Tag Archives: Nanowrimo

Nano always brings the colds and flu out…

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I made up some bread and it’s on the counter rising, made a pot (yes, a whole percolated pot) of coffee for a change, and now, I’m…

well, I’m not going to write,today. I’m sitting at over 15k at this point so it shouldn’t hurt me.

I’m going to snuggle up, sip hot coffee with honey to soothe throat, and maybe watch a dvd or pull out my sketch book while I wait for maintenance to come fix the under sink explosion of garbage disposal and pipes…really nasty!

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Day 1 of the 30-30 challenge for Nov…

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…And, already, I’m behind by about 3k.

Last night, the storms came through with high winds that took out trees and powerlines near us. Needless to say, all electronic products in our home were unplugged. The large picture window rained — on the inside! — and I spent several hours mopping up water from the carpeted office floor. I’ll be so amused when we our lease expires and we move!

So, I’m behind in word counts…not only that, I’m at a brick foundation to a steel wall on where to go with my plot, my MFC doesn’t yet have a surname (One that goes with a female, auburn hair, brown eyes, clumsy as hell, and sarcastic, but that doesn’t not start with ‘M’), and my muse has decided that the only safe place to be is in the bottom of the coat closet curled among the hats and gloves. ARGH!

Okay, now that I’ve got that scream out of my system…back to writing. (scratches head and wonders if she can count these words toward goal….?)

30-30 is Rocking!

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We’re starting our SECOND 30k-30d writing challenge in less than 24 hours…at midnight EST, to be exact.

We started our group October first ahead of Nano as all of us have participated before, but aren’t particularly found of the local ML for our area. We don’t like meeting in places that serve alcohol, and not all of us drink coffee or have laptops. In fact, most of our group must use public terminals because they don’t have computers at all in their homes. We’re from a lower income bracket, but our talents are strong! So, we met at the beginning of open registration for Nano at our library and we all grabbed a terminal and attempted to login for this year’s write. Of the initial 20 of us, only two were able to get in (both because they were using laptops and email providers that are not the most popular). Needless to say, we were not amused.

So, we decided to make our own group. Since then, we’ve grown from the 20 to 200. Most of us don’t have computers in our own homes, and the majority of us write by hand. We have poets, too. And, a few artists. We’re offered a 30 day challenge… the rest is open to the individual. Our first challenge has been a success, so we decided to do a Nov challenge as well.

I’m excited about it! Tomorrow, we’re having six different kick off parties across the tri-state area. Two of the groups are going to go to haunted houses. One group is going for pizza. One is meeting at the library for trick or treat, and the last group is meeting in the coffee shops meeting room. I’m going to be trapped at home passing out candy for trick or treat, but I’ll have my laptop set up with Dragon so I’ll still be able to write between the kiddos.

Wherever you are going to write, party, or trick or treat this weekend, be safe! Check your candy before eating it. Look both ways before crossing the street. And run, I mean RUN past the cemetery on your way to the next house! Happy Halloween! Happy Writing! See you next month!

Counting down to Write!

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Nano officially opens at midnight…

It’s always these last few hours that leave me chomping at the bit and wanting to race forward. My characters are set, the setting is chosen, a plot is somewhat formed but open to change as the ms proceeds. All in all, I’m all set save for the actual writing. Also, today’s weather just really, really fits for what I was going to write in the opening scene. How cool is that?!!! — feeling excited.

Although I’ve been shunned by the group, I will write on!

A group of friends, both online and offline, have banded together to write for the month of November. We call ourselves the “30-30”. Our goal is a bit more reasonable than Nano’s 50k. We are doing 30k in 30 days. That’s about 2 pgs a day, which can be written in less than an hour for most people. It takes 33 days to develop a habit, so we felt that this would give ourselves the jumpstart that we needed to write every single day. Our facebook group is small with only 12 members, but our main group has grown this last month from just 5 members to over 200! WOW!

Most of our 200 members tried to sign up for Nano’s official site this year and found themselves blackballed. Nearly all have to use public terminals which results in multiple requests from the same ISP…A thing which the official Nano considers to be wrong. So, we decided to team up in our area and write together without Nano. We’re tracking words using our word processors. We’re talking in email and chat. And, we’re setting our own meetings around the tri-state area. Friday night, we’re having a kick-off. Some groups are going haunted housing, some are meeting at the library, or at the local coffee house.

