Monthly Archives: October 2010

Time is flying!

I can’t believe that in just over 24 hours NaNo will start again.

It will be interesting to see how the month goes. I’m planning on doing a fair amount of writing on Monday since I won’t be working that day. I hope that I’ll get to share a big number with you all. 🙂

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Three more days!

I can’t believe how close November is and how not ready I am. Three more days plus some change!

Tomorrow I’m going to go spend some time with NaNo peeps at a special pre-NaNo meet-up for working on our outlines. Since I haven’t even begun to do anything of the sort, this will be pretty good. I just have a random smattering of notes of ideas for the novel and then a bunch of historical notes to help me do the actual writing.

I still have a bunch of books that I need to go through. Most of them will probably be pretty repetitive at this point, so I may just keep the more extensive ones on hand during the month for reference.

Outside of NaNo work, I’ve got a few things I want to do before the month ends. First being cleaning my car. I’m not too worried about the outside, because it’s starting to hit the rainy/snowy season here, but the inside is another story.

I also really need to deal with my Google Reader. As of right now I have 99 items on there to read or skim as most of them will probably be. I have barely touched it at all this week.

But in other news, I’m loving the new netbook I bought this week. And I’m really digging the mouse I also picked up. It’s the Microsoft Mobile Mouse 6000 with the BlueTrack Technology. I can pretty much use my mouse on any surface. Just a few minutes ago I was using it on my pant leg. Right now it’s sitting on a pillow and working just peachy keen. These things will really help the month go easier since I won’t be lugging my huge and ancient laptop with it’s dead battery and cords around. I’m guessing that I’ll be getting around 6 hours out of the battery on my netbook and because it’s so small and light, carrying around the power cable won’t be that big of a deal either.

I’m really hoping NaNo goes well for me this year. I’m really excited about my current project and I can’t wait to sit down tomorrow and start plotting it out.

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Prep Work

When NaNo comes around, a lot of prep work needs to be done and it’s not always the things you would typically associate with writing. But when you try and add writing into an already crammed schedule, there are some things that help to get set up or done before November starts.

First, you want to make sure your work space and your living space are spic-n-span. You won’t have as much time to clean as you normally would, so you want things to be extra clean before the month starts so you don’t have to spend as much time cleaning when the month starts.

Stock up on tea and coffee and your favorite snacks. You’ll end up going through these at lightning speed so if you buy extra now, it means less trips to the store later.

Get organized! This is generally part of my cleaning time, but if you don’t organize or reorganize, as the case may be, when you clean, do it now! While “organized” chaos seems to work well most of the time, when you add an extra bit of stress to your life you can be a bit more forgetful than normal. I make sure to pull out everything I would normally use during NaNo (like an ipod, notepads, ipod cables, and thumbdrives) and set them in a special container on my desk or in my write-in bag so they will always be handy.

Also, double check your supplies, all of them! That means your cleaning supplies, writing supplies, dry goods and anything else you might think of. Make sure you’ve got enough to last you most of the month if not all. And if using disposable cleaning products doesn’t bother you, make sure to grab an extra container of cleaning/disinfecting wipes to wipe down surfaces daily, so that you’ll do few heavy cleaning sessions. And if you like cookies, don’t be afraid to make a few dozen and freeze some so you can have some homemade cookies in the middle of the month without actually having to bust out your baking supplies. Also, while making meals ahead of time isn’t really necessary, it never hurts to have a few things tucked away in your freezer for those days where you are just too worn out too cook. The good news is that since Thanksgiving comes during this month, you won’t really have to worry about cooking for the last week of the month since you’ll be eating all your leftovers.

And most important of all, make lists. Write down the things you want to do in the near future. If there are any that are fairly important or time sensitive, start cracking down and get as much as you can done before NaNo.

While all of things aren’t completely necessary, they can help you budget your time better during November and make it a whole lot less stressful.

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Ten more days and I still have somewhere around 20 books to skim and read for research on Leadville, Colorado during the late 19th Century. Luckily about ten of them are under 100 pages.

I have the day off tomorrow so I’m hoping I can cross off a bunch of these books. Which means I better hurry and finish Mockingjay tonight so I won’t have anymore distractions.

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Get Involved!

For anyone contemplating doing NaNo this year, I strongly recommend getting involved with the region nearest you.

While I only went two write-ins towards the end of November the first year I finished, I’ve found that it has been immensely helpful in the years following.

The first year I did NaNo I had a lot of great support from my fellow English Majors, but when I moved to Colorado, I didn’t have any of that support anymore. So it was great to have a group of people encouraging me to continue on, even when I despaired about the crap I was churning out for my second novel. Not to mention our group had a friendly competition with a neighboring region that helped boost everyone’s wordcounts.

Also, setting aside time for at least one write-in a week can help your floundering wordcount or even get you ahead of the game.

A lot of regions will do a few word sprints, where everyone will try and write as much as possible in the next 5, 10 or 15 minutes. For me, one fifteen minute word sprint can cover at least half of my word count for the day. If I do two of them in the 2+ hours of the write-in I not only get my wordcount in for the day, but I can chip away at the rest of the 50,000 I need for the rest of the month since I’ll still have another hour and a half that I’ll be writing.

Even if there aren’t any write-ins you can make it too, check out the Elsewhere regions for online write-ins that you can join in. Even if it isn’t in the same state or country that you are in, if they are having an online write-in at a time that works for you every week, do it.

Nothing helps better than encouragement from your fellow writers!

