‘Tis the season

Goodness gracious, where did this year go? It seems like only yesterday I was training myself to write 2011 instead of 2010. Thanks to online banking, I write few checks anymore, so it takes until April or May for me to make the written transition into a new year. Then, in no time it seems, it’s time to do it all over again.

Tomorrow is December 1st. I’ve done a little holiday shopping, but usually, by this time of the year, I’m finished, and sometimes, I even have the gifts wrapped. Okay, I seldom have them wrapped, but I usually have the wrapping paper on hand and could have them wrapped. Because I have to mail so many of our gifts, I need to get busy or there will be some late Christmas gift giving.

It’s the same thing with writing. The time flies when I have a deadline or if I’m really into writing or editing something. It’s not unusual for me to sit down at eight in the morning then the next time I look at the clock, it’s three in the afternoon. How does that happen? Does it happen to you? How do you make the most of these fleeing moments?

~ Kay

Did it!

NaNo for me is OVER–at least it is for me.

I officially reached my 50,000 words at 12:40 yesterday. Woo hoo! I validated it, got my badge, and patted myself on the back for finishing NaNoWriMo three days early.

My novel is no where near complete, but the good news is I still love the story and the words are flowing. Once it’s written, I’ve learned, comes the really difficult part. Editing. Rewriting. Re-editing. Re-rewriting. After doing that a dozen or so times, I can submit it to my critique groups, and when they’ve ripped it to shreds, it goes to beta readers.

So 50,000 words is only a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start. Since I’ve been planning this one in my head for months, I needed something to give me a push and NaNo was it. So, thank you NaNo and the thousands of volunteers who work night and day to make it successful. You can add me to your list of winners.



It’s a boy!

We found out our first grandchild will be a boy! Grayson Herb Elam, due to make his appearance sometime in March. His daddy is deployed to Afghanistan and his Mommy is preparing for his arrival at their home in Hawaii. Do you think Hubby and I’ll be going to Hawaii in the spring? You betcha!

Here are some pictures of the handsome young man. (I just know he’s handsome. He can’t miss with his mom and dad!)

Is it just me, or do these make you smile?


~ Kay






I have so much for which I am thankful. Tomorrow, and everyday, I will thank God for my many blessings.

Safe travels if you are making a trip this holiday weekend.


Another NaNo Update


Finally! I’ve got a little breathing room. After a productive weekend, I’m more than a day ahead on the writing schedule. Never mind that I’d hoped to be seven days ahead because of Thanksgiving and vacation. I’ll take what I can get whenever I can get it.

The muses are working overtime and the story is coming together. When I get bogged down, I’ve started skipping that part to come back to write later. I’ve never done that before, but it is working well for me. I simply do that section in a colored font to signal it isn’t finished. I’m sure a lot of people do this, but right now, I’m feeling pretty brilliant.

Here’s another NaNo cartoon. Enjoy!

‘Til Wednesday




Friday, another Writeday

It’s a beautiful, sunny (but cold, really cold) day in Nashville. I’m looking out the window at the gorgeous sunshine and having trouble keeping my butt in my writing chair. I think I’ll run a few errands this morning to satisfy my need for sunlight (and maybe take some extra Vitamin D pills). Then back to the keyboard.

We’ve had several rainy, dreary days this week, which came at a good time for my writing. I had to get out for tap class, but that was pretty much the only time I left home.

I’m still on target with my word count and should cross 30,000 today. If only I could keep myself from getting lost in the research. It’s so interesting. I had done some of it before the start of NaNo, but not enough to get so absorbed. Now I’m totally sucked in and loving it. But, I love my story too.

Well, I’m not going to get any writing done if I don’t get the day started. Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday.


Half way there . . . barely

Yesterday was the midpoint for NaNoWriMo and I made it — barely. I screeched by with a little over 25,000 words in my quest to to the 50k mark. I kind-of-sort-of got lost doing some research. Fun, but it doesn’t add to the count.
Lots of Nashville NaNo parties, but I've skipped them all
Next update on Friday. I hope to see you then.
~ Kay

NaNo update — Right on Schedule (finally!)


