Monthly Archives: November 2013

Cutting Words — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

I missed Sunday’s  Some Thing this week.  No excuse really.  I was avoiding being online most of the weekend.  Truthfully, I really don’t feel like being online today either.  It’s grey and snowy outside, and I really wish we’d bought that house down in Norton Hill that had a library with the marble fireplace now.

So now it’s Wednesday.  Sorry.

WIPpet

Innocence

Innocence (Photo credit: Christos Tsoumplekas (Back again!))

Well, after some thought last week after reading the comment threads, I realized that I need to stop my NaNoWriMo project.  Well, not stop, but escape it for a while.  I needed to play a bit… and, to borrow Ruth Nestvold’s term from her apt post on changing her NaNo-focus, I needed to change horses in mid-stream.

I reached for a fanfiction I’ve been working off and on again at for the past few years.  One of those sandbox pieces that I use to practice my characters in…  Because I was really having trouble creating the father/son dynamic I wanted to portray between Alanii and his father, I figured I’d explore the father/son dynamic between Alanii and his son in the far future.

So for this WIPpet, I give you five paragraphs for the 27th.  7-2…

Still, he knew how close he’d been to death when he’d attempted that escape. He’d hoped to die in the attempt. No fifteen year old should have to pray for peace that way. He would have died if it hadn’t been for Chaz…Chaz and his father.

His father–he’d hated the man all these years, damned him for the abuse he’d received, even knowing that he’d never have lived as long as he had without the man’s near invisible guidance. What had torn them apart before he’d even been born?

Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin (Photo credit: rocor)

No doubt it had been Daryl. Daryl’s spiteful act of sending him to the Mines suggested that well enough. He considered what little he knew about his mother. He’d only seen her once or twice. She’d been as distant as the Andar. One time he did remember, she’d backed away from him, backed away as if he’d hurt her, if he a three-year old boy had hurt her. When Avdotya chided her, she’d… Oh, he remembered what she’d said. The very acid in her tone had burned those words in his mind. ‘We didn’t want him, either of us, Mother. How could Father force something so horrible on us like this?’

He clutched at the ring. Maybe he was just making excuses for the man who had fathered him. Maybe it wasn’t that way at all. Maybe he was mis-remembering.

But if he wasn’t…. Dear Goddess, he pitied his father.

Cheers to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse!  She hosts WIPpet Wednesdays (it is like herding cats, after all) for us.  WIPeteers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date at the group linky and bravely invite company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques.

ROW80

picture of my office

In All its Chaotic Glory

Yep…  If you saw above, you know how it is.  I had to change direction, and I needed to avoid the temptation of online.  When I was writing, I wasn’t happy at all with anything I’d written (not even in the “this sucks but I can edit it later” but as in my Muse and I both were looking at the wordcount I was trying to force out and said to each other “Ack! Ptooey!“).

When I start losing connection to character I’ve spent as much time with as I’ve spent with Alanii, something is wrong.  Even he wasn’t happy with the direction most things were headed in (well, except the sex scene…  he seemed to like that 😀 ).

NaNoWriMo Calendar 2012 Fresh Ribbon A

NaNoWriMo Calendar 2012 Fresh Ribbon A (Photo credit: Monda@NoTelling)

Anyway, I’m still working on Courting, but I brought back The Dots*  to work on alongside the main project.  I’m still working on handwritten pages, but the consistency has gotten spotty.  I haven’t bothered to update my NaNoWriMo tally in a few weeks…  Oh, well.   As John Holton over at Sound of One Hand Typing has noted on a few times, anyone can copy in some text for the word count.  I’ve decided that a real victory in a Writing Month challenge comes when one gains a writing habit.

And I need to work on that one a bit more before I call myself a winner, no matter what my wordcount is.

* Re: The Dots:  I named that fanfiction off of the file names I’d used in my original WP 5.1 files, DotDot.Dot, DotDash.Dot, etc; and all the files were in the old DOS 8.3 convention.  Yes, I’m a bit of a geek.  And yes, I was still using WordPerfect 5.1 two years ago.  I used it last month.

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Getting Lucky — a WIPpet/ ROW80 post

WIPpet

I did some convoluted math for this piece of Courting the Swan Song so I can justify giving you eight sentences…  See if you can figure it out.  😀

Knowing better than to agree or disagree with any actual accusations against the Harnii’s personal affairs, he addressed what interested him most about the situation. “So the Wanderer women really are the ones who fight. Amazing. I mean, I must have read more than a hundred field reports, but to actually see one of their fighters…”

Sergey Vasilievich Ivanov (1864-1910). Slave T...Val snorted. “She’s a slave now. When you actually see one of their fighters, you’ll know the difference.”

“If I’m lucky, and my father listens this time, I will next season.”

“If you’re lucky,” Val said with a cold quickness in his tone, “there will be an armistice by MidWinter and you never will.”

You’d think Val doesn’t like the idea of Alanii becoming a soldier anymore than Alanii’s father does….  Do you think he’ll have any success in deterring his friend’s ambitions?

Copious thanks to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays (it is like herding cats, after all).  For a WIPpet, writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date at the group linky.  Company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques are always welcome.

ROW80

Doing check-ins once the story ‘flow’ gets … well, flowing reminds me of a button my husband has.  He bought it at Lunacon about ten years back, and it’s as apropos today as it was then.

