Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Musings: November 4

So, I realized I missed a couple of Monday Musings, but that is because October is always a very busy month for us.

My children had a very busy Halloween this year. The Saturday before Halloween, our friends hosted a Halloween party. Then, on Halloween itself, the weather was iffy, so we decided to trick-or-treat at our local shopping mall. Ultimately, the weather turned out nice enough (albeit windy) to go around our neighborhood as well. Needless to say, the children got a LOT of candy. So, what were they?

I have had one store-bought Halloween costume my entire life. I was 25 when I bought it. I was blessed with a mother who loved to sew and could make me the most incredible costumes. I want my children to be able to say the same, so each year I make their costumes.

This year, the baby was supposed to re-wear last year's costume because it was so big on her. However, she hated it and refused to wear it. She went to the party sans costume. However, when the rest of the kids dressed up on Thursday, we were able to convince her to wear an old Anna (Frozen) dress I made for her next oldest sister a few years ago.

My son decided to wear his ninja costume from last year. For the party, he added a face mask, arm bands and a sword. Since the mall didn't allow (even pretend) weapons, we ditched the (now broken) sword. He decided not to bother with it for the neighborhood as well.

My oldest designed her own costume, wearing a lab coat and finding a bunch of props to be a mad scientist.

That meant I only had to make one costume. I actually have two sewing machines. One year, probably six years ago now, my machine died in the middle of making costumes. That weekend, my neighbor had an estate sale. She had moved into a nursing home several years earlier and the family was finally putting the house on the market. I found an amazing sewing table, better than the one I had been asking my husband to build. It even had a machine in it. A metal one older than me that I knew would last forever. (I got the table and a cabinet we now use as our pantry for $30!)

Anyway, after that Halloween, I got my first machine fixed and I now had two. Fast forward to last year. My machine again broke during Halloween costumes time. This time, it was the old workhorse. When I finally found a repair shop (my guy retired), they explained the problem and told me it was unfixable.

For Christmas, my husband bought me a new machine. I decided to put the new one in my table and leave my other one as a spare, since that one has never worked well. Although I've used the new machine a handful of times, this Halloween was its first big test. Costumes are a lot harder than sewing patches on scouting uniforms.

The machine works well, except I haven't adjusted to all the settings. It took most of the costume for me to finally figure out the settings, but I got it to work. And, my middle daughter was an awesome Batgirl. As a bonus, the costumes were even be ready for Gramma to see the final product when she visited the weekend before Halloween.

Writing Updates
I made some progress on Book Five of the Boarding School Blues Series. I figured out where I want to add more information, although at the moment the book is full of placeholders that say (talk more about this).

I decided I needed a little break from the series for a while. I wanted to focus on some other works. I re-read the middle and end of my sci-fi novel. Skipped the beginning. The next day, I realized that I had deleted an important part of the story. Its only a line or two, but it connects an important minor character to the story. So, I have to find a good place to put that back into the story. However, something else got into the way.

I have never participated in National Novel Writers Month before. This time of year is so crazy. We have a November birthday in the family, Thanksgiving, homeschooling, Christmas shopping, and just general craziness. Why would I add novel writing to the mix? After all, I write pretty prolifically during the rest of the year.

The night before Halloween, I had a dream. Most of my stories come through dreams. In my dream, my father found hidden treasure and wanted me to tell the story. He said it many times. I took it as a sign that I needed to write this story.

So, when I woke up Halloween morning, I started writing down the ideas. I got half of chapter one down in less than an hour. I outlined an entire series while I was in the shower.

I'm looking at this to be a middle grades novel, so about 50K words. That's about the size of some of my novellas. I have done that in less than a month. So, I figured I would try NaNoWriMo and make it official. When I signed up, I learned that the NaNoWriMo goal is 50K words. Is that a sign, or what?!?

Anyway, wish me luck. My wordcount as of yesterday was about 2800 words.

 50,000 Words
NaNoWriMo Progress

NaNoWriMo Days left

Work In Progress Wonders
When I wasn't working on Halloween costumes, reviewing my own work, or prepping for NaNoWriMo, I was beta reading a fantastic story. I believe it will be part of a series and I cannot wait for it to be published so I can share my review. Unfortunately, I cannot say more about it at the moment, but stay tuned for updates.

I don't plan on doing too much for WIP Wonders during NaNoWriMo, but if the right project comes along, I might change my mind.

So, that's all for now. Stay tuned for more updates next week. And, if you're part of NaNoWriMo, feel free to comment either here or at I would love to have more writing buddies.