Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 31




My final word count for July 2013: 50,138. Through tears, through sweat, through aching wrists and a few questionable test grades, I did not give up. I did not throw in the figurative towel. I did not quit. For the fifth consecutive year in a row, I can look procrastination in the face and say, “Hey. We make a pretty good team. But I’m still better than you.”

It’s true. 10,000 words in two days is a lot to type out.

julnowrimo winner


(I feel very sorry for the guy with the bronze trophy. He does not look like he’s having a good day.)

I cranked out 5,000 words yesterday and another 5,000 today, which is something I do not recommend to anyone with a life outside their novel (a.k.a., 99 percent of all writers everywhere). I was spitting out a lot of flashback dialogue by the end, which I was trying to avoid, but hey – maybe it will come in handy later on.

Most of the last 10,000 words I’ve written are focused on Brittany and Melody’s relationship. I was not originally planning to go this route. I never wanted the reader to be able to look into Melody’s POV or to be able to see her flashbacks. But as I thought more about her story, I realized how important she is to both Brittany and Ally’s stories. The ways these characters are connected is really starting to freak me out. Dale is going to give Greg a promotion at work, which will believe it or not put a strain on Amanda’s marriage, which will in some bizarre way affect Maddie, which will in turn affect pretty much everyone else.

As my find dove into flashback mode, I found myself exploring Brittany and Ally’s relationship as well, which really adds a lot to the reasons behind their big fight earlier in the book (I have absolutely not been writing in order. I have written the beginning and a lot of the end. Interesting, but it’s working). As much as I do try to stay away from flashbacks, I’m finding more and more that they just work in my books. I don’t think a lot of my stories could exist without them. I don’t know how I feel about that, but in life, there are just some things you can’t change.

This is the first novel in several years of WriMos that I am seriously considering continuation on after the month of writing insanity ends. I’ve been very attached to these stories since I tried my hand at TV script writing a few years ago, and I can’t seem to let them go. In fact, the more time passes, the more each subplot of the show develops into something greater than the original pilot episode of the show ever showed potential of. That scares me, too. It really does.

The biggest issue I’m having with this story (the show was called “Disorderly,” but I have yet to decide if that’s what the name of the book will be) is the fact that it started out in my head as a drama series. I have an entire season plotted out on a document hidden away somewhere on my hard drive – that’s a lot of story to sift through. And I can’t fit it all into one book. No way.

The other problem? The book I’m working on now, all 50,138 words of it, hasn’t even covered all of the pilot episode yet.

So what, as a writer, can be done in a dilemma like this?

The answer: just keep writing. The rest comes later. For now, just write.

Tomorrow, summer begins for me (again). Writing will be a lovely way to spend these last three weeks at home before heading back to school for “real life” endeavors.

Bring it on, brain. Bring it on.

Thank you to all who have stuck with me through this month. I hope that even after JulNoWriMo comes to an official end, you will continue to check up on my writing progress. All I can do is update, probably quite periodically. Whether you choose to keep coming back is, well, up to you.

I hope you choose to return. It has been a pleasure entertaining (or boring) you over the past 31 days of crazy.

The life of a writer, it seems, is hardly much beyond the choice to be something other than what others might consider sane.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 30




This box represents a vast number of things in my life right now. It represents the celebratory act of opening a meaningful treasure as a reward for finishing finals on Thursday night. It represents simultaneously the celebratory attitude I will already have due to having reached a 50,000 word goal by tomorrow at midnight. And it represents the idea of waiting – waiting for school to end, for a break, and then for it all to start back up again.

I am currently “stuck” at a little over 40,000 words, but the 10,000-word gap does not frighten me too much. If I can crank out 5,000 words today and another 5,000 tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be good to go. Where will the motivation come from, you ask? Many things: love of the story, adoration of the characters and my bucket list, of course.

It says I want to win five consecutive JulNoWriMos. And this will be my fifth. Just in case you were wondering.

Will it be tough? Yes. I will have to give up my much-appreciated relaxing time and probably some sleep, too. But personally I think it’s worth every sacrifice, to be able to enter that last word count and have my screen name in bold on the stats page. It’s always worth it. I just don’t think it has ever been as worth it as it will be this summer.

Despite all I’ve done my best to take on, tackle and conquer in the past few months, this has remained toward the top of my priority list. It’s not my greatest priority, of course – I have school to think about, plus an internship (and now an editor boot camp – talk about overloaded finals week!). And then there’s, you know, family and friends and cats who meow consistently for attention at the most inconvenient times.



Will finishing this goal be easy? No. Is writing a novel easy? NO! Neither is being in college or being a good friend or even just trying to make in this world as a writer in general.

