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.

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.

Nearing the end

Well, I’m a hair over 45K in word count now. The story? I have no idea where it’s going. I have another murder, I killed another secondary character (brings the body count to three). Sherlock Holmes is a bad guy, so is Watson (unless he’s totally clueless in the Nigel Bruce fashion), Moriarty is at least Chaotic Neutral, and Henry Jekyll has yet to meet his Mr. Hyde. My main character’s boyfriend is having blood-tinged visions and the Door has broken down at least once so far. It’s been hard to word war when I haven’t even made a list of characters and am using the terms “whatshisname” or “whoever” to designate names I’ve forgotten.

On top of all that, I’ve missed the last two write-ins because on Monday I got the result from my x-ray: it’s Charcot foot again. Now I’m waiting for either the referral office at my doctor’s practice or a call from the orthopedic office. That won’t come until Monday at the earliest now so I am being very, very good at staying off my feet. Fortunately, Son #1 showed up earlier than expected and took over most of the Thanksgiving cooking. I was stressing out tremendously over the fact I really couldn’t do what was needed to prepare. But between his picking up the cooking slack and the Girl doing a yeoman’s job of cleaning, I was able to rest my feet and write in the evenings.

I think once NaNo is over I’m going to pick up the story I’ve been working on for so long and do a rewrite. Get it finished and in a proper first draft. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this story it’s how to focus on my main character. I tend toward ensemble writing, as if I’m writing a drama on TV, with little glimpses here and there of other characters but, on the whole, keeping a core group as the focus. That doesn’t exactly work all the time. I think a third-person limited is going to work better for me in the long run. We’ll see.

In any case, more words for the validation file and less for my general word count later today. Even though I can’t be at the write-in, I can join them virtually and continue slogging through this current project.

It’s almost the halfway point!

So far, I’m keeping just above the daily word count goal. The story has developed a romantic turn, to an extent, and when this is through, I’m going to have a helluva lot of research to do! Right now, I’m just pantsing along as usual. We’ll see if it actually turns into something I want to publish, here or elsewhere.

I did meet someone at our library write-in who is publishing his story to fictionpress as he writes it. Since he’s rated it as “M” (think a movie rating of “R”) it’s not getting the traffic he would like. Hopefully, when he’s finished, he’ll be able to reconsider the rating. One of his plot twists is hilarious: he made one of his characters a lycanthrope but a specific type of dog lycanthrope instead of the traditional wolf. So the character has dog traits. You can imagine what some of those are!

Thursday was also ML Appreciation Day. Some of my Wrimos chimed in to tell my co-ML and me how much they appreciated us. The staff always sings our praises in e-mails and on the ML’s private forum. But I actually got a gift from my daughter, the artist. She had been working on a series of avatars for me to use online, basically a picture of me (looking much better than I in real life!) enjoying some of my favorite fandoms.

Here’s the base picture:

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Here’s me as the Fourth Doctor, he being my Doctor (and having a scarf like his, too).

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Here’s me in four different Thunderbirds uniforms: the original series, the 2004 movie, the new Thunderbirds Are Go! show, and as Dr. Dianne Tracy, my RP character from International Rescue: The Next Phase.

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But what kept me chortling from the moment I saw it was my ML one!

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I shared it with all the other MLs in the chatnano ML room, and for the first time in 11 years, I changed my avatar on my NaNoWriMo profile! The Girl told me today that the shirt–which you can’t see very well here–is an amalgam of my navy ML signal shirt and a sketched skyline of Greenville, including the Liberty Bridge. So much fun!  There’s a Girl Genius one yet to come, but she says that will take some time to figure out because she has to change just about everything, including the glasses.

So, that’s the scoop as I wrap up week two. Write-ins tomorrow at M. Judson, Booksellers and the Augusta Road branch of our county library system. After that, I should be on the downhill slope to 50K!

My self-designed cover

This is for use only at the NaNo site–I would commission a cover if/when this story ever sees print. I got a little input from the Girl about the background but the rest is all mine. I’m putting it under a cut because I think it’s kind of largish and I’m usually all about the neat when it comes to my site.

ETA: I just realized that my statement “the rest is all mine” sounds like I took the pictures. I didn’t. I found them at FreeImages.com (formerly stockxchng.com). The images are generally free for non-commercial use. I just put all the elements together in GIMP.

Continue reading “My self-designed cover”

Some interesting Tumblr blogs

I’ve submitted an OC profile–that of Rhea Allison Tracy, from Moonstrike!–to a couple of OC blogs on Tumblr. The latest, Simply Original Characters, seemed to like the profile. She did point out the number of hobbies Rhea has, which I hadn’t even thought about before. The number could be seen as excessive, I guess, given how driven Rhea is as a character. Still, I have her doing at least two of them in the story so far, so I can work the others in at later times.

