NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 11: Friendsgiving Sunday

Today is also Veterans Day, when we honor those who fought for our freedom. Thanks, folks. If you want to show your appreciation, exercise your vote and choose candidates who actually care about veterans and the issues they face. Hassle your reps to take care of them, and their families while they’re serving. 

Seriously, this is one of your best weapons right now.

Image: LG Electronics / Wikimedia Commons 

To contact your elected officials, text RESIST to 50409 and ResistBot will text you with their contact info. Or find them at

I only managed 611 words today. My nerdy friends and I got together for a Friendsgiving meetup, where we discussed all things Marvel and Doctor Who, made nerd plans to attend upcoming nerdcons, and stuffed ourselves to bursting. T’was much fun. I made brownies (mm) and wrote before I left. 

It’s come to my attention that people are curious about what I’m writing, and all I’ve posted so far is NaNoWriMo metrics. 

A few beta readers, one agent (who passed), and two editors have read Tunerville, but even those people don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t really want to tell you. 

Psst: Really, I would love to tell you but I’m not going to. 

When I originally wrote it, I had no intention of Tunerville being anything but a stand-alone novel. It does indeed work as one. But during my first revision, I spotted something I’d tucked into a pivotal scene unconsciously. Something that flicked on a little light bulb in the back of my mind.

I noted it and moved on. Later, I wrote more comprehensive notes and then even more notes, and finally an outline. That little flickering bulb has lit up into a trilogy. 

So basically, it’s like this: 

  • Book 1: Protagonist invents something that makes a mess. Tries to fix the mess, at great personal risk. Succeeds, apparently.
  • Book 2: Something unforeseen, except by me and maybe you if you were paying attention in Book 1, happens. And now protagonist is in another mess. Mwahaha.
  • Book 3: Everybody tries to fix the new mess that happened in Book 2 and gets into an even deeper mess. Can they all do it? We’ll see.  

And so will I. An outline is only a guide. It’ll happen how it happens. 

Tomorrow, there is a 90% chance of snow. I have plenty of cocoa. It will be a good writing day. 

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 9: Back in the Saddle Again

Yee haww!

I just realized that this blasted Atomic Scribbler is showing me the wrong date on my project. I think it’s measuring from when I actually started THIS project rather than the first of the month. It also counts words added throughout the entire document, not just on the page where I’m working. 

Word count today (11/8 according to the program): 2,372.  I finished a chapter (2,302) and did a little tweaking in other sections (70). 

That’s pretty good. Whenever I skip a day, I always worry I won’t easily fall back into the page when I return. That doesn’t seem to be a problem this time. I feel like I made the right call switching from Invasion to Book 2, even if Tunerville hasn’t made it out of the gate yet.

I’m starving, so I’ll leave you now.  Please enjoy my favorite horse video of all time.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 8: Peaceful Protests

Word count: 0. 

Too tired to write tonight. Today we marched. In the rain, then snow. 

I have made the greatest protest sign in the history of protest signs. I’m extremely proud of it. I’m gonna hang on to it because I might need it again before it’s over. Honestly, stick-on letters are the best. It would not have looked this good if I’d had to hand-letter it.

My friend in Germany knitted me a Yoda hat (with ears) for my birthday, so I wore my hat and carried my sign. It was cold and wet, but democracy is worth it.

Nerdy it is, yesss, hmm.

Tomorrow is Friday; I have nothing planned, so writing it is. If the neighbor’s carer’s dogs won’t stop barking, I’ll just go to the library. There’s always a way. 

See you then. 

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 7: A Lotta Nonsense

Word count: 53. Just did a little tweaking today.  I was very busy.

  • I had a job interview.
  • Rumpledneckskin completely lost it and distracted everybody.
  • I went to an advance screening of the zombie film Overlord at Alamo Drafthouse. It was loads of fun.  Of course, it had me at punching Nazis, haha. Gore level: Medium to medium-high. Might be triggering to veterans.

The Orange Mussolini’s attempts at obstruction of justice have set off a massive, nation-wide protest tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time. If you’d like to participate, find the Nobody is Above the Law website powered by and enter your zip code to find an event near you.

I was going to embed the trailer for Overlord, but it basically shows the whole movie, so nah. If you’re a horror fan just go see it when it opens on November 9.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 6: The Blue Wave Has Begun

Still on track! 

Y’all, I only managed 211 words tonight. We’re making history all over the country. 

  • Massachusetts elected their first black Congresswoman
  • Michigan and Minnesota are sending two Muslim women to Washington
  • Colorado chose the first openly gay governor in the U.S.
  • Florida restored voting rights to over 1 million convicted felons
  • KS elected the first Native American woman in Congress ever
  • Women are kicking ass everywhere

We didn’t win everything. Beto O’Rourke lost to Ted “Zodiac” Cruz, but that frees him up to run for president. I hope he does, and I hope he picks a woman as a running mate. Or I hope Kamala Harris runs and picks Beto as her running mate.  Either way, I’d vote so hard for that ticket. 

Climate denier Rick Scott won a Senate seat in Flori-duh; good luck with that when sea levels rise and flood the entire state, suckers. 

And Bannon-backed Trump asslicker Josh Hawley beat Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri (precipitating my exit from the state that also got a travel warning from the NAACP; goodbye, you racist pesthole).

