Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I won NaNoWriMo.  Yay.  :snoopy dance:

I hit my word count last night at 9:41pm.  At which point, I fell apart.

Okay, so I held together just long enough to verify my words with the site and get my goodies.  I put up my new NaNo badge and then fell apart.

50210* words into my novel and yes, I have at least 20K to go.  50K words - about half of which are total crap.  But I said I was going to do it and I did.  Now I'm done.  I know I can write more words today and add them to my total, but I think I'm going to take a little break.  I need a break.  I've earned a break.  I'm taking one.  So there.  =op


Because now I'm so very tired.  I get like this with a big project.  I bust my buns accomplishing the task and then once it's complete, I turn to mush.  "Fall apart afterwards," I always say.

On the agenda for today?  All the house cleaning I neglected for the past month so I can put up Christmas decorations tomorrow.  Yay.

What are your post November plans?  Do you ramp up for big projects and then collapse when they're over?

*My MS Word count.  NaNo verification ended up different.  Which is why I had to write another few paragraphs to make the NaNo verifier catch up and why the counts don't match. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The End is near

The end is near.  This, of course, doesn't mean I'm anywhere near THE END.  I'm just 5500 words or 3 days away from the end of NaNoWriMo.  The end of this draft is about 15-20K beyond NaNo's 50K goal - which means I'll finish it sometime before X-mas. 

THE END?  Well, I don't write those words at the bottom of my manuscript until I feel like I just finished the final draft.  That, my friends, is months off.  Hell, the novel I started querying in October was my 2009 NaNo novel.  Yep.  I can crank out those first drafts, but it's the editing and polishing that could take a while.

So, tell me, how long does it take you to write a first draft?  How long does your editing process take?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Home Stretch

9000 words to go and four days to do it (counting today, of course).  Ack. 

Still, that's only like 2250 a day and I've been averaging about that for the days I actually wrote in this last two-thirds of the month.  (If that made any sense)

I think I can I think I can I think I can.  I think I'm going to need more coffee if I'm going to accomplish this.

In other news, Michigan plays Ohio State today.  :shudder:  My poor boys are going to get their asses handed to them.  I don't think I have the stomach to watch them get whomped.  So, it's just as well I have a lot of words to write.  I'll be so busy here, I won't be crying on the couch over there.  (Yes, I do cry during football sometimes.  It's a hormone thing.)

OMG, it just occurred to me that after today college football is pretty much over until the bowl games.  Now there's a reason to cry.  =o(

Okay, enough dawdling for me.  I have to go put Rue through another traumatic experience or two.  Even if I get the 9K done, I'm still about 15-20K off of the end of the book, so she's not ready for happy yet.  Poor Rue.  No HEA today.

How are your stories going?  What's your feeling on the HEA - do books have to have one, or are you okay if they don't?  Personally, I'm okay without an HEA as long as the MC gets a HFN (happy for now).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why Wednesday Fell Apart

Have you ever had one of those days?  As I said in Wednesday's post, I crawled out from under the wrong side of the rock anyway, so it probably shouldn't have been such a surprise that it all went downhill from there.

Actually, things were looking up not too long after I wrote that post.  I was feeling more positive and ready to take on the day.  That should've been my first clue.  Maybe if I hadn't been feeling all sparky I would've left the call to my DSL provider until Monday.  But being all positive and junk, I thought it would be a short call telling them my modem was dying and they'd send me a new one.

Wednesday wasn't meant to be that easy.

I did have an awesome chat with the first tech support guy (who just happened to be a Michigander) while he put my modem through its paces.  After plugging and unplugging, shifting filters and moving to another phone jack, he pronounced my usual jack as the culprit.  He said it needed replacing and he'd be happy to send someone out to do that - for the mere cost of a service call, parts, etc.  "Umm, it's the day before Thanksgiving," I said, "so I'll be happy to just limp along from a different jack and call you back for an appointment next week."