“Don’t wanna work!  Wanna bang on keyboard!”

Now that all the story is plotted out in my head, I have ideas upon ideas for the settings and character actions, from motions to voice to … you name it, that are just demanding my headspace.  And with my son’s school adventures and the holidays coming up (not to mention The Car Issue*), headspace has become limited.

The story wants it all.

Thankfully I’ve managed a pattern with some things.  The writing defies all attempts at consistency, but the sponsor duties, the time at the gym…  Hopefully even the daily commutes will start finding a pattern.  Maybe they won’t before November ends, but it’s learning how to make the writing life work that the ROW80 is really about.  If anything, all this NaNoWriMo rush is the antithesis of the ‘life of writing’ that we’re trying to build here at A Round of Words.

dancing thought bubbles

dancing thought bubbles

So why am I doing this to myself?  Why do I almost always do this to myself, be it NaNoWriMo, JuNoWriMo, CampNaNo (among others)?

Because I’ve learned new things about myself, about my writing style, how to make things ‘work’ under pressure…  When I stop learning new things, even if the stories themselves flow easier–I’ll probably stop participating in the WriMo Rush.

So what about you?  If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this month, why are you doing it?  If you have participated in the past, but aren’t this time, why?  And if you’re in the “I’d never do that”, did you ever waffle on that decision?

* The Car Issue…  Of the three vehicles we own, the truck needs a transmission and a spare tire (not just the tire, but the wheel and all the stuff to attach it to the vehicle); the Impala needs about $2000 in engine work, and the KIA needs about $1500 in suspension repairs.  Every one of these vehicles is over 12 years old, and we average almost 1000 miles a week for the commutes. 

We need a new car.

Photo credits:

  • Sergey Vasilievich Ivanov (1864-1910). Slave Trade in Early Medieval Eastern Europe. Source: http://www.sgu.ru/rus_hist/?wid=719 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • dancing thought bubbles (Photo credit: AlicePopkorn)

ST4S — It’s So Easy

… to fall in love with…

Youtube

Excuse the Buddy Holly song…  But it really is so easy to spend way too much time on Youtube.

Especially when one is desperately trying to not write anything for her NaNoWriMo project….

English: Path junction at Cow Ford One path fo...Oh!  Did I just say that in a public place?

Well, yeah, I did, and I did so intentionally.  It’s my day off after all, and I’m savoring the unwriting time with some of the ‘best of the interwebs’ or at least some of the silliest and cutest and most intelligent stuff that I can find following a single Youtube cow trail.

(A cow trail, as you may or may not know, is a meandering path through a seemingly endless field that makes several unexpected, and often scenic, pauses along its way.  Clearly cows have a great sense of what’s nifty in life.)

And how I did it was to go to video John Holton had posted on his Two for Tuesday I’d been meaning to check out but couldn’t play via my laptop earlier this week (some places I wi-fi limit access to Youtube (and in the case of the Uno’s Grill in Latham, it even restricts access to the ROW80 blog).   So after enjoying some Sergio Mendez I clicked on one of the suggested videos that show up in the video screen after…

Oddly enough it was for this slash/spoof of Star Trek the Animated Series with William Shatner’s Common People as a backdrop:

Normally Youtube would recommend videos based on the video I watched, but something about their new algorithm is choosing some videos based on prior viewings…  and I watch a lot of strange stuff, some just for myself, some for my son.  So I got this next:

(Frankly, the Harrison Ford/Rose McGowan one ended up being better, but still only mediocre humor.  I love Weird Al; he can do a lot better than this stuff.)

My Little Pony is pretty popular in our house, as evidenced by some of the other suggested videos I was given.  Among full episodes of the Friendship is Magic series, there are also some really fun fan projects by Bronies (and not).  And who knew?  You could learn to speak Polish or Italian or …  well, lots of languages by watching MiP:

And the best part of this video?  Watching Derpy Hooves!

(A cool thing about Derpy Hooves is that she’s a fan-created character.  The writer of the series created and developed Derpy’s character based on discussion she saw on social media sites.  If that isn’t the ‘best of the internet’, I’m not sure what is.)

It’s not all silly stuff.  After a very fun video about Fluffle Puff (the other fan created pony who is all hair–more on my obsession with fluffy things some other week), I decided to peek at the more intellectual offering in Youtube’s suggestions.

Clearly I wanted to learn about Capitalism.   Of course, I watch a lot of RSA videos (along with TEDTalks…), so this suggestion made sense:

And after that…  and supper, I spent some time with the Boodle watching this (warning: long, but fun):

A lot of videos…  And there was some Minecraft playing and a yummy family meal, and even a nice soak in the bathtub…

A great day off after a week of getting my five sentences (and more) done daily.  I’ve still got a fair ways to go on my NaNoWriMo wordcount, but I also have a bunch of handwritten work (about 15 pages back and front) to add into my already recorded count on the NaNo-site.  My Row80 sponsor duties are all on track, and I even managed a 45 workout on Thursday that included some weights and cardio.

So, in all…  A pretty good week.  And a nice day off.  But that’s ending now.  Tomorrow’s a busy day on top of another week of busy days.  So, until Wednesday…  Adieu!

Photo Credit:

  • English: Path junction at Cow Ford One path follows the farm track through the gate and turns to the east while the other crosses the ford by a new footbridge in the trees to the right and heads south-east. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)