Monday, December 2, 2013


Because I'm easily sidetracked lately, whenever you hear "Bittersweet" - do you instantly think "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve and the movie Cruel Intentions?

Oh, you don't?  Me either.......

Anyway- back to our regularly scheduled blog post:

I'm a NaNoWriMo winner!  This is the first time I've won, and I honestly didn't expect to win.  I kind of feel like I cheated, because I took a story that I had written the first couple chapters for back in August and then used that to create an outline of the entire plot (THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVER OUTLINED AND IT MAKES A REALLY, REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE- let me tell ya!) and then once November 1st hit, I started completely fresh and rewrote the entire story.

Well, once I hit 51k in words, I decided to stop and validate my novel before I forgot to do it (I updated my word count a total of like... 6 times the entire month... I'm really bad at creating new habits.  Whoops.)  I still had 4 chapters left roughly-- but I figured that I wouldn't get to writing for the rest of the weekend.  (Which was true, this is the first time I've been at my computer in almost three days.)

MY WORD COUNT WAS OVER 65K.  I was using a bootlegged version of Word and I'm not sure why it was so messed up on my word-count, but I realized on my drive back-up I was already at 65k- just didn't notice!

Do I feel like a bad-ass for not only writing 65 THOUSAND words in less than 30 days, as well as putting out Dirty Chai's inaguaral issue, creating a Thanksgiving feast, submitting a few poems to small presses that will be published in the spring, read Allegiant and 6 other novels, saw Catching Fire twice, all the while managing to keep my house clean, my children happy, fed and entertained, as well as growing a human?  Yes, I feel like a bad ass.

BUT, I wanted this WIP to be around 65k and now when I finally finish it- it's going to be way over word count.  AND- this draft is shit you guys.

It sucks.

I hate all of the character's names.  I hate the story itself-- I kind of wrote a Chick Lit NA story and I'm kind of embarrassed about it.  I know that there's a bit of pride in me, and maybe it's because the small writer circle I have in my real life all write really serious stuff, and here I am like LA LA CHICK LIT.  I don't know.

Plus, maybe just hormones?  I could definitely be hormonal.

So, winning NaNo is bittersweet.  I feel accomplished, but I feel I could've written a much better book.  I guess all that's left to do is finish it and go back and rewrite the shit out of it, right?

And for your reading "pleasure" a small excerpt:

The cool, fall Minneapolis air did wonders for our mood, for about 30 seconds.  Until we looked behind us and saw Dylan, Janel, Jessi and Mark heading our way.  We ducked into Muddy Waters and I tried desperately to concoct a plan that would insure that my friend’s sanity would be undoubtedly okay. Especially when they decided to join us inside.  And stuck around for the rest of the night.
Jessi was particularly fond of reminiscing about stories from Paris, and when they went to Spain for their honeymoon.  Could she be more obvious?  I lost count of how many drinks Amelia went through.
“Amelia, seriously, are you okay?” I guess it was a nice change of pace, for once she was the mess instead of me, but at the same time—I wasn’t ready to play babysitter.
“Yeah, what’s there to worry about?  Jill!  Let’s get some more tequila!” And like that, she was back at the bar. 
The music was loud and the band was really good.  I noticed Tammy talking with the bassist, and realize that this must have been the reason she wanted to come.  Typically Tammy doesn’t suggest bands.
Between Jillian and Amelia’s tequila runs, Tammy making eyes with the band dude, and the cling-on couples, I’ve spent a surprising amount of time alone tonight.  I thought this night was supposed to help me forget that Josh and Brad were getting married.  This is total bullshit.  I look down and notice my martini is almost gone and head back to the bar.  I should be a little more drunk by now.  Wasn’t that the point?  To forget?  I’m remembering too much.  Josh’s face keeps flashing in my mind.  And then Brad’s.  I start to feel like I’m crawling out of my skin.
  Walking up to the bar, some dreadlocked hipster hippie spin-dances into me and I trip and spill the remainder of my drink on a guy in a red flannel. “I am so sorry!  It was freaking Barb Marley’s fault.  She ran into me with her rasta-moves.”  I motion towards the girl who just sort of shrugs, but in an arrogant way.
“No problem.” Flannel shirt guy gives a shrug and a small chuckle, and then we both experience face recognition.
“Snack Pack Jack!” I say.  And, I feel happy to see him for some strange reason.  I like his shirt.
“Ah, yes.  Drunk girl with the gay boyfriend who cries a lot.”  He doesn’t seem as thrilled to see me.  In fact, he seems quite disinterested.
“My name is Tricia, pudding snack.  He’s actually Brad’s, fucking, he’s getting married!”  I try not to sound like such a spaz, but it doesn’t work.
Jack’s face softens but I sense his bewilderment, “Alright, Tricia.  How about you just call me Jack and we get you a cup of coffee?”
           “Coffee?  Beat ya to it.  There’s espresso in the martini I spilled all over you, and I need another one.”  I hold my glass up to the bartender, “I’ll take another and let’s get something for my friend Jack here.”
I felt really clever with the "Barb Marley" crack.  I remember emailing my poet friend, Sarah and my Co-Editor Sam about it because I felt so hilarious.

I don't know.  Maybe this book will be something eventually.   Until then, I'll keep trucking.

Those of you that participated in NaNo- how did you do?


  1. When I read 'Bittersweet' as your post title, I thought you had bad news. I was like, nooooo. :(

    Congrats on winning NaNo. Double congrats for doing it while gestating, mothering and editor-ing!! And YES. Having an outline does help! :)

    Love the excerpt. :D

    1. Aw, thanks for looking out for me! I'm glad it wasn't as bad as you thought! And thanks! I always thought I was a bit of a pantser-- i was wrong!

  2. Well, congrats on winning anyway! And yes, I think of the scene in cruel intentions, it's the best one in the movie!

  3. You're awesome! Winning NaNo while taking care of everything else in your life is a major accomplishment! :)

  4. Was this a humble brag or just a brag-brag? That's awesome that you dominated NaNo. Congratulations. The passage isn't bad. Cut yourself some slack. It's a draft. That's the point of re-writes. You gave yourself the skeleton, now you can work out the muscles of the story. Good luck and again, very impressive, great job.

    1. I love you so much, I'm not sure if it's healthy. I have been eating A LOT of pickles lately. That could totally explain it. Thanks for all of the encouragement. THERE IS TOO MUCH DIALOGUE IN THE MS though and I hate it. Oh well, you are right! Just a draft!


Love to read what you have to say! Keep the comments coming!