#NaNoWriMo Week 4 – Thankful

Sometimes the stars align. That alone is reason for me to be thankful. Two novels. Two months. I’m tired, I’m weary, and still enthused, still grateful for my creativity. Yes, stars will align on November 25th 2021, the day I publish this blog post.

Here in the US, the 25th is a major holiday, Thanksgiving Day. Out of necessity, though, I’ll be celebrating the holiday on the 26th. Thus, I’ll be writing on the holiday and enjoying turkey and company the day after.

I’m thankful for those in my life, those I love and care about. I’m thankful that I’m caring for Cheddar Cat this week, who arrived on the 22nd and is a joy. I’m thankful for those who support and encourage me online as I pursue a dream. I’m thankful for my continued good health when several times in the past I should have died.

Quite frankly, I’m thankful for all of that every day, but the 25th brings it into focus.

The other stars aligning on the 25th are tied to the fourth week of NaNoWriMo.

On the 18th, I finished Aramon Daughters and turned my attention to A Glorious Past Reimagined. This first week in the novel has been, quite literally, glorious. Magic happened in the third chapter when, in a way, Bk5 became Bk7 without me having to write an extra word.

A Glorious Past Reimagined

Cover: CA Hawthorne

Riparia’s series, if I’m being technical, is five books. There is, though, a sequel that, in truth, should be read after Bk2. There’s also Torment Surfacing, which I’ve always referred to as a peripheral novel.

Torment Surfacing wasn’t counted as a part of the series because Riparia doesn’t appear in it (she’s briefly in the prequel). The story occurs in Carrdia on the same timeline, but the connection to the series, at the time, amounted to an evil device first mentioned in Bk2. That’s it.

The beginning of my writing stars aligning happened in Bk3 when more links between the peripheral novel and the series occurred.

In an instant the tenuous thread became a rope.

Let’s step back for a moment for some context. After drafting Bk3 I became stuck and the series stalled for almost two years. Early this year, when I edited Bk3 (when the magic happens!), I changed a critical location, one the novel then shared with Torment Surfacing, and another star aligned.

In October, I wrote a novella about Tryn, a character from the Prequel and Bk3. Her story became the most solid link yet. Another star.

November arrived and the solid link established in the novella continued in Bk5. The next true star, though, came in Chapter 3 when a major revelation that played upon a parallel thread in the peripheral novel and Riparia’s stories pulled Torment Surfacing fully into the series. It also clarified the themes for Bk5.

This, everyone, is why I wanted the entire series drafted before publishing.

All this will influence how I edit going forward, but will cause no major changes.

Thankful? The word doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling.

I’m thankful that all of this came together and all the stories merged. I’m also thankful to be here, deep into Bk5 (7?) and firmly on my way to finishing the series in December.

All this means I’ll have to change my diagram and, quite frankly, I’m thankful for that, too!

As if all that wasn’t enough, there’s having won my 8th NaNo this month, finishing Aramon Daughters (125,232 words), and the fact that I’ll unofficially win NaNo again when I pass 50K on Glorious Past on Thanksgiving Day. I say unofficially because they don’t let you participate twice, though I was able to create another event and can still track on the site.

Maybe more than anything, I’m thankful (and quite proud of myself) for having taken the long view at the beginning and decided to draft the series before publishing any of it. That, everyone, is the meaning of stars aligning.


About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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