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C is for Challenges & Criticism & Cowboy Coffee #atozchallenge

red ribbon alphabetYesterday was rough, I was stuck working with a client’s project and instead of getting to join my cabin mates I was cranking out copy and cool graphics instead of word counts on my Camp NaNoWhineMo NaNoWriMo work. If I was to tally up said word count on my client’s copy and the rest I did (oh wait I did tally it up I cranked out 4,392 words today (counting this post since I re-calculated it after collecting my thoughts for you.

This is my second attempt at NaNoWriMo and I am really liking the casual approach, it is much less stressful than a 50K goal, mine happens to be 20K. I will do this, I have faith and to top that I am pretty sure I can go above and beyond, but I will to make goal this time around. (I did 11K in my project in November & for The Indie Exchange’s challenge over 120K including my blogging and client work.) Woosh!

2013-Participant-Campfire-Vertical-BannerFor those who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Camp NaNoWriMo came about when folks wanted to have a more laid back place to tap into the energy your inner muse. With all my work with authors and even all the nights I have written paper after paper, nothing has been as challenging as this. Getting over my insecurities about my work, sharing with others whom I know to be amazing story tellers and producing a book which people would read and hopefully enjoy is terrifying and overwhelming.

Accepting constructive criticism has never been one of my strong suits. In fact one of the first times I ran away from a challenge and hid was when I was training to be a senior camp counselor. When I look back at the criticism I had received I realized it was some great advice. I was concentrating on to many campers at once and not my personal cabin group. Instead of listening I ran away and did not finish my training. I stayed a single cabin leader and never continued the next summer. Sound a bit familiar? Anyone who works with me or who are my friends online know I spread myself thin and try to do as much as possible. I do this with my writing challenges too hence a reasonable WC goal. I did not finish #BlogFlash2013 or the first one #BlogFlash2012 despite going gangbusters out of the gate for each.

Celeste - Main Character in "The Darkness"

Celeste – Main Character in “The Darkness”

And here I am with the beginnings of something I am really excited about. I am character building and creating a world and it is coming together wonderfully! I promised myself whatever it takes I will finish this project. I have a mode I slip in when I discover something new. I call it my “Stain Glass Approach,” which puts my head in the “The I can do anything!!” zone on new shiny complex projects and make them into the perfect Tiffany windows, but I will discuss that little quirky problem when we get to “s“.

As you can surmise with all my “c” words, when I take on a project I tend to grab it not just by the horns, but I  take the whole cow home.. wait that is a bull, not a cow.. oops! On that note, I present cowboy coffee, one of the easiest ways to make it. We do this when we camp and I do it now because I am to lazy to keep using my press. If I am going to make goal, I am going to need tons of C words.. chocolate and coffee



Cowboy Coffee

Gourmet  | January 2008
Boiling this strong coffee with eggshells clarifies it by helping the grounds to settle.

10 tablespoons medium-ground full-flavored coffee
10 cups cold water (preferably filtered)
5 empty eggshells, crushed
print a shopping list for this recipe

  • Bring all ingredients to a full boil in a large nonreactive saucepan, partially covered, then simmer, tightly covered, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Let stand, covered, off heat until grounds settle, about 2 minutes. Carefully strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pot.  

VOILA! Gloriously strong and especially perfect for the girl who still does not have a coffee pot. I love my french press but it only makes one cup at a time. This recipe allows for four (of my cups)

This post was brought to you today by sixty words beginning with the letter “C”, what was your C post today on?
C is for Challenges & Criticism & Cowboy Coffee #atozchallenge


  1. Oh, I lovew the thought of Cowboy Coffee solving all our problems. When I was a little girl it was all about hobo toast. Your heroine is gorgeous and I love the name CELESTE!!

    Hang in there with workplace crazyness. It is so great to meet you via the A to Z Challenge today!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    Our Literary Grannies from A to Z: C is for Christine de Pizan
    tweet me – @juliejordanscot

  2. Criticism is hard to take, I so understand. Critiquing someone’s work seems more like the right approach, although that could be hard to take too. Tough call, either way.
    Good luck with the Challenge and hope to see more.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  3. I have the same insecurities about my writing, and I have never managed to share more than snippets or a few chapters of my novels. I am finishing a novelette that I started a while ago during this challenge, and then I am going to revise it and start getting critiques for further edits. I will have something complete this time around, and so will you!

  4. You had me at cowboy coffee!

  5. Persistence matters, and being aware of your weaknesses when pursuing goals will help you address them. Good luck with your Camp NaNoWriMo project!

  6. You had me at Cowboy Coffee, too! First time I’ve ever seen a recipe–and philosophy–for it, so thanks! Good stuff. I particularly appreciate your observations on Camp NaNoWriMo; I’ve considered it before but not jumped in…I may yet (too much going on right now).

    Check out my “C”s at and find out a lot you didn’t know about the Crimean War and why we call sweaters “Cardigans”. My novel in progress (from NaNoWriMo 2010) is at 165K and being seriously edited now. lol Nice to “meet” you!

  7. Love the look of your blog – and tickled to track all your C words in red: great idea for the Challenge! My letter “C” was on cruises today – music cruises, to be specific.

    Best of luck with Nano camp – I won my 1st NaNo in 2011, so was pretty cocky going in for my 2nd…sadly, only made it halfway.

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