NaNoWriMo & #WriteMotivation – Update #1

I’m not sure how the first weekend of November has already flown by.

It feels like it should still be Friday, but nope. It’s Monday.


I meant to get up a post up last week about the upcoming #WriteMotivation session (all of Novembers participants are here, and KT is awesome for continuing to bring this community together!), but preparing for the NaNo kick-off and making major headway on my fall cleaning was prioritized over that.

The kick-off went fantastic! We had 40 people RSVP, but only about 30 showed up, which is what I expected. IHOP was a bit like O.O when I arrived, though, and told them the size of the group. Hehe. It was awesome.

Michelle and I were a bit tired, though.

Sleepy ML's - this was before midnight. We were at IHOP until nearly 3 am. Whee!
Sleepy ML’s – this was before midnight. We were at IHOP until nearly 3 am. Whee!

More on NaNoWriMo in a minute, though. First, let’s tackle the #WriteMotivation goals:

writemotivation_header1-36217_186x1861. 50k words on Stars for the Dead.
Unofficially, my word goal is actually 75k. I’m working with almost 20k of already existing material, but majorly rewriting most of it. But I feel I should go above and beyond the 50k goal anyway.
Overall, I’m ahead. The minimum goal (if I was on the 50k track) for the day is 6,666 words. I stopped at 6,245 last night. I would have kept writing, but hubby at to be at work at 5:18 am this morning, so I was on an actual time limit, because I need at least 6 hours of sleep.

2. Major progress on Catalyst revisions.
I wanted to have the revised Catalyst to beta-readers a month ago. But summer tried to eat me, and I haven’t touched this thing since June. I haven’t yet started on this, but hope to get on it tomorrow.

3. Exercise 3x per week.
Health-wise, this summer was… interesting. The stress of some family situations (combined with Tabby being diagnosed with chronic renal failure) pretty much knocked me flat. I bit the bullet and went to the doctor (for the first time in… 4 years) and I have a) a vitamin D problem – now on supplements for that (surprise! I think this should probably just be an occupational hazard of being a writer), and b) a blood pressure problem.
The blood pressure was a shock. I’ve always had low blood pressure when it was tested before (seriously, they take your blood pressure at the eye doctor, and it’s never been a problem). I did find out the other week, though, that both my grandmother and her late mother had high blood pressure, so it is something I need to take precautions against.
The problem here is that it’s only reading extremely high in situations where I know I’m stressed – IE: being at the doctor’s office. My doctor asked me to keep track of it, and so I’ve been doing readings with a manual monitor (he didn’t like that – he wanted me to use a digital one, and I flat-out told him it wouldn’t fit in my budget, and neither would driving to Walmart to use the free one every day). My blood pressure is still reading normal or lower-than-normal when I take it myself at home – even when I take it multiple times/day.
However, that still doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem that my blood pressure sky-rockets when I get stressed or upset. The doctor wanted to prescribe a low-dosage prescription, but I told him I’d rather try other things first. So for now what HE wants me to do is a low-sodium diet.
I don’t eat 2000 mg of sodium in a day. Hardly ever. So… shrug.
I will, however, add exercise in. Because honestly, I haven’t been exercising regularly. And I know it will make a difference with my actual blood pressure, and with how I deal with stress.
So far, though, I’ve only exercised once this month. Time to get on the ball!

All right, now for the fun part! Ya’ll want a NaNo update, right? And… an excerpt? 😀

Stars for the Dead cover by moonfreak - original size

NaNoWriMo 2013, Days 1-3

Words Written: 6,245/75,000
Characters Killed: 3 (2 in a flashback, one in the current time)

Excerpt (completely unedited, so ignore the stupid, please!):

It felt like a hand of ice and reached into Dina’s chest and wrapped around her heart. The eastern horizon was barely beginning to glow – the first sunrise was when the sacrifice would take place. Dina shivered.

She’d sank down to the steps, her knees drawn into her chest, as the crowd dispersed after the priest’s announcement. She meant to get up and return home at some point, especially since she was still dressed in only her seti, but time had slipped past her like water soaking into the sand.

