Getting Personal #144: NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWrIMo 2018

Image Credit: BookBub

After four years of not participating, I decided I wanted to commit to NaNoWriMo 2018!

After my success with both Camp NaNoWriMo sessions earlier this year, I wanted to try the November event again. I’ve also published excerpts of my most recent NaNoWriMo attempt from 2014.


I’ve dropped a few hints, here and there, about an idea I’ve had percolating for a fourth novel.

So, for NaNoWriMo 2018, I want to finally put my fingers to the keyboard and start fleshing this out!

Working Title: “Tunnel Vision”

Synopsis: On her way to her milestone birthday party, Nicole, a dedicated Newport News, Virginia police officer, gets stuck in traffic at the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. As the tunnel stoppage unfolds into a true mystery, Nicole finds herself reflecting on her career, family, friends, acquaintances, and the criminal justice system. Can she help solve the mystery in one night?

I’m excited to dive into Nicole’s world, and help tell her story!


What about you? Have you ever done NaNoWriMo?

Come back around the beginning of December to see my results!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

Getting Personal #134: Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 Recap

Camp 2018 - Participant - Profile Photo

I was very excited to do Camp NaNoWriMo again for the month of July!

Since I was very close to the 35,000 word mark at the end of June, I decided to set my Camp goal for an additional 15,000 words. I felt like I could finally reach 50,000 words! This has been a dream since 2012!!


Previous Stats

May 2nd

  • Current word count: 33,507 words

June 16th

  • Added 623 words
  • Current word count: 34,130 words

June 23rd

  • Added 339 words
  • Current word count: 34,469 words

June 30th

  • Added 250 words
  • Current word count: 34,719 words

And, now, here’s how I did!


Day 1

Today: 539
Total: 539

It wasn’t until that evening that I could sit down and write for the day, but I was happy with my first word count! Onward and upward!

Day 2

Today: 0
Total: 539

I didn’t write anything on this day, mainly due to hosting our friend Mike for the evening!

Day 3

Today: 624
Total: 1,163

Another evening writing session. I felt really good about this one!

Day 4

Today: 742
Total: 1,905

I’m really getting into the groove of writing in the evenings. More progress!

Day 5

Today: 208
Total: 2,113

I made progress, but not as much as I hoped. I felt distracted, a bit sidetracked. Plus, I wrote later this evening than I have during other nights. But, there’s always tomorrow!

Day 6

Today: 676
Total: 2,789

Today was much more productive! I felt really good about the scene I wrote today, too. Excited to see what happens this weekend.

Day 7

Today: 830
Total: 3,619

I wrote this afternoon, when Al was in the shower. Here’s to more words tomorrow!

Day 8

Today: 1,131
Total: 4,750

Al mowed the lawn today, so I took advantage of that. This was my highest word count so far!

Day 9

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

I felt like I hit a wall.

Day 10

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

Lacking inspiration.

Day 11

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

Not feeling this writing thing at all.

Day 12

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

This week at work has been exhausting, and it’s Thursday now. Maybe tomorrow?

Day 13

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

I feel a bit guilty, but I just haven’t had the energy, or desire, to write.

Day 14

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

I thought for sure the weekend would bring some inspiration, but not today.

Day 15

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

Today was so busy with church and other things, I wasn’t even thinking about writing.

Day 16

Today: 0
Total: 4,750

Now I’m super irritated with myself. I didn’t make any time to write this morning, and I didn’t have any time to write this evening. Hopefully, tomorrow, this wall can come down!

Day 17

Today: 595
Total: 5,345

HOORAY! The streak of zeroes is broken!!

AND – I passed 40,000 words overall! I’m a very happy lady!

Day 18

Today: 0
Total: 5,345

Stupid writer’s block.

Day 19

Today: 0
Total: 5,345

Still no inspiration.

Day 20

Today: 0
Total: 5,345

No time today!

Day 21

Today: 622
Total: 6,022

A later-evening writing session was a success!

Day 22

Today: 0
Total: 6,022

I felt uninspired again today.

Day 23

Today: 0
Total: 6,022

Pure exhaustion today. However, I felt a bit of inspiration rising throughout the day. Hopefully I can put my fingers to the keyboard tomorrow!

