January 2010 Wordcount Goal: 73,000

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year breathes new promise into Whirlpool writing goals

Okay, we're nearly done with 2009 and it's time to turn our thoughts to the new year. Cast away the old year's unfulfilled goals, ambitions, intentions and embrace a new vision for 2010. I admit, for the first time in decades, last year I began the year wtih my focus on something other than writing: my health. By any assessment, I met my goals and my health is way better than this time last year. So now it's time to return to my novel and slip into its universe and begin anew. My goal for 2010 is to finish the first draft of Whirlpool. January's goal is to write 20,000 more words and reach the 73K mark.

There are several sites that have picked up where Nanowrimo left off. For the truly ambitious, try BOOK-IN-A-WEEK. This is an on-going monthly gathering that will inspire you to go the distance. There are two JaNoWriMos. I've already signed up with JaNoWriMo 2010 but I may go ahead and sign up with the Live Journal's January Novel Writing Month, too. Any or all of those are bound to inspire you and give you that added incentive to hit the keyboard in 2010. Drop me a note and let me know your plans.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nanowrimo 2009 The End: Admitting defeat so the phoenix can rise again

This year proved to be a giant bust for me when it came to Nanowrimo. It began full of promise with me loaded to the gills with enthusiasm, orchestrated plans, and a network of fellow wrimos to urge me on. I even had a side bet with a friend. The truth is I stumbled right out of the starting gate. Within 24 hours some kind of nasty virus invaded my body and took me down for two weeks. I don't think I ever recovered from that physical blow despite the best of intentions. So Nanowrimo 2009 became a huge disappointment. But I'm not down forever. There's always next year's competition and all the days in between. I still love all the energy and excitement Nanowrimo brings and may even look for one of the other monthly competitions to fire things up a bit. Perhaps I'll expand the coverage in this blog should I stumble across one....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nanowrimo 2009: Day 24 A month of empty promises

Alas, November is nearly gone and the words have yet to arrive. The past two weeks have been swept up in swirl of emotions and activity that kept me far away from my fictional world and firmly implanted in the stark reality of this one. My mom feel about 10 days ago--she's 94, you know, so falling is not a good thing--and there was that. Then she apparently suffered a minor stroke toward the end of last week that left me eyeing her like a hawk non-stop in search of symptoms and any possible progression. I'm thankful that she tonight she is acting and sounding like herself and whatever has been going on has now retreated. But I find that I now realize it's the 24th of November and I've lost yet another 10-14 days. Sigh. Still hope springs....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nanowrimo 2009: Day 18 Getting back into story

Eighteen days into this year's Nanowrimo I find myself having to remotivate and rediscover myself and my story. I spent 10 days with a nasty contagious virus that put me flat in bed and unable to even think coherently let alone write. My desk is littered with piles of junk mail, magazines, and unopened bills. My task list is toppling over from its weight. I have to find a way to bypass that environmental and daily life stress and get back into the character and the book.

I spent some time trying to clear the decks a bit and then had a mini-crisis with my mom this last weekend so in the tradition of most writer's lives, it got in the way. Today is a new day and another opportunity to still get some Nano writing in so I'm going to start small. I plan on one paragraph a day and will be thrilled if it moves into more. How about you? Are you doing a two-step with issues, clutter, tasks, and guilt?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nanowrimo Day 11 2009: What's in my writer's bag?

Writers are known for their book bags, stacks of books, and satchel of tricks. Did I say "tricks?" Yep. Anyone who writes long enough will develop a repertoire of rituals, strategies, and, well, tricks. Rituals create mood, bolster intention, help a writer slip into their productive writing state. Strategies provide roadmaps, promptings, guidelines to keep the mind and the imagination focused on the work at hand. Tricks? They are for a writer's bad self. That part of the mind that is that childish imp who refuses to play, who won't follow the bread crumb trail, who hides the attic intent on doing what it wants to do. And all you thought you needed to do was sit down and write....

