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, 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

Camp NaNoWriMo, In the News

Daring to Read the News

Do ya’ll watch/read the news?

When I was a stay-at-home mom / working from home mom, I would listen to the conservative talk radio shows every day. I also used to look/read Drudge every day.

Though I felt informed, I was miserable. Because the news is depressing, ya’ll. I guess it has to be. Who wants to read about cute puppy antics, rainbows and unicorns? That’s not exciting. It’s not something that gets people worked up, it’s not a money maker.  I get it, but damn.

When I started my job at the hospital, I neither had the time, nor the inclination, to keep track of the news. Putting some distance between me and the ugly that exists outside my four walls was actually healthy for me. I believe one should be informed but know when to step back and take a breath.

Moderation is key.

It is important to keep on top of what is happening in our world. Too many uninformed / uninterested people already exist and as a result, we have ended up with a society like we have now. However, I have found that if you read the news maybe three times a week, you’re as informed as you’re going to be. Because if you notice, the news recycles itself every day. You can listen to one radio show host and he will talk about the same topics for DAYS, ad nauseam. Dude. I got it the first time you talked about it. Let’s stick to the facts and give me a minute to make up my own damn mind, mmkay?

We don’t watch TV. Not in the traditional sense. We’ve had cable, satellite, Netflix but got rid of them when prices started going up. I’m all for entertainment but not when it costs me a 1/4 of my paycheck.

I will admit, getting rid of NetFlix was hard: I haven’t watched a movie in … six months? I’m completely out of the movie loop. But the primary reason we did it was because it’s just a time suck. Too many movies and too little time. And honestly? I often ended up feeling disappointed when I finished a movie anyway so why would I spend my time and money on something that I don’t ultimately enjoy?

Now I read books and watch WAY too much YouTube videos. I’m currently hooked this, this and this channel. (Notice a patter here? Also, this girl is WICKED creative).

I may have to ban myself from YouTube. I’ve already banned myself from Facebook. (Yep, I deactivated my account. Another time suck. Haven’t missed it – at all).

I’ve trimmed the time suck fat from my day in an attempt to write on this blog more, build our podcast, write short stories and maybe even a novel to two. I’m slowly retraining my brain to focus on more brain-friendly activities.

With all of that being said, I do try and dip a toe into real-world events now and again which leads me to the point of this blog post.

News. Here are a few of the headlines that caught my attention today.

Europe’s biggest sex festival

Um. wow. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. To promote an event that solely exists to provide an atmosphere where depraved people can go and have orgies with whomever and whatever they want is a page ripped straight from Sodom and Gomorrah. Not to sound too Christian-y, but God have mercy on their souls. Nothing like wallowing in sin to be trendy and disgusting. But hey, it’s not called free will for nothing. Good luck explaining that behavior at the judgement.

Starbucks customer ‘did not feel safe’ with officers around

Some police officers in Tempe, Ariz., say they were asked to leave a Starbucks coffee shop on the Fourth of July because a customer complained they “did not feel safe” with the cops present, according to reports.

Five officers were drinking coffee at the Starbucks location prior to their shift beginning when a barista asked them to move out of the complaining customer’s line of sight or else leave, the Tempe Officers Association wrote in a series of Twitter messages.

You know Starbucks, for a company that prides itself on “inclusion” you’re doing a rather smashing job of excluding a large demographic here. I, for one, love your coffees but won’t buy coffee  because your prices are way, WAY too high for a cup of coffee. In addition, I’m really not inclined to buy anything from you because you continue to support and condone behavior that is directly counter intuitive to what is decent and right.

Why are people so hell bent on making the police the bad guys and yet the bad guys are given free reign to act like asses and/or break the law? Why is the media trying so hard to defend people, or groups, that continually work to break laws that are in place to PROTECT society at large? It seems so ass backwards to me. So, let’s continue to demonize the very people who swear to protect us. Yeah, that makes complete sense.

Let me ask you this – if the police go away. Then what? What happens if something bad happens and you need help? Who are you going to call then? If we didn’t have laws and society rules, our world would turn into Mad Max. Have you seen that movie? People are animals. Because it’s human nature to try and get something for nothing and some people do not possess the self-control gene.

Do you really want to live in a society without a police force? Well, keep demonizing them, it might happen.

Walmart bans woman who ate half a cake in store — and then refused pay full price

Here’s proof that people have lost their every-loving minds. (I think this one might end up a short story).

In case you’re too stupid to realize this, grocery stores are where you go to replenish your stock, to BUY things you need for your home. It is NOT a place specifically designed for you to go and eat for free. The wares you see placed neatly around the store? Was not placed specifically for you. I know, I know, this may come as a shock to you but take a breath and consider, for just a moment, that a company that builds a store and then offers things for people to buy did not specifically offer this service so that you could go, at your leisure, and start eating whatever you feel like eating, you dumb ass. Get over yourself.

For the love of God, what is wrong with people.

Okay. I need to walk away.

Now I remember why I stopped reading the news.

People are stupid, self absorbed and evil.

Post Twelve

At the Moment, Camp NaNoWriMo, Politics

Stop Playing Victim and Start Being Victor!

Wow. I have a girl crush on Candace Owens. This girl is ‘DA BOMB!

This conversation perfectly, PERFECTLY, defines what is wrong with our country.

It’s long, but well worth the watch. I dare you to take time out of your day to watch this.

Also, I spent 38 minutes watching this video:

FASCINATING conversation. And there is so much wisdom from the black conservatives in this round table. To be fair, I see what the liberal guy was saying but it comes around to being the victim, not the victor. And if you watch the faces of the liberal guests you can SEE the confusion.  They truly don’t know how to respond when faced with thoughtful, intelligent counterpoints.

I think this is indicative of America today. No one wants to think for themselves. It’s all about regurgitating talking points. I don’t think they even knew what they were saying, or arguing, half the time.

It’s time to stop being sheeple and start thinking for yourselves, people. Stop allowing the media to spoon feed you crap. Stop. Think. Digest.

I’m feeling hopeful after watching these videos. That’s how it starts, with thoughtful, intelligent conversation.

Post Eleven