Almost caught up.

Current word count is 7877. Not quite the 8333 listed for day 5, but nearly caught up. I have a bit over 2000 to reach 10K, which is Sunday’s goal.

Had a really well-attended write-in at a coffee house in Simpsonville. Thirteen people (other than myself) were there. One drawback: we couldn’t get online. This isn’t normally a problem but when you’re supposed to be having a virtual write-in for every physical one, you’re not sure just who you’re disappointing. I did get into the zone, even if my spelling and other writerly mechanics suffered mightily for it. When I have some time, I need to look into the physiology and anatomy of various reptiles (and a few amphibians). My fire drakes are based largely on our reptiles, along with some of the traditional dragon, wyvern, and wurm body types, on a world where no reptiles have existed up until now. I think this is going to be the most difficult of my three books simply because I’m throwing a lot more science and pseudo-science into it.

Hm. I’ll either talk about my newest character, Lucanthea, or I’ll talk about some of the social structures I’ve set up in this world.

Oh, I got the nicest NaNo mail from one of my Wrimos thanking me for my recent regional pep talk! Gave me the warm fuzzies, so it did!

Well, NaNoWriMo 2016 has begun!

And we started off with a bang! (Not literally, of course.) Day One and we had a write-in at the local Panera. Not too many showed up but at least one newbie discovered the charms of a word war. I was under the eight ball from the start; not only did I have to come up with a new prize tote (the original one smelled to high heaven courtesy of a few old glow bracelets) but I forgot to download my IRC client when I upgraded my Scrivener and Open Office. I hope taking the paper, rubber, and cloth items will allow them to air so I can use them later this month. The stuff that had been in the stinky tote still smelled strongly enough to me that I felt nauseous during the write-in. I sprayed the tote itself, a really cool antique-looking oval case with a leather handle, with too much Febreeze and put it out on the front porch to air.

Current word count: 1774. You can find my official word count widget on my home page if you’ve a mind to follow my progress. Fortunately, I don’t have to spell well at the moment. I have the most horrendous typos!

Also, you probably all think my only interesting characters are women. Well, that’s not true. I’ll post something about one of my male characters tomorrow.

Now off to do a bit of research into some titles from my previous novels!

Countdown to NaNoWriMo 2016

Yes, it’s less than two weeks until November 1st when the madness which is NaNoWriMo begins in earnest. My co-Municipal Liaison and I have all our ducks in a row as far as write-ins are concerned. The lounge is up and running with introductory threads and sign-up for the Kick-Off party on October 30th. Four branches of the county library system are working with us to provide write-in spaces and two are holding pre-NaNo plot parties next week. Lots to do on the way to that 50K word count!

So, let me tell you a little about what my novel this year is about.

Most fantasy novels are written in trilogies (or more) these days and I guess mine is no exception. My first story–still unedited and unpublished–takes place on Majere of the two moons, in a time when dragons (called fire drakes) are considered long dead and gone. The main character is a healer-empath who is recruited by a shady character to resurrect a long-dead shape-shifter knight from an extinct order. There are lots of shenanigans, of course, double-crosses, power hungry clerics, mysterious caverns full of unnamed dread–oh, and vampires, werewolves, and merfolk as you’ve not seen them before. The first written story is actually the third in the series and my second written one goes back to the time when the fire drakes invade Majere and how one young woman helps the magical folk of her day to cope with the emergency. She gathers them together and founds the Hex Majestorum, a definite player in the third book.

This year’s book comes chronologically after the first and deals with the founder of that extinct order we learn about in the third book. The hero is a wizard (called majii in the books) but she is more interested in science than her magic and applies to the Covenant, the cutting-edge learning institute of her continent. There, as the fire drakes lay siege to at the western border mountains, she tries to find a way to kill them before they can get past the edges.

Here’s my current summary at the NaNoWriMo site:

The fire drakes are decimating Majere, spreading slowly across the continents, killing majes and commoners alike. In defiance of the Hex Majestorum, Covenant-trained shape-shifter Lucanthea looks for a weapon using the one thing the Hex forbids: science.

In the meantime, the Covenant makes a deal which may save the peoples of Majere–for a price.

So, what do you think? Working title is Rebels of the Hex. I hope I can get an interesting proto-cover for it, too!

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!