Category: NaNoWriMo (page 1 of 2)

Trying Something New (Surprised?)

Is anyone interested in trying a little thing with me? I’m at the knife-edge of my wits these days (I know that is in no way hard to believe) and I actually think that if I manage to squeeze in 30 minutes of writing time I may increase the will to go on. (I’m not suicidal. I don’t need an intervention. Just a nap and possibly a wife, but that’s a post for another day.)

Here’s the thing. I have 2 half-done manuscripts that require way more than I can give them right now, time-wise and emotional-investment-wise. SO instead, I’m going to try the thing my husband has been doing since July: A story a day. It can be a really short thing (ala Hemingway’s famous short story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”) or a longer thing, or a fragment of a thing, but I want to write from my guts without worrying that it’s not increasing my word count or manuscript output. Anyone want to get in on this with me? A practical flexing of the muscles, as it were. (And I promise to never say “as it were” again.)
It’s sort of “Romancing the Words” — a no-commitment, rediscover-the-joy, dive in and splash around in the puddles of creation activity. Starting now. Ending at the end of the month if you’re one of those NaNoWriMo pros, carrying on longer if you’re like me and unable to commit to 50,000 words in a month.
As far as craziness like planning goes, I’m not actually doing any. But I did think that I could try a few genre-based experiments: One day, write something funny, or sad, or scary. Another day, historical. Or, dialog-only. Setting based, fantastical, child-focused, nonfiction, like that.
So now that I’m putting this onto the internet, I’m all in. Write on.

I Absolutely Almost Remember Doing That Already (I Think)

I am losing my mind.

Not in the slow, graceful way of the aging woman of character. Fast and loud.
For instance: I do things, regular house-y things or different elsewhere things, only to check progress and find that I didn’t do them at all. Like? Oh, how about the laundry that should be dry by now but instead is moldering in the washing machine EVEN THOUGH I PERFECTLY WELL REMEMBER SWITCHING IT OVER. Or the bed, that I absolutely remember making this morning when I got out of it, now rumpled and messy, with all the covers on my side. Or that bread I bought at the store, because who has time to NaNo and bake bread? But where is it? Not in the cupboard. Not in the fridge. Not in the freezer. Not in the pantry. So I fervently check my receipt so I can call the market and righteously demand they return the hostage bread I bought… which is not listed on the receipt.
This works both ways with writing. One morning I wake early, check the draft from yesterday, find where I was working and look for that funny paragraph. You know, that one that made me laugh while I was typing. That one where the guy goes to the place with the thing? Lost. Can’t find it. So I read the entire manuscript, which is up to 22,000 words by now, searching for that funny paragraph.
It does not exist.

But want to know what does? A different scene, written with only slight variations, in at least three places. That scene that seemed so easy to write, so natural (maybe because I’ve written it seven times before). Ack.

Bye, Sanity. I enjoyed your stay, brief as it was.

Good Advice

Hey, it’s a quote from Husband!*

“Discover what each character needs.”
Great writing advice, right? Even though he uses it for films, it’s the same sort of idea. And it can help get me out of a NaNo slump. Because my characters will always need something (a drink of water, a slap, to find the key to the hidden garden door**, whatever). And if I give them what they need, the story will be over. So, naturally, I give them (or allow them to take) what they think they need, insuring all manner of mayhem.
What does your character need? A quest? Love? A job? Comedy? Some kind of Personal Knowledge? If you know what they need, you’re well on your way to denying them for a few chapters (or a lot of chapters, if you happen to be a long-form, dedicated, non-flighty sort of writer). Let’s get back to the writing.***


*When I hit that, the “!” didn’t come out, because I was sliding off of the shift key. It said Husband1, but only for a second. He is Husband 1, you know, but also HusbandForever.
**What? That’s been done? Why didn’t someone tell me that 20,000 words ago? Come on, people!
***As opposed to the writing about writing, which is nice, but doesn’t add to my climbing word-count. So, bye.

Post # 250. No Kidding.

In honor of the fact that this is my 250th post, I am absolutely not going to tell you 250 possibly interesting (or possibly not) things. I am not going to give away 250 random items I have sitting around my house. I am not going to spam 250 people and ask them to read my blog (because I don’t know how). I am not going to do any of that. I am going to give you… (drumroll, please) another RRO mini-excerpt.

