NaNoWriMo Writing Journal 2018

Witches at the White House

Cover Ideas


Day 26: 1,693 words

I had to use a chunk of my Monday morning to tend to routine social media and cat detective work. The posts went up for the weekly Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency updates. I also scheduled some reminders that Bear Roots is available in paperback and Kindle now. Plus, since it’s the end of November, I had to spend a couple hours creating images for the yoga studio for December and do the scheduled posts for all the daily classes.

I got started writing on WATWH around 10am. It’s raining and Gus is not getting a walk today. He’s whiny, but not as horrible as he can be. Though, he did continue to mount his lamby (Lambdo Calrissian) and then repeatedly mount Oliver which incited much hysteria, high pitched shrieks, and bunny kicks to the face.


Writing felt sluggish until I hit 1,400 words. I considered stopping there because that’s still a good day’s work. I wanted to finish this scene! I kept going until I saw the counter hit 45,002.

b99 gif

Day 27: 617 words

Yeah, that’s it. Under 1,000 words in a day. It was a fun day, but energetically draining. I had so much to do. I started to write in the morning but only got out ~300 words. Left for aerial yoga which takes a lot of energy and strength. Stayed at the yoga studio for some charity work decorating our Giving Tree for the holidays. Got home and took Gus outside immediately. We adventured for around 90 minutes. Finally showered and ate something. Then sat down to write.


I was too exhausted. My hands were barely moving. In an hour, I managed ~300 words. I kept convincing myself that if I just sat in this chair long enough, the words would come out and I’d be done for the day. I struggled and it wasn’t working. I made the decision to eat dinner and go to bed before six. I didn’t fall asleep, but my body was grateful to be at rest.

Low Point gif

I don’t know if the guilt or stress or the fabric all around me, but I got itchy and couldn’t relax and sleep. I can’t remember if it was after nine or not — at some point I took a Benadryl and a pain pill and went to sleep.

Day 28:

Today went much better than yesterday! I was sluggish from the medicine but still far better at writing. Wednesdays are a later day for yoga so I have more morning time to get desk work done. Wrote a bit then left for class.

It was so windy out that I decided not to take Gus out. He’s done surprisingly well considering how pesty his behavior can be if he doesn’t get his way. He did pull something off the bookcase; fortunately it was his toy. He went onto the balcony a few times today to experience the cold air. Ollie hissed and got super mad at Gus for being on the balcony which has been a new Ollie behavior for about a month — they end up in bad fights with hissing and puffed tails. Today, Gus’ tail puffed up and Ollie hissed but they didn’t tear each other up. That’s a win to me.

Not taking Gus out for his adventure gives me even more time while I have some energy to be upright to progress on my word count.


I was doing so well and reached over 2,100 that I decided to have another go at fantasy casting actors for the roles of my characters. Originally I had Doreen, the protagonist’s mother, as a redhead; then I made it black; now I’m  back to red. I had Eudora as dark haired as seen in the mock cover.

imdb photo

Today I searched again for young actors who looked like my vision or “vibe” of Eudora. I came across a photo of Sadie Sink. I kept searching for dark haired girls, but my instinct drew me back to Sink’s photo over and over. Since I hadn’t specified up to this point what color Eudora’s hair was, I decided to change my initial vision of her.

That little change propelled me to update the Pinterest board and to work up new mock covers for inspiration with Adobe Spark.

nanowrimo cover ideas
new cover ideas

Day 29: 2,338 words

Reached the Finish Line! I did write 50,000+ words in November. Due to a massive fuck up on my part, I have to revise the heck out of a few chapters. I believe I created a way so I don’t have to rewrite them entirely — I’m not cheating, exactly. It’s writing. I’m just changing around which character did which thing for X amount of scenes. I think it’s working.

gif LOTR

Oh, dear Frodo Baggins… it’s not really done until it’s done. Yes, I reached 50k words, but this story is still in the second act. I have plenty more to go before it’ll be ready for revising. Extra thanks go to my friend Rev. Ireland who helped me find the right quotations I needed for a certain chapter.


Day 30:

I debated whether or not to write today since I reached 50k yesterday. I figured I had earned a day after all. As it turned out, I was freaking busy until about 2:30 anyway.


I remembered to make the adjustment in Scrivener to change the Project Target from 50k to 80k. That made my nice green completed bar shrink and turn back to yellow.

gif high five


2018 NaNoWriMo Stats:

nanowrimo spreadsheet

Top Highest Word Count Days

  • Day 2 – 2,439 in 2.5 hours (also top words per hour day)
  • Day 29 – 2,338
  • Day 3 – 2,329

Lowest Word Count Days

  • (Day 11 – 0 intentional skip day)
  • Day 27 – 617
  • Day 9 – 705
  • Day 30 – 921

Longest Writing Session

  • 5 hours on Day 19

Shortest Writing Session

  • 1 hour on Day 27


clapping gif

Recapping NaNoWriMo 2018:

I’m honestly not sure how or why I kept such a steady pace. When I started planning this story early in the fall, I knew my life was different than last year or any year. I am still home most of the time, but now I have specific times of the day where I leave to go to the yoga studio to either take class or teach. I even tried to host a yoga for creativity event which failed — no one showed up.

During this month, our band of merry nerds from the comic shop had to bid farewell to our dear friend Stacy who was a co-owner of Comic Fusion. Being on the organizing end of a service where we didn’t know all the people in Stacy’s life made connecting the dots feel impossible at times. I wrote enough to take that one day off. I had dreams about Stacy and Bill during the month too.

Good Place Janet

My pain is much more regulated and under control this year because of medications. That also helps with mood disorders as a side benefit. I’ve still got low energy and have to expend it wisely. The weather sometimes kept me and Gus inside which gave me time to write through his crying, howling, and overall destroying of things.

This story is also not nearly as personal as the Farrah Wethers Mysteries. I’m also not dealing with emotional trauma this year which I had while writing those. No shitty people trying to ruin my life from the edges of my protective little bubble. No daily episodes of panic attacks and trying to claw my way out of my skin. I had some “less than stellar” days with physical and emotional symptoms including my skin garbage, but overall this was simply a more peaceful year even with the death of my friend. She’s finally out of that body which had failed her.

I didn’t have the time to spend on the NaNoWriMo forums which I do enjoy. I posted a few threads myself as I sought answers; but I only had time to comment on a few from others. In previous years, I spent a lot more time sifting through threads and seeing if I had any input on the many subjects.


I also didn’t get sidetracked as much. I always spent time making playlists and Pinterest boards and fantasy casting. I didn’t make a playlist yet (I probably will). I did make a couple boards for aesthetics and dream casting, but I didn’t spend all day on them when I did.

Because of my schedule and Gus being the demanding spoiled jerk he can be, I didn’t think I’d have time at the keyboard to get to 50k. I’m happy about it and perplexed simultaneously. I should probably get dressed and take him out though.

I understand nothing.

Writing Resources:

As far as sharing pearls of wisdom about writing, below are ads and links to my favorite books and blogs on writing.

[amazon_link asins=’B008E71JC4,159963967X,1440351848,B005NAUKAC,0985780401,B01BHE3HXE’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’amberunmasked-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’203bf0ea-f3fb-11e8-b5fe-7d5cb06808c1′]

Subscribe to my newsletter

Avoid those algorithms! Get news delivered to your inbox. You'll also receive a free short story when you subscribe!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

2 Comments on Writing Journal: Witches at the White House – week 4

Comments are closed.