Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gut Punch

[This is new and raw.]

Gut Punch
by DS Hearn

The decision now done I wonder what the next blow will be. Not when. Because the when is tomorrow, unless it has already happened today and I haven't seen it. I've been working.

The punch to the gut of the confirmation that this is what will be in the government seats. The punch to the gut that people's rights will be violated; the proof is already in the works, each day more and more. And that They don't care.

That this country will be - or already is from several articles and comics I've seen - not trusted, not respected, mocked.

This is not about losing the vote or that the other dominant group members are in the White House.  It is not about the "R" and the "D" of this country.

This is about: The loss of rights. The loss of dignity. The loss of hope (temporarily). The trickery and lies and manipulations which led to the claim of "the win," many of which have already been proven a sham, a ruse, a mask to gain support then abandoned. The lack of knowledge and experience already witnessed.

This is about
land the earth
water air
the meaning of respect
going backwards
losing ground
slipping into chaos
struggling to breathe

step by step
not giving in not giving up

giving to each other not being divided uniting for the earth for people

dipping into the waves of sorrow and loss
dipping into the waves of strength and resistance
dipping up for air
dipping down for rest and recovery
dipping to rise again buoyant

and saying

Friday, December 9, 2016

After NaNoWriMo

The challenge after the writing frenzy of November is to continue a solid writing practice. It is one reason that I participate in NaNoWriMo every year, to renew my own commitment and to strengthen my practice of regular writing.

And, this year, to move a project forward.

There were challenges this November. One being that I had a little more performance interpreting opportunities than I usually take during NaNoWriMo; good opportunities and I was thrilled to be able to do them. The other challenge was the direction things are going since the election. This event raised fears and anger and more. But I decided to turn those energies around into awareness and into continuing to write.

I also registered for two online workshops with Ariel Gore. The first is a workshop I've wanted to do since she first offered it, but the timing hasn't worked out - personal essay writing. This time it falls across a time where another workshop I was scheduled for canceled - so I had already blocked the time for writing; seems a bit of synchronicity in the timing. The second workshop with Ariel is outside of my usual writing style, and that is good. The second one is a Noir and Dystopian intensive, something I've wanted to check out, try, but haven't yet. This seems like a good time to dip into that genre and especially with Ariel.

So I'm excited about the two new writing workshops.

The publication of the excerpt from my memoir steal beats warm in my heart. I've received some wonderful feedback from people who've read it at Hippocampus Magazine, words of encouragement and people who want to read more. I have been working on that this month. I have compiled all of the pieces into one place and am going to print it out. It's a lot of paper, but I am at a place where I need to see it in print and I need to mark and cut and move and paste. And edit. Parts of the manuscript at this point need some serious editing and revision. And I have some new pieces to put in to the document and the writing of some of the old and new is of a different style and I need to get more consistency. This is a good place to be in the book's development, but it is a slower process - at least for me. The editing process is longer and harder; I like the writing part better. Although I do want to say that I have some great editing tools I've learned from Ariel and from Lidia Yuknavitch which make the process feel possible and productive.

So, onward. My writing continues. I will get this Work In Process done. And I will continue to write other pieces, as well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - it's a wrap!


I wrote my final sentence for 2016 earlier today and that was the end of NaNoWriMo. I updated my word count and then got on with the things I had to do today.

About an hour ago, a friend and fellow-NaNo participant and I were texting about her win, and she mentioned that today's square on my NaNo word count calendar was still red.

Huh! I had updated the words. But the square didn't change. So it seems that I needed more than five words to get the square to change to orange.

I finished my errands and came home. Opened up the laptop, turned it on, waited for everything to get it up and running and programs opened. Wrote a few paragraphs.

And *now* I am officially done with NaNoWriMo 2016. My final word count has been validated at 60,771. This is my biggest NaNo to date and it feels good.

I also have a plan to continue working on this project and I'm excited - with an edge of overwhelm, but the excitement is bigger - to bring it to an edited completion. This will take some time, but I will be working on it.

Goodbye, NaNo 2016.

My new goal was 60k in 30 days. I became a NaNoWriMo winner on 11/21 and decided to increase my goal and keep writing to the end of the project. This will be my highest ever NaNoWordCount.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 29 - New Goal Met

Today, at my weekly Tuesday writing meetup, I passed my second, self-decided NaNoWriMo goal. 

When I passed the 50k mark on November 21st, I knew that if I didn't set a new goal, my writing would most likely fall off. It might not go away, but I would probably lose momentum and wouldn't get much else done.

And there was more to be done.

There is still more to be done.

And just a few minutes ago I passed my updated NaNoWriMo 2016 goal: 60,000 words in 30 days. My current work count is 60,329 and I did validate that on the NaNo website. 

Tomorrow I will write a few more words, because I have written every day this month except for November 9th. That is my only red day on my NaNoCalendar this year and it seems fitting, because of the implications of the election and because that was the day we drove to the coast for the NaNoWriMo writing retreat!

I did it! My longest NaNoWriMo project to date. And there is more to write and I will. This one will continue being the main project I work on. Because this was a rewrite and new pieces for a project I already had in the works.  

Yay for NaNoWriMo! Yay for me!

Friday, November 25, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 25: keeping on

I am still trying to write to 60k before the end of November, since I passed the 50k mark so early.

I think I will actually get there. My writing has slowed, but that seems to make sense. Since we went out of town yesterday to spend it with our complicated and extended family. It was a good day, There was about one third or one half of the whole bunch there, I'd guess. Hard to track the numbers. It was a good day. The drive down, which is normally 90 minutes or a little less, was two and a half hours. There was a lot of traffic, more than anticipated and planned for, and it was raining heavily with standing water on some parts of the freeway.