Mom pulls her new toy, a talking GPS directions-thingie up close to her eyes. “Turn right here. No, here. Sarah, you missed it. Now Mildred’s recalibrating.” I swear if I hear the polite British GPS voice, which, yes – Mom named, tell me one more time that she’s recalibrating, I’ll chuck her right out the window.
“It’s okay, Mom. There’s another entrance to the parking lot.” I point ahead half a block and turn into the lot between two huge trees.
It’s almost over, I tell myself. And then somehow you’ll miss this.
Try me, I respond.

“My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions” Chapter 1


I know, right? We can hardly wait. So, I have some good news about that. The Lovely Editor (whom we shall call Lids because I have a small typing handicap and it feels so much like Lisa – she understands and so should you) has recently let me know that My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions is at press this week. THIS WEEK, people.

I know.

So it looks like we might have an earlier-than-expected release date, too. Yip!

Also, 19,000 words as of today. Yip, yip!

Fighting Style

I’ve been writing a fight – not physical, and not even an argument. It’s a silent avoidance, and sometimes those can be the most painful. Someone is keeping a secret. Someone else makes (totally incorrect) assumptions. Everyone feels bad, bad.

Are you a confronter? Or an avoider? What about the people in your house? Same as you, or different?

And, if you care: Here’s a little NaNo update: I’m at 15, 771 this morning!

Who Knew?

Blog O’ Random, coming at you.

* Bathrooms don’t actually clean themselves. However, the amount of time you spend in your house in inversely proportional to the number of times someone says, “Hey, what’s that smell?”

* 2500 words in a day is a lot to write. But dialog makes those words come faster.

* Sick little boys who would rather be coughing in Kindergarten than watching “Newsies” in my bed = Massive Cuteness.

* It would be cool to have Personal Assistants/ Vice-Beccas / Counselors for every aspect of my life.

* The community theater production of “Annie, Get Your Gun” premiers tonight. I have to put some curlers in my hair.

* Husband is emailing occasional photos of handsome Islander men from his work trip to Hawaii. The photos are not directed to me. But I still manage to find them. Because I routinely read the Kids’ email.

* I haven’t had a professional haircut in more than 19 months. This should probably be remedied.

* Contrary to popular opinion, I am not addicted to edamame. I could quit any time I wanted to.

* My dad’s birthday (64) is later this month. I have no good ideas for gifts, and only partly because he’s not a “things” kind of guy.

* NaNoWriMo is not conducive to exercise. Or maybe it’s just the valid excuse I’ve been looking for.

*Okay, time to tackle those bathrooms. And those 2500 words. (And go read some blogs – later. Maybe.)

Good Morning

It is. A good morning, I mean. One thousand words down pre-Kid-wake-up. Plus some research. And do you know what I am finding? In that research? That symptoms of just about any disease or emotional disorder or abuse can be confused with all the others. Which is good for purposes of this novel, but tricky in life.

For instance: Do you know a kid who has shown sudden changes in eating habits? Well, that could be Anorexia, Depression, Drug Abuse, Bulimia, all manner of Cancer, or Puberty. Or nothing. Comforting, right?
But adding all this unclarity (the computer thinks that is a word) makes my characters able to reach all manner of wrong conclusions. Which, of course, makes Good Story. And that is what we are after.
Today I will try to write another two thousand words, and also to make it to the shower. (I think that is a good goal for me every day, and usually it happens. I’m just saying.) Since tomorrow is a be-at-the-elementary-school-most-of-the-day sort of day, I want to get a jump on what I may not be able to finish in my short bursts of computer time tomorrow.
On a totally unrelated note, is anyone else still waking up at 4:30? I can only blame the time change, and I’m not complaining, but it’s a little weird that this body would think that 4:30 is a decent time to get out of the bed. But, hey. A thousand words before Kids wake. Not too shabby.

Word Count Update -UPDATED

I hit about 800 words before kids are up this morning. Be back later…

Okay, ’tis later. I’m back. With happiness:
2550 words today!
And it’s not yet 10:30 in the morning!
At this point I need to celebrate. And eat something. And probably get out of this chair.