Daily Writing Progress #36

I could be doing better, but I feel okay about this. (Major personal accomplishment in that sentence alone.)

Not bad, considering I’m going most of my writing on my phone via Google doc.

Saturday, November 12th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 14179
    • New Words: 2254 (!!!)

 Sunday, November 13th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 16861
    • New Words: 2682 (!!!)

Monday, November 14th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 18077
    • New Words: 1216

Tuesday, November 15th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 18784
    • New Words: 707

Wednesday, November 16th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 20138
    • New Words: 1354

Thursday, November 17th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 21547
    • New Words: 1409

Friday, November 18th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 22079
    • New Words: 532

Saturday, November 19th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 23115
    • New Words: 1036

I didn’t mean to be a pantser

At the beginning of October I had a plan. I was going to come up with an outline for a second draft of last November’s novel, from start to finish. Because I had hit the 50k mark but not actually finished the novel, I was determined this time. 

Then, my laptop keyboard crapped out on me. R through O in the top row stopped working and my motivation to prep dropped out from under me right along with it. Although I had been making good progress on an outline, that progress screeched to a halt — I had made the fatal mistake of using an online site to map it out that I couldn’t open on my phone. So what did I end up doing? I put that novel on hold and started a new one based on characters I’ve had floating in my brain since college. All I started with were two main characters, a basic plot direction, and nothing mapped between point A and point Z. 

Because I waffled on changing my plans right up until the last minute, I started writing before November 1st. It was a good thing I did; until the past few days, my word counts have been below the advised daily average. Never before have I so blatantly pantsed my way through a challenger like this. I don’t have a title, a summary, an outline, and I’m not bothering with breaking it up into chapters yet. 

But it’s okay!

I like what I’ve produced so far. I’ve given myself permission to go back and flesh some things out when I get stuck, which has relieved some of my inner editor’s frustrations. Because one of my MCs is a writer I have regular opportunities to change up the tone and genre. All the daily tensions from my job have found an outlet, albeit translated into a completely different line of work to avoid embarrassing myself or anyone I know. I don’t know if I will hit the 50k mark in time this year, but I’m cool with it. 

Most of all, I am grateful that my partner is participating alongside me this year. Their world building geniologies are an inspiration — and if I ever need help naming a random new character, I have someone to turn to. I love our chats about what we’re working on at any given moment. At some point I might even drag both our butts to a local write-in. 

Best of luck to all my fellow WriMos out there! If having a writing buddy is helping you out too, feel free to share. 😊

Excerpt from the PI novel one of my characters wrote

Also posted to my account on The Prose. I don’t have a title for it yet.


The cold barrel of the gun tapped against Clint’s cheek and slid slowly, gently along his cheekbone. Jack was leaning in closer with a jeering smile on his flushed face, and Clint could smell the 80 proof on his stinking breath. It did nothing to improve the quality of the air that hung thickly in the little alley, especially thick around the dumpster immediately to the left of where Clint stood.

“What was that?” Jack asked again, softer this time. “I don’t think I heard you. Properly. So say it again, loose lips. Because if it’s what I think I heard, well.” The smile faded. He pressed the gun a little harder, a cold circle just left of his captive audience’s nose. “I guess that depends on what you said, right?” Continue reading “Excerpt from the PI novel one of my characters wrote”

Daily Writing Progress #35

Wednesday, November 2nd

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 3522
    • New Words: 516

Thursday, November 3rd

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 4274
    • New Words: 752

Friday, November 4th

  • Project:
    • Total Word Count: 5376
    • New Words: 1102
  • Thoughts: I’m not hitting the ideal daily word goal of 1667, but so far every day I write more than I did the day before!

Saturday, November 5th

  • Project:
    • Total Word Count: 6535
    • New Words: 1159

Sunday, November 6th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 6821
    • New Words: 285

Monday, November 7th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 7853
    • New Words: 1032

Tuesday, November 8th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 8269
    • New Words: 416

Wednesday, November 9th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 9315
    • New Words:

Thursday, November 10th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 10166
    • New Words: 1046

Friday, November 11th

  • Project: Todd
    • Total Word Count: 11925
    • New Words: 1759
  • Thoughts: Woohoo, word count on target for today, first time!

Daily Writing Progress #34

Wednesday, October 26th

  • Missed this day.

Thursday, October 27th

  • Project: Todd (draft 1)
    • Total Word Count: 1853
    • New Words: 132

Friday, October 28th

  • Missed this day.

Saturday, October 29th

  • Missed this day.

Sunday, October 30th

  • Project: Todd (draft 1)
    • Total Word Count: 2097
    • New Words: 244

Monday, October 31st

  • Project: Todd (draft 1)
    • Total Word Count: 2125
    • New Words: 28

Tuesday, November 1st

  • Project: IWSG post #3
    • Word County: 336
  • Project: Todd (draft 1)
    • Total Word Count: 3006
    • New Words: 881
  • Thoughts: NaNoWriMo is off to a good start!

QWERTY — Or, why technology frustrates me

When you have pets, it adds a new element to basic computer care: keeping hair out of your keyboard.
So when vowels and certain consonants started msesl (for example, that was supposed to be “mysteriously” and I’ve now switched over to typing on my phone) dropping out of what I was trying to type, I figured I had just been getting lax. But alas and long story short, taking it to the Apple Store to get vacuumed out didn’t solve the problem. There’s a pretty solid chance I’m going to have to drop a couple hundred dollars on a replacement keyboard for my laptop, or at least a few dozen on a desktop keyboard that I can just plug into it.