Day 24

Today: 451 + 825 = 1,276
Total: 7,298

Yay! I’m so proud of myself. TWO writing sessions in one day?! Woohoo!!

Day 25

Today: 0
Total: 7,298

I was hoping to write a little bit this morning, but with all the preparations needed for Thursday, it just didn’t happen.

Day 26

Today: 752
Total: 8,050

Having a rare Thursday off from work was helpful for a productive afternoon writing session!

Day 27

Today: 853
Total: 8,903

I’m finally feeling more consistent!

Day 28

Today: 845
Total: 9,748

Yeah, baby! Getting there. Excited to write some more tomorrow – Maybe hit 1,000 words?

Day 29

Today: 530
Total: 10,278

Woohoo! I passed the 10,000 word mark tonight. Pretty excited!

Day 30

Today: 345
Total: 10,623

I’m still here, still writing, word by word. I’ll take it! Also, my husband is the best cheerleader!

Day 31

Today: 1,293
Total: 11,916

I closed out Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 with a bang! I’m so proud of myself!


Final Thoughts

I was so happy to add nearly 12,000 new words to my novel! I fell a little short of my overall goal, but I’ll take what I can get.

I can’t wait to participate in Camp again next year!


Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #120: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Recap

Camp 2018 Writer Profile Photo

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

I was inspired to write this post from my friend Madi Grace!

Here are the links to her Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 recaps:


Here are the links to my posts where I mentioned Camp NaNoWriMo, and announced my decision to participate for the very first time:


As a reminder / refresher, my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo was to write 20,000 additional words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor / attempt, tentatively titled, “Experiences from Camp.”

Synopsis:

Kristin, a teenager from Kansas, has heard of this experience called “Camp” in Maine. However, everyone who has gone there can’t accurately describe their experiences – Just a lot of mystery, suspense, some thrills, and a lot of chills. When she’s selected to go, she’s excited to meet Brennan, and see “camp” for herself. From the start, Kristin doesn’t get what she’s bargained for, and her excitement turns to absolute terror.


Previous Stats

March 27th

  • Current word count: 11,216 words

March 31st

  • Added 2,025 new words between March 29th and March 30th.
  • Current word count: 13,241 words.

And now, here’s how I did!


Day 1

Today: 785
Total: 785

Not a bad start!

Day 2

Today: 0
Total: 785

There were several days throughout the month where I wrote absolutely zero words!

It was frustrating to not have written anything on Day 2, but I persisted.

Day 3

Today: 602
Total: 1,387

More progress!

Day 4

Today: 892
Total: 2,279

This was my highest word count so far.

I felt like I was on a roll!

Day 5

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

This was the start of a days-long slump where I just did not make any time to write.

Day 6

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Again, little to no time was carved out to write.

Day 7

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Day 7 was the start of the first weekend of the month, and we were so slammed that I came home utterly exhausted.

Day 8

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Day 8 was also part of the weekend.

But, I was bound and determined to break out of this slump!

Day 9

Today: 983
Total: 3,262

That’s more like it!

This was my highest word count since camp started.

I was rejoicing!

Day 10

Today: 329
Total: 3,591

I started to notice that if I wrote a high number of words one day, then the very next day, my word count was typically lower.

Oh well, at least I added words!

Day 11

Today: 1,198
Total: 4,789

Holy moly! I knocked the daily word count (667) out of the park!

This was my highest word count of camp at this point.

The only way to go is up!

Day 12

Today: 0
Total: 4,789

Day 12 was shortly after my family started experiencing a big crisis.

So, I’m not surprised that I didn’t write much on this day.

Day 13

Today: 667
Total: 5,456

Nailed the daily word count, down to an exact science!

Day 14

Today: 0
Total: 5,456

Another weekend day – No progress.

Day 15

Today: 1,530
Total: 6,986

After a rough day, this was the highest word count of camp at this point.

My high scores, so to speak, were increasing!

Day 16

Today: 0
Total: 6,986

Utter exhaustion again.

Day 17

Today: 435
Total: 7,421

Much better!

Day 18

Today: 1,006
Total: 8,427

Even better than the day before!

