So This Happened

I won #NaNoWriMo 2014! @fillpraycloset #amwriting #fantasy #novel

And this wouldn’t be an update, if I didn’t leave you with the final inspiration image…

Shuxing_Li_05

BUT, I’m not finished. I knew I wouldn’t be. I am not at this inspiration image part yet, but this is where I am going. What’s on the other side though, all of those details are yet to be seen. I will know them when my fingers, possessed as they have been all month, type them out. I knew that this novel would be more than the 50K required for NaNo. So I will still be writing, but I get to cross this off my list.

Thanks for the support, crazy peeps. Happy TURKEY day! And now, I will celebrate, with cross stitch and lots of bacon.

Church Triumphant: St. Catherine of Alexandria

Today is our saint day. In case you missed the last few installments, head there and have a look!

Tiffany at Life of a Catholic Librarian, is blogging about St. Cecilia and I am taking a Dominican saint again , with St. Catherine of Alexandria. Please head over for her installment as her saint is very much connected to mine today – as we were both very surprised to find for these posts. It’s truly amazing how we’re all so connected!

St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr (c. 282 – c. 305) is one of the Patronesses of the Order of Preachers. Born of noble blood and well educated in the sciences, she is one of the fourteen Holy Helpers (The others are: St. Acacius, St. Barbara, St. Blaise, St. Christopher , St. Cyriacus, St. Dionysius of Paris, St. Erasmus, St. Eustace, St. George, St. Margaret, St. Pantaleon, St. Vitus and St. Giles. This feast was suppressed in 1969.). As a young woman of about eighteen, she gave herself to Catholicism and was a defender of the faith and Church teachings in a debate against Emperor Maxim’s 50 philosophers. The Emperor was obviously upset, and imprisoned her. During her imprisonment, she converted the Emperess and those philosophers she converted in the debate. The Emperor sentenced her to die on a spiked wheel.  Touching the wheel, St. Catherine of Alexandria shattered it. The second time the Emperor succeeded and had her beheaded.

St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patron saint of apologists, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, philosophers, students, teachers and preachers to name but a few.

A few of the symbols attributed to St. Catherine of Alexandria are broken wheels, a sword, a crown at her feet a book and woman arguing with pagan philosophers.

The subject of many artists, I chose this one by Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina

Church Triumphant: St. Catherine of Alexandria a cross post with @CatholicTiffany on #saints #faith #catholic by @fillpraycloset
Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In researching this saint, I found out that she is part of the vision St. Dominic had as he was praying from (Lives of the Brethren, part 3, ch. 7):

“Once when St. Dominic was passing the night in the church in prayer, about midnight he went out and entered the dormitory. After looking at his brethren he resumed his prayer at the entrance of the dormitory. While standing erect as he prayed, he chanced to glance to the other end of the dormitory and saw three very comely ladies advancing towards him, of whom the central figure seemed to be a lady more dignified and of higher rank than the others.

One of the two attendants carried a beautiful and resplendent vessel of holy water, and the other a sprinkler, which she presented to the third who walked between them. This one sprinkled the brethren and blessed them, but as she passed along doing so there was one friar whom she neither blessed nor sprinkled.

St. Dominic observed this attentively, and noting whom it was, followed the lady as far as the lamp which hung in the middle of the dormitory: there he threw himself at her feet and began earnestly to beg her to say who she was, although he knew very well all the while. Now at that time the beautiful and devout anthem, the Salve Regina, was not sung in the convents of our brethren and sisters in Rome, but merely said kneeling. Then the lady addressed St. Dominic and said: ‘I am she whom you greet every evening, and when you say “Turn then our Advocate,” I prostrate myself before my Son for the preservation of this Order.’

St. Dominic then enquired who her companions might be, whereunto she made answer: ‘One of them is Cecilia and the other Catherine.’ Upon this St. Dominic made further enquiry touching the brother whom she had passed by, and why she had neither sprinkled nor blest him with the rest: at this she answered: ‘Simply because he was unworthy of it.’ Then she resumed sprinkling and blessing the remaining friars, and went away.”

St. Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us.

Head over and read Tiffany’s post all about her confirmation saint, St. Cecelia.

NaNoWriMo Update Week 3: Cross Stitch and Bacon Roses

Here I am! Coming up for some air here with all the words. I am at 37,452 words as of yesterday’s writing session. I haven’t begun today yet because I kind of like procrastinating.

How many times can I enter the indecipherable captcha on this awesome cross stitch site!? I must gain access! Are those bacon roses I see in the Tipsy Lit Fan Club Group?!  Ooh, the cross stitchers have a magazine, look at the cute dog pattern with a reindeer sweater! Can I make that for Christmas? Who would I give it to? Is it too late to start? Download? Yes, please! Click, click, click…not writing.

NaNoWriMo Update Week 3: Cross Stitch and Bacon Roses my #NaNoWriMo update for week 3 complete with tips for helping to get the writing done. Including this bouquet of pork deliciousness @fillpraycloset #writing

The real reason is, I’ve noticed a trend with my writing. I prefer to write after lunch. I was never a morning person. Of course, all of the experts say that you should write first thing in the morning, morning pages and all that. I don’t think so. I would have this as my first paragraph:

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
hgggggggggggggggggggggggggf

Why? Because those would probably be the keys my forehead punched in as a result of falling, face first from total exhaustion. So, afternoons it is. I never see the clock between the hours of 1PM and 4PM, so I’m thinking that’s the sweet spot of my day.

