Tag Archives: Camp NaNoWriMo

So Much For Writing

On Tuesday I noticed that Riley (one of our boxers) was acting… not right. I decided to see how he was on Wednesday and the answer was “worse” so I called the vet and the got him that afternoon.

He has a slipped disc and is on prednisone. (Fortunately he’s really good about taking pills.)

He’s also now seeing a chiropractor.

He’s doing better. He’ll go down the steps to the yard now and he wouldn’t on Wednesday. He’s also starting to eat.

But meanwhile, I’ve been spending my time downstairs with him so he didn’t have to climb the steps to be in my room with me. (The dog is my shadow. Seriously. At the chiropractor’s this evening I got up to go to the restroom, leaving him with my roommate. As soon as I was out of sight he started barking, so I went back to get him and take him with me.

(Owning a boxer means you never pee alone.)

Anyhow, tomorrow I’ll be getting up early so we can get on the road to bring home two more wiggle butts (see Monday’s post). Helping them settle in will take up most of the rest of my time tomorrow and I’ll be home alone with the foursome on Monday, then Riley goes back to the chiropractor that evening, and the sisters (the new additions) have an appointment with the groomer on Thursday.

In short, the month is half over and I may never see my monitor again.

Okay, so that is kind of an exaggeration. I’m sure that it won’t be long before all four dogs follow me up to my room to hang out with me. (Riley and Jazzy already do.)

Now, with all this focus on the dogs (and considering how much I love animals) I have to ask myself one question:

Why have I never given my characters pets?

(Well, in Hedge House there is sort of a pet, although I’m sure she’d take exception to that term.)

Something to think about…

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Increasing Count

I spent most of yesterday in a car getting lost on a road trip to Ohio.  (I don’t know what Google Maps was tripping on when it gave me directions but it sure wasn’t PA and OH roads, that’s for sure.)

So word count didn’t go up, but body count did.

No, I didn’t kill my roommate.

Nope.

We were taking the dogs to a pound in Ohio. (We live in Western Pennsylvania.)

And, no, we weren’t dropping our dogs off there. Jazzy and Riley came from a shelter and have a forever home with us.

Nope, we were going there to meet Laverne and Shirley.

They are 10 year old sisters that I learned about via a boxer rescue group on Face Book (Boxer Rescue of America).   They were surrendered by their elderly owner because she was no longer able to care for them. Laverne is the fawn (on the right) and Shirley is the brindle.

The meet and greet went very well. None of the dogs showed any sign of aggression – not one hackle was raised, no flattened ears, no growls or snarls or baring of teeth, not even a guarded look. A lot of sniffing and going about their business. No cowering in submission from anyone, either.

So, we’re going to back on Saturday (sans dogs) to bring them home with us. (Laverne and Shirley are getting some blood work done this week.)

That’s going to give us four wiggle butts.  Two humans = four hands. Four dogs = one for each hand.

(My roommate wasn’t too sure about adding to the family, but Shirley kissed up to her and now has her wrapped around her little cigar butt tail. Literally kissed up to her.  She did the “Boxer Lean” and slobbered big wet sloppy kisses all over her face and Sue said, “They have to come home.”)

Anyhow, since I’m about nine thousand words behind where I need to be today, and since I’m probably losing most if not all of Saturday (and the days that follow as I help the two new additions settle into their new home) I had really better get myself focused on increasing word count.

And I will.

Right after supper.

 

 

 

 

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Unhappy Camper

Well, this hasn’t been going according to plan.

And by “this” I mean “Camp NaNoWriMo” of course.

And by “plan” I mean at least one thousand words a day.

It’s day three and as I write this I have written less than a thousand words.

What happened?

I wish I knew.

Saturday I had every intention (Yeah, yeah, the road to Hell is well-paved. I know) of writing three thousand words.  I managed a little over seven hundred.  (Soraine is being a very uncooperative pirate captain and is trying to do some sort of odd heroic thing that is going to completely mess up other stuff… But maybe I should just scrap the other stuff and let her go and do it.  But anyhow, I digress.)

I did have one hellacious headache all day, though, which didn’t help.

So, Saturday was a bust.

Sunday was even worse – I managed to scrounge up another two hundred words or so, despite the headache that staggered in from Saturday.

And so far today hasn’t been very productive either. I was running errands for a large part of the day, though, so at least I know where some of the time went, unlike the two previous days.

But still… How did I get this far behind already?

I think maybe part of it was the departure from what I had planned. I’m fighting against the natural flow of the characters and story, trying to force it into what I had planned.

Or maybe it’s that I didn’t really have a whole lot planned for this scene, but when it made a 90 degree turn from my expectations I still insisted that it needed to follow along my non-existent planned route.

Either way it seems that the problem is my reluctance to give up control and go with the flow. (Maybe because what I’m writing is an extra scene to a more or less completed (a beta reader wanted more added) novel that I’m trying to finish up?)

At any rate, the solution now seems clear.  Strike through a lot of what I have written (don’t want to lose the word count) and start fresh, letting the characters lead the way.

