Happy Dance Commences!

I’m so excited! and I just can’t hide it!

Today, I finished the draft of my book.  I am sending it off for editing and beta reading.    

 I knew  three things the moment I woke up:

 1. What I needed to say.

2.  Where to place The end.

3. How to start the new story.  

I wanted you all to share in my news. Because, in case you could not tell. I am excited!

HappyDance (1)
The End


Word Count Totals For April: It Was A Very Good Month

Today is May 1st and I am going to follow J. C. Cauthon‘s lead and post my final counts for the month of April. I hope that J.C. sees this is a form of flattery not a cheap imitation.

I am excited with the word count and the progress made on both The Shepherds of Donaldson Park and the new book. The new book has no title, only a working premise.

The new story will be  based on a character out of the current book.  The character, Gwen Masterson, intrigued me which compelled me to write her story. She wanted to be written about before the other book is even completed.  Oh yes, she is going to be a noisy character that already knows her own story.

This is the first time I have juggled two stories at one time. It is not as hard, since their stories will over lap a bit.  It is an exciting process. Some day I will tell my story as to why I am so excited to be writing again.  Right now I just revel in the fact that I am writing. It has been a long time returning.

The reason for this post is to show (using the graph that J. C. Cauthon shared with me) my own progress. April complete

Thank you so much J.C. This has kept me accountable for my time. I love the chart!

I had 6 days where I did not write on my book. I plan on having less off days in May. 5 days were spent on Gwen’s story. So only 1 day where I only wrote on the blog. Blogging was a bit more successful as I only missed 2 days writing on The Page Turner.

Thank you for following along in my writing adventure.  I do hope it is of interest. It keeps me enthused.




Camp NaNoWriMo Ends For Me




Today I am the proud owner of this banner and a certificate. I wrote 41,394 words on my book.  I originally set my goal at 30,000.  I surpassed that number so I happily upped it to 40,000 on the 15th of April. I am very excited to have reached my goal. I was going to raise it to 50,000 and keep going, but you can’t update after the 20th.  I validated my word count today.

It is a good feeling to share the news. If you are still going towards your goal in Camp NaNoWriMo, I wish you good luck!

Let me know when you achieve your goal.  I would                love  to celebrate with you!




Cheers everyone!


Meet Rachel and Drew: The Main Characters in The Shepherds of Donaldson Park

I have been writing furiously this month on my new book, The Shepherds of Donaldson park. It has been the best writing experience of my life. I have pushed myself to write a story with a bit of humor, a good bit of nice clean romance and a few feisty shepherds.

It can see the end of the book in sight and I thought I would share an excerpt from the book.  I would and should add in a delightful cover picture here, but alas, I am not at that stage of the process.

I can see it vividly in my head. Now I just need to get it on paper and even more importantly on the front of the book.

Instead I will show a picture one of the shepherds.

german-shepherd-puppy (1)

I will share a little bit of information about Rachel and Drew and leave the unfolding of their story for when you read the book.

Rachel’s Excerpt:

Rachel Payton woke up alone in her bed to the sound of her dogs milling around in the bedroom.  The wakeup call was familiar to her since they started to stir about right at six ‘clock every morning.

She sat up; leaned back against the wooden headboard of the queen sized sleigh bed before grabbing the phone and checking the time. She might as well check for any messages from the night before. This was a habit she formed quickly after getting her new phone.

This phone had all the bells and whistles. It had quickly become her most valuable tool, her lifeline to family and friends. She could search the internet, check out Facebook and read a few emails without ever leaving the cozy bed. Taking a few precious seconds to fully wake up before heading out into the chilly morning, she made use of the phone.

Twenty minutes later Rachel was turning on the coffee pot that had been prepped last night, she shuffled around in the oversized jacket which was slug over her sleeping gear of yoga pants and a tank top. Rachel smiled looking around the cute kitchen; she felt the familiar stirrings of love for this bungalow she had recently purchased. Sure, it had taken her almost a year to save up for the down payment, but now it was hers, monthly payments, brand new expensive hot water heater and all.

A year, hard to believe it had only been a year since her world came crashing down around her ears.  A year seemed so long unless you were living it, surviving it. Dealing with life altering decisions and making them work for you. Actually, Rachel thought, a year is not really so very long.

Drew’s Excerpt:

Drew walked over to the passenger door and opened it. He reached for her hand before  Rachel could  drop to the ground.  He did not loosen his hold on her hand even after her feet landed on the driveway.  He walked along side of her, enjoying the feel of her hand in his. They walked side by side down the long stone pathway and  up the five steps leading to the wide wraparound porch. He unlocked the front door with his free hand, before showing her into the house.