So, I moved my husband's desk (because it's the smallest desk and he has a laptop) into the kitchen and set everything up off of that jack.  Sure, it took some doing.  The jack's in an odd spot, so I had to string the cord up and over and through - with a sign hanging off it that said 'DUCK' so my husband wouldn't garrote himself if he went into the utility room.  I got online, tried to check my email (forgot my password, btw, which is a whole other issue), managed to check my Amazon account, and then BAM - I got the stupid red light on my modem again.

Either first tech guy was wrong or this whole house's wiring was taking a poo.  Time for another call to tech support, because if nothing else, he can reset my password and I can get my email from the ISP site.  Second tech guy (whose name just happened to be Jack - which made talking about phone jacks interesting) put everything through its paces again, put me on hold for fifteen minutes while he 'checked some things' and came back to tell me it wasn't my modem and it wasn't my jacks.  It was something in the wiring outside the house.  He needed to set up a tech appointment to fix it.

Fine, I thought, whatever.  Do it.  He said the soonest he could get someone out was Saturday morning.  Again, fine whatever do it.  Meanwhile, I cleaned the spot where husband's desk had been and tidied up so I could move it all back and limp along with the crappy outside wiring.  Thirty minutes into it, as I was on my hands and knees brushing dust bunnies off the rug, the phone rang.  The local service guy was on his way - on my street in fact - and could I please tell him where my house was.

Great.  He'd come, fix the phone lines and maybe I'd have supreme DSL for the first time since we moved here.

Except it wasn't the phone lines outside the house and it sure as hell wasn't the jacks inside the house.  It was...  :drumroll: ...my MODEM.  (Just like I told both tech support guys, btw.)  It took the local guy about twenty minutes all told - and that included him going back to the office to get a new modem.

What started out as a simple phone call at 9am finally finished with a simple solution at 2pm - after which I had to move all the furniture back, put the modem back into position with the router, and tidy up the mess.  At 3pm, I collapsed on the couch. 

So you see why I didn't get any words out Wednesday night.

Of course, Husband and I had a good chuckle about the whole thing later.  Sometimes you gotta laugh at the sheer ludicrousness of things. 

Ever had something truly ludicrous happen to you?  Share your experiences in the comments.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the celebration of the bounty in your life. 

In a few hours, Husband will start the turkey.  He makes the best turkey ever - which is why this is his holiday to cook.  What are you having for dinner today?  Who's doing the cooking at your house?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Be warned:  I crawled out from under the wrong side of the rock this morning. 

It was probably the fact that this bed we have is a piece of shi... engineering crappary to rival the Yugo.  It came with the house and the frame is bent in such a way that the mattress sags in the middle - like the crossbar of an H.  As such, husband shifted positions at 5:15am, causing the bed to wobble.  I was laying on my stomach and the wobble threw my back into a position it was not meant to be in.  Screaming pain ensued.

Needless to say, I was up shortly thereafter.

And what was the first thought that came to mind when I woke?  (I mean other than OwOwOw)  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the house is a pigsty.  Sure, no one is coming over.  It'll just be the three of us again, and they both know the house is a mess.  After all, they've lived with my lack of cleaning since NaNo started.  Still, I can't have a holiday in a messy house.  It's just not done.

Thinking about things I haven't done that need doing reminded me that my frigging camera is still somewhere in California - on 'Parts Hold'.  And that my modem has been acting up.  More things on my to-do list.

And once my computer booted up and I coaxed my modem to play nice, I was reward with a SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT via my weather.com widget thingy.  Cold front's a comin' and we'll be getting negative windchills tonight.  Max's house is fairly toasty to say 15 degrees, but for negative temps, it needs more insulation.  Guess what else I'll be doing today?

So, you'll all have to excuse me for being a crabass this morning.  The end of NaNo is fast approaching.  I have 15K words left to write to reach my goal, and I suddenly find myself with a boatload of stuff I need to do.  Sure, I did this to myself, but I'm taking a moment to kvetch about it.

Anything in your life that's making you crabby?  Let it out.  Venting is good for the soul and it keeps you from going postal.  ;o)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love My Widget

I'm so loving my new NaNo toy.  ---->

The green are days I succeeded, the yellow are days I tried, and the red are for those days when I didn't write a damn thing.  So far, only three red days.  The red rectangle has been staring at me all day... watching me... guilting me...