On Friday I’ll let you know how that works out.

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A New Adventure

As of eleven o’clock tonight I will be unemployed.  The long term care facility that I have worked at for the last three years has been sold and I have elected not to sign on with the new company. They’ve been less than forthcoming with information and what we have been able to glean just doesn’t sit right. Still, it’s going to be rough emotionally. Goodbyes are never easy and I’m going to miss some of the people, but I won’t miss the stress.

I have applied for a job at a different site with my current employer, but unless I get a call from HR today I will out of a job.

Scary? Yes.  I do have feelers out and some half-promises of a job but the uncertainty is unsettling.

On the other hand, the stress at work has been slowly sapping my energy and every shred of creativity. (I still want to do creative things, but they just haven’t been happening much.)

So, a new adventure awaits.

And what new adventure doesn’t have an element of fear and risk?

I do feel rather like my life is running along without an outline at the moment. Or maybe it’s taken a sharp left away from the outline.  Whichever, I am rushing to get caught up to it and get it back on track. Or maybe I should just pants it for a while and see where it goes.

I do know that at midnight tonight I plan to start writing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I still haven’t changed my goal from 31K for the month, but I might kick it up to 50K.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m definitely going to be working on the extra scene for Onyx Sun that I have started, and maybe a couple other minor ones.  And then I’ll work on the Elven Bard novel. And I promise to ignore some rather insistent plot bunnies because I don’t want to start anything new until November.

Well, except for a new job. I would like to have one of those before then.

 

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Maybe I Should…

I think I should just give up on ever being fully organized.

The other day while digging through a drawer of craft stuff I found a small bunch of index cards.

Hm, I thought. What’s this?  So I glanced through them and wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. They were ideas for novels. Some I already had on index cards and some were ones I’d forgotten. Some are probably better left forgotten, but all have been merged into the index card project.

(I never did find the blank white cards and envelopes for making your own cards that I was originally looking for. I know I have some. Somewhere.)

I really need to get everything into a central location. Or locations. Writing stuff in one, paper crafts in another, counted cross stitch in another, crochet in another, miscellaneous other crafts in another…. As it is now it seems that every time I think I have everything rounded up I find more stuff that I had forgotten about lurking somewhere else.

Maybe next month… I should have more time and less stress next month.

Of courses, next month is also Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m coming up with a plan…

I still don’t know what I’m working on for sure (probably Onyx Sun and the Elven Bard novel) but I’m thinking that I’ll write 500 words, then go do some decluttering or organizing or cleaning or something for 15 to 30 minutes, then write another 500 words.  My goal is currently set to only 31k but if that method pans out well for me I might up it to my traditional 50k.

So maybe July will be the month I finally start getting back on track with writing and clearing clutter and even doing other crafts.

Because I’m just too stubborn to give up.

 

 

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Bad Idea

Guess what I did on my days off?

Nothing all that productive (other than planting the grapevine my roommate bought to replace the one the neighbor destroyed).

Nope.

Mostly I read. I’m telling you, that Kindle app on my phone is the death of productivity. Of course, it was also much cooler downstairs than it was up in my room. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Now, reading in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. After all, when you’re not writing or re-writing you should be reading.

But…

But for some reason I started thinking about one of the stories in my “Novels I’m Ignoring” folder so I opened it up and re-read it.  It’s Hedge House and was my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel.

And you know what? It’s not too bad for a first draft. If you overlook all the typos (I fixed a bunch) and the notes that I left for myself, it’s really pretty good plot and character wise.

It’s not finished, though. I haven’t had the big final fight and wrapped up stuff, and I’m not even sure I’m to that point with it yet. I do know that I shouldn’t have read it because now I want to get back to work on it, but there’s so much else I should be focusing on.

Maybe it would be all right to start a spiral bound notebook for it of things to check on, threads I don’t want to let drop, etc… That’s not really working on it, is it?

Anyhow, lesson learned:

Don’t re-read old WiPs unless you intend to go back to work on them right that minute.

And I still have no idea what I’m doing for Camp in two weeks, but having re-read Hedge House I now have one more option to try to sort through.

I still have two weeks to decide, right?

Meanwhile, someone keep me from re-reading any more old WiPs or I’ll never be able to decide.

 

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De-Stressed

Well, somewhat.

I had an appointment with a cardiologist yesterday and he cleared me – no stress test needed.  Happy happy happy day!

The countdown has begun – only 16 more shifts at my current job. Just having made up my mind to not go with the new company has relieved most of my stress. Now if my doctor would just get back to me with when I can pick up my physical form…

And with the stress starting to fade away my energy has started to come back.

Yesterday I planted some tree lily bulbs, Dutch iris bulbs, and some other kind of bulbs that my mother thinks are some kind of lily. I also planted some chocolate mint and regular mint.

This gives me hope that my will to write will come back soon too, so I can do something about these plot bunnies that are nibbling away at my mind.

Meanwhile, I still have other stuff to plant, and some columbine to pry out from between the bricks in the retaining wall and transplant to my garden.

