Once Upon a December

Happy December, all and sundry!

I’m wearing a SWEATER today, which makes me happy. It’s in the fifties and cloudy and looks like rain, which equals winter in Phoenix. Might be going up north this weekend to catch some potential snow, which would make me happy. 🙂

In update-ish news, I DID complete my 50K for NaNoWriMo. I finished on the 20th in time to enjoy a visit from my sister and her husband and to eat lots of turkey without writing-related guilt. I did not, however, reach the end of the book. There’s probably 15-20K left to go, and my outline is reaaaaaalllllly sketchy at this point. Not sure where it stands in Writing Project Priority currently. I’ll probably put off finishing it for a while, at least until I figure out the outline. I have reread parts of it already, and there’s some glimmers of good scenes in there, so that’s encouraging.

Also, as per my author bio in the last post, I’m participating in Pitch Wars, which is an awesome writing contest hosted by Brenda Drake, which you can read about here. I think I’m giving myself an ulcer by obsessing over the #PitchWars feed on Twitter…

Oh, and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special was FANTASTIC, as was Catching Fire. Frozen is next on my to-watch list, I keep hearing good things.

So I guess I need to get back to the novel revision I put aside for NaNoWriMo… And after that, I’m thinking about turning my short story idea from earlier into the year into a novel. I think it could be really, really cool.

And that, as they say, is that!

Silver Mines & Treason: NaNo Day 14

Well, November is almost halfway over already—not sure how that happened! You’ll be happy to know that my novel is sitting pretty at 32,774 words, and I’m on track to finish by the 22nd. Hooray!!
The story is progressing pretty well, although I’m afraid I might get to 50K before I reach the end… Currently, two of my characters are attempting to escape from the silver mines, one of my characters just discovered the (partial) truth about her mysterious parentage, and one of my characters is about to commit treason against the king… or maybe warn him instead. 🙂 I’ve been posting tiny excerpts every now and again on my NaNoWriMo profile page, for the morbidly curious.
In other news, saw Thor: The Dark World this weekend and LOVED it. Also went to NASCAR for the first time ever and loved that too, although it was Quite Loud. Coming up on the roster: JJ Heller concert this Saturday, and on November 25th I’m seeing the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special IN THEATERS. Sooooo excited!!! There’s also Catching Fire and Frozen coming out soon. Busy month!
Okay. I did the dishes. I wrote this blog. I really should stop procrastinating and get back to writing!!

Bonus Handsome Cat Picture:

Update: Nano Day 5

Well I’m thoroughly ensconced in NaNoWriMo and having a blast—so glad I decided to go for it! I’ve been languishing in revision purgatory all year and I forgot how much FUN it is to write first drafts!

Day Five Word Count: 14,097!! Trying to stay ahead of the game so I can finish my 50K by the 22nd, when my sister comes into town—so far I’m on track! Huzzah!

Oh and from the FYI department, here is my author page on the NaNoWriMo site.

I guess I should go to sleep now so I can get up and write some more!! Betrayal and war is coming soon to a novel near you…

Ode to October

I so love October!! No lovely autumn trees here, unfortunately, but the days are slooooowly getting cooler and the holidays are just around the corner, and my husband and I are going to Disneyland for our first anniversary next week. Life is good!

The revision is going pretty well… I haven’t actually worked on it yet this week, due to a grisly battle with a horde of ants over our kitchen yesterday, but I’m feeling encouraged and enthusiastic about it. My goal is to finish the first half by the end of the month and I THINK I can do it if I push. And I want to because…

I’m contemplating NaNoWriMo this year!! I’ve been bitten with NaNo fever and I’m not sure I can shake it. 🙂 If I do join, I’ll be continuing the novel I started writing in 2009, and therefore technically be a NaNo rebel! It’s a story that’s been in my head since the early 90s 0_o and I read the first part the other day and I desperately want to finish it because my inner thirteen-year-old self wants to read the end! I haven’t 100% committed yet, but I’m definitely leaning that way.

But at any rate, here’s my last piano student of the day, so I’d better attend to him.

Over and out. 🙂

Linkage!

Still boogie-ing through my revisions. I actually think I’m gonna make it by my self-imposed deadline of Sunday night, which rocks like nobody’s business. I’m feelin’ GOOOOOD about this thing!!