The crowds were gathering again. They were quiet and somber, so very unlike the unsettled mob during the night. But now it consisted of entire families, from grandfathers and grandmothers to still-nursing infants wailing at their mother’s breasts.

Dina wished her heart would just be torn out of her, instead of frozen. How could she watch more of her family die?

She closed her eyes, and felt the dried salt tracks on her face crack from the tears she’d shed.

“Get up.”

Dina started, her heart leaping into her throat. She tightened her arms around her knees.

“Get up.”

She looked up, saw the regal red robes the woman wore, and flew to her feet. “Your majesty!” Dina bowed her head.

“Captain, give her your tunic,” Queen Oisis ordered to her guard. Dina shivered as the cloth was thrown around her shoulders. It fell nearly to her knees. “How dare you disgrace your mother like this, Dina. How dare you shame me like this. You should know that as your regent, every action you take is reported to me. You don’t have the luxury of playing to the whim of your emotions.”

She should have expected a scolding. How had it escaped her thoughts that the Queen would surely be summoned for the sacrifice?

“I am sorry, Queen-mother,” Dina bent to kiss her hand. “It will not happen again.”

Who’s doing NaNoWriMo? What’s your status? And if you’re not doing NaNo, what are you trying to get done for November?

Recent Comments

  • M
    November 4, 2013 - 9:20 am · Reply

    I am! I’m not doing as well as I have in previous years but I’m trying not to let that get me down… I’m usually around 15k by now but I’m barely bumping over the minimum. I am hoping it’ll pick up speed soon!

  • Alessa
    November 4, 2013 - 9:22 am · Reply

    I’m doing NaNo! I took Friday off and spent the weekend writing. I’m at 21K right now, which is kind of phenomenal but I expect to slow down now that I’m back to work.

  • Michelle
    November 4, 2013 - 11:52 am · Reply

    Yeowch, poor Dina. :/

    I’m sitting at 7600 right now, hoping to get maybe to 9k this evening, and I hope to build up a REALLY nice buffer at the write-in tomorrow.

    • Rebekah Loper
      November 4, 2013 - 1:11 pm · Reply

      Dina has lots of ouchies coming :(. It’s kind of awful.

      I *want* to strive for 10k today, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. 8 or 9k is definitely within the realm of possibility, though. If I can write most of the day tomorrow and then at the write-in, too, then yeah, I’ll have a nice buffer too. We’ll see!

  • valerierlawson
    November 4, 2013 - 12:03 pm · Reply

    that’s so weird. i was just told i had a bit d deficiency a high bp, too. i’m doing the same as you – increasing exercise and changing diet. since i walk with my son now almost every day, i don’t think the bit d will continue to be a problem. note to writers: we should all go outside occasionally. 🙂

    i had a great time at the kick off and i’m making consistent progress. i hope to get ahead this week now that everyone at home is back to work/school and out of my hair.

    • Rebekah Loper
      November 4, 2013 - 1:18 pm · Reply

      Some of the reading up I’ve done says that vitamin D can affect blood pressure, and we’re not going to recheck those levels for six months, so I’m also leery about going on any meds until the steps we have taken have had time to do something. And I just don’t like prescriptions.

      But yes! Outside, definitely need to go outside more…

  • Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    November 4, 2013 - 12:51 pm · Reply

    You go you! How awesome to be surrounded by wonderful people to keep you motivated and on track! Your group sounds like loads of fun!
    I’m “doing nano” only in the sense that I’m writing. I’ve learned a long time ago that counting words just backs me up and clogs the pipes. 😛 Progress is still a win in my book!

    • Rebekah Loper
      November 4, 2013 - 1:23 pm · Reply

      They are fun, though it’s not without a few problems. But the gain far outweighs the loss so far!

      Progress is good! You could always just mark where you started, and not count up words until November 30th. You might be surprised!

  • Lissa Clouser
    November 6, 2013 - 7:41 pm · Reply

    I love the picture of you seriously awesome ladies! I will look forward to (hopefully) participating with you once again next year. When I have a test to take, but not on DECEMBER 1ST. Gah.

    Your goals are awesome, but take it easy. You don’t need anything else eating you alive this year. And while you work like a mad woman, I’ll be on the sidelines waving the shiny gold pom poms for you!

What do you think?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.