It turns out that there’s some kind of bug in the connection between WordPress 4.9.5 (CA_EN version) and the Jetpack “Like” button setting, so I have removed that from my site for the moment, and contacted Jetpack support about it. Once that gets fixed, I will remove this post and return the Like button.
When I first found out that the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra‘s Spring Pops concert (the final concert of the 2017-2018 season) was going to be science-fiction themed, including music from Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica (the original 1970s one, yay!), ET, etc. (which I think was back in November) I knew I wanted to go. So a ticket went on my Christmas wish list.
My parents were kind enough to get one for me, and I have been eagerly anticipating this concert ever since then. (Yes, it was definitely worth it.)
It’s been a long week for me – I was doing an Autistic Adults panel at the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) Summit in Ottawa this week – details will be posted on tagÂûght over the next few days – and got pretty much 4 hours of sleep each night, including being up at 2:40 am EDT this morning (it’s still Friday, because I haven’t gone to sleep yet) to get to the airport for my flights home. But it was so worth it.
I’ve got some pictures for you (sorry for the quality), that I’ll post as appropriate as I go along.
So, I’m trying to post more frequently again. And it’s April. What is April known for? (Aside from Autism “Awareness” Acceptance Month, that is. That’s for tagÂûght.)
That’s right – the first session of Camp NaNoWriMo! (Which lately I seem to have mostly posted about in April of odd years.)
So this month, I’m once again going back to my NaNo roots and trying to finish the rewrite of Search and Rescue. I tried to work on it last year (unsuccessfully, though I think I wrote 4 pages or so?), and back in July of 2015, and didn’t do much then.
This year, I’m taking full advantage of Camp NaNo’s ability to choose your own target and type of target. I decided to go for 40 hours of editing and rewriting – and then changed that to 2,400 minutes (the same time length) because the “hour” type doesn’t allow for fractions. So the goal is 80 minutes a day to make my target.
My actual goal is, of course, to finish Chp. 8 and do the rewrites of Chps. 9 to 14, in order to actually finish the rewrite so I can start working on getting it into a publishable state.
So far, I’m at 199 minutes of editing and rewriting, and I think I’ve managed to get through some of my block on Chp. 8. I need 41 more minutes today to make my goal; going to see if I can’t exceed that.
Will probably update intermittently during the month – wish me luck!
So, let’s talk today about reviews. Specifically, about things not to do in reviews. (In other words, some things that really boggle the mind.)
For some reason or another, I haven’t received a lot of reviews for my fic that I would call “troll reviews” or “flame reviews” (you know the ones, they start with, “You’re an effing idiot,” and just get more vituperative from there). In fact, as far as I can recall, I’ve received only two. One several years ago on a story I posted to FictionPress (Fanfiction.Net’s “original fiction” partner), wherein the reviewer abused me for not writing like Harlan Ellison. (Newsflash: No, I don’t write like him, because I am not him! In fact, I don’t particularly like his writing style, so I don’t even try to write like him!) And the other one was last Friday.
Now, this is not to say that I never receive negative reviews. I do. (Particularly on my short HP fic Discipline Issues.) People don’t like my stories and feel the need to tell me, or they offer me a critique, or whatever – yes, I’ve got plenty of those. But most of the time, people are at least polite with their reviews to me, even if they don’t like the story. And I have a thick skin when it comes to critiques of my writing.
This person was nowhere near polite, which is part of the reason I’m venting about it here.
Warning: Foul language and lack of common sense below.
Last week, I wrote a post on my Other Blog about the emotion of grief, how I experience grief and how I cope with it.
This is why that post went up.
It was my Auntie Barb’s funeral today.
The family has been in Toronto for the past week – those of us coming from away arrived on the 1st – and we were there to see Auntie Barb pass. It’s been very hard; she was my father’s only remaining sibling, and the only biologically related adult from that generation remaining in Toronto (for the sibs and family that live here).
As I mentioned in the post in my Other Blog, one of the main ways in which I grieve is by writing memorial poems. I’m including the poem I wrote for her here.