Anyway, Nano got us all started, and that should be acknowledged. We all feel sad for the way Nano has devolved, but we’re remaining strong to our gifts and talents. Our SECOND 30-30 challenge begins at midnight. Enrollment is OPEN by honor system. We don’t have the bells and whistles of the Nano official site, but what we do have is determination to see our writing goals through.

Oh, did I mention that there’s still 15 days left for our FIRST challenge. Reports have it that 196 of our 200 are on target for their writing goals for the challenge. That’s AWESOME! To the four newbies, WELCOME! and we hope you join us for November!

Setting up to write… nano-style

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Last night, we moved my desk into the living room near the fireplace and in front of the window. Then, hubs loaded scrivener into my desktop, hooked my mp3 player up with three albums of “writing music”. 2 days to NaNoWriMo. Today, it’s the snack run at the store to fill the shelf hubs set beside the desk for such, and I’ll be ready.

Although Nano refuses to allow me to participate in their site, it won’t stop me from my pre-determined goal to achieve the word count I envision for the month. I have my character cards ready. I have a teaser written, that’s two paragraphs like what you would read on the back cover of a paperback. And, like I said above, I have the love and support of my hubs standing beside me. He knows how much I enjoy the challenge and the time to focus on only my writing for 30 days. Just 2 more days, and a new edition to the “Hope Ranch” and/or “Sanctuary” series will begin to blossom upon my blank screen. Yep, screen. I’m not going to handwrite this year. I’m going to use the Scrivener (Ubuntu form) software for novel writing!

Thank you, Scrivener for making the freeware version for those of us who use Linux based systems. It does not go unappreciated! 🙂

Not to Nano…

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As many of you know, I love to do Nano (www.nanowrimo.org) every year. I’ve been doing it every year since the turn of the millennium. That said, in the last two years, there’s been a distinct, and not so friendly, change out there in the world of Nano. I’ve seen a lot of bullying and intimidation in the forums (so much so, that I no longer participate in them) as well as through FB. This year, I found that I, along with all 20 of our writing groupies, have been “blacklisted as known spammers”, why? It appears that we all have the same ISP…well, of course we do, we all use the public library system computers to access the internet. So, needless to say, though I did get into the site via the use of a friends computer, I was unable to address the problem with the Nano people in a private way and had to throw a fit through an unrelated FB message to get to them.

Truthfully, and in all honesty, it’s not worth the hassle. Did I really seriously enjoy both the challenge and the sharing with other authors… YES! Did I enjoy setting a higher goal that would last me longer than a week…YES! Am I seriously annoyed that I had to use a fake name, fake email (which I had to create this week just to participate.)… YES! For a site that promotes that you use your real name, real *, etc. Needless to say, if it’s got me this stressed, even before I pick up a pen or hit a key, then, it’s just not worth it.

A group of us, all Nano REJECTS, have decided to form our own group where we set our individual goals, genres, and styles. We decided to run from October 15 – November 15 so we can all be done before the holiday. It will be nice not to have to hide away trying to meet a writing goal while the family is enjoying the day. All 20 of our writing group has joined, as well as about 50 others who like the date spread, and the freedom of choosing a genre and style. That makes over 70 former Nano veterans and newbies who have jumped ship. The kickoff party was great last night (tons of pizza and pop consumed). Saturday, we’re all meeting at a friend’s farm to write together and have a barbeque complete with a haunted hayride, and followed by going haunted housing!

We’ve even invited a group of artistic individuals to join our group. They are going to do a comparable challenge with their artwork. It’s going to be fun!

Nano might not want us, but it won’t keep us from writing, or enjoying the process!

To all you Nanites who may stumble upon this, I wish you all the luck in the world for reaching your goals and enjoying the month!

Seriously need a quick answer here from New York City Folks…

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Anyone who knows New York City well…
I’m looking for a non-Catholic church in the vicinity of the twin towers memorial…
also a hotel in that same area.

In my story the name of the church appears on page one within a wedding invitation. The couple will be honeymooning the week leading up to that horrid day. The last names of the characters are Berghoffer and Wyndham…both old money names, if that helps.

If you can help with this info let me know in a comment,
please, I need it for my manuscript.

Thanks!