The owner of SOC has also started a new blog called, Hook Me. Writers who are still considered amateurs can submit the first three sentences of their stories to see if they have a good “hook”. I submitted the first three from Dawn of the Hex and Knights of the Hex. The second one needed a bit of revision to make it a better hook–something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I still have so much to do in the background of both stories, but I’ve been doing a lot of other little projects to distract myself from writing at all.  I hate myself for doing that, but then, getting the little projects out of the way should open up time when I can do nothing but write. Thursdays are particularly good right now as two family members are gone all day, leaving just me and my daughter (and the dogs). Getting to bed earlier would also be a boon, as long as I fall asleep and stay asleep. Here’s hoping I can do it!

Some revamping of characters and worlds

When NaNoWriMo 2012 came around, I asked what story I should focus on, the alternate history X-Men meets Harry Potter meets Girl Genius (most of which was finished) or the fantasy world with everything from mages to werewolves to dragons to vampires and everything but the kitchen sink. Both of the stories contained a cast of characters I had worked with in more than one venue, starting with a modern day tale that just didn’t work. However, I took the advice of my friends, ThatGirlSix and Lillehafrue, and started work on a prequel to the fantasy world, using a different cast entirely. I didn’t feel it went well; I was creating new characters on the fly and didn’t feel any too invested in them at first. By the end, though, I was invested in a couple of them enough to possibly continue the story at a later datel. I also had a chance to set some of my fantasy world in thick pudding, if not quick-drying cement.

Right now, though, I’ve got my eye on both of my other stories. I figured most of the characters had enough differences between them that I could feasibly do both and make them separate casts entirely. So, I’ve spent most of today (with my feet up to help battle both a swollen right foot and a diabetic ulcer on the left) doing just that.

Main characters got new names in some cases. Others got new names, backgrounds, and backstories entirely. One set of characters married; another will remain as lovers and still another will remain as siblings. Some nobility got demoted. One more minor character was elevated to familial status, and I’m working on creating an entirely new character to replace a deleted one. A handicapped character in one story is regaining the use of his legs, and is splitting his powers with this new character (who will be handicapped – as was his now-deleted counterpart). Following so far? Good!

My eyes are crossing from an extended period on both my favorite baby name site and on the fantasy name generator at ninefrenchboys. Hopefully I’ll be able to read the notes I’ve been scribbling on a pad of yellow paper. I brainstormed some of the names with the Girl, who gave me some definite ideas of what names sounded more “martyr” and which didn’t. I’ve been reimagining the looks of a few characters so they’re not quite so much like their counterparts.

All of this will mean some rewriting, along with more than one global find/replace (a reason I transferred both stories over to yWriter). Maybe, just maybe, by the time Camp NaNoWriMo starts in April, I’ll be able to flesh out some more of what I started and get one of these beasts done.

Now, back to setting up my character pages!

A little fangasm!

Within just a day, I’ve had the pleasure of hauling out my Thunderbirds knowledge (with all the attendant books and other paraphernalia) to help a couple of fellow fanfic writers and personal friends. It was certainly fun, especially all the stuff about Alan Tracy’s educational background. Add to this my posting the first chapter of one of my short stories (Burning Muses) at AO3 and uploading a new post to my RP, and I’m full of Thunderbirds at the moment. It’s given me quite a hunger for fic and for writing or editing what I already have up. I edited the first chapter of Burning Muses, making it tighter. In many respects it was like my edit of the little scene I wrote a few days ago. The changes I made brought forth Brains’s voice and made him less … poetic. (Because if Brains is anything, it is NOT poetic.)

Then, there was the chatter at the dinner table. We went from Gosford Park to Downton Abbey (which we have not seen) to Acorn (which streams Downton Abbey), and then to Netflix – where movies are more plenteous in DVD than in streaming. This led to BBC America (and how we could get it on cable), to other premium cable services, to Game of Thrones and whether or not the TV series matched the novels. That particular thought brought out movies that didn’t match their source material – Boy #2 brought up the Percy Jackson movie (The Lightning Thief). This brought the whole shebang back to … Thunderbirds! The Girl’s comment: “I knew there was another kids movie like that! ” Hubby brought up that Frakes had said in an post-film interview that he directed the movie that the producers wanted, even though he knew the fans would be “annoyed by it” (Hubby’s words, not Frakes’s.) I promptly chimed in. “Annoyed? Annoyed?” Which, of course, is far too mild a term to describe the old guard’s intense hatred of the film.

Maybe if he’d stayed closer to the source material, we’d have had another Thunderbirds movie. After all,  there will be another Percy Jackson film, coming out this year.

Some fandoms get all the luck…