NaNo – Week 3 Recap

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So we have completed Week 3 of NaNo! Do you feel good about yourself? Do you feel good about your word count? Do you feel good about your words? Even if you’re behind, if you’re writing, you should feel good! Because even if you’re not writing as fast as everyone else, or as fast as you’d hoped, at least you’re getting those words out!

Without further dilly dallying, lets get into my word count!

Day 13 – 1,692

Day 14 – 640

Day 15 – 0

Day 16 – 1,787

Day 17 – 129

Day 18 – 0

Day 19 – 1,700

Total: 21,701 words (Goal: 31,666 words)

It’s not looking good, is it. Every week, because of those low days or those 0 word days, I grow further and further behind. I’m roughly 10,000 words behind to finish on time. And part of me wants to be the eternal optimist and pump my fist in the air with a “I can do it!” attitude.

The greater part of me, the serious part of me that knows reality, knows how I work, and knows what’s going on in my life knows that it’s going to be a real struggle for me to catch up and, MAYBE, finish on time.

BUT!

Yes, there’s a BUT!

I’m not going to stop either. Even though I’m behind, and even though there’s a seriously good chance of me not finishing at 50,000 by the end of November, I WILL keep writing. I want this novel out, and I do want to try and catch up if I can. Life and my brain may surprise me and give me the solidly good days I need to do so, and I won’t know unless I keep going.

I will admit, this week doesn’t look greatly in my favor. My sewer line is busted and the guy is coming to repair it tonight. My tooth is cracked and I’m seeing my dentist to get it crowned tomorrow. Thanksgiving is Thursday and it means a long day of being with family who, yes I love but let’s be honest I’d rather be home writing in bed with some chips and chocolate. (I’m not a terribly big fan of turkey or some of my extended family that will be at this gathering too.)

I’m hoping, crossing fingers and toes, that I can push through my toothache related migraine to get a kick ass word count today, and even tomorrow before my appointment. And I’m hoping that either Thursday morning, or Thursday night the muses will be kind enough to me to get at least my daily word count so I don’t fall any further behind than I already am.

Currently, without adding words today, NaNo is telling me I’ll hit 50,000 on December 17th. That’s not a terrible extension, but I’d definitely like to try and reign that date closer to November 30th if possible.

It’s too bad these weekly blog posts don’t count toward NaNo, huh. I’d be about 1500 words closer to my goal. That’s almost a full day of writing right there! But, I want all the words I count toward NaNo to revolve around my novel, not talking to you, my lovely readers. So these words will just be here, written in and for November, but not counting toward November in the way that words tend to this time of year.

Keep on writing, everyone! Don’t fret about the deadline. Don’t worry about the goals. The real victory is getting those words on paper however you can.

Until next time! Stay productive! =)

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NaNo – Week 2 Recap

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Whelp, we’ve finished week two. And I totally meant to write this Monday but my Monday was a crazy day of never at my desk even when I had lunch. And because I took Friday off, and didn’t get much done Monday due to the running around Tuesday was the zomg kill me now catch up day. Yay?

Which leaves me today, Wednesday, finally, to catch up on all the other things in my life. Like updating this beautiful blog and you lovely readers on what is going on.

My story is coming along. I just, completely randomly and out of the blue, decided to give the story three perspectives that we rotate between occasionally. Because I decided this in chapter 5, I’ll be spending today trying to look over my first four and see if there’s somewhere I can reasonably slide character B and character C’s perspectives in so it’s not a surprise when in Chapter 5 we follow them as well.

And if I can fit in their perspectives, I’m looking to write it in today as well. I want to get everything written while I’m still in the beginning of the novel, instead of trying to remember where I should have been with these characters after I finish the story as a whole.  Hopefully it will do a good job bumping up my word count as well.

If you’re wondering, I’m still behind. Sadly. So let’s get into it. How did my week two do?