If life were easy, we would never in a million years strive to accomplish as much as we do now.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 29

10 Reasons Why a Day Without Writing is Okay

  1. It gives you more time to think about your story.
  2. Your characters might come up with a few good ideas while you’re on hiatus.
  3. Sometimes you just have to sleep on it….all day.
  4. Shockingly, coffee can’t fix everything.
  5. Your best writing comes after a short break.
  6. Writing every day would get boring.
  7. Sometimes you just can’t do it.
  8. But tomorrow will be different.
  9. And tonight you’ll have a really weird dream that will spark a completely new subplot you never would have thought of otherwise.
  10. You might decide taking breaks is much more effective than taking none at all.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 28

After multiple consecutive days of lacking the physical and mental energy to write more than a few hundred words, I can happily announce that I have gone on a writing “splurge” and have reached 40,000 words after a nice quiet Sunday afternoon of having literally nothing to do other than, well, write.

My hands and wrists are not very happy with me after spending so much time typing on this laptop, but I’m sure after some ibuprofen and a decent break from typing I’ll be fine. This isn’t uncommon over the summer when I’m using my laptop a lot more to write for long periods of time. As long as I don’t overdo it I’ll be fine, but honestly, there are prices we have to pay for spending so much time writing. It’s worth it – at least I think it is. But others have called me crazy before, so I really wouldn’t be surprised if you thought the same thing. I won’t be offended. I promise.

It’s been a very strange weekend. I’m not home, I haven’t been spending as much time studying because of school almost being over, and I haven’t had my face crammed into a book (I loved The Host, but once it got to page 600, I had already counted multiple places the story could have ended. I liked the ending, don’t get me wrong. I almost would have been more satisfied if it would have ended a little earlier, though. I won’t give it away. I’m not that mean.

I finally got to work on a little bit of Dana’s and Tiffany’s sub-plots. I really like Dana’s, and feel extremely bad for her because of her brother being away and all. Her sister’s not too happy with her, either. Tiffany’s just a mess overall, but her love interest randomly decided to appear in the back of the library, so there ya go.

I’m in the process of using post-its to remind myself of all the weird character relationships going on right now. It’s getting a little crazy. I think Owen and Kevin know each other – but HOW??


I promise you, my characters never like the way things are going. They always change the story just a little on me.

I mean, it would be fine if they gave me a little warning first. But they don’t. All of a sudden someone will just show up out of nowhere, or some big secret I didn’t know about will come up in conversation. One benefit of writing: sometimes you’ll find you even have the capability to entertain yourself while you’re doing it. If you’re bored while you’re writing, your readers will be bored while they’re reading. No one wants that now do they?

I really need to give my poor hands a break. Ouch!

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 27

I have not written much since Wednesday. I should be worried. I should have spiraled into freak-out mode about two days ago. But I haven’t. I think that’s freaking me out more than not having written.

I blame my mood swings. They try to control my life, but I’m too stubborn to ever let that come even close to happening. So I just drink coffee and eat chocolate and it’s all better.

I’m planning on writing after dinner, but I suppose we’ll have to see how much I can get done between then and bed. It’s hard to stay motivated at night when I get up so early. (I know, I know – don’t get up so early and you’ll get more done at night. I’m a morning person. End of story.)

I’ve gotten a few good ideas for Dana’s story, but I want to make sure it will work with the other subplots. I think the original plan in the pilot was to have her brother missing, but the idea of having him in the military appealed to my brain more. I didn’t plan it that way. All of a sudden that’s what was happening and I just decided to stick with it.

I honestly have to let my characters know how angry I am at them sometimes. They have a habit of wanting to take control of their own lives, and as much as I appreciate it, sometimes it’s just not okay. I’m the writer here. If they want to go write their own books when I’m finished with their stories, fine. But while I’m in charge, stick to what I tell you and otherwise keep quiet.

I should get back to writing before they do things I haven’t approved of yet.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 26

The stress of school is really starting to get to me. I’ve only written a hundred or so words in the past two days, and if I could, I would definitely try to push through the minor mind block, but I always advise never to force yourself to write when you’re just “not feeling it,” and I really have to take my own advise in this case. When you can’t wrap your mind around what you want to happen next, there’s no use in forcing pieces to fit together. It has to come naturally.

I don’t mind using this weekend to catch up before the last few days of July creep up. I’m severely behind where I want/need to be, and usually that would definitely freak me out a little. I literally just think I don’t have the capacity to be freaked out about much of anything after the last few weeks I’ve had. I’m just sort of floating along, taking what comes and seeing how it goes.

Not the best lifestyle as a writer, but we all have our lazy days. Weeks. Months. Years……..

I’m hoping I snap back into creative overdrive soon. I’ve really been struggling especially these last few days just to balance everything. I’ve never been good at balancing.

It’s part of the learning process.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 25

I am in dire need of a miniature study break. So ironically enough, I will now proceed to write about how I have not written today.

I think I’m a lot more mentally and physically worn out today than I was a week ago. I’m close enough to finishing these last two classes that my brain has already started to migrate into vacation mode, to which my only response is, “Dude, calm down, I still need you.”

I need to make a character diagram so I can figure out all the connections each one has to the other as I continue to plow through this month’s novel. If I don’t get to writing tonight after my test (which I probably won’t, since real people are much more fun than pretend ones) I’m going to have to play a little catch-up tomorrow. If it rains, that won’t be a problem. I could easily get out 5,000 words with no other distractions. I just need to figure out if I want Tiffany’s boyfriend and Maddie’s ex to have any connections. Probably. They’re both jerks.

