>Picking up an old WIP

>Mom cancelled on us, so I’ve got the whole day to myself. I’ve made two positive steps towards being actually productive.

1) Last night, I read over the piece I’m planning to continue. It doesn’t suck, and although I think I need to back up and take the story in a different direction than it did from the last plot twist, I think I’ve got a good base, and some damn good characters to work with.
2) Just now, I opened Scrivener. I will follow this action by stopping to tweet about the action I just took, then make a blog post about it.
Hey, it’s forward motion, right?

I think after that, I will move all of the text from the word doc I’ve got this saved on into Scrivener.

I’ve been trying to think of a new title, though. This piece is about a genetically enhanced computer geek who takes over a corporate network (think Shadowrun, but without most of the magical stuff.) just before another hostile organization takes over. This is literal hostility, including guns. She lets them take over, makes an arrangement with the leader of that organization, and is now playing cat-and-mouse with him. Romance ensues.

Quick bit of worldbuilding: Post apocalyptic thing, now humanity has a dual animal nature. Some are naturally more strong than others. Corporations rule the world (nah, I wasn’t influenced by anything cyberpunk. I PROMISE.) Most people are regular animals of various sorts, some are myths. MC is a dragon, leader of organization is tiger (smilodon fatalis, to be exact.) It comes off less cheesy than it sounds, I promise.

Anyway, It’s a sci-fantasy thing, heavier on the sci than the fantasy.

Current working title REALLY sucks: Hacker Dragon. Not the kind of thing I’d be proud to show off in public. So I have to figure out something different. I’d like this to be my CreateSpace submission, so I need a non-shitty title.

Now to figure one OUT. Any suggestions?

But I think I’ll start working on my scrivener file first, so that I’m making more progress towards actually writing, rather than procrastinating with minutiae.

>The final run! 35k in 7 days

>So I’m sure you’ve noticed. I’m behind. WAY behind. I’ve hit a wall of depression (unrelated to NaNo) and lack of motivation, but today is the day that I’m going to break through it and write anyway.

So who’s with me? Who is going to race to the finish?
Will you beat me there? ARe you behind? So behind you don’t think you can recover?
You can. I’ve done 50k in 10 days. Sure, couldn’t use a keyboard for a month. But I DID it. And I’m going to do this.
Even if I have to start a war to do it.
Let the games begin.

>Day 6: Soooo behind

>So I’m behind. Part of it is a boring bit in the story, but mostly… life has interfered like whoah. Between the site issues and struggling to get caught up on moderation duties on the site, my part time job, being sick, the kids, and just plain being distracted.

But no excuses.
I’m still ahead of Chris, at least:

My goal for this weekend, though, is to be caught up on my word count. I’ll be joining Chris, and many others, in this race. I’ll need 11,669 words to be caught up. That’s a one-day deficit of 4,933.
I can do that!
I think I can do it if I manage my time better. I’m bad about checking the forums AFTER I’m caught up on immediate tasks, and getting distracted by things that Must Be Done (translation, they can wait.) I’m going to set aside some designated writing times. I’ve gotten my favorite playlist re-created (I lost it when I switched from my Colby MP3 player to my iPod) and I think I’m ready to go. I can do this… Want to join me? Let’s go for a 5k Sunday!

>Of sprained ankles and Trick or Treating

>

Yesterday started great. We went down to Cordele, GA to ride Thomas the Tank Engine (the real one.. full sized passenger train, not just the dippy little thing at Six Flags).

It was an absolute blast, although my husband almost had a seizure and the staff freaked and called the ambulance. It was more embarrassing than anything.

We got home, carved pumpkins, went trick or treating. All went well, until we left the last house, and started walking to the car to go to the next neighborhood. I put Elisabeth on my back, and lo and behold, a pothole grabbed my leg. I went down, candy and Elisabeth went everywhere and I started hollering… fortuitously, I fell down in front of a freakin’ gold cart. They helped me over, and rode me down to my car, and Nathan came to get me and take me to the ER.

Four hours later, I’ve got a really bad sprain, (yes, crutches) I can’t walk, can’t do much but sit around.

Ah well. Necessity is the mother of invention, and it won’t be that long and I’ll be back on my feet. The good news is, this means I’ve got lots of ass time for writing and modding the forums. Naturally, I’ve done neither this morning.

Back to the grind.

Oh, and last night, I did manage to get 200 words in before the painkillers knocked me down.

>The gentle sound of smack talk and crying babies

>

I think one of the important tools a writer needs is a place to write. This is something I unfortunately lack, completely. I chill in the living room, surrounded by children’s toys with my feet propped up , and usually with the television on (sometimes, I can turn it off and listen to some music, but once my husband gets home, back on it comes.) It’s usually cartoons, too.

right now, I’ve managed to get the TV turned off, but it’ll be just a matter of a few minutes before he wants to come in and break the silence.

What I’m listening to right this moment is the crying of my 1 1/2 year old who is not interested in taking a nap, the twinkling bells and tinkling voices of a Barbie fairy movie in the 3 year old’s room, and the non-stop cursing, smack-talk and endless explosions of Warhammer Online as my husband takes on the minions of chaos. Or something.

The best I can get, usually, is through my blessed MP3 player. It’s a coby, not your most popular brand, but oh, how I love it. Plug in the ear buds, turn up the volume, and the cacophany that is my home fades into the distance, and I am allowed to write.

One of the things I want to do is get my dining room clear,and turned into a writing nook, a place for me to get away from the family. It’s an enormous mess, though, so hard to get through. But I need to. I need to get out of this living room. It’s a terrible place to try and write. I can’t even retreat to my bedroom, since it’s just as cluttered, and the baby’s crib is in there, so if she’s trying to take a nap, I can’t get in there. I ache for the write-ins of NaNo… even a crowded coffeehouse is a fabulous place to write when you’re surrounded by fellow writers, friends and nanoers. It’s inspiring.

