Sunday, November 30, 2014

End of Nanowrimo and New Ink!

Alas, I'm not winning Nano this year.  I'm disappointed, but I'm not all that surprised.  I've gotten a good handle on what I want to do with the story, so I'm hoping to continue with it over the next few months.  My goal is to have something ready for self-publication by this time next year (and I'm pretty sure I said something very similar around this time last year, so take that goal with a grain of salt).

In other news, yesterday I finally got a couple of tattoos that I've been planning for several months.  They're both song lyrics, one around each wrist, and they were done by the magnificent Magdalena Sky at BJP Southcenter.  I wanted to go over what I got, and why, when it's still fresh in my mind.  Pictures!

The right wrist:


The quote around the right wrist is the title of Seanan McGuire's beautiful song, "My Story is Not Done", with a quill across the inside of my wrist.  I first heard her music at a concert at Norwescon earlier this year, when I finally went to my first filk concert.  While I had heard of this style of fandom-related music, I had never actually listened to it.  I'm a huge fan of Seanan's fiction, and so I thought it would be great to actually listen to some of her music since she was performing live.  I was absolutely floored by the music.  I immediately bought everything I could from the merch table, and one of the CDs had this song on it.

I've been fighting depression for many years, and I wanted something that would remind me that I still have more to do.  I also wanted to remind myself of my dedication to writing - thus the quill.

The left wrist:

The quote here is from Michelle Dockrey's (of local filk group Vixy and Tony) fan anthem, "We Are Who We Are", and it says "we are creators of our own worlds," with a book on one edge of my wrist.  Vixy and Tony was another act in the same concert at Norwescon, and they were actually the first ones I had heard.  I nearly broke into tears when I heard them, and all I could think was "I didn't know we could do that."

This reminds me of why I got into the business of storytelling, and how much I enjoy the worlds others have created.

I admit, I'm a little nervous about going in to work tomorrow, but I adore the art on these.  They've been done beautifully, and I would recommend Magdalena in a heartbeat.

How about you?  Any literary or musical tattoos?  Anything you would like to get, but are nervous to get inked permanently?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nanowrimo Days Twenty-Three through Twenty-Six

My friends, it's not looking good.  According to the Nanowrimo website, I need to write 5,543 words a day (including today) in order to finish on time.  While I do tend to have good days, I'm not thinking it's likely that I'll have that many days that are THAT good in time.  I think I've got a good handle on what I'm writing now, though, or at least a good idea of what the plot is going to be, so I'm hoping to keep the momentum up.

Of course, beginning tomorrow we have The Holidays, and there is much crafting to be done before Christmas.  With luck, that will just be my time on my commute, but it depends on how behind I get on things.

In other news, I hope to get back to a regular (though less frequent) blogging schedule here.  I'm pretty close to recovered from surgery, so now it's a matter of getting back up to speed.  All I can think right now is that it's been a very long year, and I'm hoping for things to be a little calmer in 2015.

Happy Thanksgiving, U.S. folks!  Happy Thursday to everyone else.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nanowrimo Days Twenty through Twenty-Two

I admit, I seriously contemplated throwing in the towel on Nano for a bit.  I didn't write anything for a couple of days, thinking that maybe it would best if I took a break from writing altogether for a bit.  Besides, it's getting close to the holidays, which means that there's going to be a great deal of crafting to be done to get gifts together for everyone.

Then I woke up this morning, and realized that I needed to write.  Even though I know it's unlikely that I'll be able to finish Nano in time (I only need to write about 4400 words a day, no big deal *faints*), I needed to write.  Not writing anything for a few days had actually bothered me, and I noticed that my depression seemed to pick up.  I'm not entirely certain what kind of link, if any, exists there, but if it helps, I'm all for it.

Going back to the story, I decided to change around some of my outline, which was mostly caused by one of my characters showing up having been beaten up like crazy.  I wasn't expecting that.  I also hadn't expected to kill off one of the main secondary characters, but I'm pretty sure that's what's going to be happening shortly.

At any rate, it feels good to be back.  Maybe I just needed to take a couple of days off to remind myself that writing isn't just something I want to do - I need to do it.  Even if no one ever reads what I write, I still need to do it.

