NaNoWriMo 2014 Day 3



Graphic courtesy of Lynn Viehl.

I had big plans for this week.  I was going to get up Dark & Early at 4:45 a.m. so I could write a good solid hour+ each morning this week.

Then someone monkeyed with the alarm on That Man’s side of the bed (no one has taken credit.  I mean blame).  The first time it went off was around midnight.  It went off again shortly after that.  Then he got a work call at 1 AM.  And another at 4 AM.

Needless to say, I didn’t get up on time today.

However, I didn’t have to drive all over everywhere after school today, and we’re having pizza for dinner, so I had this niiiiiccce long stretch of time to write today, plus my lunch.  I was able to get my total word count up to just under 4800 words!  Woot!

Even better, things are getting really dicey in Charlie’s story.

I always like to share a little when I’m deep in the flow of story, but there’s over 40K story from what I’ve shared here before and what I’m writing now.  Lots and lots of story to choose from that’s not anywhere close to what I wrote today.  Plus there’s a huge reveal that I don’t want to spoil.  So I’ll try to keep the deep dark secrets to a minimum.

He pulled down two wine glasses from the overhead rack and led the way into the living room.  Great, now I had to figure out where to sit on the sectional without being too obvious.  If I sat on the far side of the L, I’d be able to see him from anywhere but it might look like I was afraid of him.  I didn’t want him to think that.  Nor did I want to plop down beside him and give him the impression that I was easy pickings.  I am, but I don’t need him to know it.

I’d rather sit on the floor any day, especially if I could curl against his legs.  But that certainly wasn’t an appropriate first sit-down-and-talk position.  Did other people have such incredibly ridiculous difficulty deciding on something as easy as where to sit?  He sat in the middle of the sectional and set the bottle and glasses on the table in front of him, yet I stood frozen, unable to make a simple decision about where and how to sit.  I tore my gaze away from him and stared at the floor, willing the tears in my eyes to go away.

“I won’t bite,” he said amicably.

I risked a quick glance up at his face, horrified that he might actually think I was afraid.  He winked at me, flashing that disarming dimple, and patted the couch beside him.  And I went to him, relieved and yet even more upset at my own inability to act like a normal human being.  I didn’t say anything while he poured the clear wine into the glasses, barely more than a splash in each.

“I have to drive to the airport so I can’t indulge.  But I can’t resist sharing your first glass of good wine, either.  If you don’t like it, I won’t be offended.”

I took the glass but didn’t sip it yet.  I tried to sit calmly, like I sat and chatted with people all the time.  Not like I was a wreck, waiting for him to tell me what to do.  My stomach was in knots, afraid I’d been wrong about him and yet dreadfully sure I wasn’t.  I wanted his commands more than anything, but I’d tried so hard to pretend that everything was okay, too.

He leaned back and propped his feet on the table, careful not to knock the bottle over.  He wore heavy black motorcycle boots that I found just as intriguing and unexpected as his backyard of cows.  He drove a boring beige Buick.  Thousands of them drove around Springfield every day.  Yet I was pretty sure none of the men inside probably wore heavy black boots with buckles and studs.  It made me wonder what kind of surprises he hid under that black turtleneck.  Tattoos?  Piercings?



NaNoWriMo 2014

I haven’t visited the site yet to make it official, but I do plan to participate in NaNo this year.  However, I’m already behind, and I don’t have the surplus of vacation from the Evil Day Job as in other years.  The only days I’m currently scheduled to take in Nov. are the week of Thanksgiving.

I like to stay up until midnight after Halloween and get the first day’s words, but it just didn’t work out this year.  Having the first days on the weekend are difficult for me.  That’s when we do all the errands and stuff that we don’t have time to do in the week because of work.  Plus, yesterday we drove to Papa’s for a bonfire.  I did manage to get 519 words in the car on the way, but that’s it.  Today’s laundry and Princess had a party and football, which can make it hard to concentrate.

If I finish the night with a total of 2K for the first 2 days, I’ll be happy.

Then I plan to get up D&E starting tomorrow and keep pushing forward.

Oh, and the story I’m working on?  I guess I’m technically a rebel because this project was already started.  I intend to finish the first draft of Charlie’s story this month.  I already have 40k+ on it, and I think I’ll need another 40K at least.  It’s a long, detailed story with lots of snaky twists and turns.  I already have it thoroughly plotted out, so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

That’s my plan for NaNoWriMo.  Are you participating this year?

