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Month: November 2013

NaNoWriMo Completed!

Or, I Can Finally Take A Deep Breath

Though there were lots of tough days when I questioned if I would ever reach 50,000 words before the Nov. 30 deadline, I pulled through and finished my novel right before Thanksgiving. I am so in love with this story, though, that it really wasn’t a chore to escape into Ben and Maya’s world for a month.

I’ll spend December editing and re-writing. Hopefully, I’ll soon have good news about the publication of Elixir the first book in the Red Plague trilogy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner NaNoWriMo


<3 Anna

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NaNoWriMo Home Stretch

Or, How I Plan To Win

I’m turning off the TV, playing a movie for the little princess, and putting on my headphones. In two hours I plan on being done with the last 3000 words (or so). I’m ready to put this book to bed.

Wish me luck!

<3 Anna

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NaNoWriMo Update

Or, The Final Stretch

NaNoWriMo Update: I’m at 42,500 words, but I swear this last 10k is harder than the other 40k put together. I just want to be out from under all this pressure and edit the scenes I’ve written!

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This is what I WANT to be doing today, but I’ve got a novel to finish!

<3 Anna

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Hunger Games: Catching Fire Girls’ Night

Or, How I Spent My Thursday

My daughter and I had a girls’ night out. We went to Chili’s and ate appetizers. Then we caught the first Thursday night showing of Catching Fire.

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Dressing up for a night out with mommy.
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Just chillin’ in line.

My two cents: I loved the movie, though if you’ve read the book there won’t be any surprises. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. In fact, all the actors were fantastic. My only complaint is I felt like the district scenes were long and winding while the arena scenes were rushed, but I understand what was going on in the districts is more important to the continuing story than any obstacles Katniss & Peeta face in the arena.

<3 Anna

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Welcome Our New Beagle Pup!

Or, We Have A New Addition To Our Family
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Isn’t she beautiful? Meet Nia, our new Beagle mix puppy. She’s nine months old and a little angel. Good thing she likes to cuddle!

She joins our plus-sized kitty cat Fiery Red. Here’s my girl guarding her food bowl.

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Fiery Red

<3 Anna

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Passing the Halfway Point

Or, I’m 25,000 Words Closer To My 50,000 Word Goal

NaNoWriMo update:

I crossed the 25,000 word mark last weekend and can see the end in sight! Adding so many words so quickly to the final installment in my new paranormal series is a thrilling feeling. I can’t wait for you all to read the Red Plague Trilogy!

<3 Anna


USMC Birthday Ball

Or, My Strange And Fantastic Night

I was lucky enough to attend the US Marine Corps birthday ball this year in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Look at all those curls! I had my hair “fancified” in the afternoon.
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My favorite thing about this dress is the color. I feel like a sparkly green mermaid in it.

The back of my dress has a zipper up to the small of my back, a cutout, and then a strap that snaps and hooks right over where the average bra strap lays across your back. Last year the hooks and snaps broke. But because I like to live on the edge, I just lost a few pounds and never fixed the strap, assuming it would fix itself.

When I finally put the gown on in our hotel room with about ten minutes to spare before the cab arrived it became obvious the hooks and snaps were still broken and every time I inhaled, the strap popped open.

In a panic, I had my husband safety-pin it together. Nope. Still a disaster. Then he safety-pinned the straps to my bra strap. Nope. If anything, it looked worse. I had a shawl, but it couldn’t conceal that much catastrophe. And I hadn’t packed a back-up. Like I said, I like to live on the edge.

My husband, my daughter, and I swept downstairs with little choice but to see if the sundry store in the hotel lobby sold magical safety pins. I was desperate, at this point. But all they had was a tiny sewing kit.

I unwrapped the green thread, threaded the needle, and tried to convince first my husband and then my nine-year-old daughter that it was no big thing to learn to sew like a tailor in two minutes flat.

The desk clerk noticed our struggle and announced calmly, “I can do that for you.”

Like my fairy godfather, he pulled me behind the registration desk and told me how his mother used to make all his bell bottom pants and shirts with french cuffs when he was a kid as he sewed me into my gown. Bless his heart, he saved the whole night. All fixed up and looking like new, the three of us hopped into our cab and headed off to the ball.

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The dining room.

The ball was amazing. We drank too much, laughed too loudly, and had too much cheesecake, but it was all worth it. I have to admit I did not dance, not even one slow song, but I wasn’t ready to tempt fate that much.

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Our table with its beautiful flowers and engraved glasses.

For the four or five hours my husband and I were at the ball my daughter had a blast in the child care room. It turned out she was the oldest child there and almost all the other kids were infants or toddlers. She became the unofficial baby caregiver, and as you can imagine, to a baby obsessed nine-year-old girl this was like a dream come true.

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The ceremonial cake.

Our cab driver on the way back to our hotel was a movie buff and self-styled tour guide.  He prattled on about all the movies and tv series that film in Wilmington. I was only half listening until he pointed out a church on Market Street near the Kenan fountain where he said Sleepy Hollow was filming scenes right that minute. I couldn’t see anything except big trucks and lights, but I have to believe Tom Mison was there and I passed within feet of him.

Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane.
The Kenan Fountain in front of the Bellamy Mansion on Market Street in Wilmington.
 <3 Anna

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Coffee & Writing — The Perfect Combo

Or, How I’m Spending The Afternoon
Don't worry, I didn't eat a whole dozen! lol
Don’t worry, I didn’t eat a whole dozen! lol

I’m up to about 15,000 words on my NaNo novel, but in the back of my head I feel myself running out of momentum and ideas. So, today I’m spending a couple hours in a Dunkin’ Donuts sipping coffee, nibbling red velvet donuts, and writing new scenes.

I have to admit, the sugar and caffeine are working!

<3 Anna

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It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

Or, My Fave Month Of The Year

Do you NaNo? I do!

 NaNoWriMo graphic

I look forward to it all year long because for 30 days I cut back on extra-curriculars, commit to writing every day, and eat, breathe, and sleep my novel. Plots take twists you never saw coming. Settings burst into being. Characters come to life.

If you’re participating this year look me up. Let’s be NaNo buddies! (screen name AnnaAbner)

If you’re not taking part this year, but have always loved writing, check out the site here and start planning for next November.

<3 Anna

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