Throwing In The Towel – At Least Mostly

When it gets to be Day 5 of NaNo, and you’ve written barely 300 words, and each of those words was pulling teeth, and there is just no enthusiasm for writing the story you’ve chosen for NaNo or anything of the sort, it’s time to re-evaluate what is going on.

I did my thinking, and re-thinking, and have decided to do something I never thought I would do.

I’m not doing NaNo.

At least, not officially. And not in its entirety. I might try for a Half-NaNo, and 25K words written instead of 50K. What I’m thinking about doing, though, is taking any time I do feel like writing and using it for some re-vamping of the steampunk story I’d been working on earlier this year. That story has a lot of things that need to be done to make it good. It needs more steampunk, more romance, and more vampires. It needs more meat to it. It has a good foundation, I think, but not enough built upon it.

And the important thing? It has my interest, unlike the other things I’ve been trying to do lately.

So. No more NaNo2010 posts from me. I will cheer on those of you participating, though. (I’m still planning on NaNo2011. We’ll see how that works out.) But hopefully I’ll start getting to the point where I’m excited to write other things again. If I’m not trying to force myself to do something, I have hopes that I’ll start wanting to do it again.

In the meantime, I’ve got my pom-poms out.

Goal Posts, 4/27 Edition

1. Quick polish SPN & send to Betas due date 4/5/10

Done! Though the “quick polish” was exceptionally quick. Embarrassingly quick, even.

2. Send T to 5 sub ops – due date 4/30/10

Not done yet. Show has opened, but SPN still has priority. After that, it will probably be May before I touch T again.

3. Revise SPN and submit to Samhain contest – due date 4/30/10

Working on it! Though I have decided that there needs to be some pretty major revision. We’ll see how much gets done in time to submit. I am currently highly suspicious that it will get done in time. Energy is… well, gone. Between opening the show and the “I think I’m sick” that always seems to follow Hell Week, I have barely touched my writing these past few weeks.

4. Get “Into the Woods” ready to perform – due date 4/23/10

Done! Even if it did eclipse EVERYTHING else on my to-do list…

5. Finish 2 or more OWG critiques — due date 4/30/10

Not done yet. Not even thought about yet, sadly.

6. Write a book review a week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge  due weekly by Tuesday

Not done, for once. I read a book this week, but have no energy for the review. Ah well.

Goal Posts, 4-19 Edition

A quick, “I am still here” blog post, complete with goals updates:

1. Quick polish SPN & send to Betas due date 4/5/10

Done! Though the “quick polish” was exceptionally quick. Embarrassingly quick, even.

2. Send T to 5 sub ops – due date 4/30/10

Not done yet. Show to open first, and then SPN still has priority. After that, we’ll see.

3. Revise SPN and submit to Samhain contest – due date 4/30/10

Working on it! Though I have decided that there needs to be some pretty major revision. We’ll see how much gets done in time to submit.

4. Get “Into the Woods” ready to perform – due date 4/23/10

Nearly there! Friday is opening, so for better or for worse…

5. Finish 2 or more OWG critiques — due date 4/30/10

Not done yet. Not even thought about yet, sadly.

6. Write a book review a week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge  due weekly by Tuesday

So far, done!

Writing WiPs Don’t Have Pictures

…so I’ll share an xkcd with you instead.

xkcd Hell

Sometimes this is where I feel like my writing is going. All these pieces with straight edges trying to line up on a curved surface. Or sometimes, the other way ’round — but it doesn’t make the pieces fit any easier.

Now, mind you, I’m not giving up. Nor am I currently even very discouraged. But it’s frustrating as… well… Hell.

I’ve gotten SPN, the steampunk novella, off to beta readers. And am feeling very guilty about it because I didn’t have the time to really polish it at all before sending it off. So there’s guilt about sending a (very) rough draft to people who deserve better. There’s guilt about not having the time for the story that I wanted to put into it. There’s annoyance that I didn’t really outline it properly, so the plot was not quite ready when I started writing.

At any rate, the rough draft is done. Editing (on my end) will start next week. That way hopefully I can incorporate my betas’ comments without being swamped.

And next month should be a “fun” month. Next month, for Joely‘s* MayNoWriMo idea, I am planning to start really planning My First Ever Novel, and trying to make it good. I stopped writing this story because I didn’t feel capable of telling it “right.” I’ve learned a lot, and I think I may have a chance to get it right now.

Plus — it’s my reward to myself for slogging through deadlines and trying to feel like a working writer.

* Interestingly enough, she also has a post on guilt today…

Goalposts

. . . I mean goal posts. Ah, punctuation!

(Though, that was intentional. I’m planning to start separating my goals out from other, more “fun” content. They’ll be just the goals, and will go up either Sun or Mon.)

