NaNoWriMo According to Smudge MacRuff and a Printable Word Count Calendar

10 October 2021

Hi y’all,

Here’s no frills NaNoWriMo calendar. After you print it out you can add stickers or washi tape. 🙂 I think there’s enough space for you to write your word count beneath the word count number to keep you on track. I hope you find inspiration from the forums, meeting writers from all over the world, and being inspired to write the story of your heart. NaNo is supposed to be fun, not a drudge. Should you persevere at the end you’ll have a draft of a manuscript, a big portion of editing, forward progress on whatever you’re writing.

NaNo is all about getting the story down. Editing comes later.

Smudge Alpin MacRuff wants to help writers with NaNo so here’s his POV on what happens when you undertake the month of November’s literary abandon.

Think about what you want to write. Be sure you like it enough to write on the story everyday.
After you join NaNoWriMo get some writing friends to join you. Friends always make everything more fun!
Stay focused. Don’t quit! Quick, word sprints!
Why aren’t you cooperating story? I give you the evil eye. I do not like you anymore.
You see these shreds manuscript…that’s what will happen to you if you mess with me again.
Swift kick in the writing pants. I can do this because I’m the Boss!
You did it! Do something nice for yourself. All that hard work was worth it.

All the best writing vibes and positive thoughts to everyone! Love, Tambra and Smudge

An Excellent Course

My sweet friend, Rae blogged about my upcoming workshop. Thank you, Rae!

powerfulwomenreaders

Always wanted to be a writer? Here’s a course that will help.

The Essentials of Characterization and Plotting Instructor: Tambra Nicole Kendall Registration Deadline:October 10, 2021 Start Date:October 6, 2021 End Date:November 1, 2021Class Fee in USD:$15 for HHRW members / $25 for non-membersGoogleiCalendarREGISTER NOW

In this course, we will discuss how to plot, what keeps it moving, and how storytellers drag readers into a fictional world and keep them there. We’ll learn point of view, story structure, pacing, world building, how to connect the beginning, middle and end, and more.

Tamara is a friend and a very capable teacher who has written since forever. She has mastered the skills of engaging writing, which is evident on every page of her books. I highly recommend this author and her course.

Thanks, Evin



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Preptober for NaNoWriMo

24 September 2021

Old books on a shelf

Hi y’all,

I know this is a wee bit early before October but I wanted to go ahead and share some resources to help you prepare for National Novel Writing Month (November). If you have problems finishing a manuscript NaNoWriMo might help you finish. It teaches you how to muffle/choke your inner editor. Bribery works for my inner editor.

What if you aren’t writing fiction and still want to participate in this frenzied event? You can be a NaNo Rebel. A NaNo Rebel is a NaNoWriMo participant who chooses to write something besides a novel of at least 50,000 words in November. Some rebels choose to revise and edit their novels, while others wander into the worlds of nonfiction, video games, scripts, and academic writing.

Back to the topic of novel writing. It’s easy for a nonwriter or someone who only writes short stories to say, “writing a novel can’t be that hard.” It can be. Many people wistfully say they want to write a novel one day. I’ll bet they started to really think about it, then broke out into an icy sweat while slowly backing away from that idea.

Writing a novel can be a daunting task. I’ve found that breaking such a large project into smaller pieces makes the process less overwhelming and easier to organize. I write my stories in Word but keep them organized in Scrivener.

To have an idea of where I’m going, I write out what I know about the major plot points and/or the pinch points in my story. This is a good start but I also need a way to keep myself on track without interfering my flow of creativity. Using the Hero’s Journey and the 3-Act Structure, along with the plot points I’ve written out give me a road map to follow. BUT, this method also gives me the room I need if I come up with ideas that are better than my initial effort. A Google search brings up lots of resources to help you prepare for NaNo.

