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…)

The first day of NaNoWriMo 2017 was a success!

Well, it was for me and my region. We had a midnight virtual write-in in our ChatNaNo room with four to five people in there starting off the month with word wars and chats. Then a really well-attended write-in at Greenville Technical College’s Barton Campus library. It was our first time there and the librarians and English professors made us feel very welcome!

The Kick-Off was last Sunday at our usual park pavilion and it wasn’t as well-attended as I’d have liked–possibly because it was Sunday afternoon and probably because it was cold and windy out! Still, we gave out 10-12 goodie bags and had lots of food (there’s still lots of pumpkin dip here but we finally finished up the pumpkin chocolate-chip mini-muffins. Those are addictive!)

My superhero novel, entitled Superhuman Resources, is coming along. I still need names and powers for quite a few cast members, but my main character is shaping up nicely, I think. No one has been able to create character art for her yet; most of the artists in the NaNoWriMo Artisans forum do younger people, as most of the novelists write about younger people. Having a middle-aged superhero is something different and hopefully unique.

Speaking of superheroes, the theme this year is exactly that and I got my daughter, stripeysharpie, to do a superhero mascot for our region!

We’re still looking to name this character.

And… after all this great, gushing news, something that has put a definite crimp in my style as a municipal liaison: three broken toes and a Lisfranc injury. I’ve been told to “baby” my foot (the right one, as per usual) and I have a wheelchair to pick up tomorrow. Yes, you heard it. A wheelchair. I won’t be able to drive for at least four weeks and probably much longer. Which means the family will have to chauffeur me around for the foreseeable future–and I can’t make any daytime write-ins, which is really frustrating. They also are responsible for the housework, which is frustrating in a totally different direction. Had to print out a “how to wash your wife’s clothes” for Hubby after he put my favorite embellished jeans in the dryer (the tag says “line dry” for a reason!). So, the only thing I’ll be doing during the month of November is letting the dog in and out and keeping the cats from following (besides my usual sedentary stuff like paying the bills). That should leave me plenty of time to write, right? We’ll see.

Anyway, word count for Nov. 1st: 2226.

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I tried Camp NaNoWriMo again in July and failed miserably at it. Wrote hardly anything, possibly because a series of health-related issues among the parental units kept me on edge. In August, my husband and I went to visit those same parental units during a two-week long trip to points north. (We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary the first week.) I came back sick with a cold that hung on for a couple of weeks. Since then, I’ve tried to catch up with the housework and gear up for … yes, it’s NaNo season again!

This year’s theme is superheroes and it got me thinking about my writing. I realized, no matter whether I was writing fantasy or fan fiction, I was always writing about superheroes. Whether they used magic or technology, it was always superheroes! (A possible exception would be The Door to Anywhere.) So, before I even knew what the theme was, I had planned on actually writing about superheroes–comic book style heroes with colorful outfits, capes, masks, the works!

I’ve also decided to be a “plantser” this year. Normally, I’m a “pantser”, someone who writes by the seat of their pants, as opposed to a “planner”, someone who plans everything out. This time, I’m going to do some prior planning–character sheets, a bare-bones plot outline, and a bit of world-building as well. Maybe then I can make it to the actual end of my story and finish draft zero!

This is my 10th year as an ML for Greenville. I have a new co-ML in Tyffani Clark Kemp, a writer with her own publishing company. The library system has filled our month with write-ins; seven branches in all are participating. Tomorrow I have a table waiting for me at the Main library’s Southern Author Festival. It means I have to get up early to make sure all my ducks are in a row. So, until later days, y’all!

Questions you may have…

Did I reach my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo?

Uh, no. I didn’t. (Which is part of the reason I’ve taken over a month to update anything.) The story I set myself to, after finishing the Flash fanfic, just gave me no joy. It’s a story I want to tell but I may have taken too long to tell it. I mean, The White Winds finished in 2010 and this was supposed to be a sequel. It may be too late to go that route.

Have I posted the final chapter of the Flash fanfic?

No. I wanted to give myself some space before editing it and still haven’t gotten around to doing so. It shouldn’t take long to do, really. I’ve just found other things a priority–like housework.

Will I be doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July?

I plan on it. My physical therapy should be finished by then and I can actually spend some time going away from home to write. Trying to write here with the pets and the responsibility of keeping the house clean is difficult.