Inching closer to the halfway mark!

Day 19

Today: 0
Total: 8,427

Another rough day.

Day 20

Today: 820
Total: 9,247

I was thrilled that I exceeded the daily word count.

Just inches away from the halfway point.

Day 21

Today: 455
Total: 9,702

Word by word, I felt happy that I was getting closer to the 10,000 word mark.

Day 22

Today: 660
Total: 10,362

Hallelujah!

I crossed the 50 percent mark today.

Cue the happy dance!

Day 23

Today: 635
Total: 10,997

As the numbers increase, I’m hoping that I can actually succeed with my goal!

Day 24

Today: 795
Total: 11,792

The word count today was better than yesterday.

I’ll take it!

Day 25

Today: 0
Total: 11,792

Another weird day.

Feeling a bit stagnant, and unsure.

Day 26

Total: 1,080
Today: 12,872

In spite of the ongoing family crisis, I felt really good with today’s results!

Day 27

Total: 1,230
Today: 14,102

Amazingly, I exceeded yesterday’s word count.

I also took the day off from work, I needed a decompression day. The family crisis turned into mourning. My family lost three uncles within two weeks of each other.

But, I’m very pleased with my progress!

Day 28

Total: 3,051
Today: 17,153

It’s amazing what can happen when your husband takes a long nap in the afternoon.

This word count absolutely crushed all the other high scores.

I was on cloud nine!

Plus, the finish line was in sight.

Day 29

Today: 1,063
Total: 18,216

Inching closer and closer.

I really felt the pressure today!

Day 30

Today: 2,040
Total: 20,256

Oh, my goodness. I DID IT!!!!

I REALLY DID IT!

I exceeded my goal for my first-ever Camp NaNoWriMo!!!!

Current word count: 33,507 words.

Camp 2018 Winner Facebook Cover

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo


Final Thoughts

Wow. I’m stunned. Astonished. And thrilled!

I was immensely apprehensive about signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo, especially since I didn’t participate in “regular” NaNoWriMo in 2015, 2016, or 2017.

But, through the encouragement of Madi, and several other friends, I decided to take the plunge.

I felt 20,000 new words for this novel was a very lofty goal, but I was very pleased that I not only met it, but I beat it by 256 words. It’s so inspirational!

I loved the camp environment and atmosphere. It was like a virtual writer’s retreat for a whole month! Also, you had the option of being placed in a “cabin,” so you could meet and interact with other writers! We had several lively discussions and cheering sessions in my cabin. So much fun!

I cannot wait for the next Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Bring it on!!


Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Wednesdays #25

Image Credit: inspiremykids.com

Image Credit: inspiremykids.com


Welcome back! Happy Wednesday!

Today is a bittersweet day. This Writing Wednesdays post marks the last section of the NaNoWriMo novels.

However, this does not mean the end of the Writing Wednesdays posts!

As I start to revise the first draft of my 2012 novel (finally, I know), with the working title of “Experiences at Camp,” I will be sharing the new material, several pages at a time, just like I have here for the last 25 posts.

I’m excited, albeit a little nervous. These three novels are the first ones that I am fully committed to editing and finishing (meaning that I want all three to have an ending, and that ending to land around 50,000 words, which is the ultimate NaNoWriMo goal).

I’m looking forward to this journey!


And now, the conclusion (for now) to “Discussion of Differences.”


That first Skype session charged the six of them. There was pure motivation to get this adventure planned and set in motion. Everyone was electrified, and no one wanted to lose that steam anytime soon.

In between wedding planning, Anabelle’s graduate school work, and looking for a house, Bill and Anabelle set to work on their adventure assignments – Food and groceries, and the general itinerary. Unknowingly, Bethany had essentially married their loves together – Food and travel. Almost every night after that first Skype session, Bill and Anabelle themselves were on Skype, pointing to a huge map of Europe and using all of the Internet resources to put pins and stars on the map – Multi-colored pushpins for traveling, and stars indicating the best food regions, wineries, and more.

Lizzy made it through her finals by the skin of her teeth. She aced all but one of her exams, and her final grades were decent.

