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50000 words in 30 days | Author Olivia Boler

Author Olivia Boler

writing is fun
October 31st, 2013

It’s Nano Time!

Yesterday was kind of a landmark in the world of me. I finished a draft of my latest novel that seemed good enough to show someone other than my imaginary friend who follows me around all day. (Her opinion is one I don’t really trust—sometimes she’s like a hype man, other times…) Anyway, this is, I’d say, the fourth draft of this book I’ve been tinkering with on and off—mostly off—for ten years. It’s about two sisters who run a tearoom and their ups and downs in the romance department. I sent it off to my friend whose judgment I actually do trust—always important to have one of those.

Now I’m kind of dangling here. What should I do next? Well, it just so happens that tomorrow is the start of Nanowrimo. Honestly, I thought I’d miss it this year, that I would still be caught in the happy cloud of Nora and Rainey, the protagonists of the tearoom novel. So, I’m a tad thrown off to be at loose ends. There are plenty of them hanging about just begging to be tied up—like that prequel to The Flower Bowl Spell I’ve talked about. I do believe it’s time to give that a dusting off, just in time for November’s 50,000-word goal. Who’s with me? My Nano handle is livyink. Hope to see you there!

Oh, and have a happy and safe Halloween—and by safe, I mean, don’t pig out on too much candy. It’ll cause a rash.


December 5th, 2012


I am recovering from strep throat, which is why I’m late in celebrating my NaNoWriMo win. Hurray! I actually finished on November 28, hitting 50,003 words in a strep fever. So you know those words are brilliant, right? Right.

Anyway, gotta crow, so here’s my winner’s badge:

NaNo Winner-180x180

What next?

Well, I know fans of The Flower Bowl Spell are hoping the next book will be ready soon. I can’t promise anything. I’m going to have to take a little vacation time and see which of my many projects rises to the top of being publish-worthy.

Stay tuned…

November 19th, 2012

Night of Coughing Dangerously

Every fall, I get my flu shot. Every November, I get a wicked cold with flu-like symptoms—achy, mild fever, coughing, sneezing, sore throat. It’s absolutely lovely. I recall Thanksgiving the year I was pregnant (and still not telling the public) with my son and had this damn sore throat and runny nose. At least it gave me an excuse to pass on drinking alcoholic beverages.

This year, the dreaded ailment hit me at the end of last week and stuck around through the weekend, even though I tried to head it off by popping Vitamin C, the chewable kind my kids now think is candy. My dear husband had to step up to the plate and take on all kid duties by his lonesome, while I crawled back into bed and tried to gather my strength for the NaNoWriMo Night of Writing Dangerously on Sunday. After my friends and family had generously donated to the cause, I was going. Plus, I’d raised enough funds to bring a guest, and I’d invited my writing group pal Jesse, who was counting on me being there. Double plus—I wanted to get my swag bag, dang nabbit!

Swag Bag. So cute, right?

swag bag

So I took NyQuil. The family went out to birthday parties and playgrounds and gymnastics classes. I heard, through the fog of my phlegm-encased brain, the skirmishes between my daughter and her dad over homework. Every now and then, I rallied, ate some toast, and typed out the two freelance articles that were due. A deadline waits for no cold.

Sunday afternoon, fortified with Tylenol, I drove to downtown San Francisco, to the Julia Morgan Ballroom. NOWD-ers were dressed to the nines—the theme was “noir.” My attempt to participate rather than hate was a gray knit cap with a crocheted flower. Jesse brought his jaunty leather satchel and dipped into the open bar for martinis.

Jesse and me getting ready to write
Jesse and me getting ready to write

I followed, ordering diet Cokes, my drink of choice when I’m down. The candy bar was like manna from heaven—Red Vines, caramels, coffee toffees, marshmallows—I tried to find things that would help my cough, but who am I kidding? It was all about the sugar. Dinner was a delicious smorg of kebabs, rice, potatoes, and salad, followed by cupcakes.

I tried my hand at the first Writing Sprint competition and wrote about 465 words in 15 minutes. Not bad, I thought. The winner of that round wrote 1,518 give or take. I decided Writing Sprints were not my thing.

