Friday, July 29, 2016

Camp Nanowrimo Day 29 and July Round-Up

So, is anyone else ready for 2016 to be consigned to the fires of history? I sure am. *sigh* At any rate, I live, I write (some), I read - let me tell you about it!

Camp Nano word count - 6969 (ouch)

July Round-Up:

Words written YTD: 36,246  on one and a half projects (Paranormal Investigations novels and a prequel short story that didn't really go where I wanted it to)

Things accomplished in fiction: the bookstore date went...poorly. Alison now knows that her coworkers know more about the paranormal than she thought, and one of them is some kind of fae? Maybe? Also, the new coffee blend is probably evil. (Such a Seattle villain, I swear)

Writer-ly things accomplished: Re-jiggered my outline for the rest of PII based on the changes to the first book that have come up, making it more like something I think will make sense. Started using for weekly challenges, rather than relying on Camp Nano for monthly ones, which has gotten my progress going a little more steadily.

New books read: The God of the Hive (Russell & Holmes #10, and not the strongest outing); Lumberjanes Vol. 2-4, issues 13, 18-20 (I blame my friend Danielle for this recent obsession, but it's well worth it); Fables Vol. 10 (my ongoing attempt to read all of Fables); Asymmetrical Warfare (short story for Hugo nomination - decent); How to be a Heroine (non-fiction deep-dive into various YA books aimed at young women - I liked it a great deal, especially as the author discovered how her reading of the different characters changed over time); Prudence (Gail Carriger's Steampunk world, which I still love)

Old books re-read: Feet of Clay (ah, Pratchett); Feed (preparing for Mira Grant's Feedback, and reminding myself how much I love this world)

Significantly more new reads this month than re-reads, which is always a bonus. Now, to figure out how Alison discovers the evil of the secret coffee blend...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Semi-obligatory Ghostbusters post

So, confession time: I may have seen the original Ghostbusters movie maybe once, a long time ago. I don't think I've ever seen any of the others. I probably remember more about the Ghostbusters references in a Daffy Duck cartoon than I do the movie itself. Clearly, I'm not really the world's biggest fan.

At the same time, I recognize that it's a Big Deal, especially with the new movie coming out. My husband is a huge fan of the original franchise, up to and including the cartoon. (I didn't even know there had been a cartoon until he mentioned it.) So when news about the new movie kept cropping up online, he was concerned. Not because it was an all-female cast, thankfully; he was more concerned that this was being billed as a reboot, rather than a continuation. Still, he remained cautiously optimistic, and we went to see the movie yesterday.

Considering our respective histories with the original franchise, our reactions to the new movie were a little surprising. His first response was "It's not a good movie, but neither was the original, and it was fun." Mine was "I need to figure out how to make a proton pack so I can cosplay as Abby." I had found my fandom, and I jumped in feet-first.

Now, I agree, this is not the best film in the history of film. Then again, I doubt very much it was aiming to be. It wasn't just fun - it was fun that wasn't at the expense of anyone's weight, gender, sexual orientation, or overall appearance. It was fun that wasn't mean. The older I get, the less comfortable I am with media that serves only to punch down.

The dialog came across as realistic, maybe just because some of those conversations are the kinds I have had with my friends and family before. I'm half-certain that the Patrick Swayze tangent is one that my mother and I have had at least once. The woman are trying to get things done for a variety of reasons, not least of which being "to save the city". They aren't catty at each other, or seeing each other as competition - they realize that each has a strength, and that working together is going to be much more effective than working separately.

What I'm saying is, I'm a fan. There's a lot going on here that just makes me happy, and I look forward to seeing it again.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Normally, this is where I would give my stats for Camp Nanowrimo, but I haven't actually figured out how much I've written in the last couple of days. I do seem to be falling into a bit of a trap with regards to moving things along. As in, they aren't moving all that quickly. And it's hard to tell if that's because I'm more focused on discovery writing what's going on, or if it's because I've only been writing a couple hundred words here and there, so it feels like I'm not moving very fast.

One of the nice things, though, is that I'm learning an awful lot about my characters and the world I've built over the years that I apparently didn't know before. For example, the bookstore that Jonathan loves so much is apparently in something like a knowe? I haven't decided if that means it's actually run by the fae or not, but probably.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks, is what I can say. I'm trying not to make this blog into a "the world is full of awful and needs to knock it the hell off" rant-fest, but seriously. Could we maybe have a week where that doesn't end with a list of people murdered? Please?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Words fail

The last week and change have been an example of the worst in humanity. So many people have died, and for what? For the religion they practice, the color of their skin, their chosen profession? For being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and getting caught in the hate that drove someone to decide people needed to be destroyed?

