Writing Projects (in progress) 

I haven’t been posting my poetry for the past month or two, but I’m still writing. For 2017 I decided to make my goal a poem a day; I managed 296 poems in 2016 without a plan, so I’m sure it’s doable. 

Meanwhile, I’ve printed and started sorting the poems I have. My goal is to put together a couple of small poetry books via Amazon’s printing house, so that I can have a physical copy of the project when I’m done. Poetry is one genre I think does poorly in ebook format. 

At the same time, the scam publisher I went through for my first ever book is *finally* releasing my book from contact. Due to their pricing plans and overall crappiness, I haven’t sold any copies since publishing the book in 2009. And back then, most of the purchases were family and friends. Once the book’s free, I’ll convert it to an ebook just to keep it available. 

I’m working on editing my NaNoWriMo story from 2015, because it holds promise. I’ve found a method of reverse outlining to try, so I can find plot holes and rearrange the existing scenes. Slow and steady work, editing is. 

And of course, I’ve got this story idea that’s been percolating for months and finally refused to be ignored. I blame Tumblr. So I’ve started plotting it out, made use of my love for Pinterest by making an inspiration board too. This would be my first non-fanfic story since 2015 as well. About damn time! 

So all in all, this is me. Not sharing, but still creating. 

Random Writer’s Ramblings

I’m planning to try writing about 1,000 words per day in 2015. I got the idea from Novel Notes. The actual focus of the goal is less structured than that, though; I’ll be shooting for 1,000 words per day, but the totals at the end of each month are the real target word count.

For example, January’s goal will be 31,000 words. Ideally, I’d spread that over the course of the entire month, writing that thousand-per-day amount to keep up. Realistically, I’m going to sprint for a couple days, then rest and repeat until I’ve reached my goal. It’s my process, because I do my best writing late a night but can’t stay up late on weekdays due to work. Weekends are my big writing days.

I’ve decided to use my winter break to create a vague outline for next year.

I’m thinking of finally working on a project I’d thought up years ago. You see, I happen to love short stories. I enjoy the intensity of the plot that’s pretty much required for a short work to tell a story. My project idea is a collection of short stories designed to not have happily-ever-afters at the end (or at least not traditionally happy endings).

Another potential project is one of the two (or three) pagan books I’d been thinking needed to be written. They require more research and focus than the fiction project, but at the same time they have premade outlines in the form of my personal experiences and previous thoughts/notes on the ideas.

With the winter break just days away, I look forward to deciding on which projects to work on next year. Having a writing goal gets me writing more often, just like using the Goodreads option for a personal challenge helped me to read at least one book a week for 2014.

Speaking of reading challenges, I’m also considering an interesting twist to my personal goal (which is still just one book a week). There’s this list of book types and topics to read, and I really dig most of the suggestions. I mostly read free ebooks on my Kindle, ones offered by indie authors; I’m sure, though, that I can find books that fit these descriptions.

The best part about these challenges (both writing and reading) is the way their small, easily attainable goals make me feel successful and happy.

That’s part of how I’ve always treated my own, mild depression; I just find things to be good at or complete, and I constantly remind myself of my successes (however small they may be). Getting through NaNoWriMo and winning on my first try was specifically designed to help me move past the end of a long-term relationship and other dramatic changes I had little or no control over in my life at the time.

Overall, I’ve decided to make 2015 a productive and positive year.

Winning NaNoWriMo, and the road ahead

I did it! I successfully wrote 50K words in the month of November. Now I have a relatively horrid rough draft of a story, and access to a cute little digital sticker to prove my writer’s worth.

Honestly, I’m slightly impressed. I was correct to think that it would be similar to writing in my blog daily, so the word count itself wasn’t as killer as it could’ve been. The bigger issue was deciding where to take the story, especially as huge parts were redone in the middle; I found myself wanting to go back and redo the entire beginning just to correct it all, but I resisted the siren’s call of editing and pushed through to the end instead.

I haven’t reread it yet, either. I was using multiple small documents due to where and when I was writing, so I never had a chance to see everything all together. I figure I’ll wait until our winter break to go back and read that I vomited onto the keyboard; maybe I can salvage a story out of the wreckage? We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve been able to pursue intellectual efforts (code word for studying when it doesn’t involve school work). I’m working on runes right now, having finally heard them talk to me. It only took a decade for them to call my name! I’ve had the shapes and names memorized for ages, because I used them for code in high school; however, it was only recently that they held allure as a divinatory tool. I’ve been studying Greek spirituality for so long that it feels weird to move over to the Norse pantheon, but it’s a comfortable kind of weird that comes with immersion into something new.

Back in 2006, I remember studying a bit about Seax Wica. It’s a branch of Wicca created loosely around the Norse pantheon, and I found myself really attracted to many of its key ideas. For example, one maxim would be “Love is the Law, Love is the bond.” I couldn’t connect to the gods of the pantheon at the time, but the rituals and such really spoke to me. Just a few years ago, I also studied the Asatru traditions for my comparative theology paper. Again, certain aspects resonated with me (the Nine Noble Virtues, for example) and stayed in my mind long after I was done researching the topic.

And so, we circle back.

Halfway(+) through NaNoWriMo

This is a personal sigil for Inspiration. Because why not!

This is a personal sigil for Inspiration. Because why not! See the original sigil instructions here.

