Best Made Plans….

Often go awry. I didn’t get as much time to write this past weekend (and week) as I would have liked. At the risk of sounding like I’m making an excuse, I was a bit under the weather. And then, once I felt better, I had to catch up on the fallout from being sick. But today, I did finally get the chance to sit down and write.

I am now up to 38,018 words. Not a ton of progress… and I am running out of days for NaNoWriMo.

But I have made progress. At the beginning of this month, I had barely started part 2 and had no idea how I wanted the third and final part of my manuscript to go. Now, part 2 is done, and part 3 is completely outlined and also started.

I have 11,982 words left to write to hit 50,000. (Reminder: This NaNo, I didn’t start from scratch; I continued my project I began last year. My goal was to get this manuscript finished.)

With that amount left, I need to write 1,997 words each day to hit that 50,000. That doesn’t mean the manuscript will be finished–which is the ultimate goal–but I will at least hit that very important marker. (Though I’m still holding out for the ultimate goal of, you know, actually finishing.)

It’s doable, if I leave myself time to write. With Thanksgiving coming up, and work scheduled 4 out of the 6 days, it will be difficult.

But not impossible.

So here we go… crunch time!

I Haven’t Forgotten NaNoWriMo….


Last week, I went on vacation!!

My husband and I vamped up our nerdy levels to 9,000 and went to the Grand Rapids Comic Con in Michigan!

So much fun ensued! One of the biggest highlights was a panel featuring the original voice cast of Pokemon! Plus the costume contest, so comics and collectibles, a LEGO city, panels with comic artist Jae Lee and the voice of Courage the Cowardly Dog, a special 100th anniversary viewing of Nosferatu, and a live riff of The Super Mario Brothers Movie with Channel Awesome.

And that’s honestly just the very tip of the nerdy iceberg. We also visited an amazing museum that was right next to our hotel—and saw a real mummy!!!

Writing was not forgotten amid the fun though. I went to two different panels on publishing—which were very informative. I have new tools ready for my next round of query letters! (Whenever I get to those….)

And now I have a long weekend coming up. And that means… back to the keyboard! Cue the song from Mulan: “Let’s get down to business….”

(But in the meantime…. Pictures!!!)

NaNoWriMo, Days 3-6

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated—mostly because not a lot of writing has been happening. The brainstorming I’d planned on… wasn’t really a thing until yesterday.

But I was determined to do at least something yesterday. So I set an alarm for 30 minutes and started outlining. I decided I’d list each chapter and write underneath that hearing what needed to happen during it. I write better with a road map, so my goal was to, hopefully, force myself to make one.

And it worked. What was once a skeleton of an idea is now starting to grow some muscle. I still have more outlining to do, but now I at least have a direction.

It’s turning out to be darker than I first intended, and also pretty “heady” in the sci-fi department. But, they also say write what you’d want to read… and this would definitely have me turning the pages. I hope, one day, it will with readers, too.

The goal today: Write for one hour. Let’s do this.

NaNoWriMo, Day 2

Alright, two days in a row writing. So far, I’m on a roll. (An itty-bitty-baby roll, but still a roll.)

Yesterday, I wrote for 30 minutes. Today, an hour. I’m up to 34,412 words. (I started around 31,000. I didn’t think to actually write down my starting number.)

I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock, though. I am now officially on Part Three of my manuscript.

And this is where I stopped knowing exactly what I wanted to happen. The directions on my map have faded away into the ether. I’m left with nothing but blank parchment.

And that’s partly exciting, but mostly… frustrating.

What do I write next? How am I going to reach my goal and actually finish this story that has been floating around in my head since college (and that I’ve actually been working on for a year) if I don’t know what comes next?

Which means that, tomorrow, I will likely not be writing, but will instead be brainstorming.

I’m thinking a cup of tea, a comfy chair, and a favorite journal are in my future.

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

My family and I have a tradition of wishing each other a happy first of the month. I’m not entirely sure when or why it started, but I’ve always liked the sentiment of it: Happy First. We made it through one month. We have a brand new start ahead of us.

So, in that spirit: Happy Nov. 1, everyone!

What that also means for writers: Day one of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If you’re not familiar with it, NaNo is when writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in one month (about the length of a short novel).

It’s definitely quite a feat, and not something I’ve ever technically accomplished. (Several years ago, I did manage to finish a novel, but it was short the 50k mark. What can I say…. The story was just finished.)

This year, though, I’m doing something a little bit different. The novel I started for NaNo last year is still unfinished. I’ve worked on it throughout the year, made some decent headway, hit a roadblock—lather, rinse, repeat.

So my goal for NaNo is not to hit that 50k. It’s just to finish this particular manuscript.

I’m hoping NaNo will give me a kick-in-the-pants and that blogging about my progress each day will keep me motivated and honest.

Because lately, I haven’t had much time to write. I’ve been focusing on other goals…. Namely, losing weight.

