Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nov. 20: Time. I lack it.

A miracle occurred today. I sat down to work on my WIP, and by some grace of karma or good luck, I managed to squeak in the mandatory word count for today, keeping me if not ahead of the game, than at least right IN the game.
I haven't fallen behind yet, but a series of extremely hard days and late nights have definitely killed my lead.
Thanksgiving is coming up this week, which means my ability to write is going to be further compromised. With less than 20k to go in this project, I really REALLY don't want to fall behind and fail now, but naturally this is also when life decides to get serious about trying to kill me.
Persevere, fellow writers. We'll get there. Eventually.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov. 15: Sleep is For the Weak!! *snore*

I am quite sleep deprived, blogworld. The screech of my building's ancient heating system kept me up half the night, and my cat felt it was of capital importance to wake me up two hours before my alarm went off, roughly three hours after I had finally gotten to sleep once the afroementioned screeching had finally stopped. As a result, there may be a few tupos in this post.
I have hit 27,588 words tonight (most of them mispelled). I am, so far, still pleased with my plot, but increasingly bored with my charactrers. They are moving verrrryyyy sloowwwwwllllyyyy. This is partly due to the fact that the beginning of this story takes some time to build. But I think it is also largely due to the fact that they are not being fueled by a sense of urgency. I am not being fueled by a sense of urgency. My story is in danger of falling victim to its own insolence.
No. Indolence. I mean Indolence. My story is in danger of becoming indolent, which means it will slow to a complete halt and just sort of wallow somewhere in chapter five. Not good.
Maybe I should make one of my characters REALLY sleep deprived. That might make things more interesting. Have them trip over things a lot. It would certainly make weriting the text more interesting.
I think I should probably stop writing this post, now, as I'm clearly not going anywhere with it.
But yes, 27k. Yay! Everyone keep writing! Sleep is for the wkea!!!! And the weak**!!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov. 14: Oooh, We're Halfway There, Oooh, We're Living on a Prayer!

Ah Bon Jovi. You always have a lyric appropriate for every time and situation.

It's been four days, blogworld. Four very long, very tiring days. I've been working a lot of 9 hour shifts, including a fun one a few days ago in preparation for a national event of the celebrity-coming-to-promote-book variety. We weren't so much bookstore employees that day as we were bouncers and traffic wardens. Holy cow it was crazy.
I have also been homemaking with the fiance. This mostly involves following him around Ikea in a state of confusion while he writes things down on a piece of paper and accumulates maybe ten thousand pounds of heavy pieces of wood and impossibly tiny screws. This also involves waving my arms around in panic when I realize the ten thousand pieces of wood make an ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS media console. Don't get me wrong, I like it. I like that I can close the doors on the tv set and not have to see it day in and day out. But it is big. Alarmingly so. We have named it Monster.
But amidst all this, I have also been writing. It hasn't been my best writing, by any stretch, and some days I only got a couple hundred words in. But tonight, I crossed the halfway point of 25k, and I am quite pleased! Week two did not kill me, after all!
I hope it hasn't killed anyone else, and that everyone is still plugging along! Don't worry even if you fall a bit behind--I was WAY behind two days ago--for there is still time to get back on track! Even if you end up setting smaller personal goals for yourself for the rest of Nanowrimo, pick some goals and run with them! You will be happy you did!
And now, because I have another 9 hour shift tomorrow, I am going to sleep. Good night!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nov. 10: And then there were 20 (thousand)

My brain is fried right now, blogworld, so this will be brief. But this evening, I crossed the 20k threshold of word-writing amazingness. What's even more amazing is that I 1. have not killed any of my characters yet and 2. haven't started disliking any of them, the plot, or the general construction of the story yet.
This is the benefit of sending one's Inner Editor to the kennel for a month.
I hope everyone is still trucking along. Do not worry if you're a bit behind, you still have plenty of time to make up ground! The important thing is to KEEP WRITING!!!!
And with that said I am going to get some sleep so I will be functional to write another 2k tomorrow. Huzzah 20,023!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov. 9: Pardon Me, I seem to have misplaced my witty title, have you seen it?

For a lot of people, titles are a funny thing. They can either jump-start or completely bog down a work of writing. Some people avoid titling their books until they are finished with them. Others can't even start until they have named their work. Still others wait for inspiration to strike mid-project.
I tend to name my story files according to my mood that day. Some of them are quite poetic ('Sons of Daedalus' for example), others are silly ( 'Greatest Can-Am Novel EVER') and a large number of them are flat out boring ('Prologue1'. 'story15'). I don't usually settle on an actual NAME for the story until towards the end, when something finally emerges from the woodwork to beat me over the head with inspiration.
This current story has been a bit difficult to title, even for a working title, because ideas have emerged a bit too early from the woodwork, rather than late. My subject matter is a bit too heavy to warrant a cute title, but I don't want a HEAVY title because that would just be contrived and bleh. At the moment, I've named it "Holly #12" after one of my characters, who is--literally--a woman named Holly, version 12.0 (the first 11 versions being dead). I don't know if I'll keep this title, though, because it seems a bit pithy. I don't know.
Too bad titling stories isn't as easy as titling blog posts!
My current word count for the day is 17,678, but I intend to hit 18k tonight. Happy Writing, everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov. 8: Kids, don't try this at home

First of all, the numbers:

Today: 2,522
Total: 16,824

In other words, Wrimos and Writers, I have cleared the 1/3 mark. I am almost halfway to 50k! CELEBRATE!

