So It Begins: NaNoWriMo 2013

Just a brief note to belatedly celebrate the start of National Novel Writing Month 2013.  I’m back for my seventh year and already busy trying to get ahead on my word count.   Only 46,000 words left to write!

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Crazy Cat Lady’s Pumpkin

It’s official: I have turned into a crazy cat lady. When I saw allyou’s Kitty Pumpkin Template, I had to make one. Several hot glue gun burns later, I ended up with this…


Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  November is nearly here again, which means National Novel Writing Month is looming large in my world.  In twelve days, I’m planning to start the next novel.  The word counter is already posted here, so anyone who’s bored can come check my progress.  There’s just one problem.  I have no idea what to write this year.  I have twelve days to pick an idea, come up with something vaguely resembling a plot, create a cast of characters, and outline at least the basics of the story.  No pressure.  None at all.   If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the corner with my notebook, waiting for the ideas to find me.

Chris Signature

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Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Participant-180x180-2Did I say “Zombie Apocalypse”?  My bad, I meant to say National Novel Writing Month.  That’s right, November is finally over and for the sixth year running, I’ve managed to produce 50,000 words that vaguely resemble a novel.  That is to say, it is roughly novel-shaped, has chapters and pages, and somewhat, almost tells a story.  Unfortunately, the story isn’t really coherent or well written.

It is, however, just over 50,000 words and when it comes to NaNo, that is all that matters.  Quality shmality, it’s quantity in November.  I’ll just have to spend the other eleven months on the re-write.

Now, to take care of that zombie apocalypse.

Chris Signature

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Tossing My Hat In The Ring… Again

As fall sets in, my thoughts turn not to the changing leaves, but to the month-long November writing frenzy that’s NaNoWriMo. I’d considered dropping this project for 2012, but after five successive and successful NaNos, I decided to go for a sixth try. Besides, what else am I going to do with November other than watch football and gorge on comfort foods?

Most of my NaNo related blogs will appear over on the Darkling Sera site, but I thought a general announcement was due here as well. That way, I won’t need to explain why I have a glazed expression all through November. 🙂

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Works In Progress – Stars, Blogs, and More

Winter is usually my slow time, but I’ve been fairly busy this year trying to catch up on some creative works. Here’s a run-down on what’s been happening.

The latest projects for Harvest Moon Designs are shown here.  I’ve been working on some variations of  the beaded star necklaces that I initially created last year.  I’ve been playing with colors and bead types and having too much fun with it.  As soon as I can free up a bit of time, I’ll be taking better photos of these so that I can get them posted in the shop.  The earlier versions of these, all in variations of red, orange, and yellow, have already found good homes.
I’ve also managed to get some writing accomplished, although it’s mostly in the form of blog posts.  I’m trying my hand a travel-related blog at the moment, although I haven’t entirely decided where I’m going to go with it (no pun intended, I swear).  If I ever get it whipped into something readable, I’ll post the link here.  I’ve also been busy adding chapters to the online version of At Scythe Point.  That’s more of an editorial/IT project than actual writing and a boring one at that.
In the works are several more wands.  By in the works, I mean that I have the materials purchased, but they’re sitting on the shelf collecting dust.  I thought I’d be able to get through them in January, as I had three long weekends off of work.  Unfortunately, the crisis with my feline and then a terrific cold kept me sidelined the entire month.
More later, as I have time.  Until then, hope that you’ve been able to get some creating of your own done.

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Time to Celebrate!

I’m too tired to go into detail right now, but I think the graphic below says it all. The novel isn’t finished, but I have achieved the goal of 50,000 words. More later, when my hand quits cramping!

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Write, Sew, Sleep… Repeat

November is well under way already.  For most, it’s a month for turkeys and football. In some cases, these are one and the same, but I promise I won’t comment on the recent fiasco at a certain university. For me, November is a time to go into creative overdrive as I try to write a novel, get ready for the holidays, and finish all those little projects that clutter my craft room.

It’s day thirteen of National Novel Writing Month and I’m pleased to report that I’ve hit the half-way mark today, at least as far as word counts go.  The novel itself, which still remains untitled, feels as if it has hardly started.  Dr. Maggie Bailey seems to be developing a life of her own, in spite of my best efforts to stick to a basic plot line. There’s so much more of the story to tell at this point that I may be writing well into December just to finish the first draft.

As a reward for hitting my word counts, I’ve been allowing myself time for quilting.  Instead of putting together a new piece to post in the shop, I’ve decided to finally finish the bed quilt that I started for myself earlier in the year.  I’ve just finished piecing the top and am so glad to have it nearly done.  I’m absolutely in love with the colors and the overall combination reminds me of winter skies.  I should have it completely finished and on the bed by Thanksgiving.  Below is a quick snap of the quilt top as it is now.   I’ll post another picture when it’s completely finished.