Reedsy has an article that explains the Three Act Structure if you’re unfamiliar with this story structure. https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/story-structure/three-act-structure/

Here’s a link for the Hero’s Journey if you’d like to know more. https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/story-structure/heros-journey/

Author, Eva Deverell has plethora of writing worksheets to help get your Preptober off to a great start! https://www.eadeverell.com/preptober-schedule/

The NaNo website has helpful information, too. https://nanowrimo.org/nano-prep-101

Here’s the word count breakdown to reach the 50,000 word goal: 1,667 words per day or 7 pages. If you can’t sit down and write that number of pages in a single sitting you can write 556 words in three sessions which will keep you at the daily goal.

Do you have a child or teen who’s a writer? NaNoWriMo has a Young Writer’s Program.

I hope the links provide a good starting place for your novel preparation. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, don’t put it off. Take the plunge! Don’t worry if you don’t reach the 200 pages goal what’s important is that you learned more about writing, yourself, and maybe made some new writing friends.

Keep writing and creating!

Tambra

P.S. Don’t forget my Essentials of Characterization and Plotting workshop starts October 6. Here’s the link to register! https://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/event/the-essentials-of-characterization-and-plotting/

My October Workshop

September 10, 2021

Hi everyone,

cartoon cat writing at a desk.

I hope y’all are doing well!

I wanted to let you know I’ll be teaching my Essentials of Characterization and Plotting workshop. It begins October 6, 2021 and ends November 1, 2021. The cost for Hearts Through History members is $15, non-members $25. This is the only time this year I’ll be teaching it.

The length of the course is four weeks. I post lessons every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you’d like to read testimonials from people who’ve taken the course you can find it on my website: https://tambrakendall.com

Here’s a list of the lessons. I’ve tried to organise the material so the lessons build on each other making the material as cohesive as possible.

  • Lesson One: Brainstorming
  • Lesson Two: Backstory, Plot Sketches, Show, Don’t Tell and Effective Description
  • Lesson Three: Character is Action, Plot is Action
  • Lesson Four: GMC – Goal, Motivation and Conflict Goal, Urgency, Motivation
  • Lesson Five: Writing Strong Characters and Viewpoint, Deep Point of View, Stimulus and Response
  • Lesson Six: Sagging Middles
  • Lesson Seven: Scene and Sequel Structure
  • Lesson Eight: Plotting Methods
  • Lesson Nine: Creating Dimensional Characters
  • Lesson Ten: Adding Tension and Danger
  • Lesson Eleven: Writing Sexual Tension
  • Lesson Twelve: Basic Worldbuilding

As you can see, most of the lessons can be applied to other genres of fiction besides romance. I hope to see you in October!

Here’s the link to register for the workshop: https://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/event/the-essentials-of-characterization-and-plotting/

If you’re at my website, please consider signing up for my newsletter. In exchange for signing up, I offer a mini-journal. The schedule is approximately every quarter, unless something special is occurring. I’m passionate about using essential oils/natural healing, recycling/upcycling, Celtic mythology, the Templars and Arthurian history.

Have a great weekend!

Tambra

Recycled Lay’s Plastic Chip Container

July 1, 2021 by Tambra Nicole Kendall

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share with you my latest recycle. I’m sure you’ll find a number of uses for this project. I hate throwing away the plastic Lay’s chip container. Here are some of the things I used them for: watercolour brushes, silverware/plastic ware for camping or picnics, crayons, markers.

Today, I used some decorative tape (with paw prints) around the body. It will be added to Smudge’s tote bag to hold an extra leash, a roll of doggy poop bags and leaving enough room for a baggie with some treats and a small squeaky toy. I’m positive cat lovers would find a use for this idea.

Recycled plastic Lay’s chip container

I hope y’all are doing well and that this quick idea will help you. Camp NaNoWriMo starts today, so I’m off to see what I can get on the page. If you happen to participate in the literary activity you can find me as Tambra Nicole.

Hugs to all! Tambra

Papermaking!

