Thursday, December 18, 2014

Write or Die 2

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I've been lagging on my posts. Some of what I would write about has ended up on Facebook, in short bites, quick spurts. Some of it hasn't happened.

Some of it got lost in the 10 days of sickness. Only a few of those were significant successfully keeping the creepy crud cold out of my lungs, though it was close one day. Mostly really low energy, stuffiness, feeling blah and a bit achy. And interpreting a play with that going on. Wah wah, I know. But I rarely get the colds which stroll around neighborhoods and cities looking for victims. And if I do get caught by them, I'm usually completely recovered in 24 - 36 hours. But this one got me.

That was how I missed a week of writing here. I'm trying to keep at least a weekly post and am working back up to something more frequent. But last week a few things slipped through my awareness because I couldn't keep on track of everything I had to do; I was too busy resting and sleeping and trying to get over it. Which I am now - though there are a few lingering remnants.

But "Write or Die" has nothing to do with being sick. Except being sick which is what led me on an internet search to find a topic and I came across the updated Write or Die (2) website. I don't know how long "2" has been out, but it looks good.

I first discovered Write or Die in its earlier days, during NaNoWriMo. It was a fun online place to keep words flowing because in the kamikaze mode, the program starts eating what you've written.

Now Write or Die 2 also has positive rewards and the option to set up a positive atmosphere conducive to writing - as well as the traditional color-changing, alarm-sounding options which let you know when you're not being productive, though there are more options within that.

I am entering a period where I will have more time for writing - which I am looking forward to. I might try some of the new aspects of Write or Die 2.

I also appreciate that the original web version (free) and the earlier desktop version ($10) are still available (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find those links). The new version is available to purchase ($20) and you can use it online (free) by clicking on the "Try It" button. It's a fun way to keep your fingers moving.


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Being Present in The Room

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an excerpt from

The Talent of the Room
written by Michael Ventura

Originally published in LA Weekly, 21-27 May 1993


"The room, you see, is a dangerous place. Not in itself, but because you’re dangerous. The psyche is dangerous. Because working with words is not like working with color or sound or stone or movement. Color and sound and stone and movement are all around us, they are natural elements, they’ve always been in the universe, and those who work with them are servants of these timeless materials. But words are pure creations of the human psyche. Every single word is full of secrets, full of associations. Every word leads to another and another and another, down and down, through passages of dark and light. Every single word leads, in this way, to the same destination: your soul. Which is, in part, the soul of everyone. Every word has the capacity to start that journey. And once you’re on it, there is no knowing what will happen."
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You can read the rest of the piece over on Kelley Eskridge's site.


Thank you to Lori L. Lake for bringing this article to my attention at the Women's Writing Retreat in Rockaway Beach in October.
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Announcing: Seven Consecutive NaNoWriMo Wins!

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Yes, I did.

At 11:56 pm I validated that I have written over 50k words. I had hoped to reach the goal before Thanksgiving. And I did. Barely. But I did.

It has been challenging and fun. For a while I thought I wouldn't make it. But I did.

Now back to working on the story! I reached 50k, but as I suspected, the plot is not complete. There are words to go to actually finish the novel and I will keep on writing to the end. Then return to the other novel while this one rests.

Woo hoo!!

And my winner t-shirt arrived today. How perfect was that timing?!



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The End is Within Sight

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One thing I am grateful for is my Tuesday writing partner. We have missed a few weeks here and there, or one of us has, sometimes both - but we have kept it up for a while.

I'm sitting across the table from her now at the cafe. We have our laptops open and we've checked in. Now we're writing. Both of us working on our NaNoProjects, one a Pantser and one a Rebel.

detail of silk painting by Dot.
I am closing in on 50k. My total word count as of the end of Monday, is at 44,099. Which means I am 5901 from the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and November 30th. Which will give me my seventh consecutive win.

Will this story be done at 50k? No, not unless I pull out the stops and toss in some deus ex machina. I would rather keep writing and see where the story ends, which is my plan. This is a decent novel plot and I like some of my character development. It will obviously need major overhaul and clean up. I am the Pantser. This year I am the Pantser with a string leading to a plot (I still don't know who
dunnit) and a setting.

Each year I try a different approach. Last year I had a nice cast of characters going into NaNovember. This year I didn't have any characters, except a stage manager (unnamed until I started writing) and a director friend (also unnamed until he showed up on the page) and the title character, the dramaturg, which didn't show up until somewhere around 35k.

Okay. Now back to writing the NaNoNovel. I'm not sure when I will hit 50k, but I hope to do it by the end of the day on Thursday. The weekend is very busy and I'd like to have the target met so I can not stress about that with all of the other activity, and just write the story to the end.

NaNo!
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Another Character?! Now?!

