I made my goal officially. I validated my word count this morning at NANOWRIMO website and made it to 50,624 words and I got a winner certificate.


My writing tip for today is:

  1. After putting some distance away for a while, you’re now ready to reread your manuscript but read it slowly and absorb everything you read. If something sounds or feels right, leave it alone. Anything that you are not comfortable with, make a note. I usually read a whole chapter and make my corrections after I finished the chapter. Otherwise, I lost my trend of thoughts. Some writers feel differently and make the correction after they read the whole manuscript. Do what you feel is more comfortable to you. I also have two copies of my manuscript and make corrections on just one of them. That way, I always have the original where I can refer to later if needed.

My book recommendation for today is The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.

Winter Rose

This is one of my favorite books. It is the time period in England which I love most. It is 1900 and a well-bred lady fall in love with the most notorious London gangster while working as a doctor in the dangerous streets of East London. Brilliantly written, I could not put it down and when I finished, I went back and reread some more passages.





Today I reached my goal. I made it just over 50,000 words. I have seven days left to the end of the challenge and I most likely add more to it. In the meantime, I am getting ready for Thanksgiving and I have a newsletter to write which has to come out no later than next Sunday. For now I’m just glad I made my goal.

The tip for today is :

  1. Finish the first draft and put it away for a while. It will give you a new perspective on what you have written. The last two years that I did the NANOWRIMO challenge, I put away my manuscript for a month. I did not look at it the whole month of December. Then in January, I reread the whole piece. I was amazed at some of the things I wanted to revise. You might not need a month but give it a rest for a while. Your brain needs a break too.

My book recommendation for today is Paris by Edward Rutherfurd.

This is the third book I recommended written by .Edward Rutherfurd. His books intertwined historical events with stories of multi-generational family living in that period of time. Fictional characters mingle with historical figures amidst the sights, sounds and events in the City of Lights.

Paris by Edward Rutherfurd


The last two days were fantastic. I made it to 44,602 words last night. It was a good run. Then today, I’m done for the day. I put in more than 3,000 words. My finished figure is 47,855 words. I’m hoping to make it to 50,000 words tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The tip for today is:

  1. Familiarize yourself with general writing terms. There are a lot of commonly used words and phrases that pertain to writing, editing and publishing. All professions have their own words or terms that members of the professions use. Writers, editors and publishers are no exception. Example: active voice, denouement, ellipsis points, epiphany, foreshadowing, gerund, hyperbole, ibid, i.e., infinitive, Non sequitur, stet and a few others. Know what these terms mean. You don’t want to look like an amateur. When I was a CPA, I learned all the accounting terms and when I became a real estate agent, I learned all the real estate lingos. Same goes with being a writer. Learn your trade as they say.

My book recommendation for today is Teacher Man by Frank McCourt, a Pulitzer Prize winning author of Angela’s Ashes. Teacher Man is about teaching and how his thirty-year teaching experience shaped his career as a writer.

Teacher Man


Last night, I crossed another threshold. I went beyond 40,000 words by another 1705 words. I did not know I’d reach this far. But just writing one page at a time, the pages accumulate and one day I’ll have a full manuscript for a long novel. I don’t even have to sit on my computer all day long. It’s better for me to take a break once in a while. I did today and treated myself to wo pairs of shoes.

21. The tip today is write one page at a time. You’ll be amazed how those pages add up and eventually those pages add up to a full manuscript. Just look at what happened to me. When I started on November 1, I did not even know where to begin and now I have accumulated 180 pages so far.

The book recommendation for today is The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder.

The author of this book had never been to Peru but he wrote this book brilliantly and it won a Pulitzer Prize. Since he never visited Peru, I’m sure when he started the book, he did not know where to begin but then he started one page at a time.

Bridge on San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder




It has been a year since I published my first book, “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”. In the course of the year, I have learned a lot about the publishing industry and how it works. I subscribe to the Writer’s Digest, read blogs and books about writing and publishing.

I’m a late bloomer. I published my first book at 69. I wish I had done this when I was younger. This is my third career. I was an accountant for 32 years, a real estate agent for 11 years, and now a writer. I have a lot of catching up to do and so I want to make the most of my time. I enjoy writing and seeing that finished product is a joy unto itself.

I am proud to see my book in print. It was originally intended for my family to chronicle the life of my parents, how they met and their life during the war. It ended up as a historical novel based on their story. It is a big achievement for me to have done it while my mother is still alive. She’s 91. To see how happy she is reading her story is worth a million dollars.

Last November, I joined the group for the NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. I sat by my computer banging away the required 50,000 words in a month for my second book – “The Iron Butterfly”. I finished at 56,607. I’m now in the process of editing the book and it has grown to 65,500 words so far and I’m half way editing it.

A year later after I published my first book, I did another milestone. I have been thinking of creating a website for my neighborhood for a while and I finally launched it. That makes two websites with my name on it: my personal website and my neighborhood’s website. I have three blogs: my author’s blog, my gardening blog, my local rose society blog and there are other countless websites and blogs I’m involved in. My name since I started real estate business in 2000 has been on the internet and more so now that I am a writer. I read, write and blog as much as I can and on my leisure time, I garden and take care of my 40 rose plants. It’s a wonderful life!


 Nanowrimo Winner Certificate

I did it! I am a NANOWRIMO WINNER!!

As you can see, I finished the National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) Challenge for 2013. It was a great feeling. I worked hard every day, thinking about my story and putting it on paper. I worked steadily putting word after word as I brought my heroine’s story to life. I made the required word count of 50,000 on Nov. 28. I finished today with 56,607 words. I’m proud of myself having achieved my goal.

I planned to take a break in December and then embark on editing the book comes January. The easy part is over. Now the hard part is the next stage. I’m sure I need more details so the book will be longer than it is now as my first draft.

So stay tuned. If all goes well, I hope to publish in 2014.