Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

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I’m thinking about giving up on NaNoWriMo for this year. The combined stress of everything that’s going on is really starting to wear me down and NaNo is the easiest bit of stress to get rid of. If I do quit, I’m still going to do my best to get to 50k words, but I’m not going to push myself too hard.

I remember how burnt out I was when I did NaNo back in 2009. I could barely think for two months afterwards. That’s the last thing I want to do to myself right now.

So, the plan is to be kind to myself, get done what I can and not worry about what I can’t.

Stupid sewers. Stupid Moor-rats. Stupid mages.

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After taking all of Friday off, my brain has been re-energized. I’ve written more than five thousand words this weekend and right now my NaNoWriMo word count stands at 11,077 and I still have words left in me today. I’m hoping to write at least another 1k words today.

This section of the book is going to be awesome! Alex, Vic, a horde of ghouls, no way out except for Alex to give in to her demon side. There’s fire, there’s blood, there’s the destruction of a beautiful car. *sigh* I love it when the writing flows like this.

I Haz Teh Dumb…

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I’m blogging about tea over on Black Ink, White Paper today. It seems like I’m in wonderful company over there because they all seem to love tea as much as I do! 😀

Today is day four of NanoWriMo and I’m struggling a bit today. I’ve been so undisciplined lately about actually sitting my butt in the chair and writing to a quota that my brain is rebelling. It doesn’t want to work. It doesn’t want to concentrate on getting words written. No lie, it would rather pay bills and balance the checkbook which is several weeks out of date than write today.

It doesn’t even want to write this blog post. It wants to go make another cup of tea and maybe bake some brownies. It keeps whispering that there’s laundry to be done and dishes to be washed. It’s reminding me of my desire to get the woodwork in my office stripped before Christmas. And I’ve just started playing DragonAge: Origins and it’s starting to really get fun…Or how about a nice bubble bath? That would really relax me and maybe help the words come. Right?

Ugh… started this blog post over three hours ago… I think I’m just going to call today a wash and hope I can make up the words throughout the rest of the month because I can’t brain today, I have the dumb.

 

I’m Dreaming of a White… Halloween?

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For those of you who may be unaware, this weekend the North East was hit by a very nasty blizzard. Here in my part of Western MA, we received about a foot of snow. Other areas more to the north were hit by up to 32 inches of snow! We lost power at around 9:30 Saturday night and didn’t get it back up until around 1 Sunday afternoon. We were lucky. Some cities and towns still don’t have power back. In terms of damage, this storm was probably very close to being on par with the tornado that tore through here in June.

A lot of people don’t understand why this storm was so damaging compared to all of the other storms we get later in the season. Well, the answer to that lies with the trees. No, it’s not the fault of Ents. It’s the fault of their leaves. The trees are usually bare of most of their leaves by the time the first major storms roll through. Not this time. The weight of the wet snow piling up on those perfectly shaped snow-catchers was too much to bear for many branches and down they crashed.

The oak tree on the front tree belt lost a great many branches as did the maple on the side. One of the maple branches came down on our fence and bent it a bit. The top of our neighbor’s birch tree snapped off as did several very large branches on her pear tree.

Many cities and towns were forced to cancel or postpone their trick-or-treating due to downed trees and power lines. I feel bad for the kids who got all excited for Halloween only to be let down, but I agree with the decision to keep everybody safe.

In other news —

We had seven wonderful guest bloggers here for October and I want to thank each and every one of them for making October so much fun. Elizabeth, Katy, Jennifer, Eeyore, Sara, October, and Erin you all rock. Thank you.

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. So far I’ve gotten just over two thousand words written. I’d wanted to get at least three thousand written, but I’ve been a bit busy writing this blog post and my Friday post for Black Ink, White Paper.

My brain feels a bit mushy at the moment. I think I’m going to go make myself a mug of hot chocolate and curl up on the couch with my snuggle-kitty and a book.

