Tag Archives: JuNoWriMo

Time Travel of Sorts

Finally! A combined WIPpet and ROW80 post… Only took a few weeks!
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I seem to be traveling backwards for these WIPpet posts. It sort of makes sense… I don’t usually write in a linear fashion. But to post out-of-order two weeks in a row feels odd. Still, here we are…  I’m taking y’all back even further in the Unnamed Story.

No fancy maths today.  It’s JuNoWrimo, and my head is toast.  Eight little paragraphs for the 8th of June.  Hope you enjoy…

Vant didn’t bother inputting his passcode in the keypad when he reached the basement.  Like as not he’d be leaving with ‘Listii Mirniia in a few minutes.  No sense in resetting the locks for that.

Opening the door, he reassessed that decision and quietly backed away to key-in his id number.

Mother, what did you do to him?

Grimly, he reentered the room to gaze over the scene, broken only by the fact that his presence had been noticed by the pair on the floor.

‘Listii Mirniia eased from the woman’s arms to grab up the towel on the floor next to him.

The woman in question moved slightly to a defensive pose that shielded the man next to her.  “Vant?”  Even her questioning tone held a hint of caution as if to warn him away.

Vant held back his smile.  Oh, Mother, how so-very Wanderer of you….

Behind her, his uncle placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.  “It’s alright, Atyr.  He’s involved too.”

Caught in the act…  but of what?  I’ll wager it’s not what you think.

If you enjoyed that, you may want to head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other creative members. Yummy Biscoff cookies and a spicy Vanilla Chai to the multi-talented Emily Witt for hosting the WIPpet Wednesday bloghop these days.


ROW80LogocopyNow, I’ve got a mini check-in for all of you keeping tabs or following the Round of Words in 80 Days writing challenge.  If you aren’t and you’d like to know more, would like increased accountability, or would just like some companionship during your writing journey, click to see if The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life might work for you.

As for me…  Life is firing on all cylinders except that dear *cough cough* Goal #1 (to read/study a craft book).  Does the time I spent reading up on how to create the perfect villain (via Jim Butcher’s old Livejournal) and Marcy Kennedy’s ever-so-helpful lists from her Busy Writers Series of craft books count?

Just Write

If so, then I’m (still!) rocking this week.  I’ve managed over 18K for my JuNoWriMo project since last Wednesday; I’ve drafts of both the JuNo Pep Talk I was asked to write and my next ROW80 sponsor post done; and I’m still finding a small amount of “me time” reading. Tuesday, I thought I’d lose momentum (serious head hurt), but I pulled most of the day through with a mid-day nap. Sometimes I see the great word counts of others in the JuNo and feel a bit down (people who are writing those 5K days regularly impress the heck out of me), but it’s what it is.

This weekend is the New York Capital District Renaissance Festival.  We’re thinking of going here at Chez Mabee (the Boodle really wants to go).  It’s also the Self-Publishing workshop by Audra North at our local RWA chapter meeting.

Decisions, decisions…

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Rainy Days and Wordsprints

I think I like being up during the early morning hours.  I don’t like getting up early, but I like being up early in the morning.  Anticipation, wakening, determination fill the world with a creative energy.  For a few hours, I bask in it, my head filling with characters, their stories and images to give a permanent form.

wilted-flowerThen I wilt.  Whether I slept soundly the night before or grabbed an hour or two cat-nap after a reckless all-nighter, I wilt about the same time each day.  It’s not a meal thing either.  If I eat, I have a slump; if I don’t, I slump.

Today… I’m in a slump for a bunch of reasons.

The biggest is I overestimated my energy for my part as staff in the JuNoWriMo.  I’m holding it together, mostly, by ignoring the little things, like pleasure reading,  cleaning my desk…  Oh!

img by Adamr via FreeDigitalphotots.net

img by Adamr via FreeDigitalphotots.net

Well, actually, I’ve spent a lot of the last few days reading.  Opened up the Kindle app my phone a few times and spent some time reading short stories I’d downloaded a while back. Since short fiction is not my usual fare, it was doubly cathartic. I tend to be less critical when I’m in an ‘alien’ zone. That said, I read one piece that would have hit the wall had it not been my phone.

I wonder how many people can say an iPhone saved their story?  Or in this case, a story nearly destroyed their iPhone…  and am I the only one or does strike you odd too that iPhone doesn’t set off the spellchecker but all-nighter does?

Oh, and from some of my more pleasurable reading this week, can I please inspire you to read Maria Popova’s Commencement Address to the Annenberg School of Communications?  This, along with her recent post Against Self-Criticism: Adam Phillips on How Our Internal Critics Enslave Us, the Stockholm Syndrome of the Superego, and the Power of Multiple Interpretations were exactly what I needed to read after the last few days of sprinting sessions for the JuNo.  I’ve begun, but not finished How Kindness Became Our Forbidden Pleasure, but I read enough to know I wanted to read the book.  It’s on order from the library now.