Hunter saw the relief in Lizzy as he helped her move out of her LT apartment for the last time. She was finally finished with school – Possibly for forever. She hadn’t breathed a word of graduate school or any further kind of study. Her field was tricky – Double major in microbiology and chemistry – but she was determined to find some sort of job. She knew that it was likely going to be minimum wage and retail, in the beginning anyway. Lizzy did know one thing – She wanted to get that job and save up enough money so that she was out of her mom’s house in the least amount of time.

She was seriously considering moving closer to Hunter – There were more opportunities there, both for entry-level jobs and possible work in her field. There were three major universities within 100 miles of Hunter’s town. She started to entertain the possibility of starting graduate school at one of them and being either a grad assistant or a research assistant while studying – It looked like a win-win. But, for this moment, she wanted to be making money. She wanted to save every penny she could and be back on her own as soon as humanly possible.

In the midst of everything going on with Bill and Anabelle and Lizzy and Hunter, Will was planning his proposal to Bethany. He’d had this tradition of giving her jewelry every Christmas since they’d started dating, and he wanted to give her the ring around that time as well.

He’d already sat down with Bethany’s parents and asked for permission – They said yes.

Mission number one, accomplished.

Now he needed to plan what he considered to be the perfect proposal. They had started talking about engagement and marriage several years prior – Will had basically promised Bethany that his proposal to her would be as romantic and sweet as possible – and he wanted to deliver on that. The problem was, how romantic and sweet could it be around Christmastime? Christmas was such a common time for marriage proposals – Will wanted to do it right, for Bethany.

It got to the point one night where Will was truly stuck. He had tried to think of everything creative, witty, funny, heart-melting, and all of that had basically gotten him nowhere.

He essentially put his head on his computer desk and sighed. (Don’t worry – Bethany was actually with Anabelle, working on her wedding).

The little voice in Will’s head started cheerleading, “Come on, think! You can do this. You love Bethany so much. What would she be blown away by?”

Will started pacing the wood floor of his bedroom, but his own steps were driving him crazy.

Finally, he flopped on his bed on his stomach. Groaning, he rubbed his temples and closed his eyes. He lay there for a few minutes.

He then remembered that his phone had buzzed with a text from someone an hour ago.

Hey, buddy. How’s life treating you in Virginia?

Will smiled. It was his best buddy, C.J. They’d been friends since second grade. C.J. had gone into the military several years earlier and had been shipped off to a base in Arizona. Will had seen C.J. twice in the last four years, so hearing from him was always a treat.

Will typed slowly, Hey, bud. Life’s good. I’m stuck though. I’m trying to figure out how to propose to Bethany.

C.J. laughed. He had married his wife, Carrie, almost two years earlier.

Excited for you, man! That’s great. Bethany’s a great girl, and I’ve seen how happy she makes you. All I can say is – Make this moment something you’ll both remember forever.

Will smiled. All the worry started to clear away. He began to think about their very first date, nearly four and a half years earlier, how Bethany brought that up in conversation a lot, and how so many people thought it was literally perfect.

Thanks, buddy. I feel better already. Miss you. Hope to see you soon!

C.J. chuckled and shook his head.

No problem. Hey, I’m getting out of the force soon. Moving to Wyoming in January or February – You know how stupid the force can be about letting people leave. Once we’re settled, you two should come out and visit! Can’t wait to hear when the engagement’s official.

Will smiled and cleared his messages screen. He saw Bethany’s smiling face back at him. He knew now what to do.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Wednesdays #24

Image Credit: hdwpics.com

Image Credit: hdwpics.com

Happy Wednesday!


Everyone swallowed simultaneously.

“This was really hard for me. I don’t like assigning things to my closest friends. So I wanted to make it as fun as possible, so I thought I would give everyone a topic or topics that suited their interests.

Hunter – Since you mentioned castles, I want you to research and plan our living arrangements.”

Hunter gave a fist pump. “Alright! I’ve already started looking. This is going to be awesome!”

Bethany smiled and felt a little bit of relief.

“Bill – You’re our resident expert on food. You worked at the grocery store for many years, and I think you’d be great for this task. I want you to find out as much as you can about restaurants, markets, grocery stores, and so on.

