Week 1 of NaNoWriMo

The National Novel Writing Month challenge: Write 1,667 words per day, every day in November – and at the end of the month, you’ll have a 50,000 word draft. This year, I’m spring-boarding off NaNoWriMo’s challenge to get a rough draft of my sequel to The Life and Death (but mostly the death) of Erica Flynn written by the end of 2015.

Here’s how it’s going so far:

  • Nov. 1: I cheated! I already had about 10,000 words written. I posted on my blog instead of working on my book. But I did think about my book a lot! And any writer who claims that thinking time doesn’t count as writing time is not to be trusted. Yes, sometimes writing looks a lot like I’m playing a video game and eating popcorn. That does NOT mean I’m not writing!
  • Nov. 2: Wrote about 3,000 words, although admittedly roughly 1,000 of those were copied and pasted from my “parts” file – things I wrote and cut out of the first dozen times I tried to start the book, before I really knew how it started.
  • Nov. 3: Wrote about 1,200 words, which is under the daily word count, but was GOOD STUFF and really kicked things in the right direction with some momentum behind it on one of my two major story lines (my new character, Seth).boyscape quote
  • Nov. 4: About 1,000 words on the Erica story line, all of which I’ll probably cut, because it’s extraneous and I wrote myself into a corner. Still, knowing I’ve got to move forward tomorrow means I backed up and got the perspective to realize what needs to be done.
  • Nov. 5: About 1,200 words in what feels like the right direction for Erica.
  • Nov. 6: Was out of town on a 10-hour there-and-back research trip for my day job. Came home tired and had trouble concentrating. 291 words on the Erica story line, which is better than nothing, no matter how far below goal it is.
  • Nov. 7: At this moment, I’d rather punch myself in the face rather than write. I’m stuck on the Erica story line, and I’m not sure why. Obviously, I’m trying to do something that isn’t working, but I don’t know why it isn’t working. <sarcasm> My favorite! </sarcasm> So I’ve written around 300 words again (so far) today, and I’m going to take a chinchilla break to clear my head. My plan is to tackle this block when my frustration subsides, whether by sitting down and working on it some more directly or by freewriting or playing around with visual art to get my creative ass in gear. I’ll update about NaNo in another week to let you know how it works out!

 

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The Pros of Cons

Last weekend, I attended the first annual Imaginarium Louisville – a convention for writers, readers, and cover artists.  This was easily the best-organized, friendliest, and best-programmed convention I’ve attended in the last 5 years or more.  And it wasn’t just the folks running the event who made it awesome.  I met some intensely creative, fun, and interesting people last weekend that I look forward to seeing at next year’s Imaginarium (if not at another event in the meantime!)  One of the things I’ve always appreciated about being around other writers is that 99% of all writers I’ve met are generous with advice, interested in everything, and respectful of others’ styles and ideas.

The only down side is, now I’m so fired up about writing AND I HAVE NO TIME TO DO IT!!!!!  School, much as I enjoy it, and work (lucky as I am to have two part-time jobs that I love) and all things related to school and work take up pretty much all of my time…and what little I have left is used on maintaining my sanity and doing things like, you know, sleeping, eating, and taking showers on a daily basis.  However, winter break will be here before I know it…  If I am never NOT insanely busy (and I hate being busy, so this is fairly likely), here are the things I want to work on:

1. The second edition of The Life and Death (but mostly the death) of Erica Flynn, which will be released through Per Bastet Publications as soon as I finish proofreading it and writing the new “director’s cut” scene in the final 1/3 of the book.  This will hopefully happen in early October!

2. The second book of the trilogy (yes, I said trilogy), which is partially underway.

3. A full collection of post-apocalyptic short stories, all set in the same world as “She Who Dines on Heavenly Food,” my cyber/steam punk crossover starring Penelope & Puddingfoot.  And yes, I want to write a second Penelope & Puddingfoot story…I’ve already written the beginning.