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NaNo Plans

It seems like every year I do NaNo, I do something completely different than the last.

My first NaNo run consisted of 1,667 words. I just never could manage to get myself to write anything beyond that. The problem stemmed from the fact that I used a comic idea I had my freshman year of college and attempted to turn it into a novel. The whole concept and idea behind it, had long faded from my mind the inspiration and plot were devoid of anything beyond a few bad tech jokes.

My first successful year, which was the following year, I wrote a murder mystery satire which just barely managed to hit 50,000 words. The setting was my college, the characters were my friends and the inspiration relied heavily on things that were happening at the time. It’s a novel I want to go back to someday and see if there is something worth recovering in it.

The third year I wrote 140,000 words of complete and utter crap. I had to characters that were writers. They were married and both writing NaNo novels and competing against each other. Snippets of both their novels appeared often. It was my plot bunny year in which so many ideas kept coming to the forefront that I just did them all. It was, in short, a disaster.

The next year I can’t even remember how much I wrote, but I didn’t finish and I didn’t write much beyond the first week. I had some very vague ideas for a fantasy novel that didn’t have any plot and some of the characters were from a fantasy race that I wasn’t that enamored with (ogres…).

I completely forgot about NaNo in 2007 and almost missed it in 2008. I spent the last two weeks of the month hammering out my first full on attempt at a fantasy novel during November. I’d written lots of bits and pieces in high school and college, but I’d never gotten past 10,000 words on any of those. I was extremely happy and pleased with the results. So pleased that I actually started writing down plot ideas for future books in the same series.

Then last year, I not only attempted to write the sequel to the fantasy novel, but I wrote a YA contemporary piece about divorce and a wrote a few snippets of a YA urban fantasy. I ended up with around 98,000 words, with the contemporary YA being the only one that was actually finished and crested over the 50k mark.

This year I’m going to write a historical, possibly gothic horror or dark fantasy novel that deals with werewolves. I’m not entirely sure yet what exactly all the novel will involve, but I’ve been slowing make notes and doing research on a specific area and time where I’m setting the novel. I’m hoping to have a very rough outline by the end of October and if I do, it’ll only be the second time I’ve ever done an outline for NaNo (my contemporary YA being the other).

I’ve also got a few short story ideas floating around to write when I need a break from my NaNo novel. Most of them dealing with the fantasy world I’ve been creating over the last few years in my NaNo novels.

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NaNo Goals

Unlike most years I’ve done NaNo, I’ve got a few extra goals outside of writing 50k.

I want to blog everyday, even if it’s just to post a word count. I actually thought about even doing a short vlog everyday, which I may still do depending on if I can find some software to go with my webcam. I’ll have to squeeze in the searching in between all my research for NaNo, my regular reading, and the whole getting healthy stuff.

My second goal is, well, to actually continue working out everyday. NaNo has a tendency to trump any and all other aspects of my life outside of work or school (if I’m going to school), so this year I want to make a conscious effort to get up every morning and hit the gym (minus Sunday which is my day off). Losing weight and being healthy should never take second fiddle to anything.

The third thing I want to do, is not ignore my non-writing friends. No matter how tempting it might be to go to a write-in instead of hanging out with friends, I want to make time for them because they make time for me. Not to mention if I can manage to blog everyday, write at least 1667 words a day, workout, go to my job and hang out with friends regularly, why can’t I do that the rest of the year too?

So here’s to hoping I am successful this coming month!

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What is this thing called sleep?

Sometimes I feel like that is how my brain feels despite how much my body craves the stuff. I’ve been awake for an hour now and I got a good three hours worth of sleep. Thanks to a Melatonin pill there were some of the best three hours I’ve had in a while. But the reality is that my body really wants another five to go with it, but my brain is switched on.

I’m not sure if it’s because the yoga just wasn’t enough to relax my brain last night. Or maybe I ate dinner too late. Or maybe there are so many things going through my brain that it just can’t relax right now.

Besides NaNo thoughts, which are many, I went to bed last night without getting all the stuff I needed for the gym ready last night. So now I have three hours to get ready for the gym. So I’m hoping that I don’t forget something like… a t-shirt to wear to work… or an extra pair of skivvies so that I don’t have to wear sweaty workout ones. Or pants, heaven forbid I forget the pants. But even if I did forget something, I’d still have an hour and a half after my workout to shower and run home to get whatever I forgot.

Maybe it’s my thoughts about food for the day that are keeping me awake! I like to plan out my food for the day the night before, but I didn’t get around to it yesterday since I worked a double shift. Which is why I also didn’t get my gym bag ready (not to mention I couldn’t find my old gym bag so I’m having to use my old NaNo tote bag D; ).

Or even that growing shopping list that I haven’t actually started writing down, but have just been recording in my head.

So in the next 3 hours I’m going to make my shopping list, count out my planned calories for the day, fill up my gym bag, make sure I have all the books I need to return to the library in tow and then head out to the gym so I can get my groove on. And then it’ll be off to work after a refreshing shower and if I can remember and if my brain is still going at a hundred miles an hour, maybe I’ll remember to hit up the store and do my shopping.

Here’s to hoping I can get everything I need for tomorrow done tonight, so that maybe I can sleep a good eight hours!

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NaNoWrimo 2010!

I have recently begun an onslaught of posting on my personal blog about the coming month and at least for the next month and a half I will be returning to this little corner of the world so that I won’t completely bore the heads off of family and friends who don’t really care that much about the details of my writing life

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