Camp NaNo

I’ve never joined a cabin before, but this year I’m going to Camp along with Raelyn, Nicole and Diana.  My #1 goal:  finish the PNR.  I don’t care how many words that is, whether 20K or 50K.  I just want this done so I can get it submitted.

So I can work on the next billionaire book (which I finally got a hilarious title for – I hope they let me keep it!) and the plantation story and Mal’s book…

Sigh.  I have so many things I want to do this year!

So it’s time to get busy.

Anyone else ready to make some s’mores and tell some ghost stories around the fire?

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 4

Saturday morning, the two youngest monsters had their first non-Upward (more competitive) basketball game.  Ugh, to say it didn’t go well is an understatement.  We ended up spending at least an hour at the court later in the day practicing a few things just the four of us.  Then I took Princess and Littlest to my favorite coffee shop, Classic Rock, and we worked.

Two cappuccinos and about an hour and a half later, I had 1380 words.  Not bad considering I had two kids with me, but short of my daily goal.  I didn’t sweat it since I’d broken 2K the day before.

But then Sunday was almost a total bust.  I had the “I don’t wannas” and wasted away my day.  I knew I had Monday off, but I still had to get kids up for school.  Middle in particular wanted to get up at 5:30 am the next day, so I couldn’t stay up late.  I ended up scratching out a couple of hundred words but they weren’t good and it wasn’t pretty.

Monday morning I had to take Princess to school (late start on Mondays) and ran by Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. So I was late getting started and again, it wasn’t looking good.  I just couldn’t make myself focus.  I’d write 10 mins or so and then find myself looking up, wondering random things, opening up a web browser only to forget what I was going to go look at.

I made myself go down into my office.  I started up my aromatherapy diffuser, turned on my little space heater, put on my most inspiring NatureScapes music (drums and crows), and set a timer.  15 mins only.  I couldn’t do anything but write for 15 mins.  Then I stopped and got up, walked around, filled my water glass, etc.  Then another timer.  After I finally broke 1K for the day, I did a little exercise, ate lunch, and then met my friend Diana Castle in the Coyote Con chat rooms to do some more sprints.  Then I met Raelyn Barclay over her lunch (in Vegas, how cool!) via text and we did another sprint.  By then, I had several thousand words and it was time for me to pick up Princess from school (band practice).

I got one more later “sprint” in just me with the TV going in the background, to bring the day’s count to 4526 and my NaNo total to 8362.

If I can get another nice chunk of words today, I’ll be thrilled.  I need to check in at work and the kids are home today (voting day).  I also have to take Princess back to school today for All District tryouts.  Hopefully I can still get my words in!

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 1

I love to take Nov. 1st off when it’s a weekday so I can stay up until midnight 10/31 and hit the ground running!  Unfortunately this year I was so tired that by the time midnight rolled around I could hardly string two words together.  I did manage 576 but then called it a night.  The words were slow going and it was going to be after 1 AM before I got enough to call it quits, and I had to get the monsters up for school this morning (wakeup call at 6 AM).

Once I got everyone off to work and school, I had a lazy few hours.  It was nice to sit and drink coffee in silence while dinking around with email, Twitter, and TV.  At least I didn’t turn on Netflix (my ultimate time sink) but I enjoyed watching Ancient Aliens.  Finally about 9 or so I turned off the TV, shut down internet, and got to work.

It was still slow.  I’d write a bit and pause, check my word count.  300 words.  Sigh.  But I did finally break 1K and stopped for lunch.

This year, I’m going to try and walk every day, weather permitting.  KoKo needs the work (long story, I’ll try to write up a blog post later) and I don’t want to totally chain myself to the computer.  I’ve been stressed out lately and I need the exercise!  So I walked around the neighborhood a little over 30 mins with the pup and came back just in time to write another 30 mins or so before the first two monsters got home from school (early day out on Friday).  That brought my total to 2025 words for the day.

I ended up taking the rest of the night off.  I’m mentally still a little out of the game so I don’t want to strain too hard yet.  I was hoping for 5K but I’ll take what I got and hope for the best tomorrow.


The best laid plans…

I allowed 9 days of vacation in November, concentrating on the beginning of the month to get as many words in as possible early, and then the entire week of Thanksgiving (since we host the family).  I was so excited to FINALLY have some time off…

Then I received word that a crucial person at the Evil Day Job for my current project gave her notice.  Her last days in the office are next Monday and Tuesday… when I’ll be out.  So I halfway committed to logging in at least a little those days to maximize the time I have left with her.  Not too bad though – I could still write in the mornings.

