Thursday, November 30, 2006

NaNoWriMo Wrap-up

I know, I disappeared. No, Nano didn't eat my soul, but life got a little hectic and I decided any free seconds needed to be spent writing. For that reason, I am way behind on my own blogging and have a lot of catching up to do on the blogs that I usually visit.

It's almost 7pm on November 30th and here is my Nano word count:
Zokutou word meter
50,112 / 50,000
(100.2%)


So, now it's time to do a happy dance because I finished, but at the same time hang my head because my wordcount is only half my goal for the month. Also, I finished almost a week later than I did last year. *shame*

Really, it's all my fault that 50k took me this long. Everything that could get in my way this month did (which was mostly myself) and I'll add updates about some of it later.

After a couple days down, I plan to edit the mess, and will probably lose around 10k. Eeps, does that still mean I wrote as much? This story has been fighting me every step of the way, it's going to be something to actually finish it... but I will. Who wants to have our own mini Nano in January?

Well, now to dance around my living room over finishing and indulge in some down time, food, and maybe a movie with the hubby. Hope everyone else out there doing well.

Goodbye November!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Can you see?

I swear I never saw anything until I began painting.

I remember always being in awe of nature, but I never really noticed it. I never saw the beauty of the one pale bare tree next to her sisters still wearing reds, yellows, and greens. I never noticed how the sunset glowed through the trees, splashing the sky in all shades of orange, alizarin, violet, and blue while the trees were only shadows against it. I swear I never realized how rich a green the leaves turned before a thunderstorm or the way a person’s iris is shot through with a dozen flecks of color.

Someone had to teach me to look.

Not how to look, but that I needed to look.

I wonder sometimes if most people walk through life never really seeing any details; that if no one tells them to actually look at things, they never see more than a second long picture of the world. I was twenty-two before I took my first painting class and actually started to look at things. I remember walking across campus one day and stopping to stare at this dandelion who miraculously survived the landscapers. Studying the light playing over that little flower’s leaves and seeing the shadows fall around it was the first time I realized I had never looked at anything before.

Since that day, I’ve taken much more time to stop and see things. But, I wonder what else I’m walking past, not realizing that there is something I don’t notice.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A lesson from Nano

This was a bad writing weekend. Real life just kept bidding for all my time (don't you hate when that happens.)

I only wrote 1k the entire weekend, and that was at (surprise surprise, you guessed it,) a write in. On that note, I did host a successful write-in on Sunday, and everyone who attended left with a decent wordcount for that short block of time. What made this one work when the others didn't? I have no clue. Maybe it was that I had a different set of people, or the fact I worked really hard on keeping my mouth shut.

So, to make up for the busy weekend, I chained myself to the computer today. Doing so would probably be more productive if I didn't have the internet to distract me, but I actually managed to keep the surfing to a minimum as I tried to work. I broke thirty thousand, which was the minimum goal I set for myself today, but that's only 4k words, and I really did work all day.

The sad part? The first 1k or so of today’s word count was like pulling teeth and took me about four hours. The last 3k I pounded out in about the same amount of time. I guess I needed to cross that first 1k I was struggling with to reach the downhill ride of inspiration.

If nothing else, today was a lesson to myself in pounding it out. In the past, if my muse fought me this hard, I sentenced myself to one full hour chained to the computer, and if it didn’t get better, I left it for the day. This habit, I reasoned, was much more productive than waiting for inspiration to hit like I did in college. Nano teaches me something new each year. Last year it taught me that writing everyday kept me excited about a project and got it finished. This year (so far) I’ve learned that sometimes one hour isn’t enough if I really want to get past writers-block fast.

Are you Nano’ing? (Or noveling?) Have you learned anything important about yourself and your writing needs in the process?


Current Progress:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
30,131 / 95,000
(31.7%)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Refueling

Well, I passed the halfway point for Nano and the quarter point for my own personal goal today. I know some people write faster, but I'm pretty happy with making 25k in 10 days. The last few days I have been slowing down though. Not only have I not met my 3k a day goal in the last two days, but my words per hour have dropped as well.

The problem with Nano and trying to write in such a tight deadline is that I don't get a lot of time to take care of my muse. Ten days stuck in my head without any outside release has started to get to her, so I stopped by the bookstore and picked up Jenna Black's Watchers in the Night.