His boots sounded loudly on the tiled floor of the foyer. He stopped so that he could pull off his jacket and hang it on one of  the pegs behind the door.  Leading her through the house he pointed out various doors that opened off of the long wide foyer.  drew opened one of the wooden doors and they were entering a spacious brightly lit room.

At first all Rachel could see was a wall made up of three extremely wide windows that also ran from floor to ceiling. The wall of windows was framing the beautiful pastures outside, like a well hung canvas.

“Oh, Drew! What a lovely view you have!  I could sit here all day and just watch the wind blow the grass and the clouds flowing across the sky.  How do you leave it?”

Rachel sank into a high back chair that sat facing the large set of windows. The light flickered across the room as clouds passed briefly in front of the sun.  Drew stood next to her still clasping her hand, gently rubbing his thumb over her knuckles.  He loved the way her skin felt, firm and soft.

“I’m glad you like it here.  It has always been a special place for me and I have never really wanted to leave here.  I feel like I am bound to this Farm, and it is a very good feeling.”

I would love to hear what you think about Rachel and Drew.  That is my subtle way of asking you to please provide me feedback in the comment section.  🙂

Characters Must Have Forgotten to Take a Sleeping Pill

Spent the weekend writing.  I was pretty happy with my word count of  right at 5,000 words for Saturday and Sunday.pc-kitty-


Since I was expected at a wedding shower at 2:00 Saturday, after spending the morning shopping for the perfect gift for said shower, much of my writing time was otherwise engaged.

Then at 4:30, the family was  attending the talent show at my grandson’s middle school. Once the show was over my daughter and I joined a  half a dozen other Mothers and Grandmothers. We helped break down the set after we assisted in packing  away all the electrical, lighting  and sound system cords


Funny observation while packing away the equipment and helping break down the sets. The Fathers and Grandfathers were standing in a little group avoiding eye contact with all the Mothers and Grandmothers that were huffing and puffing around the gymnasium.  I am sure that it was unintentional, but I want it noted, that it was noticed.  thchinaz5

One poor Father didn’t get the meet us in the corner and avoid eye contact, memo and  helped all those women. They sure appreciated him.  The kids were being little pack mules. I mean these are seventh and eight graders  were carting off tables, chairs and large wooden frames that held the floor of the stage.fukidashi02051jy They were carrying heavy pieces, yet they did it.  It was so nice to see the talent that those kids had, but also the friendliness and helpfulness that they displayed.

Needless to say, I did not get back home until almost 11 pm. I was racing to the computer to get in as many words as I could in order to stay on track with my deadline.  clock With the clock ticking away towards midnight I sat down and put to my Word document the words that had been rolling around in my head all day.  I inserted my word count at 11:58 and was at about 300 words. I was so annoyed with myself that I stayed awake writing until about 2 am just to make up for lost time. I am nothing, if not obsessive.

Sunday was fine, I was able to write about 4,000 words and I was happy with my weekend totals

.   0bcf7acd4d08355fb88d88c128e9ed14

This morning, a Monday at 3:45 am  my characters nudge me awake. “Hey you know where you had me living here? Well I think I need to live in this little cottage over there.  you know the place I mean? better right? Makes more sense than where you had me. I am a grown man after all.”

I open my eyes, realize it is still very dark , groan and close them again.  The female character says “Hey! I have not gotten to tell my story. I listened to him tell his, but you didn’t give me a chance to tell mine.” Can I tell mine by saying it this way?” and she prattles on with her story, that I admit was coming together nicely.

What? ugh, someone needed to take a sleeping pill last night. I am sleepy. It isn’t even morning. I look at my phone and see it is not even 4 am.  The dogs are not even milling around yet. ” I only went to bed at midnight.  Come on guys. Go back to sleep.” sleeping

One of them, I am not sure which,I mean it is 4am, whispers another little scene in my ear that catapults me out of bed and into the computer room.

So at 4:10 I am furiously writing. I am sure I will not wear down from this character driven writing high anytime soon.

When in doubt blog about your sleepless creative characters that so desperately want their stories told. Then get back to that Word document.

I am sure it doesn’t make me seem crazy,  Crazy right?



