NaNoWriMo

So, I’ve been out of touch for a bit. A number of things have happened since my last post. Balticon 51 was a success. I somehow managed to sprain the meniscus in my knee stepping out of a doorway and I’m still trying to recover my full mobility. And I had a book signing.

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Well, it is that time of year again. November is just around the corner, and with November, there comes NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. For the uninitiated, this is a time where people all over attempt to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It’s a pretty daunting task. It requires dedication, consistency, and no tolerance for distractions. I’ve done NaNoWriMo the last three years. Should I do it again this year?

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Why am I celebrating failure? Well, I am going to explain that, but first, I think I’d better catch you up.

When last we spoke, it was the 20th, and I’d hit 32,067 words after three straight days of over 2500 words a day. On the 21st, we set out to visit my father for Thanksgiving, my wife driving, and me in the passenger seat writing away. I managed to get in 1191 words on the trip. I probably would have done better, but the trip wasn’t very long. Then, once we arrived, family tended to get into the way of much writing. I tried to do some writing on Thanksgiving day, but only got in another 523 words what with the feasting and games of dominos. On Friday, we headed back home, but my wife was too tired and I had to do the driving. After we got home and unloaded, I was too tired to write, so Friday was a total goose egg. Saturday, the 24th, I plugged in to make up some of the backlog, and wrote 3009 words. A very promising day and it looked like I was going to be able to catch up nicely. Sunday didn’t go so well, but I did get in 1710 words, holding my own, and bringing my word count up to 38500 words. Monday, it was back to work, and a tough day at work it was. I came home and wrote another 830 words, but soon tuckered out. And at this point, I realized that I just wasn’t going to make it. I had too few days left and too much of a deficit to make up. So I tapped out at 39,330 words.

I had intended to put in some more writing and push over at least 40,000 words, but I just didn’t make the time. Also, I’d written myself up against a wall and I didn’t know where else to take the story. I finally figured out where to take the story on the 30th, just after I’d gotten to work. Unfortunately, after work, I went to take a nap and ended up sleeping through until December.

So what happened with Casey in these 7000 words?

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I was surprisingly productive yesterday! I got home from work in excellent time, and despite feeling tired all day, I was wide awake when I got home. Seeing that the nap I had expected to claim me was no where to be found, I decided to put my wakefulness to productive use and started writing!

By the time my wife came home from her errands, I had a good 800 words down and was speeding rapidly towards a thousand. This section was part of Casey’s being tested by the Primus, and the images were coming thick and fast, I just needed to type them! I quickly passed the daily word count and started making up some of the deficit. By the time I took a break for dinner, my story had hit 31,666 words, the target word count for the 19th! I was now less than a day’s writing behind. I stopped for dinner, then came back and did some additional writing before I had to stop for the day and see about packing for our Thanksgiving visit. When all the words were accounted, I had written 2,876 words for the day!

I’m still behind where I should be, but I’ve gone a good way towards closing the gap. And I’ve just had three days in a row when I’ve turned out an average of over 2500 words! For today, if I just break even, I think I’ll be in a good place to get through the Thanksgiving holiday.

And then there is the story…

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Another late night of writing last night. After getting home from work, I thought I was going to collapse and get some sleep, but my wife kept me up and engaged long enough to get through the post-work slump. We had dinner, and by the time we were done, I was fully awake and she was exhausted. So, while she went off to nap, I sat down to write.

The first thousand words seemed to be difficult to come by, but once I powered through those the going became easier. I kept up my mantra of “just another 250 words…” and managed to rack up just shy of 2500 words before I was ready to go to bed. Once again it was just before midnight, so I turned in for the evening and left this diary entry for the morning.

I’ve closed the gap between where I am and where I should be to about 2000 words. I don’t think I’ll be able to close that gap today, but I’d like to be able to take another 500 words off of it. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that I’ll probably end up falling further behind since I have to pack for a Thanksgiving visit tonight, and I’ve gone short on sleep enough that I’ll probably want to turn in early. I’ll be doing well if I can write enough words to break even tonight. I’ll probably fall further behind and end up looking to making the word count up this weekend.

