A bad Camp Nanowrimo omen

July 22, 2013


Hey there, I’m back from Odyssey, good to see you all!

I haven’t really been doing that well for Camp in July. I set my goal for 10,000 words, and got off to a pretty good start, clocking up over 6600 in the first 8 days. But those were for Odyssey submissions, finishing up “That which was Caesar’s,” (which I started in June,) and writing “Frigga’s Masterpiece” over the first weekend in July. But then Masterpiece was submitted, and I haven’t really been pushing myself to write that much since.

I got a little more written over the last two weeks of Odyssey, and I actually got started on the end of “The Aurigae Express” last night. But I was going to my car this afternoon, pulled out the keychain – and my Camp Nano key fob broke! I don’t even know how it happened, I just pulled the keys out my pocket and what was left of the fob bounced on the pavement. It still looks very pretty, but there’s really no way to put it on a keyring anymore. 😦



It’s the square one that says ’50K’ with the bullseye that I’m talking about, not the round fob with the bird tweeting ‘Nanowrimo.’ Yes, I have an embarrassment of OLL riches and shouldn’t let the loss of one keychain fob get to me so much. But those would be easier words to live by after I’d made my camp word count goal. Sigh.


Lotsa car stuff going on.

February 25, 2013

So let’s see, where do I start? First off, it’s over a year that I’ve been a G2 licensed driver – I passed my road test on Feb 21st last year! 🙂

In the ‘not good news’ category, I got my car insurance renewal papers already, and they came with a pretty hefty premium increase. Sigh. (Guess that’s what I get for getting in a fender bender after having my car for a few weeks.)

I’ve booked my first try at the G road test, for March 12th. I’m feeling pretty confident, should probably make some time to drill myself on the basics between now and then. Maybe if I pass the G before my insurance renews, I can use that as leverage to get a break on the premium.

And I’ve booked the car into a collision repair shop to get the little dings in the bumper taken care of before the test. 😉

This kinda stuff isn’t my favorite part of being a car owner, it adds up into stress. But if you take it a bit at a time, it’s not that bad.

One fellow writer is better than none.

December 18, 2012

I was a little worried about showing up to the Hamilton Writer’s meeting at Chester’s beers of the world this evening, after the late-November meeting when nobody else showed up. There were a few RSVPs on Facebook over the past week or so, at least.

Not all of the RSVPs worked out, but at least one other writer, Marilyn, showed up. We chatted, had a beverage and some dinner, and read over each other’s writing samples. I brought the first nine pages of “The Gnomes are Missing”, and Marilyn had a fun little two-page piece about exploring an attic. 🙂 Since she’d had a tough time getting downtown on the bus and was worried about heading back home, I gave her a lift with Ghost once we were ready to leave.

I’m sorry that Laura wasn’t able to make it. Perhaps she stayed up at her tiny house today after all.

Camp Day 1 – Off to a great start!

June 1, 2012

So, it was a rather rainy Friday here in Southern Ontario, so I didn’t want to take the Alphasmart or a netbook with me and write on the bus. Instead, I took a bit of time writing at home, then drove Ghost in to work, back home, and wrote more.

I ended up starting “A new Look”, based on an old prompt from Nicki, and though I only got a few hundred words done in the morning, I’m now over 1700, which means that I’m nearly done. I’m probably going to go over two thousand words, especially since I’ve got the whole denouement to go yet, but I think I can wrap it up in less than 1000 more.

This is definitely a great start – one story nearly complete on the first day, and it was a workday to boot. Maybe I’ll even be able to do better than eight stories in June – but I’m not going to commit to that yet. 😉

‘Out of Media Res’ transitions

May 28, 2012

So, I dove into reading Jim Butcher’s “Grave Peril” this morning. I’d dipped my toe into the book back in late March, reading a bit from the first chapter, and didn’t get any further because I was trying to catch up on Elizabeth Twist’s short story challenge and just getting to some of the good parts of ‘Game of Thrones.’ So this morning, pulling out my Kindle on the bus, I started from the beginning again.

It’s an exciting opening, with Harry Dresden and a holy knight going to a big Chicago hospital to save some babies from a formidable ghost. And then, just at the most exciting part of the scene… we find out that it was an ‘In Media Res’ opening, starting in the middle of the action, or at least a point after the chronological beginning of the narrative.

A lot of the time when you have an IMR opening, it’s fairly obvious, but this one snuck up on me, partly because it wasn’t a trick Butcher had used in the previous Harry Dresden books. (Incidentally, this is also the first that I’m not reading in audiobook format, so it’s somewhat odd the way James Marsters’ voice is sticking with me, giving life to Harry’s words inside my head.) I knew that there were a few things going on that had to be explained about how Harry and Michael Carpenter got where they were, but hadn’t actually clued in that there would be flashback scenes to go along with the explanation, or that this was a flash-forward scene.

So I’ve started thinking about the moment when you come out of ‘In Media Res’, and transition back to the chronological beginning of the story. Sometimes, with a narrator in a book, he actually tells you ‘But wait, I’m going to have to back up a bit…’ or something of that sort. In a movie or television episode, there might be nothing to signal the transition but a bare caption: “23 and a half hours earlier…”

What are your favorite ‘In Media Res’ openings? Were you taken by surprise, or did you know that they were using the In Media Res technique from the start? How did they handle the transition back in time?

Guess what I bought?

March 26, 2012

The next item in the ‘Spotlight on Chris’ is supposed to be six things I wish I’d never done, but I may just pass on that entirely because of something that I never want to associate with regrets or wishing I hadn’t done…

I bought my car this afternoon! It’s a white 2007 Pontiac hatchback, and even though I still need to pay for it, and wait for the dealership to finish servicing it, and get the insurance all arranged, I’m really excited, and a little bit nervous. This is more money than I’ve ever paid for a single thing in my life. It’s more than a year’s rent!

Erm, I should probably try to calm down just a little. Let’s just say it’s been a big day.

And I’m gonna need to find a name for the car… since it’s white, I’m wondering about ‘Ghost’ 🙂 Whatcha think?

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