Camp Day 7 check-in

June 7, 2012

Well, it’s the morning of June the seventh, and I thought I’d run down how I’m doing on my rebel ‘Summer of Shorts’ project. To recap – I’m participating in Camp Nanowrimo, but I’m not setting my goal at the fifty thousand word novel manuscript. Instead, I wanted to get some short stories written, ideally in the 2000-3000 word range, and somewhat out of the air I picked eight stories as a workable goal. I wrote three shorts in May, and finished one in two days, while the other two stretched over four. I thought that if I could turn out a short every three days in June, I’d be nearly finished the eighth when I have to leave for Kansas on June 24th, and find a little time to finish it at the workshop.

So, how am I doing so far? Three stories complete in six days! That’s how I’m doing. 🙂

Story one – ‘A New Look’. This is based on a prompt from ‘Off the Beaten Plan‘ that I saved back in March. My main character is a shy boy in school who goes down to the local genetic cosmetician to become the dream boy of his crush – complete with green eyes. But when the cosmetologist tells him that he’s allergic to the green eye formula, he has to figure out how far he’s prepared to go.
I started this on Friday morning, June 1st, and finished sometime Saturday afternoon, June 2nd.

Story two – “I will return for you.” Started on Saturday evening, June 2nd, and finished at a write-in with Elizabeth Twist, sunday afternoon, June 3rd. This was an idea that was based on the song ‘Christmas Day’, by Dido. I have a peasant heroine, who meets a young nobleman that falls in love with her and promises to come back and take her to his family estate to be married – but he doesn’t come back. The girl, Cassandra, borrows a fast horse, follows her lover’s trail far enough to figure out that he’s not all he seemed, and then goes back to the family estate to find out what’s really going on.

Story three – “My Perfect World,” took a bit longer. I’m not quite sure where this idea came from – a few references I ran into talking about realistic immersive VR or holodeck-type technology being the end of human civilization, and combining that with those old standbys, the four Laws of Robotics. I started this Monday evening on a twitter word sprint, got lots written Tuesday on the bus, and finally finished it last night after all kinds of things had come up to distract me.

So – I’m doing well so far, and if I can manage to keep up this pace I should be able to get to eleven stories at least! On the other hand, the going may get tougher through the month, as I need to either brainstorm new ideas, or work with ideas that don’t excite me quite as much as the first ones I tackle. But we’ll see. I’m loving Camp so far, and will be meeting up with the other Hamilton Campers at Williams tonight. Whoo-hoo!

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Alphasmart Dana deserves a Camp merit badge

June 5, 2012

It’s been a while since I pulled out my Alphasmart Dana portable word processor for doing some writing on the road – nearly a month, when I took it to Toronto for ‘The Avengers’ and got a decent start on my contest story “Tough Love” riding on the subway.

But I grabbed it before work today, and got over 1600 words written on the bus, working on my third short story of the month, “My Perfect World.”

I’m a big fan of taking netbook computers with me on the go, especially if I’ve got editing or critiquing or any similar tasks to do. For flexibility as portable computers, they’re hard to beat – until really good hybrid tablet-keyboard devices finally get here. 😀 But when I just want to concentrate on writing a first draft, the low-distraction environment of my Dana makes it a great tool.

EDITED TO ADD… I meant to say something about the technical difficulties I had when using the Dana to create a list of my music CDs, as part of organizing the living room. Thanks to Elizabeth for reminding me! What was going on was, I’d wake the unit up out of sleep, and it would freeze for a long time, maybe half a minute or a bit more, possibly go back to sleep, and then show a message window talking about charging state, that the unit was plugged into a DanaHub, the battery was charging, and the touchscreen and keyboard deactivated. But when I pressed a keyboard button, that message window would go away, and everything would be fine.

That didn’t happen yesterday, and I think part of the reason why might be that I’m being a bit more careful about how I recharge it – not taking the USB plug out while it’s asleep, for example, but waking it up first. Hopefully that’ll continue to do the trick.


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