Day 17 (Out Of My Element)

APR. 26TH – 2,077 WORDS

This morning was really a test, let me tell ya. The guy I went to high school with (mentioned him earlier) sat in my seat at Jumpin’ Java. And, I know technically it’s not my seat, but come on. Due to my OCB, my comfort zone was all off. I kept trying to concentrate on writing, but kept wondering if he did it on purpose! Even had his pen and paper writing himself. We never talked in high school, so why would he try to get my attention now? I pondered this the whole time because I couldn’t really focus even through I jotted words on the paper.

Then, oh my goodness, I ordered my peanut butter and jelly; it had a big, ole, nasty pickle on the plate taunting me. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate pickles. If I smell them, I lose my appetite. Ugh so gross. I threw my food away, and pickle juice fell onto my foot (I wore flip-flops). I almost threw up; you have no idea how bad it was today, smelling pickle all day. Couldn’t wash my foot because I didn’t have lotion–can’t walk around with one ashy foot.

Plus, I was still sick. Could my day get any worse? If I could write a little over 1,000 words through all of those distractions, then I can only imagine how productive I can be when putting my head down and getting to work. During my lunch break, I wrote also. Had lost my appetite from the medicine I was taking. I figured the more I wrote now, the less I’d have to write at home. I was so tired and just wanted to go to bed (after Vampire Diaries of course).

By the time I reached home, I had already jotted down about 1,182 words. So I sucked it up and wrote more. I’m at a scene that really interests me. The characters finally came across the first dead body. Dun, dun, dun…I think I stalled writing that part because I figured once I get to the killings, it’s basically a straight shot. And, I’ll be done my story in a short amount of time. I think the days left of NaNo I should finish at the right mark, instead of finishing early.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 16 (No Excuses But I Was Really Sick)

APR. 25TH – 0 WORDS

I debated all day if I wanted to write or not because I was in excruciating pain! I’m very sensitive to pain (can be a big baby even); that’s why I’m proud of myself for not crying when I got my tattoo on my hand. Anyway, my mind focused on feeling miserable and I couldn’t get out of my funk.

No writing in the morning. Once I got home, I went straight to bed, telling myself I need the day off. I’ll just make up word count over the weekend. I mean I know it’s in me to bust out over 3,000 words if I want to in a day. Of course, I woke up for an hour to watch Law and Order: SVU, then went straight back to sleep. I could’ve written during that hour, but didn’t feel like it.

So yes, I managed to get two zero word counts for this whole NaNo challenge. Hopefully, there won’t be any more. I probably jinxed myself hee hee.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

P.S. Since this writing challenge is almost over, I’ve been browsing AW and blogs again to look for more books for my reading challenge. I still have to read that fantasy book someone recommended a long time ago–haven’t forgotten about it. I’m cheap; I can’t lie, so it’s taking all of me to consider paying $9.99 to $11.99 for a fiction book. Been browsing Goodreads too, so will consider books from there as well (will start a different category after my first book review from this site).

Day 15 (Chill Pill)

APR. 24TH – 1,857 WORDS

At Jumpin Java, I met with Robin and Melissa again. Instead of my usual peanut butter sandwich, I ordered a turkey one. Big mistake–the meat was fine, but whatever fancy bagel they put it on was disgusting. It’s not their fault that I’m a picky eater; lesson learned: stick with what I know I like.

No writing again in the morning, but we talked about the stories we’re submitting to the writing contest (due by May 1st). So it was still a productive day, offering critiques. I saw another guy I had graduated with; he sat right next to our table. Once again, what do you say to someone you haven’t seen in over 12 years? Speaking of high school, today I visited Jefferson to attend my brother’s track meeting. They are on their way to Charleston for Regionals. Good luck Cougars!!!

I was so out of my element today because I only had 4 pages left of my notebook, and all my pens dried up. I hate writing in pencil–everything smears. Besides, since I have OCB, I need routine and order to feel comfortable. So, I stalled as long as possible to be honest. I didn’t want to write anything today until I went to the store and brought more pens.

Eventually, I started my NaNo story at 8:30 PM, but I was relaxed and wasn’t worried about word count. I could just make it up over the weekend. I did have a brain fart. I was at 1650 words, and my dumbass comprehended that I needed to write a lot more when I was only 16 away. So I wrote way more than I intended to do, considering I didn’t want to begin in the first place hee hee.