Buffy

Spark Plugged by CoyutSpirit

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I remember Grandmother when she was happy! Really, I do! That was before she met the Jackass. We were teenagers at the time. Grandmother was a new widow. She’d gone off to the to do some crazy humanitarian stuff. She came back a different person and never talked about it much. If you asked, she’d only burst into tears and hide in her room, so I stopped asking. Anyway, our laws are weird here in the good ole US of A. Grandmother now had a college degree, and they were making her go back to high school. She was bummed out, but tried to make the best of it.

Her Mother fell off the wagon and went back into her addiction full throttle. I hated to see Grandmother feeling guilty about it. She always had to be the one that picked up the pieces of her mother’s rampant idiocy. Many times, I came by to help do what I could, but it was always hard and her mother hated me and accused me of stealing her daughter away. I was only trying to be a friend. So, Grandmother went to school everyday, and worked every night except Saturday.

On Saturday nights, she never lacked for a date, and fancy dates at that… nothing that I could have ever afforded to give her. I saw her leaving the house several times in a formal gown complete with the family tiara and another uniformed man on her arm. She smiled to them, but I could always see the hurt in her eyes. Her eyes were brown, a rich, deep brown that turned black when she was pissed and seemed to lose life completely after her husband died. I hated seeing the pain there, but what was I do. Ah, but I digress.It was one of those young civil air patrol boys that she hooked up with. She still went to the base every weekend dressed to nines, but Friday nights were reserved for him. I didn’t like him from the get-go, I tell ya, something about him rankled me inside. Dad said it was just jealousy, so I let it slide. Now, I know, that my instincts were right.

One night, he brought her home late. Yeah, I know, because I was watching out my window for her to come home. Don’t know why, just felt protective for some reason. Anyway, she got out of the car in tears and ran into the house. I smiled and thought maybe they’d broken up. After that, he started picking her up at school everyday, and I would see him sitting in the alley behind the house watching her. I went over to ask him what he was doing and he sped off.

The next Friday night, I watched her get in the car with him again. It angered me to see how she looked so fearful, like she was more afraid of not going with him than she was of death. I watched, when I should have gone out and pulled her away. But, I didn’t, and I will never forgive myself for that.

She came back late. The Jackass could never bring her home on time, so her mother was always punishing her. The poor girl couldn’t get a break. I watched as she got out of the car in the rain, her white satin turning transparent as she ran for the house. He got out too, shouting and screaming like a raving lunatic before he fell on the muddy ground and beat at it and screamed until her mom came out to see what he was doing. She babied the jackass, hugging him and inviting him inside. It was evident that Grandmother had broken up with the Jackass. Her mother should have left it well enough alone. She didn’t, and Grandmother paid the price, and paid it dearly.

The next night, and then every afternoon and night for six weeks, they went out. I slowly watched as the life drained from Grandmother. I tried to talk to her at school, but she would push me away verbally, even physically. Her eyes, her beautiful eyes, lost their glimmer. Her lips lost their smile, replaced by a sullen frown. No one seemed to notice or care, but I did. I noticed the difference in her poetry, too. We were in young authors together, so we met and shared our work every week at noon break. Her words became dark, filled with pain. I wanted to help, but she kept pushing me away.

Now, it was two weeks before prom and she was crying outside the gym. I asked why, and between blubbers she told me she’d broken up again with him and this time no one was going to convince her otherwise. I asked why, and she told me that he wanted her to do things with him that only a wife and husband ought to do. She didn’t want to do it, and he did, and so she called it quits. I respected Grandmother for that. She’d had a moral standard, and on this she was firm.

I took advantage of the situation and asked her to the prom myself. She agreed. She didn’t want to miss her Junior prom. She’d already been to two, but this one was hers! It was a once in a lifetime thing! So, she agreed and I went home to race around renting a tux, ordering a corsage and all that stuff. My mom was thrilled. I’d finally agreed to do something “normal” as she called it. I’d never dated anyone, really had never even thought about it. The girl of my dreams was Grandmother, and no one else could compare.

