Oops.

Oops. Again.

Let’s see. Oops #1: I really fell behind on NaNo, and didn’t get my 50k in. I’m not too concerned about this, as a lot of life stuff happened instead (largely the EDJ getting crazy-busy) and I decided I wasn’t going to drive myself crazy (crazier) or worse, kill myself trying to finish NaNo.

Oops #2: I haven’t been blogging for a while. Let’s see if we can fix that.

Oops #3: I’ve been even worse at blog VISITING. I’m going to try to fix that, too, but no promises during the holiday season.

ETA: It’s snowing on WordPress again! Wheee!

MONTHLY GOALS:
  1. OCT: Prepare SF (novel project codename) characters & plot for NaNoWriMo. Good enough. I didn’t do as much as I had wanted on this, but I did enough.
  2. NOV: Write 50k words or more in SF. Nope. But I’m not too fussed over it, since I did get in lots more words (and a good start to a writing habit) than I had been getting previously.
  3. DEC REVISED: Maintain my writing habit and keep working on the SF first draft. I’m not aiming to finish the first draft this month anymore, but instead to just keep writing, just keep writing.
WEEKLY GOALS:
  1. Work on writing projects a minimum of 5 days / week. Nope. And this might slow down during the holidays, but I’m still going to try.
  2. Visit and comment on a minimum of 7 other ROW blogs / week. Also nope.
  3. Write a minimum of 3 blog posts / week. At least one of these should be a ROW update. And yet another nope. But I have some scheduled posts, so I may be able to change this to a yes on Sunday.

Yeah. So that was pretty dismal. BUT I’M NOT GIIVNG UP. And that’s what really matters, right?

Oh – one fun thing is that I’ve been finishing lots of secret knitting present projects, so you’ll get to see them all as FO posts after Dec 25th. I haven’t been sticking to prior-existing WIPs, but just about everything new has been a gift. So I guess I’m (essentially) sticking to my Year Of The WIP goal for 2014.

I hope all who celebrate has a great Thanksgiving last week, and enjoy your December holidays, whatever they are!

WIP / Writing Weds

Time for an update! Though sadly still no knitting pictures that I can show you to prove that I am still knitting, even though I’ve been doing a lot more writing lately. But I do have the ROW80 Goals Update:

MONTHLY GOALS:
  1. OCT: Prepare SF (novel project codename) characters & plot for NaNoWriMo. Good enough. I didn’t do as much as I had wanted on this, but I did enough.
  2. NOV: Write 50k words or more in SF. In progress… This weekend is going to be a low word count one, though, so I need to crank out as many words as I can (and still stay sane) before that…
  3. DEC: Finish the first draft of SF. When done, set aside. (No revision allowed until 1 month after completion date.)
WEEKLY GOALS:
  1. Work on writing projects a minimum of 5 days / week. On track. Not as many words per day as I want, but there has been daily progress so far.
  2. Visit and comment on a minimum of 7 other ROW blogs / week. Yup! I made a point of doing this on Sunday as soon as I posted my ROW update. Don’t look at me like that. I wasn’t procrastinating my writing, I was working on other goals while I was online.
  3. Write a minimum of 3 blog posts / week. At least one of these should be a ROW update. So far so good. Actually, with this post, we’ll be at three. So this goal is a success too!

Words, words words… must get more words.

ROW80+NaNo Sunday Summary = Words!

Whee! It’s time for  NaNo *AND* ROW80! That means words!

It really should have nothing to do with the word count. I should be writing year-round, and not just during November. But writing during this month has become a habit for me over the years, and if it’s the kick in the pants I need to get my writing habit back on track, I’ll take it. In any case, here’s my ROW Sunday Summary Update (click the link to find the list of other ROWers):

MONTHLY GOALS:
  1. OCT: Prepare SF (novel project codename) characters & plot for NaNoWriMo. Good enough. I didn’t do as much as I had wanted on this, but I did enough.
  2. NOV: Write 50k words or more in SF. Getting there. Not quite on track (I had one and a half bad days last week, so I’m a little behind) but nothing I can’t catch up on as long as I get to it today.
  3. DEC: Finish the first draft of SF. When done, set aside. (No revision allowed until 1 month after completion date.)
WEEKLY GOALS:
  1. Work on writing projects a minimum of 5 days / week. Yes. I wrote 6 out of 7 days this week. Not the NaNo goal of daily writing, but I still met my personal goal.
  2. Visit and comment on a minimum of 7 other ROW blogs / week. I honestly can’t remember, and that probably means “no.”
  3. Write a minimum of 3 blog posts / week. At least one of these should be a ROW update. Yup! I had my Sunday Summary ROW post, my Ten On Tuesday, and my Friday book review. I had meant to get a WIP Weds in there as well, but that was the day I did NOTHING in regards to writing, and there has been no bloggable knitting progress (all gifts) so there ended up being no post on Wednesday.

