My day began so well. And then it exploded in a million different directions. I’m just now sitting down to do any writing at 8pm. Well, that’s not exactly true. I sat down to write a bazillion times today, but the writing was interrupted every single time. But mostly it was for a good cause.Continue reading “My day began so well”
NaNoWriMo, the only way I get any fiction written
NaNoWriMo = Exuberant Imperfection. I’m all about it! ;)
(This was supposed to be a nice little caption centered under the image, but for some reason that only works in the composer, not after I post it. Argh! So this is a work-around, albeit a clumsy one, for now. Hey, it’s imperfection but I’m not exuberant about it.)
It’s NaNoWriMo time again and I’m going to try once more to write a novel in thirty days and I promise I won’t fill up your inbox with progress updates. I plan to update my progress on the blog weekly instead. (I’ll also be updating my progress via the little word count graphic in the sidebar.) There’s a new, upated, modern NaNoWriMo website now and it’s pretty spiffy. I’ve started my page there and posted my word count. Woohoo! Day One of month-long novel-writing, ridiculously-caffeinated madness has begun! Oh, how I’ve missed it! Seems the only way I get any writing of the fiction kind done is to NaNo it.Continue reading “NaNoWriMo, the only way I get any fiction written”
50,000 words and I’m ready for my nap now, Mr DeMille
Done, done and DONE! 50,000 words in just under 30 days. And that’s amazing considering that I pulled my shoulder blade muscle a few days ago and couldn’t write or do much of anything except howl in pain. Until today. This afternoon I grabbed the laptop, started to write like the wind, and didn’t stop until I crossed the finish line. That means I wrote about 4,000 words today, in case you wondered. What did I win, you ask? This:
Woohoo! I be slayin’ dragons! I’d love to get one of the Winner T-shirts, but apparently T-shirt makers these days think all women are skinny. Well, we ain’t. But NaNoWriMo laptop bags look pretty cool. Maybe Santa will bring me one. A girl can always dream, can’t she? (Why not? After all, I’m dreaming I’m a girl instead of a middle-aged woman. Unless there’s a senior citizen discount somewhere. Then I’m all for admitting I’m somewhat older than middle-aged. How much older? None of your business. Smarty pants.)
Thanks for reading and I hope you had a great and blessed Thanksgiving, and that your own writing (or whatever you might be working on) is going well. Now I’m off to do some much missed reading and ponder some ideas for the next draft of the novel. Oh, yeah, I’ve got plenty of work to do on it yet. But first I need to put some more pain reliever stuff on my shoulder. All that writing about spaceship battles and crashes is hard on a person. Maybe I should stop acting out what I’m writing. Maybe I need to train these dawgs to help out around here more. More. As in, at all. Maybe I can get back to blogging on topic about Catholicism soon. That’d be awesome. ;)
Taking a breather from NaNoWriMo
My NaNoWriMo word count is already at 31,167 out of the goal of 50,000 (target for today was 30,000) and that gives me some breathing room. So I’m taking some time to ponder the mysteries of the universe. Some things I’ve wondered along the way:
- If Christ is the King of the whole universe, then isn’t He the Savior of everybody on every world?
- Do aliens suffer from original sin or just humans?
- Do humans exist on other planets already?
- Would they look like us?
- What if there are beings a lot like us on the other side of the galaxy?
- How long would it take for us to find them? Or for them to find us?
- What if they already did…and they’re as surprised as we are?
