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NaNoWriMo 2023 and Other Musings

NaNoWriMo 2023 has begun
NaNoWriMo Inspiration

Hey there! I know, I know - it's been a while - again. Life since June has been tumultuous. I've had a lot happen to me personally since my previous post, so let me bring you up to speed a bit.

I went through some health issues of my own in the spring and summer, and it took me a while to straighten them out. I had some kidney and liver issues and a fling with Type 2 diabetes, and it all caused some severe soul-searching on my part. After meeting with my doctors and getting on the right program and medications, I am proud to say I am sixty pounds lighter today and moving in the best direction healthwise that I have in a long time.

The next event was not a pleasant one either. My mother had been battling dementia for the better part of a year. It was difficult to watch and go through, and I spent a lot of time in the spring and summer with her, helping out the best I could, along with my five other siblings. It meant spending much time in Charlotte, where she lived, and away from my home in New York. It was stressful for all of us, and sadly, Mom passed away in July. We all grieved together, and it has helped to bring the six of us closer together, even more so than in the past. It is a comfort to know that Mom isn't suffering anymore and is with Dad looking down on us.

There has been a lot to do to work to settle Mom's estate. Anyone who has gone through the process knows the challenges, and it is an ongoing process for the family. We continued to work through it and had a lovely memorial for Mom in September in Charlotte, where friends and family came together to honor her.

So, that brings me to where I am today. Getting back on the writing horse has been tough for me. My head has been filled with so many other things that bringing myself to sit at the computer and dedicate time to writing has been one of the furthest things from my mind. However, the last few weeks have helped to straighten me out.

The backyard view of the river from my cottage in Maine.
Cottage on the Kennebec

I spent some quality time in Maine with good friends, that allowed me to clear my head. They have a beautiful cottage in Caratunk, Maine, called Cottage on the Kennebec, that I stayed at for four days. I sat by the fire and looked out over the river in their backyard, traversed log roads looking for moose, enjoyed the mountain views, spent fun time with their family, and had great conversations that helped me. I can't thank Kim and Mike enough for those days. I also got some alone time with my thoughts and wrote in my journal and on my computer to help get me out of my rut and give me a spark.

Upon my return from Maine, I had a good conversation with a close friend about everything. Gina owns and runs Meadow Blues Coffee in Chester, New York, one of my favorite haunts and places to write, and she is great about setting me straight and telling me exactly what she thinks, with no holds barred. Sometimes, that is just what we need to get moving, and it was for me.

Me at The Book & Nook in Warwick with The Calm in the Storm
The Book & Nook in Warwick, NY

She also connected me with a new bookstore in our area, The Book & Nook, in Warwick, New York. I went over to meet Candace, the owner, and she has a beautiful shop. She welcomed local artists and writers and happily took six of my books for her shelf. We also had some preliminary discussions about having events at her shop for my next book release and something involving Hudson Valley Scribes, the writers' group I am part of in the Hudson Valley.

It also brings me to my current writing. I have a lot of balls in the air right now. I am taking part in NaNoWriMo 2023 to work to get the bulk of The Eye of the Storm, Book Two in The Celtic Sisters series, underway. I know it's been a while and people want to know what happens with Cat! I hope the inspiration stays with me, and I can get this novel mostly done with some determination this month.

I also have two other projects that I am just getting underway. I have started taking classes online to learn more about horror writing and memoir writing. They are both areas that I want to explore more. I have always wanted to do something in the horror genre, and the more I learn, the more I look forward to it. I'll keep you posted as I go along with my classes from AutoCrit and Writer's Digest. I have also taken a few lessons in memoir writing. I have taken a Jane Friedman course, I am taking another with Writer's Digest, and I have read books by Mary Karr and Marion Roach Smith to get me moving in the right direction. I feel like I have a good story to tell regarding my experiences with illness, coma, rehabilitation, recovery, PTSD, and more. There is still a lot of research and work to be done on my part, but it is something I am moving forward with and have high expectations.

Okay - I think that brings you up to speed on me. I'll be posting more regularly now (really! I promise!) for accountability purposes with NaNoWriMo and so that you can all stay abreast of what's going on. The Eye of the Storm will be dedicated to my Mom, one of my biggest fans and supporters not just of my writing and book but in life. I know she's with me through all of this to help guide my journey. Hopefully, you will all stick with me as well.

Until next time!

A great picture of my Mom

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