So tell me, what sort of writing environments do you have? Surely you’re all not as nook-starved as I am?

>Writing every day

I can hear your groan a mile away. This is not new advice, right?  Yeah, every writer blog you’ve ever seen tells you that.  It’s good advice, but you’ve already heard it.

Well, I’m not going to tell you to.  Because you already know. What I will tell you is how this advice has started to transform my life!

Seriously, I’ve been suffering from insomnia for the last year or so. A lot of it is because of my lingering post partum depression (PPD, to the uninitiated.)  Some of it eating habits (Why yes, I’d love a coke at 10:00 PM!). But the primary cause is staying up too late on the computer. There was a study done recently linking computer screen time to insomnia.  My husband told me about it, and it makes sense;  the light emanating from the computer screen interrupts your natural biorhythms.  So I figured… why not. Let’s cut out the electronic lap-teat and see what happens.

I don’t have any good books around right now, so I pulled out my blank journal, the one I’ve been half-ass carrying around with me all the time with intentions of writing.

I wrote 20 pages in two days.

That was four weeks ago. I’ve only missed three nights, and that was due to unavoidable medical issues.  I’ve gone from 24 pages to 92 (as of last night.) I’m sleeping better, my back hurts less,and I’m a lot less grumpy. More importantly, the only time I’ve seen 3 AM has been when the insomnia left me tossing and turning in bed AFTER I wrote.

It feels good. I’ve actually loved sitting in bed, with my husband, him reading a book, me listening to my MP3 player and scribbling like I did when I was a poor teenager with no computer.

Best of all? No email to distract me from my latest WIP.

Now that, my friends, is good news indeed.

>Dictionary (Thesaurus?): Impossible

>Just found a great writing challenge, from A Paperback Writer

Let’s play Dictionary: Impossible.

Writers, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take out your dictionary and flip through it, then stop on any page at random. Write down the first word you see. Repeat until you have a list of ten words.

subculture
cemetery
excessive
steamroller
nag
cocktail
impute
underproof
borough
nonage

Level 1: Create at least three novel titles using only the words on your list (a, an, the, and other simple words can be added for style.) You have five minutes to complete this level.

Borough Cemetery
An Underproof Cocktail
The Nag
Excessive Nonage
Steamroller Subculture

Level 2: Create a story premise for the titles you’ve created from your list. If you get caught on this level, PBW will disavow any knowledge of you.

Borough Cemetery: Citizens of a fortified medieval city discover the victims of a strange plague won’t stay in their graves.

An Underproof Cocktail: Farmer Bubba’s miracle cherries were supposed to soak up the alcohol from the youngsters’ drinks, not turn the teens into killer zombies.

The Nag: She knew he loved her; all he needed was a little half-hourly reminder to show it.

Excessive Nonage: How many times could one demi-goddess cheerleader turn sweet sixteen?

Steamroller Subculture: Homeboy heavy equipment operators battle a demon road crew paving the way to hell.

Level 3: Write an opening line for the title/story premises you’ve created. Should you decide to continue on with the mission, you have exactly thirty minutes to complete this level.

Borough Cemetery

The Baron would have blamed it all on the gravediggers, but theirs were the first bodies left in pieces outside the city’s gates.

An Underproof Cocktail

Seein’ pictures of that college fella usin’ clay teabags to soak up poison outta bad drinkin’ water were what gave me the original idear.

The Nag

She’d left him her phone number, written on his bathroom mirror in red lipstick along with a kiss-print and CALL ME LATER.

Excessive Nonage

“Diana Hunter made the squad?” Heather, who had not, turned purple under her crystal rose blush. “She only moved to town like two minutes ago.”

Steamroller Subculture

Bodeen climbed down from the barricade truck and walked over to inspect the surveyor’s mangled, bloodstained tripod. “Somebody let Julio back up the dozer again?”

Level 4: Write the story to go with one of your opening lines, premises and titles. You may take as much time as you need, but remember that any idea may self-destruct in as little as ten seconds.

Level 5: Write the stories to go with all of them, and you win Dictionary: Impossible.

Now, since I don’t actually have a dictionary, I’ll use my Roget’s Pocket Thesaurus. It’s not quite the same, but should be an adequate substitute.

My words:

  1. laggardly
  2. forward
  3. regard
  4. analysis
  5. defiant
  6. loyal
  7. striking
  8. concerning
  9. profitable
  10. trivial

Level 1

Laggardly Defiant
Striking Regard
Profitable Analysis

Level 2

Laggardly Defiant – A young heiress is quick to anger, but slow to forgive. When it comes time to stand up for her rights, she finally errs on the side of caution… and loses her family’s estate as a result!

Striking Regard – A vain man is the idol of an entire country. One woman, above all others, wishes to make him her mate, regardless of his cooperation in the matter.

Profitable Analysis – A statistical analyst gets an entirely new job, serving as a pollster in a microscopic magical kingdom in his own back yard.

Level 3

Laggardly Defiant – My mother always told me that I needed to stop being so easily offended or I’d regret it; that’s why I decided to hold my tongue when Baron Von Stuberhauser called me a flaming harlot.

Striking Regard – Jase never really wanted to settle down, preferring not to be tied to one woman, so his reaction to Bonnie’s marriage proposal was understandbly vehement.

Profitable Analysis – “What have you been smoking, Abacus?” Marley exclaimed, his bright green eyes wide with alarm.

Level 4 – forthcoming