23 April 2021 by Tambra Nicole Kendall

I’ve always loved the originality of homemade paper. The cost sometimes can be an issue. With my quest recycle and upcycle I looked into making my own paper for small journals and to paint on. I ordered this frame https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08PDWTBQF and this book https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9LSZ6G

Easy Papermaking book

I have a VitaMix and there is no way I’m going to use it to make my paper, so I went to Walmart and bought a 56 ounce blender for $20. By creating my own paper from junk mail I can also add things like flowers, flower petals, glitter to my pulpy mess. I haven’t made anything yet since I just purchased the blender.

I think a hand crafted journal is going to be a great contest prize. The winner can use it for themselves or give it as gift. Maybe sewing isn’t something your interested in, but this might be something for you to explore. This could be a project you can do with your kids. There are lots of video’s on book binding. I love Nik the Booksmith, Sea Lemon and Jenniebellie’s video’s on book binding methods.

homemade paper

Homemade papermaking will work for all the areas of writing I do. As with most creatives when I sew, paint, or do crafting it helps stimulate my imagination and writing.
In a previous post I had mentioned holding a contest for my blog subscribers. I signed up for Rafflecopter, so you’ll be seeing a contest in the near future.

I’d love to hear if you’ve done this before or if this post nudged you to try this technique. Here’s a link to the process of homemade papermaking:: https://www.sensiblehomeschool.com/how-to-make-homemade-paper-a-tutorial-with-pictures/

Stay well and safe! Happy Crafting!

Tambra Nicole

Tambra’s Refashioning and Upcycling Resources

17 April 2021

tape measure, thread and material

By Tambra Nicole Kendall

Hello friends!

I wanted to share my favourite sewing and refashioning resources with you. One the things I’ve missed most during the pandemic is the chance to go and poke around in my local thrift stores. Recycling and upcycling items help my creativity while giving something a brand new life. To some people this sort of activity isn’t fun, but for me it’s exciting. So, if any of you are contemplating the joys of refashioning and upcycling come along with me.

I understand not everyone is excited about sewing, refashioning, and thrifting. If you know someone who is please pass the link to this post to them and share the love.

There is a difference between recycling and upcycling. RECYCLING is the destruction of waste and making something new. Example: Automobile windshield glass made into drinking glasses.

UPCYCLING it taking an item and creating something new from it in the current state it is in. Upcycling is creative and reduces the need for recycling. Example: My purse made from a pair of old blue jeans. I get lots of complements on this purse and I love it. Pinterest has lots of ideas for upcycling denim as well as other sewing projects.

Jillian of ReFashionista.net is the one person I credit with giving me the courage to even attempt refashioning. She gives clear directions and warns you of possible pitfalls along the way. I love her sweet, bright personality that’s bursting with creativity. I hope you’ll stop by and take a look at all her wonderful creations. https://refashionista.net/refashions/dress-refashions/

After the ReFashionista got me enthralled with refashioning I found other ladies who are of the same mindset. I came across Beth of The Renegade Seamstress creates amazing refashions like Jillian. Beth has wonderful videos that show you step-by-step how to create a variety of projects for yourself, your family, and your home. If you’re looking for a book with a great variety of refashioning projects check out Beth’s book. I’ve already chosen the first project to make out of my copy. You can find the Renegade Seamstress here: https://therenegadeseamstress.com/

I wanted to add So Sew Easy is another fab resource. These ladies have a nice variety of projects and at various difficulty levels for wherever you are in your sewing journey. https://so-sew-easy.com/

On YouTube there are a number of women I watch and learn from. Coolirpa https://www.youtube.com/user/coolirpa, With Wendy https://www.youtube.com/user/withwendy, Annika Victoria https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnikaVictoria24..

Some of you know I love vintage clothing and I’ve found some amazing designer/seamstresses. Bernadette Banner has absolutely gorgeous Victorian/Edwardian period clothing. I think if I ever met her we would be friends. She made an Inverness coat and a Lady Sherlock outfit, an 1890s ballgown. If your interested in this era of fashion, please visit Bernadette’s YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSHtaUm-FjUps090 S7crO4Q/videos

For 1920s era on up, Evelyn Wood is fantastic. I believe she has course on Teachable, too. I just love her personality and the way she explains how and why she makes the decisions she does in her refashions or whatever garment she’s creating. I love learning about vintage sewing skills. You can find Evelyn here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ59owAiWL2IgaANbG-jm0Q

For dress eye candy on Instagram I always look at Molly Nguyen Designs. Her exquisite ballgowns and wedding dresses with floof and sparkle make me so happy.

