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.

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!

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.

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).

Tough week!

This has been one tough week! We had three write-ins in a row, each at a different library branch. (I have one more tomorrow morning at the local independent bookseller.) I’ve had physical therapy on two of those days and a doctor’s appointment on Thursday (before the PT and the write-in). I’m still getting used to a new medication and totally forgot to take my bedtime meds on Wednesday night, which meant little or no sleep for Thursday. Still catching up on sleep even now!

Despite all that, my word count is right on target at 30,275. And I got several lovely messages and posts at the region’s Facebook group and official NaNoWriMo regional page for ML Appreciation Day on Thursday. Thank you!

Continue reading “Tough week!”

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!

Didn’t make it.

You’ve probably wondered where my updates for Camp NaNoWriMo have been. Well, I haven’t posted them because, frankly, I wasn’t writing. I dropped my word count goal to 12K late in the month and didn’t even make that paltry sum. (For someone who regularly writes 50K or more in November, yes, 12K is a paltry sum.) My final word count as of about 5 minutes ago was 8011, with over 2K of that written just today.

Why couldn’t I make it? Well, for one thing, my inner editor kept slowing me down, making me correct things as I went along. During NaNo, I’m able to put that pesky inner editor in a box and write without thinking about the plot or the characters. Just getting the basic words on the page. Not so this time.

For another thing, I was physically uncomfortable. My desk chair is a thrift shop special and the hydraulics are giving out. It’s also less than ergonomic for my back. More than a few nights were spent tossing and turning because my back was keeping me awake. For the last two days, I’ve struggled with laryngitis, which means repeating myself enough so the family hears me, or writing out notes for the Hubby.

But most of all was my own distraction. I was so easily distracted by games, websites, more games, more websites, the television (which wasn’t me turning it on, I swear!). Just letting myself put visual stimuli before writing.

In summary, I was my own worst enemy for this session of Camp. On the plus side, I have some more of this world set in thick pudding. I’m finding plot holes, rearranging characters, and doing more research into the Mohawk nation, the Roman Catholic Church, and what inventions might possibly be available to the world (which is where the steampunk comes in). Hopefully, I have enough to keep going.

So, before I call this Camp session to a close, here’s one more snippet from the story.

Continue reading “Didn’t make it.”

NaNoWriMo2015 is in the can!

I won with 51726 words in a story I may never look at again. We’ll see. After I do all my wrap-up (like posting winners, corralling stragglers, putting up the results of our state-wide word war, and writing thank you notes to venue hosts), I’ll have a couple of down days before plunging back in and picking up on things I’ve let slide for far, far too long. The Thank God It’s Over party will be Saturday and I’ve remembered I have a pair of crutches in my closet which I’ll use to spare my foot as I go to it.

Latest report on said foot: the orthopedist I saw last time is booked until Dec. 29th and his partner is booked until Jan. 11th. I’ll be asking my doctor for a referral elsewhere.

Well, so much for Camp NaNo

Some health issues stemming from a recent tooth extraction have left me with a weakened left arm and a lack of dexterity in that hand. Continue reading “Well, so much for Camp NaNo”

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!