An Introduction to My Latest Novel [the NaNoWriMo 2018 edition]

I shouldn’t technically be writing this post because I haven’t finished the first draft of this novel. I have this unspoken rule that I don’t post about my novels until the first draft is done.

But here I am because we are in the middle of April Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 and I’m still trying to finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel. Yeah, the one I started in November 2018.

“You can write the flashy, here-are-a-bunch-of-aesthetic-collages, also-playlists, I-finished-the-rough-draft-of-my-novel, mwahahahahahah post after you finish this draft,” I told myself in November.

And here we are mid-April, and I’m writing the post with an unfinished draft anyway. You do the math (not that there’s actually any math to be done–I just wanted to say that).

It’s not a terribly long book (at least not right now in the first draft)–only 55,000 words at this point with probably another 10k to go before the end. I just… have been terrrrrrrible about finishing it (the number of r‘s used increases the weight of a word like “terrible,” in case you didn’t know).

But I’m trying to finish it this month.

Granted, I’ve only written a grand total of 1300 words since the start of the month, which isn’t the most auspicious start, but this book and I already have a history of rallying after an unimpressive start (like that time I wrote only 13,000 words in three weeks and hit the last week of November and wrote like 37,000 words so I could actually finish NaNo… even if I didn’t finish the book).

ANYWHO. Enough of this rambling introduction. Enough waxing eloquently (or not so eloquently) about where this novel has or has not gone. Enough looking back on the set and failed goals of the past four months.

*goes on to say “enough” this or that for another few paragraphs*

I give you my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel (no, I’m not actually giving it to you; that would be awful because it’s still a mess; I’m introducing you to it)!

latest novel 1

Title: Ritter André or To the Red Oceans and Beyond.

Genre: Sci-fi, space opera, aliens, interpersonal drama, space battles, etc.

Wordcount: 55k and climbing (in case you forgot, I haven’t finished the first draft yet).

How long have you had the idea?

I’ve had the idea for almost two years now. To the Red Oceans and Beyond is actually set in the same storyworld/galaxy as my flash fiction collection (Stars and Soul, for the uninitiated), and I got the idea at the same time as those stories.

At first, I thought about it as a flash fiction…. but it was too big. So I started thinking about it as a shorty story. And then a novella. And then finally a novel when I realized how much was going to go on.

Describe what your novel is about!

Hahahahaha, this is the part where I give you as little information as possible because I’m terrrrrrrible at talking about my books and stories (note the r‘s again).

To the Red Oceans and Beyond is about a young criminal investigator who goes to the end of worlds to rescue his kidnapped best friend from a mysterious criminal organization.

Plus, like, aliens, intergalactic drama, and a shipload of interpersonal drama.

Describe your book’s aesthetic!

This is really what this post is for: giving aesthetics, moods, and visuals and not any real information about the story.

~ cityscapes puncturing the atmosphere ~ glowing wires ~ ringed planets ~ solar flares ~ sleek black ~ blue and red tech ~ desolate moons ~ aliens ~ space walks ~ red oceans ~

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Ritter André: my main character and intergalactic criminal investigator. Sometimes I think he’s a product of my mad genius; sometimes I think he’s cardboard. Time will tell.

ritter collage 1

Ritter’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Erick Ikehara: intergalactic criminal investigator and Ritter’s best friend (the one who gets kidnapped); fierce with lots of past hurt; legendary reputation (not that I’m going to tell you why he’s got a legendary reputation, though).

erick collage 1

Erick’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Oberon: a smol, mysterious hackery genius who teams up with Ritter.

oberon collage 1

Oberon’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Philippa: an exiled contender for the throne of the empire spanning half the galaxy; possibly a sociopath.

philippa collage 1

Philippa’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Agrippa (I clearly need to get these names out of my system before I have offspring): a dangerous hacker; also happens to be an Artificial Intelligence with questionable intentions.

agrippa collage 1.jpg

Agrippa’s collage; I own none of the pictures

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

  • Put on a playlist
  • Pin some more pins to my Pinterest board (somehow we’re at 292 pins on this board; don’t know how that happened; probably wasn’t me)
  • Gloat over the portion of the novel that’s already been written
  • Cringe at the portion of the novel that’s already been written
  • Create some character ships that will never actually work in the story
  • Write a completely different story
  • Envision the theatrical trailer
  • Dream of snippets from the sequel
  • Dream of snippets for the epic trilogy conclusion (not that this is actually a trilogy, mind you; it’s supposed to be a standalone, but don’t crush my dream)
  • Etc.

