Six Sentence Sunday – Nanowrimo opening

November 6, 2011

Hello everybody. Word count for Nanowrimo at this point, (Saturday night,) is 13,482, but right now I’m going to rewind back to the very first ones from last Tuesday morning, November the 1st. To be clear, since I’m rebelling, this is a continuation from the Star Patrol blogisodes and not really the opening scene of the book.

They emerged from the shuttle airlock, and Brett looked over at Jody to see how she was doing in the high-oxygen atmosphere of the planet. It actually seemed to perk her up a little bit, though that might just be Jody trying to reassure everybody that she was all right and could get the job done.

Then he noticed the aliens.

They had evidently arrived in some sort of cart drawn by a single three-legged animal, but the cart wasn’t moving anymore and had possibly been ‘parked’ by extending rods down to the ground so that it would remain stable. There were three aliens, and as far as Brett could tell they each had three legs and three arms, with four tentacle-fingers on each hand. He filed this away for whatever insight it might help him build into their way of thinking.

And thanks very much to the admins out at Six Sentence Sunday.


Falling for Nanowrimo, too literally.

November 3, 2011

Current word count: 8,006. Yay! At this rate, I’ll be finished too soon, on November 18th.

My main character just made the transition from Science Fiction through to a fantasy framework, after the aliens transferred his brainwaves into their crystal.

Unfortunately, I was a little too wrapped up in the story when I got off the B-line bus on my way to the write-in tonight. There was a loose projection in the sidewalk that I tripped over, and actually had a moment where I thought “I tripped. Can I get my balance back? No, I’m goin’ down. Dammit, I can’t help but land on my bag, I hope I don’t break anything expensive.”

I didn’t break anything at all, as far as I can tell, but I skinned my knee, and also the fabric of the dark blue pants I was wearing. Which suggests that sometime during November I should probably squeeze in a couple hours to go shopping for new clothes.

Have you suffered for Nano over the last few days?


Send your Inner Editor on a nice November vacation

October 31, 2011

Inspired by my incredible Hamilton ML, Gale, I have decided to go on a new tack with Inner Editor control for this year. I’m sending him off for fun in the sun.

After all, I’ve been working him pretty hard for most of the year. We’ve got most of the details sorted out. After finishing a rewrite and a guest blog post for Chris Eboch this evening, Editor is going to be getting up before me tomorrow, and taking the shuttle over to Pearson to catch his flight. He’s booked for the whole month at some reasonably nice resort in the Bahamas. And because I know that he couldn’t really relax and have fun without some sentences to tinker with, he’s packing lots of my writing – past Nanos, screenplays, short stories, even my old fanfic. But if he tries to call me up and tell me ANYTHING about it, I’ll find a way to make him pay dearly.

This is probably not an approach that everybody could take with their Inner Editors. Many are too wily and competitive to simply go away for Nanowrimo, or at least, they might not go for it THIS year. But my IE and I have been through this before, and I think he’s learned that he can’t derail me during November. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m excited about this idea.

I just hope that the Bahamas Nanowrimo group doesn’t try to send him back because he goes and messes with THEIR masterpieces!


Even the Ruby servers are meditating…

October 29, 2011

…to prepare for Nanowrimo, of course! 🙂 I just got this message when I went to http://www.nanowrimo.org/

I’ve never seen that error message before. Must be a Ruby on Rails thing.

So, what am I meditating on, with two days and odd hours before November 1st? Well, I’ve been planning on how I’m going to take the Alphasmart Dana with me everywhere, and swap out files in progress using the memory card for when I want to write on the laptop. I’m pondering banning myself from watching television until I’ve reached my quota of 2500 words a day – I’ve got to hit 50k by the 20th of November, so I can ring the bell at the Night of Writing Dangerously!

I’ve been thinking of what I know about my characters, realizing that Melissa Dempsey isn’t entirely a sweet ingenue, that she’s got a mean streak, and putting that together with everything else I ever worked out about the Star Patrol universe.

And I’m also loving the notion of ‘Writer’s Improv’, thank you Storywonk, which reminds me of Worldbreaker, which was an improv-like worldbuilding game, where everybody added one more detail in turn until the details started to get so specific that they were more like plot than background.

