Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NaNoWriMo #11 Day 13

This NaNoWriMo is a struggle. As I've already written, the start was rocky and not my usual happy, let's kick it off at midnight with a room full of other writers. I was with a good friend, we wrote at midnight. I was also significantly short on sleep and at a work conference and a little overwhelmed before the month even began.

These are not excuses. These are facts from my life. Or I should say, they are factors in my life right now.

I still am not giving up on passing the 50k word line before the end of the month. And it is going to be a struggle. It is being a struggle. This will be my eleventh consecutive year of writing 50k+ words in the month of November and I'm not going to fail. I could decide to not do it, to stop, to let myself be okay with not completing it this year. I do know this is my decision and I can decide to say no. But I have decided to not do that.

I will continue.

And the light on the horizon has come closer and it is actually just around the corner, I believe. Today marks the end of a very long run of work, conference, work, theater, work. I do have appointments and some theatre related work in the next few days, but I also have some time available to write; more time than I've had since the beginning of the month.

Oh - and I am in the chapbook writing and printing class. Which is awesome. I am so inspired by Ariel and the other writers in the online class. We are making these amazing books, which are going to be out in the world very soon. Mine is not what I was envisioning when I signed up, but I am loving it. Loving the process. I am inspired by Ariel's instruction and guidance and feedback. I am inspired by the other writers beautiful words, sharing our projects as we work through the learning process, give each other feedback, share our ups and downs.

I will say that the chapbook class is one thing which is keeping me going, despite it being another thing I have to do.

So, there we are, I am writing. I am creating. My dystopian novel has become a series of dystopian short stories. And some of those short stories are short story beginnings. Some of them are leading nowhere and I'm letting that be okay, too. I am writing something every day, except for the one day of road trip from the conference back to home (it was a thirteen hours trek from there to here). I have only made the target word count twice this month. Which means, at this point, the NaNoWriMo word count system is telling me that I need to write 2130 words each day in order to meet the 50k before midnight on November 30th, instead of the normal average of 1667 words per day. That seems do-able. It is not an insurmountable number.

I can and will do this.

My current word count is 12902.  To be on target, I should have 21666 words written by the end of the day. That is not going to happen and it's okay.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

NaNoWriMo #11: Day 6

This NaNovember is getting off to my slowest start ever in my history of doing NaNoWriMo.

It is day #6 and, if I was on track, I should have written 10,000 words by now. Normally, my first week of NaNo is one of my strongest. Not this year. Right now my word count is sitting at 4,902; not even half of where I should be.

I'm not giving up, yet. I have considered calling it a wash. My first ever NaNo fail. But I've decided to keep going and see what happens.

Trying to give myself a break because I was out of state at a conference when it started. In a different time zone. On just over half the amount of sleep I usually get. With about 12 hours per day spent at conference events.

Not excuses; reasons.

I also missed (of course) the midnight write-in, which is usually a big boost for me. I missed one entire day due to driving back from the conference (my decision; we could have flown, but I wanted to drive).

I'm feeling a little disconnected from my NaNo writing right now. Which may also partially be due to it being politics season. I'm also writing dystopian fiction, so there is a certain amount of disconnect in the stories themselves.

And I've worked every day since returning from the conference. I know I'll feel better when I have a longer block of time to just let words flow. Right now I'm managing at least some writing every day, except for the day of travel. It hasn't been easy squeezing out any writing, but I"m doing it.

I'll keep at it and will, hopefully, get some long stretches where I can just focus on writing.

Not giving up, yet!

Friday, November 2, 2018

NaNoWriMo #11 : Day Two

I skipped the business meeting at the conference this morning and slept in a bit. I've been running on low sleep for a few days due to the conference being an inverted schedule from my norm. So today I only spent twelve hours at the conference - but it was a pretty good day. Some very interesting research is being done in this profession and some changes are coming.

But probably the highlight of the day was being able to attend Shabbat. It was a special honoring of the two Black people killed at the grocery store last week, and the Jewish people killed at Temple before that, and The Thirteen. The people who organized and performed the ceremony were very open and invited any conference attendees who wanted to, to join them. It was moving and I am glad I was able to be present, to be a part of honoring the recent victims.

Then after the evening workshop, we came back to our room and I finished up the homework for my online chapbook making workshop. I am still loving this workshop (with Ariel Gore, in the Literary Kitchen) and I am in love with my little book so far. (Photo below of a rough mockup of the project.)

And after all of that, I wrote on my NaNoWriMo project. The working title is "Midnight, Raisin Toast, and You." My total word count right now is 3,716. This is ahead of the target for today by about 400 words.

