Monday, July 27, 2015

Camp NaNo Note


I have just under 3500 words to become a Camp NaNo Winner - I am going to make it across that finish line after all. I thought I might not. I thought I might give up.

But as of right now, I am a couple hundred words ahead of today's target. And the story has finally progressed a little.

True that the author has stepped in a couple of times to provide commentary on the progress. And that's okay. It's Camp NaNo and if I'm not having fun, then why do it! Right? Right.

I took a few minutes to create a cover, just to keep the creativity flowing because the words have stopped for today.

I will cross 25k words before midnight on Friday. I swear I will. The story is rambling and roaming and parts are downright silly and that's okay, too,

I'm writing.

No dead bodies. But there is a sparkling pink cowboy snap-up shirt, a clean freak in a white t-shirt, and a missing pink elephant.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Camp NaNo Quick Update

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I am a November NaNoWriMo writer. I thought I'd jump into Camp NaNoWriMo in July to give a jump start to my writing. Which it has and hasn't. The "slower work time" is not quite as slow as it seemed it would be. I have a big work related project I'm working on and I did have a play to interpret and hours to make up. All of which I've done.

And I've written.

But I haven't written every day, so it's been write a couple of days, miss a day or two or three. Then write to catch up. Rinse and repeat.

Right now I am about 1000 words the total word count target for today to finish up on July 31st.
There are still one and a half hours before this day is up and I can probably squeeze out those words. Then I will have six days to complete the words to be a Camp Winner. As of right now my projected completion date is August 4th based on my average word count so far. Since I don't have to get up early tomorrow, I am going to try to write a few words ahead, since I will have little time to write tomorrow.

Alright. Back to the writing now with the hope of catching up.

Oh - the story? Meh. It's writing. It's wandering. There have been a few moments where I've laughed. And there have been times when I've rolled my eyes and/or been bored. This is writing exercise and this is clearing out the junk.

Before I jump into an online writing revision workshop in Ariel Gore's Literary Kitchen just three days after the end of Camp NaNo. No, I won't be using this mess and jumble of a story for the workshop.
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer is for Writing. And Theatre. And Adventure.

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Okay. So I took the adventure part first, before it was officially summer. That was a good thing!

I returned to a month filled with theatre.

Then I decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm glad I made that decision because, as much of a struggle as it has been to find writing time, I have made it happen. I get caught up in my 25k word count, then I fall behind. Then I write more words. And I fall behind. It's all okay. I see this Camp NaNo experience as a priming and clearing adventure, to get myself ready for the Real NaNo (grin) in November. I've been struggling to get my writing habit re-established, especially since my writing buddy had to take some time off for a health situation. A couple of other friends have come forward and we're finding times here and there to write. Which keeps the writing fingers nimble (which is different than my interpreting fingers - how? I don't know, except maybe it's my palm orientation!). As I told a friend I met for writing today - this is my time to pull out the weeds and clear the deck for the real stories to come.

And maybe, as she replied, there might be a few keeper gem sentences or concepts in all of these 25k words I will generate.

Maybe. That would be a bonus and I'll take it. If it happens. Right now in my Camp NaNo story, the performance happened, complete with two dancers in neon unitards (oh boy) and a rolling on the floor Yogi Man, and a woman in a white flowing dress with gold threads and eggplant colored ribbons and sage green stitching twirling on the floor.

Hey, but no body parts! I don't think it's that type of story.

I am playing with one idea in the story that I like. It is a really good exercise and - sure, I'll tell you. It's probably all you'll get out of me about it; as if revealing there were dancers in unitards weren't enough! My protagonist is remaining genderless. Not as in the character doesn't know or the character's friends don't know - they do. But the reader doesn't know. It was a thing this character wanted. This is being a great exercise in writing. Without gender but keeping it natural. 

The latest thing to happen is that to protagonist just woke up at home but does not remember how that happened. The last conscious event was being drawn to the stage and then into a trance like state. Right now there is much foraging happening in the kitchen in the search for breakfast. 