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I will begin with my word count update, as of 10:30 am today: 36,834. The target by midnight tonight is 36.667, which means, all additional words written today are extra, are the padding which will help me complete this novel before the extra busy final days of NaNoWriMo.

Today I am writing in Salem. My partner is teaching an art workshop at the Art Department, Inc. and
I offered to be the chauffeur. Which also leaves me voluntarily stuck in Salem for six hours while she does her Wabi Sabi art magic, wandering the cyber-friendly cafes, writing. Yes, I planned it that way. The majority of this week has been focused on my writing, and today is no exception.

I'm starting off my writing day at The Beanery. So far, so good, as I have already written nearly 1,000 words. I'm not sure where I'll go from here, but there are several options, since I have my car parked in an all day free parking spot.

The new character I referenced in the title actually appeared a couple of days ago, for a few moments. No one important, just the new roommate of my MC's best friend. But now that she has flown out to Minneapolis - her best friend passed out for an unknown reason at a closing night party - and met the roommate, more has been revealed. The roommate is more than just that - I know, big surprise, right? Hah. The surprise is that the roommate-now-fiance has turned out to be the dramaturg! Yay. I was beginning to wonder how the dramaturg would ever fit into this story. It has taken him a long time to reveal himself and that's okay. Now he has a lot of importance to live up to, including show me why he has top billing in the title.

The story is progressing well. I have been finally able to re-immerse myself in this plot and I feel a flow. I'm going back to it now, because the creative river is most likely becoming rocky and shallow for a bit after today.

Thank you, dramaturg, for showing up. Thank you muse and creativity for carrying me along. Thank you to the powers that be for the story and the words and the ability to put them down into a relatively cohesive rough draft.

Enough! Back to it.

No dead bodies. No body parts. But there has been a fainting which may have been caused by a malcontent with revenge or cover-up on his/her mind.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Time Out to Write

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This is the final night of my annual NaNoWriMo writing retreat. And I am so glad I started this tradition.

On Tuesday I arrived here with 21,668 words written. That was my ending word count at midnight on Monday, November 17th, I should have been at 28,334 if I'd been keeping up on the daily average word count. I had an appointment and a meeting on Tuesday before I headed over, which meant I started this retreat with a 6,666 word deficit. And remember that each day the goal is to write another 1.667 words in order to finish 50,000 words in 30 days.

The ending word count goal for today is 33,334. I just surpassed that number. Woo!

Tuesday I wrote 2,031 words. Yesterday I wrote 4,552 words.Today my ending word count is 33.627.

I made it! I am back on track. I hope to get in some extra writing in the next two days, because I have a few long days ahead when getting in the daily average will be tough. But I am confident I will pass the 50k mark on time. Yes, I will.
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NaNoWriMo Update from the Writing Retreat


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It was an interesting day. I was woken up early by several dogs singing nearby. I do mean singing. There was one dog with a very melodic voice. And several other dogs barking in reply. But it sounded like a singing dog with a backup bark chorus.

My muse then took that opportunity to appear with another piece of the novel. Either that or it was the whales playing straight out from where I'm staying calling me to watch them. As I started writing I looked out the windows and saw a spout. Then another spout, a few more. I saw them arch in the water as the waves hit the Twin Rocks and sprayed. When they quieted my attention turned back to the computer and I typed. And typed.

Until I hit the energy wall and had to go back to sleep. I'd only had about four and a half hours at that time. So I went back to bed and didn't get up again until about 12:30. The tide was heading back out, so I made brunch, ate, changed out of my pajamas into beach walking clothes.

I walked on the beach for an hour. I watched a seagull struggle with a live crab for a while, while a companion seagull kept potential seagull thieves away. It took a while, but the seagull won the war. The crab appeared to get in several good jabs and the seagull probably has scars. But the seagull won the battle. The tide came up and tried to steal the carcass away, but the bird grabbed it and dragged the heavy, now water laden body up onto the sand, not being able to get much height in its flight, but enough to save its meal.

I've been writing off and on throughout the rest of the day. Taking meal breaks, stretching breaks, and other bodily function breaks.

I did manage to get in a lot of words today. The story is making progress, though it's not surprising some of what is happening in the story. I still don't quite know exactly what the big mystery is, but it is getting closer. I have some significant hints, but a bunch of details are missing. Even the characters are wondering and they are doing their research to see who else is involved and why.

Today I wrote 4,552 words. I decreased my deficit in half, from 7000 words to 3,400.  My current word count is 28,251.

It also started raining tonight, after it got dark. They are predicting a lot of rain tomorrow, so I probably won't go for a long walk, giving me more time to write.

My goal for tomorrow is to be 100% caught up. And if luck and my muse are on my side, hopefully I will again be ahead in my word count. The words are coming a little slower than I'd like, but they came. And I am happy with what I wrote today.

One more full day of writing (Thursday), some writing time at home on Friday, and several hours of writing on Saturday.

I've got this.
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