You know, all the usual procrastination stuff.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

A certain stolen starship (yet to be named; when it is named, you can bet it will be named something equally weird brilliant as everything else in this novel).

Red oceans. Designing worlds is one of my favorite things, and sometimes I get a little drunk on power and throw something like red oceans into the mix just because I can. And then it somehow gets worked into the title because it becomes a super huge deal in the book.

Outer space. Gotta love it, my dudes.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Ritter André (that name, though [“Ritter” means “knight,” and “André” means “manly” or “brave warrior” {You: “Isn’t that a little over-the-top?” Me: No comment.}]) spends most of the novel trying to unravel the kidnapping of his best friend and fellow criminal investigator Erick Ikehara.

However, Ritter’s own government has given Erick up for dead, so Ritter must go around the system he cherishes to track a criminal organization spanning the galaxy without starting an intergalactic incident.

What are your book’s themes?

Friendship. Extra-familial brotherhood (i.e. – the deep bonds of family that can be shared between those who don’t share the same blood; think David and Jonathan, Holmes and Watson, Frodo and Sam, Kirk and Spock). Endurance. The nature of morality.

That’s what’s shown up so far.

Playlist.

There are actually several playlists, one for each character (I’m known in some circles as The Playlist Queen, so we all had to know there wasn’t going to be just one playlist). There is some overlap in the songs, and none of the playlists are very long yet, but I’m pretty in love with them.

Ritter | Erick | Philippa | Oberon | Agrippa

Now I just need to finish the novel.

Minor detail, but I should actually finish this thing. I’ve been stuck on the cusp of the climax for like four months now.

Part of it is that life’s been crazy (moving and such), part of it is needful rest, and part of it is not being able to press past being uninspired to finish it. But inspiration or no inspiration, I’m finishing this book. It’s going to need some revisions, but I won’t quit now.

So I’m actually go do that for a little bit since I’ve exhausted all avenues of procrastination.

What is your current project? What does your creative process look like?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – these questions were ripped off of the old Beautiful Books tag put on by Cait and Skye.

p.p.s. – I think I used a record amount of parenthetical statements in this post, and I don’t even care (I was clearly In A Mood or something when I wrote this entire post).

7 Questions To Ask During NaNoWriMo [especially if it’s tough and before you gut yourself for how bad it’s going wordcount wise]

Day thirteen of NaNoWriMo.

For the peasants (aka: regular people) who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month—an event that now spans the globe as writers from all walks of life and stages in the writing journey attempt to write a whole new novel in one month (or, at the very least, 50,000 words in one month).

This is my third and worst NaNo. Last year, I wrote the first draft of False Gods during NaNoWriMo, and it seemed like I had struck a healthy balance of imbalance (trust me, that will make sense in a moment I hope).

Some days I would write 8,000 words in a day. And sometimes I’d write only 17. I wanted to write that story so badly, was so ready to get it rolling. I never felt burned out of it or uninterested in it; some days there was just too much going on in the rest of life and I was fine with writing very little. Other days it just sort of exploded.

‘Tis not so with NaNoWriMo 2018.

In case I’m not the only one having trouble, here are seven questions to ask yourself during NaNo, especially if the going is rough.

 

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I. Have you picked the right story?

Maybe your idea isn’t ripe yet. Perhaps it needs to simmer for a while longer. This leaves you with a few options.

You can A) try to finish the story anyway, but I warn against this because while art requires discipline, it isn’t something you can force.

B) Try writing another novel, but you probably shouldn’t expect to finish this new one before the end of the month unless you generally draft a novel in just a few days.

C) Write some short stories instead, contributing those words to your NaNo wordcount.

D) Don’t finish NaNo. This is actually fine. It sounds like a sin for some reason (probably because we writers are a bit obsessed), but the world won’t end, my friends.

E) Continue working on the story at a much slower rate, one that allows the idea to grow.