Yesterday, Rhonda and I had the longest word sprint ever, lasting all day over the Twittah. She emailed me early in the day, (or was it the night before?) checking in and letting me know she wanted to hit 3K for the day. Never to pass up a goal, I responded and said I would do it with her. Where two or three are gathered, the words will be there, as will Jesus, so long as we pray before and after the word sprint. I’m sure that’s what it says.

There was plenty of quick tweet updates in between, but the moral of the story here is, we did it and it’s always better to have a cheerleader in your corner, or Oregon in this particular case.

I continue to share my word count updates with images (on Facebook, Instagram and sometimes on Google+) that have inspired the words for the day. In case you missed them, here they are!

That last one is a little creepy, but that’s what happens in a story, you have antagonists. I think if you get a reaction out of the image, that’s a good place to start. Generally, I begin to write, and I hang on a word as I envision the scene kind of like the Lectio Divina of writing!!! I enter that one word into Google, and scan the images that pop up. One thing leads to another and voila, I have something to look at that keeps the word fresh in my mind as I write out the scene. I don’t know if this is a method, but it works for this visual gal. Try it. Tell me what happens. I take no responsibility for the dreams you will have. For me? Last night there was endless filing of my nails. That was the dream. And my husband decided to join the Army Reserve. I have no idea what either of them mean, but at least I’m not pooping pasta.

I did try an actual method suggested by Katie Cross. The ever loving mind map. I’d heard of it in my days of education (I was going to be a high school English teacher, remember?) but never used it with writing. On Monday, I was not into picking up my work and writing, kind of like my last knitting project. I kept avoiding it, so I reached out to her and she sent me some snap shots of her mind maps. I played with a free mind map app called Coggle for a while. It was a different way of creating. I don’t even know if I used it right, but, I wrote 2,333 words that day. So thank you, Katie! She said you just need to do something else for a while, and this helped dislodge the procrastination.

Outside of NaNoWriMo, life is humming along. I have a lay Dominican meeting tonight, where I present two (count them two!) modules (that I wrote and prepared before 11/1) on Prayer and Dominican Devotion to Our Lady’s Rosary. Gabriel wears glasses as of last Friday, and was quite the little star of the annual Harvest play at school.

Mike will bring Alex to basketball practice tonight, while I bring Gabriel to the meeting. A saint post will go up tomorrow with Tiffany per our monthly cross post schedule and Alex is altar serving this Saturday. All normal, calm, prepared and lovely which leaves room in my head for all the fantasy writing craziness that swirls about all.the.time.

I did read some stuffs on the web. My presents for you writers!

That’s the update. And I was totally serious about the cross stitching. I mean, look at this doggie. I used to cross stitch when I was younger, and kind of miss it. I think I could get into that more so than knitting. I know, S. I know. Stop shaking your head at the phone. People are watching you.

NaNoWriMo Update Week 3: Cross Stitch and Bacon Roses

To another 3,000 words!

After lunch.

NaNoWriMo Week 2: Not a Barren Wasteland, Just a Little Depleted

So wordsy peeps, how have you been? I have been writing my face off. Literally. I have no face. I thought I would come up for air because I finished today’s words early. I am at the 27,947 word mark! I mostly stuck with my 3,000 self imposed goal so far with the exception of Saturday. I felt like a Mack Truck hit me. I walked from my bed to the sofa and didn’t move until it was time for bed that evening. I didn’t clean, feed anyone or wash anything. My husband did the food shopping, took the boys for haircuts and Alex to basketball practice in the morning. I think he felt pretty badly for me. I didn’t help either. I was in my long night shirt and sweatpants all day. Who knew that all this creating would leave you a barren wasteland. Not a barren wasteland, just a little depleted. So I took a sign from the well that had run dry and rested all day. Sunday I felt a little more like myself and we went to mass, washed clothes for everyone and ran a few errands. I made dinner and all was well again.

This part of the novel, the turn just past the middle was hard. I was slogging people. Really. I couldn’t see a way out of the dark tunnel that was really a corner that I had painted myself into. When in doubt though, put your head down and keep writing. I slowed down a bit, and this is what I mean when I say that I’ll have to go back and flesh out some things. I think it was writers adrenaline. I was all “scene, scene, scene! #allthescenes! Tick.the.box.” Well, there’s so much more in the scene than just the chatter the characters have with one another, what about the journey to and from, what about the internal conversation my protagonist is having. What is he thinking, and why does he think it? Once I gave myself a little more permission to move a little slower in the novel (no snails I promise) I felt better about the character arc and the story line.

If you follow me on social media (like Twitter and Instagram) I share my word count along with some images that inspire the writing, so if you just can’t get enough of my crazy weekly updates and need more daily NaNoWriMo stuffs, follow me there. In the meantime, here are some of my favorites since last week.

Till next week peeps! I’ll catch you on the other side of my words!