Getting Personal #168: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019 Recap

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

I was thrilled to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo for the third time!

Because I’m finally finished with my first draft of my 2012 novel, I decided to focus on my 2013 WIP, tentatively titled “Specialton.” I knew I wanted to change the overall POV of the novel, so for this Camp session, I was trying to accomplish two goals at once.

Goal #1: Change the POV in the 28 pages already written.

Goal #2: Write 20,000 new words.

Here’s the synopsis I put together:

John, an aspiring architect, dreams of building a different kind of community in the 1950s. As he launches his business and starts making his dream a reality, a beautiful woman enters his life. Will Evelyn help John, or will other plans be made for them?

Original word count: 14,303 words

Day 1

Today: 211
Total: 211

Day 2

Today: 225 + 224 = 449
Total: 660

Day 3

Today: 838
Total: 1,498

Day 4

Today: 426 + 56 = 482
Total: 1,980

Day 5

Today: 447
Total: 2,427

Day 6

Today: 948
Total: 3,375

Day 7

Today: 595
Total: 3,970

Day 8

Today: 747
Total: 4,717

Day 9

Today: 173 + 669 = 842
Total: 5,559

Day 10

Today: 523
Total: 6,082

Day 11

Today: 344
Total: 6,426

Day 12

Today: 453
Total: 6,879

Day 13

Today: 841
Total: 7,720

Day 14

Today: 254
Total: 7,974

Day 15

Today: 0
Total: 7,974

Day 16

Today: 0
Total: 7,974

Day 17

Today: 515
Total: 8,489

Days 18-28

All zeroes
Total: 8,489

Day 29

Today: 841
Total: 9,330

Day 30

Today: 939
Total: 10,269

Final Thoughts

I was very pleased to add over 10,000 words to this WIP, after not touching it for several years. I’m excited to see where this one goes!

I’m looking forward to the next Camp NaNo session in July!!

Current word count: 24,572 words

Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!

Until thenext headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #167: May Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 36

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Here are my goals for the month of May:

  1. Continue work on the garage.
  2. Make at least two thrift store donation runs.
  3. Meal-prep for the entire month.
  4. Participate in Didi’s WIP Writing Challenge for May.
  5. Attend P.E.O. Virginia State Convention!
  6. Celebrate May The Fourth Be With You.
  7. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants.
  8. Continue work on my 2014 WIP.
  9. See Long Shot.
  10. See Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
  11. See The Hustle.
  12. Spend time with good friends.
  13. See Avengers: Endgame again.
  14. Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend with family.

Do you have any goals for the month of May? Let me know in the comments!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #166: April Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 2

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Here’s the link to my April Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. See Shazam! — Accomplished!
  4. See Avengers: Endgame— Accomplished!
  5. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. — Accomplished!
  6. Enjoy time with Emily and Matt. — Accomplished!
  7. Continue work on the attached garage. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for April. — Accomplished!
  9. Take multiple boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles for consignment. — Accomplished!
  10. Continue work on my office. — Semi-Achieved.
  11. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants. — Did not accomplish.

I got so close to donating blood this time. For women, you have to have a hemoglobin “score” of 12.5 to be eligible. My highest score was 12.4 – I hate it when that happens!

We celebrated my Dad’s birthday in early April. Yay!

We loved both Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame. We went to see Shazam! with our friends Mike and Shana after a lovely dinner at Chili’s. Al and I just saw Endgame on Saturday afternoon, and we’re still recovering from it emotionally. Such a good movie, though. It’s like the final satisfying chapter of a really good book. Look for a huge recap here on the blog in about a week!

As of this writing, I’ve added more than 9,000 new words to my 2013 WIP for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. I’m very pleased. And, I still have tonight to add some more!

We got to see Emily and Matt twice last weekend! My parents hosted a wonderful dinner at their house for us and several family friends on Thursday night, a wonderful reprieve from the absolute nut house that was my work last week! And, they came over for a couple of hours on Saturday morning, with my dad, to meet our dogs. We got to talk to Matt a bit more and learn about his life in England. I didn’t want them to leave!

Al helped me schlep more than six boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles on a rainy Sunday afternoon. They don’t take a lot of bestsellers or well-known authors / series, but they did buy $34 worth of items from me. They also offer store credit as an option. The stuff they didn’t take, we dropped in their “Free” bin on the way out. It felt so good!

I was able to go through quite a bit of paper for shredding in my office, and filed several things away. Bit by bit, it’s coming together. I’m hoping to buy my stand-up desk by the summertime.

I didn’t have the money on hand to justify the planters this month, but hopefully it will happen in May. The mosquitoes are already emerging!

Did you have any goals for the month of April?

Come back tomorrow to see my May Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #237: “April WIP Writing Challenge: ‘Road Trip'”

Road Trip

Found through Didi Oviatt

Here’s the link to Didi’s challenge post:

As John finishing packing the Bel Air, Evelyn sat back in the passenger seat. She pressed her hands to my stomach, and sighed. She lost herself in her thoughts.

This is a good thing. I think. We both need to get away for a few days. Think about us. Think about the future. Our future child.

I know John’s been stressed about work. So have I. But, everyone needs a vacation now and then, right?

Evelyn’s thoughts were interrupted by the slam of the trunk.

John smiled at his beautiful fiancee as he opened the car door. Although he was an admitted workaholic, and recovering alcoholic, Evelyn’s idea to take a few days off felt good.

“Are you ready to hit the road, my dear?”

He leaned over to kiss Evelyn on the cheek. She smiled, and grabbed his hand. She moved it around her growing belly. The slightest butterfly kick startled them both.

“Oh, Evelyn! Wow. This is so neat. When did this start?”