I'm happy. I'm sated. I'm going to bed because 6:30 AM comes very early for me.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NaNoWriMo #11: Day One

I wrote 1885 words from 12:00AM - 12:43AM for my NaNoWriMo #11 (that is 218 words over the daily average target). Go, me!

Now it's time for bed. My alarm is going off in 5 1/2 hours so I can get up, shower, get dressed, grab continental breakfast, and make it to the first session of the conference (8:30 AM) tomorrow morning.

If you know me, you know that this is a super early schedule for me. But I'm making it work. Tomorrow night the plan is to go to bed early. Super early for me.

But all for a good cause - to further my interpreting and mentoring skills, and to write.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mid-October Check-In

A List

What I'm doing:

  • my RACC (Regional Arts and Cultural Council) grant was approved and the workshop, "As on the Stage," to train POC interpreters in performance interpreting is under way. I am honored and thrilled that they approved my grant application.  I have a wonderful cohort to work with and I am thankful to the POC interpreters who are joining me on this journey, to the POC mentor who will be joining us in 2019, and absolutely to RACC for see the need and the vision to make this happen.
  • in a chapbook making and writing workshop online with Ariel Gore in The Literary Kitchen. This is very exciting and even though the timing is tough (because I am so happily and creatively busy with other projects) it is just what I needed - for me, for my writing. 
  • I recently interpreted "Elephant and Piggie's 'We Are In A Play;" for NW Children's Theater and School. Twice. A weekend morning matinee and a weekday midday matinee. It was so much fun! We got to wear our own version of costumes and interpreting children's theater is a world of difference from the adult shows; especially a very young childrens' play, as this was.
  • I am in the final days of preparation to interpret "Wakey, Wakey" (this Wednesday 10/17). I am the main character, who has the first 2/3 of the show on his own. It is a lovely, well written, well directed, well acted play. It is hard to put into words, but it moves me in a subtle, thoughtful, delightful way.
  • There is another interpreted show the next night at another theater I work with, Portland Center Stage. No, I'm not interpreting that one - just supporting the interpreting team, and available to help if there is need.
  • The next night there is another interpreted performance at Profile Theatre. This is a solo show - one actor, 26 characters - and there is one interpreter; also not me, although I am the understudy and will interpret the pre-show event at the theater. I have to be ready to interpret in case something comes up (I have attended this show and been preparing it, as well) and to support the solo interpreter in his preparation.
  • I am STILL editing the memoir. I have made great progress. I don't see how I will get this draft editing completely before NaNoNovember, but I'm not giving up yet. I have a lot done and two more weeks to go; I may sill finish the edits before I go to an interpreting conference at the end of the month.
  • The first White Bird Unchanged performance is this Saturday. Right now, with being so busy, I question if I can go, if I want to go, since I am doing something every day this month. But I also know - I remember - that these performances are always restorative and I am able to sit back, watch, take it in, relax, be inspired. So I will go. And I will love it.
  • And I will be doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I will be at the work conference when it starts, so will be starting from there and missing the midnight kickoff write-in at the airport. But I am going to the conference with a friend, who is also a writer, so we will do our own midnight write-int, then get some sleep because we have to be at a workshop the next morning.

And all of the other regular life stuff. Not that theater and writing aren't regular "life stuff" for me - they are.

November will be a little slower, theater-wise. But not writing-wise!

My creativity is high right now and I sometimes have to remind myself that things are actually okay. There is the turmoil in the outer world, the bigger things. But that doesn't mean I should stop the flow of creativity. I should actually turn it up. In times of dis-ease and unrest, we need the arts even more.

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Ripple in the Wave : Why I Didn't

"how do we endure this (over and over again again again again)? we take turns until there are so many of us the wave cannot be stopped." - Lidia Yuknavitch

I am a part of the wave. I am treading water to keep afloat; and I will. I'm very good at the dog paddle, even if it means it takes me longer to arrive.

   by Dot Hearn

[in no particular order]
{an incomplete list}

My skirt was above my knees.
It was almost dark.
He was my best friend's friend.

My mother said about girls in too tight clothes, "she was asking for it."
My father said when a woman was attacked at a bar, "she knew better than to go to that place."
My teachers said in the 5th grade girls secret class about periods and sex and appropriate behavior, "girls must keep their legs crossed."

He said he couldn't live without me and they would separate us if they knew.
He was going to be my husband.
He was my husband.

I thought he was cute so it was my fault.

I didn't want to wake the other people sleeping in the tent.

I didn't want to hurt his feelings because he said he loved me.

I was drunk.

He was drunk.

