NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 16: Slow Burn

Word count: 797

This is going much more slowly than I thought.  I’m not in a race to finish by the end of the month anymore.  It’s too much pressure.  If I do, then great; if not, I’ll keep going until the book is done.  I think that NaNoWriMo has done that much for me this time around, and that’s good enough.

Writing is like this sometimes.  Some books don’t come as easily as others.  Some characters kick and scream and clutch at the door as you try to draw them into the light.  Rose’s Hostage practically fell out of the keyboard.  Tunerville went faster the more I wrote.  Perhaps this book will too.

Speaking of easy, let this wonderful song by the uber-talented Ed Sheeran insert itself into your ears.  Just try not to tap your feet.  I dare you.

NaNoWriMo Day 15: Post of few words

Word count: 889

Cleaned house; watched Once Upon a Time (hush; I know it’s sort of dumb, but I like it), and managed to get a scene percolating from one of the illustrative passages I mentioned before.  Now it’s late and I am very tired and I have to work tomorrow.

I forgot to update my counter on here last night, so now it will reflect the word count from both today and yesterday.  My NaNoWriMo count stands at 7,540 so far.

In tonight’s video, we see some adorable penguins who managed to break out of their enclosure at a zoo in Denmark but were soon busted.  Helpful hint, guys–you might dry your feet before you try that again!

NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 14: Rounding up the strays

Word count: 1,442

I’m not feeling well tonight, so I decided to comb through my notes for scenes I haven’t written yet.  I found these strays floating through them, where I made notes and then wrote small passages to illustrate them.  They’ll all go in the book.

I also found the name of the road in London that I appropriated for Protagonist 2’s locale.  It’s a pretty road with a lot of Victorian row houses on it.  I stumbled onto it when knocking around Hampstead one day last autumn.  There’s a house listing on this road, and it’s only £4,500,000.  Sure, I’ll make an offer.  IN MY DREAMS.

Image from Google Street View, Heath Hurst Road, Hampstead London  

Image from Google Street View, Heath Hurst Road, Hampstead London

Protagonists 1 and 2 are young adults in the 1960s; here is a hilarious look at their social scene in London at the time.  The narration is super snarky, but it’s a good representation of the kooky fashions of the time.

NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 13: Tragedy in France

Word count: Maybe some later; I’ll update

If you haven’t heard yet, tragedy struck in Paris tonight as at least five coordinated terrorist attacks took place in the Bataclan Concert Hall, the Le Petit Cambodge Restaurant, 90 Rue Charonne, the Stadium of France, and possibly at Les Halles shopping mall.

Many are dead, many injured.  France has closed its borders. I hope they did that in time, before any of the attackers got out.  The French government has asked people to stay inside.  Many Parisians are offering shelter in their homes to stranded tourists and anyone who can’t get home due to the attacks.

I will try to write later.  For now, I’m following the news. My chat room has several members in France, and a friend of mine has a friend who is there with her husband.  I’m hoping our loved ones are all okay.   My thoughts and prayers are with the French people and the citizens of Paris.


NaNoWriMo Day 12: Drifting

Word count: 79

Still reading and working with Protag 1’s dossier.  I added a little bit to something I finished, too.  Also, my word count spreadsheet says I only have 84,956 words, so I have updated my counter to reflect that.  Not sure where I went wrong; I probably entered a number incorrectly.

There’s a scene I want to write, but I’ve been avoiding it until I can get a few more words under my belt.  Or perhaps I should just do it.

The most difficult part of a book to write is the middle.  It tends to sag sometimes.  Whether you start at the beginning or skip around like I do, the middle bit is like that stretch of dull, endless highway between your home and your destination.  You’ve gone too far to turn back, but you’re not sure you have enough energy to go on.

And on, and on, and on….

Image:  Wikimedia Commons

You get sleepy and you try to focus on your craft, but you’re anxious to get to the end, and so it suffers.  You drift.  Sometimes you get so far out of your lane that when you go back and reread what you wrote, the incongruity of it is like the blare of a trucker’s horn snapping you out of your doze.  You veer back into your lane and vow to pay attention.  You’re dedicated.

If you want to see an example of dedication, watch this video about a man in India who has cared for his feathered friends for over ten years.  And did you know there are wild parakeets in southeast England?  Yes, it’s true.  I’ve seen them.


NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 11: The Wuthering Albatross

Word count: Still reading

Whoa, the wind is absolutely howling outside.  It’s very distracting.  The entire house is creaking.  This time of year, it should be raining and cold, like Wuthering Heights, but it’s eight-fifteen at night, dry as an old bone, and it’s still 62 degrees.  Thank you, El Niño.

I also just realized I set a couple of things in the 1970s when they should have been a decade earlier.


Protagonist 1 is not a hippie girl.  She’s closer to being mod, which is a subculture of the 1960s that originated in England.  Just for fun, I might make her flirt with the crunchy granola subculture, though.