Anabelle – Since you’ve traveled so much here in the U.S., I want to you to be the main planner of the itinerary, including transportation.”

Bethany paused to catch her breath. She glanced at the monitors – The smiles were all she needed.

She turned to Will next. “Baby, I want you to help design this trip. I think it’d be awesome if you’d be willing to photograph and take video of our adventure.”

Everyone nodded. Bethany took a deep breath – Only one person remained.

“Lizzy. I saved you for last for a reason. I wanted to get to know you first. I think you’d be great in helping us with languages. You’re one of the smartest people in this group. I want you to help us with our Spanish, English, French, German, and any other languages we may need to learn along the way. Are you okay with that?”

Bethany focused on the screen that showed Lizzy’s face. It was hard to read her at first; her eyes were downcast.

Suddenly, her head popped up. Bethany caught a glimpse of a smile at the corners of Lizzy’s mouth.

“Well, B., I thought you’d never ask. I guess I should probably share this with everyone – Did you know that I’m tri-lingual?”

Everyone cheered. The plan was officially in place.

As everyone started chattering away, exactly like the other meetings had gone, Bethany flopped back into the pillows and sighed. She couldn’t believe her luck. She had worked so hard, for so long, to try to delegate as best as she possibly could. And it appeared that everyone not only approved of the entire plan, but everyone was thrilled with it.

All the worry, anxiety, tension – along with that constant pit in her stomach that had taken residence over the last two months – just melted away like after-dinner mints did in her mouth.

She just watched with content as the Skype session stretched into the fourth hour of non-stop talking and excitement. There was no immediate indication of worry over money, or their jobs, or their current livelihoods in that particular moment – It was just pure joy. Everyone was excited about their tasks at hand and they couldn’t wait to get started.

The conversation died down a little, and Hunter noticed Bethany wasn’t speaking.

“Bethany? Hello? Anybody home over there?”

Hunter knocked on the computer screen to get her attention.

Everyone fell into silence, except for the faint clearing of throats.

Bethany flushed a rosy pink.

“Um, hey.”

She waved her hand.

Hunter looked puzzled and a tad worried. “Everything okay over there? You’ve barely said three words in the last hour.”

Everyone’s eyes focused on hers.

Bethany swallowed, struggling to get the right words. She felt tears coming to her eyes.

Will released her hand and put his arm around her shoulders.

“Everything okay, baby?”

Bethany nodded. She sniffled a couple of times, and then looked directly into the camera and smiled.

“I’m good. I’m just – I’m just …”

No one spoke.

Bethany swiped at her eyes.

“I’m just proud. And excited. And overwhelmed.”

She sniffled again and asked Will for a tissue.

“I’ve been so worried over the last several weeks. I wanted to make this fun. I don’t have a lot of experience with management, but I didn’t want to make this feel like a job, either …”

She sighed, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath before continuing.

“Basically what I’m trying to say is that I’m so happy that y’all are happy. I tried so hard to make each of your tasks fun, something that you would enjoy, and make sure everyone was contributing equally.”

She took another deep breath. She couldn’t contain the grin on her face.

“So, now let’s plan the biggest adventure of our lives – Together!”

Everyone let out another cheer.

If that weren’t any indication of the excitement, the Skype session went on for four more hours …


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Wednesdays #23

Image Credit: The Writer's Circle Facebook Page

Image Credit: The Writer’s Circle Facebook Page

Welcome back!

Happy Wednesday!


B&W again. Skype works for us. It’s definitely not preferred, but Lizzy’s right. At least we’ll get to see each other’s faces while communicating. We’re in.

Bill and Anabelle went next:

Skype has always been interesting to us, though we’ve never used it. Let’s try it and see what happens!

Lizzy and Hunter brought up the rear:

Same here. It’ll be like a six-way phone call, but being able to see each other’s faces!

The planned Skype session also allowed a bit of flexibility for the group – It didn’t have to happen on a Saturday exclusively. This made it slightly easier to schedule.

As they started discussing potential dates and times, Bethany’s mind continued to wander.

“I didn’t want to do this, since we’re meeting over Skype this time. But, I can’t wait much longer, either. If I wait until our next face-to-face meeting, it may be too late.”

