Tag Archives: nanowrimo

52 posts in 52 weeks

photo52

I don’t post a lot.

My friend just completed his Goodreads challenge in half the time he was going to.  I thought that’s a nice idea, to set a challenge for how many books I’ll read.  But truthfully, I read a lot. When I say I spend hours on the internet, that means hours reading stories (half the time on tumblr, half reading).  So I think I’m set there.

But what I don’t do is write a lot.  So I guess I’m not a writer. According to the advice writers usually give people and stuff. I’m not a writer.  I could theoretically just stop it all together. No more Nanowrimo, no more thinking of how I could get published and where my stories are going, and about writing new ideas.  Why do I keep going?  Because I just do. I could no more commit to never writing again than I could commit to never drinking Coca-Cola.  My health would literally have to be on the line for me to stop completely.  So maybe I’m not a writer. But I am someone who writes.

I’m addicted to buying blank journals.  I have a new one I just got a while ago that’s decorated like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  I was going to write a story in it but I ended up using it as a diary of sorts for my daughter.  I’ve just been writing down memories of her and our time together as well as lists of things (like songs I sang her as a baby).  This is going to sound morbid, but I’m doing it because when she hopefully outlives me, she’ll have a book of just me talking to her.  A few weeks ago my mother put a picture of me on Facebook and when it suggested people to tag it suggested I was my deceased cousin. I freaked out and have been kind of planning ahead for my death.

Anyway, 52 posts in 52 weeks. I’m challenging myself to get back on that writing horse by writing at least one blog post per week. Nanowrimo is coming up, but this year my writing group from Nano has been meeting year long.  It helped me finish up this short story (which turned into a novelette).  But the novel is giving me trouble.  It’s easy to get lost when I put it down for a week and I lose pace and tone easily.  Not sure what to do.

I was thinking of just focusing on the short stories again.  I was better at finishing stories under 12K. Maybe I could actually try to get some of those published.  It seems easier for me to do since it’s easier for me to actually edit those stories to a place I’m okay with. That guy who was going to read my story for me and give me criticism didn’t do it. It’s been months and my story was only 10K. I don’t know what to do. The problem with asking for beta readers is I usually run into people who want me to beta read back which is of course only fair.  But aside from fan fiction, I generally only like reading non-fiction. So I’m kind of screwed.

So I’m going to really try and commit to blog again next week. We’ll see. I don’t do to well with self-inflicted challenges.

*the above image was taken at the Bookstore in the Grove, Coconut Grove Miami.


The Artist’s Space

In my new apartment my room is larger than the one I use to share with my daughter. I wasn’t specifically looking for a room so large, and I don’t really own that much stuff or so it would seem with all the empty spaces. But in fear that I might have to move and downsize my living space because that’s what happens in life…. I think I’ll refrain from cluttering up the place just because I can.

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paintings in various stages of not being finished yet

And in this new space I was able to set my easel out so I could be inspired to paint. I’ve had this easel for a number of years, but never really much of an opportunity to use it. In my mom’s apartment it was impossible. In my old apartment a bit of an inconvenience. Here though I just set it up in the corner of my room and there it sat untouched for about 7 months. Now though I’m working on about 4 paintings at a time.

I’m not a particularly good painter, but it’s kind of a relaxing hobby. Certainly, I’ve seen worse painters. And since I took one painting class about 15 years ago, I’m not exactly saying I know anything about how to be a good painter. Regardless, I went ahead and took some photos of past paintings and added them to my Flickr account as a set. The latest one is the blueish looking fantasy landscape.

my writing space in dramatic lighting. pictured on the laptop is this blog post as I am writing it.

my writing space in dramatic lighting. pictured on the laptop is this blog post as I am writing it.

On the writing side, my desk is set up next to the easel and facing the window.  It’s a nice view of the trees and grass area that sits between the two buildings of the apartment complex. I can see into some of my neighbors apartments if I try, but generally they are not doing anything interesting.

I’m, again, hoping to write and edit more this year and this time I have. But no so much at my desk as more to the fact that this year our NaNoWriMo regional leader has decided to hold more write-ins for us and not just limit it to late October – early December. It’s really gotten me editing. I started with one of the short stories from the NaNo year I used a plot generator. Once I’m done there I’m hoping to move on to my Lovecraft NaNo year while I get some feedback on the plot generator one.

Also new this year is my signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s not going too well, but I’m hoping to stick it out. I’m just editing and not writing (unless you count the writing I do while editing). I’ve decided to treat myself with the NaNoWriMo typewriter hoodie I wanted, but only if I complete my goal for this month.

I’m getting better, but just slowly. I think perhaps I take my writing too seriously. I recognize that it’s because of my being a perfectionist. It’s okay if I suck as a painter because I know I suck as a painter. Seriously, you don’t have to tell me. But my writing… I would hate to suck at that. I don’t need to be Kurt Vonnegut, but I don’t want to be awful. If I took it in stride like I do my paintings then I’d have more things finished.  And then the world could decide for themselves how badly I suck or not.

In the meantime, click the Flickr link and go see my paintings.

 

 


End of NaNo Hope

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

Another year down, and as always, I reached 50K.  However, this year, as in only one other, I didn’t actually finish the book.

So this is what happened. I decided to challenge myself this year by writing an Epic Poem because I generally dislike poetry and I thought writing one big poem of a novel would be extra hard.  It was extra hard.  Some days it was a freaking nightmare because writing in verse slowed me down to about half speed typing wise.  While I could normally hit 50-60 words a minute, verse writing had me at 25-30. I didn’t realize going in that this would happen and I was shocked at how much I had to change the way I wrote.

