July Camp NaNoWriMo

Yes… hold me accountable…

Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I’ve jumped in and registered for the July session of Summer NaNoWriMo.  I need to hold myself accountable for my manuscript and track how I am performing.  I am excited to meet the goal of 50,000 words in one month.  I need 1,600+ each day and I am confident I can do it.  I seem to write better when challenged or under a deadline.

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Where to start…

Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I’m still in conference mode, not writing mode. Several weeks of sitting and listening to workshops and lectures and panels and readings has inspired to contemplate my own manuscript.  However, that inspiration lives in my head – I’m holed up in my cranium and not putting things on paper.

I spend my days teaching beginning composition to community college students. I talk about:

  • Procrastination – don’t do it because it isn’t a good habit to get into and it makes Professor Newlon and unhappy instructor.
  • Process vs. Content – I’ve retarget my students how to write with fastwriting prompts and turning off the internal critic.

Sadly, I can’t seem to even follow my own lectures!  Rather than writing this morning, I’m checking things out on the internet, writing this post, and considering how long it will take me to shave my dog.  I’m overthinking my manuscript and have not jumped into…

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Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I was upset that I could not do more posting to the blog while in San Miguel. Internet issues plagued me, so I had to wait until I returned to the states.

I am happy to say that my final pitch session was great – she wants to read the first 3 chapters of my book!  We spent nearly five hours together my final day in San Miguel and I am truly excited if she does in fact become my agent.


In the meantime, I’m reflecting on the cultural experiences of my trip and truly thankful that each workshop I attended managed to break down walls blocking my writing.  Excited for what is to come!

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Day 2

Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I found myself giggling this morning – as I walked to breakfast this morning in a light pair of pants, spring shirt, flip flops, and hoodie, many of the locals were wearing winter gear.  Scarves, heavy jackets and even gloves.  It is 43 degrees and they are wearing what I wear when the wind is howling and snow is falling…

Today I read from my manuscript, headlining an open mic session.  This should be interesting as the average age of most attendees is 55-60 years of age.  I do hope they appreciate my work.  I’m not nervous yet – the anxiety of reading that I normally experience hasn’t set in yet so I am hopeful that this is a positive sign of my growing confidence.

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Day One

Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

Internet has been unreliable at the house, so I have to wait until I am at the hotel to post.

I took in everything this morning as I walked to breakfast – children giggling and running to the school just blocks from where I am staying… the sweet smells of cinnamon and baking bread… the pleasant greetings of those I pass on the road.

I spent the evening working on my pitch, taking into consideration the suggestions for revision made by my loving husband Mike and my gracious host Franny.  Today, I present my manuscript in the hopes of finding someone willing to take me on, willing to represent me during this journey toward publication.  I pray I am met with positive answers, but have prepared for the evil rejection often found in this industry.  I’ve silently prayed for God to give me the strength to make it through and…

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I am here…

Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

The flights to San Miguel were typical – one too darn hot and cramped, a three-year-old sitting behind my seat, kicking and jamming her toes in my lower back while her mother drank.  The other flight (yes I took two) was freezing cold and much smaller, but I was blessed enough to have my own seat – no cramping.  However, the woman behind me, who was of very large stature, kept tugging and pulling on my seat each time she moved around.

I found myself starstruck on the second plane as Yann Martel boarded with his family and nearly fell on top of me getting to his seat.  It was in that moment that I realized I was riding with a plane full of writers – an airborn writing community.

Customs was a breeze.  Riding the shuttle to Franny’s house wasn’t!!!!  The roads are in poor condition and many of…

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Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I leave for San Miguel in 11 days.  I’ve not really thought about it or allowed myself any sort of giddiness and excitement – I’m overwhelmed with trying to balance the seven college composition classes at two different community colleges.  I keep trying to prove that I’m worth their time….

Either way, I’ve managed to stay ahead of the game on my lectures, but I find myself frustrated with the unprepared procrastinator students.  I went through this last semester and promised myself I’d leave it alone.

I can’t be upset with them when I still have not made a dent in my manuscript proposal…I need something by 2/13 and the outline sits open on my tablet screen for days on end with no additions, no subtractions, no changes in page numbers.  I’m dreading the work not because I know it is a process.

I’m dreading rejection…

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How did I get so lucky?

Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I knew when I said “I do” 19 years ago to my best friend that life would interesting.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but I always know I can count on Mike to be involved in what I do.

We spent quite a large portion of the evening “mapping” my Grandmother’s movements in Mexico.  He broke out Google Earth and I pointed out places she had named in the journal.

For quite some time, I thought that the Camino Real was a river.  Grandma mentioned that her mother, after a severe beating, took off running toward it.  Not much else was said.  I assumed it to be this massive, rushing body of water that she intended to through herself into.  My Great-Grandmother spoke frequently of wishing that she would die or that the Devil would come and take her.

We searched for the Camino Real.  We never found it. …

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Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

I spent Saturday and Sunday working bingo – I need to find some way to pay for my youngest son’s competitive soccer habit…

One of our guards, Ron, began speaking with me about his niece who travels regularly to the San Miguel area.  She actually came in to play so I had a chance to pick her brain and ask questions about the area.

She assured me it is safe, almost an Americanized area for tourists.  There are many sights to see, photo opportunities, and a very memorable friendly experience…

She then said the one thing I needed to hear..

Guanajuato is 45 minutes away and you must get there to see it….

I feared that the location is off limits to people like me. I feared that some part of Maria still lingers there. I feared that I too might find myself running toward the Camino Real.  I need to…

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Nothing Is Ever Done When Someone Dies In Mexico

The semester has started and so begins the negligence.  All writing is set aside because of a preoccupation with procrastination – not mine, but that of my students.

I’m teaching seven courses spread between three campuses and I somehow find ways to make excuses for not writing.  I have every opportunity to when I’m not lecturing or grading papers, but somehow it slips away and then when I realize what I’ve NOT done, the guilt slips in.

I have to be disciplined and make myself write.  I preach to my students on the importance of not procrastinating, and yet I fail to adhere to my own words…

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