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


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!

life, writing

Everything Shines

Not sure what I’m doing right these days, or if this is all just some transient biochemical blessing unconnected to my own efforts, but I feel so good about everything right now.

I am just about 1/3 of the way through revising what I’ve already got written of Fairy Hills. I feel excited and happy to be writing this book again, which is a welcome change from the past few months. I keep relearning the lesson, that if working on a story feels like dire travail, there is something out of alignment. Wordcount has not moved much (46,539), but I hope to get through the revisions quickly and back to new territory.

2019-09-29 15.22.00

Everything else is humming right along. I’ve been meditating, practicing French, doing my morning pages, paying attention to my water intake. I’m taking a few days off from running because my ankle was bothering me, but I’m going to give it a try tomorrow and see what happens. I re-read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series over the past week or so and found that it retains its charm after all of these years. Autumnal weather is finally here, so I am likely to shift back to knitting more. My daughter and I made macarons.

Title of the post is from this song by Mitch King, to which I have been listening rather a lot this week.



After weeks and weeks of getting nowhere with this book, I think I have finally figured out what I need to do. I’m very excited about this, since I was about to throw in the towel and start learning how to write again from Square 1. It’s going to require some replumbing of the current draft, but I don’t think I have to start it over from scratch. The week ahead should be a relatively quiet one, so I look forward to figuring out a plan finally.

(The problem is with the antagonist. I have a terrible time with those, which is a vexing situation for a genre writer. And, I am mildly chagrined and equally amused to say, the solution involves me following advice I have sagely dispensed to others in the past. There’s nothing like art to keep one humble.)

This past week I have been experimenting with the popular “morning pages” practice. I am not sure whether or not I can credit that with this morning’s breakthrough, or if it’s just that I am finally over the Cold from Hell, or that things needed to simmer and sort themselves out in my subconscious for exactly this long before the issue surfaced. I am going to keep up with the pages for a bit longer, and see what happens. They do eat up a fair amount of time, but the experience of writing longhand is meditative.

Long-range goals remain elusive, but I continue to put out feelers while I try to determine what it is that I am looking for. In the meantime, I’m going to finish this book!


Back to Routine

Hello! The disruptions of August lie behind us, along with the hot weather (I hope). Ahead lies a new school year, along with my favorite season. It feels good to be home with the expectation of staying here for a while, and even the familiar chores are bracing. There’s a lot to do, a lot of accumulated clutter to deal with, a lot of things I finally feel up to adding back to my daily routine, now that I have one again–I’ve been meditating more often, and doing my language practice, and am caught up on the filing.

And I am–again, finally–back to working on the book. I think I’ve identified the girder in the road that stopped me over the summer, a matter of pacing that must have been nagging at the back of my mind this entire time, only to surface at last on a read-through this week. I haven’t figured out how to fix it yet, but I am cheered by having found the problem. I look forward to having more to report next week.

knitting, monthly updates, writing

Work in Progress – July

Last Friday of the month, so here we are again. Looking at the word record, I suspect that what I most need to work on is forming consistent habits.


Come to think of it, that probably goes for all areas of my life, not just writing. However! The book is now past the halfway point, which is very exciting even if I am in the middle of a sticky bit right now, which is part of why I’ve slowed down. The other part of it I think is that I’m just tired! It’s been three weekends in a row away from home, and I’m really feeling it.

I have been knitting again; Readercon was very productive that way. Here are the two hats I worked on over that weekend. Now I’m doing a pair of mitts as a going-away gift for a co-worker.

2019-07-23 12.47.27

I’ve been reading a lot, mostly for work. I also added a Climate Action page to this blog, to keep track of the things I’m finding in that area.

And that’s about all. Looking forward very much to our vacation next month.