Good news; he didn’t beat her by much.  Voters this year have been fierce. 

I made dis :)

And although Missouri state legislature looks to stay solidly red (ugh), voters seem to have approved an amendment to improve ethics and campaign finance rules and curb redistricting. Also, it’s early, but it looks like medical marijuana will pass. And the minimum wage increase too, hopefully!

I hope your races are turning out the way you’d hoped. Don’t be discouraged if they didn’t. And don’t be complacent if they did. We have only just begun our work. Keep participating, keep voting in local races, and hold our newly elected representatives accountable.

Celebrate wins, mourn losses, and tomorrow, we roll up our sleeves and push that Blue Wave forward. On to 2020!

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 5: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Oh mah damn, this is going well. I’m actually plowing through chapters here.

Too well. Like that old joke about the drums in the jungle; when they stop, somebody always says, “It’s quiet. . .too quiet.”

I AM NOT GOING TO GET SICK THIS TIME. And even if I do, TOUGH TITS. I’ll write in bed.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Get your butts to the polls. Right now, the best thing to do is put a check on certain people by voting out those people who will not put a check on certain people. And we must keep doing it until certain people are gone. 

Blue is best. That’s our best chance. Please consider voting a straight Democratic ticket no matter what your affiliation. 

But regardless, just don’t sit it out. Midterms are important. Your local and state elections are the ones that will most affect how your daily life goes. You shouldn’t be missing those no matter how you cast your vote.

Writing the second book in a series is a new experience for me. I learned a ton from editors who’ve helped me with Tunerville, and I’m excited about where the story is going. 

Back to torturing my protagonist tomorrow, mwahaha.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 4: When You’re on a Roll

It’s two in the morning on NaNoWriMo Day 4 (technically Day 5, I suppose), and I’ve written myself out of the place where I originally got stuck. 

Unfortunately, I forgot I’d written a note to myself at the beginning of this massive chapter, and that skewed my original word count. Switching projects messed that up too. 

It’s all good. My daily word count is now lower than the average I’ll need to to hit the 50K word goal. If it keeps going like this, I could actually come out ahead, or even finish. 

Tuesday is Election Day and I have a job interview on Wednesday. I can’t stay up this late again! 

A whole lot of Vangelis (assorted scores) and some Hans Zimmer (Black Hawk Down)

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 3: Le Switcheroo

Okay, remember when I started Book 2 last NaNoWriMo and couldn’t finish it? This graphic shows how far I got.

I’m gonna finish it. 

The entire time I’ve been messing around with Invasion, something about it kept poking the back of my brain. I thought this meant I should just write the damn story, which is why I chose it for this year’s challenge. 


I’ve been super bummed about NaNoWriMo this year. Prep was fun (especially making those quinoa patties — yum yum), but I wasn’t excited about starting.

Today, while I schlepped around the grocery store, the reason for my malaise finally clarified itself. The problem isn’t one of story but structure. Invasion would work much better as a screenplay. I’ve been flirting with writing one for a while, but I didn’t think I had any ideas that fit.

It makes sense that way. As a book, it just didn’t, at least not in my head. Writing it as prose makes me want to set my hair on fire. Since it’s taken a long growing period and hundreds of dollars to get my hair exactly the way I want it, saving this story for my first screenwriting project makes better fiscal sense.

Works for Hades; not a great look for me.

Image: Hades by Nina-Serena /

That’s some terrific fan art, by the way. 

My head has been in Book 2 for a while — in world-building, in character development, in outlining. Why stop now, especially after I did all! that! work! restructuring Tunerville? I still have a very strong feeling it wasn’t wasted, and not just because I’ve learned a ton about craft.

So, here we go. Finished scenes are in Atomic Scribbler. Notes and outlines are too (another great feature; they open as pages in one window, unlike Wordy McWorderson, which only opens them as annoying separate documents).

I haven’t lost much time, since I already wrote a chunk. I doubt I’ll finish it completely by the end of November, but I’m sure the momentum will carry me through. 

Now I’m excited.

Blade Runner 2049 score without the vocal tracks
Damn, that was a good film

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 2: Squeezing One Out

Check out this nifty little way for Atomic Scribbler to make me feel inadequate! 

The writing program from Bad Wolf Software has a Daily Word Count feature that keeps track of your output and updates a graphic, which opens in your browser.

It’s a little different from Word, but Bad Wolf’s writing programs export your work and merge all your scenes into one document (Page Four, their older offering, did the same thing). I like this because I can move scenes and chapters around in the project window instead of cutting and pasting. Then I can shoot that bad boy out into Word and mold it into a proper manuscript format.

No, I’m not a shill for this program or Bad Wolf; I just like it, and them. They’re a small Irish company with cool products.

I think I’ll post these progress screenshots as we go, and you can watch my productivity wax and wane.

Getting started has been difficult. I’m not sure I like this idea, or these characters, or this concept. Everything could change before I’m finished. 

Short post; I need to get up early tomorrow to meditate with my sangha. It’s already past my scheduled bedtime and I need to wind down before I can go to sleep. Plus, I’m hungry.  Trying to write when you’re mentally constipated uses up a lot of energy.

Keep checking your voter registration before Tuesday, November 6! And make plans to VOTE!

Long Track Pink Floyd playlist