A Wrap-Up of NaNoWriMo and a Few Updates

So, this year for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I started as a Municipal Liaison (or “ML”) for my current region. If you aren’t familiar with NaNo, you might be wondering exactly the function of an ML. It’s a volunteer position in which you organize events (also called write-ins) for your region and provide support and encouragement. When I lived in the Wilmington, NC region, I was the sole ML for a few years there, but the region wasn’t nearly as active as it is here. I joined two other volunteers, Tikatu and MovieStarEyes, and I had an absolute blast helping plan the month. We organized a kickoff party, write-ins all around our region (as well as virtual write-ins) throughout the month, and even had a TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party at our local Denny’s.

Writing-wise, I did excellent. Not only did I hit 50,000 words, I surpassed it. I ended up hitting over 76,000 words and finishing my manuscript (which happens to be the fourth story in The Sound Series: The Kylie Bell Chronicles).

Next year will make nine years that I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo in some way, but I think it’s safe to say this has been the best year yet. I met so many great people this year. A few of us are even going to continue meeting up throughout the year, just to get together and write.

The major thing I learned, however, is that I can sit down and write faster (and still write fluently and well) than I usually do if I really work at it and challenge myself. I tend to dawdle and get distracted by shit on the internet. (I recently sat and rewatched the entirety of A Very Potter Musical by Team Starkid for almost two hours straight.)

A few other updates on life…

I had a checkup last week with my general practitioner. Overall, I’m healthy, other than having high triglycerides and not to mention the multiple health problems to which my doctor so graciously said, “Boy, you do have a lot of health problems.” Asthma, bipolar, psychosis, GAD, insulin-resistant PCOS, a list to which was added severe IBS. I told him about the stomach troubles I’ve been having, including the horrible stomach pains I get at night that make me want to vomit. I thought it was all just side effects from my lithium. Turns out it’s the untreatable kind of IBS that no pill can help.

My doctor did, however, suggest a gluten-free and dairy-free diet to help with symptoms. And due to the insulin-resistance, I’m supposed to be doing a low-carb and low-sugar diet on top of that. And man, has it been a hard change, the gluten- and dairy-free life. I miss milk with dinner. I miss sour cream on my tacos with flour tortillas. I miss having whatever cereal I want with any milk I want. I miss regular cream in my coffee. I miss my regular Snow Fox latte (white chocolate and mint) with steamed 2% milk at my favorite coffee shop. Almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk just aren’t quite the same. Almost all my favorite Christmas foods are out of the question unless I want to spend hours being sick later.

Just in the last week, however, my symptoms have improved drastically. (Although, I have this cheeseball recipe from my mother-in-law that’s absolutely delicious, but of course it’s made with cream cheese. I cheated and had regular wheat crackers with the cheeseball. I sorely regretted it later.) It’s been a relief, not suffering through the stomach cramps and such.

Still, it’s not exactly easy to adjust to dietary restrictions. All this time, I thought I was just suffering through the side effects. It never occurred to me that I might have a food allergy.

Writing updates…

I’ve taken down The Sound of Snap Dragons and plan on hiring a cover designer to redo the cover. I also admit that I am terrible at editing my own work. I’m too used to the text; my eyes have looked at it too many times. So, I plan on also hiring a proofreader to take a pass through the manuscript before I republish it. Not sure when it will be republished and available again, but I’m guessing around February. Also, I should note that I only plan on publishing on Amazon for both print and Kindle Unlimited.

I have also decided to republish The Days Without You as a Kindle Vella story. What is Kindle Vella? It is a platform of serial stories, in which you can publish new episodes with tokens. The first episode is available! You can find it here. The first three episodes are free. I will be publishing a new episode every Sunday.

My next book in The Sound Series, The Sound of Color and Light, is currently with a beta reader, and I anxiously look forward to her notes before I can move forward with the manuscript.

I now have a newsletter! Not only will it include updates on my writing, I’ll be offering discounts on editing services, deals on upcoming books, and the occasional giveaway (of books other than mine!). You can find signup forms on my homepage and on my services page.

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