April 1st Triple Header

Today is one of those Triple Header days.  April 1st means several things to me. First of all, today is my Dad’s birthday.  Happy birthday Dad!  I loved the picture of you that got posted on Facebook so I am going to post it here for those that missed it earlier. The photo was taken of my dad in his Army uniform and I think he looks very handsome in the picture. He is surrounded by his sisters and brother.  This was taken 2 years before I was born.  I had very young parents.  Here is said photo:Dad, Joyce, Connie and Robert


Next is the start-up day of Camp NaNoWriMo What the heck is that?  Well it is an organization that helps writers stay goal focused so that they commit to writing a set amount of words in order to write a novel or a screen play. So they designate months for writers to set goals for their writing.   Join me if you need just that little push to write that novel or screenplay that has been tickling your mind forever.  Join Me!





Today is also the day that I can announce the title of my new book. My new book with 36 pages (give or take)  The official title is:

The Shepherds of Donaldson Park


Today is also April Fool’s Day.  That means do not trust any news announcements that seem to good to be true, or too far out there to be factual. It is probably a prank.  I am not however, clever enough to think of some cool prank like Orangutanlibrarian. I have had fun with that blog post all day.  




So enjoy this day! I know I will.  Heck, I am already up to 2500 words with a goal of 30,000. Don’t forget to check out the otangutanlibraian’s blog and Camp NaNoWriMo.  Maybe we will be cabin mates.

First Week of Writing the New Book

It has not even  been a full week since I started on a new book. Lets break it down. Shall we?  Before day one, a writer friend of mine on Goodreads named J sent me a message and said, “Vicki get writing” So with that bit of encouragement I decided, I would!

Day One, I sat looking at the Word screen thinking, First word, first word, first word. That went on for about six hours. Alternating looking at Word and Richard Armitage I started thinking about my day and suddenly a picture formed in my head.

Desktop Word

Quickly I typed it into the page and realized, I liked it. I liked the colors and the pictures that it was drawing.  So I added a little more, then a person came to me.  Yes, I knew this person, She was easy to picture as well.  So I set about introducing her.

Next thing I knew, it was six a.m.Time for people to stat milling about the house getting ready for work and school.  I had been writing all night.  I felt great, energized even.  I had written about two thousand words and I had a clear idea of this story.

This was the first major writing I have done in quite a while. I write book reviews and love writing them.  Nothing pleases me more than sharing good books with people. But this was different in my head. It felt good.

Day Two, I sat at the keyboard and picked right up.  Everything was coming freely and smoothly until one character asked the other a question.  Suddenly everything was quiet, blank, stark white in my head.  Oh No! No, No, No, This can’t be happening.  I don’t know the answer.  The character sat in his chair staring into space while I thought and thought of an answer.  He sat there staring for two days. Two days of me staring at him as we both ruminated on the question.  That one darn innocent question.

Day four, I sat down fresh from a full night’s sleep. Coffee in my cup doing it’s job by bringing my sleepy brain to life.  I opened Word pulled up my story and took a big deep breath.  I opened a new tab on the browser and brought up Goodreads.  That seemed like the perfect thing to do. I started chatting with a friend.  I broke down admitting I was stuck. Stuck at 3462 words.

We chatted and I started describing my dilemma. He asked a few questions which made me think about the character. He asked his name and then let me know the origin of that last name. It was brilliant.  He mentioned that the name of the character could be Swedish or Norwegian and that they were usually farmers or ranchers.  We talked on for a while then suddenly I knew, I just knew who he was and what he did. heck I even knew where he lived and what his house looked like. I had my answer. I had more than my answer, I suddenly with clarity knew his history. It was like a light turning on in my brain. I looked over at the word document and began writing again.

My character stopped staring and animatedly started telling his story.  It was a huge Aha moment.   He talked so much I was thinking that this story would take place in one setting,  in one sitting.  I finally had to make him stop talking and let someone else speak. It was lovely.  I realized that I was ready for chapter two and I was satisfied with this day’s work.

Day five,  A research and writing day and it felt good to know what direction this story was heading. If there is one thing I love, it is research. So this was a fun filled day of gathering information. Chapter two flew onto the screen, the plot was beginning to take shape and I realized I had only written for three days, but I had worked on this project for a full five days.

After a long dry creative spell this was like a full body massage with delicious smelling lotions. It was invigorating and satisfying. I felt very alive and excited with this new phase of writing.  Now chapter three is coming along, introducing more of the story one word at a time and I realized, I needed to read a book and write a review.  So I did without guilt, and at 7964 words, I have to admit that all is well with my world this week.