Progress is good! I’m currently at a NaNo total of 11,035 – which while not the 13,336 that I should have had finished by the end of Saturday to be “on track,” is still quite a lot better than I’ve been doing to date. And it’s still easily in the game for this thing, so I’m not worried. However, it does mean that I’m going to post this and then make another cup of tea to write with…

April Camp NaNo Summary

So at the beginning of the month, I mentioned that I was going to be doing Camp NaNoWriMo. And then I didn’t post anything else about it. Mostly because I’ve been slacking a lot more than I intended.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been writing. Just not nearly as much as I had planned. I have written probably a total of 5,000 words on the story (and the notes for later sections), and that’s 5K more than I wrote last month. So that is progress, and good progress. It’s a step in the right direction. It’s just not the jump-start that I had hoped would happen.

And I hate to keep throwing excuses around, but I’d have to guess that the Evil Day Job is the biggest thing hindering me at this point. When I get home from a full 8 hour work day, plus 1.5 – 2 hours total commute time, I’m tired and don’t want to do much of anything. And that’s on days when I don’t need to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store or a stop at the gym. And sadly, the writing is the thing that has been getting squeezed out of my schedule at this point.

I need to find a way to fit it into my schedule permanently. Sometimes I have been writing on my work breaks or my lunch breaks. But other times the last thing I want to do on my breaks is more typing. (On those days I knit or read instead.) And sometimes I do something at the gym where I am still able to use my iPad for writing stuff – like walking on the treadmill (with no running involved) or using one of the stationary bikes. But that’s splitting my attention, and so even when I do make some progress I can’t get too involved in the story because I’m too distracted.

There are a few options I’m looking into. One is simply cutting out most of my extra-curricular activities. I’ve already been visiting my knit group less because it’s such a long drive home from there on a work night. I may cut those visits out entirely, and only go to our weekend S’n’Bs. Another option is making better use of my gym time (doing things such as yoga classes and weight training instead of just tooling along on the treadmill) so that I feel more productive while I’m there and get energized instead of just more tired. And I’m looking at trying to cut my commute time down. But of course, the job search takes time and energy that I could otherwise put towards writing. So it’s not exactly immediately helpful, even if it will be great in the long run.

Anyway, progress is being made, even if it isn’t yet progress that I remember to be proud of. It doesn’t seem like much. I just need to remember that baby steps are better than no steps at all.

Have a great week!

Round Of Words Planning

In case you were wondering, I am planning on doing the Round Of Words this quarter. I’m just not planning to … yet. October is right out for me. I decided that a while ago, and have been thinking about what my goals are going to be for the rest of the Round. I haven’t come to any final decisions, but I have determined one thing it will not be:

I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

It feels weird to say. I’ve done (or attempted to do) NaNo for just about every year since I discovered it all those years ago. I think it was 2003, which makes this my tenth year since discovering NaNo. And I’m not participating.

Like I said, it feels weird.

But the same things that are stopping me from participating in the Round of Words in 80 Days during the month of October are stopping me from being anywhere near ready for NaNo. And I’ve found from experience that I don’t do well when I am unprepared for NaNo. So, instead, I will spend November preparing a novel to write at some future date. Maybe I’ll join Camp NaNoWriMo in 2014? That’s always a possibility.

Anyway, I’m still finalizing my goals. They’ll show up soon, probably the first Sunday in November. Hopefully by then the lack of NaNo craziness will feel a little better.

NaNo Finish Line: Check!

Well, this has been a crazy month. Specifically, this has been a crazy 25 days.

As you know if you’ve been reading the blog, I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo this month. There were a few days I took off from writing, and it’s only the 25th of the month (we have until midnight on the 30th) but I wanted to finish my 50K this weekend because I have other things that will occupy my time during the end of the month.

Well. At around 10:20 tonight, I succeeded. 50,104 words later, and I am a winner of NaNoWriMo 2012.

Because I don’t have any energy to do any real creative writing, here are my stats and the last snippet I’ll be sharing of the NaNo work. Not necessarily the last you’ll see of Care & Feeding, but the last you will see that is RAW UNPOLISHED NANO MATERIAL. (So yeah. That’s a reminder that this snippet has not been edited.) This is from the blog’s finale, which will probably be the book’s finale.

