Friday, November 27, 2015

I Feel Like A Winner

A day earlier than I've ever "won" before, I hit 50K last night on my NaNoWriMo projects! Hooray!

Yes, there were two. My bad. In my defense, I didn't drop one project and leap to the next, I juggled both. Interface is sitting over 48K (the beginning 11K of which was from 2010 and didn't count), and Trust 3 is at 14K. For the most part,  I plugged away at Interface so my daughter wouldn't keep glaring at me for working on Trust 3. When she wasn't around, I wrote whichever was speaking to me at the time. I'm happy with how both projects are coming along.

Not only did I finish a day earlier than my nine previous efforts, I didn't feel like I spent every available moment having to write and stressing about it. It was great to enjoy writing again and not feel like it was an overwhelming task that loomed over me all month. While both stories are very rough, I wasn't slogging through vast swaths of suck that were never going to amount to something I could work with, which has happened twice. It was great to see that I could return to writing novels again at long last! Not focusing on shorts, and not editing novels I'd written in the past, but birthing new novels. That I enjoyed working on. I was really beginning to wonder if I'd ever get back to this point so this is especially rewarding.

This week, I even took a night and morning off and read a book. During NaNo. Yes, the whole book, because that's what I do. I slept in that twelve hours span too. Okay, I slept a little, mostly I read. Because I could. And it felt great!

What made the difference this year? In order:
Not building a house - had time to think coherent thoughts that were not house building related.
Having help at work - far less stress when I'm not days behind with work
Kids are mostly self sufficient - one is driving so only half the usual mom taxi duty for me
Fallout 4 - thank you video game makers who release games during November that keep my husband occupied.

So what's next? In no particular order:
Finish Interface
Finish Trust 3
Finish editing Sahmara

While I'm working on those three things, I'm also bouncing around on blogs. You can find me here:
Scattergun Scribblings - Nick Wilford was gracious enough to allow me over to chat about A Broken Race.

ElizaGalesInterviews - Where I answer interesting questions like which author should survive a virus that wipes the rest of us out.

Authors Answer - Where we share our other creative pursuits beyond writing.

Lectito - Week three check in for five NaNoWriMo participants.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Writing Challenge: Where do I find the time?

I've been pondering this idea for a few years, but those years, being what they were did not allow for a day to myself, or often, even an hour. However, this year, I seem to finally have my crap (generally) together and can focus on writing. At least a mostly. Life is still there. Which brings me to the challenge.

Write fifteen minutes for each hour for one day. I wanted to see how far this would get me. Would I get burnt out? Would life happen and ruin my plans? Perhaps this was the perfect solution to getting my attention span back and improving my focus. I'm so used to multitasking that just sitting and doing one thing for more than a few minutes at time starts to make me edgy. Surely I should be doing something else, there's so much to do, and here I am writing instead of doing those hundreds of other things buzzing around in my head.

November, being deep into NaNoWriMo as we are now, seemed to perfect time to indulge myself in a day of sporadic writing. And so I enjoyed a leisurely morning (because, hey, I'm indulging myself, right?) and was ready to get the day going at 10am.

At 10am I start the laundry, wash the dishes, check my work email and make and eat breakfast with the family.

Then I slink down to my office and write for fifteen minutes, gaining 662 words.

I lose the next forty-five minutes checking my own email, texting and visiting my usual haunts on the internet. That was fast.

Time to write again. 449 words

I'm going to make an apple pie because the kids keep forgetting to put the now soft apples in their lunches. Oh, homemade apple pie! That sounds so good. I reach for my spare bag of flour, and knock a new glass bottle of olive oil off the top shelf. It shatters on the tile, spraying olive oil and tiny glass shards all over my kitchen floor. I spend the next hour and half cleaning oil and glass off my floor. Though I do get the oven preheating. There's something.

Grumble as I write 480 words

Actually make the apple pie, steam clean the tile, clean up the kitchen, put away the now dry dishes and the laundry.

Write 550 words

Take the pie out of the oven, and make up the fifteen minutes I lost when taking too much time to clean up the olive oil the first time around.

Write 349 words

Take a deep breath of the warm apple pie and drive off to visit with family who live seven minutes away. I can totally squeeze this in. But the quick visit turns into hours because: talking. Check the clock when I get home and swear a little.

Write 368 flustered words while thinking of all the make up time that I now have to do.

Play one quick game on my phone

Write 312 words

Damn, time to do my regular writing fifteen minutes again. 457 words

Write and submit content for the December Authors Answer blog posts.

Another make up session 471 words

Take a break and play on my phone for ten minutes, notice time ticking. Grumble again.

Write 315 words

Check work emails again

Write 399 words

Wander the internet. Yawn and realize now it's after 10pm

Write 430 words and call it a night.

Adding up my efforts, I realize I managed to write 5,242 words without any mad scramble during my fifteen minutes (which was interrupted with phone calls and dogs demanding to go out on a couple occasions). I also still managed to do everything non-writing related I wanted to do for the day.

I'm quite happy with how the day went and how much writing I got done. Would I want to do that every day? No. Forty-five minutes goes really fast when you're watching the clock. However, it feels good to know that I can make the time to do it if I really need to.

Good luck to all you seekers of 50K this month! May the words be with you.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Busy Writing and Trying to Be Good

Over the last two days my NaNo Novel went from fairly organized and on track to spewing out the dialogue in a 'let's figure out out plan as we bounce ideas of what the hell is going on' back and forth nine page extravaganza of ping pong.

That's going to take some work to make readable later on, but it's been great to brainstorm on the page inside these two heads. I've learned a lot about these two boys and their past and how that's going to help them get out of this mine I've sent them to as slaves.

My goals for this story are to keep the swearing to a minimum, not kill anyone, and no sex. It's been hard since that's against my default writing mode. So far we've had mild cursing and overheard sex. Time will tell if I can pull this off. 

Along with Authors Answer - this week we talk about whether we'd jump on the popular genre bandwagon - I'm also participating on Lectito, as one of five NaNo participants sharing our weekly progress throughout November. I hope you'll drop by both blogs and give them a read.

Now, back to this game of dialogue ping pong.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Now available: Taking A Breather

I'm happy to announce that at long last, Taking A Breather has been published! The inaugural issue of Theian Journal, sister publication to Stupefying Stories has been released.

This little mermaid seeks to find a husband to free herself from her tyrant father, but there's a price for freedom and everyone is going to pay.

For a limited time Theian Journal is free to Amazon Prime and is available though Kindle Unlimited. The print issue will be out next month.

From the Rampant Loon Press:
From the creators of Stupefying Stories comes our new sister publication, THEIAN JOURNAL. It’s a bit unearthly—a bit alternative—these are decidedly different from our usual selection of SF/F stories, reflecting an entirely different editorial philosophy, yet brought to you with our same dedication to finding excellent stories by writers you may not have read before. Issue #1 features:
• ADROIT, by David Williams
• TAKING A BREATHER, by Jean Davis
• A SCORPION WITHIN, by Alison Grifa Ismaili
• PLAINFIELD, NEW YORSEY: 2114, by Angele Ellis
• WHEN WE ARE WHOLE, by Gary Emmette Chandler

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Words are Flowing!

NaNoWriMo is here and the words are flowing fast and furious. In hopes of many more words than would normally be cranked out this month, we're at war with Dayton Ohio. May the wordiest region win.

If you'd like to join in the writing fun, create an account and find the region nearest you. There may be a war going on that you aren't aware of, fellow writers that need your words, your story that needs your words. Okay, so really its about your story needing to be written. Go write your story!