And lots of other craft stuff to keep me occupied.  (Not to mention the Kindle app on my phone.)

And I only have three weeks to decide what I’m doing for Camp. I should work on Onyx Sun or the Elven Bard novel.  But doing one thousand words for 31 different plot bunnies sounds like fun too.  And then there’s the werewolf thing that’s preying on the edges of my mind. It has some characters (without names) and a scene or two, but no real plot. Of course, I have 3 weeks to flesh it out. But I should work on Onyx Sun or the Elven Bard novel…

I hate being undecided.

Or, rather, I hate being decided on too many things – I want to write them all! Right now!

Sadly, I have to go to work.

Sixteen more shifts.

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A Long Way

Can you believe that Camp is open for registration already?

I set up the cabin and declared a project “to be determined” since I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to be doing for my July project. (I’m outlining for November, but for July? Um, yeah. No idea.)

My goal for Camp is 31K, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be on the Elven Bard novel or something else.  I can’t really decide on that until I see how this month goes. If I finish the scene I started working on for Onyx Sun I’ll work on the Elven Bard novel, if not, I’ll finish it and then get back to work on the new novel.

Meanwhile, I think I might change my modus operandi, mostly because I’ve been an idiot.

You know those goals I set for myself each month and then fail miserably at meeting?  Well yesterday, Curiouser Editing, LLC, posted something on Face Book that made me stop and think.

I know better, I do. One of my mantras is “Look at what you did, not at what you didn’t do.”  The trouble is, I only seem to apply it to things like house work and decluttering, which is why I said I’ve been an idiot. Of course I should apply it to other things too – like my writing.

So, (as of yesterday) I’ve started keeping a journal listing the things I do do regarding writing, not just the things I want to do. Yesterday I managed to schedule my Wednesday Words, Rainbow Snippet, and Sunday Snippet posts for the month. And I set up a “holding” project for Camp and got the cabin opened and named. (In case you’re curious, it’s YaGottaWanna)

I still need to keep the overall goals in mind, but I think that shifting the focus to what I am doing instead of everything that I need to do is going to help.

With luck, at the end of the month I’ll be able to look back and say, “Wow, I’ve come a long way!” instead of “I have a long way to go.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crunch Time

There are only three days left in Camp NaNoWriMo (counting today) and I work all of them. The good news is that I only need 29 more pages to hit goal. (I did over 60 pages yesterday and last night.  I would have done more but…)

Anyhow, I’m going to try to get as close to goal before work as I can, because by tonight I’ll be too tired and tomorrow the blog hops start. It’s early yet – maybe I can even hit it!

I also need to take Book 11 of The Academy of the Accord out of the flex binder and put it into its storage one, and move Book 12 into the flex one.  Yes, I finished the first round edits on it at work Tuesday night.  I can’t believe I only have one more book to go (even though it’s going to be a nightmare to do).

Well, maybe only one more book. I still might do a book 5.5 to deal with the overlapping stuff from books 5, 6, and 7.  (I both do and don’t want to do that.  Having thirteen books is going to mess up my planned release schedule of one book a month for a year.  And if I do a Book 5.5, eventually it will have to become Book 6 and I’ll have to renumber everything… But on the other hand, if I do put in that other book I can expand some other stuff that will be important in later books, as well as clean up the current “mess in the middle” of the series.)

But I’m not going to worry about that. Right now I’m just focused on the last 29 pages of this round of revisions of Onyx Sun.

And getting through the work week.

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Camp Update 4-24-17

(Yeah, I know.  Catchy title, huh?)

Less than a week left in Camp and I still have 110 pages to go. According to the stats page I have to do 16 pages a day to finish on time, and at my current rate I’ll finish on May 31st. (Hey, at least I’m into May now instead of the end of June.)

All my blog hops are caught up, though, so I should be able to get some pages done before I go to work today.

(Except Pentatonix just released a new video…)

And except there’s stuff I need to do to apply for a new job, too, so… Of course, I’m not going to be mailing the packet of papers today – or tomorrow – so I can work on that when I get home tonight and work on revisions now while I have better lighting to read my handwriting with.

(I’m not sure if that’s a compromise or a procrastination because I dread paperwork.)

I have two more days off this month to attack the revisions, but on one of them I’ll be going to my mother’s to dig up some pink wisteria to bring to my house. (I can’t wait to get the stuff to put up the fence around the yard so I can plant stuff! Fortunately, that’s not happening until next month.)

In more productive news, if all goes well I should finish the first round paper edits of Book 11 of The Academy of the Accord either tonight or tomorrow night.  I’m not looking forward to Book 12, though because it’s going to be a nightmare. I have two different beginnings for it, and two different versions of a scene in one of them, and later on I have at least three or four versions of a different scenario. I’m thinking it’s going to take most of May to figure out.

It may also take most of May to figure out what I did with the three ring binder that holds the concordance that I started. (It wasn’t where I thought it ought to be, so if anyone has any ideas as to where it might have gone, feel free to let me know.)

 

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