Guest Post #5 — Erin Kendall Surviving My Muse

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I seem to have met a lot of great writers on the message board of the Author Who Shall Not be Named. Erin is another one I met there. Erin has written a VERY interesting Fae/Vampire novel and she’s also a lovely poet.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that one has a muse.  No, I’m not funny in the head.  I know it’s actually my subconscious, but personifying her (yes, she’s female) helps me handle her.  Especially when she’s being difficult.

It’s funny.  I’ll sit here at my desk staring into space, trying to come up with something that passes for good in my eyes (and I am very hard on myself), and my muse will be quiet.  No whispers, no movement, nothing.  I’ll poke at her a few times to see if she’s awake (maybe she’s dead?) and she’ll just…be…gone.

But when I’m not at my desk and ready for ideas?  Oh boy.  I think she takes a perverse pleasure in watching me flail.

Today at work I was copying down addresses and phone numbers.  The most tedious work ever.  So I’m doing my thing, and my muse finally decides to grace me with her presence (should I do a curtsy?).  She’s like, “hey, we need to do this and this and this with this project” and she starts shooting me scene ideas, complete with dialogue and emotions.  What, can’t I just take dictation?  No?  Suffice to say I had to try to commit everything to memory and hope for the best.  Crazy fucking muse.

So later on I’m washing my hands and she perks up.  “Hey, you know, we should do something with this unfinished Nano thing from 2009.”  Again with the details, scenes, and dialogue.  I’m rolling my eyes because that’s not even on the schedule — for this year or next.  Crazy fucking muse.

Once, she held an intervention because I was having a bout of writer’s block and wasn’t writing.  She gathered my characters and they all made their grievances known.  Did I mention that I was at work at the time?  I was alone which was good, but geez.  Wait till I’m home!

But, needless to say, it broke my block.

Speaking of writer’s block, my muse is funny that way.  She’s pretty much ready to go all the time (except when she’s sleeping or sulking) but occasionally, she gets lost.  She’s sending me ideas and all kinds of good stuff, but when I sit down to write, it’s all gone.  Hit and run.  Hit me with it and fucking disappear.  Ooh, I wish I could strangle her when she does that.

The Greek word for muse is mousai (I know this because that unfinished Nano thing from 2009 was a story about a muse, and I needed something interesting to call her besides “muse.”  This has been your useless factoid of the day).  I find that so interesting because it reminds me of mouse.  There’s no way those are connected; the connection is strictly mine (the Greek word for mouse, if you’re interested, is poondiki (and no, that’s not the correct spelling.  It’s phonetic.  I have a Greek co-worker).  But think of this.  Mice are devious little things, aren’t they?  And we’ve got the expression “quiet as a church mouse.”  But sometimes they can scratch walls and make noise and generally be annoying.  They also can hide — especially when one is trying to get rid of them.  (I had a mouse in my office once.  No one at work believed me.  They said I was imagining things.  Please note that I’m not at all scared of mice and do not get hysterical like some people do.  I was very calm and cool when I mentioned it.  A few hours later, after waiting for it to show up again, I spotted it strutting around the kitchen and told my co-workers.  They finally believed me).  Well, doesn’t this kind of describe muses?  Or, my muse?  You bet it does.

We have an interesting relationship, my muse and I.  She can be wonderful, my best friend and my true inspiration.  But she can also be my greatest enemy because she wants to write everything.  If she had her way, I’d be working on at least 3 projects at the same time and that makes me nervous.  I can do it, just not very efficiently.  That’s the problem.  I need to focus on one thing only.  That way, I’m making the most use out of my time.  Because I work and have a husband, I have limited time.  So every minute has to count.

Now, she can be brilliant for plot twists, character flaws, revelations, and mixing things up.  My current work-in-progress hit me a few weeks ago, with everything just there, from the world to the characters to the plot.  To be honest, the plot was actually from my NanoWriMo novel from 2003 that I’ve been meaning to rework.  She hit me with this like a hammer to the head and I spent about 3 days daydreaming, brainstorming, making notes as fast as I could, and figuring out scenes and situations.  The ending eludes me, but that’s not a problem.  By the time I get there, I’ll know what it is.  That’s another thing — she loves to play when I’m rough drafting it.  She believes that the blank screen is there for her benefit.  She frolics around, sprinkling faerie dust and plots.  Then she’s off in a different direction, shaping things to her whim.  And then she overwrites and veers off several times.  After all that, she throws in pointless meandering and a few red herrings and calls it a day.  Meanwhile, I’m sitting here with a mega-manuscript in the bag and a migraine just trying to put the pieces back together.  She pulled that with one book — it weighed in at 399k.  The other big one is currently in 12 pieces and although I love the story, I have no clue how I’m going to make sense of the chaos she inflicted on me (but, to her credit, I did finish the draft, so I guess I can’t complain.  Much).

