Camp Tales: April 8-14

Interesting week. Thus far, I've followed my outline pretty well, but I've also created new scenes and chapters. Not planned was a new writing project for the weekends, completely unrelated to the Little Blessing series.

Whole30 update—I'm still craving bread, but mostly chocolate. Bigtime. I've managed to resist it but there are plenty of sweet temptations, mostly on television, like the Reese's and Cadbury's commercials that seem to appear every time I turn the channel. One night, I watched the Love, Romance, & Chocolate movie on the Hallmark Channel. The movie is set in Belgium and I never saw so much chocolate in one film! I've eaten Swiss, Italian, English, and American chocolate but my hands-down favorite is Belgian—absolute heaven in your mouth! Too bad I won't be indulging this month. But I am accepting chocolate donations in May!

Monday, April 8

It is raining so hard right now that I'm more concerned about flooding in the basement, not today's word count. Ah well, April showers bring May flowers...

Made a batch of Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup. Surprisingly tasty and a comforting meal for a rainy day. Who would have thought that cooked cauliflower could taste like rice?

Chapter Thirteen: Hallelujah House

Hallelujah House looked a bit different when I first wrote about it in Inn Lak'ech. In Seaglass Christmas, the hotel's ground floor are shops and the second and third floors are still guest rooms. No restaurant, offices or movie theater yet.

My greatest challenge today is determining what happens when Elm goes snooping in the lobby. I thought I would have a gaping black hole where a scene should be and would have to return to this chapter later. But something miraculous happened. I stared at the scene for a few minutes, and suddenly a little movie ran through my mind. It played through the entire scene, answering all of my questions! I love when that happens. Thank you, muses. Seriously.

Tuesday, April 9

I wrote my Writelighter newsletter at 8AM and sent it out to my subscribers, but I'm not motivated to get back to the manuscript. For one thing, I'm thinking about switching around some chapters. And I also have a lot of other things to do today, like making doctor appointments and cooking Lentil Pasta with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce for dinner. Then I look at Desk Puppy and he growls. Okay, I'll write a little.

Chapter Fourteen: Even Mermaids Take Baths

I wasn't sure where I was going with this chapter except I knew I wanted to emphasize Elm's mermaid obsession, her synesthesia, and have her learn some important news in her father's marina office while she is working on her community newsletter. Mostly, I just sat at my keyboard and typed until I had a full chapter. Who knew where the words were coming from?

Wednesday, April 10

The big burning question of the month is "Why is Elm—a mere child—sent the mysterious seaglass in the first place?" All I know is I need to come up with a big burning answer—tout suite!

Chapter Fifteen: Beware of Christmas Ghosts

Writing this chapter was a breeze until I realized I didn't know where the heck I was going! So I Googled "Coastal Christmas" to get some ideas for the Sunday's holiday decor, since that is where this scene takes place. Somehow I managed to get back on the "write" track and wrote a lot more than expected. Hey, I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!

Chapter Sixteen: Season's Greetings

This chapter is supposed to be Elm's community newsletter, but I'm not ready to write it yet. So, let's move on. Nothing to see here...

Thursday, April 11

I don't want to write today. I really don't. I want to make jewelry. I want to read a book. I want to contemplate my navel. I want to rewatch a hilarious YouTube video I found with Craig Ferguson and Robin Williams doing a lightning round of irreverent banter. I want to laugh. Instead, I call my mother and we chat about our health and the high cost of prescription drugs. After I hang up, I want to become an activist. I want to start a petition, sign a petition, and protest. But Desk Puppy reminds me I can also make a difference through my writing. Thus, I return to my project because a Dalmation Stone told me so.

Chapter Seventeen: Back to the Library

While following up on a clue at the library, Elm's mortal enemy appears. Can't these two girls ever get along? (Shhhhh! Beware of humorless librarians.)

Friday, April 12

I knew how to begin this project and I know how this story ends, so why must the middle be so darn difficult? Desk Puppy just shakes his head and laughs. He reminds me to go with the flow. I get back to my manuscript and focus my energies on Elm earning her Philanthropist badge. Yes, I can make a difference—through my stories!

Chapter Eighteen: Bless the Beasts and The Brownies

Elm and Snow are fighting again, this time at the Christmas Wreath Bazaar. It's to benefit the animal shelter, but there is a stranger who is making Elm feel mighty uncomfortable. And this isn't the first time.

Saturday, April 13

I never thought I would say this but I need a break from Seaglass Christmas. It's not the story, it's not the characters, I just need a timeout from writing about the season of winter. I need a massive dose of spring! So I've decided to devote my remaining April weekends to working on my new visionary fiction novel, Dorfman's Greatest Bits. It began as a screenplay (by another name) and it's the story of Louie, a seventeen-year-old boy whose father wants him to be a comedy star. Louie wants to bring joy to the world, but the world keeps kicking him in the pants. Down but not out, Louie has a plan for his future—and a secret super power—but will his father be laughing when all is revealed?


The book begins with Louie venting about his father. I'm writing this prologue in first person; the rest of the book is in third person, except for the Epilogue. Some people may not appreciate this technique, but it feels right to me.

Chapter One

So many secrets for one teenager! In this chapter (which begins in the spring—surprised?) I expose Louie's secret part-time job at a dollhouse and miniatures shop. This topic is right up my alley because I used to build dollhouses and roomboxes and freelance for several dollhouse magazines. Actually, I have a few of my creations here in my office, including a "Manes and Miniatures" dollhouse shop and "Easter in the Park roombox." Will I ever grow up? (That was a rhetorical question.)

Sunday, April 14

Chapter Two

After the first day of the Boston Miniatures Expo, Louie reluctantly goes for a wild ride with Maria, a fiery middle-aged writer with a garbage mouth the size of Texas.

Chapter Three

I began this scene at the neighborhood bowling alley. Didn't finish it, though, because I had to go to Walmart to shop for groceries. What a zoo! The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union members from our regular supermarket, Stop & Shop, are on strike. According to a union spokesperson, the proposed pay increase will not offset the high cost of medical care.

Will pick up where I left off next weekend. Looking forward to seeing Louie onstage!

Tonight's dinner: Roasted Asparagus, Carrots, Onions, and Red Peppers with Baked Potato and Coconut Sour Cream

Camp Tales is a 4-week series about my writing experiences at Camp NaNoWriMo. Read Part Three here.

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