Then this week I got notice that they need me to travel to St. Paul home office for training.  The week of Nov. 18th.

Sigh.  I’m going to lose the entire week.

I can say I’m going to write that week, but I know how it’ll go.  I’ll be up super early (I’m not used to having to dress and put on makeup for work since I work from home) and I’ll be out late catching up with friends.  I won’t even have my lunch to write because I’ll be doing lunch with friends.  I’ll also be half brain dead because I’ll be frantically preparing training materials (I’m giving part of the training and I don’t have time to prepare the training until after a crucial milestone testing file for my project is done by 11/15).

Oh not to mention my story is only halfway plotted in my head (I was going to push hard to finish the PNR).

I am still going to try.  I love NaNoWriMo.  But it’s not going to be the perfect/fun month I was expecting.  What about you – are you joining the insanity this year?

NaNo Day 0

NaNoWriMo has defeated me this year.  It’s just not going to happen.  Between another Evil Day Job project that must be complete by the end of the month, hosting Thanksgiving and all the cleaning and preparation, and Sig’s obstinance, I haven’t even opened my file in several days.

I lost momentum last weekend.  We drove to Granny’s for an early Thanksgiving, and my brain decided to take a vacation.  Literally.  I’ve been on a mental holiday since.  I’ve played a lot of games and had my nose to the grindstone at work all week.

On the home front, I’ve cleaned the complete pit of a basement, thrown away tons of trash and broken toys, stacked a huge pile of toys to donate, cleaned the fridge, re-organized my two pantries, and gathered a stack of small appliances to either sell on craigslist or donate.

This weekend, I still need to go through the kids’ clothes, donate what they’ve outgrown, put away all the summer stuff, and drag out the winter clothes.

The carpet cleaners are coming Monday.

The turkey’s thawing in the downstairs fridge.

I have a huge Thanksgiving prep spreadsheet going.

Hopefully the week’s break from Sig has let my subconscious churn a little on where I want to go with Sig’s story.  If I can finish the first draft this year, I’ll count it a huge victory, even if I’m nowhere close to hitting 50K by the end of the month.

NaNoWriMo Day 008

In which I fall behind…

I only got 800+ words election night.  Last night was even worse.  I still have hope for tonight, but man, it’s slow going.  The words just don’t have any life.  I know the plot, the characters, everything, but there’s just no energy and vibrancy to the words.

I just have to keep going.  Keep pushing.  The magic is there.  I just have to find it.

On the bright side, I’m off tomorrow and Monday.  Hopefully I can make up some lost ground.  Total (before tonight’s work):  10,996 words

Snippet (still not NaNoWriMo material):

Bloody hell.  She’s brought us to a sex shop.

Sig gritted his teeth, sure his face had exploded in fire.  He shot a subtle look at the other man to see his reaction.

Studying the chains and clamps, Masters whispered, “I guess my handcuffs aren’t enough for her any longer.”

A surge of fury and shame swept through Sig so viciously he trembled.  “Enough for me, you mean.  Is that what this is about?”

Masters arched a brow at him.  “I have no idea what the lady’s about.  You know her better than I.”

Do I?  Shaken, Sig slipped closer to her so he could overhear her quiet words to the young woman running the back counter.  He tried to be invisible, making himself small and thin and dark, barely even breathing.  But the young woman’s eyes flickered his way and she gave him a small, knowing smile.

“Very good,” Charlie said.  “May I try a few to make sure I select the correct grip?”

“Of course.”  The shopkeeper pulled down several short-handled crops and flails.  “These look to be the best length for your arm and height.  This one,” she pointed to a flail with thin tails of cloth, “delivers the softest blow.  This one uses beads and leather to deliver more pain without the same cutting strike.  Which do you think will suit your needs best?”

Charlie chuckled softly.  “I don’t honestly know.  I’m afraid I’m a novice at all this.  However…”  She trailed her fingers over the braided detail of the leather flail.  White cording made an intricate webbing about the black leather.  “I find this design the most interesting.  What do you think, Sig?”

“I despise it.”  His lips felt so tight that he could barely speak.  “Why would you even think I’d like such a thing?”

She tilted her head, her eyes wide with mock surprise that made him quiver with rage.  “Why on earth would you assume it’s for you?”

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Still going along but I have to work in chunks.  I’ve had a lot of distractions with real life and work, but I keep giving myself small chunks.  Write 500 words and take a break.