She smiled.

“Last night. But you were sound asleep. I think this vacation is going to do some good. You haven’t slept well in months.”

John started the engine, and hung his head.

“Running a construction company is challenging. And we have lots of deadlines. But, for the next few days, we don’t have to worry about anything. Come on, darlin’, Let’s get out of the city!”

John carefully navigated the Bel Air out of Chicago. They didn’t really have a destination, just driving along Route 66 to see the sights. They both were long-overdue for some fresh air and R & R.

They played the radio for a while, but eventually encountered mostly static. Evelyn didn’t mind. She could see the stress slowly melting away from John, and that made her happier more than anything.

They both worked hard at John’s company, and they fell hard for each other shortly after Evelyn was hired. Several months ago, through a co-worker, Evelyn figured out she was pregnant.

Thankfully, John was a good man. He not only stuck around, but he’d proposed at the groundbreaking of their biggest project – A new, innovative, revolutionary neighborhood designed for everyone.

Evelyn was lost in thought again when the radio went from static to music again. She smiled, and reached for John’s hand. Her beautiful engagement ring sparkled in the spring sunshine.

“Do you have the map, dear?”

Evelyn leaned forward and pulled out the road map. It was well-worn. John had used it many times on his travels back and forth from Chicago to other architectural sights. His biggest “hero” was Frank Lloyd Wright.

However, taking this trip on Route 66 was different. And in the best way. John smiled, stealing glances at his pregnant bride-to-be. This trip would be legendary. A few days away on the surface, but one of the first trips with Evelyn, out of the city, and not on business.

As the sun started to set, she started to notice the colorful, painted billboards for a diner and a motel next door. Evelyn laughed, putting a hand on her stomach again.

“Our child is signaling they’re hungry, dear. And I am, too.”

John smiled and took her hand.

“We’re in for the adventure of our lives, dear. Let’s eat. And celebrate.”

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂



Commentary #89: “He’s a disabled Gulf War veteran with a new purpose: Save birds nearly wiped out by pesticides”

Injured veteran finds purpose

Vallieres shows an owl to a veteran during a demonstration at the New Hampshire Veterans Home. Found on CNN.

Around the middle of April, I stumbled upon a fascinating headline whilst browsing, as I do nearly every day:

Robert Vallieres served our country. He came home from the Gulf War broken, and nearly died. He’s battled a traumatic brain injury (TBI), chemical exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other things.

However, he’s channeled his recovery into volunteering with the New Hampshire Audubon Society.

He’s helping to track and rehabilitate peregrine falcons and bald eagles.

What started it all? His son, who was three at the time. He asked his dad what type of bird he saw. Vallieres bought a bird identification book, binoculars, and they started learning together near their home in Concord, New Hampshire.

In the newspaper, he saw an ad for a birding trip in the state’s White Mountains. He signed up. What stunned him was when a falcon grabbed a bird in mid-air. And it helped him appreciate and enjoy the outdoors – Using all your senses.

Unable to work, the New Hampshire Audubon Society was looking for volunteers to count and track peregrine falcons and bald eagles. Both were nearly wiped off the map due to the pesticide DDT, now banned, which killed unhatched chicks in the 1960s.

The New Hampshire Audubon Society was thrilled to have Robert come on boarding. With his military training, a lot of the same skills applied to counting and tracking these birds.

“Finding rhythm or purpose in life besides myself,” says Vallieres, “Not to get stuck on myself, to have an outlet and be semi-physically fit.”

In addition to volunteering, Robert built a nesting box for kestrel falcons in his yard. It worked. He now has breeding pairs.

He also works to rehabilitate birds for Wings of Dawn, a local wildlife hospital.

He also takes birds to the New Hampshire Veterans Home monthly. The home was so impressed with Robert that they applied for and received a grant to get dozens of binoculars for residents to observe the birds on the property. They also purchased more bird feeders so the less-mobile residents can experience the visitors.

He still struggles with migraines and painful scar tissue. Seeing birds take flight, however, helps him lift his own wings.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth

Tag #85: Song Challenge

1980s Music

Image Credit: Pinterest

I wasn’t tagged for this. However, I love everything Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table posts. When I saw this on her blog, I wanted to participate, too!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:

A Song Challenge from Laura Venturini

The original post was created by Laura Venturini. You can find her post here:

Weekly Song Challenge-Round 9

Copy rules and add to your own post, pinging back to this post.
Post music videos for your answers to the musical questions.
Tag two people to participate!

1. Post a music video of a song by an artist popular in the 80s.

Rick Astley – “Never Gonna Give You Up”

2. Post a music video of a song that makes you wanna shake your groove thang!

Van Halen – “Jump”

3. Post a music video of an acoustic version of a popular song.

Eric Clapton – “Tears in Heaven” (MTV Unplugged)

Tag – You’re It!

  • I’m not tagging anyone specifically. But, if you want to participate, please do!

Thanks for sharing your post, Kristian! You inspired me to get back to the blog after a long 11-day hiatus. Thank you!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #236: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter Z)

The ABC Book Challenge - L

This is it! The last letter of the alphabet for The ABC Book Challenge!

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “Z”:


Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo

  • I first read this book in high school. It inspired me to write my Extended Essay for the IB Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, to study the effects of the Bosnian and Kosovo conflicts on children.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “Z”:



  • A true story springing from Hurricane Katrina.



  • I’ve been fascinated with F. Scott Fitzgerald since high school. With that fascination comes wanting to learn more about his family.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter Z? Let me know!

Thank you so much for following along with me on this incredible journey! I started it in July 2018, and here we are, roughly nine months later. I’ve really enjoyed writing and researching new books, and remembering the good ones I have read.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