So, here we are at the end of NaNoWriMo 2017. I have won, for the 7th time in 10 years of doing NaNo. But it wasn’t easy this year. (I look back, and I think the only times it was easy were 2008-2010.) And… as you may have guessed from the last two posts, I did not finish There Be Dragons. But I now have a great deal more than I did to begin with, so it’s a success nonetheless.
Some interesting stats from this past month:
Least Words Written: 12 words on November 6 (Total That Day: 6,834)
Most Words Written: 5,369 words on November 26 (Total That Day: 43,776)
Longest Dry Spell (less than NaNo Daily of 1,667 words): 4 days, November 9-12 (125, 22, 62, 41 words)
Longest High Spell (NaNo Daily of 1,667 words or more): 6 days, November 13-18 (1,697, 2,529, 2,740, 4,299, 2,043, 4,574 words)
So, that’s me, signing off from this year’s NaNo. Congrats to everyone who took part, whether they reached 50K or not. 🙂
So, here we are. I managed to win not quite by the skin of my teeth (that would be winning tomorrow, it being the last day for it).
This last chapter has been fighting me a fair bit, so I was worried (despite my excellent word count two days ago) that I wouldn’t be able to make it, but here we are! Thanks go out to Vathara and the other members of the NL NaNo group, for their support and encouragement.
So, I’m ending today with a word count of 50,157 words. But I’ll still be writing tomorrow (I want that “updated word count for 30 days” badge!), and likely for the next month, on and off, as I try to finish the first draft of There Be Dragons. (Because no matter how much I wanted to, I didn’t manage to get even close to finishing. I’d say I’m about half to 5/9 done.)
Thanks for following me on this epic journey of my tenth year of doing NaNo!
So, I missed last week’s post. Apologies for that – I was not having the best few days when it was due, and then I decided to wait until either I’d caught up with the expected total word count, or the 28th, whichever came first.
Last post, I’d just finished Chp. 3 and Interlude #1. In the meantime, I’ve had some very good writing days (5 days over 3,334, including the 16th; 8 days over 1,667, including the 16th and today), and some not-so-good ones (4 days under 1,100).
At the moment, I’ve finished Chps. 4 and 5, and I’m partway through Interlude #2 – and discovering something that I hadn’t known an hour ago that adds an extra dimension to the situation the protagonists are in. (Well, the protagonists and the rest of the Interstellar Police officers on Mephamtere….)
Yesterday I managed to match (and exceed) the expected total word count for the day, for the first time since Nov. 2nd. (Almost the whole month. Ow.) Today I’ve already managed to surpass the expected total word count for the day. 🙂 So there’s no doubt that I’m going to win… although I seriously doubt that There Be Dragons will be finished by the 30th. (Not with this new plot twist added into things.) So I’m likely to continue writing it into December, with S&R re-writes pushed back to January and February.
21st’s word count: 30,177. Where I should have been by then: 35,000.
Today’s (so far) word count: 45,471. Where I should be at midnight: 45,000.
I’m totally winning this. 🙂
Next post: My winning! (And maybe end of NaNo, if I don’t get to 50K before Thursday.)
Apologies for the lateness of this – I originally intended to get it out the evening/night of Nov. 14th, but I had to get up early for an appointment yesterday morning, and completely forgot.
So, where were we….
Right, starting Chp. 3.
That… didn’t go so well to start off with. Oh, I started strongly (1,774 words on the 8th)… but then the interaction between my protagonists began, and things got bogged down. 4 days worth of less than 150 words/day bogged down.
So on Monday I scrapped everything I’d written of Chp. 3 into the “counts for words but not as part of my story” file, and re-started the chapter. And that dealt with that block! I’ve been going strong since then.
In other news, I’m planning to apply to be co-ML for the region of Newfoundland (and Labrador?) next year. I’ve been organizing all the St. John’s in-person write-ins this year (our current only ML lives elsewhere and doesn’t have a car, so she can’t really do that), and I figure it might be interesting.
Since I’ve written barely any words so far today (I do my best work at night), I figured I’d give you the word count as it was on the 14th. (I caught up by another 1K+ words yesterday, and don’t yet have today’s.)
