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I am such a dork

Soooo I was in such a rush for June to just be OVER that I didn’t realise that June finally being over not only happened, but resulted in July starting. So I lost a couple of days of Camp NaNo…ing.

Which is fine. I actually thought it was really funny when I did realise it. I was in the middle of journaling on 750 Words. I had had an idea for a first line in the shower. So rather than panic and feel really, really dumb, I wrote down my first line and then continued from there. It’s not perfect, but it was a decent start. And I didn’t even have to take refuge in first person.

Luckily, I never planned on the usual 50K. My goal is 30K, and I’ve gotten a little over a thousand words both yesterday and today, so I’m decently on track. I’m not using an outline, which probably saved me time, since I had this idea only a couple of days ago.

I had to get my writing done as soon as I could today because we’re going to meet with family for swimming and probably some kind of food. I don’t really know what all of their plans are yet. But I can’t wait to see Owen’s face when he gets to go in the pool.

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Another month at camp!

It’s not completely official yet, since I forgot my password and don’t want to deal with login stuff yet, but I’m doing the July Camp NaNo. I have an idea, and I even made a mock cover. Which I usually like doing, but this time it was hard, since I need a new Wacom tablet and I have no graphics software on this computer. Maybe I’ll make those a reward if I do well.

Anywho.

Imogene is a cute cloud cuckoo-lander who does not have a fandom following. She lives with her dad and the cat. The cat has no name, because Imogene believes that there is no point in naming a cat. Neither she nor her thoughts are terribly welcome with her peers. In fact, they get her into a fight with one of them. Imogene weighs ninety pounds soaking wet. But something comes over her, and she wins the fight with a devastating margin. A margin that makes everyone think she started the fight.

Imogene isn’t from around here. And now that she’s coming into her power, she has to go back and learn how to handle them.

imogene_cover

 

I would have written more, but Owen woke up.

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Finished Phase Outline at LAST

It seems like every time I come forward with a project on my blog, it doesn’t happen. That strikes me as funny. Because if you don’t laugh, what else is there? Camp NaNo went fine. I reached 50K. But I do not have a finished product that I like. Luckily, that wasn’t the reason I did that this month.

I just wanted to write. Every day. There were some days that I didn’t get to write, even set my daily goal at zero when I knew I wouldn’t get to write.

Then when I started phasing a different project, since writing a phase outline was something else I wanted to do, I got to about chapter six or seven, right after blogging about what I was doing, and then pfffft. It was not going to work, I couldn’t continue. But I learned something from that and started again.

I may change the title, because it’s one of my favourites and it doesn’t really fit anymore. But I finished the outline today. I didn’t think I would. When I first opened my word processor this morning, I cried. The story had gone onto this tangent that I had no control over. I needed an infusion of Nabokov. I wish I wrote like he did.

Then I went back, and I identified where the tangent started, and what was wrong with it. I threw away several pages of outlining. Four or five chapters, spliced or removed entirely. If it had been at the prose stage and not an outline, that would have been massively, massively difficult. I have a hard time throwing stuff away when I don’t have a clear idea of what will take its place.

And I finished my outline the same day it reduced me to tears. The tangent went away, I re-characterised one of the characters completely, and I ended the story where it should have ended.

The outline is shorter than it was yesterday, since I was flailing with the continuing tangent. But it’s also about the length I had planned for it to be. I don’t know if I want to start writing today or tomorrow. I feel a little drained, and I kind of want to read some books.

But I did it. It feels good to complete something, even if it’s only the first step.

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Week 2 Ending

Writing this thing was like pulling teeth yesterday. None of my characters are turning out quite like they’re supposed to except for Adam. I like the new one, though. She’s perfect. I was able to get about 500-600 words using my Alphasmart while Owen played in the living room. This is nothing short of laborious. He likes to grab it and try to press keys. I don’t have  a problem with the small screen (shows four lines at a time, using fixed width characters), except when two little baby hands have covered it. Luckily, I learned how to touch type in high school.