4. Another book of speculative fiction short stories (which I haven’t started) based on pieces of Russian history.

Now, all I have to do is graduate…

Return from ConGlomeration

I spent the weekend blissfully away from the traffic associated with Thunder Over Louisville, at ConGlomeration Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention.  I’ve been going to conventions and writer’s workshops since I was fairly wee (9 years old on), but this is the first time I’ve attended such an event as a published novelist.  It’s been awesome to get to share my book with other people, but I have to say, there’s something about walking in to the Con scene with a book to show for myself that finally clicked a switch in my head that I’m a really real, for real, actual author, actually.  Maybe because writers at conventions and workshops were, aside from my mom and myself, the first people to take my writing seriously.  And I’ve been on panels before to talk about writing, even been a guest speaker for creative writing classes now and then, but having a stack of print books in front of me with my name on them  – that’s different.  And it feels great!

I was one speaker on a panel about Mythology & Folklore, which is a natural fit for The Life and Death (but mostly the death) of Erica Flynn, since (twisted, quantum-physics style) Greek Underworld mythology is a huge component of the book.  Since my follow-up Underworld novel will explore some Eastern mythology and folklore, it was fun to get to talk about some of that, too.  I also did a reading from Erica Flynn (Chapter 17: Bad God! No Biscuit! and Chapter 18: The Deadest Little Town This Side of the Styx).

Even with low attendance due to sharing the weekend and the city of Louisville with the largest fireworks show in the nation, I feel pretty good about this weekend’s book sales, the folks I met and talked to, and the shop talk with other authors, artists, and readers.  As always after these kinds of events, my brain feels chock-full of fresh ideas, excitement about my projects, and inspiration to take  on new projects and ideas.  Having brand-new books to read and love doesn’t hurt, either, and getting to spend time catching up with fellow 3 Fates Press authors T Lee Harris and Marian Allen (aka Mom) is always a blast

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This lady’s costume was awesome – but she was flamenco dancing so fast for her performance that every photo I took was blurred!

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http://www.thealleytheater.org/ – The Alley Theater crew performing “The Cliffnotes of Insanity” – The Princess Bride in 30 Minutes or Less! Hi-freaking-larious, the highlight of the convention!

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Steampunked Smartcar! ❤

Book Release Party

 

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Signing books like a boss!

Friday’s book release at University of Louisville:  I finally decided which chapter to read (Chapter Two: The Bright Side of Death), and had lots of excellent, fun questions from the audience.  I’m deeply grateful to the people who came to my first event as a published novelist – for being there, for showing their support, and especially for keeping the Q&A lively and interesting.  Some of those questions made me realize I need to be on my toes for future events!  Good questions also let me know what readers want to know more about, which is good inspiration for the sequel.  Oh, and not least…I’m grateful for the attendees’ purchases of books!

Next weekend:  ConGlomeration!

 

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I’m not sure what face I’m making here – maybe I was reading one of Erica’s smart-ass remarks?

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Reading Chapter Two: The Bright Side of Death

Progress for Erica

It’s definitely past time to do an update here!  Happily, I have news to post.  My novel, The Life and Death (But Mostly the Death) of Erica Flynn, has changed hands – but is now back on track to publication thanks to Three Fates Press.  I signed the contract last week, and by this time next year, the book will be released!  I’m excited to be moving forward with it, and excited to be working with my new publisher, too.  I’ll add news here as things progress, of course, and attempt to get back to updating on a regular basis, also.

School is keeping me busy this semester (what’s new?) and with NaNoWriMo coming up, I’m increasingly jealous of everyone I know who is managing to find the time to participate.  I’m writing roughly 7,500 words per week of essays, which adds up to 30,000 words in one month – can I count THAT toward NaNoWriMo???!  I want to write the draft of my Erica Flynn spinoff (same Underworld, different dead people), but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I have to concentrate on schoolwork.  Blah! 

In the meantime, however, I can probably manage to use Thanksgiving Break and the first part of Winter Break to write a steampunk story for an anthology for Three Fates Press, which I’m also looking forward to.  I mean, what’s more fun than writing about a sociopathic automaton?