I’m taking a small break from writing for NaNoWriMo, mostly to let my character decide what’s going to happen next. I forgot how fun it is to let them tell the story! They even name themselves; one quirky lady tossed her nickname at me before running off to cause a ruckus!

I’ve reached about 30,000 words today. Yesterday was an allergies-and-Benadryl night, so I didn’t write anything. Thankfully, though, it’s been a slow day at work and I’ve had a muse whispering over my shoulder.

I’m surprised at where my story has gone. I’d originally allowed (begrudgingly) a small amount of romance into the plot, largely unwanted by me personally. However, the main characters ran with it, had a hot tryst, and then leapt straight into a plot of deep intrigue and political drama (a pleasant surprise).

Now I’m looking at a couple of random people who popped up, trying to figure out who they are. Are you a good guy or a bad guy? Do you plan to make this some corny love triangle (oh gods, please no!), or are you here to help the OTP get back together? Do any of you plan to die?

NaNoWriMo is helping my process, actually. Instead of struggling through pages and pages of writing until I’m drained dry, I usually write about one or two scenes a day during the scheduled word count. That means most of my scenes start and end concisely, without too much rambling or wandering off in a weird direction. It also means I’m never at a loss for a stopping point; when a scene ends, my writing ends for the day.

That might sound bad, my creative process thrives on sprints rather than long deluges of words across the screen. Most days I easily write a couple thousand words before stopping. It’s highly satisfying!

On a side note, I’ve also been surprised by how easily I shut up my inner editor. She’s much nicer than she once was! If I see myself using the same word for the hundredth time, but I’d remind her that we’d find a better synonym later and she’d hush right up. The same goes with “said” over and over, or scenes where the descriptive parts are a hot mess; she accepts that I’ll get back to it later.

Halfway through the NaNoWriMo month, I’m feeling confident and creative. That’s what this is all about!

NaNoWriMo is almost here!

This year I will win!

This year I will win!

NaNoWriMo starts this weekend! YAY!

With all of the emotional crap I’m dealing with in my personal life, I’m seriously looking forward to diving into an alternate reality for a while. This is the first year that I won’t be in the middle of a move, so there are *no* excuses to not participate.

I had a funny epiphany, though.I did a word count on half a dozen of my blog posts. In a little 30-45 minute jot, I often write up between 600-1000 words. That’s just by rambling into the aether!

With this event, though, I’ll be able to focus that pouring of words toward a story (which I should’ve already been doing, but I’m lazy and have bad habits). I don’t think I’ll have any issues, since I’m only looking at the length of two blog posts per day; considering the prep I’ve done, I’m sure that’ll be easy!

Speaking of prep, I still have bits I want to do. I’ve researched and built a nice little world, but I want to get a vague, one-page outline of my story (or at least one character’s arch) written out before Saturday. I’ve bounced between ideas, from a story of self-discovery to a story of two unlikely people becoming friends (corny, but it has more depth in context).

Another piece of random prep is creating a calendar. I want a physical one for my bedroom door, so I can mark off my word counts daily (and weekly) to be sure I’m on track. I’m in a mood right now where step-by-step processes are my jam. I saw a few interesting calendars online via DeviantArt, but I think I’d rather do my own and add quotes and junk. I’ll probably make it tomorrow during lunch, just to be sure it gets done before we start writing.

Of things I’ve managed to nail down for my story, I can say… I’m going to write something in third-person. It’ll probably be third-person limited, which is basically third-person from a specific person’s perspective, allowing you to keep stuff from the reader because an observer following your main character wouldn’t have been informed or witnessed your secret thing. It’s used in a ton of the books I’ve enjoyed reading, and it’s more relatable than first person for many of the people I know. It’s really hard for a male to get into the head of a female protagonist if she’s first-person (and visa versa); meanwhile, it’s relatively easy to step out of oneself and become an observer of the opposite sex without that sense of disconnect.

I’m annoyingly excited for the end of this week (and it’s only Monday).

Note: I’m snickering at myself, because I said the average length of my blog posts… and then wrote one far shorter (489 words) in about 20 minutes. I still stand by my logic, though, that it’s like blogging on a small dose of steroids.

It’s Okay (Not To Be Okay)

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I’m not okay.

I’m a pulsing mass of nerves, riding my own waves and trying not to dissolve into myself. I have work to do, a house to keep, bills to pay.

Random things set me off. It’s hard to tell anyone what’s going on, because they say “I’m sorry” and I break into pieces of a while. Then I pick myself back up, embarassed for making a scene, and make a hasty exit.

I deal with being left by making plans to leave. I want to go home to Washington, maybe to Aberdeen if I can get a job at the college there. I want to leave behind as much of what I have as I can, a cleansing of my crap and my life. I want to pay off my car and save up a few pennies before making the trip, because I am (and will always be) a planner.

I make plans to keep myself busy, too. NaNoWriMo is next month, which will be a good 30-day distraction. The holidays are coming, so there’s special food to plan. I’m finally going to go get my Semicolon Project tattoo in December, having found a local parlour without ridiculous rates for a tiny tat like that. My birthday will be right around the corner, too.

I’m trying to be okay. Not the kind of okay that accepts and understands what’s going on life… just the kind of okay that breathes and eats and sleeps.

Randomly found my theme song while browsing my subscriptions on YouTube:

I’m rambling, because I feel like blogging but don’t really have a reason. Just want to avoid letting my blog be silent.