For tonight’s video, I’d like to share some of the music she might have danced to in her wild youth.  It includes this legendary song performed by Johnny Rivers.

This looks utterly HILARIOUS now.  Keep your eye on the background dancers.  They look like they came straight from the office to shoot this.  Check out their moves, man.

Ask your parents or grandparents if they remember this and let me know what they say.


NaNoWriMo Day 10: Writing doesn’t always look like writing

Word count: Reading and tweaking, so no counting today.

I’m not worried about making an official count for NaNoWriMo; it won’t take 50,000 words to complete this book.  It’s not about the word count.  As Chuck Wendig says, “NaNoWriMo lays down the law: you have a goal and that goal is to finish.”

Today, I’ve been reading Protag 1’s scenes.  This person is hard for me to get into.  I don’t feel like I quite have her as defined as I’d like.  Nothing I write at this point in time is etched in stone, so whatever I do now, I can change later.  But in outline and character worksheets, I’ve struggled with her.

Part of this relates to mood.  Protag 2 exists closer to where I live every day (or used to; I’ve slowly begun to drag myself out of that pit–either that, or I’ve given up and am just pretending I did).  Plus, he’s the English one, and you all know I want to marry England.

Can you blame me?

Can you blame me?

Image:  Derek Voller / via Wikimedia Commons

Another reason for the Protag 1 Dilemma relates to her settings.  I know more about Britain than I do about her line of work.  Again, nothing is permanent.  A lightly sketched scene is better than none at all.

I’ve got some thinking to do.  Tomorrow, I won’t be at work because it’s Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in the UK).   So I have a whole day to play with P1’s trajectory.  Yay!

For your viewing pleasure this evening, a reminder that baby elephants are incredibly cute, love water, and have no damn idea what they are doing.

Day 8 and 9 NaNoWriMo 2015: Back in the Saddle!

Word count Day 8:  0.

Word count Day 9: 1682.

All right, it’s not Canada Day and I’m not in Canada, but I liked those, okay?

I hope everyone survived the weekend and you’ve recovered from Monday.  The Back of Doom is better– I managed to do a set of stair climbs today (just one, but that’s progress) at work.  And I finished another lingering scene.  Yay!

I was not hung over from Saturday’s experiment, I promise.  I drank a huge glass of water before bed and managed to sleep long enough to awaken with nothing more than a very slight headache.  But an entire week of working while in major pain really took the starch out of me.  I was tired on Saturday, and Sunday I just could. not. even.  I didn’t even get dressed.

You need that every once in a while.  

You need that every once in a while.

Image:  tiverylucky /

So we’re back in the saddle again, and I’m starting to get more into Protagonist 1’s head.  That person’s scenes have been woefully neglected while I carry on my rekindled love affair with England.

Time to go to sleep for tonight.  My office is closed on Wednesday (Veteran’s Day in the US, Remembrance Day in the UK), so hopefully I have some catch-up time.  See you then, Wrimos.

NaNoWriMo Day 7: Alcohol, rockets, and panic, oh my!

Word count:  fuck it

Okay, I learned something tonight.  I can’t write when I’m drinking, and I’m very easily distracted by tweets that indicate the world may be coming to an end.

Seriously, check this video by YouTubers Julien Solomita and Jenna Marbles out:

It was a naval test off the coast, according to the news, but people are convinced it’s aliens.  My question is this:


Maybe we should ask this guy.

Maybe we should ask this guy.


No really, this was an experiment.  I’m reading over old scenes and I really thought a little Zinfandel would loosen up my brain, but all it’s doing is making me pissed off that I’m drinking alone and I can’t drive anywhere now.

Things tonight is teaching me:

  1. I’m not cut out for the alcoholic writer life, you guys. I’m going to have to play it sober.
  1. Facebook is really boring compared to Twitter.
  1. I’m amazed at how articulate I am when I’m tremendously buzzed.
  1. I can type fairly well when I’m tremendously buzzed.
  1. I actually think you are interested in what I’m thinking when I’m tremendously buzzed.
  1. If I were in London right now, I’d probably either get arrested or fall into the Thames.
Westminster Bridge-London

Looks cold.

Photo:  Elizabeth West


Okay, clearly it’s time for me to sign off.  Back tomorrow.  If I live.

(Is this the weirdest NaNoWriMo I’ve done, or what?)

NaNoWriMo Day 6: STUCK!

Word count as of 8:51 pm CST:  144



I’d have a drink to loosen things up a bit (hey,maybe all those alcoholic writer tropes are there for a reason!), but I have to skate in the morning.  So I’ll sit here and babble in Word for a bit and hope I can pull something useful out of it.

My sister texted me and we started texting emojis back and forth and I found a hamster one and it reminded me of this.

Oh dear God

Oh dear God.

Help me.  :)