I may have said it before, but guilt is a powerful motivational tool for me.  Guilty red box stares at me until I write new words.  Of course, it's still not green, but yellow is way better than red.  Way way better.  (And it'll be green by the time I'm done with today.  Because yellow is guilt inducing, too.)

Does guilt motivate you?

(ETA:  And now it's green.  :GRIN:  Guilt be gone.  Or rather it would be gone if I wasn't still 1373 words behind.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


OMGOtter says "OMG, I can't believe how much this sucks!"

I lost the thread. My train of thought derailed. And now, this morning, everything I'm writing is lamelamelame.

Feels like a good time to go screw around until I get a grip on this.  Maybe looking at old houses in need of renovation will help.   Or maybe I just need to go crochet until my brain figures this out.

On the other hand, I could just push through and write pages of total crap.  I can fix crap later, but I can't fix what isn't there.

Time for some cogitation and mastication.  Be back later...

ETA:  I did a bit of both.  I spent some time screwing around - thinking and eating (which explain the three pounds) - and then I sat down to motor through.  It still felt like crap at the beginning of tonight's writing session, but before long, I got back into the groove.  Thanks.  =o)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Head Down, Writing

I'm up to my ass today.  As long as the words are coming, I'm going to write.  Talk amongst yourselves.  And here's a pretty picture for you to enjoy...
*All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Didn't See That Coming

I just threw my MC one hell of a curve.  It was so big I didn't even see it coming.  I mean, I knew I had to screw up her life again, but this particular piece of information was so huge it knocked me sideways.  She's still trying to recover from it, but she doesn't have time to wallow.  Onward.  Or rather, move forward before you die. 

Poor poor Rue.  I wish I could say I'm done chucking rocks at you, but you've got a long way to go.  Hang in there, hon, I made you strong enough to survive it all.  Bloodied but unbeaten.

Which is how I feel right now.  Or maybe I mean beaten but unbowed.  :shrug:  Either way I'm going to bed to sleep, perchance to dream a way for Rue to get through this - without seeming contrived or just generally lame.

And not because Rue's story is futile, but because I thought this was funny...
*All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNo Brain

I think I've got NaNo Brain.  It's one of those functional disorders where you look perfectly normal and you can blend in with regular people.  It's not even debilitating.  It's just annoying.  Any time anyone asks me how I'm doing, my first thought is "I'm behind".  Or when they ask me what I've been up to and I answer with "It's November" as if that explains it all.  Because, you see, ever since November 1st, all I can think about is NaNoWriMo. 

That's a bit of an exaggeration.  I do think about other things, but NaNo is at the forefront of everything else.  I think about my word count constantly.  When I'm doing something else, I'm thinking about how I'm going to get more words out later.  I could be having a conversation with you, and the whole time I'm plotting my next scene.  (Which may be why the few conversations I've had this month end up with the other person staring at me funny.) 

I've been so focused on NaNo, I even suspended my querying.  Not by conscious thought, but when I look back at the last query I sent out, I realize, somewhere along the way, that important task fell through the cracks.  (Or rather fell through the crack in my head.)

I should be over this by December 1st.  Please, god, let me be over this by then.  I need to become a normal human again.  (Okay... as normal as I ever was.)  I need to be able to hold a conversation with my friends and family.  I'd like to watch an entire program without feeling guilty that I haven't met my word count yet.

Until then, I'll just keep motoring along.  Having NaNo Brain isn't really so awful as long as there's an end in the foreseeable future. 

And if you see me next month, still talking to myself in public and mumbling about word counts, call a professional.  By then, I'll need one.  ;o)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bad Monkey

I'll be a better blogger once November is over.  Promise.

So, what's up in your world?  Any news about anything?

 *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm a Slug

Okay, I admit it.  I spent yesterday on the couch being a total slug.  I didn't write.  I didn't read.  I just lay there, watching TV and occasionally doing a few rows of crochet. 

