Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Day 12 #nanowrimo

Half-way point reached with 25,282 words, daily insights

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I reached the half-way point of the National Novel Writing Month creative project this morning at 11 a.m. with 25,282 words in the 50K word marathon.

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Needless to say that I am excstatic. I average six pages a day or 1,500 words. I am still working on historical fiction story “Silk Nora” (c) 2018 Emma Palova, which becomes a part of the new anthology “Secrets” (c) Emma Palova, a sequel to last year’s Shifting Sands: Short Stories.

I was delighted to find out about the different shoes from the 1920s like T-strap Mary Janes and Oxfords. Who said that research and history are boring? It depends on what you’re looking for.

I have a clear intention of seeing “Secrets” to print. There is a section “Now What?” on the #nanowrimo once you’re done with your 50,000 words. It will be supported in the months of January and February with the #NaNoNowWhat event to move along the revision and publishing process.

I am really looking forward to also chatting with #NaNoCoach Carolina DeRobertis on twitter this week. Not that I can take a breather, but it does feel good to reach the half-way point marked by a 25,000 word badge.

Excerpts

Nora was hesitant to speak.

“You want to talk to me, dear?” Doris encouraged her protégé to speak up.

“I know Doris, you’re single and you probably wouldn’t understand me,” whispered shyly Nora.

Doris straightened up in her chair and looked deeply at Nora’s face.

“I may be single, but that doesn’t mean I never had boyfriend,” she said.

The office was functional but pretty just like the rest of the dorms.

“I can’t attend high tea on Sunday,” Nora breathed heavily as got the dreaded words out of her.

Doris walked to Nora and put her hand on her shoulder.

“Look at me, Nora,” she said. “It isn’t a sin not to attend high tea. You know it’s not mandatory.”

“I know, but I don’t want to disappoint you, Doris,” said Nora teary-eyed, “or make you feel bad.”

“Nora, you’re acting up because of nothing, what is really going on with you?” Doris asked.

Nora had been secluding herself ever since that dance with Harry at the Rose Ballroom. She didn’t talk much with any other girls at the dorms or at work.

“You know my friend Harry?” Nora paused to think about her words.

“Yes, the newspaper writer, you danced with him at the ball,” said Doris. “What about him?”

“He asked me out to the movies this Sunday during your high tea,” said Nora sadly.

Doris sat back in her chair behind the desk.

 

Copyright (c) 2018 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Day 6 #nanowrimo

Daily insights from the National Novel Writing Month creative project

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By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I wrote and I voted, equally diligent, and in that particular order. I am a morning writer. I get up early, do my yoga, walk on the treadmill and meditate to get into the writing zone.

In today’s meditation, I found out that news can be a potential stressor. The Wrimos (Writers and pep speakers) reiterated the same statement; stay away from TV during the 50K word marathon through Nov. 30. Our friend Dave T. suggested the same in the congratulatory letter to Ludek’s U.S. citizenship:

“All I can say is pay little or no attention to the ‘Cat Fights’ that are played out in the glut of political ads found on television! They are an exerci$e in how to wa$te million$ of dollar$ to make TV $tation$ rich!”

I did however like Google’s Go Vote encouragement instead of the usual doodles or caricatures.

“I Voted, Google.”

After four hours of writing “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener”, my inner editor kicked in and started questioning my thought process and my morals. I knew I had enough of writing and I headed out into the misty day to the polls.

I was voter no. 511 voting at Precinct 1 at the Vergennes Township Hall at 1 p.m. The ballot was crowded with state and county proposals. I was perplexed by the last question asking for funding of the early childhood program. How was it funded before?

I walked on the wet boardwalk from the township hall and put the “I Voted” sticker on my winter jacket before I lose it.

After I recorded my thoughts on how to end the story that doesn’t seem like a short story anymore on the banks of Murray Lake, I was relieved to do a little bit of website updating for Fallasburg.

Anyway, I logged in 13,050 words lowering the daily quota to 1,448 words. That’s still a lot of intense writing. I had to skip some of the motivational talks on Instagram in order fullfill the quota.

It is my clear intention to publish the anthology “Secrets” (c) 2018 Emma Palova as a direct product of #nanowrimo. It is a sequel to my first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.”

Here are excerpts from “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener.”

Years went by faster than minutes on the clock on the wall, Sister Theophane went through more rigorous discernment. One Saturday afternoon, she decided to take a walk on the trails. She just followed the one that seemed familiar to her. There were the cherry trees on the left and the deer tracks on the right. The trail went a little up the hill and into another curve before the opening on top of the hill.

She stood by the bench under the big tree overlooking the rolling hills. The essence of that afternoon long time ago vaguely came back to her. Theophane could feel Kurt’s touch. She forgot completely what he looked like. They were too young back then to savor their memories.

