Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Hello 2017!

Happy New Year everyone!  2016 was in many ways a difficult year.  But in other ways it was a great year.  I started my radio show AND got a permanent part time position at the library.  I also just got back from a wonderful few weeks in sunny Florida (pictures forthcoming on Flickr!)

Here’s all the things I wanted to do in 2016:

  1. Finish Tears of the King – failure.  I didn’t finish it, but I did work on it a bit more earlier in the year (to the point that I would say 1/3 is functioning and built).  I think I made this game much bigger than I should have; it’s going to take me awhile yet to finish it.
  2. Write four polished short stories – failure.  I don’t think I really wrote any short stories.  I brought a few older ones with me to edit and that didn’t even happen.  Oh well.
  3. Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner) – failure huh partial success. I took one and posted it relatively on time every month until the fall.  I seriously thought this had fallen apart long before then.
  4. Eat healthier – huh, partial success. I started using my dietary scale to make Greek yogurt parfaits with granola (which I love). I’m also a bit more conscious of my portions.  Not bad!
  5. Be more active – partial success.  I walked a lot over the summer, and a lot over the last few weeks in Florida.  Plus last month I went swimming a lot, too.
  6. Read the anthologies I own – failure.  I read 4 anthologies or short story collections.  One of them was honestly an accident (I didn’t realize The Jungle Book was a short story collection when I started reading it).  I also think I’ve read one of the four before (but didn’t realize it until I recognized the final story in the collection).  I’ve also got two anthologies on the go right now and haven’t read from either of them in awhile.
  7. Build 1 of my worlds that need building.  – this is another partial success.  I did spend some time working on another world, but I don’t think I got it to the point where I feel it is ready to work with (the setting is still unnamed at this point, though I have spent some time trying to name it with no luck thus far).  Hilariously I also spent a bit of time working on magic in Imezza while I was in Florida; sitting on a beach watching dolphins is sort of the best inspiration for an ocean world! 😉
  8. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.
  9. Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob – success! I succeeded at this back in February!  🙂
  10. Work with Chat Mapper – failure. I have done nothing with Chat Mapper since January 2015 (which was fun though!)

While I didn’t accomplish many of my goals for the year, as I said, I ended up starting a radio show, which has been a great experience!  My life has taken me in some unplanned directions, making me a lot busier than I may have previously been.  So with that in mind, I’m going to make less goals for this year, but make them things I really, really want to accomplish.  Hopefully this way I can keep myself a little more focussed on things now that I have more limited time.  So this year I want to:

  1. Read 40 novels.  In 2016 I read a lot of shorter things (both graphic novels and short stories).  So this year I’d like to focus on longer works.  Ideally most of those longer works will come from books I have stockpiled in my house but we’ll see what happens.
  2. Write four polished short stories.  I have three worlds built to a point they can be written in/about, and a fourth one coming along okay.  It’s time to start using these worlds!!!  Plus there’s a short story contest I’d like to enter.
  3. Work on Tears of the King. Ideally I’d like to finish it.  But even getting another third built would be awesome!

Those are realistically my most important creative goals for this year.  Taking Lego pictures is fun, but I don’t want to bog myself down thinking I HAVE to take them.  Chat Mapper hasn’t happened for the last few years, so there’s no point in worrying about it now (but if it does happen this year, that’s still cool).  Likewise, I haven’t gotten around to editing any of the NaNoWriMo books I’ve written and they’re not a priority to me at this time (but again, if I do get around to them, that’s great).  And I don’t need to do any more worldbuilding, but again if it happens, that’s great (and I already know I have to tweak a few things in my Imezza and Faeriia Google docs thanks to my brief work on Imezzan magic over the last few weeks).  I also decided not to bother posting my non-Creative goals here since this blog is entirely devoted to my creative endeavours.

EDIT: I came up with one more goal.  Goal #4 is to spend one hour a week on writing.  This hour can be spent on Tears of the King, worldbuilding, editing, short stories, novels, whatever. I’ll even schedule it into my week if I have to!

So there we have it – my goals for 2017.  Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything!  I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated with my writing progress.  🙂


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NaNoWriMo 2015 Odds and ends is Officially Apart!!!

I did it!  It’s apart!

It was honestly a huge undertaking to dismantle Odds and Ends.  On Word, Odds and Ends is 86 pages long and largely stream of consciousness.  I tried to keep it as organized as possible as I was writing it, but that didn’t happen super well (particularly at the end where I tended to ramble on about totally random things because I needed the word count).

