Camp NaNoWriMo

Laptop, Check, Flashlight, Check, Bug Spray, Check – Packing for April Camp NaNoWriMo 2021

*blows whistle* Listen up, campers!

It’s time to line up for Camp NaNoWriMo! Come on, don’t be shy! Grab your gear and follow me.

Watch your step, stick to the path. We don’t want anyone to get lost!

I hear some excited chatter back there! I know how you feel! It’s time to chuck the real world aside for a moment and dive back into our creative worlds. Here at Camp WritefromKaren, our goal is to provide you with a safe, comfortable place to allow your creative muse room to stretch, grow and dance, if he/she feels so inclined.

I know it feels a bit cool now, but once we build the campfire and snuggle up with a hot beverage or two, you’ll be all set to begin your writing adventure.

Step lively! We want to get there before dark!

*fifteen minutes of traipsing through the woods later*

And, we’re here! *blows whistle* You can place your stuff in your assigned cabins, there is a number on the back of the keychains you were given earlier, and then meet me back out here with your preferred writing utensil of choice and let’s get started!

*ten minutes later*

Welcome back! We’re all gathered here today to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo. Anything goes. The rule is, there are no rules. You can approach Camp any way you choose. You can set your own word count, you can choose to use this time to edit an existing project and work on any project you so choose. Camp NaNoWriMo is not as stringent as the traditional NaNoWriMo held every November. The weather is warm (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the goal is to get out of the house (because the pandemic is almost over, right??), breathe in some fresh air, clean out the brain cobwebs, dust off your creative muse and have some fun!

Just a reminder, Camp NaNoWriMo is held every April and July so if you miss this camp, there is always another one just around the corner. I hope we can establish a writing group by next Camp so we can exchange ideas and offer support to one another.

For those of you curious as to my project – I plan on writing four stories about 6,500(ish) words long. Wait, what is a novella length … *Googles it* 10,000 to 40,000 words whereas a novelette, (which I didn’t even know existed before just now), is 7,500 to 10,000 words long.

So now, I have to challenge myself to write four novelettes this month because, why not??

I’d like to write 25,000 (ish) words in April – we’ll see how close I get.

I’m choosing shorter pieces because I feel like that’s the type of writing that suits me best. Anything longer than 10,000 words and I start getting bored – with or without plotting.

I’d like to host some writing sprints – not live, but via video. I don’t know about you guys, but writing sprints REALLY worked for me in November and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason I won NaNoWriMo in November 2020. You can also find TONS of writing sprints on YouTube – just search writing sprints and you can take your pick.

My Patreon is up and running, (link in the sidebar) but it’s just beginning and will take some time to build a community so in the meantime, I would love if you would consider joining me on the NaNoWriMo site for my “Write Away” group hosted there. NaNoWriMo limits the group size to 20. If you want to leave a comment on this post with your NaNoWriMo username, I can add you to the group. My username is take2max if you want to search for me. (You have to be signed into the NaNoWriMo site for that link to work).

I’m not sure if I will post my stories here or not. It all depends on what I get done and how fast I get it done. But I will post excerpts of my work on my Patreon, tier three, if you’re interested in joining. I would LOVE to see what you’re working on as well! Feel free to leave a link to your WIP in the comment section.

Here are a couple of story ideas – feel free to steal this for your own writing, if you’re looking for ideas:

  1. Hidden room discovered behind a mirror – why is it there? Who is watching her? Who is living there?
  2. Message in a bottle washes ashore. What is the message? Who is it from? Why was it put there?
  3. Bride’s limo catches fire on the way to her wedding. Does the wedding go on as planned? Or does this interruption change the bride’s life path forever?
  4. Flash drive full of disturbing pictures. The hunt is on to find the girl in the pictures and potentially save her life.

I may, or may not, use some of these ideas. 🙂

So, to recap: I plan on writing 7,500 (ish) words per week in April and to offer weekly (??) writing sprint videos.

