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Early Mornings

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Does anyone else have a love/hate relationships with early mornings? I certainly do.

There are some fabulous things about getting up earlier than the rest of the world.

I love the quiet mornings and that first cup of hot coffee. Watching the sky turn from dark to light, just waiting for the sun to peek over the horizon is the best part of the day.

I get most of my work done first thing in the morning. I’ve discovered if I don’t wake up and write, it is more difficult to get back to it later.

Of course, there is the hate side too.

You know, those mornings when the 5:00 am alarm makes you want to throw it across the room and roll over in the nice warm bed. Except that your alarm is your phone and if you were to throw it then – no more phone.

Waiting for the coffee to get done at 5:00 am is one of the most difficult things. Since I mostly make it from hand, there is no prep work the night before so as I am half asleep I am navigating my Italian coffee pot.

Sometimes the muse is still asleep at 5:00 am and Facebook calls a little too loud. The coffee helps to wake her up and my morning journal pages nudges the muse but still, she comes kicking and screaming. Those are the rough days.

Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have a favorite time of day?

Dang Glad the Weekend’s Here

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In honor of the week’s end, I’ve decided to list some of the things for which I am grateful. Its too easy for me to get caught up in complaining about how long and tiring my week has been. Being grateful is something I can struggle with so here are a few things that come to mind:

I am grateful that that it is Friday and I have a couple of days off from work.

I am grateful that I will see my two grandchildren tomorrow, though I am not looking forward to the drive.

I am grateful for words that flow and especially when new characters pop up that will change the story in different and interesting ways.

I am grateful for good coffee.

I am grateful for a warm house on this cold spring night.

I am grateful for triple peanut butter ice cream when the craving hits.

I am grateful for the family and friends who have blessed my life. Things wouldn’t be the same without them.

and

I’m especially grateful for a husband who doesn’t hold it against me when I come home grumpy or spend too much time with the words.

I’m sure I am forgetting some things but this is a good start.

What are some things you are grateful for?

Counting Words

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If you will forgive the cliché, counting words is a writers bread and butter. There are word counts for everything. Each type of writing comes with a word length guideline. Every magazine has a different word length, often for each different genre that they accept.

Most of the challenges I have been taking on have been word count challenges.

My 500 words is a fabulous challenge that got me back into writing everyday. The only rule is to write 500 words each day.

NaNoWriMo is a word count challenge of 50,000 words in a 30 day time period.

Even Camp NaNoWriMo has a word count challenge,though the limit is set by each writer. I’ve set mine at 20,000 just to have some breathing room.

There is a lot to be said for writing a said amount of words each day but the one thing that these don’t talk about is word quality. Of course each of the above challenges I’ve mention run on the honor system so it is possible to write pure garbage and still complete the challenge. I know. I’ve done it.

At some point, I would like quality to win out over quantity. I am just going to believe all those fabulous writers who have gone before me when they say the quality will come. I read somewhere once that being a writer is the only profession where the apprenticeship involves writing a million words. I wonder how close I am.

I believe in garbage first drafts. There is something to just getting words down on paper. However, they can’t stay like that. It is my desire to spend much of my time working with those million words and honing them to the right word at the right time. I’m not good at it but as with anything, it takes practice. And more practice. And still more.

I think I’m intimidated by the words on paper. They are just so black and white. Who am I to change them? Didn’t I really say what I wanted to say the first time?

The answer is and always need to be no. I find splashes of inspiration in those words but they are always messy, even unruly. Messy words, chaotic sentences. This is where the real learning comes in. And the real writing.

I have a lot to learn.