Write another 500 words.

It’s slow but it is progress and the words are adding up.

I managed to write a little in the car yesterday on the way to the funeral, and then slowly worked my way toward the last 700 words last night.  I’m sitting at 7664 words this morning, my last day of vacation.  But I keep getting distracted.

I love watching cheesy horror movies and I’m on my second today. :oops:  But I am writing at the same time, just nothing major in word count.  I’m also going to vote today, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll lose this afternoon waiting in line.

But that’ll free me up tomorrow and ensure I don’t get sucked into work and forget to go vote!

Continuing from the last snippet:  (again, not NaNoWriMo material, not yet)

It’d been easy enough in the beginning to accept that Charlie wanted two men in her bed.  He was merely thankful they were all still alive and that she’d escaped Queen Majel’s Runners.  He hadn’t even minded when she’d made love to him and then Gil or vice versa.  In the beginning, she’d often had them both in her bed, but they’d never interacted.  It’d been very much a “wait until it’s your turn” situation.  Not that he’d complained, again.  She kept him well satisfied and he’d never felt slighted or neglected in any way.

But night after night after night in that small ship speeding through the galaxy had begun to wear upon him.  Why he didn’t know exactly.  He loved her.  She loved him.  Gil loved her without question as well.

Sometimes love isn’t enough.

He winced at that thought and noticed he was stroking the hilt of his favorite knife tucked into a sheaf on his hip.

Her hand settled on his forearm, drawing his attention to her face.

“What is is?”

He gave her a jaunty grin.  “Merely dreading the next dress shop, Your Grace.”

Her eyes narrowed and she tilted her head as she studied him.  He fought to keep his shoulders relaxed and his face smooth of any upset.

“I see.”  She linked her arm with his and drew him alongside her and Gil.  “I thought perhaps you’d received a new contract and were afraid to tell me.”

“I wish,” he muttered.  A little killing always helped him keep the darkness at bay.  That, and visiting her.  But even with her admittedly divided attention, that same old uneasiness was beginning to gnaw at him.  Soon, he’d be unable to sleep, tormented by old shadowed pain.  Pain he’d thought he’d left behind a very long time ago.  “Why would I be afraid to tell you?  You already told me you wouldn’t try to make me quit.”

He couldn’t help that small emphasis.  He’d do anything she wanted within reason, but if Lady Wyre thought she could bat her eyes and make him stop being an assassin, then she’d be sorely mistaken.

She let out a low, rich chuckle that heated his blood, even while her words made him tense.  “Don’t challenge me, Sig.  You might not like the outcome.”

It was easy to slip the knife out and press the tip to her side before she even drew a breath.  “Don’t challenge me, Lady Wyre.”

She hissed beneath her breath.  “Don’t call me that, even here.  One never knows where the Queen’s Ravens may listen.”

Blasted woman.  She ought to be afraid of him not the distant albeit powerful queen hunting her all across the galaxy.  He jabbed the knife a bit harder.  “Do you honestly think Majel has spies here?  Look around, Your Grace.  Do you see a single red coat?  A single Britannian ship in the docks?  No.  Hoeng Gong is open to everyone except Britannia, which is why so many people are willing to risk trading here.  Even if Majel knew you were here, she couldn’t do anything.”

“You’re a fool, then.”  Charlie’s voice cooled but her pitch didn’t rise with alarm.  Calm and cool even with a knife poking her in the ribs, she drew to a halt and stared up at him levelly.  Gil cursed low under his breath.  “Never mind, Gil.  I’m fine.”

“That knife is pointed at your heart,” he replied grimly, his big right hand shifting toward the ancient pistol he kept beneath his coat.  Sig couldn’t help but grin, trying to antagonize the man.  They’d clashed early on and even bloodied each other a little, but she’d quickly put an end to their alpha dog posturing.  Maybe a fight would put him at ease at least long enough for a contract to come through.

“No matter.”  She shrugged, completely nonplussed.  “He knows I’m always prepared for such events, don’t you, dearest?  He was introduced to the corset I fondly call the iron maiden before I ever left Britannia.”

Indeed, their first meeting had gone rather like this, with him threatening to kill her while she looked him in the eye and dared him to try.  He hadn’t seen that steel-walled corset again.  Had she brought it along on his ship?  Would she have thought to wear it?

Do I want to risk bloodying the woman I love just to prove a point?