Day 6 – 1,674

Day 7 – 1,727

Day 8 – 1,786

Day 9 – 1,703

Day 10 – 0

Day 11 – 825

Day 12 – 2917

Total: 15,753 words (Goal: 20,000 words)

So, you’ll probably notice that there’s this really hard, serious dip in the middle there. Day 10 happened to be Friday. I took Friday off, and set everything aside. Not to write, but because Sims 4 released the Cats & Dogs expansion. As a giant Sims fan, that’s pretty much all I did on Friday.

I mean. Look at this little girl (the cat).

How could you say no to that little face. She was my world all of Friday. And Saturday, I donno if I was just so tired of looking at a computer I couldn’t think or what, but words just did not flow. I spent the whole day staring at my computer screen and only managed to squeak out those 800+.

I’m striving to get words done this new week, though yesterday ended up a little pitiful. Currently NaNo’s site is telling me I’ll finish my 50K words on Dec. 12th. We’ll see if I can’t push that date back to be closer to Nov. 30th. I’m definitely trying to keep up. And in the grand world view, I’m already doing better than I did last year, so that’s a win, right?

How is your NaNo Journey going? Is the story getting away from you? Are you keeping it under your pen just where you want it? Let me know in the comments.

NaNo – Week 1 Recap

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It’s the end of Week One of NaNo! Or was that technically yesterday? Or do you actually count NaNo Weeks by the dates, so 1-7, no matter what day they fall on counts as Week One?

For me, it’s the end of Week One, and the start of Week Two. I always start my weeks on Monday because for me it’s the start of a new Work Week, it’s the end of my relaxing after a long week, and because I just like to.

So, no matter what you count today as, we can all agree that 5 days are gone. We’re one sixth through NaNo. And by the end of today we should be one fifth through our word goal. How are you fairing?

Do you smell toast? Are there crumbled bits of paper around your work area? Does your work area still have pens or have you thrown them all in frustration (because throwing the computer would be far more costly)? Are you on count? Are you below count? Are you above count? These are very important questions! And very important answers follow.

Personally, I’m close to smelling toast and below count already. Would you like to see a breakdown of how my first five days of NaNo went?

Day 1 – 1,598 words

Day 2 – 500 words

Day 3 – 450 words

Day 4 – 147 words

Day 5 – 2,426 words

Total: 5,121 words (Goal: 8,333 words)

I’m a wee bit off. And I have roughly 5,000 words to write today if I want to be all caught up. Something I’ll try to do but I won’t count on doing because it’s a work week. The first five days of NaNo, while not terribly eventful for work, have been incredibly eventful life wise.

Wednesday, our loving starting day, I actually had a fairly light day which is why I ended up very close to my daily goal. It’s 100% backstory for one of my characters, but at that stage of the month, I figured since it factors into my story later, and I wrote it during NaNo, that it would completely count toward my word goal. Now, I do realize that this will factor into the novel itself, because that’s almost two thousand words I’ll have to pick up on the back end to finish the novel. But to me, that’s doable.

Thursday is what I like to refer to as my hell day. My office does a weekly seminar that I set up, run, manage, clean up, and reconcile payment for every Thursday. It means that I don’t get a lot of personal time or breaks, or a full hour lunch. I also had started to feel sick, so I was just happy to get any word count really.

Friday slowly tanked as well. I’ll be honest, for the first part of the morning, I played the new Assassin’s Creed: Origin instead of writing and catching up. It was my choice and I only have myself to blame. But to be fair, the game is stunning, the story is interesting, and I get to free wander around Egypt during the time of Cleopatra. How could I say no? The rest of the day (you’ll notice if I was playing a video game I didn’t go to work), I ended up sleeping because I was feeling sick to my stomach. The reason I was able to play video games all morning was because I wasn’t moving while I played. Soon as I moved, my world tipped upside down and I ended up in bed until dinner time. The nap helped, and I was off to a wedding rehearsal – one of my amazing friends was getting married and I was a bridesmaid. But being sick, word count was low because I also had trouble concentrating.

Saturday was WEDDING! Lots of primping, lots of prepping, lots of kneeling — my knees still hate me for that part, and lots of joy at seeing my friend married. However, as you’ll notice, it’s the smallest word count yet. I rolled in around 10pm from the wedding and was able to squeak out that tiny word count before I ended up falling asleep on my phone.