“I guess I should talk to Will about this – Get his thoughts on it. This is a predicament. It won’t be easy. I don’t like telling people what to do.”

As Bethany continued down the rabbit hole of worry and concern, everyone else was getting excited. It was actually really nice to be able to plan a meeting on a different day other than Saturday! Of course, it would most likely turn out to be a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon, since most everyone worked from roughly 8-5. And even though Anabelle and Lizzy weren’t officially working, those hours were basically dedicated to school. So their options came down to evenings and weekends.

Everyone liked a switch of pace though. The thought of using Skype and how it had worked for Bethany and Will in the beginning of their relationship was encouraging to Anabelle and Bill, and Lisanna and Hunter. The four of them knew that saving money was becoming essential, and if they got good at Skype, then this little service could potentially save a lot of gas and time for them.

Unbeknownst to Will and Bethany, the other two couples started practicing with Skype. Over time, it grew on them. Within a few days, Anabelle and Bill were using it almost daily. Hunter and Lisanna were Skyping a couple of days per week, and it instantaneously improved Lizzy’s mood and helped bridge the two-hour distance.

Within a week of the Skype suggestion, everyone had blocked out Sunday, December 14th. That was the test day, to see if this idea would work with six people.

Skype was also improving more than the distance. Hunter and Lisanna started getting creative with it, and quickly. It wasn’t nearly the same as Hunter being in the room with her, but she was in the privacy of her apartment bedroom. The first couple of days, she kept her shirt on. She did like to pull surprises on him, so one night, she sat at her desk in just a bra. Hunter salivated at the sight when he first saw her on the screen.

“I could definitely get used to this,” Hunter thought as his eyes focused on her chest.

“Maybe this long-distance thing won’t be so bad for a little while longer.”

Anabelle and Bill weren’t getting that creative, but it didn’t stop Bill from having similar thoughts and desires. However, he knew he shouldn’t push anything. Their argument that happened on Thanksgiving Day still smarted a bit. He didn’t want to push her away any further. Besides, he wanted her to take control of that ship, at first. They were trying to wait to have sex until their marriage, but since they had gotten engaged, it was becoming increasingly difficult. Bill desperately wanted to take it to the next level.

Bill whispered to himself, “Oh, Anabelle, if only you knew. I’ve held you and caressed you, but I want you. I want to make love to you. So badly!”

Anabelle was trying to put those thoughts out of her mind. She knew that when a camera was involved, anything could happen. She wanted to go farther with Bill. Sure, they’d definitely made out a ton, and let their fingers wander below their belts a couple of times, but Bill had never seen her naked. The closest thing was one day at the beach – Bill had had his shirt off and Anabelle had been in a bikini. Either way, she still flushed beet-red at the memory. She was already trying to mentally prepare herself for their wedding night. She knew sex was coming, but she didn’t know when that first time would happen. Ever since Bill had proposed, those thoughts had definitely increased. But, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to go all the way with him prior to their wedding. She wanted to honor her faith, but she knew that both Bethany and Lisanna weren’t virgins.

As Bethany tried to climb out of her imaginary rabbit hole, Will was trying to get her attention.

“Hello?” Will mimics knocking his fist on her forehead. “Anybody in there? It’s like you disappeared.”

Bethany shook her head back and forth, to make the rabbit hole go away. “I’m back. I did disappear, in a way. I got lost in a hole with my own thoughts. It felt like I kept falling deeper into darkness, so much worry. Fear. Anxiety. With every new meeting we plan, it only increases. That’s bad – I just know it!”

Will embraced her. “Shh, it’s okay. We keep saying how big of a deal this is.”

Bethany looked at Will with big eyes. Will sighed and continued, “Baby, I promise it’s alright – It’s perfectly normal to feel fearful, anxious, scared, worried. This is a big step, for all of us. This is why we haven’t told anyone else yet. We need to basically have the whole plan in place before word gets out.”

Bethany swallowed hard, but said nothing. Everyone had kept the secret safe, so far.

“I know you’re scared. I am, too. This is a major change. But – You’ve done a great job planning so far. I have the utmost confidence that we are going to come up with a great plan. But, until then, this stays under wraps. I know you know that though.”

