writing

Insightful New Decade Reference Here

Five whole days into the new year, and I still don’t have a writing plan. So I’m going to do one now.

Yesterday I finally wrote out a scheme to address the thorny chapter of Fairy Hills on which I have been stuck since NaNoWriMo, so I am out of excuses not to just sit down and write the damned thing. I think it’s going to end up rather longer than the version in the previous draft. I have 43k words to go in order to hit my 90k target. That is do-able in a month where I have little else going on (I’ve said that before), but I’m going to give myself through February to finish this draft, if only because I do have a few other things going on.

Who knows, maybe I’ll have something ready for Pitch Madness this spring. Stranger things have happened.

After that, I think I will be more than ready to change gears and work on something different. This next project will certainly qualify. And I have learned my lesson with Hills: this time I’ll do an outline. Exploratory writing is one thing if it’s something short, but this looks like being a long, complicated story, enough so that I think it’s reasonable to allocate the rest of 2020 (except November) to research, outlining, and first draft. I’ll shoot for a solid outline by June, just to put a date on that; I have very little idea how long this process will actually take. My main writing goal this year is less to accomplish a certain number of projects than it is to make steadier progress than I did in 2019, which was marked by repeated stall-outs that lasted weeks at a time.

I may try to fit a few smaller things into the margins of the year, and I do still want to give self-publishing another try. We shall see if the world cooperates with that.

In other news, I have been working steadily on my current hat, which is now halfway done. It uses some of the alpaca wool I’ve picked up at the Sandwich Fair over the years, which is butter-soft and feels better than anything. I’ve been watching Ever After High with my teenager, who is currently into that, and Power Rangers RPM with my pre-teen (involuntarily, as he has been binge-watching it in view of my workspace). I have been reading Hannah Fry’s Hello World, which is educational and infuriating in roughly equal measure. I’ve been using my new CD player to revisit music I haven’t listened to in years or decades. The apartment has been de-Christmas-ized.

Let us all try to avoid quoting overmuch from “The Second Coming” this week. I don’t really talk about current events on this blog because God knows there are plenty of places to get that sort of thing, but they do weigh on the mind.

 

monthly updates, writing

The Year in Writing – Numbers

A ballpark of my writing wordcount for the year breaks down as:

  • Draft 2 of the second Round Table book: 89,686
  • Draft 6 of Fairy Hills (so far): 47,283
  • NaNoWriMo: 50,010

Grand total: 186,979 words. Plus morning pages every day starting on September 10.

Not terrible, considering that there were entire months (like this one) in which I wrote virtually nothing. I feel like I am slowly homing in on the approach I want to take next year.

writing

Done!

Done

Since we don’t travel for Thanksgiving, and I do my best not to participate in Black Friday, yesterday was a long, quiet day. I spent it baking cookies and writing, and once I crossed into that final thousand, I knew I was going to finish a day early. It is an absolutely terrible draft of a rather silly story, and it’s done, and I am pleased.

Today there are errands to be run, and catching up on various non-writing tasks–I think I can take a day off before I settle back into working on Fairy Hills. Tomorrow we are due to get the first real weather of the winter season. This will probably result in more cookies, although I am also taking the kids to see Frozen 2 for some indulgent reason.

life, writing

NaNoWriMo Week 3

Not only was the last post late, I skipped a week after that and didn’t even realize it. This NaNoWriMo has gone relatively smoothly — 12,000 words to go with a week left for writing, so barring catastrophe there’s no reason to think I won’t finish. I took one day off, which burned up my early lead, but have been staying on target since then.

NaNo

This past week was relatively quiet, which helped a lot, and while we do have Thanksgiving ahead, we’re not traveling, and I’m keeping the menu under control this year (recipes will be posted next week). I’m really looking forward to a few days at home!

What else is going on? I’m doing some knitting. Started making Christmas cookies to stash in the freezer, since the holidays are so close together this year. I’ve done a little bit of shopping. Still doing my morning pages and meditation. I’m 13 books behind schedule on Goodreads, so I don’t think that goal is going to happen unless I cheat; on the other hand, 33 books is pretty good for me in recent years, and I might finish a few more that I’m stuck partway through. One of the books I’m reading right now is about how to write an effective newsletter, so look for experiments in that area next year.

2019 has been weird and scary in a lot of ways, but on a personal level, it has been kind of amazing, and I want to make sure I take the things I’ve learned into 2020. I think that one reason I’m looking forward so much to time off at the end of the year; I very much want some time to reflect on all of this.

I hope the holidays treat you all well.

writing

NaNo Dix

Yes, it has been ten years since I did my first NaNoWriMo. My son was a toddler (nowadays he is disconcertingly tall). That first effort was intended to break me out of a rut of endlessly writing and rewriting the same high fantasy trilogy I had been working on since my college days; that November’s efforts were eventually self-published as Tisiphone’s Quest.

I haven’t looked at those trunked books in years. I do have a further stack of half-finished novels and a couple of finished ones that have yet to find any homes. Most of them are standalone stories, and none of them have much in common with one another, so I’ve certainly gotten out of any ruts in terms of material. I’m a little surprised to find that I’m still cheerful about the whole thing. Sales or not, results or not, it’s fun just to do it, to throw yourself headlong into a story for a month and see what happens.

Day 2; so far, so good.

monthly updates, reading, writing

Countdown!

It’s the last update of October, but all eyes are forward right now! Only a few more days until we dive headlong into another NaNoWriMo. I’ve got a collection of world-building notes, an inkling of a plot, a vague outline of a character. It’s more than I’ve had some years at this point, and there are still a few days left to work with. I feel like this will be a fun project (but I’ve thought that before; they always seem to grow serious in the writing).

I made it through my annual solo week with no more than the usual exhaustion. It gets easier as the kids get older, but it’s always instructive to tote up just how much energy it takes to keep the household running by myself. There tends to not be much left over at the end of the day. Today has been pretty good in terms of productivity and relaxation both. It’s very damp and chilly, an excellent day to stay indoors, and so there has been knitting, and baking, and cleaning, and writing.

And reading! I’ve been enjoying a visit with Fritz Lieber. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually read this one before, despite having had it on the shelf for ages–a single-volume combo of Swords in the Mist and Swords Against Wizardry. The style is obviously dated, but Lieber’s descriptive language is a delight, and the adventures themselves have a cheerful freshness. This choice of material is probably some kind of subconscious revolt against the steadily increasing height of my to-read stack, which has overgrown the bedroom shelf and started taking over the kitchen.

Next time I see you, we’ll be several days into our new projects. Have fun!