Time is not my friend this week. I feel like I’m moving in slow motion and the rest of the world is on hyperdrive. Not good.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 24

The sun is shining! The sky is blue! And I’m stuck inside trying to memorize the difference between a B cell and a T cell. This is the life of a college student who, without summer classes, would never be able to graduate or get a job or move out of her parents’ house. Ever.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like my house. And my room. And my family, parents and sibling and furry whiskered friend included. But you really can’t be a kid forever, and I just lived through yet another birthday, so it’s about time to think about things like The Real World, and Money, and What to Do with a College Degree.

Thankfully as writers we have the power to use our own experiences to add significant color and depth to our stories. Jared and Ally just had a pretty deep conversation about whether or not they’re too young to be thinking about things like college applications, grocery shopping and bank accounts. They never came to a solid conclusion, though, and the conversation ended with the spontaneous decision to make hot chocolate at eleven o’clock at night.

They’re only seventeen. Not much of a crime if you ask me.

love heart

I spent most of my time writing this morning working on their relationship. When I’d finished that scene and was only a few hundred words short of my goal for the day (at 36,000 now, which hopefully means I can still reach 50,000 on time), I went back to another scene I’d left off at yesterday, trying to work on Kim and Patrick’s relationship – whatever that might be (even I’m not quite sure yet).

Patrick – he’s the one with the muffins (refer back to yesterday’s post if you’re confused). He’s suspicious of Kim all of a sudden, for the same reason Kim isn’t sure whether or not she’s romantically attracted to Jim, another co-worker: she’s a problem solver. Naturally. You can’t really blame her, because technically it’s in her job description. But most people don’t like it when someone walks into their life and offers a helping hand without hesitation.

Or, as Patrick put it, “[W]alk into someone’s office and offer them a granola bar in the middle of their lunch break.”

It’s the mother in her, Patrick, calm down. She never did get a chance to become one, after all.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 23

Today I will teach you how to solve Writer’s Block with muffins.

Now you’re curious. So keep reading.

I should not be blogging when I’m tired. But the past few days have been abnormal enough that I guess I’m past the point of caring whether or not anything I write or say makes sense. Thus, muffins.

I’m up to 34,000 words now, but today was a serious writing struggle. I always talk about never forcing yourself to write when you don’t want to, but thankfully it’s not a lack of desire to write that’s blocking me today. I just literally have not been able to put an entire scene together from the time I sat down to write and the time I entered my new count and moved on to something else. You’re going to have days like this when you’ve been writing practically every day for almost a month, but that doesn’t mean I like them. I really don’t. I don’t like when my ideas are scattered around in my brain and won’t make friends with other vital plot points.

It’s even hard to type all this out now. So let’s talk about love triangles.


Unfortunately, my novel has one. A big one. I do try my best to avoid them, but to be completely honest, Patrick literally popped up out of nowhere. He did not exist in the original story nor did I plan on Kim having any love interests other than Jim, the biology teacher. And then Patrick walked into the room with muffins, and everything changed.

Ah, now the connection appears.

They’re not his muffins – someone else made them, actually, and he just happens to like them and doesn’t care much about spoiling his lunch by inhaling a few during a faculty meeting.

Let’s make it quick and simple: Jim likes Kim but is afraid of romantic attachment for a plethora of complex reasons (reasons you will only discover by reading the book – sorry!). Kim doesn’t know if she is attracted to Jim romantically or because she is a psychiatrist and naturally wants to help solve his problems. Patrick sort of flirts with everyone, but it’s not his fault. He’s lonely and doesn’t know what to do about it. But he does like Kim, at least he thinks so, and Kim feels attracted to him because, well, because of the way he waves his hands around when he talks. It reminds her of her husband.

And that’s all I’ll say about that.

So – how does all this relate to muffins? And Writer’s Block?

Because as soon as I mentioned the word muffins, an endless realm of possibilities opened up in front of you. And you probably got a little hungry, too.

Funny how inspiration works that way.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 22

32,000 words and going strong. I’m going to need to keep averaging at least 2,000 words a day from now until next week in order to make sure I keep up and finish on time. I love my story and I really wish I could work on it more every day, but I’m trying not to push too far past my limits after the week I’m still recovering from.

It’s never a bad thing to take time to think over where you want to go next with your story, either. I take a little time at the end of each day to think about a scene I might want to work on or an event I know I want to happen at some point in the book. I’ve written a lot of the end and a big chunk of the beginning. It’s the middle I’m contemplating now.

book sitting

The interesting thing about this book is that there are a lot of separate stories and POVs that all have to connect by the end to make it work. I love Ally’s story, but I want to develop Tiffany’s a little bit more. She’s also a character that didn’t have as big of a role in the TV pilot I drafted a few years ago.

Character development isn’t the only element I’m brainstorming. I’m also torn between making the entire book split into two parts or split it into more than one book. I don’t want to pull a Stephenie Meyer and make it 600 pages long. But maybe that’s the only way it will work.

I’m so tired I can’t see straight. Can’t you tell?

The things we give up for our WriMos.

Love&hugs, Meg<3