Saturday, November 16, 2019

NaNoWriMo is Happening!

This has been a up and down NaNoWriMo so far. But I have written every day - which is awesome! I have been a little behind and growing more and more behind every day. I wasn't upset because I knew I had this writing retreat coming up, which is where I am right now.

The plan was to be over here early afternoon yesterday. But my mouth had other plans, which included an emergency trip to my dentist, where I was told that I had a dead or dying root and that's where the pain was coming from. And that I needed to see a specialist and probably needed a root canal. (It was pretty bad. If you know me in real life, you know that I tend to have a higher pain tolerance; I've been told that's because I'm a redhead.) I told them that I was supposed to be going out of town that day and was going to be gone for almost a week. They were very kind and helpful and found someone who could get me in yesterday afternoon. There is more to the story - but enough for here is that I had the appointment, she confirmed the need for a root canal, a bunch of the work is done but I need to go back to get it finished up, which can be done after the retreat is done.

So we headed out about seven hours after we planned, but we arrived. We are tucked into this lovely quaint Oregon coast cabin until next Thursday. We went to New Seasons and Trader Joe's and we have food (and alcohol and other fun things) and we don't plan to leave until we head home on Thursday and back to work. Except we might, weather depending, go down to the beach. (We are in a place where the cabin is up on a hillside, so "go down to the beach" includes actually going down the hill.)

Today I wrote a lot and made good progress on both my NaNoWriMo novel and on an assignment in the online workshop I am participating in. Good work all around! I am not done writing for the day. This day will be done before I am done writing. Which is "all good" as the saying goes.

Below is my current word count graphs, and you can see the ups and downs, now moving closer to on target. My estimate is that I will be at goal tomorrow and then keep going. I can' really predict how far I will get on this trip. But with very little to do except writing, hopefully it will be a lot of words on the page.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

NaNoWriMo Update from Day 8/9

I took a few hours tonight (Friday night) to attend three Lit Crawl events. Readings at one of my two creative heart centers: Corporeal Writing in downtown Portland. They were the site for three strong groups of writers - a conversation, and two readings. It is good for me to get out and just listen to other people reading their powerful writing.

I also changed the sheets on the bed today. Which the cat thanked me for and I was barely out of the room and he had climbed up and plopped right down in the middle, fast asleep - or so he pretended - when I returned a couple of minutes later.

And I slept in today. A luxury I haven't had for over a month. That was nice, too.

Then I finished the end of this story I'm working on, which I need for a writing workshop on Sunday. No surprise, characters from my NaNoNovel showed up, so that is also part of my NaNo word count. Thankfully.

With the rewrites and the other writing I did today, i passed the 10k mark. Hooray! I still have another 3200 or so words to go to get caught up. Which I won't do today (now Saturday) - probably not do today. Or maybe I will if I get that inspired. Who knows what I may be able to do after another good night's sleep! Which is where I'm headed now, with 11,946 words under my belt.

Hooray for writing!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019 update

I have managed to write a little bit each day. I am behind in my word count - which is not all that surprising. But this year I do have a writing retreat planned, so I am not concerned about being behind. I have a few days away to catch up and get ahead coming soon.

I also have a workshop this weekend, to which I am supposed to take a piece of writing to share and work with. Yikes! I did manage to write something today - which is a piece from my NaNoNovel. It needs a little more, which I plan to do tomorrow while I'm spending half a day in Gresham, waiting for a car repair to be done. Nothing like being trapped at the car dealers in the suburbs to make writing happen (I hope!). I am finally getting that defective air bag situation taken care of.

But, as of right now, this is what my stats look like. Sitting at 7460 words; the target for today is, yikes!, 10000. I am a little further behind than I realized. Oh well; I will get right on that tomorrow.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day Two

Hard to get into the writing habit. But I did write today. It was not a zero day. Too early for that.

Then wrote another 950 words after I got home. I mean, what else should I do with that extra hour?! I thought I would get more written, but I am tired. I will get more written before I go to work tomorrow (later today, I mean).

I like what I am developing. It is very rough, but it has potential. I look forward to seeing where my NaNoWriMo 2019 writing will take me.

Friday, November 1, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day One

What an amazing day it was!

On October 31st I had the absolute pleasure of interpreting Tina Packer's "Women of Will" at Portland Playhouse. It truly is part Masters class and part performance. Tina Packer wrote a book, of the same name (also available as an audiobook, read by Tina herself), and then turned it into a play. The entire work is 12 1/2 hours long. Then there is also this overview version, which is about 2 1/2 hours and includes scenes from a dozen of Shakespeare's plays. Her work follows the feminine in Shakespeare's plays, along the continuum of the canon; exploring five phases of his work by examining the female characters. She and co-actor, Nigel Gore, are knowledgeable and talented and offer many insights, and entertainment.

Following the play, I changed into my regular non-working clothes and, along with my interpreting teammate and fellow writer, headed to Starbucks, then the Portland airport.

To the airport to write after interpreting a play?