Sunday I did better. I pretty much locked in the afternoon for writing. It’s not my best word count for an afternoon of writing, but my back was killing me so I did my best. I surpassed my daily, and was able to inch into what I was missing at the same time. So while I’m not all caught up, I am climbing in that direction.

My goal for this week is to, naturally, write write write! I want to, at minimum get my daily in so I won’t fall any further behind for the week, and if I can write extra to catch up but if I can’t, use the weekend to write longer stints and catch up. Over all, I think it’s a reasonable goal to accomplish. I’ll be back Next week to let you know how well I’m doing, or you can keep up with me over on my NaNo Profile!

While you’re on the site, feel free to friend me! Also, drop a comment to let me know how you’re NaNo is doing? And good luck as we head into Week Two!

 

Website Wonders

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So, I’ve been trying to find some time to write every day. It’s been a struggle. And by write, I mean write out my characters, write out backstory, write out where I want the plot to go, how I think it should go, and planning how I want events to kind of unfold so once November starts I can just blaze right thought my word count goals. At least, you know, that’s the hope with all this planning. So long as it’s not the end of day one with me crying into a corner because I can’t get my words out. Anything but that again.

But, as most who work a day job while trying to get their author career off the dirt floor knows, trying to find time to write can be difficult.

I’m not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. My alarm goes off at 6:30 am Monday through Friday, and during the Fall and Winter when it’s dark outside at that time because the sun hasn’t even come up, I wonder to myself what kind of sadist I have to be to do this to myself five days a week. I also wonder just how long I can get away with that snooze button before I’m in trouble. Sometimes during Spring and Summer when it’s bright out by 5am, I sometimes wake up early but it’s not often. That makes trying to get up earlier just to write an issue. My brain can’t fathom why I’m up doing anything when the sun is out anymore. And I know, I know, that officially marks me as old. But life happened and I’m just not twenty anymore, I miss those days though. Those were the days when I’d go camping and sit out by the fire all night just watching the stars and moon in the sky fade into pretty colors as the sun came up behind the tree line. I wouldn’t go to bed after that either, but just roll right into the next day and keep on trucking. That girl, more specifically, that energy is just gone.

To be honest, it left the year my Dad died, when Mom and I realized just how much he did around the house with his retired self while the two of us were out working. Laundry was mysteriously just done. The Cats weren’t crying because it’s 8pm, I’ve finally finished dinner, and before I can go to bed their box needs to be cleaned. Hell, because Dad was diabetic, we made sure we were out the door and on the way home no later than 5pm so we could get home to cook dinner because he had to eat by 6pm. And groceries were listed on the back door and he’d go out and get them while we were at work too. All those little things that you sit there and wonder how the hell they’ll get done now, and how do you have to rearrange your schedule to get them done again? Yeah. We’re still, in some ways, figuring out just how to get it all done. Most of my energy went there. To keeping the house going.

I come home and by the time dinner is done and cleaned up it’s 8/9pm. And I look over at my computer and all I can do is wave at it before falling into bed. To boot, ever since I’ve had my concussion, my migraines and headaches have been back with a vengeance, so by the end of the day I don’t even want to look at a computer screen anymore.

Can you see where my problems lay now? When do I write? If morning is out, and after work is out, when does the writing commence?

That’s the key question I’ve been having trouble figuring out. Truth be told, I’ve been carving out my weekends to do nothing but cleaning and writing recently. But when November hits that won’t exactly keep me in the game. It’s those little windows of between while at work that, for me at least, make up all the difference. If I finish something complicated for one of my faculty, I pause a little but and work on some writing or planning. Only about five minutes worth, but that’s 5 minutes worth that I won’t have to try and fit in later. Waiting for my Mom to come over and join me for lunch? I write at that point too. I also have this half hour window where I’m at work, and at my desk, but I haven’t actually started my time yet that I try to get some things done as well.

