal: 21488.

All of them exceeded the word count but none have yet to give me the satisfaction of a job completed. That will come after I finish my goals.

MAYO Day 15

Another day off my competition to see what I can finish in a month. Well, there is a lot of other things I have to do and school is winding up around here. Had to spend time with my 13 YO, since his grades are fantastic, he met or exceeded his state assessment test scores, and the concert last night was beyond great. Made him a celebratory breakfast this AM and am not getting him out the door to finish his sixth to the last day of school. Then I'll start prepping my chapter for the Southern Breeze contest. Looking good so far but I want to tweak up the first chapter so it really shines.

Here's hoping tomorrow will seem me pounding away on the keys as I set up the middle and sub-climax or Renegade Marshal. The story has me spellbound in so many ways.

MAYO Day 14

Well, I've finally made my decision. I'll scale back this month's goals, hoping I finish Renegade Marshal and the next installment. In that vein, RM came in at 5094 words this AM. I know this is a smaller version of NaNO but I can't help but keep going as this story grabs me. It'll take a lot of editing to have it ready, along with tons of work to set up a viable series synopsis, but I hope I can find a home for the story one day.

MAYO Day 13

Well, I didn't think I could get creative today but it happened. Stopped short, of course, since I have to work the middle school book fair later. Renegade Marshal added another 1420 words to the epic saga. Only hoping I get a first draft of the whole thing so it'll stop bothering me.

Tomorrow, partial day again. Son's final concert of the year happens. So happy I'll soon have uninterrupted writing time. I plan to make my goals if I have to give up sleep.

MAYO Day 12

Have you ever had twelve uninterrupted hours to just write without worrying about housework, kids, or phones? I got that today and decided I'd put the finish screaming in my head on Deadly Trust. 12.3 hours and 15,841 words later, I put in those immortal words. The End.

The end only to the first draft. This one needs tons of work but I can now devote every free moment the rest of the week to finishing Renegade Marshal. Of course, tomorrow I won't have much time. Need to appear at son's middle school for book fair then bring home groceries. Thursday has concert-interruptus scheduled but it's the last one of the year. From Friday through a week from that day, I have people free days and tons of time to get into the struggle of accomplishing something I haven't even done for NaNo - seven full length projects. Then it's scaling back as I look at these projects and decide what I have to fix.

Tonight, however, is devoted to losing myself in someone else's writing. …

MAYO Day 11

Back in the swing again. I can't tell you how good that feels. While I didn't do more than one chapter per project this AM, I still accomplished what i set out to do. Deadly Trust: 3191 words. Renegade Marshal: 1148 words. I will finish both this week and start on the next round Saturday, even if I have to give up sleep!

MAYO Day 10

Mother's Day, and this mom is hard at work on something she feels might make a difference. Or just get a story out of my head. Not sure which and I don't really care Deadly Trust came in at 5307 words for the day. Renegade Marshal didn't fare as well. Just can't get the story moving in my head. Oh, I have a outline plotted but something feels wrong. Well, tomorrow is another day. I think I can get it moving then.

MAYO Day 9

Very slow work today but I'm in the middle of each story. That always goes slow. Deadly Trust only came out at 1566 words and Renegade Marshal at 827 but I promise I'll do better tomorrow. I have to. More stories are pouring into my head and I have to do something with them.

MAYO Day 8

Well, really great morning. Managed to work on both projects before lunch. Deadly Trust moved forward 3610 words and Renegade Marshal 1302 for a total of 4912 words for the day. Now I have to dive into other projects.

Research, plotting, backgrounding, and thinking will occupy the rest of my day. Good luck, fellow MAYOers. I wish you luck in meeting your goals.


