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 2015 Day 30: The End is Nigh

I hope everybody had a safe, sane, and happy Thanksgiving weekend.  If you don’t celebrate the Day of the Turkey, I hope you had a good weekend regardless.

Welp, it’s the last day of NaNoWriMo and I  have not finished Secret Book.  I have written 15,250 words this month, which is more than I wrote on the thing in quite a while, so I don’t consider it a failure at all.   My total words come out to 94,997.

According to my NaNoWriMo stats, at the rate I went this month, I will finish on February 7, 2016.  Maybe.  Maybe sooner, if I push myself through December.  I’m starting to see the links in this story (actually, it’s two stories that converge, then break apart again), and that perks me up a little.  It’s like building something; at first, it’s just a jumble of parts, but when you get to a certain point, you start to see the finished product emerging.

Just stack those over there; we'll have this done in a jiffy.

Just stack those over there, Nigel; we’ll have this done in a jiffy.

Photo: Elizabeth West

I don’t think I’ll do NaNoWriMo to finish something this complicated again.  Tunerville had the distinct advantage of being somewhat simplistic; it’s just a straightforward urban fantasy and I could fly by the seat of my pants throughout.

Remember this guy?  Like him.  

Remember this guy?  Kinda like him.

Image: circuswarehouse.com 

So now there is a month left to go before New Year’s Day.  I shall lurk a bit and see if I can finish the draft by then.  I’ll keep posting the increased word count (I made a cool spreadsheet) so watch the counter on my homepage.  You’ll know when I’m done.  Hell, they’ll probably hear me scream all the way in London.  I still have a couple of vocabulary posts to go, so expect those upcoming.

Thank you for sticking with me through the lamest NaNoWriMo of all time.  I PROMISE I WILL FINISH.

Now I shall leave you lovely people and go watch The Walking Dead.  Here is a video of a dog who feels my pain at having to get up to go to work after a long weekend.

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.