Gah. I’m starting to sweat when thinking how much work this is going to be. lol

Okay campers, enough about me. What are YOUR plans for the 2021 April Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Podcast

Podcast: Conspiracy Theories

Season 1, Episode 4

Episode description:

I’m posting the fourth episode before the 2nd/3rd episodes because it’s relevant to now. We have now approached the 50th anniversary of the Man on the Moon and I’ll be honest, I’m one of those people who are skeptical. My gut tells me that it really happened but I can’t help but be skeptical because I think I’ve trained myself to be nothing but skeptical at this point in our lives. You can believe what you read, you can’t believe what you see, (is that Photoshopped or real?) so I think I naturally gravitate toward cynicism.

I’ve really been into The Daily Wire recently. These guys are so good at examining issues nowadays and addressing all sides to an argument that it’s a breath of fresh air to listen to people who aren’t screaming, threatening, condescending, and just nonsensical like most of the commentators you hear nowadays. Give them a listen, I think you’ll see what I mean.

But in the meantime, what do you think? Did we actually put a Man on the Moon?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Can We Talk?

Would You Rather …

I apologize in advance for this picture. I don’t know why, but I love it. I think because it’s IN YOUR FACE and well, hi.

1. Would you rather the aliens that make first contact be robotic or organic?

First of all, I don’t believe in aliens.

I think.

I mean, our universe is massive. There may be other life forms out there. I don’t believe the Bible says anything about any other life forms out in the vast unknown (don’t quote me on that).

But IF there were aliens, I think I would rather they be organic. I have no idea if organic aliens would have feelings or empathy, but I think organic aliens would be more prone to those feelings than a robot with zero feelings.

And let’s hope they’re friendly.

2. Would you rather lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak?

Oh, easy, 100% lose the ability to speak. I’m an AVID reader and I can’t imagine not being to read. And if I needed to communicate with people? Sign language.

3. Would you rather have a golden voice or a silver tongue?

Silver tongue. I like to pride myself on talking/debating someone into a corner. Not to be arrogant, but just to prove that I CAN.

4. Would you rather be covered in fur or covered in scales?

Probably scales though the thought of being covered in scales makes me throw up a bit in my mouth. But I’m hot natured and have already gone through the change so it doesn’t take much to make me sweat. And just the thought of being covered in fur makes me sweat. Not to mention, I feel like fur would get smelly after a while. Whereas scales would discourage touching, I don’t like to be touched, I have a bubble, and I feel like it would serve as some sort of armor so I couldn’t be easily hurt. Not that I think I would get hurt but since I’m trying to voice my opinions more now and considering the cry-baby mentality nowadays, I might need that protection.

5. Would you rather be in jail for a year or lose a year off your life?

This is going to sound weird, but be in jail for a year. Life is too short as it is, I can’t imagine losing a year. Not to mention, I would probably end my year in jail more buff, (because everyone who goes to jail works out, right??) and more educated. I would have more time to read and teach myself something I’ve always wanted to learn – maybe even write a book. I mean, we pay for inmates’ education, might as well take advantage of this broken system.

6. Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?

Twenty minutes early. One, it’s rude to make people wait on you. Two. I don’t want the stress of always running late. Three. It would stress me out more if I forgot something in my haste to get out of the door. If I’m early, I’m not being rude. I’m not stressed. I’m prepared. And I can pass the time by taking out my Kindle and reading a chapter. No brainer, honestly.

7. Would you rather have one real get out of jail free card or a key that opens any door?

So question, the key that opens any door? Are we talking a one-time thing, or a key that opens ALL doors? Because I feel like that makes a difference. Think of the crap you could discover if you could open any door you wanted to. I think I would choose the door because I would feel too guilty to commit a crime. And I’m nosy and love to snoop.

8. Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals?

Know the history of an object. Think of the stories they could tell! I could care less about animals.

9. Would you rather be married to a 10 with a bad personality or a 6 with an amazing personality?

Be married a to a 6 with an amazing personality. Having a fulfilling relationship is about way more than physical attractions. Looks fade, but an amazing personality will last a lifetime. (Hopefully).

10. Would you rather be able to talk to land animals, animals that fly, or animals that live under the water?

None of them, I can’t stand animals. Notice I didn’t say hate them, I like them if they belong to someone else. However, if I had to choose, probably flying animals. They could tell me all of the amazing sights they have seen. Plus, I think birds are cool.