14th’s Word Count: 15,119 words. Where I should be (then): 23,333 words. And I’m back to more than the daily word count (yesterday I got 2,759 words), so I should manage to get back on track soon.
(No, Bunnies, that was not an invocation to Murphy, and if you take it that way, I may have to do something to your next shipment of Plot Bunny Feed(tm).)
Addendum (23:02 NST): Okay, finished the writing for today, which was a long session. So. Today’s Word Count: 22,158. Where I should be: 26,667. I’m a lot closer now! (Total of 4,299 words written today, Chp. 3 and just-conceived-of-two-hours-before-writing-this Interlude done!)
So, it’s coming up to midnight on November 7th, the end of Week 1 of NaNoWriMo 2017. And how have I been doing, you might ask?
Yeah, I’m behind. It seems to happen every year in Week 1 – if it’s not that I’m sick, it’s that the Bunnies are kicking up a fuss, or I’m blocked. This year, it was sort of all of that. Had a minor cold last week (naturally from Wednesday onwards). Got stuck in Chp. 2 of TBD. *sighs* And had two days when I got less than 100 words written.
Good news on the horizon, though! Chp. 2 has been finished (at least as much as I can get at the moment; there are a few scenes where I have comments in square brackets about what’s to go there later), and I’m on to Chp. 3, where the action really starts to pick up.
And my villains have become even more villainous. I thought they were kind of generic bad guys at first, nasty to animals (or those they think are animals), not caring about the environment, etc. Turns out that they’re worse than that. My human protagonist just got dumped in a place where they’ve dumped a lot of other inconvenient people. And, you know, there’s a direcat pack around that kind of appreciates the free meals….
Today’s Word Count: 8,869 words. Where I should be: 11,667 words. But I’ve managed more than the recommended daily word count the four (out of seven) days that I’ve managed to hit over 250 words, so at least I should be able to catch up.
Wow. I’ve really been neglecting this blog over the last year and a half or so. Whoof. Didn’t even do anything with 2016’s NaNoWriMo (which I won, by the way) here. *shakes head at self* Okay, I’ve got to do better.
Anyway, as the title says, NaNoWriMo is almost here. (In fact, it will be here in 2 hours from when I post this.) So, posting time! (And this time I will try to keep the updates going.)
As last year (not shown on here) was fantasy, I’m back to science fiction for this year. And I’m going to be working on the story I originally tried to write for April 2015’s Camp NaNoWriMo, There Be Dragons (summary below).
This is my tenth year doing NaNoWriMo (yay!), and while I’ve won 6 out the last 9 years, the only years when I actually finished the novel I started working on were the first two (2008: Search and Rescue, and 2009: A Fox’s Fight). So that’s my goal for this year – not only win, but actually finish the novel.
To my Canadian readers – a guest post from my mother:
This is something that I feel quite strongly about and we are asking for your support. I was on the policy panel last year that came out with a paper to hand in to government and it has just sat on their desk since then. Please feel free to forward this to any and all the people that you know. Read on, please.
*gives everyone a guilty look*
Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I’ve ended up fairly busy with a bunch of things, including becoming part of the ASD Advisory Board of the recently formed Autism Canada, and also of the Canadian Autism Partnership Project. The latter of which was what let me come to Nova Scotia (see tagÂûght’s Blog: Leaving, On a Jet Plane; Two Wonderful Sisters; and Nova Scotia, How I Love Thee for the details and explanations).
The important part is that in coming here to Nova Scotia, I got to spend a great deal of time with my middle sister and her children, and meet her friends, and it’s been great. I’ve even tonight got to see my older cousin for the first time in ages.
So, it’s been a while. Since early May, in fact. Sorry about that, and hi, everyone! I hope life has been treating you as well as it’s been treating me.
This is going to be a fairly long post, which a number of different sections: about my new apartment, about Imber, about Camp NaNoWriMo for July 2015, and about exercising and how I’m doing with that. And pictures are included! (Luckily, I figured out how to do them as a gallery.) So I’m definitely putting it behind a “more” tag, and as you can see, I’ve added internal links to each of the sections to make it easier if you only want to read one or two of them at a time, and not have to go all the way through everything else….