If you’ve always wanted to try sewing or upcycling I hope I’ve given you enough places to encourage you to step in and give this a try. Or, if you have some basic sewing skills you’ll find plenty of places here to inspire you.

Take care until we meet here again! Tambra Nicole

Books to Add to Your Reading Pile

April 7, 2021 Tambra Nicole Kendall

Hello everyone,

I hope all of you are healthy and doing well. I’m on the waiting list to get my Covid vaccination. Hope it’s soon.

I wanted to let y’all know of some new book and upcoming releases.

Photo by Ichad Windhiagiri on Pexels.com

Tambra’s Author Suggestions

Judythe Morgan

Fitzpatrick Family Series: Eight Preacher Kids Each with a Sweet Love Story of their own.

Sarah & Nick

Sarah Fitzpatrick, pianist extraordinaire, gave up on true love when her high school boyfriend, Nick Stephens, ran off to marry his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Nick’s daughter shows up in her music class eleven years later. One look at the man, and old dreams come back to life. She must find a way to keep the little girl and Nick out of her heart. She won’t risk losing everything again.

Nick Stephens has other plans. Sarah is, and always has been, the love of his life and he’s back in Burton, TX to prove it. But there are secrets Nick must keep, from Sarah and his daughter. Secrets that could destroy everything he hopes to build. Can their second chance survive new secrets?

Here are the buy links.

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08W9MP12F

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1736553909

Nook:   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-love-endures-judythe-morgan/1138790688

Stefanie London has some wonderful books for you to choose from and some recent titles to be released soon. Here’s her website: https://stefanie-london.com/

Kadee McDonald has another sweet PAWS romance out! You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VVPGM7D?fbclid=IwAR3owV_TCkmiIiI92NUNXLXBkGC6HXjvmT82YqJWp2BpB8IlsTi2PF6_0HE

Healing Two Hearts book cover

I hope you find some new authors to try. If you have friends that might be interested in these stories please pass on the information!

I’m working on a few projects (still!) but am doing my best to have something out this summer.

Hugs to all!

Tambra Nicole

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS (And Others)

This is a reblog from my friend, Rae’s blog. She and I share a number of interests including a love for the writing of Madeleine L’Engle. I hope you enjoy her blog post as much as I did!

Hugs,
Tambra

powerfulwomenreaders

Just as Saturday mornings on TV in the 50s and 60s was dedicated to kids, Saturday mornings on this blog are dedicated to them.

Book 1 of the Wallace Family Series finds Meg a gawky twelve year old and Charles Wallace a 6 year old prodigy.

Book two finds Charles Wallace about Meg’s age in the previous book.

Book three finds Meg married (to Calvin) and expecting their first child and Charles Wallace a teenager.

For years, I thought this was it, The Wallace Family trilogy. I read A Wrinkle in Time to my sixth graders every year during the 80s as I discovered it with them. Later, I read A Wind in the Door and reread it recently. I do not think I ever read A Swiftly Tilting Planet until now, as I began my Madeline L’Engle “project”–to read as much by and about her as I could. The…

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News to Share

Hi y’all,

I wanted to let you know that Coffee Time Romance interviewed me and now it’s ready. I’d love it if you could stop by and comment. https://coffeetimeromance.com/interviews/interview-with-tambra-kendall/

The other news I wanted to share is I have a shop at Society6. If you’re looking for unique gift ideas, I just might have something to fill that need. Or, if you’d just like to see some of my photography you can do that, too. https://society6.com/tambranicole

Anne’s Flower Garden, taken at Chicken Paradise, San Antonio, Texas

I hope y’all have a blessed week!

Tambra Nicole Kendall