I wasn’t kidding about those mysteries of the universe. And that’s not even the half of it! But if I say any more, you’ll know too much and then I’ll have to…you know. You’ll just have to wait for the book. Or the movie. Oh, don’t I wish?! Why, yes, I do, actually. ;)
Thanks for reading and may the peace of Christ be with you always. Back to working on the novel now. Or do some dreaming. (Same thing, really.) ;)
Writing a Novel with Story Bible Using Scrivener and (soon) Aeon Timeline
Finally got far enough along (21,055 words!) in creating the story world in Scrivener that I needed to start the Story Bible. Now I will finally have need of Aeon Timeline. Bought it a while back knowing I didn’t need it yet but would eventually. Eventually is now. Or pretty soon, anyway, but probably not until after NaNoWriMo so I won’t scramble my brain while I’m working on the rough draft. :)
Scrivener: Write Any Way You Want To
Scrivener lets me write the way I want to. Which means bouncing all over the place when I realize I need to change something in one place that also means I need to change something somewhere else. And that gives me another idea which changes another idea and leads to yet another one. See? All over the place. Not easy with one long document. A cinch with Scrivener. Work in one document if you prefer. Or do like I do and break it up in as many different ways as you like. Scrivener makes doing your Story Bible easy too. You may not always need that but sometimes you may. At my current level of development for this project I definitely want one. Worlds, races and religions, oh my! I shudder at the thought of keeping all those ideas in my goofy little brain or on one long page of scribbled notes.
Here’s a screenshot of the novel in Scrivener, edited to keep secrets, well, secret. This image is much reduced. Click on it for the full size image in all its (redacted) glory. ;)
With everything I’ve written in Scrivener I’ve used a different setup. I start a project in the simplest way with hardly any folders. (Notice the folder for Unused Scenes, ones I want to use but haven’t figured out where they go yet. I sometimes name this folder Unordered Scenes.) But as the work evolves so does my workspace. I also keep a database outside Scrivener in DEVONthink Pro Office. I try to keep mostly simple text files in Scrivener along with a few images. This keeps the project slim and backups fast. Autosave is set in Preferences to every 2 seconds of inactivity, backups to when I close the project and to save to Dropbox, I manually backup to a folder on my laptop (which my Airport Time Capsule backs up automatically for me every day).
Aeon Timeline: Untangle Those Storylines
Here is an interesting looking post about using Scrivener and Aeon Timeline by a published author who uses both. (I know nothing about the author or his books having only just discovered him, but I’m enjoying his post and blog, and have just begun watching one of his many videos on writing.)
More than just a timeline: Track all the information that matters
“Aeon Timeline is more than a series of events on a never ending line. With Aeon, you can divide your timeline into logical groups, projects, or concurrent arcs. You can model the relationships between events and people, places and ideas. Aeon calculates people’s ages for you. And you can link your events with research material such as external files or images that can be displayed inside the application.” I cheated and copied this from the website. I haven’t used it enough to say anything intelligent about it yet except I think it will help me keep from getting overwhelmed. I’ll let you know how that goes. :)
Thanks for reading. I hope some of this was helpful. Now back to writing. Right after a late lunch. (The dawgs are finally asleep and I hate to wake them up, but I’m starving! All this novel-writing and blog-posting is hard work, ya know!) Peace be with you! :)
Word count update and a bit of NaNoWriMo advice
A few moments ago I passed the 20,000 word mark on my NaNoWriMo novel. Woohoo! I am doing the Snoopy happy dance. Okay, I haven’t actually moved, I’m still sitting here with the laptop in my lap, typing this post. But in my mind I am so doing the Snoopy happy dance. (The mere thought of really doing that makes me tired. But imagining it? Hey, I’m a writer, I can imagine it just fine. But there, a graphical type image so I don’t even have to imagine it. Well, I still have to imagine ME moving like that…Nope, can’t do it. Not even in my writerly imagination.)
So much for the update, now for the advice. I’ll keep it short and simple: Trust the process. You’ve been telling stories your whole life. Sometimes they’ve been whoppers. Sometimes you’ve embellished and honed the telling of your story until you are proud of your little creative self. You may even practice telling it to the dogs. (My dogs give me distinct looks of “Not again!” and “Will there be bribes, er, treats this time?” and often sigh out loud when I hone my craft on their captive flappy ears, which is too often, I suspect. And surprisingly difficult to say.)
