I toiled, I typed, I spent countless hours banging my head against my laptop, but in the end, I did NOT write 50,000 words. Not even close. I wrote about 25,000 — half of the goal. I could list all of my excuses here about how I have 3 kids, how Thanks Giving weekend was spent with my family and not my computer and how some nights I just didn't have it in me to write. But I don't want to excuse my supposed failure because to me it was anything but. I WROTE 25,000 WORDS IN 30 DAYS! That is a huge accomplishment in my eyes. Although I would love to say I "won" NaNo, I most certainly didn't come away empty handed. I mean, aside from the bumper stickers I got for donating to the organization. The first draft of my novella, Frozen Heart, is nearly finished! I know, I'm stoked, too. The next two months will be spent revising, editing, polishing and killing my darlings, all to ready my novella for submission. Then I'll move on to writing a query letter which, if it doesn't kill me, will most certainly make me insane.
I also learned so much about myself and my writing process. I learned I absolutely cannot write with all three kids at home. The constant disruptions make me batty...and mean. I learned how to write more fluidly, quickly, and efficiently. I also learned to write freely, without over thinking every sentence as it hits the page. Most importantly, I tested my resolve and learned that I do truly love to write, and that pressure and expectation be damned, I love it even when it's hard and no fun at all.
If you'd like to read an excerpt of Frozen Heart you can find one here, but I'll give you a synopsis below.
In a world where the season never changes, the fate of the human race is in the hands of the family-centric and invasive totalitarian government, The Affinity. Cressenda, an Outlier, risks her life every day in the persuit of liberty and freedom. With a strict regime enforcing stringent laws in the realm of marriage and procreation, the tyranny of the Affinity has forced Cressenda to give up the idea of ever having a family. She has secluded herself in the wilderness, accepting the idea that she will never love. One snowy December day, after a particularly treacherous trip to the Collective, she meets Beckett, a Guard for the Affinity. His interest in her aloof and guarded persona gives Cressenda cause for concern. She must decide if Beckett is worth the risk of exposing herself as an Outlier, or maybe even joining the ranks of the Citizens of the Affinity again.
Now, it's Book Porn Bloggy Time! (I know, I totally forgot about this feature, too!) Although I did not read anything last month, including any and all notices and fliers sent home by my children's school, I can tell you the last book I read before NaNo started. Lover Awakened, book three in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. My friends, this series is literally book porn. An ancient warrior class of sexy vampires and the women that love them. How can you go wrong? Although the hero of this installment (Zsadist) is not my favorite (which is counter to how most readers feel about him) I absolutely adore this paranormal romance series. JR Ward writes some of the best unresolved sexual tension I have ever, ever read. Some of the characteristics of these vamps, as well as the plots of each book, might make you roll your eyes, but as a good friend of mine explains it, "They're the books you love to hate." We also call them the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Vamps. Take from that what you will. If you're looking for a fun, sexy read, these are the books for you.