Posts Tagged ‘dragons’

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

I usually don’t toot my own horn, but this month has been an amazing journey for me.  As you know, I started a novel with the intention of forming 50,000 words in 30 days.  That meant writing 1,666 words, at least, for 30 days.  Every day.  No breaks.  1,666 words.

It’s a lot harder than you would think.  And over the course of this last month, I’ve learned a lot about myself personally and as a writer.  See, I can honestly say that now because I feel it.  In the end, on November 27, 2013, I clocked in at 53,441 words.  So, I am a writer.  I realized that I had won, but I still was. or rather am, in awe of it.  I’ve still got the ending to finish, also.  Which means… I am not done.

Yes, That’s right.  I. Am. Not. Done.

But here is the real interesting part.  At the beginning of the month, I was naively proud and cocky that I would succeed.

It’s not that hard to write 1,666 words in a day.  I’ve read blogs where professional writers are clocking in at 3,000 even 5,000 words in a day.  I can puke up a mere 1,666.  I laughed heartily…. HaHA!

Yeah…

Well….

It’s a pretty humbling experience to sit in front of a screen and stare at that blank page.  It’s like standing up to give a speech.  You shake.  You try to picture it in it’s underwear.

You get up and get a drink of water and come back.  Stare some more.

You poise your fingers over the key board the way it was taught in typing class (back when they had typing class).  You take a deep breath.  You close your eyes.  You picture the scene in your head.

And you type.

You keep typing, until typing is the only thing you can do.  Your mind breaks open like a watermelon hitting the pavement from a ten foot drop.  It bursts into a million tiny pieces of imagination.  and you type.  Furiously, until you feel as if your hands won’t ever move again.

Finally in exhaustion, you stop.  Your fingers are cramped and crooked.  You are so very proud of yourself.  You say, “I have written a novel!”

Then you look at the word count.  You stare at it in disbelief.

1,642

Your parched throat constricts.  If you weren’t so dehydrated, you would feel tears drip down from your lashes onto your pallid cheeks.  Your chapped lips form each of the numbers, cracking and bleeding as they do.  One thousand, six hundred forty-two words.

You hang your head, your greasy hair falling around your face.  You look like a girl from those Asian horror movies.  You feel even creepier.  Your mind can’t seem to get around the fact that you haven’t written enough.

“Maybe I should quit.  Just give up.  There is no way I can do this for 30 days.”  You shake your head slowly, defeated.

But your mind has already been opened.  You realize that, while it seems that you’ve just poured your soul out into a bottomless pit.  There is more.   There is more where that came from.  The story has just begun.  You aren’t done.  Your mind has already started thinking and processing what comes next and then after that.

You raise your head and look at that number again.  1,642.    When you had started this day, it was zero.  Now it was much more than that.   So, it wasn’t the exact amount needed.  So what?

Did word count really matter?

To quote an author I admire, Scott Sigler, “It’s all shite anyway.”  Just put it down and worry about the rest later.

So I squared my shoulders, shook the hair out of my eyes, took a long drink of water, and I started again.  Every day.

Halfway through the month, I realized I could type more and faster.  So I prepared for the holiday, ‘cause we all know they ain’t gonna be no typing when your belly is full o’ turkey!

And here I am.  53,441 and still going.  I’m okay with that.  I’m more humble.  But also, much more determined.  If this were easy, there would be a million of us doing it.

Oh wait, have you looked on Amazon lately?  Let me rephrase that.  If it were easy to write well, there would be million of us doing it.

I aim to write and I aim to write well.  Or at least tell the stories that are in my head well.  But that’s for another post.

Now that my first goal has been reached, saying, “I am a writer.”  My next goal will be to say, “I am a published writer.”

By the way, I’ve started a couple of short stories, too.  One is a horror story called “Emil’s Boat.”  I hope to have it published in an anthology I am submitting to.  But, again, that’s for another post.

Hope you join me.  See ya soon, right here.

M.

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I woke up to the alarm at four thirty this morning.  I deliberately set the alarm sound to be something soothing last night, so I would be gently awakened.  Well, let me just say that last nights soothing sound is this mornings niggling warble.  And I think I’ve said it before.  I hate niggling.

My bleary eyed self tried to get dressed in the dark.  It’s not very easy.  So I turned on the flashlight of my phone.  Too bright, I think I burned my retina’s.  I turned off again.  Who was the idiot who thought getting up at four thirty in the morning was a good idea?