Bethany looked up at him. Will’s lips met her forehead.

She swallowed again. “It will be a great plan. But we just need to take it one day at a time.”

The Sunday Skype session finally arrived. The multiple two-way tests of the system had been wildly successful, and that was putting it mildly. Even Bethany and Will had tested it a couple of times, even though they were only six miles apart from each other.

There wasn’t a set start time, just whenever all six of them could join in. Everyone was on edge; it was going to be interesting to see how a six-way conversation would turn out.

Bethany and Will realized that they could join the session together, so really it would be a five-way conversation rather than six.

Maybe that would help, they thought.

The green phone started ringing and vibrating. Will clicked a couple of times, and Hunter’s face appeared in one corner of his monitor. Hellos were exchanged and then the phone rang again – It was Bill. The ladies brought up the rear – Anabelle joined in and then Lisanna was last, with an apology about unpacking and the mess behind her. Everyone laughed.

Bethany held the journal up to the camera so everyone could see it.

“I’m so glad that Skype’s working so far. I don’t think we’ll meet this way every single time, but this is a nice alternative to using gas.”

Everyone laughed and heads nodded. Money was top priority and was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Bethany continued, “Since last we met, the journal is now complete!”

Everyone clapped and cheered.

“It is exciting. I’m so happy that we all worked together to fill this book. But, I do have an announcement to make.”

No one said anything. It was as if everyone was holding their breath, even Will sitting next to her.

“One of the reasons I started this journal was to explore everyone’s interests. I want everyone to participate in this adventure as equally as possible. So, I wanted to give everyone a job, of sorts.”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Wednesdays #22

Image Credit: The Writer's Circle Facebook Page

Image Credit: The Writer’s Circle Facebook Page

Happy Wednesday!


Anabelle sighed. She covered his hand with her right hand. “Bill, I’m sorry. It hurts me to see you upset. I’m just overwhelmed. I know you want to help, but I’m just not sure how you can help me.”

Bill looked at her. “Sweetheart, you can talk to me. I will literally help you in any way that I can. I can’t do your schoolwork for you, but I’ll keep you accountable. I’ll help you with a schedule. Besides, I want to help with this whole wedding thing of ours.”

He smiled, trying to meet her eyes. “After all, we’re marrying each other. It’s only fair that we plan it together, right?”

Anabelle nodded, lifting her head and finally looking him in the eyes. “You’re right, sweetie. I think I’ve been closing myself inward, ever since you proposed. I just thought I could do all of this by myself. But, now I know that I can’t do it all alone. I don’t want to do this alone. I want you by my side, every step of the way …”

Anabelle didn’t say anymore because Bill’s lips were on hers. She sank to the couch and they feverishly made out for a few minutes.

Once the last kiss ended, they couldn’t stop looking at each other. Bill secretly hoped that she would stay the night before heading back to Dolphin Resort – He just wanted to hold her all night long and tell her that everything would be okay.

After Thanksgiving, Christmas was well on its way. The six of them had agreed months earlier that they didn’t want to exchange the traditional gifts as they had in years past. This year was the beginning of Europe, and everyone wanted to squirrel away as much money as possible.

The one main money saver was everyone was living at home with their parents already, except for Lizzy – But that would change as soon as she left LT.

By the beginning of December, though, everyone was restless. Thanksgiving had not gone very smoothly across the board, mainly due to stress. Everyone was stressed about money, primarily, but there were other factors as well. Anabelle and Bill had their wedding, Bethany was worried about her future engagement ring and wedding, Will was agonizing over how to propose to Bethany, and Lizzy and Hunter were figuring out how to deal with Lizzy’s impending final exams.

But, just days earlier, a relief mission had begun to take shape.

Over the Thanksgiving meal, Will and Bethany had been passing a scrawled note on a napkin back and forth. They felt like kids, but no one else at the table knew anything about Europe, and it needed to stay that way.

Will started it off. “I think we need to consider a joint bank account.”

Bethany was confused, but excited. “Are you proposing to me?”