Saddened by the moment, Theophane headed out on the trail looping back to the convent gardens. The gardening team was working along with other sisters. It was the Saturday work day. And the community was getting ready for another event.

Theophane was so immersed in her discernment and studies for the promotion, that she forgot what the event was.

“Hello, Sisters,” she said. “What’s the rush?”

“Mother, we have another 5K run coming,” said one novice. “Have you forgotten?”

Theophane looked into a distance bringing back that ominous 5K run many years ago.

“When is it?” she forced herself back into reality.

“In four weeks,” said the novice.

Theophane realized that by then, she would become the Mother of the Order. Karla passed away two months ago, and a directive came from the administration that Theophane will be taking over.

“You have only a few weeks to get ready for this important new service,” the note stated. “Don’t let your ambition get to you. Stay humble and pray.”

This time the ceremony was very private unlike the public final vows; no public was allowed. The chapel was full of other nuns and clergy.

Theophane kept her sister name. She learned to love and to respect it. From now on she would be leading the lively campus with many work teams. She would have to get acquainted with the team teams.

On a Monday, Mother Theophane went to introduce herself to the gardening team. As a girl she loved to garden. That all vanished with the increased requirements by the order.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude for your work that glorifies these gardens,” she said to the team. They bring so much joy to all of us.”

She noticed a tall tanned guy in the back.

Copyright (c0 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 4 #nanowrimo

Time change favors productivity of Wrimos with excerpts

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Lowell, MI -The time change favored the brave Wrimo writers of the National Novel Writing Month falling back an hour.

I started writing probably somewhere around 5:30 a.m. of the new time. The first signs of a new day came around 8:30 a.m. I logged in a total of  8,590 words with the short story “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener” from the new collection “Secrets” (c) copyright Emma Palova.

The way the story unraveled itself surprised even me as I was writing and the characters began to lead me into their lives. Thank you main characters Zita, mom Dona, boyfriend Kurt and Mother Karla.

I have a clear intention of publishing “Secrets” upon the completion of the 50K word goal of the National Novel Writing Month.

After the morning writing marathon, the day became quite a challenge with the regular Sunday routine broken not only by writing, but also by a visit to the Belrockton museum in search of inspiration. That’s where I discovered the poster for the cover of the new book, and a million ideas for a new story.

Another day of #nanowrimo is on the horizon, and I don’t have the luxury to run out of story fuel.

My parents Ella and Vaclav came over with brother Vas for an unusual Sunday afternoon visit. The rut of the Sunday visits from the old country of Czechoslovakia came back. Vas and mom were fighting.

I am grateful that we live close enough to visit, plus we had fun with my husband’s newly acquired fame thanks to his shining U.S. citizenship. Ludek even got a letter from one of his fans, Dave.

Here is an excerpt from “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener

Dona drove through the long alley of beautiful crab apple and oak trees. The crab apple trees were now in their late pink and white blossoms, so the petals were all over the dirt road leading to the Dominican campus. Dona passed the small red barn on the right with the apple orchard also in full blossom. The labyrinth of dirt roads took her to the main building. She knocked on the big heavy door again.

Mother Karla opened the door and welcomed the woman into her quarters. Sitting at a big desk with a cross behind her, Karla folded her hands and looked up at Dona. A rosary was intertwined between her fingers and wrapped around her right wrist.

This time, Dona was more composed. She dressed appropriately for a battle with what should become the new mother of her only child. Dona put on her best suit, a striped navy-blue jacket and skirt, and a white silk blouse. Golden bracelets were dangling from her left wrist, and Dona made sure she put the diamond ring on the correct finger of the left hand even though it was a little big.

An hour before Dona’s arrival, Mother Karla went through a different ritual of preparing for a dangerous guest. She prayed for a successful outcome. Karla too put on her best foot forward in her white garb.

“Speak about what brings you here,” Mother Karla said watching Dona closely.

Without wincing or fidgeting, Dona went straight to the point looking directly into the Mother’s eyes.

“I will not let my only child become a nun,” said Dona firmly. “There is no way, my child will be a nun; not while I am alive. It will happen only over my dead body. I will fight this. You lured her to this. She would have never done this on her own.”

Dona leaned back into the leather armchair crossing her slender legs. Mother Karla leaned forward over her desk toward Dona playing with the beads of the lavender-colored rosary. She inched her fingers toward the cross on the rosary.

“Why would I lure your child to the order?” asked Karla strictly.

Dona stood up and walked closer to the big desk breathing heavily into Karla’s face.

“You coaxed her into this with your lies and deceptions,” she attacked Karla.