Back to the word mines!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nanowrimo Days Eighteen and Nineteen

My friends, I have to admit that I'm hitting the wall.  I'm also starting to be overwhelmed with doubt.  I had hoped that this would be the year I would get something to a point that I would be willing to self-publish it, or that I would submit something I had written for publication.  I did manage the second, and was rejected - twice - but at least I managed to accomplish something.  I have serious doubts about the first goal, though, and at this point I'm not sure it's something I should even be trying to do.

My writing isn't great.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't even cross the line into "good" territory.  I have ideas, but I don't know how to implement them, and I don't think I'm capable of putting them in such a way that anyone outside of my head would even care about it.  I've gotten pretty accustomed to throwing words into the void, but now I don't know if I should be doing even that much.

I have no idea if I'm going to finish.  Part of me really, really wants to throw in the towel, and I'm having a hard time justifying why I'm not.  Maybe I'll feel better after a good night's sleep, or maybe I'll decide that I should wrap my dream of being a writer in some cotton and put it away in a trunk, where it belongs.  We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nanowrimo Days Sixteen and Seventeen

Right now, my main character is caught under a table while a meeting is getting ready to take place.  This means that I have a batch of characters to introduce via their voices and shoes alone.  This has actually been a lot of fun, because it gives me a chance to figure out how someone's voice will make an impression on a person who doesn't get to see who they are.

Of course, my main character is going to get found, but in the meantime, I'm having fun with it.  She's getting in way over her head right now, and she doesn't even realize it.  Bwahahahaha.

In other news, I'm back to work for the first time in a week and a half (the last week, I was working from home, so I'm back in the office now), and I'm already exhausted.  I'm just going to try my best to get through as much of the week as I can, and use the time on my commute to write a little more.  I'm behind, but I think I still have a chance.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nanowrimo Days Thirteen through Fifteen

Catch-up day!  It seems like every time I do Nanowrimo, I ended up with one or two days where I start to write ALL THE WORDS and try to play catch up.  The two times that I've won Nanowrimo so far, it was done on the last day, within an hour or two of midnight.  Clearly, the words flow better when I'm closing in on a deadline.

Of course, that's not completely accurate - sometimes the words flow better.  Other time, there's a loop of "can't write" repeating in my head while I stare at the blank page, which is less than useful.  Still, it looks like today is doing some damage to the backlog.  I decided to actually try out the timer page (Moosti, if you're interested) that I had bookmarked in preparation for Nano and then completely forgotten about.  I've never really written with a timer before, but I think it's working pretty well for me.  I do think that 25 minutes is pushing it for me - by about minute 20, I was having trouble focusing and starting to look for an excuse to do something else, but up until that point, I was just forcing myself to write without letting myself stop, and that helped.

Here's to the halfway point, my friends!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nanowrimo Day Twelve

It's been slow (shocking, I know), but it's moving again.  I'm having fun learning a little more about one of my side characters, who I hadn't really fleshed out before.  That's the part I enjoy the most about Nanowrimo - having to spill language out means that the characters get the chance to play without much supervision.  Of course, that's when things like my fluffy chick-lit book turning into psychological horror tales happen, so it's a mixed blessing.

How are things going for you all?  Anyone else having a slow spell, or are the words just flowing forth for you?  If so, I'd ask that you send me some of your good writerly vibes, but I'm not going to take away from another writer's groove.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nanowrimo Day Eleven

Remember how I said my word count was pathetic yesterday?  Today makes it look like GOLD.  I need to skip over the rest of this section and get into something where things are happening, because right now, it's not what I want to be writing.  I'm doing a lot of emotional set-up between characters, and discovering that my main character is a bit more of a bitch than I had intended (hate it when that happens), but nothing's really going on.  I need to fix that.  Bring on the magic and the espionage!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nanowrimo Days Five through Ten

Hark, I have returned!  My word count is utterly pathetic, but I'm back from the hospital and appear to be on the road to recovery from the surgery.  Note to self:  don't neglect your abs so much, because they do far more for you than you realize.

I think I'm going to try going back to writing on the computer, rather than drafting by hand, at least for now.  I can type much faster than I can write, and I'm spending a lot more time in front of a computer for the rest of the week.  I'm working from home (because my office is made of awesome and lets me do things like that for cases like this), which means fighting with the cats for lap-space.  In general, the cats win.

