Doing This Again!

Even though my husband told me I’m not allowed to participate anymore. Ever. LOL

I have been playing with an idea for months now, I was gonna do it for the November NaNoWriMo but Camp NaNoWriMo started July 1st and apparently, there’s gonna be another one in August, so I was thinking… maybe join in August.

It’s gonna be another food-centric novel, chick lit at its best. I don’t have names yet, not an outline but I will try to do that again.

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Catching Up

All I’ve been doing is catching up. I was a bad bad bad girl and didn’t write anything, not a single word on days 10, 12, 13 and 14. I completely slacked off. I kept telling myself I should be in the 30k range by now if I just wrote. But I didn’t. I had a few reasons, or excuses, whatever.

1. I didn’t really like how my story was going. Eva is kinda okay and fun but it’s like she’s being drifted away, like things are happening to her but she’s not making them happen. Like she’s observing her life. But then I had this ingenious thought of having her mother visit. The visit created conflict for my FMC and today I was able to write more than 3k words just exploring their relationship! The new character, who I never even thought about writing into my story, totally breathed new life into it.

2. It was the weekend then the holiday. I was out all day most of those days. And by the time I got home, I was too tired to write.

3. I am lazy. That’s not a reason, it’s an excuse. Whatever.

4. I needed someone to kick me in the butt. I got that kick in the butt in the form of an email from the OLL (Office of Letters and Light) that informed me that my novel and synopsis was picked to be in the pool for the 30 Days, 30 Covers thing. I was so happy. So I guess they will give my synopsis along with a thousand other more worthy ones to the designers and if mine gets picked (hopefully) then I could see a book cover with my name on it that I didn’t Photoshop! Woohoo!

But anyway, things are progressing albeit slowly in Eva’s world. Things are changing and happening and she still isn’t sure how to handle them or cope. Here’s an UNEDITED scene that iw rote today that I kinda liked. Sorry if it’s too long.

WARNING: Unedited!

“Mother, did you like working at the bakery?”

They were now seated in the armless couch that Eva bought at a garage sale especially for the kitchen, still in the basement because Eva didn’t want to take her eyes off the cooling cake layers. Eloise had made up some sweet tea and taken it downstairs for them to enjoy as well as a pack of store bought cookies. Sometimes, there are cookies thata re just better when they’re store bought. Especially these Lofthouse cookies. So cakey and soft and perfectly sweet with their creamy white frosting and colorful sprinkles. It was her only favorite cookie that wasn’t made from scratch. The only cookies her mother made, well got, for her.

Eloise was quiet for awhile, like she was thinking of what to say and how to word it just right. “I did. I guess. Pop paid me weekly wages so I could go out with my friends during weekends and buy a new pair of earrings or something silly like that. I liked watching Ma bake and she would teach me. But I was never like you, Eva. I could tell Ma enjoyed teaching you. She stopped teaching me when I got older. Got more interested in boys and clothes. But you… your eyes literally lit up when you saw the kitchen in this house. You were only five, so teeny and tiny. Pop had a stool made for you so you can stand on it and reach the counter top.”

“I remember that. I still have stool in the shed.” She was keeping it just in case she could be lucky to someday share her love for cake with a little one of her own.

“The first thing you made were cookies. Chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal and peanuts and whatever else you can find in the pantry.” Eloise smiled at the memory. “You made it all by yourself with Ma standing guard making sure you don’t burn down the house, or worse yourself. And when it was done baking, you plated it up and gave it to me and said in your sweet voice, ‘I made cookies for you because I love you, momma’.” Her voice broke when she said the last sentence but she composed herself.

Eva didn’t know what to say. She didn’t remember that at all. She was so young that all her memories from that time were like water color paintings that have all blended together, beautiful but faded and undefined. Just like a swirl of colors, nothing specific. She cleared her throat. “I love you, mother.”

“I love you too, kiddo. And I’m sorry I left you behind.”

It might sound vague to a stranger, but Eva knew exactly what she meant. “You didn’t. I wanted to stay here.”

Eloise looked down at her lap, ashamed to admit it. “I wanted you to stay here, too. And I’m sorry for that.”

It was then that Eva realized she made that choice when she was thirteen years old because she didn’t want her mother to. She spared her that heartbreaking choice of leaving behind her only child to live in another state with her new husband. But things worked out in the end, right?

