One wall, coming up: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 10

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,769

Today’s blog count: 11

Total words written: 19,347

Total blog posts: 11


I am exhausted.

I just released my second book, Blizzard, today. Normally, I don’t write anything for at least a month (or, at the bare minimum, two weeks) after I finish a book. I use that time to mentally recharge, and I do everything but write: read, watch movies, catch up on TV shows, play video games. I admit to thinking about my next book, and I may take notes for future reference (on a note application on my smartphone, NOT my laptop), but that’s usually as far as it goes.

Now, due to my commitment to NaNoWriMo, I’m still writing in what would normally be my mental vacation. I didn’t realize how much of a toll it was taking until I had to literally push myself to reach my word quota for today. As in, writing and checking my word count every few hundred words, and pep-talking myself into finishing. “You can do it…good, you’ve gotten started…ou’re halfway through today’s quota…only six hundred more words…only 350 more words…only 200 more words…”

I’ve written a bit over my daily word count since I started NaNoWriMo this y ear, and it has been so tempting to just blow off today’s writing. But I know that if I do that, I’ll be tempted to blow off tomorrow…and maybe the next day…and then my vacation mindset will creep in and take over, and I won’t finish this year’s NaNoWriMo. Last year was the first time in seven years that I’d finished and “won” NaNoWriMo, and I’d like to continue that trend this year. So I’ll try to keep pushing myself to write, and hopefully I’ll drag myself across the finish line…with 50K words.

Also, this is my second post today for NaBloPoMo (the first was earlier today, about my book release).  Can I get extra credit?

Thanks for stopping by.




We interrupt the postings about NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo to bring you this important message:



My new book, Blizzard, drops today! *hits my Nae Nae* Since it’s a different genre, I’ve written it under a pen name, Tee Emdee (I have an author page for that pen name on Amazon and everything!).

I’ve been working on this before and during NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo, and it’s finally out to the masses…just in time for some holiday reading (Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving…it also makes a nice Christmas or Hanukkah gift! 😀 )

For those of you who’ve read The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (informally known as The Camille Chronicles), I introduce DEA Special Agent Sebastian Scott as a character who ends up playing  a crucial part in the resolution of the story. However, Blizzard takes place about five years prior to the events in The Camille Chronicles, when he was stationed in San Francisco.

From the blurb on the back:


Fresh on the heels of a major drug bust of the designer drug Blizzard, Special Agent Sebastian Scott of the Drug Enforcement Administration takes a long overdue trip home to Brooklyn, New York for a family reunion. What starts out as a pleasant gathering of his large, tightly knit Trinidadian family takes a dark turn as Nigel Pierre, Sebastian’s least favorite cousin, is arrested for possessing some Blizzard of his own. Out of his jurisdiction and with limited time and without his usual resources, a reluctant Sebastian must navigate family dynamics while he finds a creative way to clear his cousin’s name–without his family driving him crazy in the process.

I had a lot of fun revisiting this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook.

Want to try Sebastian Scott with little commitment? Check out the short story Undercover: A Sebastian Scott story. Only 99 cents!

Tell a friend or three. And thanks for stopping by!

Under The Wire: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 9

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,745

Today’s blog count: 9

Total words written: 17,578

Total blog posts: 9

I squeaked my word count under the wire today, as I spent most of my day preparing for tomorrow’s release of my new novel, Blizzard. I spun off a character from my previous book, The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille, and gave him his own story. I hope audiences enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Today’s writing on Fertile Ground (for NaNoWriMo) included more dialogue, where the two main characters were trying to sort through the puzzle pieces of their situation in order to figure out what was going on. I’m trying to figure out where I want them to go next: the plot will logically flow into the discovery portion, where the characters do some digging to either bolster their theories, or debunk them. I have to figure out how to get that done.

I’m not thinking of anything right now except going to bed; my mind is tired.

Thanks for stopping by.



Crucial Conflict: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 8

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,721

Today’s blog count: 8

Total words written: 15,833

Total blog posts: 8

Again, no video, so you’ll just have to read again today. 😀 (It’s kind of tiring to tape oneself every day. How do selfie aficionados do it?).

I broke the 15K mark today with 1,721 words, which brings my total to 15,833. I had to really push myself today to make my word count. Part of it was that I’d spent most of the day laying out my upcoming book, Blizzard (written under a pseudonym), and submitting it to CreateSpace. I didn’t have that much energy left (it’s a process), but I managed to get my word count in.