I discovered Jenna's website before the book came out and read the first chapter online, so I've been looking forward to its release. More recently I learned that she is a member of the local RWA chapter I intend to join, so now I'm doubly excited about reading it. I lack self control when it comes to reading, and typically finish a book in a single sitting, so my current wordcount is probably it for today.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
25,130 / 95,000
(26.5%)


Off to refuel now!

UPDATE:
I finished the book and it was awesome. She set it up for a sequel and I can't wait to read more!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Write-ins

The first week of Nano has passed, and during that time, I’ve hosted a kick-off party and two write-ins. That means I have three more weeks of write-ins and a TGIO party still to go.

The concept behind a write-in is both intriguing and confounding. Writing, at least in my experience, is a very solitary endeavor, so from a practical stand point, a write-in doesn’t seem efficient or practical. I admit that some of my lowest word counts are during the hours I spend with other nano’ers at B&N or ABC. Put me alone in the same situation and I accomplish a good deal typically, so I can’t blame my surroundings. The problem is the pressure to socialize.

It is awkward to sit at a table with semi-strangers and work.

I tried to start a freewriting/ writing prompt exercise at the kick-off, but it didn’t take off. The idea of doing a couple page critique came to mind, but that’s not the point of Nano. Besides, I wouldn’t be comfortable showing my very rough first drafts to people, why would I expect anyone else to be? I’m pretty much out of ideas after that.

Has anyone participated in a productive/enjoyable write-in, or attended a write-in at all? What helped? What did you like? Hate?

Thanks!

Current progress on CW:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
22,891 / 95,000
(24.1%)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wine and Pizza

What a combination, huh? But that's how I celebrate.

What am I celebrating? Well, I’d love to tell you some exciting news about my book, but what I’m actually celebrating is my hubby’s new job!

After several months of searching, he received an offer Monday. (He wouldn’t let me post about it until the papers were signed.) I’m so excited for him and for us. This is going to be quite a lifestyle change. He has been working third-shift since we got married, which was especially hard when I was working days full time. This job is not only better in the monetary way, but it is during the day! We can finally both adjust to a normal schedule with the rest of the waking world!!

Okay, I could go on and on about that, but really I’d be repeating the same things in different ways. Let’s just say we danced around our living room for awhile and two weeks from now you probably won’t find me hanging around online at 5am in the morning…

A quick Nano update:

Current progress:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19,671 / 95,000
(20.7%)


I haven’t started my writing yet for today (I know, it’s almost midnight, but this is when I have time to work.)
Family obligations and a visit to the doctor took up a good deal of my time, but I’m about to start writing again now. I’m 6k or so behind where I want to be, but as long as I don’t fall further behind, I should be able to catch up eventually!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Please take a seat

If you’ve been following this blog the last few weeks, you probably remember that I was working on a project called MG until a subplot spiraled out of control and I decided there was a book between DH (the story my agent has) and MG. I outlined this new book, tentatively titled CW, and then put it to the side because Nanowrimo was weeks away from starting.
During those two weeks, a new character walked up and said “hey, while you wait, here’s my story.” Then proceeded to tell me about how dark and twisty she was. She was also kick ass and a great main character, so I wrote a short story for her set in the world of my novels but with none of the usual characters. Great, that was fun, and I finished just in time to start nano.

Now she won’t shut up, and she brought another friend who is also begging for her own story.

For awhile now I have been afraid if DH doesn’t sell, that will be the end. All my energy and thoughts have been tied up with that main character and I have a rough idea where I want the story to be as far as five or so books from now. If no one wants the first book, I can’t sell the rest, and what if I never have another good story idea again? (I have a file full of story ideas, but nothing novel length or really eye catching.)

Maybe these new characters are my subconscious’s form of encouragement… It could have picked a better time. Now my main character, the one I’m actually writing about, won’t talk to me. I keep trying to tempt her with chocolate, but she has clamed up. I think she realizes I’ve lost faith in her story. Which isn’t completely true; I think it can be fixed, I’m just not sure how.