She reached over and held her mother’s hand. She squeezed it firmly. “We both made that choice. It worked out. I didn’t grow up to be a psychopath and you’re happily married.”

Eloise was silent again and Eva just leaned back on the couch and rested her head on her mother’s shoulder, still holding her hand. They both watched the cakes cool down, neither one saying a word but comfortable in the silence.

Day Eight

So over the weekend I slacked. and the NaNoWriMo stats told me I would be finished by December 2nd. OUCH!

So today I busted out my laptop early and started typing. I’ve sent Eva and Tyler to Atlanta for a road trip. I am not sure yet if these two are going to be romantic but Eva definitely has a crush. Now they’re stuck in a hotel room for one night. Oh the fun that could happen. Or not.

Middle of day eight and I have 13831 words. What does NaNo stats have to say about that? November 29th, y’all! Woohoo!

Here’s a little something (Warning: Unedited. Not even spell check. Cut me some slack.)

The drive to Atlanta was long and boring. Mostly boring. Eva prepared for the trip by bringing along a cooler full of Cokes and sandwiches so they didn’t have to stop for food. Although there were a couple of bathroom breaks in some rest stops that she would like to never remember ever. Maybe for the trip back she can skip the coke and die of thirst. She’d rather die of thirst than go into one of those rest stop toilets again. Tyler was lucky because he could just whip it out and go but not her.
The first two hours were alright. They were both excited and chit chatting while singing along to the radio. By the third hour there were more silence and singing along. When the fourth one rolled around Eva noticed Tyler was already sleeping. Great road trip company, this one. By the time she drove into the Residence Inn she was tired, bored and hungry for real food.
Tyler had woken up by that time and he helped her with their overnight bags as her van was driven away by the valet. “Wow! This place is swanky!” He swung his bag over his right shoulder while his left gripped her own.
Eva looked up and saw twenty floors of suites from where she was standing by the street. “It sure is. Thank you, Foodie Network!”
They both walked in when a smiling doorman opened the door for them and they admired the beautiful and inviting lobby. Gold was the color theme to impart a sense of luxury. The walls were gilded and the tiles had an intricate pattern on them to make them look aged and expensive. The lobby wasn’t huge or imposing at all, no waterfalls or fountains. It was just a nice, well-decorated and lit, very inviting and warm space. To the left was the row of elevators broken up by a table with a large vase filled with fresh flowers. To the right, through a six-feet wide wooden arch was the reception area where two petite young ladies held court.
Eva walked to the reception area, plastering a smile on her tired face. Her curly hair had been trapped under a flowery scarf for the whole trip and she carefully untied it and shook her head to fluff up her hair and looks as presentable as she could. Unfortunately, when she saw her reflection in the mirror behind the receptionist named Diane, she could tell that the five-hour drive really showed on her face.
“Good morning! My name is Diane. How can I help you today?” Diane was tiny. Like teeny tiny. Like smaller than Eva by at least two inches. She had dark brown hair that was in a low ponytail, just behind her nape, rosy blushed cheeks and pink gloss made her smile even brighter. Suddenly Eva felt so… drab.
“Oh, hello! My name is Eva Cunningham. I believe I have a reservation for today.”
“Let me check that for you. You and your guest can sit over there while I do this.” She then waved over to where a beige couch with matching love seats sat empty. The low coffee table housed a small vase of flowers and a chandelier made it relaxing but elegant at the same time.
Eva made a face and unconsciously rubber her butt. “I’ve been sitting for five hours so I’d just stand here and wait, if you don’t mind.”
Diane replied, “Of course,” and she started typing into her computer keyboard. “Five hours, huh? Did you drive from Savannah?”
“Yes we did. And my buddy over there is the world’s worst road trip companion.” Eva thumbed towards Tyler’s direction.
“We were on the road at five in the morning. Cut me some slack,” he retorted, crossing his arms around his wide chest.
She snorted. “And I didn’t have it bad driving at five AM and having a hard time falling asleep.”
Diane chuckled and looked up from her computer monitor. “Alright. So we have you in one of our bedroom suites at the ninth floor. This is your key card.” She handed Eva a laminated card with the hotel’s name engraved on it in gold and the room number 912. “Noah will show you to your room and help you with your bags. If you need anything else, just dial 0 for the front desk. Enjoy your stay!”
Noah, dressed in his handsome bellman uniform appeared seemingly out of nowhere to grab the bags from Tyler. Then he motioned for them to go straight ahead to the elevators.
“Thanks, Diane,” Eva managed to get out before turning towards the elevators.
“Yeah, thanks,” Tyler added.

