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.

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.

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).

My fingers are sore!

Might be a touch of arthritis, might be neuropathy, might be overworking them with all this typing! In any case, I’m slightly above where I need to be; the daily goal is 18333 and I’m at 18698. We have a write-in tomorrow morning where I hope to reach 20K!

As an aside, I’ve decided to rename Percy the rocket duck. I had originally wanted him because he reminded me of Thunderbird Three. My brother realized this and named his own rocket duck for one of the Tracys. So, instead of going the same way he did, I’m going to rename Percy as Steam Kodiak, commander of Firefowl XL-5! (My fellow Thunderbirds/Gerry Anderson fans will understand the reference.)

Continue reading “My fingers are sore!”

A very brief update.

I took Friday off to shop and to binge watch the rest of Thunderbirds Are Go’s first season; it dropped yesterday on Amazon Prime Video. I made Thursday’s goal, wrote a few hundred words on Friday, and have a write-in this afternoon, during which I plan on catching up. (Still have to grocery shop, though.)

Current word count: 5353.

 

What kind of writer am I?

Well, according to NaNoWriMo, I’m a “pantser” which means I write with little to no preparation, research, outlining, etc. This may work against me; when push comes to shove I don’t always know what to write next. It works for me in that I can take my story in whatever direction I choose without stressing over not following my outline. (Believe me, if I went through all the trouble of writing an outline, I would stress over not following it to the last subpoint.)

I’m definitely a character-oriented writer. It’s probably because of my years of writing fan fiction–in fan fiction, your world is ready-made and keeping characters “in character” is the test of a good writer. My original characters tend to develop over the course of a story. I don’t start out with a character template or list of questions to answer as I create them. They also are known for hijacking the plot and taking it in an entirely different direction than I anticipate. A good example of this is last year’s NaNo novel, The Door to Anywhere. I started with a very staid, almost unemotional character as my protagonist. She gets into the plot and turned around emotionally. Then the whole thing developed into a Sherlock Holmes mirror-verse fan fiction! Not what I intended at all! My 2014 NaNo novel, Guardian Angels, Inc., began as a sci-fi novel with a female protagonist and morphed into a Thunderbirds fan fiction using a minor canon male character as the new hero!

Though I prefer writing third-person omniscient point of view, lately I’ve been trying to write third-person limited; as narrator, I present the experiences and inner thoughts of my protagonist and no one else. A small fan fiction I’m working on for The Flash fandom is written in first-person perspective, which means putting myself firmly in my character’s shoes, letting her tell her own story. It’s not something I’ve done before to this extent. (I probably should finish it in the next week or so; it shouldn’t take too long…)

I also tend to write in scenes, like bits and pieces of a movie or TV show. It helps sometimes because if I get stuck on one scene, I can go on to write another and come back to the unfinished bit later on. However, bridging the gaps between those scenes is sometimes a problem.  Scrivener, the writing software I use, is good for writing in scenes. You can move them up and down if you need to and much more. (I got Scrivener for half-price when I finished Camp NaNoWriMo a few years ago. Worth every penny!)

So, yeah, I write character-driven stories. World building is something I’m still working at; my planet of Majere is still under construction in many respects. And I am not immune to having my characters take a plot in an entirely unexpected direction.

Tomorrow, I might introduce you to a couple of my Majere world characters and give you a taste of their personalities.

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!

Quite a bit behind

But plugging away at it. I didn’t write the first two days. The first day is understandable; I had to put down our elderly black cat, the last of four I wove into one of my Thunderbirds story arcs. It was sad but, to be truthful, it’s also a relief. We’ll miss him. The second day, not so much. So, day three saw me starting to write.  Today has been far better in terms of getting words down and so, you all get an excerpt!

Continue reading “Quite a bit behind”

No idea…

That latest Thunderbirds fanfic drabble? No idea where that particular scenario came from. I have a vague notion that the Hood (Gaat) stole some plans and Jeremiah Tuttle (from “The Impostors” episode) is sent to retrieve them. Maybe the Hood crashed in Jeremiah’s territory or something. I know it’s rather farfetched to say the Hood’s mesmeric powers don’t work on Jeremiah but somehow, it makes sense, too. In any case, that improbable scene is what came to mind when I considered the prompt.

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!