Oddly enough, I blasted out these 2522 gems of writerly genius in three odd contexts: while exhausted, while at work, and while slightly inebriated (obviously, not all at once).
The first several hundred I did this morning, right before I left for work. Because my shift started (mercifully) a bit later than usual, Dennis and I went out to get some apartment stuff, so I did not get as much time as I wanted to write before I left for work. Add to that my unbelievably late staff meeting last night, and consequent lack of sleep, and I was barely awake as I wrote.
The next several hundred were written in a frenzy of over-caffeinated productivity during my 30 minute break at work, a direct result of my afternoon working in the bookstore cafe. I highly doubt I could have achieved what I did had I not first downed my practice gingerbread holiday latte.
My great push, though, came this evening, once I got home. I drank a half glass of wine, and then a full mug of mulled wine, and sat down at my computer. The effect of alcohol a bit too close together was that the world seemed to spin a bit. But what did NOT waver or get fuzzy was my inspiration, which jackhammered away at my conscience until I started writing. 2522 words later, it is satisfied, and the room is still tilt-a-whirling.
Disclaimer: children, do NOT try this at home. Drinking alcohol should only be done in moderation, and only when you're legal, which I am. Drinking does not lead to fits of creative genius, though Oscar Wilde and Jack Kerouac might have you believe otherwise. They are wrong. Finally, do not drive cars or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of alcohol. In some cases, your computer will count as heavy machinery. Have someone (sober) in the vicinity decide that for you.
In all seriousness, though, I am quite pleased with where chapter 3 is headed so far. My characters are deciding to take the 'epically slow' road to developing, but that is giving me more time to figure out the world in which they live, which is a weird one to say the least. Not having to worry too much about a runaway plot at the moment is a very refreshing change. I like how my writing style has changed over the years: from very fast-paced, action and dialogue oriented stories with only a little focus on background and world-setting, to slower-paced but far more introspective and thorough in the backstory/character development arena. I like it!
And now, I am going to sleep!
Keep on writing, everyone!


Nov. 7: In which we are supposed to gain an hour of sleep, but I lose about five

First of all, I have reached 14302 words. This should be a good thing, but all I can think is that I have fallen behind my mom in word count, and that is RIDICULOUS.
Actually, that's great, because that means she is having a good time with her first ever Nanowrimo. But I digress.
Last night was Daylight Savings time, the 'fall back' version, in which we set our clocks back an hour, it gets dark unbelievably early and we supposedly gain an hour's worth of precious sleep. Unless you work where I work, and close every night for the past week, and are unable to sleep in past 7.30 anyway. Then you just lose more sleep than you were already losing.
We closed at 10 tonight, and since the clocks went back, my brain felt like we were closing at 11. And then we had a staff meeting that was supposed to go to 11.30 (12.30 to my poor internal clock) but actually went to 11.45 (12.45) which means I did not get home until nearly 12 (1) and am now only getting to bed now at 1 (2). I feel like I am somehow missing out on this daylight savings thing.
Anyway, on the writing front, today took a dent. I barely cleared 1300 words, which is terrible because I think at this point I should have more than 15k, and I don't. But I was so exhausted today that when I sat down to write before work, I kept falling asleep in my chair. I wrote longhand while on my break, but that can only give you so many words. And I have absolutely no energy to write any more tonight. Not even for this.
Blah. These are the days I really hate. I hope tomorrow is better.
Until then: KEEP WRITING!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov. 6: here comes Week 2

In my first Nanowrimo experience, when Chris Baty still wrote almost all of the email pep talks, I recall him likening week 2 to experiencing an attack by rabid weasels leaping out of trees at you. Sudden. Painful. Possibly fatal.
Week two has also been described as the WTW--the Week Two Wall, which you run up against again and again to no avail, your plot apparently falling apart, your characters mutinying, and general mayhem abounding. If you're going to fail in nanowrimo, it will most likely happen in week 2.
As I close on this november 6 (and it is the 6th, says me, because I again have not yet seen my bed even though its almost 1.30 in the morning. That, and its still dark) I finish with 13366 words in total, roughly 2200 written today. I'm pleased with my progress so far--it's linear, its cohesive, my characters are still sounding like reasonable human beings and not like screeching howler monkeys. All in all, I am pleased.
Which is great, because the upcoming week is going to be a nightmare in terms of real world stuff, and the chances of me making this kind of progress on a daily basis is zero to negative nil.
And so, as we head into the Week Two Wall of Rabid Weasels, I can only say God Speed, writers! Good luck, and see you on the other side! Trust me, it's worth it to get there!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nov. 5: The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