II. How much time are you spending on social media?

For me, the answer is usually way too much. I have grand plans of cutting myself off from social media, but alas they never seem to come to fruition. My copy of Deep Work glares at me from the bookshelf. (Oh, right. I’m writing a blog post about that book, aren’t I?)

However, all of my writer friends live far away, and we connect most easily on social media. So for word wars and encouragement and such, social media is incredibly helpful.

But. Alas. It’s so easy to get pulled into the scrolling quicksand. And then all sorts of life-sucking things like comparison, zoning out, etc. creep in and… ahem, suck the life out of you.

I’ve found that lack of creativity is often directly related to a surplus of time spent in the depths of social media. So if you’re feeling drained, uninspired, depressed, or all of the above, maybe take a break from your social medias for a few days. Or limit your time to fifteen minutes to see if that helps.

III. Are you starving yourself creatively?

Sometimes I get into this rut where I think if I’m working on a story, I can’t enjoy other people’s stories. As if I don’t have the time right now or I’ll reward myself with a book or movie after NaNo is over.

Typically, this starves me.

Reading is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating things for my imagination, and movies provide a break to simply take in a story visually. When I read for even just a half hour, my creative blood flows more easily.

Perhaps you’re like me. Maybe you need story input in order to have story output at a high rate.

IV. Are you feeding yourself the wrong brand/genre of creative food?

Are you reading/watching/drawing a bunch of things that get your mind exploding in a different genre?

Variety is important in a creative’s diet, but sometimes—like when you’re drafting a new novel–it’s important and helpful to guard your imagination from the wrong genre of inspiration. There are some stories that you know ignite your imagination for a certain brand of story.

The Lord of the Rings will never not inspire me to write epic fantasy.

Dracula will (apparently) never not inspire me to write a steampunk vampire story that’s basically just a fan fiction of Dracula. (Seriously, guys. I have been blown away by Dracula. I was expecting to not like it, but I think it’s better than Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Grey combined.)

The Lion King will never not inspire me to work on False Gods.

The new Star Trek movies (as wild and crazy and sloppy as they can be) will never not inspire me to get to work in the Stars and Soul storyworld (which also happens to be the same storyworld as my NaNo novel this year).

So consume the stories that jumpstart your creativity for this NaNo story. Know the music, books, and movies that make you squirm to create something in the genre of your NaNo novel… because then, hopefully, it will give you more energy to create your NaNo novel.

V. What else is going on in your life that affects your art?

Are you in college? Studying for exams? Preparing to move? Settling in after a move? Working extra hours? Taking care of a newborn? Remodeling the house?

For me, the things that are affecting me the most are my upcoming move to Texas, all the things I want/need to do/say before I make the move, and the release for Stars and Soul (November 20, my dudes).

Stories have always been a sort of refuge for me, and in the past I’ve viewed writing as a sort of refuge, blocked out from the rest of the world. But I know now that my writing is intimately tied to the rest of my life.

If this NaNo is hard, don’t beat yourself up for it. Take a step back to see what in this season of your life is affecting you. It’s important to remember that you are not the same person you were last November. Your life is not the same it was last November. And your life will not be the same next November.

Don’t expect to create in the same way, with the same speed, with the same ease as you have in the past.

VI. And what about God?

Is your relationship with God—the time and attention and desire—suffering because of NaNoWriMo?

Are you writing with God, or are you going at it alone? Are you making time for Bible reading, personal worship, and prayer? Or are those spiritual disciplines—the lifeblood of our relationship with God—getting axed? And it likely isn’t that you don’t want to be steadfast with God; it’s just that work, school, writing, sleeping, etc. quickly crowd those disciplines out.

It is so easy for the glittering, heavily caffeinated fun of NaNo and the new novel and the word wars and the Pinterest board and these characters to silently, deftly, speedily displace Jesus in our minds and hearts.

So think about this question. Dwell on it. Pray about it. Don’t shy away from God or your own heart. Be honest.

Or maybe things have never been better with God. In which case, savor him.

VII. Do you have to draft a new story this month? What is motivating you?

I.e. – why are you doing NaNo? Is it because you’ve always done it? Is it a matter of writer pride? Something all the other writers talk about that you wanted to try? Because you have a story that just needs to be written?