I feel like I kind of need to explain why this blog about writing has had fewer updates about me… you know… writing. All year, I’ve been exercising and adjusting my eating habits. And for the most part, I could still squeeze in time to write. But I kind of hit a point where I needed to kick my routine into high gear if I still wanted to see the scale decreasing.

So that has been priority one. I’m hoping with NaNo, though, I’ll be able to re-find that balance and make progress with both of my main goals: Writing and being healthy.

And, in case anyone is curious, I started the year at 162 pounds. (Not great for someone who isn’t even 5-foot.) My most recent lowest weight was 136.6. (Though trick-or-treat kinda got in the way…. Darn you, delicious Halloween candy!!!)

To sum up: NaNo = Finish last year’s project. Blog = Hold me accountable. Weight = Keep going down!

Wish me luck. With all those goals and only so many hours in a day (and a full-time job), I kind of feel like I’m going to need it.

Halloween, Librarian Style

Happy Halloween, everyone!

At my library, we take Halloween very seriously—which translates to: Costumes all week!

It seemed only appropriate that I share mine: Ash from Pokémon, Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice, Velma from Scooby-Doo, Green Arrow, and 1950s.

Hope everyone has a spooky-fun holiday! I know I have a real terror ahead of me starting tomorrow: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). *Insert horror movie scream*

A Howlin’ Good Time at the Library

Growing up, my favorite fictional character was Remus Lupin (from Harry Potter). He was a werewolf, and that meant that I automatically loved anything related to werewolves.

The Werewolf by Night comics? I searched for them every time we went to a flea market.

Warren Zevon’s one-hit wonder “Werewolves of London?” You bet I downloaded that and burned it to a mix CD. (And yes, I’m old enough that I made mix CDs.)

The Stephen King movie Silver Bullet? You know I watched it!

Of course, most other werewolves weren’t as lovable as Professor Lupin, but that didn’t stop me from devouring any lupine story I could find.

And it’s little wonder that one of my favorite animals quickly became the wolf.

Majestic and misunderstood and utterly beautiful…. What’s not to love about wolves?

And this week…. We had two wolves visit our library! (And you know I have to share.)

Review: The Midnight Library


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best books I’ve read this year. The whole concept of parallel universes absolutely fascinates me, so if you take that idea and shine it through a very philosophical lens, you get this wonderfully thought-provoking story that is also perfectly summarizes what it means to be alive: It means to love and be loved, but also to hurt and be hurt; it means success and failure; it means mundanity and turbulence–it means experiencing the entire spectrum of emotions. No matter what choices you make in life, you will feel it all, good and bad. This book is about all of that–about learning to accept and move past regrets, and about the road not travelled–and about, ultimately, how that untraveled road may not matter as much as the road we, ourselves, are actually on. A beautiful book that I couldn’t put down and that I don’t want to say any more about: You just have to visit the Midnight Library yourself.

View all my reviews

How’d the To-Do List Go?

It’s been a few days, and now that I’ve returned to work, I can look back and see how productive my time off really was.

And… not bad. I didn’t get everything done, but I definitely made headway. I didn’t get to the query letter revisions like I’d hoped, but I did: (1) Write 5,000 words, and (2) Write a script for my Word-Maleerie video and start filming it.

Plus, I worked on some personal goals—exercising and reading some books from my to-read pile. Self-care is important too. I can’t expect to write anything decent if my head is all stressed and befuddled.

I also took time to have some fun. I saw the newest Venom movie (which was an absolute blast!), and I went to Halloween Haunt at Kings Island.

And yes, I absolutely have pictures from the latter.

In all, my mini-vacation was equal parts productive, fun, and relaxing—and really, I can’t complain about that.

My Mini-Vacation To-Do List

You know how much I love checklists….

Alright, I’ve had my fun at the Comic Expo. I’ve taken some time to reorganize Word-Maleerie. Now, it’s time to get serious.

I’m taking a few days off from the library and using them to finish a few long-procrastinated projects. Many of them are related to writing; some are not. I won’t bore you with my household organizing or my to-read list (though now that I’ve added reviews to the blog, you may be seeing the fruits of that—if I get it conquered).

But I will share what I’m planning to accomplish as a writer. Here it goes:

  • Revise my query letters. (Shout-out to my library’s Write-Away Club who all gave me some great advice a couple meetings ago when I brought in what I’d been sending to agents and publishers.)
  • Finish “Part Two” of my current writing project.
  • Write a script for a video introducing myself which I plan to have on the homepage of Word-Maleerie. (Bonus points if I get it filmed and edited.)

Three items on the writing to-do list. Not many, but each task has quite a bit of work that goes into it.

I’m hoping that posting my goals on my blog will keep me accountable. I’ll write again in a week with an update on my progress—which will hopefully be straight-up success! (Fingers crossed!)

Wish me luck, all! *Cracks knuckles, pops neck* Let’s get down to business!