Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Winners, we have winners! Several people received an email from me this morning saying “YOU WON! No, this is not spam, you won a signed copy of one of my books!Their email also said, “Because I'm a technological ditz, I was not able to figure out how to get the winners to post through the Rafflecopter widget (even though it was just supposed to require pushing one button), so I will be announcing the winners in today's blog.

It was supposed to be so easy. Just push this button and the winners’ names would appear on the widget. I pushed the button several times, refreshed the page several time, and nothing. How could I mess it up? Computers just hate me I guess.

Anyway, congratulations to Paula, Shirleen, Keith, Jenifer, and the grand prize winner Joanne. Although technically two of the winners were only supposed to get electronic copies of my books, I decided to send them a hard copy instead, and they will be getting a bookmark as well. (However, if they’d like, I will also email them an electronic copy if they ask for it.)

I realize this will be more expensive for me, but the reason I did this was, I had just won some books from another author’s raffle, and when I downloaded the books, even though they were a mobi file, I was not able to open them up on my Kindle. So, if I want to read them, I have to do it from my laptop. I’m sorry, and I don’t know about you, but I can curl up in bed with my laptop. I didn’t want to take a chance my winners wouldn’t be able to open their book.

Okay, I have a question for you. How is it possible that one day it’s eighty degrees and we’re reaching for sunscreen, and then two days later it’s thirty five degrees and it’s snowing? I don’t know if the same is happening where you live, but weather in New Jersey has been beyond bizarre lately. I wish the warm weather would just stay already. I’m so sick of winter, and if I never seen snow again, it would be too soon.

So as suspected, I fell short of NaNoWriMo goal yesterday. My word count came in just over 1500, and you’re supposed to produce 1,667 every day. Although every other day has been well over the requirement, and I’m way ahead of where I should be (yesterday was the half-way point of the month so I should have been at 25K, and I’m actually over 31K), I was still disappointed in myself for not hitting goal. I need to keep ahead of the game because I know I will not be writing this Sunday because it’s Easter. Then I won’t be writing next Thursday and Friday because I’ll be bringing Lys home from college. Then the 26th is my niece Gracie’s confirmation, so that day is shot; and then the 27th is my hubby’s birthday, and I’ll be cooking and cleaning instead of writing.

That means, I really only have twenty five days to produce 50K words, translation, two thousand words a day. So, just like July and November last year, this NaNoWriMo will come down to the wire and with me pulling my hair out. UGH!

Oh well, time to get some real writing done. I hope y’all have a great day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

Write a story about a day in the park – but here’s the twist, you can only use dialogue…

“Thank you for suggesting this Michelle. It’s beautiful here.”
“It’s one of my favorite spots. My grandfather used to bring me when I was a little girl. Whenever I feel like I need to escape the insanity of my life, I find myself here.”
“You must come here often then. I don’t know how you do it. Three kids, a job, a husband, a house, I only have one kid, and I feel like my life is spinning out of control sometimes.”
“That’s why I proposed this little outing. You sounded a bit frazzled, and this way Danny and Jake can run around and burn off some of their energy, and we can sit and talk. Are you okay Sue?”
“Things have been tough, I’m not going to lie, but I’m still holding out hope.”
“John’s not getting any better?”
“Not yet, but we’re seeing a new doctor next week. Maybe this one will be able to tell us what’s going on, and why he’s not responding to any of the treatments.”
“I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. If anything was ever to happen to Steve, I’d be lost.”
“No you wouldn’t. You’d be able to handle it, just like you do everything else, and manage to stay strong and upbeat in the process.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
“I don’t, but I do hope you’ll never need to find out.”
“You do know you’re not alone in all this right? Steve and I would do anything for you, John and Jake.”
“I know. I appreciate it, and I promise to come to you if I need anything, but that’s just it. I don’t know what we need, other than a firm diagnosis and a game plan. Unfortunately, those are two things no one can seem to give me.”

Man that’s hard without using any narrative. Could you hear the catch in Sue’s voice? Could you hear Michelle’s compassion for her friend or her disbelief in Sue’s confidence in her? Boy I’m glad I don’t have to rely solely on dialogue to get my stories across.

Your Next Challenge is – random line, from a random page, pulled from a random book off my shelf (bonus points if you can name the book):

Mark Reynolds is not in a position to forbid or allow.

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.