Also, this week I interpreted the one-woman performance of "The Lady Onstage" at Profile Theatre. This was a part of their In Dialogue series. I love these staged readings - and this one was a particular joy. The play was still being revised. Each day of the short rehearsal period there were changes. At first there were new scripts as sections were rearranged, revisions made. Then there were lines and adds/deletions/alterations. Each day. It was a wonderful opportunity to be there with the playwright and the director and the actor and the stage manager as this piece was still being developed. And then to interpret the production. They will be taking this piece out into the schools in the fall and - no, I'll wait until there is more information. But I will say that there may be a wonderful, special opportunity for some Deaf students. 

In the theatre realm, we're waiting for the script for Bend's Shakespeare in the Park (the play is August 21-22 in Bend, and August 23 in Sunriver; we interpret on the 22nd). The director is making final revisions to his adaptation of "The Comedy of Errors" right now. We will hopefully have the script next week. We've already started working on the story, on research and such while we wait for the actual script. 

Meanwhile, I still have 16 days left to write my 25,000 words this month. I think I'll make it!
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Yes, I Am



I am doing this.

Yes.

I felt I needed a little prodding and what better way than a self-imposed deadline with no other consequences than the failure of meeting a goal. Camp NaNoWriMo makes it even easier to complete your project. Oh, wait, did I say NaNoWriMo is easy? No, that's not what I meant!

At Camp NaNoWriMo, you are allowed to write whatever you want. Yes, I know there are NaNoWriMo rebels who don't write a 50k novel, but write 50k of something else. But November NaNo is for novels. At Camp, people are doing revision, scripts, novels, short stories, essays, blogging, and I'm sure other things I haven't even seen yet. You also get to set your word count goal at Camp NaNo.

I opted for 25k and am (so far, anyway) writing a piece of a novel. I decided to not push for 50k because there is so much else to do in this much slower theatre time. I'm not sure how summer Camp NaNo will go - but the goal (besides writing 25k words) is to have fun and get those writing wheels greased and up and running. June was extremely busy in terms of theatre, leaving me no time to write or do much of anything else except work, eat, sleep, take some walks, and prepare for and interpret plays.

So, back to it. My silly story awaits! My protag has met up with some friends while waiting to see a new dance works performance. And has seen a few unexpected things and people, as well. There is a hint that the protag needs protection. But from whom or why has not been revealed. And, so far, my protag is genderless. And nameless. I suspect the name will be revealed fairly soon. Or maybe not!

Anyone else hanging around in Camp NaNo? You can find me there with user name "dot.". Yes, I am that creative. *wink*

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Doorways and Wonders

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On the threshhold of change.

No - passing through the doorway.

The difficulty? Not knowing what is on the other side. Not exactly. Not quite enough. Ideas, yes; hopes, some; intent, absolutely. But one milestone achieved and isn't it those moments when possibilities are open and options exist and there is time to wonder and explore and consider, that it feels almost too overwhelming tinged with fear and excitement, maybe a touch of anxiety (for some of us - yes, for me).

Then I come here and I see that it has been ttwo weeks since I posted anything. Two very busy and blessed weeks of theatre.

Oh, yes, now I remember. A bit of this wonder and restlessness is the post-show let down. Times two. I just finished two very different and challenging and wonderful plays (one of them is running through next weekend; see it if you haven't - it is truly a Must See, "In the Next Room, or the vibrator play" at Profile Theatre).

All is well. Yes, I know this feeling now.

The writing and exercise will return to their rightful places soon.

Maybe I should do Camp NaNoWriMo in July to get the writing habit reinstated, since I only have one interpreted performance in July. Maybe. It's a possibility.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Of Platforms and Pedestals

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Another tagline or wordbyte or something, whatever it's called, caught my eye. Another blog post title about Woe Is Me I Have No Platform and someone else who is a pro at platforms responding with It Doesn't Have To Be That Way. Then I start noticing other edicts for writers to build their platforms (again) and the warnings that you must have a platform or you will forever languish on the slush pile if you even make it that far.

I know a few writers with awesome platforms and it works for them.

I don't have a novel published. Yet. I don't have a platform. Do I think the two are related? No. With a wry smile on my face, I tell you that I know that a writer must first get to the Final Draft before a novel can be published; I'm not quite there on two.

And I tell you that some authors, some writers, have their platform and elevator speeches and taglines and ten second summaries done before the first word is written.