Check your heart. It’s not that any of these are bad reasons to do NaNo. It’s just that it’s okay to not write a new story this month.

Basically, even if NaNo isn’t going as you imagined it would, and you see your friends splattering their 40,000 words all over social media, it’s okay. It. is. okay.

Your life is not writing. Your identity is not writing. You’re no less a writer if you don’t finish your novel this month. You’re no less a writer if you don’t write 50,000 words this month.

And maybe not finishing NaNo is failure.

I won’t say that it isn’t because your definition of failure depends on your definition of success. For some, not finishing NaNo will be failure. In which case, good because it needn’t be a bitter failure. Better for it be a failure that teaches you your weaknesses and limitations rather than it be a “success” that leaves you stress-ridden, depressed, snappy, and unfocused on what will always matter (i.e. – God and other people).


This NaNo’s been tough for me. At the time of this post writing, I’m little over 8,000 words for the month (I should be at 20,000). I’ve gotten stressed about it (surprise, surprise), and I need to daily take a step back and ask myself these questions. Especially those last three.

If you’re doing NaNo and it isn’t going well and you’re stressed, hopefully these questions will help you work through some of that stress.

So, friends. Are you doing NaNo? How is it going? What are your thoughts/advice for when NaNo is tough?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – people have asked to see the Stars and Soul Pinterest board. You, my friends, are going to get the link first. <3

p.p.s. – yeah, no High Command memo went out last week. It’s just one of those things that may not happen again until I’m in Texas.

Camp NaNoWriMo & All That Jazz [aka: an explosion of all my craziness about my WIP]

April Camp NaNoWriMo came to a close last Monday, and I’m happy to say it was a successful month for me!

[Warning: Kat from Sparks of Ember gave me permission to just be myself here on Penprints, so the proverbial hair is coming down. Prepare yourself for a super casual post full of run-on sentences and my explosive excitement for my WIP.]

camp nanowrimo and all that jazz.jpg


Now, for those of you wondering what Camp NaNoWriMo is, here’s the short version: “NaNoWriMo” is slang for “National Novel Writing Month”. National Novel Writing Month is a virtual event that takes place every November where writers around the world try to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and July and has a similar idea except you can join virtual cabins with nineteen other writers where you can chat, compare your goals, word war and such. And speaking of goals, you set your goal any way you want for Camp. Lines, hours, minutes, words, pages, etc.


I had planned to continue pulling teeth working on Beasts for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I set myself a goal of 55 hours. Three days before Camp started, I decided that Beasts and I needed to take a break and come back to reevaluate our relationship after we both had some time away (why, yes, I did just refer to Beasts and I as a “we”, as if Beasts was another person and not a figment of my imagination. #unashamed) Unfortunately, at present, it seems like it’s a toxic relationship. Hopefully this detox from each other will bring us around to a better state of mind and heart. Hopefully.

So I had to scramble for a project for Camp. Should I just write a bunch of flash fictions? Finish a sci-fi short story that’s been rolling around in my head for months? Revisit Flickering Lights and finally make decisions about its fate? Not do Camp at all??

Ha. None of that happened.

Instead, I went straight for False Gods, the novel I drafted last November (during normal NaNoWriMo). Because I’d been dying to get back to it (no, I have not been mentally cheating on Beasts, hush) since December 1, 2017.

So I stowed my Beasts notes and playlist and pulled up the False Gods Pinterest board, the character playlists, and the embarrassingly rough first draft that I somehow still adore even though it’s a complete mess.

An Example Of What A Mess This First Draft Is:

*second week of NaNoWriMo 2017*

*in the midst of drafting False Gods for the first time*

*my small group was also in the midst of a study on the book of Acts and we had just finished the part where Paul is on Malta, a snake comes out of the fire, bites him in the hand, the natives expect him to swell up and die, and then he doesn’t die because God*

Me: *whining* I don’t know why this character is going on this trip with them! I don’t want him on this trip! He ruins the whole dynamic!

Daddy: What if a viper bites him, he swells up, and dies?

Me: Haha, psh. You’re cute. No, I would never do that. *laughs* That would be ridiculous.

