Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Nine

....and I'm a winner! I typed my final words to the 50k mark, which earned me to purple bar of honor as a NaNoWriMo 2011 Winner! My official final word count is 50,231. I doubt I'll do any more on it right now because I have student journals to grade and an assignment due in the Literary Kitchen and feedback to give to last week's assignments in the Kitchen.

...but I did it.

Now what? Will I abandon this story? Will it grow to a fully developed and published novel?

I'm not sure to the last question. But I do know I won't abandon it. I like parts of it; I like parts of it a lot. And I can see this at least being a longer short story (say 20 - 25 pages). And I can see turning it into a full novel. I did not get to the end of the story - but I will. I owe the characters that much.

I am now a four consecutive years NaNoWriMo winner.

It feels good.

Yes, this story will grow into something. I'm confident of that.


Monday, November 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Eight

Day Twenty Eight of NaNoWriMo 2011 and I'm on Chapter Thirty. I do expect I will cross the finish line tomorrow - surpassing the 50,000 word mark. Yes, I think by tomorrow night I will be a winner.

My ending word count today is 48,110. Today, in three writing sessions, I wrote just under 2800 words.

In the story, the cat or whatever it is, wanders in the bushes still. But the house's owner is headed out in his yellow rain slicker.

Wait! What's that? A Yellow rain slicker? Oh, my. There was a murder involving someone in a yellow coat at the opening of the novel. It wasn't clear if it was the yellow coat person or the pink coat person who died - but I suspect I know.

So a murderer in a yellow coat, perhaps, is going out to kill a cat. The character in the hospital is being held overnight in spite of no medical reason being found yet to explain her two fainting spells. And another character was visited by the spirit who had inhabited the body of her ex-partner, or something like that. Spirits and murderers and rain slickers in the park in the early morning mist.

Oh, my. Where will this end? I suspect a little past the 50k mark. Yep, this won't be wrapped up in 2000 words. I mean, I could - but that would make it unbelievable. Or outside the realm of believability as far as ghost stories and murders go. Right? Or is that even possible.

Ah well. Tomorrow I will be a winner and then we'll see what the characters have to say.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Seven

Victory is within my reach now. My ending word count on the twenty seventh day of NaNoWriMo is 45,355. Which means that I have another 4645 to become a winner. I will write over that - since the word count mechanisms are not the same, such as even now the Yarny word count and the MS Word count are different. So I try to give myself 500 - 1,000 words to spare, just in case. And tomorrow I can run my novel so far through the count generator and see how close they are.

Today's writing was in two sessions. And it went okay. It's not great. But okay.

The secrets are coming out now. And all of this fainting seems to be related. One character is still in the ER, but they are finding nothing wrong. The second death is still being investigated and there are some strange stories coming from her journals - though the relationship of that to her death is completely in the dark, as is her ex-partner who passed out in the dark hallway. And - the odd man with the most secrets is about to kill a cat.

Don't ask me. It's their story.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Six

Short and to the point:
Ending word count today


It's going to be a push to get to 50k but I will!


Friday, November 25, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Five

Today was another productive day in terms of sleeping and writing. And working - yes, working. Oh, and I got my laundry put away; it only sat in the basket for one day. That's probably a personal NaNoRecord.

My ending word count for today is 41,912. Still on track and a few hundred words ahead.

I was able to get in the flow for a bit and it felt good. It was probably the right amount of time - I'm not sure if I would have maintained that flow for much longer. But it was good.

The story is making progress, again. It has taken an unexpected turn. I do see a definite pattern emerging in my NaNoNovels. Well, at least the ones I like and which seem to get somewhere (my second NaNoAttemptedNovel was a failure; I passed 50k but the story went absolutely nowhere and I wasn't enjoying the story and it dried up easily).

Again, this is not a theme I would have picked out to include in my novels. I'm not opposed to it, but I would not have thought to write about it - or include it in my stories for a variety of reasons.

I have learned more about myself, my writing, my author's voice this year. This is good. I'll save the details for later. But wanted to mention that learning has happened again - while writing has happened - and while I've let the characters and the story move things along. And I've treaded water with the characters and the story, too, drifting while waiting for something to happen.