Day Five

So I haven’t posted in two days. Two really difficult writing days. But today I broke the 10k barrier, upping my daily average to 2k a day. Yay!

I reached a semi stumbling block when I had Eva stalk Rick and visit his parents’ house. I didn’t want to continue with that but I decided to just go for it. The result was satisfying for me. And I didn’t have to delete more than a thousand words.

Cute scene (Warning: Totally unedited and crappy first draft!!!!):

“Bob, meet Eva Cunningham. She’s one of Rick’s clients.” Melinda was now pouring the lemonade into a tall glass and then gracefully set it on the counter top in front of her.

The man walked towards her and extended his hand. “Nice to meet you.” They shook hands and he asked, “Are you joining us for dinner?”

Eva felt like squirming. But she knew it wouldn’t be proper. She squirmed inwardly. “Actually… it’s quite nice of you to ask me but I really had just wanted to leave the cookies–” She waved her hand towards the direction of the basket.

Bob Roberts’ eyes lit up like a little kid’s. “Cookies? There are cookies?” He was about to tear the cellophan open when Melinda’s stern voice stopped him.

“That’s not for you, darling. It’s for Rick and besides you don’t want to ruin your appetite for dinner now would you?”

Bob’s smile turned into a frown but he shrugged it off. “Not to worry. Besides Rick will be here any minute now.”

Eva took a sip of lemonade, so as not to be too impolite but then she stood up and stammered, “Speaking of Rick… I would rather he didn’t know I stopped by–“

“There’s a multi-colored van parked in the driveway–“

Turning in surprise, Eva saw Rick walking inside the kitchen as if he owned the place. Come to think of it, he kinda, sorta does.

“Eva!”

“Rick!”

She self-consciously walked towards him and explained, “I was just here to drop off the cookies.”

“Cookies? There are cookies?” Melinda’s loud sigh was an indication that she was rolling her eyes at how alike her husband and son were.

I hope to have more typed tonight because tomorrow I would be out. 🙂

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Day Three Begins

I was really good yesterday and broke the 5k barrier! I finished Day Two with 5969 words. Woot!

I’m a quarter-way through with chapter two and Eva just keeps finding ways to be endearing… NOT! she’s actually not giving me a hard time. I enjoy writing about her, telling her story.

Today I will write with a different POV, that of Rick my male semi-MC. Just to give a more balanced reporting.

So a tidbit from yesterday’s session. WARNING: This is unedited and part of a first draft.

At that exact moment she heard heavy foot steps coming from the kitchen and her heart stopped. Light on her feet, she sprinted toward the kitchen’s swinging doors and picked up a long piece of wood from the floor. Holding it up like a bat, though she’s never really held a bat before, she used her foot to push the door open silently. Her breath got caught in her throat when she saw a tall, broad-shouldered man with dark brown hair standing a few feet from her. His feet were firmly planted on the floor, his hands on his narrow hips and he seem to be looking up at the ceiling.

“Get the hell out of my shop!” Eva’s voice shook a little as she said this and she hated it. She swung the piece of wood back the way she saw baseball players would.

The man turned around and ducked in time as the wood swished over his head. “What the– lady!”

Stinging from the miss, Eva didn’t waste any time and was swinging the wood back again, her hands wrapped tightly around it. “Get out!”

This time, his hands caught the wood and he tried to pull it from her. His eyes widened when he realized how strong her grip was. “Geez! Lady, calm down!”

“Where’s Burt? BURT!!! Help me! There’s an intruder in the shop!” Who’s very tall and quite handsome! She didn’t say that last part out loud.

His blue eyes blinked in surprise. “Wait, wait, wait. We got off on a wrong foot here.” He raised both hands in front of his chest and took a step back. “I promise to tell you who I am. So please drop your deadly weapon before you hurt yourself.”