Post Seventeen

Camp NaNoWriMo, Politics

Being a Dangerous Person

Does it alarm anyone else that we are constantly being berated and punished because we dare to express our opinions? And if those opinions do not fall in line with the overall progressive agenda we have today then people lose their ever-loving minds?

I’ll be honest. I want to be more open and honest with my opinions both here on this blog and in our podcast but I’m hesitant. Are people going to find our house and set fire to it? Are people going to find my husband’s business and ruin it? Will our lives be disrupted like this woman’s life in the video above?

What’s the end game here? So they can punish me for thinking differently than they do?

Get a grip.

Kevin is pretty nervous about this podcast. I want to delve into politics and religion if nothing else than to let people know where I stand on those issues. (Though it’s pretty obvious if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time). I would also like to challenge people to think for themselves. People may be too scared to openly admit their thoughts but at least they are THINKING for themselves.

That’s a big reason I think the polls that come out about presidential candidates and controversial issues are so far off the mark. Because people tell these pollsters what they want to hear but when it comes to the anonymity of voting, they vote what they really feel because they don’t have to fear anyone destroying their lives because they dare to think outside the mob mentality.

It’s a scary new world we live in when feel we have to be fearful of voicing our opinions.

And you know the kicker? These radical babies who are triggered by independent thought and throw tantrums because we don’t play by their rules are still the minority. (Let’s pray they stay in the minority).

So I think the bigger question is – WHY ARE ALLOWING THESE RADICAL CRY BABIES SO MUCH POWER?

I think it’s time for the mature, level-headed, logical thinking GROWN UPS to put their foots down and nip this madness in the bud.

And it all starts with standing up and speaking our minds.

It’s time to be a “dangerous person.”

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo, Podcast

Podcast: How We Got Started Cruising

Season 1, Episode 1

Episode description:

When it comes to vacations, cruising, in our opinion, gives you the best bang for your buck. We explain how we got started cruising and why we love cruising so much.

Please be patient, this is our first podcast and we have a lot to learn.

We chose this topic because it’s always front and center of our conversations, at least lately. We love going on cruises, we love experiencing cruises and we thought we might be able to share our experiences and how we got started for anyone interested in hearing about it and/or anyone who is thinking of taking a cruise.

I apologize in advance. I’m a fast talker anyway and I talk fast in this episode. I will work on slowing down. Talking doesn’t come naturally to Kevin, he says he can never really think of anything to talk about so please be patient with us as we navigate this new form of media. We’re both very excited to dip our toes in podcast and we hope you find it interesting as well. We would like to leave a bit of an auditory diary behind for our children and thought this would be a fun way to do that.

Thank you for listening!

Camp NaNoWriMo, Sunday Stuff

Jesus Christ: The Lamb and the Lion

Know what’s trending on Twitter today?

#ThingsJesusNeverSaid

It saddens me that people think they know Jesus and what he stood for.  Maybe think is too strong of a word, that people ASSUME they know about Jesus and what he stood for. People with these false misconceptions have never read the Bible, don’t believe the Bible and ridicule people who try and live their lives by the Bible. People who think they know Jesus and all that he stood for only “know” him through what has been spoon fed them.

Let’s take a moment to learn a little bit more about the son of God, shall we?

Again, educate yourself. Step away from the mindless media, you’ll be smarter and happier.

Truly.

Post Fourteen

Camp NaNoWriMo, Relationships

10,585 Days Together, but Who’s Counting

Kevin and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary in May.

us6

We didn’t do anything spectacular, we went out to dinner at Outback.

We’ve actually been together for longer than 10,585 days – we were together two years before getting married.

We were one of those couples that traditionalist turned their noses up at – we lived together for two years before getting married.

I don’t know, it just felt right at the time. You don’t truly know someone until you live with them. You can only be on your best behavior for so long when you live with someone and until the facade wears thing.

I figured, if Kevin could put with me at my worst, then we should be okay.

(Side note: I will encourage our boys to live with their future spouses, too. But put a timer on it – if something is not happening, or it’s not working out after a year, go your separate ways. No sense in wasting years with someone who doesn’t want to commit, you know?)