So I’ve decided, once I finish CW (and I will finish CW, I refuse not to) it, DH, and the outline for MG are going in the drawer to be reevaluated at a later date. Okay, so I can’t really put DH in a drawer as it is still being shopped by editors, but unless I get some good critique advice on it, I’m not going to edit it anymore for awhile. After I have a complete first draft for CW, then I plan to start a new story with one of the new characters.

Until then, I would very much like to say to these two kick ass ladies (and any other perspective new main characters) “Please take a seat. I will get to you in due time.”

Saturday, November 04, 2006

CRW

I managed to drag myself to the CRW meeting today and I am so glad I did.
I enjoyed the LRWA when I attended their meeting, but the CRW meeting just blew me away. I will definitely be joining their chapter.

What helped me make the choice?
Well,
-CRW has a larger group with a much more diverse set of writers including other fantasy writers.
-CRW has two workshops every month at the meeting as opposed to LRWA’s one
-and CRW has a critique group.

I was happy with both meetings I attended, and everyone I talked to was wonderfully nice, but right now I think CRW can offer me more of what I need at this point in my career. (hah…like I have a writing career…) The only thing I’m a little afraid of with CRW is that since it is such a large group, there might be ‘cliques’ of writers. I’ve noticed that happens when you get more than a handful of people. But we will see. All that is left this year is the Christmas party, which I probably won’t attend, but I can’t wait for meetings to start up in January so I can officially join. (I need to go ahead and join the RWA now too.)

Oh on a side note… not so much on the Nano progress today. My hubby and I had to leave the house at 9 something this morning to make the 11:30 meeting. CRW wrapped up by 3pm, but Hubby and I decided to hit the mall since we were in a major city so by the time we did that, ate some dinner, and drove back home it was already 8pm. Not so conducive to writing massive amounts.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quick update: Day 3

Well day three of Nano is coming to an end.

To be on target with my personal goal I needed to be at 9k tonight, I still have a couple hours left, but I'm not sure I'll make it. I will probably get close though.

Current word count:
7457/95000

I'm feeling a little better today, and I'm hoping I will be up to going to CRW tomorrow. I won't be able to drive if I take the pain pills the doc gave me, and though my husband has offered to drive me, I probably won't go if I have to face all those new people drugged up. So, if I'm not hurting too bad, I plan to go, but I don't know how good a first impression I'll make as I look like someone punched me in the jaw.

We will see.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day two of Nano—Post Surgery

Well today has been an interesting day two of Nano. As the title indicates, my surgery was this morning, and I won’t go into all the bloody details (I had surgery on my jaw and they had to cut and peel down a section of my gums, oh yeah, that was a blast) but let’s just say I could have had a better day. I slept a lot, but I did get some writing done.

When I finally got around to writing, I read over what I wrote yesterday and decided it all blew chunks and I needed to trash it. Since I am on lots of fuzzy pain pills, I decided that might be a little rash, so it went to a scrap folder instead of getting the permanent vacation. Currently I’m under the impression my new opening is much better, we will see how that holds up once they take the codeine away.

I made the official statement at last nights kick-off that I’m setting my personal goal at 95k for the month (that’s only 3k a day, right?) so maybe it would be best if I keep the codeine…. So far I’m right on track for Nano’s goal, but falling behind for my own. Word counters everywhere seem to be melting down (probably from massive overuse, hopefully they will be back soon.) Here is my wordcount a la old fashioned text:

3702/95000

According to excel if I keep working at my current pace I’ll finish December 21(personal goal)…which is missing it by a month. Hopefully I’ll be more cognizant tomorrow (and less nauseated) so will be able to pick it up a notch.

Oh I almost forgot. I joined Rachel Caine’s Nano group. Check it out .

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How strange

I don't know if this is happening to everyone else, but on my computer, the words in my "halloween" post keep disappearing. My progress meter is also not working correctly... something I'll have to look into later as my internet went on the fritz (great timing) so me and my computer are at the library and the connection is painfully slow.

I guess I could look at this as a blessing... no 'net means way less distractions, but as I'm supposed to be moderating a forum...I see it leading to a problem. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

If I have a connection tonight, I'll post on how the kick-off goes. Other wise I guess I might be a little silent.

Here is my current progress:


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1,151 / 50,000
(2.3%)