I got three days behind last week, but had a writing marathon Saturday and got caught up. Whew!

Here’s my current standing. I hope to stay on top of my writing this week and get way ahead next weekend. Things are getting exciting in my book. How is yours going?


NANOWRIMO GOAL 50,000 words
NANOWRIMO words written through yesterday 21,800
NANOWRIMO target through yesterday 21,671
NANOWRIMO words remaining 28,200

I hope you have a productive week.


Thank you to our Veterans — today and every day

Happy Veteran’s Day

Especially to my own fabulous veterans:

Hubby, Dad, Bother-in-law, and Cousins


An extra-special thank you to three extraordinary young

men who will one day be veterans 



Step-son, Active duty, Afghanistan

(please keep him in your prayers)



Cousin, Commanding Officer, NIOC Pensacola, Florida



Cousin, Active duty, Bremerton, Washington

Exciting News! Baker’s Dozen!

Right smack in the middle (well, not quite the middle, more like the first third) of NaNoWriMo, something really cool happened that totally distracted me from my NANO word count. At 13,375 words I’m on track, but barely, and every single thing I wrote yesterday was crap. Seriously.

So what happened? Monday, I found out I’m one of twenty-five authors (adult genres) selected for something called the Baker’s Dozen.

The Baker’s Dozen is the brainchild of a super-duper blogger/author known only as “the Authoress.” Part of her allure is the mystery of her identity, but that’s just a hook. People keep returning to her website because she does great things for aspiring authors. In addition to the annual Baker’s Dozen (which began last year), she hosts an almost monthly Secret Agent shindig and throws in other competitions and tidbits along the way to keep her website at the top of the heap.

Here’s the real scoop. Her website is Miss Snark’s First Victim, so named because she was the first to submit her own first page to the infamous “Miss Snark.” That in itself shows she’s gutsy—or maybe nutsy. The Authoress began her site in 2008, which makes sense because Miss Snark shut hers down in 2007. It takes me an inordinate amount of time to simply post on my blog, so with all she does with hers, it has to be a near full-time job. Another reason she has so many minions.

She is so adored, people not selected as finalists left comments thanking her for the opportunity to participate and offering congratulations to those picked. She has classy followers! In addition, she had some snafus with her server, her website host, then her e-mail account–pull your hair out kind of stuff. Not to mention she lost her jodimitts (Note to southern friends: think mittens with ends chopped off) but found them later. Whew! The YA/MG event actually had to be rescheduld. Instead of getting upset (as she feared), participants understood and supported her. Who, after all, hasn’t had computer problems?

Anyway, back to the Baker’s Dozen. She accepted two hundred (adult) entries via two windows of opportunities. On different dates, she took three hundred entries of Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction.  An entry consisted of a log line (short description of novel) and the first 250 words, or roughly first page, of the book.

The Authoress notified those selected in the adult category a whole week before her target date. How awesome is that? It keeps getting better and better. From the two hundred submissions, she and a cohort selected twenty-five to move forward in the contest.  And I got picked. Happy, happy, happy dance! Thirty-five, yet to be announced, YA/MG winners will join the group.

On Friday, December 2, she’ll post the sixty combined genre entries for the entire world to see (and comment). Every entry will get a critique by a real, live editor and a published author. THEN, on December 6th at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, she’ll start taking bids from sixteen (yes, sixteen) top-of-the-line agents. Seriously. These are agents whose names I recognize. They’ll have twenty-four hours to bid for pages, chapters, whatever, up to the entire manuscript. I sure hope it’s only a coincidence the auction ends on Pearl Harbor Day.

At least three people got agents through this contest last year. The Authoress has either directly, or indirectly, matched around twenty authors and agents (according to a recent interview with the clandestine lady by Peter Adam Salomon).

There’s no guarantee all (or any) of the submissions will get requests. Last year, several did not. But, this is one step closer, and the exposure is fabulous. And to add one more spark to the Authoress’s halo—all of the submissions not chosen will be posted on other websites for feedback.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you, to the stupendous Authoress for this opportunity. Everybody, check it out in December. Now, I’ve got to get my butt back in the chair.

~ Kay