Basically, it’s all those little spaces. And there’s a website that I’ve found that’s been making those little windows of time all the more fun. The website? 4thewords.com

Now, you may be asking yourself, how exactly does the website make writing more fun? Most websites tend to distract and get you off your groove. But 4theWords actually helps. Basically it makes writing like a game. You use your words to battle and defeat creatures that then drop loot to help you level up and move on in your game.

Now, I know some out there are probably sitting there going. ‘but if you want to be a writer, you shouldn’t need a game to make it fun for you.’ And you’d be right. I don’t NEED to make it fun for me. But. It is a big encouragement to write if you know you’ll be taking down a giant spider with your next 800 words. Word Sprints become all the more fun because you’re getting coins and loot and joining other people in their quests too.

Do I need 4theWords to get me writing and get my words down on paper? No. I don’t need it. But I am enjoying it. In the last 7 days it has spurred me into getting on and writing instead of wandering to Facebook to play a game or Netflix to watch a tv show I need to catch up on, and I’ve written almost 8,000 words. It’s helped me put away the distractions. Maybe part of it is because it’s shiny and a game and I love games, but in the end, does it really matter why I’m writing if I’m writing? I don’t think so.

Let me know if you decide to join 4theWords. And let me know if you’re doing NaNo. We can cheer each other on for one, or the other, or both!

(Also, this blog post was not sponsored, I just am really loving it that much)

Wishing to be a Weather Witch

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There is one week left in October. One week left to plan and plot out all the needs you can anticipate for your novel that will be worked on in November for NaNoWriMo. I’m sorry, did I say you? I meant me. Or We, if you’ll be participating as well.

Are you ready? Am I ready?? Are We Ready???

I’m still working on getting there, personally. This weekend, because you know nothing complicated ever happens just before a big event, after serious contemplating and thinking and planning, I decided to shift my novel again. The more I thought about the story in a Story, the more my brain revolted against it (even though you know, it created it). So for this year, I’m looking to focus on the Fantasy side of my idea and really work with everything in that world. I’ve shelved the original main characters, because right now they’ll end up being the stars of a different story that I want to plan out at a later time.

What really started to flush out my fantasy idea was drawing the map for it. I’ve been told this is a little backwards, having a world but no active plot, but creating the map (I’m still working on it but I’ve got the continents created, islands laid out, and lakes set. Tonight I’m working on the rivers, mountains, and forests. Then come the cities, towns, hamlets, ect,) has lead me to really figure out my characters. Where did they come from? Why are they on this journey? How did they all meet.

I’ve nearly finished flushing out the how they met, honestly. All thanks to working out the lay of the land, even though I don’t have it all done yet, and there may need to be some minor tweaks (like right now I have ‘they traveled to the other continent, which will later use the actual name of said continent), but over all it’s helped to be able to visualize their travels.

I just kind of started with one character, and started writing out his backstory and the other two main characters slowly weaved themselves into his story naturally and fluidly. It does mean I need to work out two more backstories, what happened before they met with the other character, but it’s a start. And with knowing how they came together, I feel more sure about where I’m going with this story which will help me to work out the plot of my story just in time for November.

The planning hasn’t exactly been easy at home either, we’ve gotten a lot of rain the last couple weeks. Lots of rain that has flooded the river close to my house, and subsequently flooded my basement as well. We went to bed one Saturday night, basement fine, and woke up to 7 inches of water. Spent the next day and a half pumping. Everything seemed fine until we got rain again yesterday, and it’s still raining today. It’s not been easy. Working a 9-5 job, and wondering how your house is doing while you’re at work, it’s nerve wrecking. To not know what I’ll come home to. Here’s hoping it stops before I get home though, that it stops before it gets bad and my worry will be for naught. A girl can dream, anyway.

I’m trying to not let the rain and water get in the way of my Prepping though, trying to find a balance for keeping the house okay while still getting everything flushed out and ready. Plus, this Thursday I have a writer’s group meeting so I’m super excited for that too. Wish me luck!