*literally 20 minutes later*

“… So-and-so let out a sharp cry. A viper hung from So-and-so’s calf…”

And yes, this character definitely swelled up and died on the spot. Problem = solved. Don’t worry, kids. I’m a professional.

Anyway, April began with a huge bang and kept right on steamrolling. About halfway through, I lowered my goal from 55 hours to 50 hours because there were a few days when I had far better things to do than work on False Gods (and if I’m saying that about The Novel That I Love, you know it’s true).

With the help of my amazing cabin, I made it to my goal of 50 hours by the end of April, and I made so much progress!… sort of… okay, so, looking back at where False Gods was at the start of April, I’m like, “Woah!! I’ve done so much work on it! It’s come so far! Woohoo! FULL SPEED AHEAD!”… but then when I think about having spent 50 hours (50 HOURS) of work on it, I’m like, “How is this all that’s gotten done in 50 freaking hours of work??!”.

So here we are.

I’m going to briefly share a few things—we’ll  call them fun facts—that have happened with False Gods over the month of April.

  • I read and annotated the first draft.
  • Existing plot points and new plot points went on index cards and were arranged into the semblance of a plot. (Side note: why the heck do we even have plots? Who needs them? *distant sobbing*)
  • I dug into Asha (my main character who I adore) and his past, figuring out more of his history and emotional wounds and such. (Hint: hurt people hurt people, people.)
  • I dug into Adele (my secondary POV character) and her past a little more, but she’s been in my head longer than Asha, so I already knew more of her history, but I was able to smooth some things out with her.
  • Asha and Adele were classified and explored according to their personality. Asha’s a rebel according to the four tendencies and a ESTP according to the Meyers-Briggs system. Adele’s an upholder according to the four tendencies and an ISFJ according to Meyers-Briggs. (Yeah, they ended up as almost complete opposites. #oops.)
  • While working on Asha’s brain, I compiled a list of his flaws and his virtues because that’s what professionals do. It turns out that he has eight flaws and counting. His only virtue is his wicked sense of humor, which I don’t think actually counts, especially since “wicked” describes it perfectly.
  • Despite how depraved it turns out Asha is, I still like him, and I think other people will too.
  • Adele, on the other hand, has seven virtues and counting with only three flaws.
  • I cemented down some of the major history for my storyworld (particularly, Asha’s heritage).
  • I finished sorting through an entire book of baby names and compiled a complete list of characters and why they’re there.
  • I revised the first sixteen chapters (part one) of False Gods.
  • A rough map of the storyworld has been drawn.
  • I did some focused work on Adele’s POV voice and settled on a tone that suits her.
  • 47 hours into Draft Two, I finally came roaring out of the honeymoon phase with False Gods (meaning: I started to despair about how much work it needs, began to hate it, etc.).
  • 52 hours into Draft Two, I zipped right back into the honeymoon phase. (Something about these characters, people. I can’t hate them or ignore them.)
  • I realized that False Gods is indeed the correct title for this story. If you remember from my recap post from NaNoWriMo 2017, I wasn’t sure if it suited Asha’s story after I brought Adele out of her story and into his. Spoiler alert: oh, it works.
  • Speaking of Asha’s story, I also figured out that Asha is indeed my main character. One would think I would have already known this, but alas. For a while there, I wasn’t sure which of them was my main character because they both have so much at stake, are so dear to me, etc., etc.. But then I realized that this isn’t about the mortal who goes toe-to-toe with an immortal pantheon; this is about the immortal who gets defeated by a mortal. This is about a dude who actually thinks he’s a god and all the lies he believes that have to be unraveled for him to become truly great. So, yeah, that was just nice to finally get sorted out in my brain.
  • False Gods is not subtle. At all. Most of my flash fictions have been fairly indirect in how they reflect Christ. That’s not at all the case with False Gods; the themes are very direct, born from a season in my life that’s felt like a spiritual wilderness. I’ve come to terms with the fact that while I want to write subtle fiction, False Gods is just not one of those stories. It never has been, and it never will be.

Anyhoo. That was a crazy long post, and it’s not even helpful or anything like that. It’s just me spazzing my way from one thought about April and False Gods to another like a rabbit on caffeine (Out of Time series reference, yo).

