Home…warm & safe

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A short story available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CCTYRFQ)

Home.

It’s certainly good to be back at my familiar cluttered writing desk after a couple of weeks away from the regular routine of working on my books and blog posts. Our trip to Michigan and Ohio was good, and we managed to travel on days when the weather was cooperative. And the drive back across northern Ohio and Indiana was without problems, unlike it would be had we waited one more day to head for home.

The Polar Vortex has descended upon us, and, at this writing, it’s a mere −17°, and if it’s any consolation, this is as cold as it’s going to get. We had significant snow during the last two days, but it has moved out, leaving clear skies and bright sunshine—and these sub-frigid temperatures—in its wake. Fortunately, it won’t stay this way for long as it’s going to gradually warm up throughout this week. Tomorrow, for example, it’s supposed to be 7° and even reach above freezing by the weekend.

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Another short story available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CCTYRFQ)

On mornings such as this, I realize just how fortunate I am to have this wonderfully warm and comfortable house, plenty of food and drink, and this cluttered writing desk with my trusty old MacBook doing what it does best. I also think of those who have nothing, or very little, and are struggling to survive this dangerous condition. Makes one wish there was something that could be done immediately to ease their plight. Even two tiny birds struggled past my window a few minutes ago, no doubt seeking some kind of shelter from this arctic day, and I can’t be sure if they will succeed in doing so since, for them, there’s just no place to go!

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Winter from our back deck

So I will spend much of today getting caught up here and continue the revisions and edits for The Bet. I will check the blogs I follow to gain some further inspiration. And I will be thankful for being inside, warm and safe. I hope the same for all who read this. Be careful…CortlandWriter

2013…A very good year to wear my “writer’s hat”

Late December is here—almost Christmas—and the snow falls outside. Much yet photoremains to be completed on the revising and editing of The Bet, my current novel I’m hoping to publish soon, but I’m making progress on that all the same. Just need to get through the busy days ahead and get back on track once again. No excuses…just fact!

2013 has certainly been a year filled with many highlights for me. Meeting several new friends in the blogging world and in various other online communities has been fun and rewarding. I have truly enjoyed sharing common interests—particularly the love of words and writing—with a wide array of folks “out there” in the blogosphere. Reading their many thoughts and ideas, I usually learn something and actually feel that I’m a better writer after doing so. At least I hope that I am better when I post my own thoughts and ideas, striving to be as interesting and “readable” as those I read and follow.

The best thing that happened to my writing this year, though, was my discovery of, and immersion into, the world of Scrivener, a fantastic tool for writers! At first, I had very little idea what it was all about or how it really worked. Fortunately, however, I found Gwen Hernandez’s Scrivener for Dummies and spent February and March taking her online course Scrivener for Mac, and the rest is history, if I may throw out a hackneyed cliché.

Cliché aside, Scrivener has made my writing—novels and blogs—more organized, and the whole process much easier. Using Scrivener to write my novel for NaNoWriMo in November was a fun and well-organized, challenging experience. Of course, when creating my stories, I still have to come up with the right words that will successfully tell the tale, but Scrivener, from Literature & Latte, helps me do so. Without a doubt, it has become my best friend when I’m wearing my writer’s hat! Anyone reading this, who has not tried Scrivener, should do so and take advantage of the 30-day free trial. It would make for a wonderful last-minute Christmas gift as well.

English: merry christmas
English: merry christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So on this snowy morning here in northern Illinois, I send good wishes to all readers and fellow writers who, like me, need to get back to work on writing, revising, and editing. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May 2013 close out warm and happy for you all, and 2014 hold many wonderful and exciting adventures every day.…CortlandWriter

 

‘Tis the season for “ideal” writing conditions…

English: A cold day in December!
English: A cold day in December! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s cold, and it’s good to be inside! Sage words, I know, but winter has definitely crept in and it’s the perfect time to get that revising/editing completed on the novel before too many more days fly off the calendar.

NaNoWriMo has come and gone, and I’ve read a lot of summaries and testimonials by fellow writers this past week regarding the levels of success attained during that most hectic November. And, for the most part, no one seems to feel as though they failed, even though they may not have reached the 50,000 word target. Most felt that the process of building a draft, albeit short of the “winning” word count, was what really mattered.

I stopped at just over 52,000 words, yet the novel is not complete. As those other writers did, I found the experience of getting a novel that far along to be worth every minute and hour I invested during November. Like them, I now have a solid first draft that needs a conclusion. But that’s for later this winter and spring. Again, that is the true beauty that is NaNoWriMo.

Right now, though, it’s time to get serious once again and put this year’s NaNo creation away–let it sleep and mellow–and knock the cobwebs off The Bet, my next novel to be published. This novel is the one I knocked out in NaNoWriMo 2012 and worked on finishing up over the summer and early fall. Now, I’m in the revising/editing/polishing phase and eager to be finished with it and have it ready for publication before the end of the year. And, as I’ve written about previously, I really have no other excuses now since November with all of its “interruptions” has fled the scene.

December, with the advent of cold and inclement weather, is certainly one of my favorite times to get work done. My ideal time to write/revise/edit/polish is when it’s mean outside and quiet and comfy inside, with calm and pleasant beautiful music in my ear buds. Even though the sun is shining brightly on this Saturday morning, the temperature is not going to climb out of the ‘teens, so it’s one of those “ideal” times to be inspired to work on the novel that patiently awaits in my Scrivener projects folder.

Scrivener (software)
Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the many positives that came from the month-long grind of NaNoWriMo is that there was no time to think about The Bet. It was forced into that “sleeping and mellowing” stage, away from my eyes, where I might have been tempted to jump back in to tinker with the plot, characters, or setting and distract me from work on this year’s NaNoWriMo novel.

But now that NaNoWriMo is finished, I have re-awakened the story after a month’s hiatus, and much of what I was growing weary with has taken on a fresh, new look, and I have already seen ways to make the whole novel better. Thus, I’m finding the rewriting/revising to actually be kind of fun for a change!

Now, all we need are some gray skies, some swirling snow, and a wonderful sense of shelter inside where it’s warm and comfy. That would be truly ideal writing weather! Without a doubt, I don’t think I’ll have to wait too long for that weather to arrive if current forecasts are correct. Can’t wait!

Anyone else feel the same way? Happy revising, all…CortlandWriter