Playing around…

I was tired of the old theme and decided to change it up a bit. I hope you like it!

Also haven’t been writing much, either. We’ve had a death in the family, illnesses, and accidents, including one involving me and our now-totaled truck. (I miss it!) The new SUV is okay; it’ll hold the whole family for a trip north when necessary. My plan is to try Camp NaNoWriMo again to get me writing anything. On alternating days, I’m working out at the hospital system’s health club which helps with my attitude. Maybe working with Camp will help me with my authorial attitude. We’ll see.

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.

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.

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!

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).

Oy, nearly a month since my last post!

Not good! But, other than the holidays, I do have some reasons for the delays.

First, we’ve added a new computer to the household. My daughter now has a custom-built rig with a full-sized chassis and a very powerful graphics card. It’s taken quite some time to get it all together and running; for the past couple of weeks, she’s had it set up on at 6′ table in the living room while she finished the final touches of paint in her room and transferred materials from her old rig to the new one. (She has also taken advantage of the router to plug in her rigs directly for downloading purposes.) For her to move the new rig into her bedroom, we had to lay ethernet cable through a hole in the ceiling to her room–and to the dining room, where my mini-tower was moved. Why? I inherited her old rig and spent a few days wrangling that into shape. My husband now has my old computer; it still works and runs many of the games he likes to play. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a wireless card. So, the router (located on a shelf in my little office cubby) now has three computers directly linked to it and the ceiling above my desk has a hole in it.

The things we sacrifice for technology…

With my new-to-me rig, came the need for a new, ergonomic keyboard and mouse. My daughter was appalled at the way I type and suggested I really needed the keyboard. It also turned out my webcam was incompatible with Windows 10 so I got a new one of those as well. Now, if I could only get my filing system down to the basic folders I had before and remove my daughter’s email off the system, I’d be good.

In any case, I have written a little more on “Not Dead Yet”. Chapter Two is pretty much complete and I’m moving on to Chapter Three. No more than four chapters planned for this one, I think, though I have been wrong before. I also need to poke my beta on the fanfic chapters I sent her back in November so I can fix them up and post.

It’s hard for me to write without the external pressure of NaNoWriMo but if I want to actually publish a book, this is what I need to do. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

I’m in the home stretch!

I reached today’s goal (45K) before midnight on Saturday, putting me a day ahead with 45751. I have four more days to write and three of them have write-ins! With the pace I’ve already set, I could reach 50K on Monday and have more words than that before the month ends on Wednesday.

One of the things I really need to do is sit down and name some of my characters and places. I have a map, made long ago on an older program called AutoREALM. It was updated in 2015 so may be usable when I swap towers sometime next month. (The Girl needs a new chassis to finish off her custom computer rig. Then I get her old tower with more processing power and Windows 10.) There’s a far newer program called Inkarnate that I could fool around with, too. Either of them would help me get my place names in order. I would then have to come up with character names. I have a couple of lists written down from days past and I can always hit up my favorite fantasy name generator at nine.frenchboys.net–“Guaranteed 99% pronounceable fantasy names”.  It’s just a matter of doing the work.

I plan on doing laundry (which needs folding) and bringing in some of our Christmas stuff so I can start decorating. Writing will take a back seat until the evening at least.

Fall is here, or is it?

That’s what I keep asking myself every time I go outside. Yes, the calendar says, “Autumn!” My outdoor thermometer says, “Summer!”

One good thing about autumn is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Jo, my co-Municipal Liaison (read regional volunteer), and I will be making plans and setting dates for the various write-ins and parties that go with “30 Days of Literary Abandon!” This year we have four branches of the Greenville County Library System offering our members space to write as well as plot-planning events before NaNoWriMo even starts. Last year it was three branches; next year, who knows? I’m certainly looking forward to November, even if I don’t have an idea for a new novel. Yet.

However, that gives me just a smidge over a month to get some of my older writing finished. I’ve already sent a chapter of Moonstrike! off to my betareader, and I found a partial chapter from Overtures lurking in my works-in-progress file. To help me with the latter story, I may start editing the first novel in my “Friends of the Family” story arc and post it along with posting more chapters of The White Winds. (Chapter 15 went up tonight; I’ll slap it up at Archive of Our Own in a few days.)

All of this would be easier if our house was in some vague semblance of order from a number of projects (including a full bathroom remodel) and if I hadn’t broken a rib from my second fall in as many weeks. My doctor said no driving while it heals and my kids are talking about Mom-proofing the house. My poor husband is really feeling the pressure, I’m afraid.

More later as I work on edits and wait for the temperatures to fall. I really do love autumn; I just need it to stop feeling like summer!