So now that it’s apart, I’m going to need to consolidate all the notes I have on Faeriia on Google Drive.  That’s going to involve reading everything that I have (both from Odds and Ends and from the old notes I already have written) and organizing it.

A big thanks to my brother, for agreeing to go out tonight to a coffee shop for a writing party – I don’t know if I would have gotten this done today if we hadn’t gone out.  🙂

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#WriteSaturday – February 6th

Life continues to be a whirlwind, so I don’t have much writing progress to report at the moment.  I haven’t done any more work on Tears of the King since last week.  What I have been doing is trying to untangle my NaNoWriMo blob.  Thus far I’ve made it through 18 pages; only 68 to go!  Once it’s untangled, my main priority is going to be getting the notes for Faeriia organized in a Google doc.  At this point I’ve been cutting out the Faeriia notes and shoving them into another, more organized document.  So hopefully once everything’s in there it’ll be a lot easier to edit and reorganize everything.

Oh, I got some exciting news earlier this week: I’m going on a work trip at the end of the month for a few days!  Of course, that’s going to make everything all the more hectic as I try to fit in finishing a few work articles and hopefully another interview.

So for the immediate future, I think I’m going to continue trying to untangle the NaNoWriMo blob.  I’m hoping to have the Faeriia notes on Google Drive by the end of the month!

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#WriteSaturday – January 30th

Life has been busy.  So busy that I wasn’t sure if I’d fit any writing in this weekend.  I had every intention of writing because I haven’t done much this month (I was working on Tears of the King at the beginning of the month, and then I had a day where I started looking at my NaNoWriMo blob, but that’s been about it).  Then a mild crisis almost completely derailed me again today (don’t worry, everything’s fine-ish.  Just had a fridge stop working).  But I am happy to report I did manage to fit in some writing work.  I finished putting the notes into my hard copy of the blob (the photocopier from work can print from USB, which is awesome!  Unfortunately it left my margin notes out though).  The next step with the blob is to completely dismantle it so that I can organize all the notes within it (and take out the things that I don’t need anymore, like the blog post I wrote in it because I needed to up my word count, or the page I spent coming up with world names).

Once I finished with the margin notes, I decided to work a bit on Tears.  I’ve been meaning to add a line of dialogue into the game in the hopes it might help players find the witch right off the bat (I honestly don’t know if people will have trouble finding her house or not, but I’d rather err on the side of caution).  After that I decided to do a quick play through of the game thus far just to see exactly what I will need to work on next (and to check on how I’m feeling about the early dialogue).  Unfortunately I discovered a rather troublesome bug that needed to be fixed; I did manage to deal with it, but it frustrated me for well over an hour!

I’m not sure when I’ll be working on things next because time seems to be at a premium in my life right now.  I’m thinking to deal with this, I’m going to have to schedule writing time into my week and stick with it.  I’m still not sure if Fridays are the best day for me or not, but I really do like the sound of “Write Fridays.”  So I might start fitting in writing time wherever I can during the week and just giving an update here on Fridays.  🙂

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Hello 2016!

Happy New Year everyone!!!  2015 was overall a really good year for me and I’m rather sad to see it go.  But hopefully 2016 will be just as good!

Here’s all the things I said I wanted to do in 2015:

  1. Read 50+ books off of The List -partial success.  I read 51 books this year, but only 25 off The List.
  2. Stay in shape – I’m going to say failure.  I did get back to swimming, but really late in the year.
  3. Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at – success!  City of the Dead and Faeriia are not done but I can easily write stories set in them.  That sounds like the point Imezza is at to me!  🙂
  4. Finish the screenplay I started – failure because this was going to be a gift for a boyfriend who I broke up with in March (so I stopped caring about it).
  5. Write the Grief Project  – success!  A first draft was completed in my NaNoWriMo blob!
  6. Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness  – success!  I actually wrote 13 stories plus wrote something with Chat mapper for Apocalypse Madness last January.
  7. Build a game – partial success. After Storynexus stopped being supported I switched back to RPG Maker (which meant switching to a different game).  Tears of the King is not completed, but I’m still working on it!
  8. Figure out Chat Mapper – I’m going to list this as a partial success because I did write that Apocalypse Madness thing in January.  But that was the last time I even looked at the program, so I don’t want to say it was a full success.
  9. Take a Lego Picture a month  – failure.  I stopped taking as many pictures in general this year and miss it, but I just haven’t had time!  😦
  10. Fix up my Red Bubble profile – I actually did do this early in 2015.  So it’s a success, but I haven’t added anything to it since then.
  11. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.  Lack of time.