And then there is the story…

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Rumors of my demise would be a premature exaggeration. But I have to admit that I felt like my demise was nigh on Thursday. I came home from work completely exhausted and then sacked out. I woke up at 8 PM to take my meds, and was just about to go right back to bed, when I remembered that I just needed about 500 words to take my story over 20k, and I had kind of promised you, my readers, that I was going to hit 20k on the 15th. So I sat down to write 500 words, and ended up writing just over 11oo before stumbling back to bed. Friday I wrote another thousand words before taking a break for dinner and to join Nobilis Reed for a recording hangout on G+. It was a fun time listening and talking with some of Nobilis’ fans. I may have to do something similar when I get to recording again. Afterwards, I wrote another 1500 words, but didn’t update NaNoWriMo until after midnight, so they got credited to Saturday. By then, I was too tired to work up a diary entry.

Saturday was completely booked from beginning to end, but I still managed to sneak in about 250 words on my iPad while riding in the car.

Sunday, I managed to pound out over 3000 new words, but that took me right up until midnight, and since I had to get up early for work, that again left no time to write up a diary entry.

Sooooo… I’ve had some good and bad writing days, but I haven’t gone a day without writing since the 11th. I am still about 3300 words behind where I should be, but I still have a chance to make it up. I just have to keep at it and keep pulling 2000+ word days. If I can get in enough writing with the four-day weekend coming up, I should even be able to pull ahead! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The good news is that things have been moving along nicely in the story…

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Feeling better today, and back to work. Still dealing with coughs and sneezes as my body tries to rid itself of the last of the infection, but I have a lot more energy. Unfortunately, I had to drive my carpool today, so I didn’t get to start writing until after work. Nor did I get a chance to work on any of the other posts I alluded to yesterday.

I did manage to work up a respectable word count, though. I set a personal goal of writing 2000 words today, and managed to get in 2,297 words. I’m now less than 4000 words behind where I should be, so that is a healthy chunk of recovery for the day. I’m still under 20,000 words, but I should break that barrier tomorrow. I will still have to rack up extra words for a while if I am going to finish on time. The goal as this point is to have no more days without writing.

The good news is that things have been moving along nicely in the story…

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Wow! What a full weekend this was! As expected, Saturday and Sunday were taken up with the Carolina Renaissance Festival, and there wasn’t any real time to sit down and write. Ok, maybe there was a few hours I could have written, but instead I was seduced by the opportunity to play Cards Against Humanity with a bunch of new friends. It was a creative endeavor, although not very literary.

Monday was the drive home from North Carolina. I’m afraid I wasn’t nearly as productive writing on the way back as I was on the way down. Part of that was because of much more frequent stops on the trip back. Part of that was due to the looming clouds we had on Monday that were totally absent on Friday. I wrote enough to tread water and keep from backsliding farther, but I didn’t get my numbers updated until after midnight, which means that NaNoWriMo credited my words to today instead of yesterday.

Today, I was so worn out from the trip, and from fighting off this cold, that I called in to work and spent the day at home. I did manage to get some writing in, but I think I only managed to add about a thousand words, give or take, to Monday’s total. The story has moved along, but I’m about 4500 words behind where I should be. I should be at 21,666, but I’ve only gotten up to 17,166 words.

A lot of other things happened today, though. There’s lots more to be said about all the things going on, so I’ll be posting about them separately in the days ahead. For now, I’ll just list them on the other side of this cut…

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Today we hit the road for a trip down to Charlotte and the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Armed with my iPad, a back of the seat iPad mount, and my Bluetooth Keyboard, I was ready to get to writing on the road! I actually had a pretty good day of writing, despite still trying to fight off whatever infection has snuck into my throat. My energy levels were up and down, so I did take a number of breaks on the trip. But I also got a good deal of writing done. I wrote 2,420 words on the road today, bringing the total for my novel up to 14,460!

The target for today is 15,000 words, so I’m still 540 words behind, but I did make some great strides at catching up. Tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be spending time at CRF, so I don’t know if there will be diary entries here, or if I’ll end up with no time to get any writing in. I’d like to at least squeeze some words in this weekend, just to keep in the habit, but I can’t guarantee that you’ll see a diary entry until Monday.

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Another short writing day today, folks. The majority of my day has been spent preparing for an excursion down to the Carolina Renaissance Festival this weekend. This is part of an annual pilgrimage to visit with friends from all over the country at CRF in an event known as the CRF invasion. Today was spent packing everything up, so I didn’t get to writing until very late in the day. As such, I didn’t get much more than 1000 words written.

What did surprise me was the reaction to my political essay from yesterday. Overnight this has become my most popular post ever, and has set a new high water mark for this blog. What’s more, so far I’ve only received positive feedback from the post. Now, that may mean that it has only been seen by like-minded folks, or that those who disagree have just written me off as an idiot who isn’t worth their time. We’ll see. Still, it is nice to see that people are reading something I’ve written.

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