Well, it’s 2019

I don’t feel I got a lot done last year writing-wise. Yes, I did NaNoWriMo and finished my 50K. But, as usual, the story isn’t done and I have no idea when it will be. There are so many WIPs waiting in my Dropbox that are whispering for my attention; their combined cries are quite the cacophony.

My beta, ThatGirlSix. has been editing Moonstrike! for me and boy, do I have a lot of flaws! I know I can fight them and bring the story to a new level, but again, it’s not finished, and that’s on me. It’s weighing on me a lot. My desire to write more is diminished and I don’t know what to do about that.

Also, I haven’t been reading beyond fanfic, webcomics, and Twitter or Facebook. So many books out there to choose from and none of them tempt me. The hubby reads constantly, always checking books out of the library. His six weeks of enforced inactivity gave him plenty of time (he broke his foot at work). And yet I can’t make myself leave the house to get something new to read.

This has got to change. Somehow, someway, I have to get my writing mojo back. I have to fall back in love with it. Otherwise, I won’t be able to silence all those whispers clamoring for me to open up a file and finish their stories.

NaNoWriMo 2018 day 1

Well, I’ve started my story, Superhuman Rights, which is a sequel to last year’s Superhuman Resources. Same main character, Jessamine “Nimiety” Spaulding-Welch. Different setting at the moment. She’s retired and helping out the first responders in her town as a sheriff’s officer. I have the idea that some kind of weaponized virus is killing supers in her old place of employment and she’s the one who has to go in to find out how and why. I also want her to take a trip to the Caribbean island where her best friend is from. Sort of a superhero response to Hurricane Maria, if you will.

NaNoWriMo this year will be really busy for Upstate South Carolina; we have several write-ins every week, some even more than once per day! All this and my husband is going to visit his parents the first full week in November. Fortunately, I’m able-bodied so far (knock on wood) and can drive myself.

Back from the first write-in and I’ve got 2213 words! Great start!

Linda, you’re famous!

A good friend said that to me when I posted a link to a blog post I’d written for NaNoWriMo! They do a “Road to NaNo” series leading up to the start of NaNoWriMo and ask Municipal Liaisons from a variety of areas to write them. I said I’d be willing and they picked me!

Here it is!

My co-ML and I are getting things ready for the 2018 season. I’ll be writing a sequel to my superhero novel of last year. Not sure how well it would go; I have one starting scene in my head and a vague direction to go but no ending… yet. As usual, I’ll just wing it.

Working title: Superhuman Rights

I have lots of Kudos!

With the premiere of The Incredibles 2, I’ve noticed a lot of notifications from An Archive of Our Own for my short story, “The Visit”. That particular archive allows guests or signed-in members to leave “kudos” on any story. This is the first time a short story of mine at AO3 has generated such interest and I’m chuffed about it! From the comments, it seems I’ve been able to satisfactorily wrap up a plot thread from the first movie: what happened to Mirage, Syndrome’s helper? If you want to see how you can read it here (the link is in the first sentence), or you can read it at AO3. (It’s also on fanfiction.net.) Have fun!

When art imitates life

I’m not doing so well at Camp. I’ve not been editing or writing as long as I should, or even any time at all during the day. Too much on my mind, really. Housework, being the agony aunt for both the in-laws and the parents, trying to get some estimates on fixing up the house (and daydreaming about how my kitchen might look). There’s a lot swirling around me and writing has been put on the back burner.

However, I’ve been rereading a lot of my previous works-in-progress to see where I might pick up and finish the stories. So far Moonstrike! is the favorite; I have a lot of that written already and I even got a chapter edited and posted at fanfiction.net. (I have it here; I just need to format it.) But I picked up a previous story, one I have mostly done but not published anywhere. It’s called Brainstorm and in the second chapter, I found I’d written in a situation that’s part of my real life right now. One of our family members is determined that their spouse is going to pass at home and has asked for home hospice. I can’t believe I was writing about such a situation back in 2011 (which is when I first wrote this story), but there it is. A very surprising situation and one that took my breath away.

That’s all I want to say for now. Just have to find the quiet time to maybe edit and finish some of these stories.