My point being, you know how to tell a story so tell it already! And once you start telling a story, all sorts of other stories will occur to you, so jot those down and get back to your story. This story. The one you’re writing for NaNoWriMo. You can do this. Believe me, if I can, you can. So, go. Now. Go write! (So much for short, huh?)
Thanks for reading and have fun writing whatever it is you’re writing. And if you’re not writing for NaNoWriMo or any other reason, then bless your heart, you might be one of the sane ones. Peace be with you. :)
Dreaming dreams, imagining images, wordsmithing words
I’ve been writing every night since NaNoWriMo started, pushing to make the day’s quota and I managed to get one day ahead. So today I took the day off from writing and I’ve been thinking and imagining. Got a glimmer of what the story may be about. Letting it soak in. Or soaking in it. Or something. Want to hear the characters’ voices, see the characters acting. That hasn’t happened yet except for a few moments here and there. So tonight I’m not pushing for words, I want images and sounds and feelings. Later I’ll write down what I see and hear and feel. And think. And dream. When I really get going on a story, I dream about it. That’s when I can see the characters and hear them and see what’s happening. That’s when the writing begins to flow.
On the other hand, I may just lie down to dream and fall asleep. And that’s okay, too. Maybe I’ll dream about the story and wake up and write it down. Or type it up. Either one. Realistically, though, I hardly ever write anything. I almost always use my phone or iPad or laptop. My teachers back in the day would have bought me these things if they’d been available at the time. My handwriting, oy vey! It was abomimbob–abombadible–adomba–awful. Ahem.
More later as this story develops. And here’s hoping that it does. Develop, that is. Until then I’ll be dreaming dreams, imagining images, wordsmithing words. Thanks for reading and peace be with you.
So much for all those blog posts I was going to write
I really meant to write scads of blog posts about myriads of subjects, but, well, I didn’t. A lot has been happening in the world and I’m not going to try to comment on all that. There are other blogs that cover current events and issues and do it well and in a timely fashion. But I was ill a long time and, though I am recovering, my energy level has been low. L-O-W low low low. So all projects have been on hold. Except for reading. And watching some TV. I don’t have cable or satellite, so I haven’t been staring at network dreck. I’ve been watching good stuff!
Netflix and Amazon Instant Video and used DVD’s have helped me through the times when walking across the room seemed an impossible chore. I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and have been on a sci fi binge. Especially my favorite Star Trek shows. I don’t care what anyone says, I have always liked Deep Space Nine and Voyager, even if Voyager suffered from some dreadful writing at times. (I dinna know how much moor that hull can tek before it canna breach any moor! Even the computer was tired of saying it after a while.) But after Seven of Nine joined the crew, things got more interesting. Laugh out loud interesting. And sometimes made me cry. A holographic doctor who wants to be human and a borg not wanting to become human (again), not at first, anyway, and a half-human half-Klingon who often doesn’t seem to want to admit she is either one: sheer genius.
I even finally got to watch all five seasons of Babylon 5. That was an intense marathon! I was never able to watch it when it was on the air in first runs. I didn’t have access to a TV of my own and would have had to have someone record it for me. So that didn’t happen. How I wish I had been part of the fandom back then when online fandom was new and I had no idea that Babylon 5 led the way in that. There’s a lot about Babylon 5 that I had no idea about. But I was hooked this time after the first couple of eps. And as soon as Marcus entered the story, well, all I could think of was Lord of the Rings. Rangers! Strider! In space! Minbari, with their Grey Council, as Elves. And by that time I was so hooked that I bought the whole series on used DVD’s and watched all of it straight through. Whew! That. Was. Amazing.
I plan to go back and watch the whole thing again, and this time listen to some commentary and read about it. I’ve watched a few interviews; but while I was watching the first time through, I didn’t want any spoilers. I wanted my first impressions to be un-spoilered. (Maybe that isn’t a word but it should be.) I may write about Babylon 5 here. But I’m not saying when because I don’t have any idea and I don’t want to be held to a timeline.
