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.

NaNoWriMo 2018 day 1

Well, I’ve started my story, Superhuman Rights, which is a sequel to last year’s Superhuman Resources. Same main character, Jessamine “Nimiety” Spaulding-Welch. Different setting at the moment. She’s retired and helping out the first responders in her town as a sheriff’s officer. I have the idea that some kind of weaponized virus is killing supers in her old place of employment and she’s the one who has to go in to find out how and why. I also want her to take a trip to the Caribbean island where her best friend is from. Sort of a superhero response to Hurricane Maria, if you will.

NaNoWriMo this year will be really busy for Upstate South Carolina; we have several write-ins every week, some even more than once per day! All this and my husband is going to visit his parents the first full week in November. Fortunately, I’m able-bodied so far (knock on wood) and can drive myself.

Back from the first write-in and I’ve got 2213 words! Great start!

Linda, you’re famous!

A good friend said that to me when I posted a link to a blog post I’d written for NaNoWriMo! They do a “Road to NaNo” series leading up to the start of NaNoWriMo and ask Municipal Liaisons from a variety of areas to write them. I said I’d be willing and they picked me!

Here it is!

My co-ML and I are getting things ready for the 2018 season. I’ll be writing a sequel to my superhero novel of last year. Not sure how well it would go; I have one starting scene in my head and a vague direction to go but no ending… yet. As usual, I’ll just wing it.

Working title: Superhuman Rights

50101

Story’s not finished, but that’s par for the course. More takeaway later.

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!

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!

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.