I am a NANOWRIMO winner

2015 NANOWRIMO WINNERS CERTIFICATE

I did it! I am a 2015 NANOWRIMO WINNER.

I finished the NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge for 2015 in spite of all the distractions in November. It is the third book in the series “Journey to Freedom”. I’m proud of myself having achieved my goal. I knew if I put my mind into it and focused with the determination to finish, I could do it and I did. I worked hard every day, thinking about my story and putting it all on paper. I woke up an hour earlier than usual and worked steadily putting word after word as I brought the story to life. I made the required word count of 50,000 on Nov. 23. I finished yesterday with 57,632 words.

I saved my draft in two places in my computer and made a hard copy and will take a break in December. The easy part is over. The next step is harder when I start editing.

So stay tuned.

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 30

 Today is the final day of the NANOWRIMO Challenge for 2015. I made my goal of 50,000 words on Nov. 23 and reached 57,632 to finish the first draft of my novel, “Courage and Endurance”, the last book on the series “Journey to Freedom”. Tomorrow, the draft will be put away for a while and revisited at a later date.

30. The tip for today is Think and Act Like a Pro. Build Your Writing Career and Continue to Grow as a Writer. Our job does not end with the last day of the NANOWRIMO Challenge. Like every professional, a writer should continue to grow professionally. We have to find ways to improve our craft. It is a continuing education. Just like a medical doctors and lawyers who have to keep up-to-date on their knowledge, we as a writer should do the same. We should attend seminars and workshops. We should read as much as we can in the genre that we are writing. Be confident and be proud of what we do. Keep on writing and blogging. Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to tell everyone you meet that you are a writer.

To follow what I preached yesterday about marketing, after recommending other books this month, I would like to recommend my own two books – The Iron Butterfly and BAHALA NA (Come What May). These two books are part of the trilogy which ends with “Courage and Endurance“, my 2015 NANOWRIMO Challenge novel.

  The Iron Butterfly Cover   BAHALA_NA_(Come_What_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

Book 1 (The Iron Butterfly) is about the life of a young mother who tried to support her nine children against all odds after her husband died. Book 2 (BAHALA NA (Come What May) is about the life of a young man before and during WWII and how he managed to survive during the war. They are historical fictions based on real life events. Both books are available at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 29

I have one day left to wrap up this NANOWRIMO writing challenge. I reached 55,739 words today. Tomorrow should be interesting on how I will end the story. I had two choices of endings and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Today’s tip is:

  1. Research potential markets for your work. Now that your book is published, what’s next? The marketing of your book. Nowadays, even traditional authors have to do some marketing for their book which to me is insane. You might as well self-publish your book and get the royalty you deserve. Years ago, traditional authors just wrote. They didn’t do marketing. It’s the job of the literary agents and the publishers. Most authors dread marketing. They enjoy writing and write they must. But with the publishing industry changing, they have to learn to market their product too which is their book. You have to have a website, a facebook and twitter account and some other things to have an internet presence. It is hard work I agree. Writing today is a business and to be in business you have to do marketing.

My book recommendation today is The Gate House by Nelson DeMille.

The Gate House

If you read The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille, you might want to read The Gate House. It is a continuation of John Sutter’s encounter with his former neighbor’s family, the mafia don. The Gate House will bring you back into the fabled North Shore of Long Island where my next novel will also take place. So stay tuned.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 28

The next three days are tough ones since I have another deadline – to work on the December newsletter for my rose society and send it out on Monday. In spite of that, I was able to squeeze some ideas into my novel and I made it to 54,926 words. Not bad at all.

The tip for today is the most important.

  1. Publish your manuscript. After you have done several edits and believe that your work is polished, now is the time to let the world know about it. It is time to release the beast and let go. Now the problem is whether to go traditional publishing or self-publishing. If you are going for traditional route, be prepared to get plenty of rejection letters. It’s hard work getting through the gatekeepers called literary agents. Unless you are a celebrity, it is a hard road to navigate. If you are young and have plenty of time ahead of you, you can try it. I’ll be 73 next month and I’d rather spend my time, reading and studying to improve my craft than wasting time sending query letters. I did that in 2012 when I wrote my first book. I received 2 rejection letters and 2 no answers. That was the end of my query letter days. I have plenty of ideas in my head and so I’ll just keep on writing and go the self-publishing route. My stories are unique based on my life experiences.