Today, my characters were arguing/fighting. Yesterday, I posted about a character’s shattered reality. Today, I went further into that shattering, into the anger part: the characters are lashing out at each other, trying to find a reason, some blame–something concrete onto which they can hold, so that the madness is less frightening. Maybe that’s another reason I feel so drained: writing all that anger and angst is not healthy, especially when I don’t have any going on in my own life.

I also started the events that lead up to the conflict, which will require some more belief suspension. But that will happen tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is going well, and that you are making progress on your writing, blog, or both.

Thanks for stopping by.


The Five Stages of Shattered Reality: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 7

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,976

Today’s blog count: 7

Total words written: 14,112

Total blog posts: 7


Happy  Friday! And Happy Day 7 of NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo! Can you believe it’s already been a week! Seven whole days…WOW.

No video today, and just a quick blog post, ’cause I’s dawg tired, Boss.

I have gotten over 14,000 so far:  that’s a good feeling. When I was writing today (after finishing the final touches on the final draft of my new book, Blizzard, which comes out next week),  I found myself entering the realm of disbelief. This is where the speculative aspect of my book comes in: I took a premise and ran with the “what-if”ness of it.

It’s always interesting to see/write a character’s reaction when the realize that their reality, the reality in which they’ve always been, is not quite as real as s/he thought. It’s even goes something along Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief:

  • Denial: “Nope, this is NOT happening.”
  • Anger: “How dare you even say/think/insinuate that this is happening?! Take it back!”
  • Bargaining: “Please God/Higher Power/Universe, if you stop this from happening, I swear I’ll______.”
  • Depression: “I can’t take this happening.”
  • Acceptance: “This is happening.”

I had some fun just gong with the flow, and got some amazing dialogue as a result.

I hope everyone is plugging along on their book, or blog, or both. Keep up the good work, and enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for stopping by.



Oh, the Morality: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 6

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,855

Today’s blog count: 6

Total words written: 12,136

Total blog posts: 6

Day 6 of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo…man, the days are flying by!

Today was another good writing day. I introduced a lot more dialogue (which I really enjoy writing). I also introduced some morality issues for my characters. My main character is pretty much a black-and-white person, while the secondary characters, in this particular situation, are more shades of grey.

This sets up an interesting conflict because the main character thought these other characters thought as she did, and she gets a rude awakening when she realizes that they don’t. They’re more “the end justifies the means” in this particular situation, and the main character is miffed to discover that these people she thought were like-minded, were more interested in practicing situational ethics and morality, as opposed to blanket ethics/morality.

Humans are like that, though. We are not black/white individuals, though many of us like to see ourselves that way. We are more shades of grey type of people, and pixelated shades of grey at that.) That’s part of why there is so much conflict in the world. THen again, the world would be a very boring place if we saw everything the same way.

Anyway, I’m off to put more finishing touches on my next book before I do the layout tomorrow, and then some basketball (whee! #GoSpursGo). Thanks for stopping by.




10K, BABY! NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 5

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,818

Today’s blog count: 5

Total words written: 10,281

Total blog posts: 5


I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet because…*drum roll* I hit the 10,000-word mark today! WOOT!

This is a pretty good way to wind down my day. Last year, I don’t think I reached the 10K mark so soon. I didn’t realize that the novel was cruising along so well. When I hit the wall (and I will–there are still 25 days left), I will remember this moment.

Today’s writing included the part where the crap hit the fan for one of my characters. Since he’s the antagonist/anti-hero, this has a ripple effect on the rest of the characters, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they respond. This gives me a bit more to work with, which is good. The more stuff I have to work on, the less painful hitting the wall will be.

The next badge on my NaNoWriMo page is at the 25,000-word mark. Pray for a sister.

Thanks for stopping by.


What’s my (character) motivation? NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo: Day 4

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,691

Today’s blog count: 4

Total words written: 8,463

Total blog posts: 4


Happy Voting Day! Here in the United States, it’s Voting Day. This is considered Midterm Elections, being that it occurs midway through the presidential term. It also tends to be a period of low voter turnout, because most people don’t see midterms as important as the presidential election.  But since political figures who impact our lives on a more day-to-day basis tend to be elected during midterms, they are as important, if not more, than a presidential election. So if you haven’t voted, please do so if your polls are still open. I don’t care who you vote for–just vote. People died so that you could.

Okay, that’s my public service announcement (PSA) for today. 😀 Back to the matter at hand: NaNoWriMo!

