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 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. 

Wrong!

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 / deviantart.com

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 

NaNoWriMo 2018 Day 1: I CHEATED ALREADY

Sheesh, WordPress picked a not-so-good time to redesign their editor.*  Lucky for me, I pick this stuff up quickly. Also lucky — I always write my posts in Word first so I have a backup in case my website goes blooey.

WORD COUNT: 1,625. I already had this many before it started. 

Yes, I know you’re not supposed to begin NaNoWriMo with any actual writing already commenced, but 1) I didn’t officially sign up, and 2) if you know me, you know I do this almost every time. 

This book, referred to in last year’s NaNo end post as Invasion, has been rattling around in my head for a while. Though I’ve heard post-apocalyptic fiction isn’t really a thing anymore, when you’re facing a real-life apocalypse (or the potential of one, thanks to the dictator’s ass-kisser in the White House), one’s mind does tend to turn in that direction.

So here I am, attacking the page and pounding the daylights out of my keyboard. “Ruination is the best friend to creation,” as Chuck Wendig so eloquently put it.


He also invented a sandwich called The Wendigo. Here it is. It is surprisingly delicious.

Photo: Elizabeth West

This month, you’ll likely get very short daily posts. I won’t talk much about the story; it tends to ruin things when I’m writing a first draft. I learned that lesson with Tunerville. I might discuss things I’m learning, share any news, or maybe just whine a bit. Writing a whole book in a month is tough. I may have to build in time for another MCU marathon.

Image: Instagram / comic.book.memes

Before you go, enjoy these MCU memes; I certainly did.  :’D

http://comicbookandbeyond.com/marvel-movies-memes/

*Dear WordPress, I hate the separate blocks; kthxbai.

NaNoWriMo 2018, or Harry Potter and the Butt-in-Chair Writing Challenge

Lordy, lordy, lordy. It’s that time again. You know the one, when writers all over the country, excited and crazed, take up the challenge to write 50,000 words of a book in one month.

My last attempt at NaNoWriMo did not go well. I became deathly ill and lost so much time and momentum I flaked out and quit. Well not this time, buckaroos. I may not have a job. I may not have a place to write if I can’t find a job. But I have a plan.

Okay, it’s not much of one.

#Relatable

The Joker pantsed things, but you know me — I’m an outline gal. Yes, I wrote one. Is that the book I want to write? I’m not entirely sure. Nor am I sure if I’ll sign up officially or just chronicle it here.

My original plan from last time was to write the sequel to Tunerville. I’ve outlined it all the way through and into Book Three. Yes, I have a trilogy. But if I can’t get the first book published, there isn’t much point writing the next two, is there?

I googled “how many rejections does it take before you should give up on a book” and everyone says 80–100. Well, as of today, I’m halfway there.

Secret Book has become the trunk novel. I don’t think I want to revise that one, at least not now. It’ll keep. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to prep as much as possible.

  • I’ve cleaned the house. No, really cleaned it. A garage sale and some Facebook Marketplace shenanigans have worked wonders. My back-breaking futon is gone and with it, a lot of crap.

Garage sales are funny things. The stuff you expect will go like hotcakes barely merits a glance, and people buy the most amazing crap. I sold a box full of old pool chemicals, an erasable address book, and a package of blank CDs left over from when I cut my own skating music. The really nice stuff didn’t sell at all. Hence turning to Farcebook.

But God, it sure was great to finally unload that stupid futon. I only bought it because I couldn’t afford a sofa. My back is so much happier. I replaced it with a platform frame for a twin mattress. It’ll do until I can afford a nice daybed frame. I like the versatility of having an extra bed and being able to stretch out while I watch TV or play on the internet machine.

That’s my TV-watching pillow in the middle. Yes, I am a child. And a nerd. Fight me.

Photo: Elizabeth West

There’s room for storage underneath, but I have less to shove beneath it now. It’s comfy AF.  I tried it with the box spring and it was WAY too high; I couldn’t reach my drink on the coffee table. It’s important for me to reach my drink, dammit.

  • I’m cooking and freezing things. Soup, quinoa patties, beans.
  • I’m doing ALL THE LAUNDRY. In spring and autumn, I like to wash all the things, like curtains, blankets, and bedspreads.

All that’s left is to figure out how to manage Thanksgiving. If I visit the fam, I may lose two writing days to driving fatigue. I’ve got at least one Friendsgiving coming up, too.

I found some great suggestions in Robbie Blair’s 2014 NaNoWriMo survival post at LitReactor. I’m especially drawn to the Thine Holy Chalice one. Since I have more room now, I might just go scour the flea market and buy something fun.

As long as this guy isn’t hanging around, I should be good.

Image: indianajones.wikia.com

You’ll get a word count here. I can’t promise a pithy post every day, as I’m still job hunting and there’s no telling what manner of work beastie I’ll drag home over the moors. I may shoot for a novella rather than a novel, depending on which direction this story in my head goes. We’ll see.

If you’re planning to do NaNoWriMo this year, feel free to share your prep tips in the comments.

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:

WHAT ARE THEY TESTING FOR??????

Maybe we should ask this guy.

Maybe we should ask this guy.

Image:  fanpop.com

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

     7.  I LOVE YOU GUYYYYSSSS

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 30 – FINISHED!!!!!!

Word count – 7,266.  Yes, you read that right.

Final word count  – 76,212.

I AM FINISHED.  The first draft of Tunerville is done!

I wrote all day and my hands are killing me.  There is a lot of rewriting to do, and I still have some stuff I’d like to add.  But the rough draft is complete.  It has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Thanks very much to everyone who encouraged me to do NaNoWriMo and for those who were kind enough to comment.   For those who participated, I hope your work went well, even if you didn’t finish.   Keep on going.  There’s no reason to stop now!

Now go celebrate!

 

 

 

 

Happy Halloween and NaNoWriMo 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here’s my first attempt at shaving a pumpkin design.  I used a free template I found online.  I think it turned out rather well for a first try.  For those who aren’t Doctor Who fans, it’s the head of an evil robot called a Cyberman.

“You will be upgraded.”

Photograph by Elizabeth West

No matter what you’re doing this year, please remember to stay safe.  Watch those candles around costumes, and never leave them unattended.  If your kids find the stash of candy you saved for yourself, don’t kill them.  Just steal some from their bags.

From last year, but damn funny:

Tomorrow is the beginning of NaNoWriMoI told you earlier that I would be participating this year.  I’m not formally signing up, because technically, you’re not supposed to use NaNo for something you’ve already started.  But I have to do something drastic, or I’ll never finish.  This has been unequivocally one of the worst years of my life.

Because, you know, chaos.

Image:  US Navy- Aaron Peterson / Wikimedia Commons

I’m creating a category—NaNoWriMo 2012—and I’ll probably only be posting updates this month, especially if I find a job.   I’m not restricting myself from publishing any other posts if I think of one, but all NaNo materials will be under that heading for easy reference.  If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, I may be tweeting things there as well during this time.

Good luck to all other writers who are NaNo-ing this year!