How is your October going? Have any fun Halloween plans? What are you thinking of dressing up like next Tuesday? Leave it in the comments below!

Words Flowith

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First and foremost, Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Aren’t we lucky that it falls in the Spooktabulous month known all year. I hope yours is as creepy, spooky, and amazing as can be.

After more days than I want to admit staring at my WIP, watching it plot-block me while I tried to write for NaNo because I wanted it done and in the rear view mirror to be able to concentrate on my 50K words in November, I am finally seeing an end. A light at the end of the tunnel.

I had originally been stuck in a certain part, unsure of how to get from Point A to Point B without just droning on. Finally, I decided to just skip ahead and work out that transition later. Skipping ahead was the best thing I could have done, because I’ve gone from half way to nearly finished in the last three days of writing. My goal to finish the WIP by this weekend is officially looking like it will happen. I am over the moon about being able to finish this short.

Also, I’m over the moon about being able to really dig into my NaNo Planning and I’ll have half of October to do it. It’s cutting it a little tight, but since I have the main characters already fairly flushed out I should be able to hop to and be ready for N-Day.

How is your October going? Are you getting your planning down as you’d hoped? Are you finishing up WIPs on schedule? Let me know down in the comments!

Prepping and Prompting

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So while I have been working away at trying to finish my short, and toiling away at trying to plan out my WIP details for the upcoming NaNo, I’ve also been scouring the internet looking for prompts to try and do a little bit of one shot, like 1k shorts to just get into the October spirit.

Because, after all, October isn’t just about being prepared for NaNo. It’s the start of Fall. It’s Halloween. It’s Dia de los Muertos. It’s Samhain. It’s the time of year where the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. It’s where we get to dress up and be someone else for a night, or all month. And it’s where, even for those of us who don’t normally write it, we writers might want to try to craft something that goes bump in the night.

I don’t know what it is, or why it is, but my scouring the internet came up short. Most of what I found were prompts about sharing your memories of different events or emotions tied to Halloween. And that’s just not what I wanted.

So, I crafted some of my own prompts. Originally I was thinking of a prompt a day kind of list, but when everything falls into place that’s a lot for someone like me who works 9-5 Monday through Friday. So I crafted one prompt every other day instead. If you’re not looking at a calendar to count, that’s sixteen prompts.

If you’re planning to fill any of the prompts, leave a comment down below with which one(s) you’re thinking of doing. As well, if you post it anywhere, I’d love to see it so go ahead and throw a link in the comment, or tweet me @MerisCorner because I’d love to see them all written out!

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October becomes Preptober

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So we’ve fallen into October. Or, well, I’ve fallen into October. I’m still working on a short, it’s bad, I know. But while I haven’t actually finished writing it I’ve outlined what I want to happen. I just need to focus a little more on getting it all done. Because it HAS to be done before November. Has to be. Ideally, I’d like it to be done by next week so I can really devote the rest of this month into planning out what I’m doing for November.

What’s November, you might ask? It’s National Novel Writing Month! Where you pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Sounds like a lot? It kind of is, and I always succeed better when I have an outline for my novel, so I know where I’m supposed to be going.

I had briefly considered continuing the one from last year to get it done. I want to write that one and get it on paper. But there are still a few things I’m unsure of for it. So I’m going to sit on it for a little while longer to better work out some of it.

Instead I’ll be striving to do a completely new novel, and a completely new style for NaNo. My story is going to have a DnD inspired story within it. Which makes October even more important for prepping because I have double the world building and double the character creation for it. Each character is going to be playing a character within the story. There’ll be two plots, the plot of the game within the story and the plot that follows the main characters in their world. And the fantasy world within the game, and the world that the main characters live in when not gaming.

Have I confused you yet? Hopefully the answer is No.

If yes? Let me see if I can simplify it.

Basically the story will follow six people in a small Midwestern town. They’re in a gaming group together, and there will be a plot focused around them. As well, I am looking to develop their actual game, give life to the story that they’re playing out when they all meet up together on Friday nights, run the two stories within the same novel.