No wonder 2015 was a good year for me – out of 11 goals for 2015, I completely succeeded with 4 of them (and 2 of them were quite sizable – writing a story a month for Apocalypse Madness and getting two worlds to the detail level of Imezza!)  I also made a valiant effort on a few others, with only 4 as outright failures!  What’s more, I actually succeeded on more writing projects than I did last year!  (I think my main accomplishment last year was to build Imezza).  So 2015 really was a good year! 🙂

So let’s look to 2016.  This year I want to:

  1. Finish Tears of the King.  That should obviously go without saying.
  2. Write four polished short stories.  I’m very proud of the work I spent writing for Apocalypse Madness this last year.  But Apocalypse Madness is all about writing first or maybe second drafts.  So this year I want to put the time into writing more quality pieces, not quantity.  I’m planning on perusing Duotrope for markets that I’m interested in and writing a story every quarter for one.
  3. Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner). I can do it!
  4. Eat healthier.  I’ve been so busy over the last several months in particular and I feel unhealthy.  So 2016 is the year I’m going to try to be healthier.  I’m just listing this here as part of my goals, but don’t worry, I’m breaking this down for myself in better detail!
  5. Be more active.  Going hand in hand with number 4.  Also breaking it down for myself into better detail.
  6. Read the anthologies I own.  Looking through my list of books, i have over 25 anthologies of short stories on there!  So this year I’m going to focus on getting through most of those (if I make it through 20 I will consider this a success).  As a side note, I’m going to mark my Goodreads Challenge as reading 40 books for the year. So that means I hope that half of my challenge will be made up of short story collections.
  7. Build 1 of my worlds that need building.  I don’t really need to do this this year, but I know there are two main worlds that need building (well, one world, one science fiction setting that in reality will be multiple worlds).  If I can get through one more right now, that’ll only help me more in the future, right?  🙂
  8. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book.  This is the same as last year – I want to make it into a coherent narrative that I can share with people.
  9. Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob.  This sounds a bit silly, but I’ve already put it off for a month.  The blob is made up of worldbuilding, Grief Project, more worldbuilding, and several other, smaller things (stories, a blog post, etc).  I need to take it apart and organize everything (particularly the worldbuilding and Grief Project.  The smaller things are pretty much self contained inside of it).
  10. Work with Chat Mapper. This poor goal has been on my lists for the last few years (since 2013!)  It’s time to actually do some work with branching dialogue!

So there we have it – my goals for 2016.  The first five goals are really my priorities for the year.  Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything!

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My NaNoWriMo blob is done!  According to the official word count, I wrote 50,499 words this month, averaging 1,683 a day.  I know it’s a little after midnight, so I could keep writing this afternoon.  But the end of this has been a bit of a struggle, so I’m just going to leave it here, just over the winning mark.

I’ll have to print it off and organize it soon.  But my immediate plans for the future are to read and get to all those things I’ve pushed to the side this month.  Like taking photos off of my camera from Halloween and visiting blogs!  🙂

So congratulations to all the people who are crossing the NaNoWriMo finish line today.  And congratulations to all the people who participated this month, even if you didn’t make it over the finish line.  Your story may take longer than a month to write, but you’ve given it a start.  And the world is a richer place with that story growing in it.  🙂

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#WriteFriday – November 27th

I actually did some writing on a Friday!

This week has been so full of writing, it’s kind of ridiculous!  I wrote a stupid amount last weekend.  I think it was almost 5000 words before midnight, then another almost 5000 after midnight.  I started Saturday about 13,000 words behind, and ended Sunday only about 5000 words behind.  And as of Thursday, I ended the day with 43,399 words written; the target for the day was 43,333.  And yesterday I was about 1000 words ahead of target.  Seriously, check out these stats, it’s ridiculous!

So what did I write this last week?  As I already mentioned, I finished the Grief Project draft.  Then I went on to write a rough draft of a story for a friend.  His dog, who was rather old, wasn’t doing so well and my friend thought he’d have to put him down.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to give him this story, but it was written for him.  Well, I definitely won’t be able to give it to him as it is because it’s a very rough draft.  I set it in City of the Dead because that seemed appropriate.

