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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.

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Last day before Camp NaNo

I feel more prepared than I thought I would. By making sure that Owen got plenty of sleep last night (twelve hours for the first time EVER and only woke up once!!), and making a big play area for him, I got to write a bit in my notebook as a test. Notebook writing is good, although it adds time and makes more work for me. It’s kind of like beneficial editing. I don’t feel bad throwing away things I’ve written in my notebook. I scratch things out and write over them all the time even while writing. (no backspace key, heh)

Although it would be nice to be able to at least write the NaNoWriMo 1667 a day minimum, I will have to commit to writing five to ten thousand on days that Owen’s grandma can take him.

Synopsis:

Sydney wakes up in an empty, dilapidated city, wearing her work clothes and with no memory of when her shift even ended. She stumbles through the streets as they come to life with seemingly normal lights, bus stops, store fronts and… automatons. Before she can be beheaded by a golem or crushed by a living wall, she is rescued by a man named Nathan.

He claims to be part of a mercenary team sent to incapacitate the weaponised city and save other abducted people, like her. Unfortunately, his radio was destroyed, and he can’t find any of his co-workers. They must work together to find the others and beat the battle city.

There doesn’t seem to be much else to say. Two perspectives alternating every other chapter, which means two chapters of Sydney, followed by two chapters of Nathan. I’m writing this one in ASE, which is weird, but the viewpoint characters are both American. I want there to be a second book. The viewpoint characters I have planned for that one are not American (well, one isn’t), but I guess I should use a consistent dialect.

I even have prizes for myself if I finish. Aquabats Super Show DVDs! Heh.

Owen is asleep right now, so I want to read for a bit. Not gonna do that much after tomorrow.

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And that’s a firm ‘no’.

What a pipe dream that was. Doing Camp NaNoWriMo with a preemie in the house. Right up to the day it started, he was sleeping regularly and not fussing overmuch. Going along with his schedule well. Then July hit like a lazy hurricane, and now Owen is refusing to sleep without massive amounts of time and work, and his schedule is completely out of whack.

I may still get to write this month, but I’m sure as shooting not going to get to do it on a regular basis.

Which is just as well, I suppose. For now. My health has hit rock-bottom, and I’m still waiting on even ONE of my doctors to actually do their job and help me not want to die every waking moment. I have two options right now: firm treatment with new drugs (most likely enbril/humira), and prednisone with anti-inflammatories.

I was doing the latter, when I ran out of the anti-inflammatories. Doctor has apparently refused to let the pharmacy give me any more. So I’m horking down eight 200mg Advil a day. So classy.

Rheumy had a plan for treatment, but now he’s saying that he wants me to come in to discuss treatment. Which is JUST AWESOME, since he’s booked up past the nose and basically impossible to see right now.

Last night, Owen was up for most of the night. I actually started crying when I realised that he’d spent an hour and a half fussing while I tried to put him to sleep. He needs that time to be spent sleeping or he is going to get sick or worse. It’s the most stressful thing, and I can barely handle what’s already stressing me out.

This morning, he was awake and fussing any time I wasn’t holding him (and sometimes when I was holding him) for an entire three-hour period between feeding times.

We’ve guessed he might not have been eating as much as he wants, and since there’s not enough of what my mum and I jokingly call “source” milk, we broke out the formula. He drinks it just fine, although the second time we tried it, he nursed for a little while. So I can’t tell if he’ll keep on drinking the formula reliably or not.

On an upside regarding Camp NaNoWriMo–or rather, the hope of writing more this month–is that I have some character notes, a few pieces of the story world, and a general idea of a couple of things I want to do. The plot, of course, has not shown up yet. I feel it must be waiting in the wings, eating popcorn and chortling at me.

Now I need to pass out so I can sleep for some length of time. Although probably it will only be ten minutes.

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Speculation

With all of the reading that I did while I was still pregnant (and ongoing, of course), I feel simultaneously that it’s an easy and impossible decision whether or not to do Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s not on my mind constantly, but I do think about it a lot. There are lots of pros and cons to doing it and also to not doing it.

Maybe if I got them out of my head and onto some paper or a screen, I’ll be better equipped to make the decision. At least, it’ll give me something to write about today. Anywho. Pessimism out of the way first.

Reasons not to do it:

  • My track record since marriage has rather tanked. My life is busier, and block hits me heavier and longer. I’ve already got postpartum depression, I don’t really need to make it worse by setting myself up for a “failure”.
  • It’s time-consuming, and I haven’t been in a writing habit for a while. I would have to schedule my time, and most of that is pre-scheduled. Granted, this is the easiest time I shall ever have of dividing my time between my baby and myself. He’s just eating and sleeping. …every couple of hours.
  • Every idea I have feels nebulous or lacking the moment I grasp it.
  • I’m not getting enough sleep.

Reasons to do it:

  • I miss timed novelling challenges.
  • It’s been a long time since Shifting Elements, and I want to add to my KDP and Smashwords endeavours.
  • There are a lot of characters that I want to write about/with, and this is the perfect opportunity to do anything without fear of it mattering too much. Even though I’ll probably feel like it matters too much anyway.
  • Every book I read lately makes me want to write. Not the way that used to go, when something was exceptionally horrendous and I wanted to prove I could do better, or when I read something amazing and wanted to run off and do my own amazing thing.

The biggest things are that I am probably too exhausted to do it, but also too in need of a nudge to not do it.

I should probably get a nap. I’ve got about an hour and a half until the next feeding time–and for some reason, typing that made me think of a baby dragon. One of those would not fit in the Pack ‘n Play.