The experience of which COULD lead me into a rant about the layout of the local library system, but…  maybe for another day.  It time for my:

ROW80 Check-in and Assessment

ROW80LogocopyAll weeks should be this profitable…  (okay, maybe not all, but more than a few, which is where I seem to be right now).  I’m still not making much progress on that Goal #1, but it’s OK.  I’m reading other things, and exposure to writing and stories in general is always good to get the mental gears spinning.

  • Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: nothing, no progress here at all
  • Not-progress, but… explored other fiction formats, some YA (by Avi) and a huge bunch of short stories
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress:  I haven’t submitted anything, but then neither has anyone else.  Three of us are doing the JuNoWriMo, so perhaps no one has something ready
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: of a sort…  see the next goal
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  I’ve been doing a lot of handwritten work and typing it the next day for my word counts, so yes, a definite “Check”
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress  my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on those two)

As you can see, another really good week.  I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to maintain this momentum (I’m hoping to make it a regular habit that just IS, but that takes time).  I know even then there will be off days that things just don’t work anymore, but I’m hoping to reduce those to just a few and start enjoying my rest days more because I won’t be stressing about the work I’ve missed on my off ones.

And now, the Boodle update for those interested…  you’ll have to turn your volume up for this one; Dan wasn’t in the best position to capture the video (things you realize after the fact).  But for anyone interested, here are two slices of Boodle: his most recent piano recital and today at the Albany ComicCon.

Aperture Labs meets Star Wars

Aperture Labs meets Star Wars

Sometimes Little Things are Big

markdownHave you ever heard of Markdown?  No, it has nothing to do with the latest special at Kohls.  It’s a special coding system for typing webpages and documents online

I use it daily, though I never learned all the keystrokes.  Maybe you do too without even knowing you do.  If you’re like me and use 750words.com for your brainstorming sessions or have a WordPress.com blog, you have Markdown either available or build in.

The design counts for a lot of the Word auto-correct options too.  Scrivener calls the pieces it uses as “substitutions”.  It’s why : + – + ) becomes a 🙂

Little things: like *this* is the same as <em>this</em> (which for Blogger people is <i>this</i>) …  and they all equal this.

Most websites allow a certain amount of Markdown or some kind of Markup language to make things easier on their users.

Why would anyone want to do this?  Well, it makes it easy to just…  TYPE.  I  mean, HTML is useful enough, but a lot of the tags (those things between the <> characters) are already being removed from normal use.  Even the ones we use every day in our blog comments…  That <strong> tag to bold your text?  It has been deprecated right along with the simpler <b>.   Granted, basic HTML tags like those are nice because you can just type what you want in web editor and a machine (or person) anywhere around the world can understand the format of your text  (maybe not the words—you are still responsible for those).  That is a handy superpower to have, if you ask me.

Knowing some (even a little) Markdown is the same.  You may not agree, but someday, try doing a webpage on your phone (I have).  Suddenly I can walk again…

If you’d like to learn how WordPress (at least) uses Markdown, here is their quick reference.  A quick Google search will help you elsewhere.

Row80 check-in

Yesterday was the first day of JuNoWriMo, and of course, in all the Kick-off craziness, I ‘chose’ not to post my check-in with my most recent WIPpet as I’d planned on Sunday.  (I say ‘chose’ because I did… at the very last-minute when I looked at the furby pic I’d added to the post and couldn’t bring myself to add in another word.)

ROW80LogocopyThat said…  it was a pretty awesome day.  I closed out my writing with a bit over 3500 words (I posted a smaller tally, but then had inspiration to add just a few more).  I have to update our crew spreadsheet, but how can I complain about that for a day’s progress?  Especially a day that included a trip to DMV*, swimming with the hubby and other happy family time!  I didn’t even stay up super late (I was tired), but I got almost everything done I’d planned for the day.

The almost was this post of course.  It would have been nice to not have this waiting for me this morning.  But…  oh, well.  Not every day turns out perfect.

As for the rest of my goals–they’re moving along (except my imfamous Goal #1).  Yesterday during the trip to DMV, I got some quality reading time in Letters to Alice by Fay Weldon.  It’s a bit of a commentary on creativity and a warning to the aspiring author.  It’s all fun.

It was definitely a nice shift from the madness of Tuesday when I did All The Things JuNoWriMo.  I still have some serious setup to do on the website (*shudders*).  The mainblog page especially, which doesn’t actually show the blog posts, just a blank screen (except for a ticker of recent posts on the side).  Some research will be involved here, since I’ve not dealt with WordPress.org design much.  Nothing I cannot handle, I’m sure—just time I don’t have right now.

And that’s it for me.  Hope you had an awesome couple of days writing.  See you Sunday!

* My father calls them “Damned Motor Vehicles”; I bet a lot of people do.