My mother was always suspicious of men, yet always blamed the women when something actually happened.

My mother didn't believe me when I cut my thumb on a razor and it was bleeding.
My mother didn't believe me when I rammed into the back of a parked car on a borrowed boys' bike and told her I was bleeding in my underwear.

He didn't actually get me into the car, though he tried; I should have ignored his question.

My parents would say I shouldn't have taken the shortcut through the trees from the low-rent apartments to the pizza parlor.

"I tried to warn you but you wouldn't listen," my mother would have said, and added, "Are you sure?"

Because I left my body and my mind locked away the details before someone found me tied to the tree in the middle of the elementary school track.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sometimes My Job is to Not Work


Yesterday was Going To The Fair Day. Not officially, of course. A friend and I went down to Salem just to check it out, watch a couple of typical fair shows (the Cirque Zuma Zuma, and the Alaskan Pig Races and Hurdle Jumping),

It was a good day. It was a day I didn't work at ll.

When we'd had enough of the fair (somewhere around 7 hours later), we left. We drove back up to Portland to write for a while.

It was a good day - the not working and doing something just for fun. With a dollop of writing on top at the end of it all.

And now I get to attend a special Happy Hour event at an organization I respect madly for an event I adore. Yes, it's (non-writing) work-related, but it will be fun, too. And a good networking opportunity - practice for when I get my book published (no, not contracted, yet; pie in the sky dreaming!)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Let's not talk about The Weather

It is now August. The temperature is going up, again. It's summer, I know, it's supposed to be hot.

It is.

Hot. As in temperature hot. We used to get 2 to 5 days of hot, which to me means mid- to upper 90s, hovering around 100. We've already had many of those days. And streaks of those days. They started early (I think the first one was in May) and have continued to show up. Last week it finally cooled down to a lovely mid-70s for the highs; it was lovely. There is another heat wave coming to land in the area later today, upper 80s, then into the 90s the next few days.

It's summer. Hot. I know.

So what does this have to do with writing? My writing space is upstairs, in a front, full south facing room, with four very lovely 3x6 windows. I love it. And - hot. Luckily, one item on the remodel list a couple of years ago was the windows. Now they open, so I can let the heat out; except when it's this 90+ hot, it never gets cool, but the room can at least breathe.

But that's also okay, because I can (and do) write in other spaces.

Did I say that I don't like the heat?

  • Writing. It's still happening. It moves down the priority list when there is a show to prep, but it never falls off my radar any more. Which is good.
  • Theatre (the JAW week was fantastically intense and inspiring and fun and audiences loved it). I'm working on a couple of other theater projects right now - though not play interpreting preparation, other aspects of theatrical interpreting.
  • Work is work - good, don't get me wrong. But it is that time of year when there is a lot of pressure to have fun get ready for school take care of the yard go on vacation finish the summer projects weed the garden harvest the too many tomatoes too many zucchini buy school supplies buy school clothes start planning the holiday puzzle with family exercise eat lite find joy find solitude party like you'll soon have no time and on and on and on. Irritability seems to be running on high in the content of the work and joy is simultaneously minimized and being sought.

I'm also wondering what to do here - what direction do I want to take this in and how far. It has meandered through a couple of ideas in the early days. Then it was more "this is me writing", reflective. And recently it has become a place to update on writing progress (or stallouts) and workshops and bits of information from different parts of my life. With the occasional NaNoWriMo updates, and Camp NaNo, though I barely wrote here during July, when I did successfully do my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of writing the equivalent of an hour each day.

I used to post prompts once a week. I think for a little while I posted twice a week - two different types of prompts. I used to post advice, mostly links to websites/blogs/posts.

I wasn't on Facebook I would probably write more here. Although I'm not generating a lot of original content there, either. Mostly promoting interpreted performances, with a few comments here and there. Reposts.

I heard that blogs are making a comeback - or trying to. As people move away from social media a bit, because the amount of information can be overwhelming and there is so much false information being shared - so many lies, misunderstandings, so much hate. And also a lot of love and true information and resources. There are connections I have in Facebook that I probably wouldn't have, at least not to that extent, if I didn't have a social media connection. Maybe there will be a decent alternative someday. Although, as things go, it will probably decline after a while, too.

I've rambled enough.

I have no insights.

I have thoughts beyond "too hot" and "how's the traffic" and "what time do I need to leave to get to work/my appointment."

But now, it is time to wrap this up and ... what? Publish it? Or delete it? Or wait until I can clean it up and then publish it?

Naw. Raw thoughts are sometimes worth sharing. I don't know if these are "worth it" - but I'm going to do it, anyway.