Part of me is like, “Oh, this level of hyper is probably incoherent and/or annoying”, but then the rest of me is like, “Lol, do it anyway.”.

SO. This is one of the things I’m super jazzed about right now. What is something you’re excited about right now? A project? A trip? A novel?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – thanks again to Kat for telling me I don’t always “have to be on” here on the ol’ blog.

P.P.S. – don’t forget to sign-up for the 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash and check out the giveaway that’s currently running.

An Introduction to My Latest Novel (the nanowrimo 2017 edition)

So I wrote a new novel last month. I’m pretty jazzed about it (it’s a major mess right now, but I’m ignoring the First Draft Disaster and basking in the satisfaction of it being well on its way to Wonderful).

Today I’m going to introduce you to it as much as I’m able. I’m going to be using some of the questions from the Beautiful Books link up put on by Cait and Sky.  Let’s get to it.

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~ What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea? ~

I don’t know even know what inspired the original bits for this novel. Over two years ago, I somehow (I have no remembrance how) ended up thinking about wolves and a medieval mage with a strong sense of justice who traveled between worlds.

And then a little over a year ago in my imagination wanderings, I came across a sassy creature who was worshiped as a god and in dire need of a humbling experience.

And then a few months ago, lightning struck my brain…

~ Describe what your novel is about! ~

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to give some sort of blurb.

Lol, that’s not gonna happen.

I cannot currently write an understandable blurb about this novel (I know, we’re all so despairing), but here’s the general gist: I plucked my world-tromping mage out of her travels, dropped her in the sassy so-called god’s world, and pitted them against each other. Thus, this novel was born.

~ Introduce us to each of your characters. ~

Adele is my mage. She’s… so amazing. The natives call her the Moon One for her pale skin, moon tattoos, and the crescent moon on the hilt of her sword (between you and me, the sword’s pretty amazing too). She travels to various worlds to set captives free and make truth known (aka: JUSTICE) in the name of her Lord. And sometimes she’s a wolf.

adele collage

adele 

Asha is my sassy creature who thinks he’s the god of fire and ardor (among other things). He’s the eldest of fourteen siblings, each with unique power which they refer to as their “birthrights”. Asha’s birthright is fire (hint: his power with fire is not limited to the everyday candle variety), and he’s been worshiped by the humans of his world as a god in the pantheon since he was born thirteen hundred years ago. Worship and bad parenting have made him quite the something-something who thinks quite a lot of himself.

asha collage 1

asha

~ List three things about your novel’s setting. ~

1. The myrtle tree. There are many myrtle trees, but I’m talking about the myrtle tree have fun figuring out what that means. Lots of things go down at the ol’ myrtle tree. Most of the book occurs in a landscape similar to the near to mid-east of our world, hence myrtle trees among other pieces of beautiful near and mid-east landscapes. But this myrtle tree is a special one.

 2. A river that was bent to flow in a circle by one of Asha’s younger sisters (Gomti, the water goddess). (And, no, the river does not have a name; I’ll figure something out in the next draft.)

 3. The temple of Chanderkala. Chanderkala is the ruler of Asha’s family of gods (he also happens to be Asha’s father, but they have issues–father/son/firstborn problems), and his glittering temple sits in the heart of Chena, the holy city of the humans where they worship Asha and his various fellow so-called gods. Just like the myrtle tree, Chanderkala’s lavish temple is also the setting for many pivotal scenes.

~ What’s your character’s goal, and who (or what) stands in the way? ~

Asha’s goal is to become the ruler of the gods. His father (Chanderkala <—–that name though; it’s so over the top, just like Chanderkala himself) and Adele stand in Asha’s way.

More than anything, Adele wants to hear the voice of her Lord one more time, but she doesn’t know what’s in the way (spoiler alert: it’s herself, and later on, Asha).

~ What are your book’s themes? ~

– Spiritual dry season. Dealing with loneliness and silence. Remembering the truth you knew in the beginning. You are not meant to be alone, and you are not alone. –

– Owning weakness. Living alive. You are not the end all be all. Lose your life for His sake and save your soul.  –

Perhaps that’s too many themes, but those are the things that kept cropping up as I went through the characters and story. I guess we’ll see what it looks like after a few rounds of edits. You can read some of the verses at the heart of this story here, here, here, here, and here.

