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!

Finally, chapter four!

In an effort to return to regular writing, I finally reread and tweaked the fourth chapter of Not All Dead and posted it at Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and here. It means the story is complete at last. I found it a real struggle to finish as I wasn’t sure I’d gone the right way with the chapter but after rereading it, I was actually pleased with what I’d come up with. So, with a touch or two of work, I got it into a form I liked even more and called it done. Having Ralph Dibny as part of The Flash cast this year didn’t help either; though the character is very different (and Sue doesn’t exist yet), Ralph as the Elongated Man is canon. Maybe this story could be considered alternate universe or alternate reality. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

In my final author’s note, I mention the term “jossed”. That was coined by Joss Whedon fans and denotes a storyline that’s hinted at in canon–giving fanfic writers and fan artists steady inspiration–but takes a left-hand turn which invalidates all that fan speculation.

From TV Tropes (a site that can become a very, very deep rabbit hole and time vacuum):

A fan gets Jossed when the elaborate Epileptic Trees or Fanfic that they’ve lovingly built upon canonical elements is abruptly disproved by further canon or Word of God. Named after Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer was notorious for this. Fans would come up with detailed and elaborate theories or plots during summer hiatuses, most of which got completely thrown out within three episodes of the new season.

I have to admit, this little discussion and the multi-verse theory used in the show has given me a touch of inspiration… time to tuck that idea into my plot bunny hutch!

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…)

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.

It’s done!

The final chapter of Not All Dead is finished! It’ll need some tweaking before I post it; the latter part is clear in my head but feels kind of awkward when put into words. It tops out at 11,335 words. A little longer than I planned for, but not too bad!

In the morning, I’m at home by myself. I hope to get some more done on the new fanfic, Where All Love Begins. Right now, I have a current Camp word count goal of 10K; I’ve added in what I’ve written since the first–it is totally legal to do so! When I surpass that, I will up the word count in increments of 5K and see how it goes. I wish Camp NaNoWriMo had the same kind of widget the regular NaNo month has, but I can use the Word Count Widget to update this novel’s word count.

So, hopefully, I can give you some updates on the new story Wednesday!

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017

 Yeah, I’m trying the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo this year. Since I haven’t finished my last chapter of Not All Dead, that’s my first priority. (I am close, very close to finishing it). After that, I’m going to work on my sequel to The White Winds, titled Where All Love Begins. I tried to write this during a previous Camp session but didn’t get too far into it. Those bits and pieces are put aside so they won’t be counted in the official word count. I’ll add them back into the story later.

I’m starting with a small word count, just 10K. I figure it’s something I can manage and I’ll be able to increase it as the month goes on. That’s one of the nice things about Camp; you can set your own word count. As for the first day, I only wrote 352 words, just enough to keep up with my daily count.

So, you can poke me on twitter or Facebook or tumblr from time to time and ask my how my word count is. Since Camp is all online, I won’t have the face-to-face write-ins to keep me motivated. Having my friends and family online to nudge me will really help!

The story is not finished yet, but…

I posted the first chapter!

It’s not betaread yet, so if you see any problems–whether they’re grammar, spelling, or possible canon errors–let me know. I’m really, really excited about it! I’m sure I won’t get any responses at my site, but I might at Tumblr or Facebook. Also, if anyone is interested in betareading (that’s proofreading/editing for those outside the fanfiction community) I’d be incredibly grateful. I haven’t sent this to my usual beta because I’m not sure how well-versed she is in DC Comics or the Arrowverse Flash.

I plan to let this sit here for a few days to see what response I get. Then I’ll post it at fanfiction.net and AO3.

With great ado, I now present “The interview”, the first chapter of Not All Dead.