After that, I really had to move away from stories about grief and pets.  Another friend told me Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void was out.  He started talking to me awkwardly about it, but didn’t want to spoil anything so I decided I had to go play it.  With my head firmly in science fiction mode, I turned away from Faeriia and another untitled world (I’m calling it the Centaur World right now.  It’s the world the screenplay I started for Script Frenzy takes place in) and started working on a science fiction setting instead.  This was helped by me rewatching Firefly as well.  I wrote down a random scene I’ve had in my head, which I have to admit, writing story makes the words go faster than working on world building stuff.  From there I decided to write another story for Apocalypse Madness (it’s set on Faeriia and called “Scourge of the Seas“).  And then I decided to write this blog post as part of the word count because I was just rambling otherwise.

I have to admit, writing 50,000 words of mostly world building is really, really hard to do.  Around the point where I started writing more stories (so I’m talking “Scourge of the Seas” and the other scene), I felt like there was no more world building I could do.  I know there are lots of holes in the settings that I’ll need to think through.  But right now I’m sitting at the end of an 80+ page document that’s basically just a big blob of text.  I tried to make notes and comments on the side of things that need doing.  But I know the way that I work, and right now I need to print out this document and go through it, organizing all the world building bits into their own documents to actually see exactly what I have and what I’m missing.  So here I am now, sitting with less than 3500 words to go to win, and I don’t honestly have anything in particular to write about (which is why I decided to write this blog post there, even though it sort of feels like cheating).  The sheer amount of world building stuff I’ve done this NaNoWriMo is awesome – I’ve got one world up to the point where I can easily start writing stories in it, even if it’s missing things, and two more (well, one world and one “setting”) in the works.  I’m super glad to be fixing some of the issues I had with my story ideas (namely the problem that almost all of them were stuck in world building).  But it’s super hard to remember everything that I’ve done these last few weeks (especially when I’m typing like a maniac to get caught up and jumping from setting to setting as it strikes my fancy).  I definitely think, if I ever decide to do NaNoWriMo again, I’m going to write a novel rather than another writing blob.

So apologies to everyone.  I keep saying I’m going to get caught up with your blogs, but realistically that’s not going to happen until after NaNoWriMo is over in a few days.  So wish me luck as I finish off the remaining 3000 or so words I have to write, and I’ll talk to you after the 1st!

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Grief Project First Draft Completed!

I have just finished my draft of the Grief Project.  I don’t know how many words it is because it is in pieces in my NaNoWriMo writing blob.  Writing it was super hard to do because I kept crying, much like the first time I wrote some of it.  After that first chunk though, I stopped putting in markers of when and where I was crying.  For the most part, I was okay when the cat characters were doing cat things; but any time they did something remotely pertaining to the plot (so not just wandering around enjoying their territory), I was pretty much crying.  Even at the end (and the end was relatively happy).  So with the amount of crying I did, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do anything with this (editing it will probably be just as tough).  But that’s okay.  I didn’t write it specifically to share with the world; it was written mostly for myself.

The ending of this draft actually took me somewhat by surprise, at least in terms of how I originally envisioned this story.  Originally I thought my main cat character was going to find his way back to his human girl.  That didn’t end up happening.  Honestly though, as I started writing it, the story started to take shape into a different way which made a lot more sense (a different cat ends up going back instead, which just feels very, very right).

Now that this draft is over, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to write next for the remaining 16,200 words.  I can go back to worldbuilding, but I’m not sure that I want to at the moment.  Of course, that’ll be a decision for tomorrow; writing the ending of the Grief Project really wore me out, so we’ll see what I feel like doing tomorrow.

On a very positive note, finishing the Grief Project put me at 33,791 words, which is just 4,542 words behind where I need to be!  I am catching up (and am even closer than where I left off yesterday where I was 5693 words behind)!

Also, a side note: Merlin curled up to me when I finished the Grief Project off.  He’s still sitting beside me, which I’m super thankful for!  This was the most difficult piece of writing I’ve ever done because of all the emotion behind it, and having his loving presence by my side is very much appreciated! 🙂

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#WriteSaturday – November 21st

I still don’t like how it sounds, but it’s the truth – I didn’t write yesterday at all.  I actually haven’t written anything since the 17th, putting me 13,305 words behind where I need to be.  So time to get to work on that!

A couple of really exciting things happened this week:

  1. I got to interview local artist Chris “Merk” Merkley for TBPL Off the Shelf!  Merk’s interview is going to be #25!  It’ll be posted in December (I’m thinking of switching things to the first week of the month, rather than leaving it on the second).
  2. I finally joined NOWW.  My brother is one of the board members, and I’ve been going to their events, so I kind of thought I should probably join.  I was thinking about joining a few months ago, but finally got around to it yesterday.
  3. I’ve had Merlin for a year!!!  Exactly a year ago today I went to Animal Services and picked him out (or more accurately, he picked me out!)  I didn’t bring him home until the 24th though (I was still living at my parents’ at the time and didn’t want their cat getting mad at having another cat around; after the weekend, my parents told me to bring him anyway because they’d only be in the same house for a week and wouldn’t have to be together at all).

