A New Challenge

The folks at the Austin Romance Writer’s of America have a monthly writing challenge. The winners write every day for a month and we have a blast encouraging each other to park our behinds in front of the computer every single day.

So I’d started this a bunch of times last year but toward the end of last year and this year, despite being in Iraq, I am going to participate and finish each month ( I still have to finish my novel, Saving Trent) and get started on the next project.

Thanks to the awesome folks at ARWA, ROMVETS and other RWA chapters for sending along the care packages, too. I get to play Santa every day because of my writer friends around the country. 

My Muse is On Strike

So I was going for the gold with Saving Trent. I was on a roll. On the flight back to Texas, I wrote 5000 words and was on track to keep right on going until the end.

And now? Nothing. Okay, not really nothing. I’ve written about 800 words this week, when I should be doing 1000 per day. I think I”m going to have to publicly declare that I will write 1000 words per day in order to get my butt back in front of the computer.

I think part of my problem is the new environment: it’s austere and boring and there are no outside distractions. I have nothing to force me to sit and write.

So I think I’ve come up with a solution, however, that involves more than just 1000 words per day. I edited my playlists and I’ve got new music to listen to that’s getting my brain moving again. But the biggest thing is that I owe it to my characters to finish this book. I just can’t leave them hanging in the void left on the blank pages.

My goal is therefore declared: FINISH SAVING TRENT. I will write 1000 words per day, every day, until it is finished. I will not allow my characters to end where they sit right now (one is home with three very upset children and one is getting a much needed girls day out).

Besides that, I’m afraid that if I don’t start writing again, it will just slip to the side and I’ll be one of those writers who gave up. What am I talking about? I don’t quit.

So there. Off my butt, time to stop blogging and get on with it.

And that’s what’s going on in my world today!

Made it!

Made it safe and sound to Kuwait. Did a little work today, but the major grind starts tomorrow. Pretty jetlagged but can’t seem to get used to sleeping. It’s just like being at NTC, as far as the sand and the 5 minute combat showers, so all in all, it’s not bad. 

Except that I didn’t do any writing on the plane. Nothing. Not a single word. I slept instead, which may explain my current insomnia. I’d like to write something but I’m just not feeling into it. Though I did discover a cool fact during a layover: Stanza (ereader app for iPod and iPhone) offers many classics for FREE. I downloaded Poe, Hawethorne, Neitchze. All kinds of good stuff.

That’s all the excitement for now!

Otherwise, I’m on day 1. 364 to go.

oovoo my friend

So, I’ve discovered a handy little thing to help me keep in touch with the kids. Oovoo. It’s video teleconferencing via the web and it’s FREE. You can download it here. The big plus was that it only takes two steps for my computer illiterate (I mean that in the nicest way, Mom) mom to dial us, plus she already figured out how to leave us video messages. Pretty cool. Still working some bandwidth issues, but hey, anything that let’s me see my kids while I’m deployed is worth it.

That said, I’ve been slacking off on my to do list. I’ve got a ton of stuff to accomplish before long and yeah, I’m waiting until the last minute to do it. Like finish medical readiness. Wills. You know, the important things. Got to get cracking.

Oh and in the keep myself busy department: I accomplished 5000 words today in my latest WIP Saving Trent. Not bad in the way of occupied so I don’t sit around and miss the kiddies. I’m hoping to have this book done before the new year.

That’s all for now!

A Huge Thank You

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a member of the Austin Romance Writers of America. They’ve been amazingly supportive over the ups and downs of going through the pain of seeking publication and last night was no exception.

They threw me a going away party, complete with an Inject the Venom cake and a song. I’m going to say I’ve never heard a more beautiful rendition of God Bless America than the one Lexi Connor sang last night. It moved me to tears. The cards and notes are going with me, so when the bad days come next year, I’ll have some cheerful thoughts to remind me. The cake was donated by Cake Please and was amazing!

Folks, if you ever have a chance to swing by a meeting at the RWA in Austin. You’ll leave a better person for knowing them.

And before I forget, HUGE congratulations to Skylar White on her publication offer. It was a great way to end the evening. Celebrate, girl!

Okay that’s all. Stop by www.jessdawson.com for photos from last night. I’ll have them up soon!

Take care

What I’m Reading Now

So I’m having an apocalyptic bent. I’m reading The Stand by Stephen King. The unabridged version on my new toy, my iPod touch. I’d started The Stand several years ago (it may even have been a decade ago) but for some reason I never finished it. I’m glad it didn’t then, because I’m enjoying the ride oh so much. The best part about The Stand is that I don’t know how it ends, other than most everyone gets sick from the Army-engineered flu.

And as I get ready to head into theater, I’m finding latent interest in religion resurrecting. I’m feeling my own version of apocalyptic story starting to germinate in my brain, so we’ll see what my year in Iraq brings.

The other book my husband recommends is SwanSong. Anyone want to learn something neat? I’m willing to bet that Stephanie Meyer pays tribute to SwanSong and The Stand in her Twilight series. I could be wrong, but her main characters’ last names are Swan and Cullen. Coincidence? Or just cool.

One thing the Army teaches us is to honor those that came before us, so if she is paying tribute to those authors, bravo!

So today, on Veteran’s Day, let’s pause to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who haven’t but who give up something of their lives so the rest of the nation can go about their daily business without worrying over who is going to protect them from the boogeyman.

That’s all for now.



There won’t be much traffic here until mid-late December, but I’ll post a little before I go. Once we get settled across the pond, check back daily! Of course, there will be NO OPSEC violations on this blog. I won’t share anything that will risk any soldier’s life. Mostly, it will be my observations and experiences as I go through my combat tour with the First Cav.  Until then, check out my newly redesigned website at www.jessdawson.com!