My writing today involved character motivation. I know why my protagonist does what she does, and that’s pretty obvious. What wasn’t obvious was that of my protagonist (or anti-hero: haven’t decided which he will be yet). When I put it on paper today, it made things a lot clearer and gave me some additional options for furthering the plot.

It’s always important to make your character’s motivation clear. It helps you, as a writer, get your plot right; and it helps your readers engage with the book. If your readers don’t get why a character is doing something, the plot falls flat, they don’t like the book, and they don’t buy the book. Which is not good.

Your character’s motivation doesn’t even have to be all that deep or psychological. For example, you could have a character that likes to beat people up. A deep motivation could be that he was abused as a child, and lashes out as a result, and any myriad reasons that could be found in the DSM-V Manual. Or, he could simply like to inflict pain. Everything doesn’t have to be an ocean; it’s more fun to splash in a puddle. 😀

Because I am writing a medical thriller, I think of the two best examples of medical writing in the past few decades: Robin Cook, and the late Michael Crichton. Cook wrote the seminal medical thriller with his first book, Coma (which was made into a movie) and wrote dozens more.  Crichton was the creative and writing force behind this little medical show. Maybe you’ve heard of it: it was called ER. 😀  He also wrote this movie and book called Jurassic Park, as well as the cool medical thrillers A Case of Need and The Andromeda Strain.

Anyway, I hope that you are making progress on your writing, or blog, or both. Keep on truckin’!

Thanks for stopping by.


Dialogue It (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo: Day 2)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30 

Today’s word count: 3,210

Today’s blog count: 2

Total words written: 4,944

Total blog posts: 2

Today was a pretty good day for writing! I wrote 3,210 words for my NaNoWriMo novel, which is a medical thriller. I got a lot farther than I thought I would, and I attribute that to dialogue. I am pretty good at writing dialogue, if I do say so myself, so it comes easily to me.

Dialogue is tricky; you really have to pay attention to how people really speak, versus how they should speak based on grammatical rules. It gets trickier hen dialogue is written for people who have known each other for a long time and/or are very comfortable with each other: there is a penchant for verbal shorthand that is sometimes augmented by nonverbal expression, and grammar tends to go out of the window (double negatives, anyone?). The key is keeping the dialogue true while making it accessible/understandable to readers.

I set up two key conversations that give hints to the plot. One was simply two friends running into each other in a store. The other was more complex and took more time: a layered conversation between a married couple. Setting those layers took more out of me, because no relationship exists in one dimension. In this case, a lot of things were triggered by what seems to be a simple decision on the surface; trying to convey those various emotions was an exercise, especially when buried emotions come to fore.

All that being said, I accomplished a lot today. I’m going to relax my mind with some NBA games, and a few rounds of Bejeweled Blitz, and perhaps a movie later. Meanwhile, I will work out tomorrow’s plot advances in my head.

Thanks for stopping by.



From the back to the middle & around again (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo: Day 3)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,828

Today’s blog count: 3

Total words written: 6,772

Total blog posts: 3

Today, I barely got in my designated word count: after walking almost seven miles (I’d been slacking on my exercise lately) and a glass of wine with dinner after a long, hot, shower, I had to really push myself to get my writing in today. Or rather, to get it down on paper/screen/keyboard.

[sidebar: when I do these videos, they are no filter: this is how I look when I am writing at home, and more appropriate for the nature of NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo. I am not glamorous during the writing process. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. :D]

Today was a patchwork kind of writing day: I was all over the plot. I wrote some of the end, some of the middle, some of the beginning–a new beginning, since my old beginning was the prologue, and is now chapter one. It was a bit disconcerting, jumping around like that, because I’m a pretty linear person: from point A to point B to point C. But if there is one thing that I’ve learned in the years of doing NaNoWriMo and also writing in general, is that you don’t have to write the book in a linear fashion from start to finish. It’s okay to write the beginning, or start in the middle, write some of the end, jump back to the end of the beginning or the beginning of the middle (or the beginning of the end). You will have a chance to knit all of the edges together into a cohesive novel when you do your rewrites. And you will rewrite it, more than once (I usually do 2-3, and sometimes four, drafts per book), if you are serious about your writing.

Still, I made pretty good progress; as always, there is the caveat of seeing how the rest of the month will progress as well. I made notes on where I want the plot to go next, which will be interesting.

I’m tired from my long exercise excursion today, and the wine didn’t help; I may nod off during tonight’s basketball game like I did last night (shoutout to the NBA League Pass archives!). I hope you all are making progress on your books, or blogs, or both.

Thanks for stopping by.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries