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.

NaNoWriMo 2015

PrintHere I am, sitting at my desk, waiting for the trick or treat crowds to arrive. We’re giving out glow-in-the-dark bracelets this year in hopes of keeping the kids out there visible to traffic. The day’s been cool and it’s finally getting dark outside. Two cats are pestering me simply by curling up on my desk: one under my halogen lamp and the other on my steno shelf. They want to be fed, but that doesn’t happen until the dog goes to bed.

Tomorrow is November 1st, the beginning of NaNoWriMo. The Kick-Off party was this afternoon. It was a great time! Lots of new people talking with our veteran Wrimos about writing and how to win the challenge. I made pumpkin dip (a definite hit) and brought the cups/plates/plastic flatware needed. We ended up going home with more than we brought–which isn’t surprising, really.

This year looks to be an especially exciting one as our library system has embraced NaNoWriMo’s Come Write In program. This is something we’ve wanted for a while. Three branches are signed up, including the main branch downtown. They’ve held information sessions and a plot party; each branch will also host one or more write-ins in November. I’m determined to nurture this new partnership for as long as I volunteer as Municipal Liaison.

Speaking of that, I have a new co-volunteer, one who has worked in the library system before. My previous co-worker has moved to greener pastures on the west coast so I’m breaking in a newbie. She’ll do fine, I think; she’s already taken over the social media accounts and is keeping up with them better than I ever did.

So, this year’s NaNo project.

I thought about doing a prequel to the one novel I got close to finishing, the young adult story which was part X-Men, part Harry Potter, and part Girl Genius. The plot would have followed the headmistress’s family as they moved from France to the New World in the 1700s (or earlier). I had ideas at first of having them flee the French Revolution, but the whole “expelled from Acadie” history also appealed. Unfortunately, they were actually kind of far apart, year-wise.

As I agonized over the amount of historical background I would have to dig into, another idea hit me. I’ve been turning a Doctor Who fanfic over and over in my head, one where the Doctor meets up with a Gallifreyan family on Earth. They’d been sent there by Time Lady Romana (companion to Doctor Four and once President of Gallifrey) to save at least some of their people if the war against the Daleks failed. Their personalities were “fobbed” (saved for later retrieval–see “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”) and the Doctor ends up releasing them. The key, however, was my idea for their TARDIS: it would be their garage. No matter where they went in time (I thought they’d remain on Earth, to protect it when the Doctor was off-planet) their TARDIS would be just a door in a wall somewhere. It would have Gallifreyan alphabet symbols burned on it, spelling out the family’s name. Otherwise, it would blend in with the architecture of the period.

This last bit–the door–sparked my plot bunny. How about a door to anywhere? Only, instead of taking a traveler just anywhere, it took you anywhen as well. And when that jaunt into history turned out not to be exactly what you anticipated? That’s when you call in an English scholar.

In any case, I still have a few hours to flesh out my characters a bit before I jump in after midnight. Hopefully you’ll see my word count rise steadily and, who knows? I might even finish a novel for a change!

IT IS DONE!

It took 5 years, 8 months and 11 days. Final tally was 80 chapters and 352,759 words. BUT IT IS DONE! The White Winds is FINALLY OUT OF MY HAIR!

Yes, there will eventually be a sequel dealing with Fermat’s mother. Seeds have been planted in White Winds to that end. But I have other WIPs that need my attention, including two unfinished NaNo fanfic novels and two unfinished NaNo original fics. So, lots more writing to do, starting with Resolutions Redux chapter 10.!

Happy, Happy New Year!!

Second test down…

And a happy Father’s day for all the dads I know… including my own, my FIL, and my beloved Hubby!

As the title states, the Girl took the second of her College Board tests – the ACT – yesterday. She said it wasn’t quite as hard as the SAT and she was glad she didn’t have to write an essay. Hubby had Friday and Saturday off as his regular days off, and spent much of yesterday digging post holes for the fence, then repairing the spigot at the side of the house. Friday he went grocery shopping with me, which was nice.

Today we gave him cards and a gift: another Dr. Pepper t-shirt! It’s getting to be a household joke – don’t know what to get Dad? Get him a Dr. Pepper shirt! I think he has four or five of them now, including the long sleeved thermal one, and not including his sweatshirt style jacket. At least the one we got him today was different; it’s two shades of gray instead of the sort of murky red that the others ones are. Next up: Dr. Pepper sleep pants…

Dinner was great! Boy #1 gets into cooking, and did the 5-cup salad for me yesterday, then heated the green beans (his choice of veggie). He also set up the skewers for our first try at grilled seafood: shrimp and scallop kabobs. Hubby did the actual grilling, but Boy #1 set everything up for him. Man, that was good! We used this seafood seasoning shaker stuff on the kabobs. Marvelous flavor addition. And since we thawed out ALL of the seafood, we get to do it again either today or tomorrow! Yum!

Now it’s time for me to call my dad and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. I don’t know why, but both Mother’s and Father’s Days have just sort of crept up on me and caught me unawares. At least this time it was close enough to payday that I could get cards and gifts – and I put a little something in the packages for the moms, too. They probably should arrive by Tuesday.

Surprises under the tree.

Yes, there were a few surprises under the tree for me! First, there were the two metal sign magnets that Hubby gave me. One says, "I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells." which is attributed to Dr. Seuss. The other has a 1950s mom on the phone while 2 kids get into the cake batter or icing in the background. She’s saying, "I childproofed my house, but they got in anyway." I put the Dr. Seuss quote on the filing cabinet behind me (with all the TBs magnets) and the other is displayed prominently among the magnets on the fridge.

The two presents I knew my hubby got for me were a NaNoWriMo 2006 t-shirt, and a t-shirt that says, "Watch it or you’ll end up in my novel!". But to that he added a "My life needs an editor" t-shirt, and a sign that says "Goodmousekeeping seal of approval" and "Four paws rating". It’s really quite funny and I have to find someplace to hang it.

He also gave me The Essential Barry Manilow which I’ve already ripped to my WMP for listening later.

The girl gave me a t-shirt that says "5-4-3-2-1, Thunderbirds are go @ IR the next phase" and a black baseball cap with the letters "IR" in red paint on the cap, and the name "Doc" on the brim. She also gave me an IR "badge" made of shape foam. It looks like the logo and has a pin hot-glued to the back. Really cute stuff.

Boy #2 gave me a nicely framed Bible verse, and Boy #1 gave me a lilac scented candle. My SIL made me some thick, crocheted pot holders and a couple of crocheted dish cloths, and she and my Bro gave me a soft throw covered with pictures of kittens.

Hubby was very impressed with his gifts, especially the comic book and the books, and he was really surprised by the book his brother from China sent. He’s wearing the black Capt. Kiddeo and Fred shirt right now, and I’m wearing the IR hat.

As far as the kids were concerned, the biggest gift was the PS 2. They’ve been playing with it most of the morning. Only now have they turned it off. The kids are happy with what they got. Boy #1 was happy we got him the game he wanted; Boy #2 immediately started to put the mechanical T-Rex together (and enlisted Daddy’s help). The Girl was impressed by the sketch book I got her and the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

It’s been a good Christmas. We need to call the inlaws and check in with them, and have lunch sometime today. I also have to come up with the time and energy to write; it’s been a couple of days and I feel the pressure from without and within to get some more done.

More blog later if the muse moves.

Fudge, fudge, fudge and more fudge!

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Been making fudge pretty much all week. Delicious stuff, not healthy for me, but we’re nearly swimming in it. Plain, walnut, pecan and mint. Made it for the teachers and neighbors. Made it for Hubby’s all week work party (he didn’t bring any of the fudge back — for which I was happy, happy!!).

He brought home some Harry and David chocolate cherries,gifts from a customer. Never had them before… wow! Delicious! Too easy to eat too many.

Presents are wrapped, and everything’s purchased. Dinner will be on Sunday evening (after the football game) with birthday cake and ice cream for dessert. Can’t believe Boy #2 will be 11! A proto-teenager for sure!

Just finished watching "Wyrd Sisters". Fun stuff, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

Have a story to finish, a sequel to last year’s Resolutions. Have a lot to write on it yet, but I’ll wait until it’s done to post it. First chapter is done; Hobbeth’s not home so I’ll have to do what I can as far as beta is concerned. Asked Lillihafrue to read it through; her husband’s an English teacher and she offered his help as well. She didn’t see anything untoward except for the spelling of "pizzazz" (my crazy spellchecker had "pizazz"). Maybe her hubby will find something.

Enough for now. Things are happening in my brain and I feel like I need to write. The kids are heading off to bed, rather late, but it’s my own fault for letting them watch the film.

More as the muse moves.

Happy Halloween!

We’ve hardly had any trick or treaters come to our door tonight and we bought lots and lots of candy to give out. I’m afraid that the kids will be taking chocolate in their lunches for the next two weeks! For the first time, we let the boys go out trick or treating. Boy #1 went out dressed like a mailman (surprise, surprise!) and Boy #2 went as a cowboy, wearing the hat and guns he got in New Mexico.  Hubby, who had taken the day off, went around with them. They just went around the block, no farther, but still came back with a decent amount of candy.
 
We have four jack o’ lanterns on the porch, one on each step. Boy #2 did a traditional face, Boy #1 did a spider that came out looking cool. The Girl’s sun, moon and star didnt’ come out so well, but Hubby carved his comic strip character, Captain Kiddeo, into his pumpkin. It looks so funny! I thought about doing one; I’ll do one next year, though. I’ll try and take a picture of them during the day; my little camera doesn’t do too well at night.
 
Speaking of chocolate, Hubby bought me quite a bit of sugar-free stuff yesterday, including, to my delight, sugar-free Hershey’s Special Dark. I’m afraid I’ve eaten the whole bag (there were only about 10 little bars in it). It was soooo good.
 
Report cards come home tomorrow and we’ll eventually take a trip to Krispy Kreme for the “Donut for As” program they have. I expect that the boys will have all As (I already know Boy #2 does) but the Girl will be a different story. I expect at least two, probably three As and the rest Bs. That’s okay with us as long as she’s doing her best and keeping up with her work.
 
Chapter 16 of The White Winds, and chapter 11 of Overtures both went up yesterday. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I’ve got my ideas percolating. I’m going to try and give myself a certain amount of time each day for writing; my parents are coming and I just have to get the house in order for them.

It’s up!

Chapter 19 of Masquerade is now up! And I got a good night’s sleep without any hassle from my muse. I’ve started chapter 20, but I really need to go back and work on The White Winds, too.

Tika’s a bit skittish right now. There are bottle rockets going off down the street and those are upsetting, to say the least. I’m sure the other cats will be antsy for the next few days, too.

The Hubby has taken the kids to the library for a little bit so I’ve got some peace and quiet. Let’s see what I can do with it.