So. It seems this was not a good month for writing for me. My concentration has been shot most of the month, and I’ve written less than 4,000 words of There Be Dragons. Definitely not enough to win, even when I lowered my word count goal to 20K words.
On the other hand, I always count any writing done during NaNo or Camp NaNo as at least a partial success. As is often mentioned at the end of the month, at least there’s however many words more written than you had at the start of the month!
Not sure exactly what I’m going to do with There Be Dragons at the moment; I suspect that at the very least, I’m going to let it sleep for a few weeks while I try to get rid of the brain fog I’ve been in most of the month. With any luck, May will be better – I’ll likely be at least somewhat more active, for one thing, now that the weather is finally starting to warm up here. (Not that you’d know it from the drizzle and wind today, but….)
If nothing else, I suspect I’ll get back to work on TBD for July’s CampNaNo. 🙂
Not something I would normally post on my blog, but it’s a relevant topic at the moment, and I just found out something that can make it a bit easier for us Canadians who can’t afford to donate cash but may have an Airmiles card to help.
For those of you in Canada who have Airmiles, you can chose as a Dream Reward for 190 airmiles to donate $20 to the Canadian Red Cross Relief Fund for the Nepal Earthquake.
There are also four other charities you can donate to (with links) – WWF Canada, Kids Help Phone (this is 175 airmiles), Trees Ontario, and Motionball in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, but given that the Nepal Earthquake is a sudden, recent event, I thought I should probably advertise this. It means that even if we can’t donate money or food, we can still help.
A copy of this post is going up on tagÂûght.
*hopefully yours* tag
So, as can be seen by the title, I’m going to be an aunt for the fifth time, come around about the end of August! Yay! Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law, and my younger niece – who announced to me via Skype last Sunday that she was going to be a big sister!
So, it’s the second week of April, and what have I done?
Not much, I’m afraid. Started out okay, though not great, on the first… and then didn’t write, and didn’t write. *sighs at self* As of yesterday, I only had about 1,028 words written. That’s not much for being a third of the way through the month!
Today, I took a different tack. I went back to my NaNoWriMo roots, and went to a coffee shop. I figured the change in scenery would help get things moving. (And I also reduced my word count goal to 35K words for the month, but if I can keep at the rate I’ve started going today, I’ll be able to bring it back up to 50K….)
It’s just after 19:30 hrs here, and I’ve added another 2,010 words. And I’ve just started a new scene, with so much fun to play with…. So I’m doing well now, and came up with a good way to break the block I was running into.
Which leads me to a piece of advice, for any others doing Camp NaNo who are reading this. If you’re not getting anywhere with your story, or you keep running into roadblocks… try changing the scenery around you. Sometimes we need to get away from the everyday.
Also, you may notice that my theme has changed. Yeah, I was running into a few problems with the old theme, so moved it around. The original menu items are now under the “Main Pages” menu, and I’ve added more menus for other things that I figured people might be interested in. 🙂
So, April starts tomorrow. And with April comes many things. (The worst being Autism $peaks’s “Light It Up Blue” campaign. See my autism blog and the links for details.) Among those many things is Camp NaNoWriMo. (Obvious, from the title of the post, I know.)
This year, I’m not going to work on the general fiction autism story I’ve done for the last two years; I think it needs to sit for a few years. Instead, I’m going to work on the science fiction original version of my 2014 NaNo story Here Be Dragons. This version is now called There Be Dragons; it got too confusing otherwise.
So, non-Pernese dragons on a world that’s barely been explored by humanity, whose method of communication (which, yes, is primarily telepathy) drives approximately 99% of humans insane, and an undercover police agent investigating a black market in archaeological treasures found only on this world. Fun!
As usual, I’m aiming for the traditional 50,000 words, and planning to get more. Wish me luck, as I’m wishing luck to all the rest of you who are doing April Camp with me!