These aren't good deaths, noble deaths. These aren't the inevitable deaths of people who have lived good, long lives and are now ready to move beyond them. These are people who are cut down, treated like things, handled like something inconsequential. Each and every one of them was a life - a full, complete person, with people who loved them. With histories. With hopes and fears and plans that didn't include dying in an explosion in a mosque or being shot by the people we expect to protect us.

What do we do now? How do we reconcile a world that contains beauty and joy and love with a world that allows this kind of hatred and violence to happen on a regular basis? How do we convince ourselves, our families, our friends, that this is a world worth fighting for? And how do we actually fight for it?

I have plenty of words for the anger and fear I feel, but answers? Plans, and things we can do to keep this from happening again?

That's where the words fail.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Day 4 of Camp Nanowrimo, June Round-Up and Second Quarter Check-In

Why yes, I am cramming everything into one post! This is what happens when I go to a convention (Westercon, in this case), and forget to get posts up for while I'm gone.

July Camp Nano:
Current word count: 1,152
Goal word count: 30,000
What's happening: Turns out that Jonathan (love interest) and Jack (partner in the work sense of Veronica) are bros. Also, the paranormal community around the coffee shop is Not Happy about the mystical, magical new coffee blend. Alison wants nothing to do with this - she just wants to go on her date already, dangit.

June Round-Up:

Words written YTD: 30,429 on one and a half projects (Paranormal Investigations novels and a prequel short story that didn't really go where I wanted it to)

Things accomplished in fiction: see above

Writer-ly things accomplished: Decided that the short story wasn't going to do what I needed it to do, and that I wasn't in a good place to keep going with it at the moment. Picked up the proverbial pen for the second Camp Nano of the year, and I'm planning to keep my word count goal where it is - it'll be good practice for November.

New books read: Waking Up in Vegas (Incryptid short story by Seanan McGuire, which remains so much fun); Night Owls (urban fantasy I picked up on a whim - other than an unnecessary amount of head hopping, pretty solid); Hamilton, the Revolution (why yes, I have fallen into the hole that is Hamilton fandom, why do you ask?); Lumberjanes Volume 1 (so cute, and with enough "what the hell?" going on to keep things interesting); No Love Lost (Weather Warden short story that I hadn't known existed previously - kinda meh, to be honest); The Fifth Season (nominated for a Hugo, and so far, my front-runner); Stage of Fools (October Daye short story, courtesy of Seanan McGuire's Patreon)

Old books re-read: The Long Earth, The Long War, and The Long Mars (sci-fi collaborations by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, read to be caught up for the two new ones I hadn't read yet); Ill Wind (Weather Wardens book one, because sometimes you just need somewhat trashy romance with djinn and weather magic); Kitty and the Midnight Hour (see previous, only replace djinn with werewolves); Ms. Marvel Volume 1 (picked up the other two volumes in trade paperbacks and decided to re-read volume 1, as I hadn't looked at it since last year's Hugo nominations).

Q2 Check-In:
  • Complete draft of book 2 of Paranormal Investigations
    • Due:  March 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  I should really restate this as "fill in the gap between books 1 and 2 of Paranormal Investigations", and it's still in process.
    • New due date: July 31, 2016
    • Q2 status: This is the goal for this Camp Nano, so we'll see if we can actually finish filling the gap this month.
  • Complete draft of Church of Books
    • Due:  September 30, 2016
    • Q1 status: I haven't even touched this one in a while. I'll keep the date as is for now.
    • Q2 status: Same as Q1
  • Complete edit of Paranormal Investigations
    • Due:  December 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  In process
    • Q2 status:  In process
  • Complete draft of one of the works started for a Nano
    • Due:  December 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  In process, as Paranormal Investigations started as a Nano
    • Q2 status:  In process, looking better with each day of sitting and actually getting some words on the dang page
  • Complete at least one Nano
    • Due:  November 30, 2016
    • Q1 status:  COMPLETE!
    • Q2 status:  Trying for number 2!
  • Submit at least one story for publication
    • Due:  December 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  I have ideas, ever so many ideas...keeping the date as is for now.
    • Q2 status:  I may come back to the short story I was fiddling with post-Camp Nano, or I may try for something completely different. Who knows? Not me!