One thing I’ve discovered about myself, however, is what I tend to write when I write original stories. For the past few years, whether I’ve written fantasy or science fiction, I tend to write superheroes. This hearkens back to my early days as a budding girl geek, when my favorite show was Batman and my favorite character was Robin. Back to the time when I collected comic books almost religiously. There’s something about them that fascinates me. I started daydreaming about a character for another fix-it fic for the Flash but this time, instead of bringing an already established DC Comics canon character into the universe, I wanted to write an original character. However, by the end of the season, all the reasons why she would be needed were answered (sort of) and I thought, why not write her in an original story? So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, that’s what I plan on doing. Whether I write her tale in July for Camp or start building my cast of characters and my world for November’s main event, that will be my focus.

Now that I’ve said all that, I’ve also followed a new group on Tumblr called WIP Week. I understand the idea is to work on the WIPs (works-in-progress) in my catalog. It might push me to finish one of the Thunderbirds stories I started posting. We’ll see; like the story I picked up for Camp in April, these have been languishing for years. I still know where I want to go with them. It’s getting there that’s the problem.

It’s done!

The final chapter of Not All Dead is finished! It’ll need some tweaking before I post it; the latter part is clear in my head but feels kind of awkward when put into words. It tops out at 11,335 words. A little longer than I planned for, but not too bad!

In the morning, I’m at home by myself. I hope to get some more done on the new fanfic, Where All Love Begins. Right now, I have a current Camp word count goal of 10K; I’ve added in what I’ve written since the first–it is totally legal to do so! When I surpass that, I will up the word count in increments of 5K and see how it goes. I wish Camp NaNoWriMo had the same kind of widget the regular NaNo month has, but I can use the Word Count Widget to update this novel’s word count.

So, hopefully, I can give you some updates on the new story Wednesday!

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017

 Yeah, I’m trying the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo this year. Since I haven’t finished my last chapter of Not All Dead, that’s my first priority. (I am close, very close to finishing it). After that, I’m going to work on my sequel to The White Winds, titled Where All Love Begins. I tried to write this during a previous Camp session but didn’t get too far into it. Those bits and pieces are put aside so they won’t be counted in the official word count. I’ll add them back into the story later.

I’m starting with a small word count, just 10K. I figure it’s something I can manage and I’ll be able to increase it as the month goes on. That’s one of the nice things about Camp; you can set your own word count. As for the first day, I only wrote 352 words, just enough to keep up with my daily count.

So, you can poke me on twitter or Facebook or tumblr from time to time and ask my how my word count is. Since Camp is all online, I won’t have the face-to-face write-ins to keep me motivated. Having my friends and family online to nudge me will really help!

The story is not finished yet, but…

I posted the first chapter!

It’s not betaread yet, so if you see any problems–whether they’re grammar, spelling, or possible canon errors–let me know. I’m really, really excited about it! I’m sure I won’t get any responses at my site, but I might at Tumblr or Facebook. Also, if anyone is interested in betareading (that’s proofreading/editing for those outside the fanfiction community) I’d be incredibly grateful. I haven’t sent this to my usual beta because I’m not sure how well-versed she is in DC Comics or the Arrowverse Flash.

I plan to let this sit here for a few days to see what response I get. Then I’ll post it at fanfiction.net and AO3.

With great ado, I now present “The interview”, the first chapter of Not All Dead.

Finally finished the third chapter

I have been so behind on blogging and writing. Partially because I don’t have the deadline of NaNoWriMo hanging over my head but also because there’s been a lot of personal upheaval in my life–from my mom’s kidney failure to my dad’s current hospital stay to my recent fractured leg due to another nasty fall.

However, I’m determined to get this Flash fic done and off to a betareader before the end of the month. Why? The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up in April and I want to try it for a change.

I don’t usually find the April session very profitable for me.  In the past, I’ve had kids in school who needed ferrying around. This year, absolutely no one is in school and I’m laid up with this fracture for the next several weeks (the orthopedist may have something more to say about that tomorrow), so I should have lots of time to write, right? The problem is motivation–and having a project to work on. I could go back and finish some of my Thunderbirds works-in-progress, though it’s hard to pick up the threads of a story that’s been dormant for years. I could finish off one of my original stories. Or I could strain the brain and come up with something new–maybe out-and-out superheroes. I guess I’ll see what piques my interest when the time comes.

Tomorrow, onto chapter 4 (and final).

A bit of site housekeeping news.

After a bit of finagling, I’ve managed to make my domain name, tikatu.com, redirect here without, well, the redirect. So, no more starting out on my old homepage; this WordPress build is now the official homepage for my domain. If you have my site bookmarked, you might want to update that.

Still working on my fanfic when I have the time and energy. I’m on Chapter 3, still, and need a bit more dialogue before I move on to Chapter 4. I don’t think the finished story will be 10K words but you never know with me.