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

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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 🙂

Book Review #71: “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America” *Re-Read*

Nickel and Dimed

Image Credit: Goodreads

When I initially read this book, it was assigned reading for one of my very first college classes. I can’t remember which one, but this book left a profound impact on me. Slowly, I started reading more from Barbara Ehrenreich. However, this is the book that started it all.

I started college in the fall of 2007, about a year before the financial crisis that began in 2008. I believe I was assigned to read this book at a poignant time. I also believe I’m re-reading this book at another poignant time, at the beginning of 2019.

Going into re-reading this, I realized my copy of the book was updated with a new afterword, published in 2008. However, the overall concept – Studying low-wage jobs and attempting to understand their socioeconomic impacts – is nothing new. That’s part of the reason I was drawn to Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Ehrenreich embarked on an experiment in 1998 – Trying to see if she, as a single, middle-aged woman, could survive as a waitress, a cleaner (hotel maid and house cleaner), a nursing home aide, and a seller / retail associate for a month, in three different cities. Each chapter explores a different type of job and a different city. She quickly realized the challenges with each one, and each city presented its own obstacles with housing, food, and assistance. Along the way, she met a variety of people working these jobs. A few were fortunate, but many were barely making ends meet. Several were working 2-3 jobs full-time, and still struggling with their incomes and their partner’s / spouse’s income(s) as well.

I won’t spoil anything, but she learns many lessons along the way. She discovers multiple issues with affordable housing, child care costs, fast food, health care, education, and the way these companies treat their employees.

I got a bit lost with the footnotes, statistics, and percentages, and glossed over a few of them toward the end. However, reading the updated afterword was important, and appreciated. This country has a lot to learn, still, in 2019. We need to treat employees, especially those earning the absolute minimum, better.

Overall, I’m glad I took the time to re-read this book. It’s a bit “dated” now, since Ehrenreich’s experiment started and concluded 21 years ago. However, it’s still relevant in many aspects today. And, like her, I’m grateful for everything I’ve had and worked for. This is a valuable book that will stay on my bookshelf forever.

4 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #87: Thoughts on “Flint Town”

Flint Town

Image Credit: IMDb

I was off work on a recent Friday, and it was so nice to have a little bit of a break. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to watch. This title kept popping up in my Netflix profile, so I figured, “Why not? Let’s try it.”

Before Al came home from work that day, I’d watched the entire season. All eight episodes.

At first, I thought the documentary series was going to be about the police force in Flint, Michigan. It was certainly about that, but also so much more.

Flint Town is a real, gritty, almost unedited profile of these officers and their lives. I got so invested in the story, especially the emotional side, it’s no surprise I plowed through all eight episodes in one day.

In addition to being police officers, you ride along with them as they deal with the continuing water crisis, limited and dwindling resources, and changes in the city administration. Both good and bad.

I wrote Hot Topic #19: The Water Crisis in Flint, and Others in March 2017. The series started before that. And it was compelling, and pretty sickening, to watch.

My heart went out to everyone in Flint. Seeing these interviews – Officers, officers’ family members, city officials, local activists, and members of the community – It’s beyond obvious this city has been struggling for years.

At the same time, toward the end of the series, I started thinking beyond Flint. There are THOUSANDS of other cities in the U.S., not to mention so many others places on this planet of ours, that don’t have safe, clean, acceptable drinking water. I started thinking about my own city – Portsmouth, Virginia – and my water, my city administration, my police force.

Just before I watched this series, the story broke one morning that our own police chief in the City of Portsmouth, Tonya Chapman, had suddenly resigned. When she was hired in 2016, she was the first female, African-American police chief of a municipal force in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, Angela Greene, the former Assistant Police Chief, is serving as interim Police Chief until a replacement is hired. But we don’t know when that will be.

And, there continues to be finger-pointing, frustration, and controversy from many different sides, including the city administration, citizens, the local NAACP chapter, and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Flint Town is a story that can easily resonate with many across the United States. It’s a tough one to watch, but it’s a series that is relevant, and thought-provoking.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #163: April Goals

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Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, April! It’s good to see you. Thank you for bringing the new flowers and leaves! Once Mother Nature decides to cooperate with consistently warmer temperatures, I’ll be very happy!

Here are my goals for the month of April:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday!
  3. See Shazam!
  4. See Avengers: Endgame.
  5. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019.
  6. Enjoy time with Emily and Matt.
  7. Continue work on the attached garage.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for April.
  9. Take multiple boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles for consignment.
  10. Continue work on my office.
  11. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #162: March Goals Recap

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Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, spring! And it’s amazing how quickly a month can pass!

Here’s the link to my March Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Volunteer with District Orchestra Festival. — Accomplished!
  2. Complete the Romantic Movies daily blog challenge. — Accomplished!
  3. See Captain Marvel. — Accomplished!
  4. See Alita: Battle Angel. — Accomplished!
  5. Write at least 500 words toward the ending of my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  6. Change the POV of my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Finalize my plans for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. — Accomplished!
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for March. — Accomplished!
  9. Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Read at least two books. — Semi-Achieved.

I had so much fun at the District Orchestra Festival on Saturday, March 2nd. It was great to help out several schools, listen to great performances, and catch up with my orchestra teacher, Ms. Kringel!

We saw Alita: Battle Angel with Nick and Mia in Virginia Beach, I think it was the first weekend of March. It was a decent movie. I really enjoyed Rosa Salazar’s performance.

Al and I went to see Captain Marvel the weekend it opened. I LOVED IT! Brie Larson is awesome, and there were so many 1990s nostalgia moments! Is it my favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? No. But, it was such a fun ride!

I can’t wait to start Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 tomorrow! Look for a blog post about that soon!

I love Didi’s WIP challenges. Here’s my link to my entry to March’s challenge.

I simply didn’t have the money on hand for my new glasses this month. I’m thankful I have an abundance of contact lenses and good spare glasses. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy them in April.

I finished one book toward the end of March, and started reading the second last week. I’m about 25 pages into it now. My Book Review will be published soon!

I’m thrilled to announce that not only did I surpass my writing goal of 500 words, I finally FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT!! I proclaimed my elation on Facebook last night. It’s hard to believe this all started with a crazy idea in the fall of 2012. That led to my first-ever NaNoWriMo, participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time last year, and here we are, about 6 1/2 years later!

  • Previous word count: 50,461
  • Final word count, first draft: 51,960
  • Words written in March: 1,499

Did you have any goals for the month of March?

Come back tomorrow to see my April Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