Going the traditional route may take months to see your book in print. I know a lot of writers go with traditional route to make a lot of money. In my case, I want my book out there first and the money will come when they see what I’m offering, a unique story. They will learn something from my books. I write to educate, inspire and stimulate the minds of my readers.

Also, remember that only big celebrities get big advances. There is also a  big difference in royalty between traditional (15%) and self published (70%). If you are in a hurry, you can go with self-publishing. I recommend CreateSpace. You don’t have to pay anything until you order your copies. No upfront fees like vanity presses. Just remember and it is very important. Make sure your book is polished and can stand the competition out there.

My book recommendation for today is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and one of the most popular movies of all time. Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath and to some southerners, this is the story of the civil war in its most vivid details. Margaret Mitchell wrote a brilliant love story between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler amidst the turmoil and hardships during the Civil War.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 27

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I missed the old Thanksgiving dinners when I used to cook for my extended family. The last time I had them, I had 23 guests in my home. Those were fun times. Yesterday, we had plenty of food for just my husband, me and one of my sons. We have plenty of leftovers that I do not have to cook for at least four days. My other son was in California and could not make it this time of year. It was the first time, my kitchen was back to normal on Thanksgiving day by 5 PM. I was still tired from cooking but I was able to write after dinner and increased my total word count to 53,481 words.

The tip for today is:

  1. Edit, proofread and get critical feedback from someone you trust. You can only start editing after you’re done revising your manuscript. This involves checking grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, adding and subtracting words and passages. Continue editing until you feel everything is in place. If necessary, you can go back and edit as many rounds of editing as you require. Keep your thesaurus handy. Don’t use the thesaurus in your computer. Sometimes, they are inaccurate and have few entries. When you find one or two errors only, then you can start proofreading but don’t hurry. Read slowly and make sure everything looks right. This may take two or three more rounds. When you think you have done enough, ask another person to proofread it. Another pair of eyes will see what you missed. Remember you can always go back and proofread it again even if you think the piece is finished.

My book recommendation for today is Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George and Martha Washington. An out-of-print book by suspense writer, Mary Higgins Clark, this book was originally published in 1969 as Aspire to the Heavens and later reissued as Mount Vernon Love Story. I got my copy as an incentive to join the Mount Vernon Association. If you love history, this is a well-researched biographical account of our founding father, George Washington. It is a charming story and at times entertaining full of history, love and passion between George and Martha Washington.

The Mount Vernon Love Story

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 26

Today being Thanksgiving Day, the tip today is Be Thankful. Here is a lovely prayer for your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Blessing

 

Bountiful God,

You have blessed us in many ways,

In the beauty and richness of our land,

And in the freedom we enjoy.

You have given us even greater gifts

In our family who loves and cares for us

And in the grace which allows us to know and believe in you.

May we be grateful for all our blessings

Not just today, but every day.

Help us to turn our gratitude into action

By caring for those in need

And by working for a more just society.

Bless the wonderful meal we will enjoy today and

the merriment of those at table.

Be with all those we love who are not with us at this time.

We thank you Lord now and forever. Amen.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

From Rosalinda R Morgan, author of

The Iron Butterfly

&

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 25

In between my cooking and cleaning the house preparing for Thanksgiving, I managed to add something to my manuscript. I was able to type in another 923 words. My new total is now 52,650.

The tip for today is:

  1. Revise or rewrite your manuscript. After you have reread your manuscript, it is time to rewrite it or revise it. Some authors can go through three, five or even ten revisions. My second book, “The Iron Butterfly” had gone through several revisions. New authors as well as established authors go through the process. No one published their book on the first draft.

My book recommendation for today is “I’ll be home for Christmas: The Spirit of Christmas During World War II” by the Library of Congress. I read this book a while back but with Christmas coming soon, it’s nice to get reminded of those men and women who bravely served during World War II. This book is a compilation of stories, events and pictures gathered by the Library of Congress from the diaries and correspondence of the greatest generation.

Ill be home for Christmas

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 24

 

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.

Print

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.

 

 

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 23

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

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 22

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