Sunday, November 29, 2020

NaNoWriMo 2020 update - It's A Win

Usually in November I post a NaNoWriMo update every day. Obviously that didn't happen this year. Just as many things have not happened this year due to the pandemic and the election.

But NaNoWriMo did happen. I did participate. And I did cross the finish line with 50,222 words written beginning at midnight on November 1st. I crossed the line on November 28th at 11:49 pm. I finished the 50k but I will continue to write every day, to make my second goal of writing every day.

This year NaNoWriMo felt differently. Contributing factors were probably:
- the pandemic;
- the election and post-election (which isn't yet over, but a middle ground has sort of been achieved);
- my aunt died early in the month and she was a big supporter; she was someone I knew read my blog posts every day of NaNoWriMo, so that was definitely one impact;
- I was in a workshop for the first 12 days of the month, which was intentional and probably in the long run helpful, though at times I questioned my decision. And I know without a doubt that I would do it again;
- I did not go on my annual NaNoWriMo writing retreat. I think there was one other year I didn't make it to the beach and that had a big impact. So I'm sure not being able to go was a factor in things feeling a little more "slogging" or "off;"
- did I mention the coronavirus pandemic? Oh, yes. Well, it should be mentioned twice - and I will attach the loss of theatre to the pandemic. It will be back, but I miss it - as an interpreter and as a patron.

But I did it in spite of everything working against us this year. And I will do it again next year. Hopefully I will be able to make my pilgrimage to the beach in 2021.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

NaNoWriMo 2020 Update

I have managed to write every day of NaNoWriMo this year. So far. I am going to try to complete another full 30 days of writing. I am also hoping to get to 50,000 words before Thanksgiving. If I'm not at 50k by that day, then I hope to be close enough to wrap it up on Saturday 11/28. Because this year I am working the last two days of the month, which means that there won't be much writing happening.

As of right now, I am 1000 words underneath the target number for November 14th. With only 30 minutes until midnight, I doubt I am going to get caught up before another 1667 words are added to where I should be.

I am also three days in to my at home writing retreat. What I realize already is that my annual writing retreat during NaNoWriMo is absolutely the best thing to do. I always write more when I'm at the coast, with the express purpose of being there to write. No expectations about amount of sleep, about doing the laundry or medicating the cat or anything else. No need to go do household errands. Well, honestly, the errands and such are very minimal because of the pandemic. We are on the brink of another heavily mandated stay at home order because the cases are on the rise. I didn't leave the house at all for three days. Today we went to my ND's office to pick up a supplement and then we went to Starbucks for a special treat - through the drive-through because we are not going in. No way!

But this year I am not dragging my Multnomah County germy air to the doing well in terms of COVID-19 numbers to the coast. Not even to a private beach house which is probably safe - but someone will have to clean it after us. And someone else could have been there before us. And on the drive over, unless I dehydrated myself ahead of time, I'd probably have to use a public restroom somewhere, which doesn't feel at all safe. 

So. I stay home this year. I've watched two streaming performances (both short) and I started to watch a Philip Glass opera (which I will finish later; it was not conducive to my writing and my partner is feeling a little grumpy, tired of the pandemic and being stuck home so much - so opera was not at all melding with that energy; I don't blame her, I understand - but too much for the opera to continue). I will finish the opera later or maybe tomorrow before it goes away tomorrow night.

I'm writing. Signing up for the Writing with the Tarot online workshop with Ariel was also a lifesaver. It has definitely helped me keep writing. Even if the pieces are incomplete or with compacted endings I need to open up, I feel like I have an actual, viable project this year. Which is a good thing, because I also signed up for the manuscript workshop in January to March of 2021. My plan all along was that I would (hopefully) have the beginnings of a manuscript from this month to bring to fruition. And I believe I will.

I am writing a book. It is not a novel - although recently I discovered that rather than a set of short stories, this is looking like those stories will still be there, but there is mostly likely going to be a throughline story tying them all together. Somehow. That is not entirely clear, although I have had a glimpse of what that uniting thread will be.

I am excited. When I'm not wondering why I'm doing this. And I am missing the coast, the ocean outside the door, the wind and it's salty rain, the seagulls crying and warning; the digging in under the blankets on the corner sofa, side to the window so I can still see along the coastline.

Writing intreat? Sounds better than a "staycation" a friend commented. And she's right.

NaNoWriMo is happening in 2020 style. Which means, the unexpected can and will happen. Words are flowing and we'll see what I have when I return to work later next week.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

NaNoWriMo Day 4

 Day 3 writing happened. It was a little interrupted due to (a) the election and (b) work. But words happened.

Day 4 happened! I wrote a bunch of words. And I made my annual NaNoWriMo desktop calendar for my laptop. That way it is always with me for November. My current word count at end of day was 7005 words.

I am writing stories and having fun. It helps that I am in the Writing with the Tarot workshop with Ariel Gore. Deadlines and other writers and - go!

Monday, November 2, 2020

NaNoWriMo 2020 Day Two - Shaking it Up

Here are a few details of a longer story, which I'll hold for later.

Today I changed my NaNoWriMo project. I returned to the project I was thinking I'd do since August, when I decided I would go ahead with NaNoWriMo this year. I mean, why not? But in workshop in October, I wrote the bones of another large project and had decided to go with that.

I stalled out on my writing during the midnight write-in. I did write some, but only about half of my normal beginnings. That, paired with a few other reasons, led me to rethink my goal. With careful contemplation and checking some resources, I decided it would change back.

Then this afternoon I proceeded to double my word count for day one and I created a NaNo cover. I know there are some design challenges and flaws, but it's good enough for a work in progress and it makes me smile. 

I present my *new* NaNoWriMo book project: Fractures of Wind. And the snippet of my end of Day One word count (above).