Oh yeah, me.  Why?  Because I had to make the word count.  Remember back in the late eighties and early nineties when Dunkin Donuts had the commercial with the surly, pudgy baker waking up early?  He would say, “Gotta make da donuts.”  That was me this morning, surly, pudgy and saying, “Gotta make da word count.”  NaNoWriMo started today and I’d told myself I was going to get up early and attend the first write-in.  That was before I actually had to get up.  That was when I was brightly awake and blithely ignorant of the consequences to my body and mind.

Now I was up, dressed, and on my way, driving six miles to the first write-in at a Starbucks near the mall.  I was late.  The stupid phone navigator took me to some suburb.  I cursed the male voice.  Yes, I had changed the female voice on my I-phone to the male voice.  I thought it would be cooler because the lady just got on my nerves..  I was wrong again.  At five o’clock in the morning, driving through fog, trying to find civilization and maybe a cup of coffee, the male voice pissed me off too.  I can’t win.

I got there late.  I ordered and received my coffee, prepared my laptop on the table, said a sleepy hello to everyone.  They replied in turn, sleepily.  And then I began to write.  Somehow during those first few moments as the caffeine hit my system and my thoughts turned to my characters and their world, I found alertness.  Everything around me sort of fell  into the background and in my mind’s eye I saw my main character brushing her teeth.  Surly, not pudgy, but nonetheless, bleary eyed.  She was wondering why in the hell she got up so early…

And the next thing I knew, I looked up and it was an hour and a half later.  I glanced at my word count.  2,038.  I still had more to say about this world I was in with my characters.  So much more.  I had barely gotten started.  What the heck?

I closed everything down and put it away.  It was time to head home and maybe write there.  As I was walking out, someone mentioned that their hands and arms were sore from typing.  I realized that mine were sore too.  I was just like the other writers.  It hit me.  I was just like them.  I am a writer.  I smiled as I got in my car, started it up and drove home through the lifting fog.

I am a writer.

The adventure begins.caffeine powers..

M.

It’s almost time to start the race.  The NaNoWriMo race.  I’ve been perusing some writing blogs I follow and they all seem to have opinions of the process.  Whether good or bad, they have opinions.  Some have experienced it and others haven’t.

However, the event is affecting many individuals.  That’s amazing to me.  Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of it.  That doesn’t say much, but, it just seems that even if you don’t like the idea, it’s still something you’ve put thought into writing a blog post about.  That’s powerful.

I am going to write a novel in 30 days.  Let me rephrase that.  I am going to write a rough draft novel in 30 days.  I don’t expect it to be perfect or publishable.  I will just have a pile of words, thrown together in some form of flow that I can then go back and edit, polish, and otherwise hack to death. Sort of like a cord of wood, piled in my driveway.  I’ll have to split and stack it later, but it’s got to get off the trailer and into a pile near my porch.

But it’s still a pile of words, which is more than I have now.  The story needs to be written.  It’s in my head and until I am able to get it out, it will sit there, festering and niggling me.

I hate niggling.  I really hate niggling.

One blogster (is that even a word?  it is now.) wrote that they hated this part.  The fun part was putting the words together and making a beautiful story.  Another one said they loved this part, just blithely using the creative process to build a world that is chaotic and wonderfully insane.

Either way, I am going to do it:

  1. because I can.
  2. because I want to.
  3. because it just needs to be done.

T-minus two days.  The adventure begins.  The players will belly up to their keyboards, Ipads, legal pads, or whatever and wait for the gun to go off at 12:01 am on November 1, 2013.  The race to 50,000 words will begin.  Even if we don’t win, all of us are part of something big.  Something that is talked about for awhile throughout the blogging universe.  Good or bad, it’s going to happen.

Wish me luck or don’t.  I’ll see you on the other side.  I’ll be the one with the cord of words in my driveway, near my porch, ready to be split and stacked.

M.

I’m excited to announce that I’ve taken on the challenge of the National Novel Writing Month, aka nanowrimo, to write a novel in thirty days.  The novel has to be at least 50,000 words and not pre-written.  I start on November 1 and stop, obviously, on November 30.  The novel I’ll be writing isn’t the one I’ve already started.  I’ve decided to set that heavier topic aside for a bit (one month to be exact) and work on something a little lighter and perhaps more fun!  I’ve titled the novel, “Dancing with Dragons”.  Go to the following website to see more about it.

http://nanowrimo.org/participants/marlieharris

I will post here about my progress and also post on my Facebook page.  If I’ve done the calculations right, it will mean writing at least 1,667 words per day, every day, for thirty days.  Every day.  For thirty days.

If you have words of encouragement, that would be amazing!

I have already prepped my office to be ready for this.  However, music for a month’s worth of listening might be a little short.  What music do you listen to when you write?  What kind of music do you listen to when you do anything?  I’m up for pretty much any adventure in music.  Let’s discuss it!

M.