My second problem was this: I decided to go the science fiction route.  All epic poems I’d ever heard of were Earth, historical and/or mythological in some form.  Now, I’m sure there are other Epic Poems out there that don’t conform to those descriptions, but the one’s I had to study in school were Dante and Homer. I’ve skimmed Milton and I skimmed the Finnish Epic Poem the Kalevala. By writing in SciFi I ended up doing something new that i had never had experience with and that is world building, inventing species, cultural mannerisms, Laws at regional, planetary, and galactic level, figuring out how everyone is talking to each other, and inventing technology.

I didn’t realize how crazy I was going to make myself during NaNo because I inadvertently took on three challenges at once: creating a new SciFi universe, writing in verse, writing 50K in one month.

Having said all that, I had an incredible amount of fun.  I love my main character and all her flaws. I loved trying to create about 3 different planets with terrains, people, culture, politics all their own.  I loved coming up with normal sounding names standing next to crazy alien sounding names. And I loved how the verse format brought this entire new level of drama and emotion to what I was writing. I think this has the potential of going somewhere if I actually finish the story (at 50K I’m about 70% done on a first draft) and edit.

Which is something I have never done before when it comes to NaNoWriMo. And it is kind of embarrassing after 6 years not to have any finished work I feel comfortable showing people.  So while NaNo is a skill I’ve about mastered, the next step is one I haven’t tackled. The only work I’ve ever edited was fan fiction. I know they have stuff on the website that’s suppose to help. I suppose at this point I need all the help I can get.

Wish me luck.

relevant cartoon


So let it be written, so let it be done

Most times when I’m living out my day-to-day life I imagine I’m somewhere else doing awesome things. When I snap out of my fantasy I get sad so I go back in my head where I’m sitting on a panel at a convention looking at people dressed up as characters I invented.  Sometimes I’m on the set of the new movie being filmed about a book I wrote. Sometimes I’m sitting in my office where my desk faces the window that looks out into the large garden in the back of my New England style house. Basically, anywhere but here.

This means that I end up doing a whole lot of nothing but working and then going home to read myself into somewhere other than my life. Or as my BFF hinted (in his mix-tape selection gift to me) in his astute observation “now real life has no appeal. It has no appeal” (Marina & the Diamonds).

And sometimes I think to myself that I when I get home I am going to edit those books I’ve written and the short stories too. But I never do. It’s about to hit August and I haven’t even looked at my last years NaNo more than once to change the order of the chapters.  And I think, well if I get on it now then maybe in a few months I can send it out to a publisher and then… well it’ll take like a year to publish best case scenario… and then even if it did become popular I probably wouldn’t be on a panel at any convention for at least five years.  That’s a long time. I could have been there by now if I’d started years ago when I first did NaNo. But I didn’t. I’m a loser.

It’s a big cycle of negativity in my head only broken up by brief moments of escapism.

I’m at a point in my life where I think this might be it.  I’m happy in my job. I love it. I can afford to take care of myself and my daughter without stressing the numbers too much. Overall, things are good. So today I thought to myself, why don’t I just self-publish then.  Why give myself more of a headache trying to send stuff out and getting rejected for years while giving no one even a possibility of reading my work.  Even having two readers would be an ego boost.

I think I’m going to aim for that then.  I want to write like Kilgore Trout and just throw my stuff up online in self-published e-books. I’ll just edit, maybe convince a couple of my friends who read in genre to look it over for comments and copy-editing and then just throw it on there. Let the internet fairies do what they will.   Like my stuff on Zazzle.  I’ve actually made $35 from that.  Also, it’s kind of cool knowing someone liked it enough to buy it.  Right now there are a handful of people walking around the world with a poster, iphone case, or necktie that I designed. Neat.

For NaNo this year, I’m thinking of writing an Epic poem.  I hate poetry, and a few months ago I was drinking and claimed that anyone could write a book of poetry. It’s not difficult. Perhaps it’s difficult to write good poetry, but since I can’t stand about 90% of poems I’ve come across, I really can’t judge the good from the bad.  So I’m going to write one big long badly-written Epic poem just for the challenge.  I love a writing challenge.

Today I was looking into my dump all hotmail account and I found a review for a fanfiction I wrote perhaps 10 years ago. I’m like seriously people are still finding this story? It’s been 10 years in a popular fandom, how is it not buried underneath thousands of new stories?  Sometimes I want to take down all the fanfiction stories I’ve written, but I hate when other writers do that to me and then I can’t find a fic I loved.  So I leave them up for anyone who read them and liked it enough to bookmark.  And because, you know what, I did it. I wrote it. It’s done. I’m going to own up to it.

 

 


New Years Resolutions 2013

this is too high a level of cool to aspire to

this is too high a level of cool to aspire to

I read some article online that inspired me to rethink the way I make resolutions. I wish I could link the article, but it’s no great loss since I didn’t agree with the majority it had to say anyway. This year’s resolutions will be simple, short, and consists of making goals of things I actually want to do as opposed to think I am suppose to do.

  1. Finish editing last years NaNo
    This has the benefit of actually having a deadline since the art exhibit that was the inspiration goes up in March. I want to make sure I give the artist time to read it before then
  2. Research for NaNo 2013 biography
    This is a two in one. I will research that astronaut I keep meaning to research. By November I should hopefully be able to write a small biography of him.
  3. Begin to learn Russian.
    This will help me fill out the biography at a later date. Also, it will help with any research into the space program I might want to do in the future. Lastly, it will help for the goal of going to Russia for the World Cup in six years.

And now, a look back at my resolutions for 2012 and how things worked out. Over all not a bad year. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like I did anything at all.

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