I wanted to write.  Hell, I'm way behind on my NaNo words, and even if I forget that, I am writing a book.  If NaNo didn't exist, I'd still want to be working toward THE END.  I even tried to tell myself to forget about NaNoWriMo and just get the words out.  Nada.  I told myself to forget how behind I was - you know, to take the pressure off.  Zilch.

So I was a slug. 

I did think about writing.  You don't want to know what I was thinking.  I must be at that point - you know the one.  The self-doubt point.  :shrug:  I've been here so many times they ought to name a street after me. 

Hubs is being supportive by telling me I don't need to worry about this.  That I don't need to hold myself to some arbitrary deadline.  I should just relax and let the words come when they will.  I understand.  He deals with deadlines and pressures in his day job, and he'd do anything to take that off my shoulders.  I get it.

I still feel like a slug.  Here I am without any outside deadlines or pressures.  I have no agent.  I have no contracts. (Which is pressure enough, if you ask me.)  No one cares if I ever finish another book.  I could chuck the whole idea and the world wouldn't be the wiser - well, except for the 59 people who stop by here on a regular basis.  :waves:

Don't worry, I'm not chucking anything.  I won't even drown my sorrows in beer - like my fellow slugs over there at the slug pub*.  I'll just keep motoring along.  Yesterday I was a slug.  Today I'm going to be a slug with sore fingers because I will write today, even if writing each word is like pulling impossibly long slivers from my fingertips with rusty tweezers.

* that picture is of a beer trap (aka slug pub) for ridding yourself of the pesky slugs in your garden.  They love beer.  They drink, they drown, they die.  :shudder:  Thank goodness I'm not really a slug.

 *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Friday, November 12, 2010

Busy Writing

So here's a couple pictures...

This is the sun set off Cedar Key, FL - taken back in 2001. 

And this was taken around the same time on the other side of the peninsula - near Indian Harbor Beach.

Enjoy.  And have a great night. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


November 11th... It's snowing.  Gack.  Both Husband and Daughter have the day off work.  I gave her the day off school.  So maybe I can get some of my own work done today.  Lord knows, I didn't write a damn word on my novel yesterday.  I did write a boatload of stuff for Daughter's college application process, if that counts - which it doesn't. 

She's officially applied to CSU, btw, but now I have to complete all this paperwork - explaining and detailing our homeschool process, the classes, the student herself...  I wonder if public school teachers have to jump through this many hoops for each of their students.  Bleh.  Of course, I have to fill out both the counselor and the teacher portions of the paperwork, plus whatever the school district would normally present. 

Why oh why does NaNo fall in November of all months?  Why couldn't it have been in July when I was fairly free of other sundry things?  But no, NaNo has to fall on the month when we set the clocks back, the month when I have schooly type things to do, the month when the leaves fell the hardest, the month when the snow-shoveling begins, the month when the temperatures drop enough to make my bones ache...  Arrgghh. 

On the upside, my neighbor came over yesterday and divested me of a lot of the clutter our landlady had in this house.  This place came furnished and decorated - that place didn't - so the landlady allowed us to move to stuff around between the two properties.  I finally got that native american print out of my living room.  Neighbor gal loves it, but I just thought it was creepy, so yay.

Got anything to ramble about?  Feel free to post whatever in the comments.  (As long as it follows the blog rules about not being spammy, nasty, snarky or snerty.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Got a Little Cheese?

'Cuz I'm bringing the whine. 

I write.  I crochet.  I read.  All three are activities that require the use of my hands. 

Add to those the fact that in my car accident, my left hand got messed up by broken glass - to the point where I almost completely severed the tendon to my middle finger (yeah, yeah - it almost made signaling other drivers impossible). 

So, I guess what I'm whining about today is that my hands friggin' hurt.  Not bad enough that I need massive opiates, but enough that I shall once again sing the praises of my favorite non-writing NaNo tool... 


If you don't have some, pick some up.  I wouldn't be writing this post if I hadn't slathered my hands in it when I got up.  Gotta keep those digits in working order, doncha know. 