I have decided that I’m going to intersperse regular bits of fiction written from the hero’s POV, rather than just use only blogs as the story format. But since the thing was started as a blog project, I think I would like to have the first and last scenes in the finished novel be in blog format.

TOTAL WORDS: 50,104
NUMBER OF DAYS: 25
WC AVERAGE: 2,004/day
WORDS WRITTEN TODAY: 6,327

And the snippet:

Long story short, though, we got lucky. Really lucky. Only those who really deserved harm because of all the havoc they’d been causing really got hurt. I mean, yeah. My ankle is still pretty badly sprained, even with the super-speedy werewolf healing thing. And yeah, Hawk’s gonna have some really pretty bruises for a while. But none of us – me, Hawk, Red, or Blondie – were injured badly enough to need an ambulance. Even though Red’s going to have to spend another night under a doctor’s care, she still got there under her own power.

And she’ll be fine. I have the doctor’s assurance on that, and I tend to agree with him since I’ve seen such an improvement since yesterday. I think the best part about this whole fight is that Blondie has finally figured out that he needs to actually tell Red how he feels about her. He’s finally realized that hot make-out sessions are lovely when they’re happening, but a girl needs flowers in her life once and a while, too.

The one thing that pisses me off? Well. Remember my lovely strawberry blond highlights? The ones Red helped me with? They’re gone. For one reason or another, the hair color didn’t remain after shifting back to human. I guess this is why Professor Hunter left his hair salt and pepper instead of dying it to cover the gray. Damn it. I was hoping the highlights would stay in wolf form, not disappear completely when I shifted back to my human form.

I guess if that’s the only thing that I have to complain about, we’re in pretty good form. So I’ll see you guys later, in another blog post. Except, since there won’t be any more assignments, and hopefully no more major wolfy activity, I might not write any more blog posts. I guess this is the end of the blog. Maybe I’ll resurrect it someday, but if I do it will probably be under another title and at another address. And I won’t have so many private posts. I can’t possibly have this much “super sekrit stuff” to write about again. That just wouldn’t be fair.

So until next time, if there is a next time, this is Minnow – part-time wolf and full-time student – signing off.

Silly NaNo Snippet

So at one of my local write-ins, we ended up creating a new creature for one of our writers’ story world. And then we decided we should all write this creature into our stories. Any format was acceptable: we could use the actual animal, or have it in a dream or a movie… anything, really.  Some of us accepted the challenge, while others did not.

I did.

And if you would like to read a silly, completely random snippet from my story featuring the Ninja Tree Octopus as created by the CA: East Bay WriMos, here you go:

I can’t sleep. I don’t know why, I just can’t.

Red isn’t having this problem. She’s asleep. Well, that, or she’s insane.

She has a habit of talking in her sleep, especially when she’s stressed. Since her hardest midterm is tomorrow, I’d be surprised if she wasn’t stressed.

Pity, though. If she was awake, I could ask for her advice. Talk through this whole dumb third-first-date thing.

Nope. She’s not awake. I just asked her – in a whisper, of course – if she was, and the response was, “Yes, Lilly, of course I’m practicing my towels.” I have no idea who Lilly is, or how one practices towels.

I know I should shut off the computer and try to sleep again, but I’ve already been trying to sleep for the past hour and a half, and haven’t had any luck. So annoying. I was falling asleep in Biology, but now it eludes me.

Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to get Red to talk to me. She’s muttering again. Something about a monkey this time.

I didn’t even have any coffee this afternoon, so that shouldn’t be keeping me up. It’s probably just nerves. What if Hawk calls me tomorrow to cancel our date again? I don’t think I could give him another chance after that. But what if the third time is the charm, and we actually to get to have dinner together?

Yeah, and what if I’m so tired from a sleepless night that I pass out and land face-first in my pasta?

Okay. I either need to put in earphones and listen to music, or get out my iPhone and record some blackmail. Red’s latest comment was, “Oh, no! It’s the ninja tree octopus! Run while you can!”

Hmm. She’s flailing in her sleep. I suppose I should wake her so she doesn’t fall out of bed or something.

Unless, of course, that’s just me being selfish and trying to get her to wake up so we can talk.

Right. Music it is. Otherwise I might end up doing something I’ll regret.

Goodnight world. Here’s hoping I can actually sleep this time.