Last month’s goals:

  1. Finish writing SPN – due date 3/15/10 new date: 3/31/10
  2. Done!

  3. Send T to 5 sub ops – due date 3/31/10
  4. Nope. Goal moved to April

  5. Don’t play computer games on the new PC until SPN is complete – flexible due date
  6. Done! And now can play! Whee!

  7. Finish knitting Mom’s Birthday Socks – due date 3/20/10
  8. Done! Hooray!

  9. Get my 2 required critiques for the OWG done “early” – due date 3/20/10
  10. Done! Before the due date, even!

  11. Write a book review a week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge  due weekly by Tuesday
  12. Done! (This will be a recurring goal all year.)

And now for this month’s goals:

  1. Quick polish SPN & send to Betas due date 4/5/10
  2. Send T to 5 sub ops – due date 4/30/10
  3. Revise SPN and submit to Samhain contest – due date 4/30/10
  4. Get “Into the Woods” ready to perform – due date 4/23/10
  5. Finish 2 or more OWG critiques — due date 4/30/10
  6. Write a book review a week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge  due weekly by Tuesday

April Snippet

It’s April! Wow! That’s just amazing. I’m curious, how many of you were fooled by any of Google’s antics this past April 1st? I’m not sure what my favorite prank of theirs was this year. Was it the vowel outage? The Translate for Animals app on an Android phone? Or perhaps the new functionality on Google Docs that will allow you to Ctrl+F your keys and store physical objects in the cloud.

I think I would have to go with the third option… unless it’s the Mobile Search app allowing you to search “where am I” on a mobile phone browser… and come up with fun locations such as moon landing sites, Middle Earth, or (my favorite) a square on a chessboard. (I was on e3. I saved a photo, but am having trouble uploading it at the moment.)

At any rate, as in addition to being April it’s also FRIDAY (hooray!), here’s a snippet. I’m not going to give any real background for this, because that would involve spoilers, but enjoy anyway! (Also, names have been removed to also avoid spoilers.)

At the far end of the hall Frederick stopped. Voices were coming from the other side of a door that hadn’t quite been closed. He could pick out two distinct voices, both men. Though neither was a voice he recognized, the softer of the two had the cadence and force of a nobleman’s.

The other man whined, and was certainly not in any position of power. “Did you have to kill that man? There’s been talk that his death was unnatural.”

“I do not know that I like your tone of voice.” The lord raised his voice for a moment, and then lowered it again, and icy edge to it that hadn’t been there before. “That death was an accident. You should make more effort to be courteous to your betters, lest something similar happen to you.”

“But there have been questions —”

The nobleman kept talking as if the other man hadn’t said a word. “If I plan something… unnatural for you, there will be no questions… because there will be no body.”

copyright Nicole Tom, 2009, do not copy, reprint/re-post without permission, etc.

It’s the end of March? Already?

I never really manage to understand how a month can go by so quickly. This one has been no exception. And the end of March means the end of the first quarter to 2010. Wasn’t it just New Year’s? Of 2008? My goodness. Time does fly.

But, what that means is that this is the last go-round with these goals until (probably Thursday, when) I post April’s goals. So how am I doing?

  1. Finish writing SPN due date 3/15/10 new date: 3/31/10
  2. Not done yet. But I changed the deadline, due to some events that were outside my control, and I think I can get it done by the end of the month.

  3. Send T to 5 sub ops – due date 3/31/10
  4. Not done. I still don’t think I’ll manage this goal this month. I’ll aim to submit it — as well as SPN — in April.

  5. Don’t play computer games on the new PC until SPN is complete – flexible due date
  6. Sigh. Want to play SO BADLY. But no time for it if I’m going to finish the novella.

  7. Finish knitting Mom’s Birthday Socks – due date 3/20/10
  8. Done! Hooray!

  9. Get my 2 required critiques for the OWG done “early” – due date 3/20/10
  10. Done! Before the due date, even!

  11. Write a book review a week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge  due weekly by Tuesday
  12. Still good. Only one more and I can call this one a win. Actually, I have the post scheduled already. So it’s a success! Hooray!

Out of curiosity, where do your cats like sitting to watch the world go by? My Suzy used to like sitting in my bedroom window. She has a new spot now.

IMG_2628

See? Crazy cat. Or would you like a better shot?

IMG_2629

That piece of wood near the bottom left corner of the photo? That’s the fireplace mantel. So yes, the silly cat really is sitting on a window ledge that’s over 6 feet high.

And here’s another brief SPN snippet, because I can. This is from when Kate and Frederick first really meet each other:

He walked back to the wall, pulling her with him. “Please don’t run,” he said. “It would be unladylike to flee one’s rescuer.”

She eyed him without a smile as he propped his cane up against the wall, but stayed  where she was when he released her arm. “And what of you? It seems ungentlemanly to kidnap the damsel in distress.”

Chuckling, he slipped off his greatcoat. “True. But I am not kidnapping you.” He helped her into his coat. “And I am not a gentleman.”

copyright Nicole Tom, 2009, do not copy, reprint/re-post without permission, etc.

Happy Monday!