It’s something I’ve never done before, because it’s not like a lot of the gamer fiction where someone gets trapped in a game and becomes part of it and has to find their way to survive and potentially get out.

This will be a lot more to juggle. A Lot more to plan. Especially since fantasy settings involve a lot more as a whole as well.

Wish my luck with this journey down the rabbit hole, because I have no idea if it will end up being a great story or if it will be a cluster of not great. I’m hoping the first one.

If you are doing NaNo this year, are you dedicating October to being Preptober to get yourself set up? Are you pantsing it all the way? Let me know down in the comments!

First Day of Fall!

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Would you believe we only have about a quarter of the year left before it’s 2018?

Ever since my dad passed away, I feel like the days just fly by before I can grab them and know what’s going on. I don’t know where the summer went, or the other first half of the year, really. I look around and there’s not too much to track the year past doctor notes and bills. This year especially hasn’t been great health wise for mom or I. But we’re managing as we can.

I have been reading a little, tiny bit. Not enough to finish a book. But I’m hoping to finish one this weekend. So there’s that.

WIP wise, I added a little to a current work but not a lot. I need to really get in there and finish. I think my problem is I knew how it started, so I have that down. I know how I want it to end, but I never fully thought out the middle part and so my brain is kind of doing a ‘what do’ thought process as I start at the page. I’m thinking of skipping that section for a little bit and writing the parts I know and maybe the middle will come to me later. I’ve never written the end before the middle before, but hey, I guess there’s a first time for everything.

Also. Did you know we’re getting dangerously close to NaNoWriMo Prep month? Because we totally are. Just 8 days before Prep Month, and a month after that we’re into NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure if I want to try conquering a new project when I have two WIPs that need to edit and polish. But at the same time I don’t think there’d be enough polishing the WIPs that would get me through NaNoWriMo.

Choices, Choices.

Are you thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo? If you are, will you use October to prep for November and what you’ll be writing? Do you plan to pants your way through the month? Let me know in the comments below!

September! September! Where have you gone!

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Would you believe that it’s already almost half way through the month? If you didn’t know, I work 9-5 for a University. I won’t say which one, but I take care of the day to day for a small department, helping faculty and graduate students alike. And one of the most hectic times of year, there are two, is the end of August/beginning of September. We have new Graduate Students coming in, getting settled, trying to make sure they’re registered for the classes that they need to take. On top of that normal, we started a new Masters program that I’m lead contact on, so I’ve been getting the small cohort for that program settled.

Personal wise, I’ve been healing from that concussion. My being on a computer has finally worked its way out, mostly, so there’s little to no pain when on it for long periods of time any more. And the headaches and migraines that I’d been getting have slowly gone away. Mom’s been seeing doctors for her breathing issue – it’s still not cleared up at all. They’ve confirmed that she’s only getting 60% of the lung capacity that she should have, but they still can’t actually pin point what is going on to cause the decrease. So still watching over her, making sure she rests as she needs to.

My weekends have also been taken by things, though happier things. A good friend of mine got married, and that was an amazing and beautiful time. Too short, in my opinion, but that’s only because I wasn’t able to stay too long at the reception.

I’m working, extremely slowly – snails speed slowly, on my WIPs. I am. I’m trying to implement a better schedule (or a schedule at all really), where after work and dinner before TV and video games and/or crashing I write for at least an hour. Of course, a good chunk of this time has been spent cleaning my desk to be able to feel like I can write first. But I’m at the point where I should be able to write starting this week.

My cats don’t like it. They sit and stare at me, meow at me. Because after a long day of not being home they demand attention. I try to give it to them between thoughts and word flow without killing my concentration. Though, that’s sometimes hard because my one has a habit of slipping behind the computer and wiggling the power cord JUST enough to unplug it. I’d be impressed if I wasn’t pissed every time.

Here’s to goals of getting my schedule set up though. I’m hoping by October I’ll be set in my writing ways and will be far more productive on my WIPs than I am now.

What goals do you have for the remainder of the year? Or just the remainder of the month? Let me know in the comments below!