Camp NaNoWriMo and Finding the Time to Write

Gloucester Road new

I’ve had a project in the works for quite a few years now, a by-product of a trip to the UK with my sons to meet their father in Kensington. Such a storied wedge of London! This story languished through various forms and variations, and I felt it was time to fish or cut bait.

The story revolves around a divorced, heartbroken woman, her son, and four men who up-end her life over and over. A mystery, a murder, misinformation, miscommunications, etc. To say any more would give away the plot. I hasten to say this is not an erotic novel with explicit sex or kink. Whew! Glad I got that out.

So cross your fingers for me that this will finally be done at the end of Camp NaNoWriMo.

Now, to the time management of this posting. I’m the worst at time management but am turning over a new leaf. I’ve been using a work/art journal to keep my priorities and time straight. That includes Washi tape and clever stickers which can easily distract someone as distractable as me.

The other productivity (shudder) tool I’m using is something like the Pomodoro Technique, which I’m currently reading. The app I’m using is a Chrome plugin called Strick Workflow which uses 25-minute work bursts followed by 5-minute rests. Repeat. It’s been a huge boost for my writing without the distractions of Twitter Camp NaNoWriMo word sprints.

strick workflow

It’s incredibly helpful and free.

The extension installs a little red tomato in your extensions menu. You click on it to start your 25-minute session and it locks you out of selected web pages. A timer goes off to let you know the time has expired. You click it again to start your “rest” period. And so on. Fun and empowering.

Give it a try for Camp NaNoWriMo!


Computer Disasters, Scrivener, and the Cloud




Copyright Beabe Thompson 2013


I have too many WIP’s going, a byproduct of my ADD. A while back a computer utility crashed my old laptop, rendering the data on it unreachable. Nothing to do but take it back to factory setting, a move like an electronic exorcism.

Once that was done, the laptop acted as if nothing had happened. My husband now uses it. But what about my WIP’s, my babies, wiped out by the resetting?

The Scrivener zipped backup files were saved on Dropbox and Microsoft cloud storage, and this was a very important detail.

Carbonite, a subscription computer backup cloud system restored my old laptop files to the new Dell tower (yes, delightfully old school). The technician from Carbonite was kind, sympathetic, and incredibly helpful. Presto-chango, and all my files appeared where I could sort through, discard, move, backup, etc.

There was a problem. A heart pounding, gut wrenching problem: the individual Scrivener folders held the restored data EXCEPT the actual Scrivener file. Like a Fabulous Halloween costume that lacked pants. The actual story file was gone.

GONE! Why? I haven’t a technical clue, and the restored folder was useless. What saved my work was The Cloud, Scrivener’s auto backup settings, and zip files. I was able to restore the WIPs, one by one, using cloud storage and Scrivener backup.

When someone tells me they don’t use cloud backup, I mentally roll my eyes and mutter “Whatever.” Under my breath. After lightning strikes, hurricane evacuations, computer failures, and other mishaps, I know what works for me.

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