I'm pleased with how this NaNoAdventure has gone - is going. And I think I will have something to work with when I'm done.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Four

Today I slept until I woke up. Naturally. Ah, the joy!

Then I made coffee, make thick steel cut oatmeal with flax seed and a whipped egg for protein, plus a splash of vanilla. Then topped with soy milk.

Followed by, still in my pajamas, checking my email on the sofa in the living room. Which was then followed by more coffee and writing. And more writing.

And, at last, about 3:30 pm, a shower. Because we were eating our very tasty purchased New Seasons dinner at 4:00. Just the two of us. In front of the television, watching a movie.

Then a little more writing.

And off to work.

My ending word count is 39,692. I thought I might be able to squeeze out the remaining 400 words to get back on target - but, no. That's okay.

I'm going to make it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Three

Yay - the NaNoWriMo Calendar word widget is working again. And look at all those colors in mine.

Current word count is 36,983. Which means I wrote, what, about 150 words today.

That's okay. I got enough sleep. I went to acupuncture. I had another personal appointment. And I came to work - grading student journals on my breaks here and there. Which means I accomplished a lot today - except for writing.

Tomorrow is the first day in a while that I get to sleep in until I wake up on my own. No alarm clock. Nowhere to be until work at 7:30 pm. And no cooking! My partner and I bought a Thanksgiving dinner from New Seasons - completely cooked. Just reheat and eat. So it's an easy day.

And I hope tomorrow will be a productive day writing. I might try to whip out 1000 words or so after I get home from work and before I go to bed. We'll see what I feel like when I get home.

But, for now, I have a little orange square meaning I made an effort, but no dice on progress. *Smile.*

I wouldn't want it all green, right? That would be boring!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Two

Word count at the end of the day (or the end of my writing day, as I start work in about 30 minutes) is 36,835. Yes, I'm keeping my caught up status. Yes.

The writing bogged for a little bit today. But I hung in there; didn't give up. And then got a flow going.

In the story: the pieces are coming together. Yes, I see connections - but the characters haven't told me the "why" or "how" yet - only that they exist. And it has taken a more technology and spiritual aspect than I would have ever deliberately put into it.

Yes, I believe the characters are back in control and ready to move on with their story. (Or maybe it's that I'm ready to hear it!)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, November 21, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty One

This morning my friend and I got up in the hotel in San Francisco, after our Night of Writing Dangerously, with a bit of a candy buffet hangover (though we were both careful to eat protein, too, and the vege and fruit kabobs).  And both with great increases in our word count.

And we needed breakfast. We found a great place one-third of a mile away called the Oz Lounge, which serves breakfast until they close  at 3:00 pm. And it was a great breakfast and we were the only customers until near the time we left. Yum.

Then the shuttle van called and said they were coming 35 minutes earlier than they said in their electronic message last night. Which was 15 minutes earlier than we'd reserved. And so, we were on our way to the Oakland airport earlier than we intended and we arrived at the airport before the time we had reserved our pick up from the hotel. To discover that the baggage check counter didn't open for another hour.

Another piece of my continuing lesson in patience and going with the flow. Which was capped by an apparent security breach so we were told we had to walk to the other terminal and go through that security and then back track to the one to the airline we were on.


As we passed our terminal's security entrance, the guard with the dog came out and gave everyone the all clear. The long walk for my already sore friend was avoided. Good news.

And now, we are home. Her in her home and me in mine. And it's much colder here and wetter here. This morning mid-50s and sunny; now low 40s and very wet. San Fran in the morning; Portland metro in the evening.

I opened my laptop and I wrote. And I wrote. And it wasn't easy but I kept going. And I kept my on the mark with the target word count.

My current word count is 35,308.

And the inspiration and fun and community of last night carried me through.

Thank you, Chris Baty, for this amazing thing you have grown. And best wishes for your new career as a full-time writer, author as you turn over the reigns to the new OLL director.


NaNoDiversion: Call for Submissions


We are pleased to announce the birth of a new poetry publication,
Fault Lines Poetry.  It is named after the Cascadia earthquake fault line that runs from San Francisco all the way to Vancouver, BC.  We hope that its selection of poems will rock your world and make you all wobbly at the knees.
We invite poems of all kinds, addressing all types of themes.

