NaNoWriMo: Update 1

Willow - NaNoWriMo 1

Longtime readers of this blog and my other writings (all three of you) know how frustrating my journey has been for all of us. I’m the classic big-idea guy who never quite gets around to following through.

My personal frustration led me to yet another re-prioritization and a first-time resolution to complete the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge – write the first draft of a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.

After three days, I’m pleased to say I’m on track. I averaged about 1,700 words each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, just enough to reach the 1,667-per-day average output for 50,000 words in 30 days. With Chapter 1 already done before I started, I had a 3,762-word head start (although I’m therefore aiming to complete a 53,762-word novel by Nov. 30), and I start today at 9,141 and looking forward to cracking five digits. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo: Update 1”

OK. I’m in.

the office

After writing one chapter of Comfort & Joy in the summer of 2018 and then freezing in place for more than a year, I have decided to force myself into action by publicly declaring my participation in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, when thousands of longtime procrastinators like me declare our intention to write a 50,000-word novel by the end of November.

As of now, six hours before November starts, I haven’t decided whether to start over or use Chapter One as a “head start.” But as I typed that sentence, I realized the point of the exercise is to move forward and write new stuff, not edit the old, so Chapter Two it is.

I have given the novel the working title of “No Chance to Dream” and described it as a fantasy mystery, being as it is The Thin Man meets Harvey. I plan to track my progress at the NaNoWriMo site (here is my page) and will probably update this post to provide word counts for you, my half-dozen readers.

See you in the funny papers!


The one with a Tom Petty reference that celebrates books

books like universes

There are books here, stacked in piles, arranged on shelves, in every cranny and nook. (Nook and cranny are my words of the week.)

Some of the books are old friends, and I pull them out from time to time to say hello and how have you been and what’s new.

Many of them are maybe going to be friends if I ever overcome my shyness and introduce myself. They must be friends already in a way, because I know they’ll be there should I ever ask.

Some are mentors with words I ought to live by, and I bring them out when I deserve a tongue lashing.

Some are there to complete a collection, and it may have been another in the series that caught my attention, but these too serve a purpose.

Every book represents a dream, a new universe, a sharing, a gift. “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.”

What, a musical reference in a meditation about books? Why not? What sings more deeply than a book? What song is more real? What symphony so captures a soul?

Kind words for A Bridge at Crossroads

A Bridge at Crossroads - print 1 webBob Garfinkel is a former Kewaunee County Board supervisor, business owner and founder of Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County. I was tickled to receive this note from him after I shared my new book with him:

A Bridge at Crossroads is an easy read but is full of wit and wisdom. Warren Bluhm is a well-known newspaper and editorial man, podcaster, and award winning journalist. This book gives insight to Warren’s life, but more importantly, the reader gets an insight to his/her own life. Personally, I am at a crossroads in my life at 72, have had a busy and rewarding life, accomplished all of my major goals, and suddenly slowed my life to a stop after a major health concern. A Bridge at Crossroads gave me the nudge I needed to get off the couch and work on a project I’ve neglected for months.

Most chapters are a page long and easy to pick up and put down. The caution is if you skim though it quickly, some of the writings have a deeper meaning than first appears and you might miss the point. This book has had a great impact on my life. I have folded the page corner on 2 dozen pages that I will re-read whenever I need a nudge.

Bob Garfinkel / Luxemburg, WI

Thanks, Bob! A Bridge at Crossroads is available for purchase at Amazon and Lulu in ebook and print.

You can also get a copy for investing in the Kewaunee County Comet, a local independent online news source. Details here.

W.B.’s Book Report: Dodger

dodgerI am swiftly becoming a Terry Pratchett fan, having just listened to Stephen Briggs’ wonderful recitation of Dodger, my third excursion this year into the mind of the Discworld maven.

I can’t listen without a smile on my face, so charming and whimsical is this story of a young man surviving among the dirty streets of earlier Victorian London and meeting Charles Dickens and other notable personages. The implication is that here is the tale of a young man who inspired Dickens to create the character of the Artful Dodger. This resourceful hero comes to the rescue of a mysterious young woman and turns his world upside-down.

I would be sad that I missed Pratchett for 66 years if I weren’t delighted at the prospect of the years ahead reading his wonderful works.

Adventures in time and imagination

time and imagination

I watched the series finale of Jessica Jones the other day, and it was as satisfying as any series finale I’ve ever seen. After three seasons of angst and despair, our hero had come to terms with her demons and was ready to take on the world. It would be nice to see what happens next, but that might be redundant: The story of her triumph over those demons was complete.

A day later in another venue (my car versus my living room), I finished listening to the audiobook of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. After 135 chapters and an epilogue, Ishmael’s journey also was complete. And in a third venue (my favorite blue chair by the window), I am slightly more than halfway through a book called Fractured Stars by Lindsay Buroker.

The three experiences are similar, in terms of an investment of time. Continue reading “Adventures in time and imagination”

My next book is out

bridge crop

A Bridge at Crossroads

When you are sad – for there will come a time when you are sad – remember a time you were so happy you wished this moment would last forever – because it does last forever as long as you remember.

When you are afraid – for there will come a time when you are afraid – remember a time when you felt so safe and comfortable you knew nothing could shake your world. Continue reading “My next book is out”