NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 23 and 24: BLAST

Word count Day 23:  Zippo (on the page)

Word Count Day 24:  2152  

I finished a very pivotal scene.  And I thought of several ways I can tie Protagonist 1’s experiences in so that they foreshadow later events, without actually giving anything away.

Heh heh.

Heh heh.

As a writer, I live for realizations like that.  They’re what keep me going through a first draft.  I think some of the difficulty I’ve been having with Secret Book is that it felt disjointed for so long.  I couldn’t see how the pieces fit together; writing it in a linear fashion would not have helped.  Reading the outline didn’t either.

Now I can see them, as I take them out of the puzzle box of my mind and assemble them on the page.  As scenes go from a summary paragraph to fleshed-out realities, some of the things Protag 1 and 2 do and say are surprising me, but they make more sense now.

Nothing is set in stone at this point.  Everything could change in rewrite.  I so look forward to that adventure.


It’s two days until Thanksgiving in the U.S.  Tonight’s video is from Blue Mountain Cards and gives us an amusing musical look at the standoff between a farmer and his holiday dinner.  Enjoy!

NaNoWriMo Days 20 and 21: The Realizations

Today’s word count:  768

It snowed this morning.  Ugh.  It vanished after a while, but the weather has turned cold and the ceaseless wind that will plague us until July has begun to blow.  This sort of weather makes me wish more than ever that I had someone to keep me warm under this stupid blanket.

No words last night; this is what I did instead of writing:

My Welsh cakes

Photo:  Elizabeth West

I made Welsh cakes for a Doctor Who fan club meetup potluck.  They turned out okay, if a bit heavy; not bad for a first try.  I had to play around with my new griddle to figure out the proper temperature.  It basically took all evening, but it was worth it *nom nom nommm*

I also realized two things.

  • That November is a shitty time to do NaNoWriMo.  There is too much going on–Thanksgiving, Christmas (ice show) prep, the change in weather, and a constant, ongoing parade of potlucks.  November has so many interruptions that it’s like–well, life.  October would be better.  When you’re already struggling to finish a project this way, any help you can get is welcome.
  • That, while I dislike summer, I really, really hate winter.  Goodbye, autumn.  *sigh*

In tonight’s video from SciShow, we learn why earworms happen and what you can do about them!

NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 19: Boost!

Word count: 1,873

Holy marathon, Batman, I finished the most annoying scene ever.  It sucks like a giant Dyson from space, but that’s okay.  I just repeat my mantra for pushing through a first draft:  I can fix it later.

Possibly influenced by Scarlett O'Hara.

Possibly influenced by Scarlett O’Hara.

Plus, I broke the 90,000-word mark.  Yay me!  \0/

This book will need to go through several rewrites and about a zillion edits before I’m anywhere close to ready for any beta readers.  In fact, I think I’ll probably have to start on the Rose’s Hostage sequel next, or that poor thing will never get done.

Our bizarre 1960s video for tonight–a cinema snack bar advertisement.  Anyone besides me think that peanut at the beginning looks a little…..protruding?

NaNoWriMo Day 17: Building

Word count: 1,831.

Much better, yes?  As tired as I am today (I have no idea why, but I’m going to bed soon, I promise), I found it easier to write this evening.  That feeling has been rather AWOL of late.  Along with it comes relief.  During those dry spells and blockages, you sometimes think it’s not going to come back.

In tonight’s video, we learn what happens to you when you don’t sleep.  Good night, everybody.

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 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 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.