If that approach works - go for it.

Is that what is required in the current market?

Some people will tell you yes and others will tell you no. And I say, I don't know. I hope not. Do we have to be shoved into labeled boxes to succeed? Maybe it depends on one's defniition of "success" - maybe. What if we aren't that genre author; if we don't write just one thing and don't want pseudonyms for each style and different platforms. What if?

It's the same issue - in my opinion - about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ello (probably not a good example since it's incline to importance waned when some Facebook policies let up a bit), Tumblr, and so on. Some experts say we, as authors, must do them all. Some advise to pick your favorites and build and grow those. Some say go with the flow and keep up or not.

How many hours are there in a day?

That was sarcastic and rhetorical. I know the factual answer.

But if you want to write, write. If you want to promote, then promote. Where there is overlap, good for you! But when the social media marketing platform building maintaining promoting takes over the time for writing, maybe it's time to look at what it is you want. What you can do. And your "why," as the money makers/entepreneur leaders say. And I probably shouldn't say "you" when I know it is my question, my wondering, my issue. I know I'm not alone, but I know that I don't have unlimited time to dedicate to my writing so I have to be a bit fussy at times around my writing time.

To platform or not to platform? And what happens when your platform changes; when you want to break out of that zone you've set up? Is that when the successful platform becomes a pedestal and you're likely to fall? Questions without answers. I'm confident there are different answers from different authors and editors and publishers and advisors.

Thoughts?




Monday, June 8, 2015

Another Moment

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Another photo from the Taos trip. Another moment of synchronicity, perhaps.

Remember the sacred river gate at the gallery which was closed but she opened up for me anyway? As as she showed me around, showed me the AirBnB room where Georgia O'Keefe had slept - yes, the building has been around that long and longer - and the DH Lawrence room and I discovered that she was a writer and a theater person. That place.

Then the next day S and I went to one of our favorite dinner places in Taos, to celebrate. Being there. Being together. Being. And I discovered that the favorite restaurant was actually right next door to newly discovered gallery/airbnb/writer/theatre home.

From the parking lot of the restaurant, I could see part of the theatre they are constructing. I'd seen the top from their own parking lot, but when we got out of the car to walk to the restaurant's front door I saw it. I don't know what part of the theatre this gazebo-like structure is - the stage or an entrance or what.

But it is. Another connection to a connection to the flow of what happens in Taos.


Monday, June 1, 2015

In the Blink of an Eye

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In life, especially in these time, "they" say, we are exposed to so much information. So many things and people and places and events and all we can do is grasp as they fly by, then intentionally or accidentally grab the things which interest us or which catch our eye. It is impossible, I believe, to "get" everything.

Sometimes on a road trip I do a similar process. There is so much that flies by from the car, so much to look at and if we stopped to explore everything we would never get "there." Maybe someday we will take a road trip which is just that and there will be no there there.

But there was a there, a destination, a place we had to be and a time. So, sometimes, yes while driving, due to the ease of digital photographs, I snap pictures while I drive. Don't panic. I don't look at the pictures I'm taking. See, I remember using rolls of film in a camera and counting the frames, and knowing that sometimes you could squeeze in an extra picture or two. But it required two hands, point, (focus, sometimes), click, advance the film. And then you had to develop the film. Some people still do this and I love that. But developing the film cost money and there was a limit and so each shot counted - most of the time. But with my phone all I have to do is press the home page icon which is the bottom left corner of the screen so I don't even have to look and then I hold it up to the open window and click click click - my phone has all alerts off so I don't even get that - it's just a bunch of tapping the screen, a bunch of times. Then, when we get to the next break (usually a rest stop, or lunch, or gas) I go back to the photos and weed them out, keep the ones I really like.

Like this one. A few years ago I took one of these side view mirror photos while driving. It was a sharp contrast of what was behind us and beside/in front of us. I thought it was cool. So I've started taking more of these click-it no-focus in front and behind mirror shots when driving through interesting places (or when stopped at interesting places and something catches my eye).

This was while driving near Canyonlands in Utah. The view from the road is spectacular. One of these days we'll build in time to actually go into the park. Maybe.