I did reach a philosophical moment though. Yesterday, I just wanted to reach 600 extra words because I was already at 1,000. I wrote and wrote, reaching about 1,900 accidentally. This NaNo challenge is helping me get over the hurdle of word count. I’m writing because I enjoy it, like where my story is going, and motivated to write. Not because of a quota. It was cool beans realizing that!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 14 (Burnt Out)

APR. 23RD – 1,903 WORDS

Maybe I was burnt out from the weekend, but it took me way longer to reach my word count goal. I had started at 6:45 PM. For some reason, my mind kept wandering. I’m just happy that I made it past the 2 weeks because those couple of days I was going to quit! Matt, the reporter, said he tried NaNo a long time ago and quit during the 2nd week. I didn’t even know that he liked to write fiction. You learn something new about someone everyday.

This story started out as a drama–my writing style–but now, it’s turned dark and edgy. I don’t know if female readers will like that too much. Yet, it’s so much fun to write, to get inside these characters’ heads knowing I’d never act that way. It’s kind of creeping me out hee hee.

I hope I don’t create all the cliches without realizing it. I can confidentally say that NO characters will fall while being chased! That annoys me to no end whenever I watch that scene in a horror movie…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 13 (Questions Arising)

APR. 22ND – 2,045 WORDS

I started at 2:45 PM today and ended at 8:30 PM, of course, taking breaks in between. I’m not Wonder Woman; plus, I have a short attention span. My timeline is kind of wonky. How can one person be at two different places at the same time? And how can characters be accused of being the last one alone with the 1st victim when eyewitnesses can say otherwise? It’s not like anyone’s stupid or can be easily brainwashed.

  • I’m experimenting and playing with situations now. I’ll have to take out what doesn’t work in revisions. Thank goodness I’m just going with the flow; otherwise, I’d be completely stuck. So far, I”ve hardly stuck to my plot outline from the beginning hee hee.

With my first sex in earlier chapters, I had debated if I wanted to include those type of scenes in my story (it’s not romance). With two of them, I just fast-forwarded to the end of the lovemaking when both are lying down in total ecstaty. So with the sex scene in Chapter Five, I wanted to play around with it to see if it feels out of place in this mystery/suspense.

Then it dawned on me–what constitutes horror? I mean characters get brutually murdered in this story. Does that count? I’ll have to research later. If this ventures way beyond women’s fiction genre, then I’ll have to consider using a pen name.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta

P.S. I’m so proud of myself that I’m caught up now. No more being behind on my goal for word count!

Day 12 (On A Roll)

APR. 21ST – 3,806 WORDS

I had woken up at 1 AM causing me to produce a word count of 599. And, it’s not even like I set out to do that before going back to bed. It just happened. I wrote until I dosed off.

I didn’t start again until 6 PM. I started to feel better about the NaNo process again. Feeling motivated, it was easy for me to bang out a lot of words today. It probably helped that it was rainy and dreary outside–I listened to the rain drops steady rhythm.

Reaching Chapter Five, the situations are set up in the afternoon and evening at the cabin for everyone to wile out and have fun. If only the characters would listen. At the lake, the killer(s) joked about the elaborate plan of what would be done to everyone. Friends or not, sometimes you gotta take things seriously and pay attention.

I steadily wrote all night, so I knew I was on a roll and it felt so good! Reaching 3,000 words is not an impossible feat….

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 11 (Reflection)

APR. 20TH – 1,098 WORDS

I felt much better after my talk with Melissa and Robin. What a relief. In the morning, Melissa had said that it’s not about the word count (you can always postpone the deadline date), it’s about producing a final novel eventually.

  • As long as I don’t quit, then I’m good. Melissa had felt the blues during the first week while I was motivated. Now, it’s reversed, and Robin and I are on the same page. She’s a great vent partner hee hee. I think if I focus more on how much the story is developing instead of just word count, then I’ll be out of my funk soon.

It’s so much fun talking about our stories; I can’t wait to read theirs. We didn’t get any writing accomplished at Jumpin’ Java, but the morning was still very productive. Melissa had a great idea where she suggested I should write an epilogue at the end instead of just leaving the last person dead. This way police can come in and scan the crime scene and provide false assumptions of what they think happened over that dreadful weekend.

I was a little distracted because I thought I saw Drew Stanley sitting at the other table. We graduated together, but I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself by saying “hi” if he didn’t remember me. I wasn’t exactly Miss Popular. Besides what do you say to someone you haven’t seen in 12 years?

