Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tick, tick, tick GO!

Are you excited? I'm excited. Two more sleeps 'till NaNoWriMo. Well, excited and pretty intimidated.

I've got part of my NaNo kit together. I've got the memory stick I need to transfer my work from my netbook to the main computer so I can print it off & my wife can follow along. She's pretty excited to track my progress. I've been storing-up podcasts from my favorite podcasters for inspiration, and I've been listening to “B-Listers” leading up to November. (they aren't inferior podcasts, they just aren't as relateable to my work.) And I've got my vitamin B.

Yet to get: Ginko Baloba, which is supposed to be a mental pick-me-up. I may need another ink cartridge for my printer. And a bag of Starbucks beans. Can I get a “Hell Yeah”? Perhaps another writing magazine for inspiration.

Another helpful idea I heard was to have a book from an inspirational author (George RR Martin in my case) and a book by a lackluster author, so after ten minutes with it, I can say, “Well, I certainly can do better than this!” I need not mention that author.

One more tip: Summer Ross will be posting prompts for us all, 'cause Lord knows that we're all gonna get stuck!

Yesterday, I found a pre-NaNo gathering in my town, so I went to meet some other participants. I also have a friend at work who's participating, so I dragged her along. We met some great people, one who's writing similar stories, and one who isn't, but who's well-versed in the legends I'm basing my story on. Sweet, and sweet! We're getting together again on Tuesday for a write-in at the same place, the manager of Casa Cappuccino is tickled pink!

It was the last minute that I firmly decided to go, since my darling Snookerdoodles had me up at 3:30. I wish that was a typo, but no, it was oh-dark-hundred, alright. By the time she finally settled, it was less than an hour before my alarm was due to go off, so I just stayed up. Yay. But I made it, and met some great people, and hopefully, we'll have a bigger turn-out on Tuesday. Good times! And just a little “eep.”

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Can't Believe It's Been 12 Days...

There really hasn't been a whole lot going on here. Well, there's been plenty, and it's been exciting after a fashion, but nothing that makes good writing.

I get up when the monitor squawks. Pee, brush my teeth, and get Snookerdoodles a clean diaper. Feed said Snookerdoodles. Actively feed the eggs/waffle/pancakes/French toast/oatmeal, then let her feed herself with the Cheerios while I write what I can, usually about 100-150 words, all while listening to Tool, Velvet Revolver, Soundgarden or Johnnie Cash. She's my little head-banger!

I finally got formally set-up for NaNoWriMo. Turns out that there's 94 participants in my area! A little surprising, since our population is about 225 000; not a huge city. On our region's message board, a few people were saying “...we should have a write it!” With no suggestions, I suggested a time and place. We'll see what happens with that.I've “Buddied a few of you on the NaNo site, but if there's any others, by all means, let me know.

I think that the hardest part will be turning off the “Inner Editor” to just write. I'm always checking the Spell Check, and pausing to refine my work, and it slows me down Not this time; I'll trudge along, typos and all!

I had to set up a new email account to register with NaNo, because MSN are being douche bags! I'm locked out unless I provide a cel number for them to send a code to. Well, fuck you, fuck you very much, they don't need that!

Wish me luck, and best of luck to all of the other participants! Cheers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A new reason to make myself scarce.

Many of you will be aware of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. In November, writers from all over the world try to write a 50,000-word novel. Sounds daunting, but lots of people do it.

I first heard of it last year, about this time when some of the Bloggers I read were gearing-up for it. I was not ready for it, and I'm still probably ill-equipped, truth be told. But I read a post at Burrowers, Books and Balderdash that totally put a bug in my ear about it, right after a friend at work asked if I was going to do it. That day, I was working in a brain-dead department, so I had lots of time to mull over the idea. By the time I got home from work, I was ready to start outlining.

My current WiP was originally conceived as a trilogy, and as I wrote-on, it became more clear that I was working on Book 2. What I'm thinking is that I can spend November working on Book 1, so I'll have the basis for my present WiP, and it can flow better.

