Saturday, December 18, 2021

In the Month After NaNoWriMo

It's Time by Dot. 2004

NaNoWriMo came and went. It is an annual November event, for anyone who stops by here and doesn't know what that is. It is a write 50,000 words in 30 days challenge, just for the fun of writing. 

For me, NaNoWriMo is also my annual recommitment to my creativity, of which my writing is a key part. I sometimes generate the skeleton of a new novel, or seeds for short stories. One year I wrote parts of my Work In Progress. Some years it is simply write whatever comes out and keep up. "Keeping up" means writing an average of 1667 words per day. 

I don't really struggle to write 1667 words in a day - when I write - so one of my added personal goals the past few years has been to actually write Every Day. In these years, when "write every day" is a goal, I operate under the belief that "all words are good words." Which they are.

One unique thing this year is that I didn't post an update or an excerpt every day here. I didn't even post anything here in November. Which is sad. Which is partly due to the death of my aunt in October 2020. She was one person I knew was reading everything I posted here. Every time. We didn't see each other very often since I've been an adult (a long time now), but we emailed following a long silence for some years following some family drama. 

This was my fourteenth consecutive year of participating in NaNoWriMo and my fourteenth time a NaNoWriMo Winner (meaning: I crossed the 50k finish line). Last year I posted very little in November, but I still thought of my aunt every time I did, even though she was gone by the time November came around.

This year - no aunt.

And I wrote. But not here.

One thing I have been doing a lot of during the pandemic is writing. New stories and essays and creative non-fiction. Worked on that WIP and I even finished a draft, which I shared with someone who is no longer an active part of my life, though she is often in my thoughts and her influence and words are an integral part of who I am now (my personal therapist closed her practice). So I have a completed manuscript of that WIP now! It needs more editing but I discovered it is in better shape than I thought it was. It is more complete than I thought. And parts of it are really good, I don't mind admitting.

So here I am. The middle of December. Tomorrow is a full moon. The holiday season surrounds me everywhere I go - even if "going somewhere" is online. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is still here and still raging; or raging again. We are actively heading into another surge or "wave" as some call it. There is a new variant (omicron) which spreads faster than the original or the recent horrific variant (delta). We don't quite have enough data yet to know how severe the omicron cases will be; there are conflicting studies - except that it spreads more quickly and gets patients hospitalized more quickly and it is evasive, with the vaccines less effective and prior infection minor protections less effective. 

So we're waiting as omicron hits more and more states here in the US and we watch the surges in other countries, knowing it is going to hit here, as well. And we still have hotspots and outbreaks of delta here, already. So we are potentially facing a grim and disease laden winter.

And I write. 

As a matter of fact, the reason I came to the computer tonight is to set up my profile on an online writing workshop which starts tomorrow (or today, depending on your perspective; as I've said numerous times - if I haven't gone to bed yet, it's still "today" - tomorrow comes after I've had some sleep).

Watch and wait and write. And wonder.

It's winter. It's the edge of a full moon. It's a shift of season (soon). 

Where do I go from here this time?


Friday, May 21, 2021

Still Here. Don't Know What to Say.

 It's been over four months since I've put anything here. 

Which is not the same as not writing for four months. I've been writing. A lot. I've been in workshops and working on book projects and experimenting with writing essays and different styles of memoir pieces and I even took a class on making an illustrated manuscript (page or book).

But I haven't written here.

How much "woe is me" and "the pandemic is hard" and "life is great/sucks/changes" writing can I produce and can anyone read?

The truth is that I could write a lot of that. Potentially. That is not what I've been writing and not what I wanted to put here.

So. Nothing was put here.

And I'm thinking again - what is this space? What should go here? What do I want it to be?

I don't know right now.

I am writing. I am doing some theater again - baby steps to distanced outdoor theater and I've been doing a little virtual theater (staged readings mostly; some audio plays/dramas). And writing. And working. A couple of big theater projects in the works - one of which is being recorded tomorrow. 

In a time of transition and some people are going to quickly, in my opinion. (And the opinion of several people I know.) Let's open a bit, see what happens. If the numbers don't spike, then let's go a little more. But let's not just throw all caution to the wind and jump into the mosh pit. Please. Too late. Okay, then I'll continue to be a little cautious while we see what happens.

I will also continue to think what I would like this space to be.

For now, here is a sample I made of an illustrated letter.

Monday, January 4, 2021

New Year(ish)

What is new right now is that the year is 2021. There is not much else, if anything, that has changed. I've seen comments about this actually being 2020 v.2 and such and it does feel kind of like that. Yes.

Some of us are waiting for January 21st for the New Year to begin. This week will be getting the final step of the electoral votes finally confirmed and done - and there are some Republicans who are vowing to vote against that, even though

Except that I missed posting anything here during December 2020. I intended to post more. The pandemic hit. I intended to write something to share at least once a month - which I did, until December.

What is not new is that the COVID-19 pandemic still rages. It rages now more than it did three months ago. The surge is bad. The experts say there is another surge coming, which will be worse. For those of us who believe the science, who are following the data, we know that is true. It is. It's simple - if you believe and follow the data. Stay home, wear your mask, keep your distance.

What is not new is that the outgoing President still claims to be the victim of a fraudulent election and there are a few clinger-on Republicans supporting his claims. One thing which astounds me about that is, don't they understand that if they claim fraudulent election, are they not also calling into question their own positions? Are they not also saying that all election results are invalid, which means theirs, as well? It is so ridiculous and yet it is also a little horrifying and even frightening, that there are so many people who are blindly following this 

I did not drop in here to write about politics, yet I can't or don't want to let it be totally ignored. There is a lot of good information out there from people far better qualified and better armed with facts to write about what is happening politically, so I will leave it to them. And I will read what they write, as well as follow reliable news sources. 

I stopped by here and noticed I had skipped a month of posting. Not skipped a month of writing, though. I actually wrote a lot in December, partially thanks to Ariel Gore's Literary Kitchen and the wonderful, amazing, talented and supportive writers she brings together in writing classes, workshops, groups. As a matter of fact, I'm in a manuscript revision workshop which just started on Friday - which is going to be helpful and generative and I should have really good progress on a book project in three months!

So - Happy New Year and lets look forward to a new President and Vice President and lets get the mess of the last four years cleaned up (it's more than that, I know, absolutely) and lets also keep the anti-racism efforts going and growing.

Again: Stay home, wear your mask, keep your distance. The pandemic is not yet done with us.

And keep creating! Creativity is what will get us through.