I didn’t start working on my NaNo story until 6 PM, and I’m disappointed to report another low word count. Having a headache, I fell asleep early again. I meant to only take a nap but didn’t wake up until 1 AM (so started writing then where I wrote 599 words. If I would’ve woken up sooner, I would’ve been cool beans).

I’m mad that I didn’t mention my story progress for Day 10–my bad for venting too much. The scenes I had written yesterday where very emotional. Rae and Kenan (siblings) had a bonding moment in the front yard before entering the cabin. 10 years ago–Kenan was 18 while Rae was 15–robbers broke in and terrorized the family. They had tied the two teens up in the living room; they had to watch their mom and dad be gutted, cut limb to limb, etc. So naturally, brother and sister have issues before walking into their vacation home. The only reason they’re there is because Naomi convinced the group of friends they needed to hang out on a 3-day vacation. Dun, dun, dun…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 10 (Trapped)

APR. 19TH – 1,074 WORDS

All day I’ve had a headache! ALL DAY! But guess what–I had to write. Can’t have another zero word count. It’s so fitting that the short story I wrote for the writing contest is about a woman who feels trapped after her boyfriend tricked her into getting pregnant (long story). Anyway, I feel trapped, very trapped. Being stressful, writing everyday isn’t fun anymore. I don’t feel like doing it but HAVE to. But WHY do I have to?

What’s the point? It’s all crap anyway. I’m a fraud, a con artist. I hate this whole plan I came up with of do-a-fun-challenge-of-writing-a-novel-in-30-days. What was I thinking?! I feel so bad that I brought Melissa and Robin into this mess LOL. I’m in such a bad mood.

It didn’t help that there was a Writer’s Group meeting tonight, so that delayed me even further to start writing for NaNo. I shouldn’t feel annoyed about something I’ve been searching forever to find (local writers in my area), but there I was thinking ‘is it over yet’. Wasn’t their fault–it was mine for doing NaNo in the first place.

It’s ridiculous that I don’t have time for anything else. Just plain stupid. And, I didn’t even reach my goal today so I’m behind again. I’m going to pull my hair out! My headache was getting worse and worse throughout the day; by 10:30, I said forget everything I’m taking my butt to bed.

Tomorrow I’ll see Robin and Melissa. Hopefully, they can get me out of my 2nd week NaNo blues…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 9 (Testy)

APR. 18TH – 2,443 WORDS

I’ve noticed that it’s much easier to feel less stressed when I write in the mornings and evenings. Reaching the goal at night comes quicker. Like today. I was already at 2,000 around 10 PM, so I could concentrate on Law and Order: SVU without feeling guilty. And, I didn’t start right away once I got home; I began at 8 PM.

In the morning, I spent my time at the library. I feel so bad because it seems like I’m being bitchy to people when they try to talk to me LOL. It’s not funny, but it kinda is. Once my pen touches the paper, I’m on a roll. My head is down and I get straight to work, so when someone interrupts me for small talk, my eyes become wide, my body tenses, and I hardly respond. It’s just I’m so stressed trying to keep up with word count. That few minutes I conversed with someone I could’ve been writing!

Plus, it seems like I’m being tested all the time. More interesting things pop up that I could be doing. Or more opportunities arise when I just DON’T HAVE TIME!!! It’s insane because I’m one of those laid-back people that has the philosophy ‘it’ll get done when it gets done.’ Not with NaNo. UUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

The good thing is that by writing over 2,000 words for a few days has gotten me to only about 1,500 below the goal. That’s better than 3,000! I reached Chapter Four, and I noticed that every chapter ends with a question. I did that unintentionally, but I like it; therefore, I’ll use this method for the rest of my story.

  • It just hit me–I have to actually kill my characters. They’re so cool, funny, and entertaining. So sad LOL…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

My Very First Award (Lucky 7)

I’m proud to announce that a fellow blogger Kellie Larsen Murphy gave me the Lucky 7 award. This award allows writers to showcase a little piece of their work and pass it along to other aspiring novelists. The novel, short story, poem, or anything else can be complete or a work in progress.