Finally, chapter four!

In an effort to return to regular writing, I finally reread and tweaked the fourth chapter of Not All Dead and posted it at Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and here. It means the story is complete at last. I found it a real struggle to finish as I wasn’t sure I’d gone the right way with the chapter but after rereading it, I was actually pleased with what I’d come up with. So, with a touch or two of work, I got it into a form I liked even more and called it done. Having Ralph Dibny as part of The Flash cast this year didn’t help either; though the character is very different (and Sue doesn’t exist yet), Ralph as the Elongated Man is canon. Maybe this story could be considered alternate universe or alternate reality. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

In my final author’s note, I mention the term “jossed”. That was coined by Joss Whedon fans and denotes a storyline that’s hinted at in canon–giving fanfic writers and fan artists steady inspiration–but takes a left-hand turn which invalidates all that fan speculation.

From TV Tropes (a site that can become a very, very deep rabbit hole and time vacuum):

A fan gets Jossed when the elaborate Epileptic Trees or Fanfic that they’ve lovingly built upon canonical elements is abruptly disproved by further canon or Word of God. Named after Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer was notorious for this. Fans would come up with detailed and elaborate theories or plots during summer hiatuses, most of which got completely thrown out within three episodes of the new season.

I have to admit, this little discussion and the multi-verse theory used in the show has given me a touch of inspiration… time to tuck that idea into my plot bunny hutch!

50101

Story’s not finished, but that’s par for the course. More takeaway later.

Two more days to go!

And only one more write-in. I’m up to date on my word count (as of 11/28) and the story is sorta starting to peter out. Not that it’s finished, I think, but my strongest scenes are written, for the most part. A problem with pantsing a story instead of planning it out. I need to start copying it to a text file for validation purposes so I know exactly how many words I have. I also want to run spell-check for the more egregious of my typos. It’s not turning out so much to be an action-adventure story so much as a story of family, both by marriage/birth and by choice. There’s still a load of description to put in, especially when dealing with what people are doing as they speak. I’ve gotten worse at that over the years; this is a chance to consciously think about what they’re doing–use my visual take on the whole thing to make things clear to the reader.

One thing I’ve found has worked really well is using the 20/10 method espoused by the website and book, unfuckyourhabitat (pardon the language but that is the name of the site). They suggest it for cleaning; I’ve adapted it for writing. During the day, I’ll hop into our NaNoChat room and queue up what’s called a chain war. Timmy the word war mech (the chat’s weird AI) will set a 20-minute timer for me and space it automatically with 10-minute breaks. I type as fast as I can in those 20 minutes and after three or four of them, I have my daily word count. At actual write-ins, I’ll specify 15 minutes instead of 20; five of those takes around an hour and a half, which is a great length of time. It may be something I have to do after NaNoWriMo ends.

On the physical side, I’m pretty much confined to a wheelchair until after the New Year. Turns out my Lisfranc injury is an old one and is stable. Good news on that front. However, x-rays taken today at my orthopedist’s office shows I have not three but four broken toes. They’re developing new bone but will have to do a whole lot more healing before I’m back to driving and walking.

So, two more days to go and I’m on track to win!

Here I am at day four.

I’m going along pretty well so far. I’m over halfway to day five’s goal and hopefully tomorrow I can write enough to put me a day ahead. The story itself is moving along, too., with a sizeable bit of world-building coming into focus. Our write-ins have been okay in terms of attendance, though the bookstore which waived the fee for us to use their community room told us we couldn’t have any chairs (as they have to rent them, apparently, and charge what they do to cover costs). There were padded benches and folding tables so those who attended did have places to sit, but I don’t think we’ll be using the bookstore again next year. Sad, really, considering that we’re literally writing the books they have on their shelves. (My co-ML, Tyffani Clark Kemp, is a published author whose books are on their shelves. So ‘literally’ is the word.)

I don’t have the wheelchair yet; the Girl and I waited for three hours at the dealership to get new tires for the truck. I miss driving, but I always have when something like this happens.  My favorite sister-in-law has agreed to take me down to get it Tuesday. (Which is really poor timing because the write-in that night is in the same town where I’ll be getting the wheelchair…)