In related news, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo which began Saturday. Word count is over 5,000 as of tonight. I’m using a story idea that I had a couple of years (or more) ago, though it was only a vague idea and I’m thoroughly enjoying exploring it now. I can’t tell you any more about it or I could ruin the whole fun exploring process. And I don’t want to do that! Suffice it to say that it’s space fiction (cuz I ain’t no scientist but it does take place in space) and — no, I’m not saying any more yet. You’ll have to wait until I get much further along with the story.
Thanks for reading. I hope to post more regularly now that I’m feeling better and have more energy. (Ahem! Hear that, Guardian Angel? I need health help and blog help, too!) See you soon. Peace be with you. :)
Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 12
I didn’t sit down to write today until after 10pm tonight. Well, I’m writing this at nearly 1am Sunday morning, so that would be 10pm last night. I spent the day reading and looking at maps and thinking about logistics, how the people in the story would handle a certain devastating event. Then I sat down to write with only two hours to go until midnight, so I had to write, write, write and keep going and I wondered how I’d ever reach the goal of 1,667 words but next thing I knew I had passed 2,000.
I don’t even freak out about it any more the way I did the first few times I did the thirty day noveling thing. (See NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo.) Now I know I can hammer out 2k words in two hours, less than two hours if I really push. Are they good words? Depends on what you mean by good! ;) But I can get thoughts going and words flowing and very often I’m truly surprised by the thoughts and images that come to me while I’m racing toward the deadline. That’s one of the reasons I love NaNoWriMo so much: It’s 30 days of discovering things that I might never have discovered if I hadn’t taken the plunge. 30 days of heightened awareness and an overheated imagination that’s shifted into hyperdrive. My rough draft boldly going where none of my other rough drafts have gone before!
Okay, obviously I should start writing earlier so I can stop earlier and write these posts earlier and not try to do this so late. Oy! ;) Thanks for stopping by and God bless you. Peace! :)
Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Over 2K. Total: Almost 33K. Woohoo!
Now that I am recovering from the plague
Now that I’m recovering from the plague (ugh!) I hope do some writing. Oh, I’ve been posting to Twitter but that’s about it. (Funny how much time one can waste–er, I mean, how time can fly when arguing–er, discussing things on Twitter.) I’ll be spending some time digging out from the clutter and mess that amassed while I was indisposed, then I’ll be tackling some projects I’ve been itching to work on. Itching, I say! (Or that could be the codeine. Double ugh!) Have some things I want to share with you, some things I’ve learned, some (more) books I’ve found. Also getting ready for another session of Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate. Planning to, anyway. Well, perhaps “planning” is too strong a word for what I’ve been doing. Perhaps “procrastinating” would be nearer the mark. ;)
Hope you’re having a blessed Lenten season. I’ve been enjoying some meditation books: my old standby, In Conversation with God for Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide; and also Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. And this year I’m also receiving Fr. Robert Barron’s Lent Reflections. Am I behind in all of this reading and reflecting? Heck, yeah, you know I am! But I’m still enjoying it. Tend to get more out of it every year, too. Every year I see something I missed before even when I use the same book over and over, year after year. And I do. That In Conversation with God series is wonderful. Highly recommended!
Author Francis Fernandez-Carvajal makes generous use of the writings of the great saints as he brings you focused and moving meditations on themes taken from the Mass readings for that day, the liturgical season, and more. This work is rich and extensive enough to serve as your spiritual reading for a lifetime, as it helps you relate the particulars of the message of Christ to the ordinary circumstances of your day. Each volume is small enough for you to carry to Adoration or some other suitable place for meditation. The whole set comes with a handsome slipcase that prevents wear-and-tear on the individual volumes.