When tapped, the writer does the following:

  • Go to page 77 of your manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Copy next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs into your post
  • Give the award to 7 more writers

Can’t wait to see what everyone shares (sorry if you already won, I didn’t know). Here are the writers I wish to give the Lucky 7 Award to:

Part of the story I’d like to share with you guys is the novel I’m working on to get published. Its a work in progress (needs beta-readers then I can call it a manuscript). I thought I’d name it Though I’m Missing You, but after doing my online poll and asking around, I’ve decided between When You’re Gone and Something’s Amiss. The novel is about two exes reconnecting after their close friend passes away. Here goes nothing:

Excerpt for When You’re Gone or Something’s Amiss

After Poe finished drawing her sailboat in the water on a sunny day, she traced it with a black felt pen. Sketching was Poe’s comfort zone. She was happy to be sharing this moment with the little girl because it reminded Poe of all the times Jenna had complimented her artwork.

“Can–can I have it?”

“Sure.” Poe tore the page out and handed it to her.

She held it like a first prize winner. “Thank you. It’s so pre-pretty.”

“You’re pretty too,” Poe said.

“No, you’re pretty. Ollie says–Ollie says you’re beautiful.”

“Really? What does he say about Kate?”

“Ollie says that Kate is pretty. She’s high maintenance and a drama queen. Ollie says she smells like strawberries. Poe, how can someone–someone smell like strawberries?”

Oliver really said all that to Raven directly? She must have overheard him talking to her parents. Either way, Poe appreciated the heads up. “It can be from their shampoo or body spray. What would you like to smell like?”

“Ummmmm…” Raven patted both index fingers to her lips, letting the picture fall on her lap. She hurriedly picked it back up and whispered to herself,” I can’t think.”

Poe grinned, assuming she treated her fingers as her thinking mechanisms. “Here, I’ll hold it for you.”

“Thank you.” Raven let the paper fall again and put her fingers back on her lips. Poe picked it up. Ouch. She got a paper cut; it felt like a knife slit through her hand.

“Ummmm…I know. I want to smell like–like–like…I want to smell like SAND!” Raven giggled at her own answer. “Why isn’t there sand here?”

“Because you find sand on the beach,” Poe explained between grunted teeth. Where was Oliver to kiss her boo-boo and make it feel better?

“Oh I see. Poe?”

“Yes Raven.” She knew something was in store for her. Hopefully, Poe could handle it.

“Please teach–teach me pronouns.”

Poe sighed and handed Raven her drawing back. Like a teacher, she told her young student everything she could think of on the English101 subject. Raven paid attention to every word. Just then, Poe received a text from her sister asking her to give her a call when not busy.

After one ring, Keisha picked up. “What’s up, sis?”

“You tell me. You’re the one who asked me to call.”

“I’m just checking up on ya. How you holding up?”

“I’m okay…How are you?”

“I’m sure you’re not okay, but I’ll let that answer slide for now.”

Poe rolled her eyes; her sister was the only one who called Poe out on her responses on how she felt. It’s not that Poe didn’t trust people–it was actually quite the opposite. She didn’t want to burden anyone with her troubles. She didn’t want to be the negative nancy of the group, so she’d rather keep her emotions to herself. “I swear I am. I even watched Raven last night, and I’ll keep her for a couple more nights as well.”

Like Leo’s response, Keisha was shocked. Just because Poe didn’t want children didn’t mean she couldn’t be around them. She was tired of people acting like she was heartless. Before she could defend herself, Oliver walked over to them and handed Poe a daisy, her favorite flower. Reasons like this was why she was falling back in love with him.

“Thank you. Oliver’s here now,” Poe said while putting a strand of hair behind her ear. Raven jumped on Oliver’s lap while he sat beside Poe. Their shoulders brushed, and Raven’s legs went over Poe’s lap. Usually Poe didn’t like people invading her personal space, but this time she didn’t mind.

“Seems like he can’t stay away from you.”

“Don’t read into it much. He just wants to make sure I don’t hurt his little cousin.” Poe laughed and looked at Oliver. She could get lost in those eyes any day. “Keisha says hi,” she lied.

Oliver waved. “Hi Keisha.”

“Can you be alone for a minute?” Keisha asked.

“Can you watch Raven for a minute or two, three, four, fifty, sixty?” Poe teased. She felt like a dork acting silly around him, but he made her nervous. It was the only way to make her not break into a sweat. Oliver nodded. She thanked him by kissing him on the cheek.

During her brief walk on the boardwalk, she accidentally bumped into an older guy, who gave her the middle finger. Poe smirked and kept moving. Oliver gave Poe her favorite flower, instead of roses to Kate. Unless he met Kate first? Maybe she shouldn’t try to push him away. Maybe she should give into her feelings like the night before. Instead of feeling guilty, she should try to win his heart again. If she had competition, may the best woman win.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby