Camp Complete!


Camp NaNoWriMo has been won!

I adjusted the goal to 40,000 words about a week in, given some changes that Sam and I made which required me to re-write a couple of chapters. I just hit 40k, and claimed my Camp win!

That being said, the first draft is not yet complete (which was also our goal). I vastly underestimated the wordcount remaining; that plus the re-writes (which count toward my word-count goals but not toward finishing the draft) put me a little behind schedule.

Do not fear! We are getting very close. Within the next couple of weeks, we should have a draft completed and be able to jump into the next step.

Check back soon!

Camp Eve

Camp NaNoWriMo begins at midnight!

Sam and I have committed to finishing the first draft of “Buk Tri” during Camp. Based on our current estimates, this will entail writing in the neighborhood of 30,000 words. Of course, that’s just a rough estimate, and we’ll just have to see how the prose unfolds! Nevertheless, it feels very doable, and we are excited to jump in.

As a tangent, both of our spouses have decided to join us for Camp NaNoWriMo! I hope I’m not putting words in their mouths by saying that this is not within either Ashley’s or James’s normal comfort zone. But insanity loves company, so I’m excited that they will be participating with us, working on their own projects.

Wish us luck! And if you are participating in Camp also, happy writing trails to you!!


Update + Camp NaNo

Book Three is coming along at a nice clip! I’ve just updated our progress bar to 75% completion of our first draft.

Up until last week, I was happily able to report that I had written every day since the first of November. NaNoWriMo gave me great momentum, and we’ve been quite steady in our progress.

This past week, my entire family was sick. My baby vomited for 9 days straight, if you can believe it, and my older son is still fighting off the tail end of this nasty virus. Needless to say, I had a few days last week where I was unable to work on the book.

But I’m happy to say that we’re mostly better, and I’ve resumed work. Sam and I are very happy with where the book is at right now, and we’re eager to complete the first draft.

On that score, I wanted to announce that I am planning to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is taking place in April. I really enjoy Camp! It is much like National Novel Writing Month (run by the same organization, naturally) with a few differences–participants are not limited to novels. Any type of writing is welcome. And there is no specific word count requirement. In fact, this time around, you can set goals in hours, pages, or lines, in addition to words.

My goal is to complete our first draft during Camp NaNoWriMo. It feels totally doable, and I’m determined! I hope that you will cheer us on. The best way to check in, if you’re interested in how it’s going, is with me on Twitter, @mamavalerius. Hopefully we will have big news before long!


50,000 words closer!


Here in the waning hours of National Novel Writing Month, I have claimed my victory!


This month has been a challenge. There have been a lot of days when I just haven’t wanted to write, or when I felt creatively drained. Obviously, looking at my stats, some days were vastly more productive than others.

That said, I wrote every day. (Except Sundays, when I don’t work.) Even if it was just a couple hundred words, I sat down and worked on our book every day. And that is huge for me. I am finally rebuilding the writer’s habits I lost when my babies came along.

My task now is to continue this habit. I’m taking tomorrow off (I desperately need to address the housework I’ve been neglecting this month!) but on Friday, work recommences. I commit to writing, at least a little, every day (with the exception of Sundays and holidays =D ) until Buk Tri is complete.

We are excited to finish soon!

Returning for NaNoWriMo


I’m getting ready to blast off with National Novel Writing Month 2016. I’ve committed to writing the next 50,000 words in our third book, The Seventh Guardian.

After my success this summer with Camp NaNoWriMo, I know that I am capable of meeting this goal. It will be a lot of work, there’s no doubt. But I am up for the challenge!

I know a lot of people who say that they want to write a book someday. If that’s you, I really encourage you to try out NaNoWriMo. I have yet to find anything that motivates me more than this! It gives me a goal to work toward, and a community of people, locally and around the world, who are all in this together.

It helps to have a supportive husband! My James is wonderful, and during the month of November, he has promised to help, ensuring me the time that I need to write. Thanks, dearest!

If you are also doing NaNoWriMo this year, power to you! Let me know–I’ll be cheering for you!

Camp Success!


I am pleased to announce that Camp NaNoWriMo was a great success! Over the course of the month, I composed 30,021 words of our third book, The Seventh Guardian.


In fact, I reached 30,000 a few days early because my husband and I headed out of town, and I wanted to finish my Camp commitment before we left.

I’ll be honest, Camp was a challenge! I feel very out of practice, when it comes to writing. When I was in college, one of my favorite creative writing professors taught us that there is a big difference between writers, and people who write. Consistency is the key, and I feel really great about the progress that I made this month.

We can’t wait to be able to share the finished project with you!

Camp NaNoWriMo

I have done NaNoWriMo as well as the Camp version many times in the past. (Every year from 2006-2013!) In fact, portions of both our published novels were composed as NaNo (rebel) projects. I love the motivation and support that NaNoWriMo provides. There’s an incredible energy to it.

The past couple of years I have skipped NaNoWriMo, because I had a couple of babies. :P Seriously, though, I never imagined, before having kids, how much it would affect my writing.

A) Raising little boys takes up a lot of time and energy. During my formerly-most productive times of day, I now either have little boys to care for, or I’m exhausted from caring for said kidlets.
B) Post-partum depression seriously affects my creative energy.

I read an article a few months ago by an author who declared that sometimes mom-writers mistake writer’s block for what is really PPD. This article was a real turning point for me. Previously, I have felt really guilty and/or frustrated with myself when I have struggled to work on my books. I mean, writing novels is supposed to be fun, right? But while battling depression, doing anything creative feels a lot like pulling teeth.

It’s hard because I know our readers have been waiting for our third book for a long time. I get asked periodically when the trilogy will be completed. It’s hard to admit to our readers, whom I want so desperately to please, that I simply haven’t written anything in months. That I haven’t wanted to write. That I haven’t really been able to write.

Happily, the fog of depression is beginning to lift. This happened about a year after my first son was born, so I’m excited to been feeling a bit more like myself only 8 months after the birth of #2. I still struggle some days, but I actually feel like I can commit to Camp NaNoWriMo this time around.

Camp begins on July 1st. My goal is to write 30,000 words. Or more! Since we have already 33k written in Buk Tri (“book three” of our Seventh Empire series), this should put us around one-third complete. Wish me luck!