Jesse and I’d found a table of nice folk from the Bay Area, and one from Denver (?) We had a window with a city view, but really, the glow of our laptops was the scene that demanded out attention. Some people wrote by hand. One had an old-timey manual typewriter. Not electric—manual. Classic black. Very Dorothy Parker. You could hear it clickity-clacking away over the sounds of music (sample: The Beatles: “Paperback Writer.” Ha!).

The Candy Bar

The Candy Bar

Every time someone hit the 50,000-word mark, he or she rang a bell. The ballroom would erupt in cheers.

I went home that night, calling it in an hour before the end of the festivities—the sugar, caffeine, and acetaminophen wearing off—with a little over 3,000 new words pegged to my novel’s word count.

This morning, I’m still a little light-headed. But I got the kids to school, and my husband got a little quiet time to himself, finally. That’s November for you—colds, 50,000 words, and, pretty soon, pumpkin pie.


The laptops glow in the Julia Morgan Ballroom






The laptops glow in the Julia Morgan Ballroom

Postscript: After writing the above this morning, I got a call from my son’s preschool. Guess who has a fever?

November strikes again!


November 1st, 2012

First Day of NaNoWriMo 2012

I wrote 1,692 words today on the sequel to The Flower Bowl Spell. I have a few thousand more words already written, but I wanted to start the month and the event fresh—no cheating. Not yet, anyway. I anticipate there will be days when I’m not up to the task of writing the daily target of  1,667 words. There will be days, like the last few, when I’ll even wonder why I’m still pursuing this whole writing thing. I don’t have an agent. I don’t win awards. My books have received decent reviews, and for that I’m grateful.


It’s that kind of annoying interior struggle of a lifetime (not to be all dramatic), this truthful wish that I can’t shake to be a “real writer.” The hard fact is I am a real writer, just not in the category (full-time fiction!) I’d like. Still, I have NaNo, and if you don’t know what that is, click here to find out more. Maybe you can have Nano too. If you do decide to give it a try, my become one of my writing buddies. I’m livyink.

November 29th, 2011

Olivia is a Nano Winner!

So, I just reached a wee bit over 50,000 words, which means I am a 2011 Nanowrimo winner. Yay, me!

I still have two key scenes to write. Okay, maybe three. Fifty thousand words just ain’t enough.

In the next day or so, I hope to get back to more blogging with updates on my publishing efforts. And yes, there are so many. It’s a manic, sleep-deprived time, but such is life.

In the meantime, enjoy the end of November and the Nanowrimo craze! If I can do it, so can you!

October 18th, 2011

Finding the energy for NaNoWriMo

Thinking about blogging is my new favorite pastime, because actually sitting down to blog has become rather a challenge. I’ve been working a lot lately or taking care of volunteer projects, and I have to say, being this tired…this will make some of you roll your eyes, but I’ve never been this tired. I cannot come up with witty repartee, or the niceties of polite small talk. All my energy goes into not crashing the car or giving into road rage while shuttling my kids to and fro however many times a day.

My mother, a hardcore yogi, says I need to do some yoga, that it will rejuvenate me, but the idea of making the time to do, never mind the money to pay for, such lavish luxuries stresses me out. I walk my dog instead, and my heating pad has been getting a nice workout across my shoulders, where the weight of my small world rests.

It’s been quiet on the creative writing front. Haven’t had anymore news (i.e. rejection), and haven’t had the time or energy to send out queries or write something new. I look forward to Nanowrimo, probably putting way to much stock into what I’ll get out of it, but every year, I look to it like it’s a writerly binge diet. I know that this is not a good sign, but it will have to do. If you don’t know, Nanowrimo is an annual November event, National Novel Writing Month, in which writers around the world pledge to write 50,000 words of a novel (or whatever?) manuscript in 30 days. That’s about 1,667 words a day, folks. I did it once, reaching over 50K (the first draft of the witch novel I’m now “shopping around”), and got to about 13,000 words and 8,000 words in other years. I plan to work on the sequel. Whoo hoo!

Who will join me? Really, typing with the heating pad across your shoulders is not that difficult!

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