So, we come to end of NaNoWriMo 2014. I stand in the winner’s circle, proud, despite the adversity I encountered this month (for more info, read the post about my winning and last night’s post). And I have successfully managed to reach my altered goal of 60K words; in fact, my final word count is 61,232 words.
And boy, are the Plot Bunnies ever happy. They’ve been crazy all day – I think someone fed them caffeine adulterated with pounds of sugar. They’ve been hopping all over the place, particularly toward my other Sekirei fics and the SF Original Fic version of Here Be Dragons. *sighs*
Anyway, this month has been a good run, and I’m glad I did it. Here’s to all of us NaNoers, whether we got 50K or 5K – we did it! There are now more stories out there than there were at the beginning of the month. So “Yay Us!”
Now, back to your regularly scheduled erratic updates….
First of all, I apologize for missing last week’s weekly report. Unfortunately, due to a new dosage of medication, I spent most of last week (including Saturday) lightheaded and unable to concentrate. As a result, my productivity also went way down in terms of my writing.
I have recovered, however, but it’s likely that I’m not going to make the 75K goal. So I’m now trying for getting over 60K as of tomorrow night. (*gasp* Yes, NaNoWriMo 2014 ends tomorrow.) I’ve already won, now it’s just continuing to write as much as I can while I have the excuse of NaNo.
My current word count is 57,077 words; it might go up before midnight tonight, it might not. (Depends on how long it takes to read Vathara’s latest update, and post this.) Either way, I only have to get 3K words tomorrow in order to make that 60K goal, so it’s more than doable.
It’s been a wild ride this month, and thank you to all of those who have followed my progress and cheered me on. There will be one last post just before the end, tomorrow evening, which will also give you my final word count.
[Edit 23:50 hrs.: My final word count for the day is now: 57,270 words. Go me!]
So, a day later than originally intended (hellish headache yesterday interfered with getting much more than the 1,667 word daily count), but I have now won NaNoWriMo 2014, complete with pretty purple validated word count bar!
So. Word count, as of a few minutes ago, is now 50,429. Let’s march onward to 75K! (And maybe even 100K, if I can make it….)
So, as I guessed (and hoped) last night, I managed to surpass 40K words today! Yay, Milestone #3 conquered! *cheers self on* My current word count is 40,722 words. It might increase a bit in the next 20 minutes, but that’s unlikely, so….
Definitely got on a roll today, and then the next scene is a much-anticipated one, so I’m looking forward to writing that! 🙂
Anyway, with any luck (and discipline) I should be making another post on Wednesday night proclaiming that I’ve reached the 50K goal. Wish me luck!
So, I ended up in the Week Two Doldrums last Sunday, and it lasted until Wednesday (inclusive), which is why there hasn’t been a post in between last Saturday and today celebrating either Milestone #3 (40K words) or Winning (50K words), the latter of which I was originally headed for yesterday, before the W2D hit.
I managed to get a very few words written Sunday (less than 100), a few more Monday and Tuesday (between 100 & 200 each day), then just over 900 Wednesday. Since then, I’ve achieved at least 1,667 words, but not necessarily that much more.
As I’m writing this, I’m at just over 36K. I’m going to try to get at least 1K more before midnight, and then I should be able to reach 40K tomorrow, and 50K by Wednesday. So, that’s the plan.
In terms of this week’s Write-In, it was fun! There were no frogs there, but our missing ML “OneWriterWriting” managed to drag himself out, and we had the Usual Suspects. (Yes, if any of you guys happen to be reading this, you have now been dubbed the “Usual Suspects”.) And we discovered that a common thread in our stories involves a prison break of some sort, whether actual or metaphorical, and whether taking place in the novel or in the past and referred to in the novel. (In my case, it was an escape from experimental human testing that took place before the novel but has been directly referred to.) *grins*
At any rate, I definitely expect to have reached 50K before next week’s report. Yay me! Let’s just hope I can finish the story in the remaining 15 days left to the month….