Never mind that it is actually almost 1am on November 6. Mine eyes have not yet set sight on a bed, so it's still the 5th. The end.
I come with good and bad news today. The good: I've cleared 11k! The bad: I only wrote 1168 words tonight, because once again life intruded most rudely leaving me with no time to write.
But really, I welcomed tonight's intrusion, because it brought a manyfold boon: first, my parents and little brothers came to the city to visit (!!!). And they brought me a GORGEOUS new bike to replace my poor beater bike that bit the dust on Hallowe'en (!!!!!!!) AND they brought me a replacement computer since my own computer bit the dust just before Hallowe'en (yes, my luck was just that good last week. Sigh.).
if truth be told, this computer will take getting used to. It's a very old IBM notebook, complete with some sort of power dock I have to mount it upon, one of those little nobs in the keyboard for a mouse, rather than a touchpad, oddly tiny keys, and very tired, slow Windows XP. But I don't care. It works, and it will save a story. That's all I need!

What I need even more, though, right now is sleep. And so I am going to have to take today's pitiful word count, be grateful that it is at least higher than 0, and call it a night.

Keep writing, everyone! We're getting there!!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nov. 3 and Nov. 4: Forgive me, Blogworld, for I have sinned. But I have 10k written to make up for it!

I must apologize for not blogging yesterday. By the time I got a chance to sit down and write (after a long and exciting day, which included the arrival of my fiance from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean) it was nearly midnight, and I had to choose between working on my WIP or blogging here. You will forgive me if the WIP won.

However, yesterday I logged 1842 words, bringing my total to 7006, of which I was pretty proud, considering the high level of stress and the low amount of time I actually had to write (to give you an idea of the time constraints: I was writing in my notebook while waiting for the plane).

Today was an equally full and busy day, including trying (and failing) to practice/study for the GRE, baking cupcakes, looking at apartment stuff, and going out for an anniversary dinner. However, this evening, as we waited for Dennis's second suitcase to arrive (it got lost on the way over), I sat down and said 'we will reach 10k tonight."

And we did. 3,007 words in total were written today, bringing my grand novel total, as of November 4th, to 10,039 words. Huzzah!

And now, as it is 11pm here, and I have to be at work at 7 tomorrow morning, I am going to bed.

Keep writing everyone!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nov. 2: In Which Life Tries Heroically To Stab Me Repeatedly and Leave Me In A Ditch.

Let me first say that I wrote 2,940 words last night. And considering I did that after closing at the bookstore, I am quite proud of myself. Proud, but not satisfied. I could be writing more. I SHOULD be writing more. But today was basically a case of Karma looking at me and going, 'hmm, I haven't thrown any large, heavy objects at you lately. Here's the kitchen sink, CATCH!'
My whole month is actually starting to look like an experiment in slow, deliberate torture. With the sole exception of the arrival of my fiance from Europe (TOMORROW!) my November is currently getting swallowed by such tasks as: work, grad school applications, studying for GRE, taking the GRE, and not losing my mind in the process. Whoever said that they have no time to do anything in high school or college clearly did not know what they were talking about. I had OODLES more time then.

In any case, I leave you with today's word count and my overall total:

Today: 2214 (not as good as I would like, but not terrible)
Total: 5154

Until tomorrow, KEEP WRITING!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov. 1: READY, SET, GO!!!

As I crawl out of my month-long hibernation, I am mindful of the day it is: November first.
November first is a pretty special day in my world, as is the month in general. For November is National Novel Writing Month, and some of my favorite works have come out of this feverish 30-day literary sprint.
Nanowrimo (as it's known on 'the webz') even has its own organization and website ( Basically, for 30 days, you must write 50,000 words minimum. They don't have to be perfect, or grammatically sound, or even make any chronological sense. But you must. write.
The first year I did Nanowrimo, I wrote what would eventually be The Halfling. I cleared 50k and finished the novel around 8pm on November 30th. The following year, I wrote the companion novel, The Wanderer, and cleared 50k right under the wire at 11.15pm or something on November 30th.
The next year, I actually cleared 50k somewhere on the 28th or the 29th, and then kept going until I ran out of steam. That story is actually not finished, but I decided to put it away and give it a break, lest I accidentally murder all my protagonists in an unconscious bid to just END THE STORY.
The last few years, though, having been a whirlwind of school, work, papers, and other such things, have not been particularly successful Nanowrimos. I have started pretty much each year, and then find around 25-30k that if I do not put aside the book and start concentrating on my studies again, I will certainly fail my semester/lose my job. So I put it aside, and then December 1st rolls around and I haven't gotten back to it again XD
But not this year! This year I am a University Graduate with a College Degree in hand, and absolutely NO HOMEWORK to worry about! (well, unless you count the GRE...which I should....damn) I do still have a job to contend with, but I suppose I need that if I want to still have an income and all that other stuff....but for the most part, I have NOTHING to worry about and can devote the next 30 days to breathlessly brilliant prose!
But first, I must make tea.
See everyone on the other side of November 30th!