Will shook his head and feverishly wrote, “Not yet! Haha. What I meant was to set one up for the six of us, to save for Europe. It doesn’t do us any good to have six separate buckets for the same adventure, right?”

Bethany nodded. “Of course. Sorry that I jumped to conclusions! I think it’s a great idea. But, what will the group think?”

Will considered that before writing his response. “Not sure, honestly. I think the best way is to ask them. Let’s call another face-to-face meeting, after Lizzy’s exams. Deal?”

Bethany nodded, but this time with a smile. “I think that’s the perfect way to handle it. We’re all mondo stressed out right now, and I think that will help. You got it, dude!”

True to their word, the FlixenFlaxen lit up with Bethany and Will’s profile pictures after the big meal but before dessert.

Hey guys! Happy Thanksgiving – Although we’re pretty sure it wasn’t the happiest for everyone. We know it’s become much more stressful since last we met. We have an idea, but we want to meet face-to-face again before sharing. Lizzy, when’s your last final exam?

Lizzy’s phone buzzed in her pocket. She knew she shouldn’t look at it at the table, so she excused herself to the restroom.

The corners of her mouth turned upward as she read the most recent message. Seeing the words last final exam were exhilarating.

She could barely keep up with herself, her fingers were flying so fast on the keypad:

New ideas are great – I’m so in. I’ve been dreaming about Europe as a means of escape recently, and it’s really been helping alleviate the stress. My very last final exam, EVER, is scheduled for Thursday, December 11th. Is everyone available to meet up that weekend? I’ll be moving back home between Thursday and Friday, and I’ll need a break from that by Saturday. Let me know – Hopefully it will work out!

Lizzy crossed her fingers after tapping Send. The waiting game had begun.

Happy Thanksgiving! Bill and I had a slight disagreement earlier today, but we’re okay now. We definitely want to meet up again. As of right know, we’re good to meet on Saturday the 13th. Hoping everyone else can make it! Can’t wait to see y’all again soon.

Bethany and Will pulled out their phones and scrolled through the calendar. They both sighed with relief – Will’s company Christmas party was the first weekend in December.

Good news! Bethany and I can make it on the 13th. Woohoo! We’re excited to meet up again, and so soon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend – I’m sure we’ll talk again shortly.

Even though everyone was separated at that moment, the six of them all had smiles on their faces. Nothing could bring them down.

The next day, the FlixenFlaxen was buzzing again.

Uh, sorry guys. Bad news. This is Bill, by the way. Since I’ve requested off work so many Saturdays in the last few months, I’m required to work the 13th and 20th of December. I’m so bummed about this! Is there anything we can do?

Bethany frowned, tapping the corner of her phone against her teeth. Will looked at her quizzically, until Bethany showed him the message.

Will extended his hand, and Bethany gave him her iPhone. After a few moments of contemplation, he started to tap on the screen.

B&W here! Bummer, Bill. Sorry about that! No worries though. We can do a Sunday if need be. In fact, why don’t we turn it into another sleepover? Only this time it’s pushed back a little bit – Start it on Saturday night after you get off work and then go into most of Sunday. We have some vacation built up as well, so we can go into Monday if we want. Just let us know – We’re flexible.

Bill smiled. But Hunter frowned.

Hey, it’s Hunter. Saturday into Sunday works, but I have to work on Mondays. Sorry!

Will and Bethany sighed. This clearly wasn’t working. They could feel the anxiety rising. Could a compromise be reached?

Suddenly, Lizzy finally felt like she had the answer.

Lizzy here. I know everyone must be really frustrated by now. So – What if we do, like, a Skype session? I know it’s definitely not the same as everyone being together in one room, but at least we’re all communicating and seeing each other’s faces while doing so …

Everyone considered Lizzy’s proposition. They’d never tried Skype before. It worked for other people, all over the world. Heck, Will and Bethany had used it several times when they first started dating, when Bethany was still a student at LT. It wasn’t the same as being all together, but it sounded like a good idea, on paper.

Everyone mulled over it. It was different, and honestly, no one was too keen on it. But, if they couldn’t meet up face-to-face again until after New Year’s, something had to give. They needed another meeting to settle the period in between, and this suggestion may be their ticket.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