Cover background BHow do you strike a balance between preparing and doing?

One good thing about NaNoWriMo is that it gives the writer a defined time when they need to be writing. No longer plotting. No longer outlining. No longer cruising the web for artistic images that just happen to look like one’s main character.


One the most difficult lessons I learned in college is that I have a tendency to make grandiose plans, so grandiose that not even a superhuman could finish them. Compounding this issue is the knowledge that my father was suspended from college for a similar issue…not finishing things. Can I blame genetics?

This semester I’m taking a college class with my hubby: Science Fiction Utopias. It fulfills a credit he needs for his degree, and it’s just fun for me. Also, since hubs works at the college and I teach there in the spring (not to mention that we both got our Associates’ degrees there) it’s relatively cheap. I’ve been keeping up with the homework without too much trouble. It’s mostly reading and writing, and I’ve been forcing myself not to get carried away with the writing part.

At the beginning of the semester, I was so excited about having a regular night out with my hubby, doing something fun, that I bought some fabric and got crafty, covering a folder and a notebook with spacey fabric. This made me happy. I also planned to make a bag out of the fabric to carry these in. More than halfway through the semester, the fabric is still sitting there. Although it would be handy to have a right-sized bag to carry my few school supplies, it’s not really necessary. It’s not the kind of preparation I need to do.

Sometimes, it’s not so obvious what preps are useful, and which are superfluous. In an ideal world, I’d be able to do all kinds of little things to prepare for November. I’d have interviews and blog posts pre-written and scheduled. I’d have all the shorts I plan to submit already sent off to editors. I’d have meals prepared and frozen to easily go in the crock pot or oven. I’d have found pictures that resembled not just the main characters, but the secondary ones. I’d have a mocked-up cover, a blurb, and a complete outline.

OK… I do have a cover half mocked-up. I have permission from two arts, Catherine Sherman who is the photographer, and my friend Pony Horton who added the SciFi effects. Now I’m just waiting to hear from a model/actress if I can add her headshot…

I finished up a couple of submissions, and I think I’m giving up on one that I wanted to do, but the deadline is too close. I need to finish a Lunar Short, a guest blog post, and a story for an antho I still want to submit to. (The deadline is mid-NaNo, but I can take time out for one revision if I can get the rough draft done before November.)

The big thing that still needs to be done, besides the aforementioned small projects, are my outline for NaNoWriMo. Right now it looks like a bunch of random notes. I need to translate that to something more organized.

And dinners? This year’s plan includes having my 14yo do more of that!

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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