I have had a roaring pressure headache for the last two days, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It makes it very difficult to think. And now I have another crowded scene. Worse, a crowded fight scene. Why did I go into this with ten planned characters? Four haven’t even shown up yet (although all have been mentioned.) Probably doesn’t help that I listened to Family Force 5 before bed. Or not. I don’t know.

So, I’m going to put up an excerpt from today (or a better one from another day) and then get some ibuprofen.

It felt good to be running. Never mind that this direction, though better than ones which didn’t lead to an explosion, might not take them to anyone. Sydney bore down and ran faster than she should have.

Her question hadn’t been important. She didn’t know what was, but she knew what she’d been thinking. “I want to fight,” she whispered.

Henning veered closer to her. “You what?”

“I want to fight!” This time, she shouted it. She spun to run backwards, then spun forward again. She ran pell mell for the fire that had dropped from the sky. “I want to be like the rest of you!”

“Why?”

“Because!”

It wasn’t important, and it wasn’t a good reason. Maybe she just enjoyed shouting. Maybe it was just the euphoria of seeing Nathan again.

He half-ran, half-staggered towards them, leaving behind a roaring fire that had claimed half the street. On his arm was a stout blonde woman. They were both coughing. Nathan hadn’t had the same chance as Sydney; he still wore the same clothes that had been torn and soaked. Now they were also covered in soot.

Henning burst ahead to help them away from the fire. Even through her relief, fear gripped Sydney’s legs. She stared at the fire, imagining screams.

Luckily for her ego, nobody appeared to notice her freeze up. Henning rushed over to take custody of the blonde woman. He turned to Nathan. His offered hand received a high-five slap. Henning shook his head, a wry smile on his thin face.

Nathan ran up to Sydney, and then stopped. “You look good.”

She grinned and raised her hand for a high five of her own. “Thank you. It’s nice to get an unsolicited compliment from someone who doesn’t want to date me.” Not that she got many unnsolicited compliments from people who did want to date her.

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Week 2 Blues

Happens every year. Often, since I tend to hit 11666 before the end of Week 1, I get the W2 Blues before most people. Weathering them isn’t easy, and I tend to just get worse over time, with periods of productivity. Owen had me up most of the night, too. He’s been asleep for an hour and I really do not feel like writing at all today. I only need 809 to reach the next goal marker. I could just do that and turn in.

I didn’t stop anywhere particularly difficult yesterday. There isn’t really any obvious reason for my reluctance to write…other than the lack of sleep. Which is fairly normal.

Yesterday I started Chapter Nine, tentatively titled Jovialität. After two chapters without Sydney, I got used to her being gone. Also, the last chapter ended on two characters agreeing to blow up a gas station. Sydney’s new chapter started with her being carried piggyback along a glass-covered street to get a change of clothes (she’d been completely immersed in water)

Although she wasn’t much taller than she had been in middle school, her legs dangled more awkwardly than she remembered. “What happened here, anyway?”

Henning paused to shift her weight. She could only hope that he didn’t hear her squawk. “I broke one of the windows to see what would happen.”

“And the rest of them exploded?”

“Not at first.” He went around an ankle-high heap of sharp detritus. “First, I was attacked by a bomber jacket and a day dress.”

“What did you do?”

“Oh, I fought them, you see.” He picked his way delicately through the street. “It was a little pathetic. I nearly smothered in drapes.”

He lifted her knee up over a sheathed knife. She pushed herself up as discreetly as possible. Her breasts weren’t large, but it was hard to keep them from resting on his back. “You didn’t happen to come out with any spoils, did you?”

“Spoils?”

“My clothes are more than a little damp. I’d like a change.”

Henning sped up. “That’s where we are going. Luckily, after I defeated the drapes, the rest of them folded themselves. It looked so much like surrender that I couldn’t bring myself to destroy the rest.”

It’s kind of funny. Both she and Nathan got wet, Adam didn’t because of shenanigans, and she’s the only one who changes clothes. Nathan is probably going to get sick.