This fits well with my original plan. You see, the problem that I have with Fantasy books is that they're often written as a series. If I love a book, it could take years for the next installment. With this in mind, I wanted to have Books 1 & 2 ready when the first one was released, and a rough draft of Book 3. That way, it will be less than a year before the next book is out. It's all about doing for my readers as I would have my favorite authors do unto me. ;)

I guess what I'm driving at is this, I won't be around much in November. I mean, my Blogging has been pretty sporadic since Andrea went back to work, but I've done what I could to visit at least a few Blogs a day. That may fall by the way-side for November as well. Every minute that I can write – even one-handed, as I usually comment on your Blogs – gets me closer to the goal. When I figured out the daily count, the calculator divided it to 1666.66666(etc.). That made it pretty easy to remember. I'll need to find one of those widgets that plots your Work In Progress as a percentage now!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bad News Blogfest.

Welcome to my slightly-belated entry to the Bad News Blogfest, hosted by Francine at Romancing the Blog My apologies, but the time I had set aside to write this was spent in the Emergency Room with my baby's 103-degree fever. Apparently, it's nothing serious, but it took us nearly five hours to find that out. We didn't get home until about 12:30.
For this entry, I offer a segment from the third thread from my story, the spy who's trying to unite separate factions against the Evil Empire. Enjoy.

Yalip never liked to be kept waiting, so the three-days delay in hearing from Pledis had set her nerves on edge. They had learned a great deal – she and her two collaborators – in their time in the port of Manos, but time was short, and she had hoped for news much sooner. By the time Ansel came with the summons, her foreboding was palpable.

As they wove through the Market, Ansel betrayed nothing. Yalip had no doubt that He knew what she wanted to hear, but the young apprentice knew that it wasn't his place to deliver news. The way to the Alchemists shop was a convoluted one, through alleys, shops, and yards of livestock, all to thwart pursuit. Most such shops dealt in innocuous tinctures, and the ones that dabbled in the unapproved potions had to be more subtle.

When they finally arrived, Pledis' face was a mask, giving away nothing. “Step into the back with me, dear,” he offered. Yalip's stomach dropped into her slippers.
Tea had been steeping, since he expected her this time, and Pledis always tried to be a good host. Going straight to the pouring, he began. “I'm afraid the news isn't good. The Hadenatus Gypsies have declined to escort you the the mountains.”

Yalip's jaw clenched, and her hand tightened on her cup until it trembled, rippling her tea. “Tell them I'll pay double. It is crucial to reach those mountains.”

“It isn't the coin they refuse.” Pledis rheumy eyes were firm and sympathetic. “They simply won't venture to those mountains. They aren't persuaded by your cause, or anyone's cause, and they don't wish to get involved with The Ibis.”

Yalip sat bolt-upright, and nearly dropped her cup. “You told them who I was?” Her voice was barely less than a shout.

Pledis' voice took a quieter edge. “One doesn't deal with Gypsies with falseness. We share a currency of trust, and should they learn of your identity mid-journey, it would surely cost you your life.”

“Forgive me. Protecting my privacy is an old, deep habit.”

“I understand. They suggested that the Thelema Gypsies have dealings with the people you seek. They may be met at Darden. I've spoken to a Corsaire who's sailing on the morrow for that very region.”

Yalip leaned back with a resigned sigh. “Darden is crawling with Atlanteans, but if that's are best hope...”

“It may be.” The old Alchemist had always done what he could for Yalip, and he was just as disappointed that it couldn't be more. “These things always work out for the best.”

“Sometimes I envy your faith. Usually, I'm inclined to make my own luck. I appreciate your arrangements, and gladly accept. Please tell the Hadenatus that I don't begrudge them their decision, and wish them well.”

“I certainly will,” Pledis said with a wrinkled smile. “In the mean time, you have a voyage to prepare for.”

“We've been ready for three days. But if you have anything to help with sea-sickness, I'd be glad to have it. Von doesn't enjoy the Sea.”

“I have just the thing...” Pledis always did.