But you know what?  Most of that craziness brings me joy.  I know it sounds nuts, but she’s a lot of fun, even when she’s shaking things up and creating mayhem.  She’s actually pretty brilliant.  I just wish she’d get more organized.  But hey, no one’s perfect, right?

At the end of the day, I know this: I’m far better with her than without her.  Even if “she” is just a collection of gray matter.  She’s real to me.  Even when she sucks.

website ~ http://www.erinkendall.com
writing blog ~ http://erinkendall.wordpress.com

Where Has the Time Gone?

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How is it the end of October already? I feel like I’ve got so much to do and not enough time to do it. Halloween is Monday and I haven’t decorated the house this year. Since it’s already so late and I don’t want to dig through all of the boxes in the cellar to find my Halloween decorations, I probably won’t do any decorating. 😦 Our neighbors are having a Halloween party this weekend and I have no idea what I want to do for a costume. And figuring something out for hubby is next to impossible. I think, maybe, I’ll have him go as a homicidal maniac since they look just like everyone else.

NaNoWriMo starts next week. Eeek!! I don’t know if I’m ready for NaNo.

My horoscope this week from Dr. Rob Brezsny — “Sit, walk, or run, but don’t wobble,” says the Zen proverb. Now I’m passing it on to you as advice worthy of your consideration. Maintaining clarity of purpose will be crucial in the coming weeks. Achieving crispness of delivery will be thoroughly enjoyable. Cultivating unity among all your different inner voices will be a high art you should aspire to master. Whatever you do, Libra, do it with relaxed single-mindedness. Make a sign that says “No wobbling,” and tape it to your mirror. Halloween costume suggestion: Be the superhero known as No Wobbling.

Christmas is two months away. Holy hells… I always stress out about this time of year because I NEVER get my Christmas shopping done on time. I’m always scrambling at the last minute. Every year we say we’ll start things early and every year we procrastinate. This year is going to be so much worse because of all of the additional stress that goes along with being out on sub.

This and That, Dribs and Drabs

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I haven’t been posting often because, quite frankly, my brain is mush.

We’re still looking for a new title for WDFTT. It’s really tough for me because everything I think of just doesn’t fit. I don’t want the title to be about the case Alex is working on simply because, while that’s the plot of the book, I feel the greater story is Alex and her struggles with her demon half.

Speaking of titles…

Hubby took me out shopping Friday night for my birthday. While I was browsing the book section of Target, I ran across THIS —

All I could do was stand there and mutter “Son of a bitch…”

 

Now, to be fair, one of the other agents who had offered me rep last year had mentioned that another book had just been sold with that title, but hearing about it and seeing it are two completely different things.

I, of course, had to buy the book. I will let everyone know how it is once I finish it.

Also bought that night was Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. I’m halfway done with it and in complete love with the story and the characters. Erin breaks so many of what are considered “rules of good story telling”. She writes parts in second person and parts in present tense. She follows multiple characters through different time periods. But she makes it all work.

This year I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo again. I participated back in ’08 and ’09 (I actually got 50k words written in ’09!) but took last year off because I was trying to recharge my brain. I’m not starting anything new, I’m going to use it as inspiration to get When Demons Cry finished and probably do more work on Zombies!

Speaking of When Demons Cry, as you all can see by the metric on the right of the screen, I did not get to 50k words. However! With how much I’ve written on Zombies! and the work I did on the last set of revisions for Cameron, it comes very, very close to having gotten to 50k on WDC, so I’m pronouncing that a win. 🙂