Sunday, November 13, 2011

NaNo Update: At the Halfway Point -- and loving it

I know, it's not November 15 yet.  But last night I reached the magic 25K half-way point to the NaNo finish line.  So I'm halfway there before I'm halfway through.  This is a very good feeling, even though finishing NaNoWriMo won't in the least mean I've finished this book.  

The beauty of the NaNo experience for me is that I stop worrying over every bitty word and just write.  And when you just write -- anytime, anywhere (yes, the morning subway ride is still my very best production burst of the day) -- you can make huge gains toward telling any story you really want to tell.  

Last year, I started out with all sorts of outlines and timelines and flow charts.  This year, all I had was an odd "to do" list of things I wanted to be sure to say.  Every day that I'm not picking up where I left off the day before, I choose something from that list that hasn't been checked off, and then I write everything I can think of on that topic.  I have no idea how long this book is going to be.  I'm only now now first starting to see a shape emerge.  It was one hell of a relief, let me tell you, to finally get a sense of that after almost two weeks of writing.  Turns out (whew!) I wasn't downloading random thoughts after all, but there is truly a big picture to which all the scraps belonged.  This is a good baton to pick up at the halfway point.  Now all I have to do is run with it to the finish line!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Counting Down to NaNo

Only a little more than 2 days til NaNo.  

The new Scrivener project is all set up, with a page or two of "don't forget to mention...." notes.  My main characters have names.  The book has a title.

I've got a shiny clean notebook all ready for first day of NaNo morning subway writing, and a new pen that clips to a lanyard so I don't lose it when I almost miss my stop and have to gather my stuff and run before the doors slam shut. 

On Monday, I'll come home from work, shed my Hallowe'en costume (is it optimism or pessimism that I'm once again going as my alter-ego, steampunk novellist Merle Darling, who still hasn't finished last year's NaNo novel?!) , sup (can't "dine" on Hallowe'en, especially not with lunch being the office "Battle Bite-Size" potluck), spend a few last hours with friends and family, and then, at the stroke of midnight, BAM!  If I can get a couple of hundred words down between midnight and one, and pick up my train of thought on the subway Tuesday morning, I think (I hope) I'll be fine.

I'll miss the cheerleading talents of my former office-mates, but I've posted last year's cheesy oaktag "digital" word counter on the wall of my new cube so that I'll still have an unavoidable reminder of my achievements or shortcomings in the place where I spend most of my waking hours.  And I have the certainty that I can do this, because I've done it before.

Most of all, I have a story I want to tell.  

Here's to another fine marathon.  And the best of luck to my fellow NaNo writers.  It's a hell of a ride!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here we go again!

No apologies for the five month gap in posting.  Sometimes it's just not a priority.  

In the interim, I started a new job.  The timing couldn't have been better for writing, as the period of adjustment has ended just in time for me to be able to gather my energies and gear up for another NaNoWriMo blitz.

Yes, I know. I KNOW!  I still haven't finished last year's project (though I promise you I am still eking it out). Thing is, no matter how diliatory I am the rest of the year, NaNo gives me a giant push; last year I churned out more in that one month than I would otherwise have produced in ten. And for this year's NaNo, instead of plunging into something that requires research and timelines and such time-consuming fiddles, I'm sticking to the here and now and starting a jolly little workplace comedy. At least I hope it'll be a comedy!  I seem to have mislaid my funny, which used to be my stock in trade, and I want to get it back. 

I will once again keep myself honest by putting my count icon up on this site.  If time permits, I'll put up a the occasional status post as well.  If you're reading this -- thanks for your support!

Monday, May 2, 2011


For most of us, keeping a blog is like dancing naked on a table in the cafeteria of a high school for the blind.