So yesterday I wrote a very short bit after we got home. But I had to go to bed early (for me) for and early (for me) job out of town.

But circumstances happened and I ended up with some extra time today. Part of that bonus time was spent meeting one of S's _?_ cousin first removed? or something. I'm not good at mapping extended cousins and relatives in that way. But he and his wife came down from Seattle to visit family here in Portland, and had planned to come by here first to go out for lunch with S; and since I was home, I was able to join them, with my phone on because I was on call if the job site needed me to go back.

I enjoyed meeting them and we had great conversation. And agreed to get together, again. More like-minded people in my life is good. And they are planning to move to Maui in a  year or so, which means, boo hoo, that we might *have* to travel to Hawaii to visit them. I've never been there and it hasn't been on my list of places I had to see. But having friends there might make it more appealing.

Back to my writing. I have been able to get some writing on the project done today. I am taking a short break to check in here then will try to get more in before going to bed.
 Right now I am nearing 56k. Another confessed hope I will make public and maybe it will help me get it done: I hope to wrap this up before I go to rehearsal tomorrow night. Meaning that I hope to get another approximately 4400 words written before 5:00 tomorrow.

We'll see. If I can avoid checking in on my people in Facebook for a little while, that will help.

And I'm excited: I signed up for two online writing workshops in January. One is a class I've been wanting to do since it first appeared and now, due to the cancellation of another workshop, I'm able to take it - writing the personal essay; this version of it will be an intensive (every day for 12 days or so, rather than over several weeks). Ariel is also offering another online intensive workshop in writing Noir and Dystopian writing ("Fatalist Fiction" - love that name) I signed up for. These are not genres I have been writing, but I have wanted to explore them, so the timing is perfect and it looks really good.

Once again, doing NaNoWriMo has put writing and creating back at the top of my list - or at least parallel with the income producing work I do.  NaNoWriMo, along with the Corporeal Writing face to face workshops and the online Literary Kitchen workshops is keeping me writing, keeping me exploring, providing inspiration, place, and time for writing. And validation and support.

Look at me! I'm still writing. *grin*

Monday, November 21, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 21 update - I'm a Winner!

I haven't been keeping up with my daily posts about NaNoWriMo this year. I was a little derailed by the election and then other things keeping me busy. But I have been writing every day.

And - tada - I'm happy to announce that I have been officially verified a NaNoWriMo Winner! I uploaded my story, word count checked, and I am at 52,252. That is a happy number.

In years past, when I passed the benchmark early, I usually stopped shortly after. Because (a) the story was done, or (b) there wasn't much more to write before The End so I did and stopped, or (c) I didn't like what I was writing and vowed to never touch it again (two of the years writings will not be revisited - yuck).

So this year, my ninth consecutive year as a NaNoWriMo winner, I have decided that I am going to keep writing. Because I have more to write about for this project and I don't hate it, yet.

Therefore I am announcing that I am setting myself a new goal of 60,000 words before November 30th. I was going to just say, I'll keep writing every day, but I know me. And knowing me means that having a more concrete target is a little more motivating. And telling a few other people keeps it real and keeps me accountable, even though I doubt anyone would really do much if I don't make it.

I'm a winner!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 17 - maintaining my lead

I just hit 1770 words for today. This is good. With the exception of Monday this week, I've been able to keep ahold of the additional words I wrote last week when I had three and a half days dedicated to writing. Which is why I do the dedicated writing times in NaNovember - to either catch up if I've fallen behind or to get ahead on my word count so I have some wiggle room.

My NaNoWriMo stats say that I will finish on November 22nd if I keep up this pace. But that pace includes those dedicated days, where I wrote 23,000 words in those three and a half days, so, no, I will not be maintaining my pace. I don't think I will have any more 5000 to 8000 word days this month. I don't have that much time in my schedule, except for one day at the very end.

Wait! I just figured it out. Actually, if I write the average of 1667 words per day, I will be done on or around November 22nd. Wow! I still don't think it will happen, though it is a possibility. After all, I am going to be in a writing workshop this coming weekend. There will be some writing happening in the workshop, but probably not at the NaNo level, though the content will probably be withing the context of what I'm writing. That or post-election essays I've also been writing a bit of since November 9th. (Yes, I'm doing a combo rebel NaNo this year; I have my novelized book and I have some essays, because some days the story is not flowing but the rage and fear refusal and disgust are running high, so I write it. It's all writing and it's all within November.)

I have extra words and I'm holding on to them. Even if I do pass the 50k early this year, which it surprisingly looks like I will, I am planning to continue writing this stuff through the end of November, and beyond. My plan as of right now is even to continue at the NaNo pace.

And, again, I hope that this commitment to writing continues past November. The commitment being not merely to write, but to keep it a priority and add more writing time into my schedule each week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 15 - I'm good

Today my total word count is 37,667. The target goal for today if one is writing the average number of words per day to hit 50k on November 30th is 25,000.

I'm good on words for today.

If I could keep up this pace they computations say I will finish on November 20th. That's a big IF that I'm not going to make. But it's nice to know.

Progress on the original story, which is good. I also wrote a short essay today, which may be cleaned up for sending out into the world, or not, I don't know. I was happy to be able to get some words in today because the rest of this week is super busy and writing much of anything, until I get to the writing workshop this weekend! may be difficult. But that's why "I'm good" is actually great for now.