Okay, now that the whining's over, go write something already.  ;o)

Peace out.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Last night as I was lying in bed, I realized I painted myself into a corner with the words I wrote over the weekend.  As such, I committed the cardinal sin of NaNoWriMo and went back through the first few chapters, fixing a sticky point and giving myself a new path to walk down.

I'm back on track now.  Unfortunately, it's been so long since I wrote new words, I'm reaching about an hour's worth before my hands go numb.  Bleh.  I'll be in fighting form as soon as I get used to writing again.  I'm still behind, but after checking last year's numbers, I'm not worried.

November 2009 - 45000 words, half of which were written in the last ten days.  I guess I just work well as a crammer.  Lord knows that's how I passed half my college classes.  LOL

How are things going in your world?  Are you a crammer or do you prefer to be prepared throughout the process?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNo Update, Excuses, and Exciting Stuff

As you can see from the word meter over there, I'm at just over 8700 words since 11/1 - which means I'm behind.  Bleh.  At the end of the 6th day of NaNo, I should be rounding 10K - so roughly 1300 behind with another 1667 added in for today.  My NaNo buddies are doing great with Julie, Michelle and Elana all over 10K and Melissa in the lead at 31K.  WOW, you go girls.  You are all rockstar writing machines.   

Of course, with the words the other gals are churning out, I should probably be freaking out about now, but I'm not going to.  I still have the majority of the month left, and as long as nothing trips me up, I'll be fine.  Which leads me to this week's excuses:

Excuse #1 - I've been fighting this lingering chest/sinus thing.
Excuse #2 - I got Diana Peterfreund's Ascendant in from the library and you can't really just put that book down - even if it's to write your own.
Excuse #3 - the Illinios @ Michigan game went into 3 overtimes. (Go Blue!)

Yeah, lame excuses.  I know.  I'll do better this week.  I promise...  Except...

Today's excuses in advance:

- I have to create Daughter's homeschool transcript for sending along to the college she's applying to. (ETA: DONE)


(wait for it)

- I got a partial request last night and this agent is very specific in what she wants from me.  So, even though I thought I had the right materials already created, like a 3pg synopsis and a 1pg synopsis, I now have to write a 2pg synopsis.  :shrug:  It'll probably take me the better part of today to get that just right.  (ETA: DONE and SENT)

But that doesn't matter because I got a partial request!!  :snoopy dance:

How are things in your world?  What are your excuses this week, or did you not need any?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holy Sheet

Nathan Bransford quit.  Talk about unexpected news first thing on a Saturday morning.  It almost makes me wonder if we somehow got transported to April 1st.  We didn't.  It looks legit. 

Sorry to see you go, Mr. Bransford.  Good luck in your future endeavors.

And as cavalier as it sounds, I'm so glad he didn't bite on that partial I sent last year.  My heart and hopes go out to all his clients.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Element of Surprise

So, here I was thinking about the lame way I stopped my storyline yesterday and trying to figure out where to take the plot from here.  Then I remembered:  When in doubt, throw in the Element of Surprise.  Find a plot twist your readers won't be expecting and chuck it in there.  Put your MC into a quandary.  Hurt someone she loves.  Hurt her.  Betrayal works well, too.  Whatever works to save you from having to delete and gets you back on track.  You can fix the lame stuff later.  What you need to do now - if you're in NaNo, or even if you're just stuck and your writing style allows for pantsing - is get words onto the page, and this is an excellent way to get past lameness to real words again.  

Anyway, I found my twist.  Now I just have to find the best way to write it.  Wish me luck.

And good luck to all of you.

 *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All I Have Left Right Now is Someone Else's Cute

I'm writing this Tuesday night, but I'm posting it now because I...  Well, I have some kind of stupid sinus thingy and all I have left in me at the moment is the above cartoon someone else created.  My muse is currently slogging through a layer of crud under a layer of Robitussin.

I should've listened to Husband and passed candy out from inside...  Or maybe sitting in the cold for almost two hours is just a coincidence and I just have a touch of what's going around.  (Yeah, that's it.  I have what the neighbor kids have.  It's not a result of my own stupidity.)