Dona slammed her small fist in front of Karla’s face on the big desk. Karla stood up too and walked around the desk to stand face to face with Dona. Karla put her hands against her wide hips:

“First of all, I am a woman of cloth. I do not deceive or lie,” she said. “It is my highest duty to tell the truth to anyone who is seeking it.”

Dona was sobbing out loud now. She was trying to catch her breath before speaking again. Then, she collapsed back into the leather armchair.

“You’re stealing my daughter from me,” she wept. “You’re a thief.”

Copyright (c) 2018 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 3 #nanowrimo

National Novel Writing Month gets off to a great start

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Excerpts from “Secrets”- The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener

Lowell, MI – It’s already day three of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Today’s target goal is 5,000 words. With half of my third chapter or story done, I have passed that goal logging in 5,480 words.

Although stretching a bit beyond the target, some heavy hitters logged in 20k. I am happy with my progress since this is my first time participating in NaNoWriMo with the clear intention to get “Secrets”, sequel to my debut “Shifting Sands Short Stories” published.

It is also a double-donate Saturday to the creative project supported by major sponsors such as The National Endowment for the Arts. Here are some stats of participation:

  • Nearly 500,00 writers, including 100,000 kids and teens in our Young Writers Program.
  • More than 1,200 libraries and community spaces in our Come Write In program.
  • Nearly 1,000 Municipal Liaisons who organize in-person writing events in communities around the world.

For mor info how to donate go to: http://www.nanowrimo.org

I am delighted to share the following excerpt:

The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener

Zita touched her left cheek and ran her finger on a newly-formed pimple overnight. It will soon flare into a nasty red bump that may get infected. She smoothed her jean skirt tightly hugging her thighs covered by floral tights. Her straight brown hair was long. She always sat by the windows in any class to tame her phobias. She looked outside the window at the falling leaves. The harsh winter would come soon, and as always, she wasn’t prepared for it.

Gossip
Book cover for “Secrets” aka the Face of Gossip.

Teacher Bob was going over it again; the reproductive organs and sexual functionalities or dysfunctionalities. She had just turned down a date, and Bob was having too much fun in his sex education class.

The only reason Zita took the class was her mother Dona, who insisted on it.

“You will soon be dating, you need to know some things about your body,” Dona said.

“But, why can’t you explain it to me?” asked Zita at the suburban home in Green Heights.

When Kurt asked her out again, Zita snapped, “I am not dating yet. I am not ready.”

Kurt didn’t live far from her in the middle- class neighborhood. When they were kids, they played together, since she was the only child in the family.

“Go and play with Kurt,” Dona said.

Kurt, too, had pimples and a lot of them. He had dirty blond hair, straight nose and blue eyes. He was tall and well-built, so he was on the football team.

In the boredom of winter, Kurt asked Zita out to go to the movies. This time, Zita couldn’t resist as the days were getting shorter and shorter; she had read all the books she could.

It was busy inside the movie theater. Most people were suffering from the lack of sun like Zita was. Kurt bought popcorn and looked at her pretty figure with pleasure.

“I can buy some chocolate too, if you want me to,” he said tempting her.

“Yeah, right, you want me to be fat or what?” Zita snapped.

Ever since her hormones kicked in, Zita had trouble with weight. The constant dieting cycled with overeating.

“We can run around the hood together,” he said.

The thought of running around the neighborhood in Green Heights startled her. The people loved to gossip about each other’s diseases and faulty relationships; who had sex with whom and let’s not forget that dry drunk next door, who beats his wife.

“You want to stir the soup, ha?” she laughed.

“It will be good for your figure,” Kurt leaned toward Zita and put his arm around her shoulders.

 

Thanks to some of the sponsors of #nanowrimo. For a complete list go to nanowrimo.org

 

Copyright (c) 2018 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

November: National Writing Month

It’s time to write

 

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – This month was made for writing: no sun, no grilling, no walks to the Franciscan Sisters and no more kayaking. The temperatures have dipped below acceptable and the overall weather is not conducive to anything but writing.

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So, the designation as the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and its adopted sister National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) by BlogHer, is very appropriate.

I participated in the NaBloPoMo post a day challenge in November of 2015.

By searching for NaBloPoMo details, I actually found out about the

Face of gossip
Book cover to “Secrets” (c) 2018 Emma Palova

novel-writing project that was first. The goal is to write literature of any genre in 50,000 words by the end of November.

Considering that it’s nasty outside and I have to drive twice a week far out into the fields, why not use that time to record speech notes on my phone. The app transcribes speech to script, so I can talk forever.

At the basis, stands the fact, that I love a new challenge and I need to put a project together. Today I put together the long time in the making short story “Chief” and uploaded it to my Novel Writing account tallying in at 1,907 words.

What any writing challenge does is that it keeps you accountable.

You have to write every day and that way you get it done.

 

For more info go to: https://nanowrimo.org

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2018 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.