With narrowed eyes, Eva let her arms drop to the sides, but her right hand was still gripping her “weapon”. “Who are you?”

“I’m Rick Roberts, Burt’s cousin. He’s making a phone call out back,” he replied, his head nodding towards the back door that led to private parking area.

She stared at him for a few seconds, trying to gauge if he was telling the truth. “How convenient for you that the only person who can collaborate your story is not in this room.”

Rick Roberts chuckled. It was a deep throaty chuckle that reminded Eva of dark chocolate ganache-covered almonds– rich but surprisingly crunchy that often leaves her with a warm comforting feeling in her tummy.

“Lady, you watch way too many crime shows.”

Caught off-guard by his reply and the boyish look that overcame his face, the tension in her shoulders and arms relaxed and she moved the weapon from her right hand to her left before extending it for a shake. “I’m Eva Cunningham. I own this place.”

Her tiny hand was engulfed by a large one and the fact that that has happened twice in the same morning made her feel giggly. “Nice to meet you, Miss Cunningham.”

She waved him off. “Please. Call me Eva and I’ll call you Rick.”

He smiled at her again, his attractiveness factor shooting way up and she had no choice but to smile back. It was like she was powerless. What’s going on? All her life she’d barely had time to notice the opposite sex and today she’d met two extremely attractive men. And it wasn’t even noon yet! Some women might consider her lucky but Eva just hasn’t been around enough attractive men in her life to know how to act with one. So she looked down and saw her make believe bat. Gently, and hoping he wouldn’t notice it, she bent down by the knees and laid it flat on the floor.

I know that’s more than a tidbit but I kinda liked that scene.

Start of Day Two

So I had a busy day yesterday. I waited until midnight so I could start writing my NaNovel. Took me awhile to get into the mood. I probably wrote and scrapped ten different first lines. But once I got it down, I got the mood I was going for, I started typing.

It’s hard to NOT read what I’ve typed. I try not to because I don’t wanna lose the words. But before I started my second writing session at 11 PM Day One, I did read what I’ve written so far and added a few words here and there.

So I’ve written an additional 2025 words to make my total 3750 at the start of Day Two which isn’t bad at the least. I mean that’s already 325 words in excess of my quota! My only fear is that I’m going to be breezing through my entire plot and by the middle of the month I’d have nothing left to write about.

So 3750 words and I’ve already crossed out two events from my list. I’m thinking of plot ninjas or bunnies or cookies. Maybe I’d introduce a new character in the middle or a bunch of new characters to extend the story a little bit because as it is, I’m only done with chapter one and two major things have already happened. I should space them out and write fillers in the meantime.

So I’m thinking Chapter Two would be 3000 or so words about cake. Not bad, right?

Here’s my first paragraph:

With the steely gaze of her green eyes, Eva Cunningham willed the buttercream to stay put. She continued to stare at it until, as if to spite her, it peeled itself off the chocolate chip cake layer and fell on to the countertop with a softly whispered thump. Under her breath and softer than the buttercream’s victorious thud, she whispered a word that her mother won’t like and would probably say something about soap and mouths in response. That’s why Eva said it under her breath, afraid that her mother would hear it all the way from New Mexico.

Definitely not groundbreaking and it won’t win any Oscar-for-novels awards but I like it. 🙂

 

Book “Art”?

So the last day to prepare for NanoWriMo and what did I do? I created a book cover for the NaNo site LOL Yes. I was bored. But anyway, it’s 8:30 PM and three hours and a half before NaNo starts. I am so psyched!

 

Check out my Book “art”

SCRAPPED!

I have scrapped my vampire novel. I know. Three days to go and I completely scrapped that concept and am now working on a whole new novel.

The upside of this is I don’t need to research much as the theme is something I’m quite familiar with: cake decorating. I’m a hobbyist so I may not know all the proper names of things but at least I know some of them.

For some reason when I decided to do this last night, I felt even more excited about NaNo and I cannot wait to start. I’m fleshing out my character and in order to not spend so much time doing that I used writeordie.com to just write everything I want the character to be. Here’s what I have so far:

Story Question

When cake orders started pouring in and the need for a storefront became critical, Eva Cunningham decides to take the plunge and open her own bakery complete with a tasting room, display room and the big kitchen she had always dreamed of. But will she succeed when the contractor falls ill and his replacement is the most annoying man in the world with the best looking buns, a new reality TV show has tapped her to be one of its competitors and her biggest rival is taking shop right across the street from her dream shop?