And yes, I am including the weather in this weekly report, because it’s been weird all day. The sun’s been shining – well, it was until we were well into the meetup, stopped sometime between 15:00 and 16:00 hrs, I think – but the sky has been stormy. While I was walking from the Elaine Dobbin Centre (I have Social Club there on Saturdays… kind of meh, but I’m hoping it will perk up a bit as we start to have outings next week) to the MUN University Centre where we were having the meet-up, the sun was shining brightly as rain was hitting me hard enough to sound almost like hail or heavy snow. (Which it wasn’t, thank goodness.) Even saw a rainbow!
The meetup was fun, and I got to see several familiar faces, and meet someone new. Chatting happened about word count, Disney movies, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (it was highly recommended by those who have seen it), battle scenes, character names, unusual aspects to characters, etc. Lots of stuff. (Oh, and frogs. There was a fair bit of discussion about frogs. ;))
Also found out about a neat little Asian store that’s right around the corner from The Loft in the MUN University Centre – have now had my first taste of mochi! They also sell pocky (marked up, admittedly), and canned coffee. And all sorts of Asian (not just Japanese) treats, and spices, and just general ingredients. I like! 🙂
Now, on to talking about my writing….
Ended up skipping around a bit in the story today, because the scene I was working on (linearly speaking) wasn’t gelling too well (partly because of the persistent headache). So I’ve done some work on the next scene, and a scene that’s another chapter away. *wry grin* Actually, as some of the themes in those scenes are connected (secrets and revealing them), it turns out to be working reasonably well for the moment.
Also had headache today, so didn’t make my usual 3.3K+. I did make 1.9K words, though, which brought me up to 27.4K words in total. Yay me!
And where I’ve stopped in the scenes is good as well – explosions coming tomorrow! 🙂 (Well, not literal ones. I don’t think. Heh.)
So, it’s Day 7 of NaNo 2014, and guess what?
I have now passed the 25,000 word mark! I’m over halfway to winning! Yay me!
This despite a painful headache yesterday and today….
Just wanted to put that out there. Yes, there will be the regularly scheduled NaNo post tomorrow as well. Hopefully with a report on this month’s first organized write-in, and even more wordcount…. 🙂
It is now the third day of NaNoWriMo 2014, about 23:25 hrs. here in Newfoundland (and parts of Labrador), and today, I passed the first major NaNo milestone for 2014 – I reached 10K words.
In fact, I’ve finished today with a word count total of 11,896 words out of 50,000 – which is over the word count goal for Day 7! (Which, BTW, is 11,667 words, in case you were curious.) And given that my personal goal has been to reach double the day’s word count goal… well, I’d have to say I’m off to a great start. (Today’s word count goal was 5,000 words. I reached 10K in the middle of this afternoon.)
So, *thumbs up* for me, and for all my fellow NaNoWriMos, who dare brave the cold November to write our stories! (Actually, not that it was cold today either… in fact, here in St. John’s, the high went up to 18°C – about 64°F – today!)
So, I’m happy. I hope you’re all happy too!
Okay, so it’s about 22:00 hrs. (10 pm) on November 1st, the first day of NaNoWriMo 2014. And I’m proud to announce that I currently have a word count of 3,730 words, which is almost 400 more than tomorrow’s daily word count goal. 🙂
Things are going well with the story so far, and I’ve been writing away whenever I’ve had the opportunity. Yay me!
Chat to you next week, if not before then…. 🙂
So, we are now at T -6 hours and counting (as mentioned in the title). The Bunnies are hopping excitedly, the cat (Imber) is purring and not wanting to share my lap – or my hands – with a keyboard, and everything’s all ready for NaNoWriMo 2014 to start.
Oh, and it’s Halloween. Happy Spooky Day to all those with little goblins, ghosties, or ghoulies of their own! (Including my sister and brother….)
So I’m at my parents’ house for the weekend (as usual) and raring to go. And while waiting for midnight to hit (at which point I’ll probably be chatting to Vathara), I’m reviewing the fic that I won’t be touching during the month, and distributing candy to those few goblins, ghosties, and ghoulies who come to our door. (We don’t tend to get many trick-or-treaters here.) And petting the dog, and keeping my cat happy and contented and purring.
Expect my next post tomorrow evening, with a word count and status report of the first day of writing!