Anyway, I woke in the middle of the night Monday coughing my damn fool head off.  After a couple hours of that, like a total moron (i.e. desperate sleep-deprived person), I chugged some cough syrup.  Umm, cough syrup should not be taken internally.  Seriously.  That shit is not only nasty, it takes me longer than the average non-brain challenged person to get over.

Ya know something?  It's really hard to write when you have a case of medicine head.  This is the most human I felt all day and I just typed out 511 of the lamest words ever.  Oh, and this post - which is also lame.  (I hope you enjoyed the cartoon.  Really.)

Anyway, by the time you read this, I should be semi-human again.  One hopes.

How's things in your chunk of the world?

PS.  I have no idea where I got the cartoon, so if whoever I copied it from wants it taken down, let me know.  I meant to give them credit, but my brain is pudding.  *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Day of NaNo 2010

Well, I did it.  I carved an hour out yesterday morning, another hour in the afternoon, and I wrote for 90+ minutes last night - despite the fact that the Colts were on Monday night football and it was game 5 of the World Series.  (Giants won the series, btw.)

I did end up saving 60 words from my original attempt, which explains the difference in my two totals.  I'm loving this new path the story's taking.  I might still use some of the old path, but if I do, I promise not to add it into my NaNo totals.

Anyway, yesterday was a win.  I'm trying to get ahead in the game so if I end up taking a day off, I won't fall behind.  Last night's words netted me an extra day if I need it, or more words to squeeze into the month if I can.  So far, so good.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

And btw, was anyone else having fits with the NaNoWriMo site?  Must have been a ton of people on it for the first day.  Since I've never done this before, I'm going to assume this was a regular first day occurrence and it'll pass as people drop out.

If I read the stats correctly, last year 165K started, but only 30K finished.  Of those, I wonder how many actually finished the book they wrote.  I know when I checked out the people in my 'home' territory - which is hours away, btw - the introductory post showed several people who reached 50K and then never did anything else with the book.  Seems like a waste, but to each his own.  Lord knows I've finished the first draft on a few books I never edited to completion, so who am I to talk?  (Of course, I feel guilty about those forgotten novels every time I think about them.  Poor lonely unfinished babies.)

Ever written a first draft only to never finish the book?  If you're participating in NaNo, do you plan to be querying it eventually or will it lounge on your hard drive never to be seen by anyone else's eyes?  No judgments here one way or the other.  Hell, every single thing we write serves a purpose - even if that purpose is only experience so we can write a better book next time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Marathon of Sprints

NaNo starts... NOW.

NaNoWriMo has been likened to a writing marathon.  I think it's more a series of sprints that are part of a much larger marathon.  And really, isn't all writing the same?

For me, the business of writing isn't done by sitting down and typing straight through to THE END.  I sprint for as long as the words are pouring out, then I take a break before the next sprint.  Sometimes the next sprint is later the same day, and other times it's days or, heaven-forbid, weeks later. When the book is finished, you can add up all the sprints and consider it a good show at doing a marathon.

Except it's not over there, and whole different set of exercises begin.  But that's an analogy for another day.  Maybe in December when we're all recovering from NaNo.

Speaking of NaNo and sticking with the analogy, when you're doing your November thing, your sprints have to be every day or nearly every day.  Run as fast as you can for however long you have.  Do it again the next day until you've hit your 50K goal or December 1st - whichever comes first. 

I suspect it's the same way with deadlines.  (Any published writers out there will have to let me know in comments.)  You have to race to get your product to the publisher in the time set forth in the contract. 


It would be great if we could sit down to write and not get up again until we hit the end, but we aren't built that way.  No one is.  Even marathon runners can't run for a month straight.  We need sleep.  We require sustenance.  Writers especially need to recharge, so our brains don't short out. 

So, as you approach NaNo - or any other writing project - don't think of this as a marathon, but as a series of sprints.  And don't feel guilty when you need to take a break.  You're human.  If you never needed a break, you'd be a robot and robots don't write good books.  ;o)

On your mark.  Get set.  Go!