Please participate in this home grown Portland project by submitting your poems to our web site:  www.faultlinespoetry.org.  The journal will be published Spring of 2012 and copies will be distributed to books stores throughout the West Coast. 

We look forward to your submissions for this very exciting poetry project.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at tonypfan@aol.com.

Thank you. 

Tony Pfannenstiel
Publisher/editor in chief

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty - NOWD

The Night of Writing Dangerously has been a wonderful experience. Full of writing and food and prizes and inspiration. And excitement. Costumes and uncostumes - fancy and casual.

I am very glad I made the trip.

And I wrote about 8,741 words today. I am now caught up to the daily average total and I am pleased. That was my goal and I wasn't sure it was possible.

But I did it.

My word count at the end of NOWD is 34,002.

Yes, I will be a winner come November 31st.

With a writer's coffee mug, a tote bag, some left over candy, and miscellaneous little gifts, I am shutting down my computer to get ready to go back to the hotel.

Will I write more tonight? I doubt it. I think I will bask in my accomplishment in front of the television and let my brain cells rejuvenate.

It was a very good day.

And I won't even try to catch you up on all that's happened. I will say that things have taken a mystical turn and everything that was, has new meaning. Finally, the pieces are coming together. Though I still don't know how.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day Nineteen

The The NaNoNovel is moving - I have hit a flow and don't want to stop. I figure I probably have another good hour to go in me. We'll see.

I'm in San Francisco for tomorrow night's big event: The Night of Writing Dangerously. The fun-filled and fund raising extravaganza at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. I am very excited. And, while I don't believe I'll hit the 50,000 word mark tomorrow night, I'm pretty confident I will be caught up.

Right now my word count is 25,261.

We awoke at 5:30 and 6:00 this morning to discover, happily, that there was no black ice outside, no snow, in Portland. Just a cold 38 degrees and wet. But no frozen stuff on the ground. Whew.

The flight went fine - not totally full, no screaming children, a cute dog across the aisle. A few air bumps but nothing bad and it was a smaller plane than my friend thought it would be. But she did great and we arrived safely. The reserved shuttle arrived just a few minutes after we called. We were delivered to the front door of the hotel. And the hotel let us check in a little early - about three hours early!


We went out for lunch after stashing our stuff in the room. Our timing was great, as we met up with a very friendly couple who gave us a great tip on where to eat nearby. My friend had done enough walking for one day and we wanted to keep it close; and although my lungs are a lot better, I couldn't do much of an incline. And since we're in the Chinatown/Financial area, we're on the edge of a couple of significant hills. The restaurant the couple recommended is only one block from the hotel's front door. And it was de-lish-us. Yum. They have very some very fresh fish. You see it swimming right there in the tank, they take it out, and whack - dinner - or lunch. Neither of us had any of those extra fresh delicacies - but what we did eat was great. Almost every table had "Fried Live Crab" except us. It is a whole crab, deep fried - the whole thing, topped off with the top shell, complete with eyes. Popular - but not on our list; my friend can't eat crab and I'm not eating deep fried anything - let alone a whole crab which was cooked, alive? or is it a translation error and means fresh? Regardless - our lunch was good.

Then tonight after some writing and a nap and a coffee, we spent some time looking for a delivery pizza place. I mean, we're in San Francisco, there should be a lot - right? No. Not so. We spent about 90 minutes looking for:
- a pizza place with more than one Yelp or GrubHub star
- which delivers pizza - and to where we are
- which was less than $30 for a pizza
- and which was open past 4:00 pm.
Not as easy as it seems. We found one place which looked great and we agreed and we looked at the menu and make our decision. And then discovered they closed at 4. Whoa.

We did find a really nice place and ordered a Marguerita pizza and a salad each with some chicken. Then went downstairs and got a latte and I ordered a glass of wine. (Guess how much the glass of wine and the latte were? with tax? $21. Yes - $21. It's okay - I'm here for a good reason and it was a nice glass of wine, which went great with the pizza.)

And we're both being productive. With the television playing shows we've already seen as white noise in the background against some noisy neighbors.




Back to it.