My bad self is having a hey day today. Yesterday it muttered and kicked and slapped stacks of paper around telling itself it was totally committed to writing but all the while sought out distractions and kept the goal just out of reach. Today I fear I must resort to tricks. (I have many because my mind is quite diverse in its ways to outwit me.) I have index cards with scenes and moments waiting to be captured. I have a scene template to use to corral my wild thoughts and emotions in order to pour them into the waiting scene bucket. Whether it will be those or some other well-worn tricks, I am intent on gaining entry into my story world once again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nano 2009: Late start is better than no start

Wouldn't you know, just as the 2009 Nanowrimo clock begins a nasty virus takes hold and starts up its own ticking bomb. I've lost ten days already in this year's endeavor. That's a huge hit and there's no way you can truly avoid the reality of lost hours and lack of production. Does it mean it's time to chuck Nano 2009 and wait until next year? Of course not.

The nasty bug not only kicked me into bed but it also crashed all hope of attending Donald Maass's Fire in Fiction workshop in Seattle and a big opportunity to hole away and concentrate solely on my writing. I'd been planning and anticipating the trip for months. It's one of those disappointments that takes root and feeds the feelings of missed opportunities and plans gone awry. The good news is that I'm well enough to have those feelings and appreciate them. The bad news is the same.

What to do? There's not much else you can do other than start up the computer, create a quick game plan for the day, and hit the keyboard running. So once I work my way through the mountain range of bills and junk mail and pay said bills, I'll be turning my attention back to writing--again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Countdown to Nano 2009: Day 2 (Clearing the decks)

Well, technically it's 38 hours and 43 minutes until the mad white-hot writing begins. Planning should be on the downward slide and time left now will concentrate on preparing the writing environment. Clear the desks, get the files containing the daily templates in place, and bring the index cards and scene notes to the table. Yesterday was consumed by a severe neck/back spasm leaving me with a severe headache to contend with all afternoon and evening. Muscle relaxer and pain pills helped. Hoping they finish the spasm off today so my head is clear and my neck and upper back are relaxed and ready for the butt-in-chair approach to story engine dynamics. How about you? Are you ready for Sunday and Nanowrimo 2009?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Countdown to Nano 2009: Day 4 (Side Wagers)

Well, yesterday is no way to greet the advent of Nanowrimo. Wordcount? Zip. Nada. Nuttin'. By the time I got back from a day of errands I didn't much feel like tackling the keyboard. I'll be out today but I really need to buckle down and go for even a very small amount of words. The one thing I did do is take on a wee bit of a side wager with a fellow scribbler Lia Keyes over at Scribblerati, We both have about the same aim in wordcount and similar goals. While Lia is offering a $100 Amazon gift certificate for the Scribbler who manages the highest wordcount, she and I will be throwing down the gauntlet daily as we march toward the finish line. If you want a little extra boost, you might try a little wager with a friend yourself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Countdown to Nano 09: Day 5 (Stretching the imagination)

Okay, so I thought I'd try and do a little writing every day to stretch the old imagination. I managed to eke out two paragraphs with 197 words. Dismal. Dismal production and pretty dismal content. I'm going to have to do better than that if I want to get excited. Today's production is nil...at the moment. I still have a little over an hour and a half to get a few words in but I can't say my brain is on fire with some dueling characters or atmospheric-ridden prose. Enough kvetching for today. Time to rescrew my head and gin up a better attitude. I hope the rest of the nanobots are having a better time of it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Countdown to Nano 09: Day 6 (Prep work)

With less than one week before the 2009 Nanowrimo writeathon begins, it's time to get serious about prep work. Plenty of writers I know are busy testing out a storyline with character studies and preliminary outlines. They tend to be the writers with Nano history. Some new writers to the Nano experience are getting cold feet now that their first gust of excitement has passed. Others are dithering over which story to tell or whether they have a good enough plotline to go the distance. Me? After a flurry of excitement updating my Nano account and announcing my attention, I sort of drifted into riding a soft, lapping wave of anticipation--no real production. But the time has come when perhaps I need to think about doing some writing scales to nimble up the fingers. Maybe a simple, non-threatening goal of a page a day would suffice. What are you doing to prepare for Nano this year?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Start your engines for Nanowrimo 2009

Do you hear the increased clicking as writers around the world begin preparations for their 2009 quest to make Nanowrimo history? October 1st writers, new and returnees, registered for the 2009 50K wordcount marathon that will consume them daily all the month of November.

I'm a regular NaNowrimo participant, although last year I missed the annual fun. Instead I did my personal Nanowrimo in December and ended the month with a grand total of 53,000 words. It was a great month. I've already signed up for 2009 and am ankle-deep in Nano preparations. What about you? Are you ready?