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Camp NaNo start of Week 2

Ugh. I got absolutely nothing done on the weekend, and kind of had a freak-out. I knew I wouldn’t get to write, but I didn’t think it would bother me as much as it did. This morning wasn’t too bad though. I didn’t get a chance to write until about 11:00, which is pretty normal, so I didn’t worry about it. I wrote about 700 words while Owen napped, but he only slept for half an hour, so that was all that happened.

Owen was full of energy, probably left over from getting to play with his cousins and basically be almost the centre of attention. We played for a few hours, and I felt like Super Mum (or Yay-Yay, as he calls me). He finally crashed about an hour and a half ago. He’s still asleep, but I don’t really expect that to go on.

After he fell asleep the second time, I managed to bring today’s wordcount to about 2300, but I feel like I need to make up for the weekend, and that means I need at least another 2700 words. I was going to write 6K, but no. Just no. I’m tired, at a really awkward part of the story, and I just don’t feel like writing any more. It is break time.

I have 21,125 words, and I’m a 2/3 done with chapter 7. Some of it was written while listening to an audiobook. Because my brain cannot do one thing at a time. I am the empress of multitasking!

Highlight of today:

It was that simple, where Adam stood. Adam had his own world, one with a sky even stranger than the one hanging over the city like a capricious god. Nathan would have liked a vacation there sometime.  “Easier said than done. She’s not helpless, but she is unarmed, and we need to find her fast. We can’t just run around blind.”

Adam passed the crowbar from one hand to the other and back. For a few seconds, he said nothing. When Nathan had first started working for NKSR, he’d been impatient. Unable to see a lot of what made Adam tick. Three years later, he could see the wheels turning.

The crowbar stopped moving, clasped in Adam’s right hand. He pointed it up at the sun. “Then we blind the city. It uses the sky to see. That’s how it knows where to materialize automatons, how it knows which streets to change around.”

“Autom–you mean the golems?”

“Sure. I keep forgetting you’re Jewish.”

Nathan raised an eyebrow. He was, but that didn’t seem relevant.

I’ve been listening to The Aquabats and Cage the Elephant a lot lately. They are getting into my dreams. In the last one, Jimmy the Robot fought Lord Zed with Matt Shultz. It might also have something to do with the fact that I based Adam Frost on Christian Jacobs.

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Camp NaNo Apr 2014 Day 2

Day One went really well. Owen actually napped, and then he went to visit his grandma. So I ended up having an entire afternoon and evening to myself (minus D&D). End of the day wordcount was about 10,000. Woohoo!

But today has been slow going. It was easier with only two characters, and the third makes things awkward in a lot of ones. Mostly intentional. But with the character currently in the viewpoint chair thrown into awkward rather than dangerous situations, I find that the narrative keeps reaching a natural end to the chapter. I need at least 800 words before I can end this chapter.

It’s funny, 8oo is a big number, but its size in words varies. In a blog post, it’s rather long. In poetry, it’s either epic or excessive. In a book,  it’s just a four pages or so. That last one bifurcates at least once. When reading, 800 words is five minutes. Maybe ten, depending on the person (and the book). When writing, further bifurcation, 800 minutes can be twenty minutes or two hours.

Maybe I just need a short break. Then I’ll get back in there and have them fight a building or something.

Yesterday, I read the Tao of Pooh. It had been on my TBR list for a while, and I had actually an ebook floating around. But yesterday, I finally decided to actually crack it open. (so to speak)

I really liked the earlier bits. It was a straightforward explanation of Taoism with an optimistic outlook. Then it turned nasty. I don’t know anything about the writer, but he suddenly seemed incapable of praising what he put forward as good, without condemning anything that he felt was not precisely that thing. Simplicity is good, and complexity and cleverness are–not evil, but reprehensibly, pathetically stupid. He was condescending and offensive. He all but said that anyone who disagreed with him was a bloody idiot who deserved to die. I’m not even exaggerating. He compared Taoism to other religions as a paragon over poop.

While I don’t know much about Tao, I don’t think being a judgmental asshole is supposed to be part of it.