‘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

The Precious Ones…

On my desk, in an 8 x 10 photo, my three beautiful grandsons smile out at me as I attempt to come up with some words to

English: Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo's
English: Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

create this long-overdue blog post. The youngest is just over two, the next youngest will turn five next month, and the oldest is seven, close to the same ages as those innocent little ones who had their lives so violently taken this past Friday. What catches my eye each time I study the photo is the happiness that shines out from their smiles and their clear wonderful eyes!

And we had the opportunity to spend last night with the older two–a fun dinner out at Portillo’s for hot dogs, fries, and shakes, followed by a car “tour” to look at a multitude of Christmas lights. The rain had finally stopped by early evening, so there were no issues viewing the season’s wonderful displays.

The plan, originally, was to do all of the above and then take them home to their own beds. But as often happens, the two pulled the “power play” on Grandma and me, and they ended up sleeping here. It was fun and good and memorable. The younger one gave out and slept on the ride back home, while the seven-year-old sang Christmas songs with Grandma and me! Through it all, I couldn’t help but simply want to hug them whenever the opportunity presented itself.

And on this dark, chilly Sunday evening in December, I can’t help but focus on the photo that sits nearby and silently pray that the three beautiful children who smile out at me will never have to face the horror and terror that those innocent and precious children did last Friday. I pray that God will always help my grandsons keep those smiles firmly affixed and that their lives will be all that they deserve….CortlandWriter