Novel Info

Title: Butter, Cream and Dreams

Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis:

Eva Cunningham’s five-year-old cake decorating business is on the ground and running and she’s finally taking the leap into a having her own storefront complete with a tasting room for brides, a display room for all her confections and a kitchen big enough for her five Kitchen aid mixers, three double door ovens and counter space that went on for days.

But when her trusted contractor skips town pushing his cousin as replacement Eva’s hopes of a beautiful storefront crashes down like a wedding cake disaster in slow motion.

To make things even more interesting, she had been tapped to compete in a reality show for cake decorators where she will face pastry chefs who’ve gone to the best culinary arts school with a French name.

And what’s a three-tiered cake without a topper? Not enough! And the topper is this: her biggest rival in town decides to take up shop right across the street from her!

With all the cake stacked against her, can Eva’s dream of having her very own cake shop ever come true?

Excerpt: (See? I even managed an excerpt which will or won’t make it into the actual novel!)

Clara Fallon was one of those women who raised three kids while holding up a three-tiered white cake filled with strawberry custard, covered flawlessly in fondant and decorated with the most realistic flowers made of royal icing ever seen by human eyes while keeping her manicure perfectly perfect.

“She’s annoyingly perfect,” Eva thought swallowing down the admiration and envy that bubbled up her throat at the sight of her rival. Well, it’s not her fault she doesn’t have three kids and yes she, too can make a three-tiered cake with flawless fondant work and a wonderful whirl of colors that could make anyone think of rainbows. She looked down at her unpolished nails and decided Clara can have the best French-tipped nails award.

Eva would rather be the best cake decorator in town, thank you very much!

Characterization (Forgive the spelling, grammar and non-capitalization of letters, written with writeordie.com)

Eva Cunningham is a 28-year-old cake decorator and baker. she has had no formal training. she grew up in her grandparents’ bakery and was always fascinated by powdered sugar, flour and chocolate.

she has short curly hair and bright green eyes. delicate shaped face. she values comfort over appearance so she is always in her Crocs and a somewhat tight shirt and baggy bottoms. she is 5’4″ and 120 lbs. she is quite strong for her size as she can carry large tiered cakes by herself. It freaks people out sometimes.

her parents got divorced when she was five. her mother stayed with the grandparents and her father moved to florida and eventually got married. her mother got remarried when Eva was 13 and by this time she chose to stay with her grandparents. her mother now lives in New Mexico with her husband.

She is a tad workaholic and could work on a cake for hours without resting, eating or even noticing time. when she does eat, she likes potato chips sour cream and onion flavored. she actually doesn’t like sweet things as much. a baker who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, hey there’s a first time for everything.

Traits for Eva: determined, brave, inattentive, ADD, focused,

Tags for Eva: I don’t really know yet but I will figure it out.

she prefers buttercream to fondant but she can do both well. Her cake designs are whimsical and she likes swirls, butterflies, flowers, mad hatter cakes. Once she made a regular ole cake and it turned out great BUT she prefers the craziness of wonky cakes. Her signature flavor is chocolate chip cake with espresso filling and iced in white chocolate butter cream. her favorite cake is lemon and poppyseed cake with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. she has had her business for 5 years now and she is ready to have a store front and move her tiny kitchen into a bigger one where she can work as long as she wants.

She loves her red kitchen Aid. she has 5 of them. The first, her favorite was given to her as a birthday gift by her grandparents when she turned 18 and quit college to work full time at their bakery: Sweets. she actually enjoys the baking part and the decorating part. baking is relaxing.

So this is what I have and I’ve only been at it for two hours! yay! Hoping to do my outline, story arch or whatever else tonight or tomorrow after the Halloween party!

Another Day… Still Slightly Stumped

So I’ve finally kinda slightly figured out what my FMC’s motivation is:

She goes to Mist Gate Academy in search of an ancient book of curses that hides a curse reversal for vampires. Who is she getting the cure for? Herself? A loved one? Who knows? But so far that’s all I have. Less than four days away and I still have the bulk of my outlining to do! Ugh!

 

How’s your life?