Notice how there’s no way for pet hair to get in there.
The latter isn’t a great long term solution but ahhhhhh, my NaNoWriMo planning is suffering because of all this! I was doing my outline in an online mapping thing that I can’t use or even view from my phone, and although I do have a screencap that I’ve saved to my phone it’s just not going well. And I had been on such a roll, too.
Mercury isn’t in retrograde just now, so I can blame neither this nor my car deciding not to start again on that particular portion of the heavens. This is also an intermittent problem, to the tune of umpteen calls from the mechanic saying they can’t figure out what the problem is because the car worked as soon as they tried it. Sigh.
There is a slight chance now that I will spontaneously do something else for NaNo. Over the weekend I started noodling around with an old story that I’ve never actually written down before but have pretty much all planned out. It’s up to 1620 words now. I’ve been typing it as I am typing this, in Evernote on my phone and then copy pasting into wherever I want it to live on my computer from there. Thank goodness the command, C, V, and X keys still work — the only ones that seem to have a problem are RTYUIOP and, once and very briefly, B.
… Just for the record, the Genius Bar guy said they did get a lot of cat hair out of the keyboard, so maybe that originally was part of the problem.

NaNoWriMo Declaration

In the past few days I have made some decisions.

First, I am using my bullet journal to keep track of my finances. Like a checkbook but tracking three accounts at once: individually, in total, and in total by month. I’ve done this before but now I’ve got a much more sophisticated set-up… and I’m putting it in a spreadsheet so I can use formulas to do the math for me, heh. F**k math.

Second, I am going to sign up for NaNoWriMo again.

Last year I won in the sense of word count but did not win in the sense of getting to the end of the novel. Not long after November I decided that draft needed so much work that it made more sense to switch to extensive rewrites rather than trying to finish it, and spent most of this year (by turns actively and passively) working more on my world building. I came up with some new sub-plots and some new characters that might plug up some of the gaping holes in the first draft. In short, instead of starting a new novel I am going to force myself to buckle down and write a second draft.

Over the next month or so I want to get a basic timeline down for this story. I want to figure out what happens when the main characters visit the Sea Queen, and then how/why they go north and encounter dragons. I want to really think about a sci-fi element lurking in the back of my mind, and whether or not I ought to incorporate it into this fantasy story.

Starting with this model of 9 Steps to Build a Strong Plot.

Monday Musing #2 – Visualizing

“I’m just thinking about, for my novel, all this would be underwater.” ~ Me, riding through San Francisco


My novel, Growing Magic, is set far enough into the future where magic has replaced technology that people have more or less forgotten what the world was like. Now, geography is not my strong suit  but I’ve sketched out some maps. One of the features of this “new” world is that the sea level is much higher. I don’t know if this is what the Earth will look like in a thousand years according to science’s best guess, but I was looking at a topographical map while drawing it and the rest I’m chalking up to “because magic.” This includes the two new continents I threw in on a whim. Continue reading “Monday Musing #2 – Visualizing”

Wednesday Words of Wisdom #1 — Tea & Writing

This post was inspired by the Wednesday Words of Wisdom segment on Creative Writing For Me. Unless I already have an idea burning in my brain, which I don’t particularly at the moment, I’m just going to pick two quotes at random and use them as dual prompts.


“The assaying of tea is an art and not a science. It is the man, and not his instruments, which is the most important.” ~Timothy Mo

“I’ve come to realize by winning NaNoWriMo this year that it’s not only about writing a great novel but also about enduring throughout the writing process. It’s about picking up your tools and starting again when you finish one project and begin another one. It’s realizing that your journey will contain moments of self-doubt, bouts of jealousy toward other writers and painful or surprising revelations about yourself and other people.” ~Creative Writing For Me

~Wed Words 001

Continue reading “Wednesday Words of Wisdom #1 — Tea & Writing”

There’s No Place Like Procrastination for the Holidays

There are so many excuses to think about writing posts for this blog later, but now that the holidays are over and it’s Resolutions season I’m running low on excuses. One of them used to be NaNoWriMo — and I’m very happy to say that I did win that challenge. I didn’t actually finish the novel, but I passed the 50k mark! So that ate up most of my attention span and creative energies during the month of November. It was totally worth it.

My plan for 2016 is to turn the end of the holiday season into the end of my procrastination season. Through Meetup.com I’ve found a health group that aims to support the connections between mind and body. So far I’ve attended one small workshop for mapping out goals for the new year, where the idea was to do something nice for ourselves as a reward for all the hard work we’ve done throughout the year — and not have a few drinks, eat cake, or go to a spa for a massage, but to make changes in my own habits to nurture my physical and mental health. The group leader challenged us to each pick one goal that we really want for ourselves, explain why while focusing on the positive reasons, and then break it down into sub-goals and sub-sub-goals.

Apparently when someone’s thought patterns tend to be negative, it gets easier and easier to automatically return to these thought patterns. (1, 2) Which makes sense, and I caught myself trying to do a lot of that while going through this exercise.

Continue reading “There’s No Place Like Procrastination for the Holidays”