Can’t wait for Nano. How about you?


Best wishes for Chris Baty

July 28, 2011

I’ve always vaguely wondered what it was like to have truly exciting news that I couldn’t speak about because of a ‘gag order.’ Now I think I know, though it wasn’t really an earth-shattering experience.

As you might or might not know by now, Chris Baty, that crazy man who somehow turned National Novel Writing Month from a group of friends doing a dare into a worldwide force for creative derring-do, has announced that he is following in the footsteps of other departed Office of Letters and Light staff, and resigning his position in order to go down the path of writing full-time.

Here’s where the ‘gag order’ bit comes in. Chris B actually shared the news with all of the Nanowrimo and Script Frenzy local representatives two weeks ago, and asked us to keep it under wraps until he’d sent out the news to all participants, which happened last night.

Read the rest of this entry »


My latest book (sort of.)

July 13, 2011

I picked up some mail at my Mom’s condo yesterday, deliveries that had come while I was off in Kansas. One of them was a package from Createspace!

It’s always great to see my own words printed and bound like this, and I’m very thankful that National Novel Writing Month and Createspace have worked out their little deal. Read the rest of this entry »


Nanowrimo day 24: Pie is squared.

November 25, 2010

Well, today I had my ‘pie time’ with Chris Baty and Lindsey Grant, and it was awesome. (One week to the day since I first got the coupon and started freaking out that they wouldn’t be able to fit me in, by the by.) Rode the BART up to Ashby station in south Berkeley, and all the while I kept thinking of one of those Simpsons episodes with Sideshow Bob – the one where they had a montage of all of his ‘Hello, Bart’ moments, and one of them was actually Bob on a subway platform as the train pulls into the station – and Bart Simpson nowhere in sight. 😀

So, I got there a few minutes early, actually took a picture of the Office and Letters and Light storefront, before going into the Sweet Adeline Bakeshop and finding a free table that looks like it could fit the three of us. As I was getting settled, in comes Chris Baty, tells me, “Hi Chris, I’ll be back in a few minutes,” and continues on to the washrooms in the back.

I get up to take a look at the treats that are available, along comes Lindsey, and she mentions that she’s not sure where Chris went. “He just left the office a minute or two ago.”

“He just came through, I think he’s using the facilities,” I mention, and she looks a bit relieved.

So – I had two little almond tea cakes that were delicious – reminding me of the almondette cookies that we used to get in plastic tray packages when I was young – and a bottle of organic apple cider. Chris Baty had a slice of the lemon tart pie, which he didn’t finish, and tea, green tea I think. Lindsey had some kind of weird cake with pudding in the center or something like that. We took everything back to the Office of Letters and Light building, with Lindsey promising to bring the plates back to the bakeshop later.

I was introduced to a few people in the tech department on the way through, then we arranged ourselves around the conference table and started to chat. It was a great talk, ranging from topics like the wild parrots of telegraph hill and the marriage that they ruined, to how to get more Nanowrimo participants to donate to the Office of Letters and Light, and discussing programs to encourage people to work towards getting their Nanowrimo novels published or their Frenzy scripts produced. Also the snowflake method.

After about an hour, Chris started to very nicely get me up and moving out, explaining that he had another commitment in fifteen minutes, and gave me the full tour of the premises, letting me take a few pictures, and handling a few more introductions. That was pretty much it.

I got to keep my pie coupon, with a scrawl on the back that it is ‘Redeemed’, the date, and Chris Baty’s signature.

Oh, and on my way back to the BART, I saw a sign for ‘The other hobbit’ fantasy and science fiction books, and couldn’t resist going in and looking around. Picked up a Buffy season 7 collection. Also, on my way back to the BART, I got somewhat lost and had to ask someone for the way to the station – only to realize I was maybe fifteen feet away from the edge of the station parking lot. D’oh!!

Nearly pointless Thanksgiving day update from Lindsey: “I think the “pie” I had was called buckle cake…it was very much like a flat round muffin. Yum yum :)”


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