Yes, indeed. Vancouver and Portland NaNo groups hold a midnight write-in to kick off the current year's NaNoWriMo. (Not to be confused with the kick-off party, which was a couple of weeks ago.)

As of the end of our time there, my current word count is 2,183. And I still have most of November first to write! For now, some sleep. Then later on, after I've rested and am ready, I will write more.

I have a title. I have the start of a plot.

And are we surprised that it is coming out a little dystopian? And probably will become even more so? No, I am not surprised. I don't know where it's heading, but it is off to a good start.

I present to you my NaNoWriMo 2019 project, "Life in the Cracks."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Counting Down to . . .

The time is almost here. I am counting down to NaNoWriMo 2019. On Thursday November 1st, after interpreting a play called, "The Women Of Will" with Tina Packer, I will be among the writers gathered at PDX to start our 2019 50k+ novels. At midnight, as the MLs (municipal liaisons) count down to that magic time, midnight, and we all begin writing.

Let the month of writing freely and as a priority begin! Soon, anyway, not just yet.


Do I know what I will be writing? No.
Do I have a germ of an idea of storyline or plot? Maybe. Just a tiny speck.
How many NaNos will this be? This is my 12th consecutive year of NaNoWriting!
How many have I been a "winner" (written over 50k words Nov 1-30)?  This will be - hopefully - number 12.
Will it be fun? Yes.
Will I love what I write? Don't know. At least I (probably) won't hate it!
Am I taking a writing retreat this year? Oh yes! Absolutely! Missed it last year.

I have set up my 2019 author page on the NaNoWriMo website. I have joined the PDX NaNo Discord. Have joined the NaNo Reddit.

Have my Halloween all planned. From Shakespeare interpreting to transition to my author self and off to the airport with a friend & writing buddy. And ready to hit the keyboard! Maybe I'll spend this week's Tuesday writing date brainstorming the speck of an idea and see if more comes out. No writing the actual novel until November 1st; but I can take some notes and brainstorm.

In case you're curious, this calendar shows the target word count for each day of the month. Wow! Look at those numbers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

One month later

I've been back home just over a month now, from the road trip down through California, across Arizona into New Mexico and up to Taos, then back home through Utah, Idaho, Oregon.

It feels much longer than a month. I worked as many extra hours as I could to make up some of the time (meaning money) that I didn't earn during those lovely two weeks away. I also had an event I was involved with which took time, and more time, and additional time. A lovely annual event I love; but it still required more attention than the original agreement, which was fine, it was important. And my partner had, apparently, a burst blood vessel in her eye, which turns out is actually a common occurrence and no big deal - and with arnica and compresses and extra thick eye drops healed itself quickly, faster than predicted and well ahead of her upcoming trip to Italy to teach art; but we didn't know what it was when it happened and it was a late night trip to urgent care, arriving about 20 minutes before they closed but, luckily, she was the only patient. And there was a minor car accident (not her fault, but we're still waiting for the insurance company's determination on that - the other driver blamed her) - an accident is pretty much always a pain in the butt but the car is repairable and drive-able.

I didn't realize until I was writing this: it has been only one month.

One month. One full month. Not bad and I am not complaining. But I remember on the last leg of the trip, driving home through the Columbia Gorge, I was thinking and then said - I don't want to lose the good things from this trip. I don't want to forget the slowing of time in a good way and the being able to relax and just be present some of the time. I don't want to forget that life exists in a realm where there is time and space and air to breath.

One month.

Have I forgotten already? Not quite. Not entirely. There has been a lot of good happening, as well. In the theater side of my life, there are two new places I am working with and am excited about. I am excited by many of the theatrical productions I get to work on and see this season - there are a lot of really strong plays and casts. It is a power filled season. I have a short fiction piece coming out in an anthology sometime soon; I will share the details as soon as the release date, title & cover are available. I have my November (NaNoWriMo) writing retreat planned [I didn't get the residency I applied for and it really is okay; the coast retreat is later that month will be spectacular in a place I love and it is half the distance away, so, more time for writing!].

I have not forgotten. But it was receding to the background. Until now.

I remember.

Time and space and air to breath. It is within me. It is around me. I will remember to take time, too, even when obligations require more time in the moment. In my overall life, there is time, space, air, breath.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Inspiration and Rejuvenation

We traveled through eight states in thirteen days, we looked at art and met up with family and friends. We had six days in a row where we could wake up on our own schedule, no alarms. We took in the sky. So much sky and light and, for a while, time. What seemed like so much time when we arrived at the second part of our trip, Taos NM, became so little time left and so much to do. It all worked out and isn't that often the way with a trip? At the beginning the time stretches into a far away horizon, but at the end it seems not much was actually accomplished and so much might be missed.

Wait. Rewrite that narrative. One goal of this trip was rest, relax, rejuvenate.



It was a success.

We also had some wonderful discussions, saw beautiful art. And the sky! Did I mention the sky? Here, let me show you.

Creative inspiration in the form of an expanse of blue, clouds, openness.