Happy Sunday all.  Hope you have a creative and inspired week.

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NaNo Wrap Up

As November draws to a close,  I am happy to report that this year’s NaNoWriMo is ending soon.  I usually like to do a little dance of joy at this point, because hey, what do you know, I just wrote a novel of at least 50,000 words. In less than a month. I copied over my text into the validator at the web site and got the good news that for the fourth year running, I’ve ‘won’ this insane writing frenzy called NaNo.

While I was busy lacing on my dancing shoes, I realized that I’d wiped out the only typed copy I have of this year’s NaNo.  52,635 words bled from my brain and fingertips onto the computer were gone because of a saving error and my own stupidity (back-up your work, dumbass!).  Aghhhh!

All is not lost however since I am a die hard ink on paper kind of writer.  I don’t think I’ve ever written a first draft of anything on electronic media.  Sure, I’ve filled composition books, leather bound journals, cocktail napkins and the backs of paper placemats with preliminary drafts of everything from haiku to thesis papers.  This means that I have one very precious but rather ugly composition book that contains the original 30,000+ word first draft of this year’s NaNo.

What have I lost then?  My will to live.  Not really, the only loss, aside from lots of time at the keyboard,  is my will to work any further on this particular story for the foreseeable future.  Loki, Thor and the rest of Asgard will have to wait a bit for a revised version of this particular tale.  As for me, I’m going to pour a glass of Sangria, watch a favorite holiday movie (the TV version of Prachett’s Hogfather if you must know), and in a few days when my brain stops boiling, start thinking about what I’m going to write for next year’s NaNo.

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Half a Novel, Half a Brain Left

Yes, yes, I know the grammar of the blog title is atrocious, but as suggested, my brain is a bit fried after completing the first half of this year’s NaNo novel.  That is to say, I’ve written the first 25,000 words of roughly drafted hand-written story that will probably wrap up with the addition of another 5000 or so words.  The entire thing will then get typed up, scenes expanded, descriptions added, and hopefully, by the end of November, I’ll have a typed and completed novel of at least fifty thousand words.  I’ll be even happier if those words make sense, are in some sort of logical order, and manage to convey the story that I want to tell.

With any luck, I’ll be done by Thanksgiving!

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Music To Write By

Those of you who visit this blog with any regularity will realize that I’ve changed my playlist.  For those of you who actually take time to actually check out the playlist, I imagine that you may have been muttering “What the…” as you looked at my choices this time.  To tell the truth, so I am.

Never fear, my eclectic tastes haven’t taken a turn down a blind alley and run smack into the brick wall of bad taste.  At least I hope they haven’t.  When November rolls around and my brain becomes a novel-writing factory, a playlist comes to mind of songs that speak to either the story or the plot line. Sometimes, the choices come together beautifully as a collection. Other times they do battle with each other and my musical sensibilities are the first causalities.

It’s fitting that this time the music for my NaNo playlist should be full of conflicting styles and influences.  After all, this year’s NaNo will tell the story of the Norse end of the times, Ragnarok, a legendary final battle between, well, everyone in which the gods are destroyed.  Since I can’t leave well enough alone and simply tell the myth in my voice, I’ve thrown some strange twists into the plot- the main one is that the story takes place on a Caribbean island in the middle of a blizzard and the intervention of a forgotten but very annoyed island volcano god throws a wrench into the works. Indeed, this is not your ancestor’s Ragnarok.  (And may my viking forebearers forgive me!)

For the record, I do realize that having any song by Brittany Spears on one of my play lists might be the catalyst to start an actual apocalypse, but I really wanted a version of “We Will Rock You” sung in a female voice(s).  Understand, that in my head, this is the voice of a regiment of Valkyries about to take down the All Father of the Norse Pantheon, Odin.  Yes, it’s that kind of novel- all fighting, blasphemy, and irreverence.  It’s also the end of the world, and I feel fine! 🙂

In other some what related news, the story that resulted from my first attempt at NaNo, At Scythe Point,  is posted and available for viewing here.  I’m hoping to get some of my other NaNo novels posted there as well.  You will see mature content warnings on the site, please know that they are there for a reason.  As a general rule, I don’t censor my work for content that might be too risque or controversial for the more sensitive or conservative among you.   Life doesn’t always have a PG rating and neither do I.  However, unlike Life, I will try to give you fair warning if there’s mature content in something I’ve posted.   That said, please come on over and check out the site. Read a story, sip a latte, prop your feet up.  It won’t cost you anything but time.

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