Prom night rolled around and I drove my transam across the street to pick her up. I wanted to do it all nice and proper. I wanted her to see what a gentleman that I could be, and selfishly, I wanted her to like me as more than just a friend. When she came out the door, I nearly fainted! Really, I did! She was dressed in a hot red dress that clung to her petite little curves in a way that gave me hard on instantly. Damn, she’s beautiful, I thought as I fumbled to open the box with the white rose corsage that I’d ordered just for her. Her hair, oh, I nearly died to reach out and touch it! I’d never seen it down and loose before. She always wore it braided or up in a tight bun. I’d never seen hair so richly black and soft. She smiled, and I thought maybe I saw a hint of joy there. She was probably just laughing at my obvious discomfort.

We went through the picture ritual and the mom’s crying and cooing and all that, then got in my car to go! Have fun, they told us, see you in the morning! The morning, indeed, I thought as we drove around the corner. Damn, I muttered as I looked up in the mirror and saw him there. The Jackass was following us…his damned old rust bucket of a pickup was right on our tail. Don’t look now, I said, as I pointed to the mirror, but he’s behind us. You want me to lose him? She agreed, shaking and gritting her teeth.

I turned down the old ridge road that we all called the devil’s backbone and nearly lost the car as I sped around that first, really sharp-ass curve. Grandmother had a look on her face that was terror, mixed with terror! You know the look, that one you get just before your car careens into something really hard. Well, that was the look she had! I digress…

As we sped across the country side, he almost kept up with us. At one point, he was just beyond where he could see us when I pulled a righty in between the old oak trees down by the old cemetery. It was a narrow, paved road that literally led to nowhere save an old gravel field access lane that led back out onto the old pike road. We bumped along the ruts in the gravel as I tried to go as fast as my low-slung car would go.

Then, we were spraying gravel out onto the road as I jumped gears and sped down the pike and down into the old gorge road. Down at the bottom was an old covered bridge. I knew how to drive around and underneath it, too. Being night, I knew that my black trans would be hidden by the casual driver, so I sped as fast as I dared.

At the edge of the bridge, I pulled another tight righty and then spun in the mud until we were safely under the overhang of the bridge. I flipped off the lights, put the car in neutral, and cut the engine. Then, I turned to Grandmother and saw the tears instantly flood down her cheeks.

I did my best to console her, but she shied away from me in a way she’d never done before. She curled in a fetal like position against the passenger and folded her arms around her shaking knees. I didn’t know quite what to do, so I just sat there with her. I asked her if she wanted to talk, and she shook her head.

We sat there in silence for a long time. Finally, I watched her uncurl and try to flatten out the hopelessly wrinkled gown. She thanked me, then, as she looked up to meet my eyes. The look of respect and something akin to love threw me off my pedestal and straight into hell as the fires of passion burned through me. I reached out, and I — it’s embarassing now to admit, but I kissed her. She didn’t pull back either… she leaned closer to me. I didn’t know what to do, so I kissed and kissed until I just couldn’t stand the confinement of the car. If I didn’t get away from her, and soon, I was going to do something that was way not cool!

So, I suggested a swim.

“In this?” She sniffled as she looked up to me as if I’d flipped my beanie.

“Nah, You can borrow my gym clothes if you can handle the smell.” I smiled at her and reached into the back for my gymbag.

“The water will kill the smell, I think.” She laughed then… a laugh like I hadn’t heard her laugh for months! It was a good sound!

Oh, I was so pissed off! I was ready to kill him. The only thing that held me back was the look of pain and shame in her eyes. Grandmother had removed the formal gown, and was changing into my gym shorts. There wasn’t any reason to hide. We’d grown up together and had seen each other’s naked bodies for years. Only now, my eyes widened and I felt the fire of anger in my blood.

Her back, her chest, her beautifully smooth stomach were all black and blue with bruises. Some of them were so dark that I thought for sure ribs must be broken underneath them. All I could do was stand in the middle of the river and watch with abject horror and realization of what he had been doing to her.

“Don’t say a word.” She insisted as she reached under my t’shirt and unfastened her bra. Then she dove in beside me and surfaced not a foot in front of me. “He didn’t really mean it. He was just angry, ya’ know. He said I was just a squaw and it was time I learned that.”

“You are no one’s squaw, Grandmother!” I insisted, reaching out for her shoulders to hug her, but she cringed away. “Look, see what he’s done to you! You’re afraid of me– ME. I’ve never raised a hand to you, never even in play. I love you.”