And in other news, I’ve run across a spattering of Awesome Things on ye olde internet this week that I just have to share. So here goes.

First up, the most awesome NaNoWriMo song ever set to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” from Pirates of Penzance:

Next up, the good ol’ BBC gets some love:

Next up, a special NaNoWriMo preview version of Scrivener 2.0 is being offered for FREE through December 7 (for Mac AND Windows) here. I’ve fallen in love all over again! Trust me, it’s AMAZING. GET IT YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!

Next up, a review of the fantastic Sufjan Stevens concert I had the privilege to go to last Friday. Me and the roommate got to sit ten feet from the stage which was AWESOME, and I tried to take some video but it didn’t work out because I accidentally pointed the camera at the ceiling, which was NOT awesome. But you’ll have that. This gives you a small and rather inadequate taste (we had much better seats than this person!!) of the awesome.

Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2010

So I have this thing about first drafts.

I LOVE THEM.

I love brainstorming and outlining them. I love writing them. I wish I could write first drafts every single month of the year!!! They’re so SHINY! So INSPIRING! So EXCITING!

The only problem being first drafts aren’t perfect. They need revising. And revising takes a lot of effort, and isn’t as much fun, and is really really HARD.

After a while, those first drafts really start to pile up.

Let’s review.


Summer 2005:
I discover the existence of NaNoWriMo, and am inspired to push through to the end of a floundering draft and actually FINISH my very first full-length novel, On Journeys Bound.

NaNo 2005:
I discover that it is possible to write an entire first draft in a month, and complete my very first fantasy novel, The Rose Queen.

Spring/Summer 2006:
I wrestle with revisions of The Rose Queen, and manage to wring out a second draft. I also start Draft 2 of On Journeys Bound somewhere in there.

NaNo 2006:
I discover that it is possible to write 100k in a month, and complete Draft 1 of The Whale and the Tree.

Spring/Summer 2007:
Third draft of Rose Queen, more work on Journeys, and possibly a bit on Whale. 

NaNo 2007:
I discover that I have Very Big Ideas, and write only half of the 209k tome later to become Draft 1 of The Fire in the Glass.

Summer 2008:
Second draft of Whale.

NaNo 2008:
I don’t really discover anything groundbreaking, but I do write over half of the 190k tome later to become Draft 1 of The Silver Crane.

Summer 2009:
Attempt at revising Fire. More revision on Whale. Queries sent out. A pitiful attempt at another revision of Rose Queen. A bit done on Journeys. First draft of a not-all-that-short-story (18k), Seraphine.

NaNo 2009:
I discover that sometimes my ideas are not as great as I thought, and write 40k of the as-yet-unfinished The Last Garden, and 50k of the as-yet-unfinished The Blind King, which is a sequel to On Journeys Bound.

Spring 2010:
First draft of Seer, completed early March. Revisions commencing a few weeks later. Much procrastination.

Summer/Fall 2010:
Still floundering in revisions for Seer, poking at Journeys ’cause it won’t leave me alone.

Which brings me to some Stats:

Completed first drafts—6
Completed revisions—2, (but they’re not REALLY completed—both Rose Queen and Whale need re-drafting. Again.)
Revisions in progress—2 (though Journeys is more a rewrite than a revision)
Incomplete drafts—2
Unrevised novels—2

All that to say, and the data is pretty clear—I have yet to successfully figure out HOW TO REVISE. Or at least how to FINISH a revision. Kind of frustrating.

Which leads me to my point (I do actually have one):
I don’t think I have any business starting a Brand New Novel for NaNo when I have SO many more projects to work on that I feel are more important to furthering the Hope of being able to hop back on the submission wagon again sometime this century. I know I can write a book in a month—it’s super fun and I adore doing it, but I need to prove to myself that I can FINISH a revision, not just a first draft, which leads me to the conclusion that I should sit out NaNoWriMo this year. 😦 😦 😦 😦

HOWEVER.

If I finish my second draft of Seer by the end of October, I have decided to issue myself the following challenge (reward??) :

To write the second half of On Journeys Bound AND the second half of The Blind King during the month of November, thereby joining the frenzy that is NaNo (albeit as a self-declared rebel), and finishing two projects I’ve been meaning to get to for YEARS.

And those are my long, rambling, and conflicting thoughts on participating in NaNoWriMo this year.