I'm hoping the writing will pick up, as I'm getting into the plot and out of the set-up portion of things.  At least, that's what I have planned, and so far, my characters haven't been fighting me too much.  Of course, I've been giving them plenty of time to babble their way through introductions, so I think they're cutting me a little slack for now.

How go things for you all?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nanowrimo Day Four and Hiatus

Unfortunately, today saw no new words added to the novel. Between trying to get things at the day job at a place where I can leave for three days and not check email and trying to remember what I need to bring with me, something had to give.

On a personal note, my friends, I am terrified. The only time I've ever even been to a hospital was when I sprained my hands when I was a kid. I visited my father when he had his heart attacks, but I've never been in a hospital bed myself. And now I'm going to be cut into and have part of myself removed and... I've the feeling I won't be sleeping well tonight.

I'll most likely be offline tomorrow, but will be back soon after. Keep the words flowing in my absence - I know you can.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nanowrimo Day Three

Well, it's only day three, and I've already missed my word goal for today.  I'm still in the range where I can make it up easily, but it always makes me a little anxious.

Writing on the train was a little more difficult than I had anticipated - I'm going to need to figure out the best angle to hold the pen while balancing the notebook on my bag on my lap, otherwise my hand is going to feel like it's falling off.

I decided that one of the scenes I'd been getting stuck on wasn't strictly necessary, so I skipped the rest of it.  Of course, then I realized that I'd planned on building off of things that were set up in that scene, so I'm probably going to have to go back and do some clean up.  But for now, that's for December.  (And so the list of things to fix in post begins!)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nanowrimo Day Two

Well, I've survived day two, and I'm still on target.  I've finished the first two scenes (which are predominately set-up), and started the third scene, which will finish out the intro chapter.  It's been moving pretty well, though today there was more real-life stuff going on that distracted from the writing.  Tomorrow, the commute to and from work should give me some solid time to sit with the notepad and some music and confuse the heck out of my seat-mates on the train.  Something about scribbling in a hardback journal with a fountain pen seems out of the ordinary for some folks.  Can't imagine why.

I'd read about this tip a couple of different places, and I thought I would pass it along here, as it's been working pretty well for me so far.  Every time I've stopped (either to type up what I've written, or to take a break), I'm stopping mid-sentence.  It means that, when I come back to it, I have a good idea of what the next few words will be.  Once I get the first few words down, it moves pretty quickly from there.

How go things for you guys who are participating?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nanowrimo Day One

Hello, all!  For those of you who get bored with Nano-update posts, I'm going to try to keep this brief, but I'm also planning to use this space as a way to "take a break" without taking myself away from the keyboard.  If I start surfing the net, I may never go back.

So far the Church of Book and I are getting along pretty well.  Around 11pm last night, I realized that I wanted things to go in a different direction, but that was a whole hour before Nano started, so no problem, right?  (Incidentally, let me introduce you to Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of writing, wisdom, and knowledge, also known as the Mistress of the House of Books.)

This year's process is a little different from previous years.  Anyone who knew me in college knows that for big papers, I would draft them long-hand (so many trees died for the sake of my senior thesis), and then typed them up later.  This was in part because it forced me to edit when I retyped it, but primarily it was just easier for the words to flow if I were physically writing them.  I decided to give that a shot this year.  It seems to be working reasonably well - while I find myself wanting to edit a bit when I type it up, for the most part I end up adding in words that I had thought of when I was writing it, but apparently the message never made it down to my hands to write the words down.  I used Scrivner to outline what scenes I wanted to write, so I have a basic idea.  Then, out came the sticky notes:

And yes, one of my scenes is titled "Training Montage"

I've got enough notes on here to help me remember what's supposed to happen, so I won't have to go to my computer and look it up when I'm starting the next scene.  Also, this way I can flip in the notebook to the scene I want to work on easily.

I'm working on building up a cushion this weekend, as on Wednesday I'll be going in for surgery, and will be out of commission for a few days.  (Possibly - it's also possible that the pain medication is going to make this novel take a turn for the AWESOME!)  Either way, I may be quiet on the internets for a bit, but I'm going to try to make a post daily if I can.

Behold, the word count widget!  I'll be putting it on the home page, as well:

Happy writing, all!