So on to the writing!

Earlier this week I spent a lot of time worldbuilding Ayvlin’s World.  I even managed to give the world a name!  I was thinking something along the lines of “emotion,” because emotions have become so important to the way the world works and its magic.  but I couldn’t find any words I liked for that (I spent a lot of time last weekend on Google Translate looking for words in other languages).  But then I decided that this really is the fae’s world, so why not name it for them?  After a bit of research and trying out a lot of different letter combinations attacked to “fae,” I decided to call it Faeriia (pronounced “fay-rye-a” for anyone who cares.  Those who don’t, feel free to pronounce it any way you want to).  I wanted to call it Faeria (with just the one i), but i discovered this game and decided not to.  I was also tossing around the idea of calling it “Faerin,” but thought that was a little too close to D&D’s Faerun.  So now that that decision has been made (and I’m quite happy with the name – I’ve been calling the world that all week and find it fitting), I’m going to switch the category for the world from “Ayvlin” to “Faeriia.”

After I came up with the name, I felt like I was “done” with the setting, which is part of why I haven’t been working on the NaNo “blob” this week (but also because I seem to be ridiculously busy.  I also started reading a novel this week because I hadn’t read anything in almost a month!!!)  But after reflecting on the setting for a bit, I realized there are still a few major areas that need work.  So that’s my plan for tonight – try to tackle the 13,000 word deficit while developing Faeriia a bit more.  Wish me luck!


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#WriteSaturday – November 14th

I know, I know, it doesn’t have the same ring to it.  But I didn’t have any time to write on Friday this week, so I ended up writing on Saturday instead.

On Saturday I also went to a NaNoWriMo halfway party!  It was a little early (being the 14th rather than the 15th), but still roughly the middle of the month.  The party took place at one of our libraries.  A few people got together to chat about our progress.   A lot of the stories sound like a lot of fun!  I hope everyone manages to finish them.  🙂

Unfortunately I am still behind on NaNoWriMo.  On Saturday I had 14,438 words written, putting me behind by almost 10,000 words (8,895 behind to be exact).  I wasn’t going to write anything today either, but I got the worldbuilding bug while I was driving and had to get some ideas down.  I’m now up to 17,443 words, which is still behind (I should be at 25,000 words by day 15) but slowly closing the gap (now I’m only 7,557 words behind!)  Other than a brief random idea I wanted to write down for a future possible science fiction story, the entire week’s been spent worldbuilding.  I want to continue with writing the Grief Project, but as of right now I feel like I don’t have the time to be crying.  (On Saturday night I was switching between writing the blob and preparing for a possible interview, so crying while writing really wasn’t a good plan.  Then today I was writing for a bit then needed to switch gears fast for my other job, so again crying while writing wasn’t a good plan).  Hopefully before the end of the month though I’ll be able to get back to it!

In the meantime, like I said: worldbuilding.  I’m still working on Ayvlin’s world (which at this point does not have a proper name).  I wrote down some of the history of the world, which directly tied into the human’s beliefs.  I also hashed out the Fae’s history, which was a lot of fun.  I’ve been leaving comments to myself in the Word document’s margin, but even so it’s getting a bit harder to worldbuild like this – the writing blob is literally a blob of text, so it’s tough to remember what I’ve specifically written about some things.  I wish I had time to lay it out more like my documents for Imezza and City of the Dead.  But that’ll have to wait until after NaNoWriMo is over.

I did run into another problem in the world though: magic.  The fae’s magic is shaping up a little too much like magic in City of the Dead, which is a problem.  So now I’ve got to work through that as well as the whole Fae vs screenplay aliens.  Although at this point I’m sort of thinking that I’ll come back and deal with the screenplay aliens after I have the Fae all worked out.

I also need to go back and figure out how some of the other things that have become part of this world fit.  I had worked out how I could have something demon-like in the world (because the original RPG that involved Ayvlin had another character who was half-demon).  But now the entire history I worked out this weekend did not involve them at all, so I’m going to have to go back and see if/how they’ll fit with the new ideas.

So that’s it for now.  Good luck to everyone else who is participating – there’s still two weeks to go!

Also, apologies to everyone – life is busy and I haven’t had a chance to go and visit anyone else’s blog over the last week.  I will be catching up with everyone hopefully during the next few days!

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