I will be the first to admit, I have not been the easiest person to be married to. I had sort of a mid-thirties crisis where I was just a bitch to be around. No sense in sugar coating it, it’s the truth. I don’t know, I was trying to find myself, I guess. I was a wife, a mother … I lost Karen in there somewhere. It didn’t help that Kevin tried to make me into something he wanted, or thought he wanted. He thought I should have been more like his mom, which I suppose is pretty typical for men. I wonder if our boys will try and find someone like me.

Gah, I hope not.

My brother told me once that his wife reminded him a lot of me. I guess I’m just that awesome. ha!

At any rate, I don’t know why Kevin stuck around, but I’m so glad he did. Our relationship was really tested about seven years into our marriage. A seven-year itch, I suppose. We almost split up and probably should have seen a marriage counselor but I’m going to be honest here, (actually, when am I not), the thought of spilling our guts to a third party who may, or may not, have our best interests at heart did not appeal to me AT ALL. I figured, we were two intelligent adults, surely we could work this out. It was hard, and there was a lot of very truthful, uncomfortable, conversations, but we muddled through and we’re stronger for it now.

Marriage is tough. You have to be willing to take a good, long, hard look at yourself and be willing to admit when you’re wrong and when you can do better.

And then do better.

Believe it or not, reading Dr. Laura’s “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” really, REALLY helped me. It taught me to think outside myself. I’m a sympathetic/empathetic person, but since we’re keeping it real here, I’m a selfish person, too. I don’t like sharing my time. When I want to do something, I expect you to want to do the same thing RIGHT THEN. And I have a problem giving in and doing something when someone wants to do something that I don’t.

I still struggle with that. For example: Kevin knows to not rush me. He just goes off and does something else and patiently waits for me to be ready to go wherever we’re going. But when I’m ready to go, I’m READY TO GO and get quite impatient with Kevin when he doesn’t drop what he’s doing to be ready when I’m ready.

I realize this is a selfish attitude and I’m working on it. I didn’t even realize what I was doing until Kevin pointed it out to me. (You have to learn to take criticism – YOU MUST LEARN).

This book taught me to respect Kevin, our relationship and myself by making sacrifices. This is an especially hard concept nowadays because we live in a “me” and “instant gratification” society, but if you want a relationship to work, you have to be willing to compromise and sacrifice. Period.

Another thing that helped me see our relationship in a new light was the different love languages. This book taught me about how people perceive love, or more specifically, how Kevin and I perceived love. Love is about so much more than just saying the words I love you. The five love languages are:

  1. Quality time
  2. Words of Affirmation
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Receiving gifts
  5. Physical touch

For me, I feel most loved with acts of service. I truly know Kevin loves me because he is always so willing to drop what he’s doing and help me with something. My computer poops out, he comes over to fix it. Something goes wrong with the house, that is his number one project. He makes sure our lawn is mowed. That we are financially comfortable. He makes life easier for me. Because if life is easier, then I’m happier, and as a result, he’s happier.

I feel like Kevin’s love language is quality time. He likes doing things together – taking pictures, going for walks/bike rides, going on vacations together. But remember my problem with being selfish with my time? Yeah, that is something I’ve had to, and continue to, work on. Physical touch is another one of his love languages though I feel like that is a given for men. ha! But honestly, that is another area of marriage that takes a lot of work, compromise and understanding. TRUST ME.

Another thing that I did that helped me with our marriage was the Love Dare.

This “dare” fascinated me so much that I actually participated in the love dare and documented the whole process. I, yet again, faced a lot of ugly truths about myself doing this challenge, but I learned so much about myself, and our relationship, in the process that it was, well the humble medicine I was forced to swallow.

Is our marriage perfect? Of course not. No marriage is perfect because the participants aren’t perfect. But making an effort to learn more about how to make a relationship work did nothing but help us in the long run.

We are planning a cruise to the Mediterranean for our 30th wedding anniversary next year. Thirty years sounds like a big number and though it does feel like we’re always been married, it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly 30 years. In a lot of ways, I feel like our marriage is just getting started.

Here’s to another 30 years of adventures!

Post Thirteen