NaNoWriMo Day 1

I managed to stay up until midnight Oct. 31st and wrote until a little after 1AM to get my first day’s words.  Getting up at 6 AM was tough but worth it.  :-)

I ended up working 2-3 hours yesterday and had a 2 hour hair appointment, but I did manage short stints later to get 2,552 words for the day.

Today, I logged on for work about an hour, paid some bills, ground some flour and made some bread, and got 500 words.  I’m hoping to get another 2500 words today but we’ll see.  The kids get out of school an hour early on Fridays and I need to run to the bank — and back to the salon where I left my Kindle, ack!! — but I want to at least get my normal 1667 words to keep slightly ahead.

I haven’t shared any of Lord Regret’s Price yet.  I guess I’m nervous about it.  It’s been so difficult to get moving, and every time I miss a day, it’s like pulling teeth to get moving again.  Even today, knowing I need to write a few more sprints, I have a slight dread about getting started.  Once I’m going, it’s fine.  I’m on the verge of discovering some cool things about his mother.  P.S. I really have no idea who his mother is — if she’s based on a real person or not.  Guess I need to figure that out huh?

Anyway, here’s a little from how the book currently opens (not NaNoWriMo material – this was written weeks ago).

Watching Lady Wyre wander through the endless markets in Hoeng Gong was almost as fun as deciding how his next mark would die.

So much for being the galaxy’s most famous assassin.  Lord Sigmund Regret shifted the stack of parcels she’d shoved into his arms at the tea shop, careful to keep one hand free in case he needed to reach a weapon.  I haven’t accepted a contract in over a month.

At least he’d taken the first load of relatively small packets.  He smirked as the other man of their party eyed the enormous—and still growing—stack of silks she’d selected.

“How much room is there in your hold?”  Gilead Masters drawled in his distinctive Americus accent.  “Surely not enough for all this.”

Sig laughed.  “Large enough for Her Grace’s silks, surely, but I’m thankful that she’s not a collector of silver or we’d never get [ship name] out of the dock again.”

“Humph.”  Lady Charlotte Wyre tipped up her nose to a haughty angle.  “This is only my first day of shopping, gentlemen.  These materials are fine for every day gowns, but I intend to create a wardrobe that would dazzle even Her Majesty herself.  I’ve gone without the finer things in life for so long that I intend to make up for lost time.”

During the seven years she’d lived in hiding on the Americus colony, she hadn’t dared indulge her taste for the finery to which she’d been accustomed as Duchess of one of Britannia’s most powerful Houses.  Sig couldn’t fault her for wanting to make up for lost time.  He’d merely prefer to buy out the entire shop rather than stand around waiting while she sorted through each and every bolt.

“Then of course I must find a suitable modiste, not to mention matching trims, hats, boots, and gloves.  I must have day wear as well as evening, for I intend to wrangle an invitation into the Forbidden City so I might see the Emperor in all his glory for myself.  Not even Majel has accomplished that feat.”

Charlie paid the beaming shopkeeper an exorbitant amount of coin and gave instructions to have the silk delivered to their inn.  Sig dumped the tea parcels on top of the shimmering mountain, ignoring the arched look she shot his way.  The tea cost twice as much as the silks, but if she was entrusting her precious wardrobe to a delivery boy, she might as well have the tea delivered too.  At the prospect of Charlie surviving without tea, though, Sig relented enough to pick up the largest parcel full of her favorite, golden-tipped Assum.

Gil took her arm and they led the way down the crowded aisle.  People of all colors and species filled the market, yelling in dozens of languages.  Zijin was far enough away from the mighty arm of Britannia that trade flourished.  Even species like the Razari—who’d barely survived Britannia’s cruel method of technological assimilation—risked sailing into the open market of Hoeng Gong, a tiny island satellite of the larger Zijin system.

The crush of people on all sides sent Sig’s self-preservation alarms into overdrive.  He’d killed countless marks in situations like this.  A slim knife slipped between ribs and he was away before the person even noticed something was wrong.  Oftentimes their lungs were filling with blood before they even realized that prick they’d felt had been deadly.  With his law enforcement background, Gil was equally uneasy, holding Charlie close to his side, his dark head turning this way and that, constantly scanning for danger.  She tipped her face up to the other man and he bent down to hear over the clamor.

The sight of their heads so close to together sent an ugly pulse through Sig’s gut, hard enough that he turned away so he wouldn’t have to look at them.

Surely the infamous Lord Regret isn’t feeling jealousy.

Oh but I am.  I am.