Print copy: In Conversation with God, Vol 2 Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide. (Amazon’s description says paperback but mine is some sort of vinyl with a pretty dust cover and I suspect that’s what this is, too. Third party sellers.) Also available (for less $) at the EWTN Religious Catalogue for $19, item #213. Or get the full set: Amazon (starting at $96.97 from third party sellers), EWTN #6138 (for $130).
eBooks: Please note that the Kindle ebook Vol 2 is split into two separate books: Part 1 Lent & Holy Week and Part 2 Eastertide.
Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Amazon print or Kindle.
And, no, I don’t make one red cent for recommending any of these books or anything else here on the site. I just like sharing what I’ve found, what I like, what I love. (Sometimes I have to share things I’m not so wild about, too, but that’s a post for another time.) Thanks for visiting and for reading. Leave me a comment, recommend prayer and meditation books that have helped you (Catholic Christian, please) or say Hi. I look forward to hearing from you. (And you guys who keep emailing me with messages for Scott Hahn, I wish I could pass them along but I only met him once, we’re not best buds, ya know. Track him down yourselves or I’ll be forced to figure out how to filter you out!) ;) Peace!
NaNoWriMo update: Hit 50k, went on, still going
I hit 50k last night which was my NaNoWriMo word count goal, but then I passed 51,188 and I’m still going. Plus, having discovered new writing books, sites, and software, I’m delving deeper into the theory and craft of writing. Fascinating stuff. Thrilling, actually. Have also begun to have glimmers of other stories, in part sparked by writing for this NaNoWriMo project, and in part sparked by the dramatic theory I’ve discovered (re-discovered, really, but the original discovery was so long ago I barely remember it). Not wild about some of the what I see as Freudian-influenced aspects of it, but on the whole it is pretty interesting and has furnished me with much to ponder. Have had insights into crafting a novel that I haven’t gotten anywhere else, so there’s that.
Also want to mention a couple of books I received recently: four by Ron Hansen, who I discovered via an interview on Raymond Arroyo’s show on EWTN, The World Over Live. Here’s what I got: Kindle versions of Mariette in Ecstasy and Exiles: A Novel (funny, I have an unfinished novel by that same name), and used copies of A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction, and Atticus: A Novel. Also downloaded the Kindle version of Flannery O’Connor’s recently published A Prayer Journal. My to-be-read pile is taller than my house. Happy sigh. :)
A quick howdy, a word count update, and something for the Year of Faith
Just taking a break from NaNoWriMo to say a quick howdy, y’all. Howdy, ya’ll! :D
The writing is going well, I’m really loving it. Yes, it’s work, yes, the dogs are driving me crazy. Yes, I’ve had to deal with home maintenance and “improvement” and “handy” men. Yes, it makes me wanna say ARGH and GROAN and other things not quite so nice. Oy! But the writing is coming along and I really am enjoying it. And only partly because I’m doing NaNo on a 13″ MacBook Air with backlit keyboard but that certainly does help. ;)
Okay, diving back into the story now or I may dive into my bed instead. Oh, that is tempting. To sleep, perchance to dream, to dream some NaNoWriMo scenes, aye, that’s the stuff! ;)
Oh, my word count! Promised an update, didn’t I? Drum roll, please! Word count on the sixth day of noveling insanity is (envelope, please): 11,908 exceedingly excellent and oh-so-exquisite words! Woohoo! Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Well, yes, it is what I’m talking about, of course it is. This is a word count update, after all. (Okay, perhaps I don’t need that third pot of coffee after all. Ahem. But I do have two pies in the kitchen. What am I thinking, I can’t eat pie this late at night! But…it’s pie! Is it ever really too late for pie?)
And lest you think that I’ve yammered on all this time and not said one thing about Catholicism on this supposedly Catholic blog, lemme lay this on ya: Jeff Cavins has been posting a series of short videos for the Year of Faith entitled, “The Rabbi-Disciple Relationship. There will be 5 parts, 3 are up so far as of tonight. View them on the Catholic Year of Faith website or sign up on that site to receive the videos in your email inbox. These are quite good. Highly recommended! Good night, y’all! Peace!