Well, not as well as I wanted to accomplish with Renegade Marshal today but I'm getting more into the main character's growing feelings for her nineteenth century love. Using a modern teen and having her fall for a guy with old-fashioned ideas is kind of hard. She has to resist the urge to bring him up to date while also learning to accept how his lifestyle has shaped him. Word Count today: 1489. Total for both projects: 5451


Well, I'm finally in the swing. Deadly Trust has grabbed me hard. I can visualize the final moment, the twist that will bring the story together. 3962 words today and I hope I'll reach the blend of past and present coming together to create the situation that will give me an ending that makes sense by early next week. Never fear, I have several other projects clamoring for the same attention.


Okay, I'm in the stride now. Renegade Marshal started with a bang. In a lot of ways, it's like the Michael Scott series about Nicholas Flamel. An intense, short time frame for each book but each with a driven plot and great characters. Of course, he's published and I'm still trying for that elusive contract but I figure this series will take me a few years to get down pat.

To that end, Renegade Marshal came out with 3077 words today, bringing my Day 6 MAYO count up to 6607. I can't wait for the end of the month. If all goes well, and the crick don't rise much more, I should have completion on several projects. It feels good to be creative again.


Well, not as much today but I'm plugging along. Some action, some backgroung, but Deadly Trust is winding up into the next evolution of the story. Today's word count - 3530.


Oh yes! I'm back. Fingers working overtime. Story spilling out of them. Ready for another successful MAYO day. I'm really getting in practice for NaNo in November. Renegade Marshal came in at 5174 words for a daily total of 10,287. Time to veg for a while. I have earned it.

Haven't I?


Well, day 4 was a bust. Couldn't get it together. Blame the weather. It didn't rain for the first time in almost a week. Thank goodness. I thought I was about to grow webs between my fingers and toes and start quacking. The frog population has exploded, which is great since it'll keep the mosquitos down. I have a lake (almost) at the bottom of my property and a stream running from where my neighbor dug out part of his hill. There's even a waterfall eroding my driveway. Groan!

Onto to progress. Deadly Trust, now my number 1 project, gained 5,174 words this morning. With the first book in the Horseman series finished, I'm taking an hour off then diving into the second book, Renegade Marshal. Different twist but a character I need to explore as my gal journeys into the realm of bringing the past and present together.


Alas, not as well on my second project today. Only 3290 words bringing my total today to 14948. I do believe I might be slowing down but overall, objectives are being met.

Tomorrow is a new day, and one where I shall have peace and quiet for the writing adventure. I can only hope the spark reignites then.

MAYO Day 3

Amazing. I actually made it through the first draft of Cursed by a Pale Horse, the first of the Horseman Saga. 11,658 words brings the book to a total of 76,000 words. With that finished, I'm starting another journey tomorrow. Maybe I'll actually finish the first draft of all six books this month. Oh, I hope so.

Now it's time to get to work on my adult mystery/romance. Deadly Trust, I do hope I can do as well with you.


Woo! Hoo! This is crazy. Just started and I'm so motivated. My goals are meeting themselves without the usual stop and start. Deadly Trust came in at 5638 words for today with a total count of 14,782 for the day. This is so much more fun than NaNo. I don't feel the same pressure and the stories are just pouring out.

MAYO Day 2

Great start today. Really motivated. Did 9144 words in Cursed by a Pale Horse. Have both main characters firmly set in my mind. Moving between the time frames isn't as hard as I'd imagined. Onto the new chapters in my adult novel. Will I do as well? That one I only want to do 2 chapters a day.


Moving right along. Did Deadly Trust. Made 2790 words Total for the day 7928. Woo! Hoo! I feel great. Tomorrow, we'll see how much further I get.


Day 1 of MAYO - that's a program a friend of mine is running. Only 20K to write and I'm well into it after only three hours. Cursed by a Pale Horse, the first book of a six book series I'm developing, gained another 5138 words today. This afternoon, I plan to do a couple of more chapters in Deadly Trust, an adult mystery/romance novel I've played with for a couple of years.

Yeah and love to Donna. She prodded me into getting these projects rolling. So, will we do JUNO, JULO, and AUGO until I finish the Horseman series? I'd so like to have rough drafts of all of these done before school starts in August.