~ And is there a title? ~

Um, that would be a no. Back when they were two separate stories, Adele’s was called Howl and Asha’s was False Gods. Now that it’s become one story, neither title seems to fit, and I can’t come up with another one to save my life. For now, I refer to it as False Gods in all my notes and such, but that title is likely to change as soon as I can come up with a better one.

And that’s about all I’ve got.

What about you?? Did you write a novel for NaNoWriMo? What’s it about? For my non-writer friends, did you have any big projects you tackled in November??? Also, any title ideas for me?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – if you want to check out a really amazing novel that was written for NaNo this year, stop over by Katie Grace’s blog to see the info about her superhero novel (that is, if you haven’t seen it yet).

P.P.S. – have any of us really gotten over the cover for Fawkes? (No, no we have not.)

P.P.P.S. – tomorrow I start in on edits for Beasts. Send help.

P.P.P.P.S. – so this whole “p.s.” thing is getting a bit excessive, but I just want to publicly acknowledge that I used way too many parentheses in this post. Wait, actually, that’s impossible (mwahahahaha!).

The Giant No November Post 2016

November is my big “get stuff done” month (supposedly) which means I have to cut other stuff out to get that stuff done. Or I’m just cutting it because I feel like it/it needs to happen/it will make me feel more productive but it really won’t.

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No NaNo November.

Yes. Another year of not doing the famous Nation Novel Writing Month. I’ll be in Nepal for the first ten days of the month, and I’m not in the mood to edit more NaNo words in the near future (aka: I don’t want to edit another first draft because my rough drafts tend to be plotless).

No Makeup November.

I don’t wear a ton of makeup—some concealer around the ol’ eyes, eyeshadow (sometimes), eyeliner, and mascara. Okay, true, I can go a little crazy with the eyeshadow and do all sorts of colors (purple, peeps, I can’t help it that I’m addicted to purple eyeshadow), and I like to use dark eyeshadow colors as eyeliner. And, yes, sometimes I end up looking like a raccoon on bad days, but I find makeup to be a fun thing (usually). Anyway, I usually try to take a month off from makeup every year just to remind myself to be confident without it. This year, that month is November. So bye-bye, my beloved purple eyeshadow.

No Dessert/Candy/Sweets November.

This includes that cookie dough I have stashed in the freezer. And ice cream and pie. And Grandma’s wonderful Thanksgiving apple slices. And chocolate and peanut butter cups. And frappes. And hot chocolate. Oh, it hurts. Yeah, it’s going to be rough. I thought about adding peanut butter and egg nog to the list, but the very thought made me go into withdrawal. This is a (painful) exercise in self-discipline can I go cry somewhere now?.

No Subway November.

When it rains, it truly pours. That’s right. I’m spending all of November without my beloved Subway. I may or may not eat a tuna sub on Italian herbs and cheese from Subway at least once a week. I may or may not have had Subway three days in a row three times in October. I have a rewards card and everything. Let’s not go into how many free footlongs I’ve earned over the last year and half since I got my rewards card. Well, no Subway in November. Guys, November hurts.

No Penprints November.

Say what?

Yeah… November is my blogging break for 2016. Well, it’s my official break. We all know I’m prone to unexpected and completely random silences (like the first two weeks of this month). I know this is a painful announcement for all of us, but I have to believe that we can make it through November without Penprints every Monday (somehow, we’ll push on).

I’m taking the Penprints break because I want some time off from the blog without feeling guilty (yes, I actually feel guilty if I leave you guys hanging for weeks on end without notice), and I’m trying to focus on finishing Draft 3 of Beasts before the middle of December.

You can keep up with my napping adventures by following me on Twitter or liking my Facebook page (and there’s always #bookstagram).

I’ll be back the first week in December with some advent posts (I’m super jazzed about those), and they’ll be on Sundays instead of Mondays just for December because it’s advent. And that’s all for today, kids.

Are you giving up anything in November? What?

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

Do you have any end of year goals?

P.S. – by the time you read this, I’ll be in India.

P.P.S. – I know I said this was a “giant” post, but it’s really not… less than 600 words. Yes, a Penprints post under 600 words. Shocking.