Grandmother looked up into my eyes, and I’ll be honest, it felt like a white hot flame coursing through my body, it did. I wanted her so many ways beyond Sunday thinking that it wasn’t even pitiful! She was so beautiful, especially here, in the river under the moonlight. The cold water had tightened the skin on both our bodies, and had rendered our shirts nearly invisible to boot. I turned and dove, swimming upstream, hoping to calm my own emotions.

Finally, I rejoined her, and we splashed an played like children for most of the night. As the sky above began to lighten, a precursor to the dawn, it was time to head back home. I drove her in silence, and dropped her around back where she could slip into the house without any of the neighbors seeing her unkempt hair and wrinkled gown. The last thing we needed was the old biddy across the street to start spreading rumors!

“Grandmother, I — I just want you to know, that if you need anything– anything at all, I’m here! I mean that! Just say the word and I’ll sleep outside your door if you need me to.” I told her before I let her slip out the door.

“Thank you.” She’d said in a cold monotone before running across the backyard and into the back door.

I sat there for a few minutes until I saw her peeking out the edge of the curtain just to see if I was there. Then, I faked a smile, waved, and drove on down the alley to circle back to my house.

I didn’t see the jackass again for a whole week. I’d heard that his truck was out of commission. Gee, I wonder why it would suddenly be sporting four non-functional sparkplugs, a half-dead battery that wouldn’t hold a charge and a loose alternator belt. Hmmmm….

NanoCamp Day 17… Letter home:Why, oh Whyyyy?

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Dear one,
It’s 0530 here at Camp Nano… I woke with the realization that although I’ve written 45k, I’ve get to establish a firm plot. I have no stereotypical villain hell-bent on destroying the main characters in some distinct way. What I have written falls under the classification of individual scenes with no coherent structure to tie them together into anything. In short, I’m very disappointed in myself. Usually, by this time of the month, I’ve got a solid plotline with strong characters, a villain that’s distinctive, and a final scene written. Truth is, I usually start with the Final scene, the write the first scene, and then fill in the middle. I didn’t do that this time, so maybe that’s why I’m feeling so bogged down.

I’m almost tempted to ditch the word count yet again, and start from scratch. But, I can’t do that! The scenes I have are good! They just need really huge bridges to link them together. That’s one of my goals for today, actually. Today, I’m going to take some time to write out a plotline (hmmm, wonders if that could count as part of the wordcount total???Nah, that would be cheating to me.). I don’t think it’s going to be a traditional plot, though. It’s going to be more of a psychological one….One wonders, could my villain actually be the character’s own mind? … wonders, Could I pull that style of conflict off well enough? Bears some consideration.

I’ve notice that my cabin mates are pretty quiet people. haven’t heard much from them… they’re probably off writing, while I’m sitting her blogging because my mind is a blank this morning. Please, send inspiration and a plotline cake or two…

Riding the rollercoaster,
Buffy

NanoCamp ~ Day 16 Letter home…

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Dear One,

I know you heard about my fall last week. I’ve spent a lot of time just resting in camp. I’ve read a few romance novels, uh, for research purposes, of course! Oh, and I made a small day trip for some photoging inspiration, more research, of course.

As I drove the miles along the Ohio River, my mind considered what it must have looked like back in the days of Lewis&Clark, or Daniel Boone. The smell of the water, smell of woodsmoke and cooking fish from small fires where people were camped out along the bank only added to the ambiance. I saw older couples cuddling on benches, smiling and enjoying the serenity. I saw fathers with their sons and daughters casting lines out into the water in hopes of catching what could be their first fish. I saw all sorts of boats from barges to speed boats pulling skiers. Meanwhile, the drone of the car’s wheels as they rolled and popped the tar bubbles on the road seemed to want to lull me into a state of relaxation.

We stopped in Vevay, Indiana and visited a small maritime museum that focused on the steamboat traditions along the Ohio. The detailed models added an intricacy to my thoughts as they considered one of my characters who is a woodcarver. As I saw the period clothing, I thought of another character who would have worn the long gowns with head held high, and a slight flush to her cheeks.

I wrote squat over the weekend… just resting. This morning, I set my mind to getting a bridge scene done, and did so. It was early, before 5 am and before coffee. Now, it’s noon, and I’m catching up on correspondence before I get back into the grind. Still loving the voice rec software!

Current word count: 44739
Word Count Goal: 50,000

Taking pen and paper poolside…it’s too hot!