August Update

Camp NaNoWriMo has concluded, and I can assert it was a success. My goal was to write 50,000 words for the month, and I called it a night on the thirty-first at a total of 66,289. More importantly, however, was the reinforced discipline of writing 2,000 words a day.

While I’m unlikely to reach the million-word mark this year, I’m a person of ambition, and I’m going for 500,000 words written for 2017. My current goal for NaNo17 is 250,000 words, so this should be doable… even more so if I decide to go for the half million in November! It’s been a dream since 2015, but since 2016 was not a viable contender, the half mill has been pushed back. I’m making no promises, though. It’s too early to know if my November will be optimal for that.

Camp was also a great exercise in brainstorming for my next books. The Cursed trilogy (which started as a single book, morphed for fun into a duology, and has continued forth for the last two years as a trilogy) has now decidedly become the Cursed quintet. I also still like my tentative real title for the first book, so I think that might be here to stay. Maybe. Possibly. I’ve edited up to almost one hundred fifty pages of the first book, met my goal for July (to edit through chapter sixteen), and hope to use next week’s “writing sabbatical” to break through to at least to chapter twenty–hopefully beyond, as I’m guessing I’ll have completed chapters seventeen and most of eighteen this week. As it currently stands, there are thirty-five chapters, but one needs to be written yet. Overall, I think I’m looking at about 80-85k words for the first book, maybe a toss more.

In also awesome news, I’ve started taking official violin lessons! I’m so pumped. I’ve only had three lessons so far, but I am loving it. There is something so distinctly compelling and therapeutic about drawing a bow over the strings, even if the only sounds I make right now are strident and amateurish. I will prevail! And since I’m learning music as I go (alas, being able to play by ear has made me, over the years, too lazy to learn how to properly read music), it’s both a physical and a mental challenge. The very best kind! Exclamation points for everyone!

Reading–alas, so little time! I haven’t even burrowed into the fourth Throne of Glass book, even though it’s been two weeks since I finished the third. It’s not for lack of want that I haven’t been reading that much. It’s simply not a priority right now. *slaps self and sniffles* I’m one of those people who likes to stack my activities one on top of the other, and though I could make time to read, I often find myself giving that time over to writing or violin practice. Or just sitting with my dog. Because she’s awesome. And also she’s needy and vindictive and if I don’t give her attention, she does spoiled rotten things not tasteful for detailing here… jerk. I love that dog.

And so, to conclude what will otherwise become a rambling treatise on my affection for my canine, here’s some awesome music by Two Steps from Hell I’ve been listening to the entire time I’ve been writing this post, which you need to hear if you haven’t already, and if you have, you need to hear again:

Happy writing, everyone!

July Update

July means Camp NaNoWriMo, and Camp NaNoWriMo means prep for NaNo itself. It’s been a long time since I wrote regularly (despite all my promises to the contrary). Camp has thus far been a helpful tool to get me back into writing (my goal this month is 50,000 words), though it feels a lot like exercising an atrophied muscle. The distractions are strong, too: I keep thinking of my November goal and then having to zero my focus back in on what matters now. Continue reading

March Update

And . . . she’s back! I know I’ve been MIA for the last several months; I promise this is not because I lost steam or “got distracted” in an unintentional sense of the term. I finished the latest draft of Cursed in early February, then put the kibosh on all other writing endeavors—all other creative endeavors, in fact—in favor of throwing myself into the Tartarean pit that is academic study. Perhaps that’s an unfair evaluation of the matter, as I enjoyed it. I was so engrossed in the information, however, I would dream about my notes.

This story has a happy ending: I passed the certification exam, I no longer have to lose myself in studying, and I’m now clawing my way back up out of that chasm and into the more varied routine of daily life. I feel a burst of creative inspiration because I’ve kept it bottled for so long, and I’m now working on harnessing that energy to dedicate to a particular task or tasks.

On the docket for this month, at least as far as writing is concerned, is to get back to writing 250 words a day. I’m going to try my hand again at writing short stories, since I consider them to be my weakest writing skill. In the meantime, I’m glossing over Cursed to refresh my memory on the details of the story, write notes in the margins, and otherwise prepare for the first post-rewrite edit.

Having restricted myself from doing very little else creative beyond playing piano for about twenty minutes every other day or so for the last two months, I’m brimming with ideas that range from the literary to the entrepreneurial to the adventurous. I’ll be adding more relevant posts than this in the near future!

2016: Statistics

Sorry–final post about 2016. While it was not a million-word year, I’m still pleased with the statistical outcome. This year also saw the developmental progression of what started as a mid-grade fantasy, veered into YA, returned to MG, and is solidified for the (hopefully) last time as a YA. I didn’t fully finish any draft of the novel in 2016, but I came close three times, and this last attempt is truly the final one for this “first” draft.

2016 Overview

Total Words Written: 655,507

Most Prolific Month: November (104,327 words)

Most Prolific Non-NaNo Month: February (72,878 words)

Worst Month: October (24,821 words)

Most Words in a Day: 7,042 (November 1)

Most Words in a Non-NaNo Day: 6,391 (February 7)

Fewest Words in a Day: 500 words (October 27)

Days I Didn’t Write: 11

Started Projects: 16

Finished Projects: 6 (2 novels, 4 short stories)

So far, 2017 has brought a lot of other obligations to the forefront, most notably of which is my studying. My test is in March, and the more I study (and the more I talk to experienced test-takers), the more I discover it’s going to be a challenge. Happily, I love challenges, so we’ll see where this one and all others take me.

September Update

Happy Labor Day! I’m not going to waste more than a sentence on lamenting the lack of posts over the past few months, so lament, lament, lament, and done.

So far, 2016 has been fighting back at me. I’ve been more productive this year than, very possibly, any year, but that productivity is on long projects, the results of which I doubt I will see this year. As far as those projects are concerned, patience is about the best thing I have going for me right now, and even that can be flighty. Still, I can’t complain. After all, I did just take a break from the world this weekend and made this cake:

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If it’s not pirates, it’s princesses. Yes, I’m post-college age, don’t judge me…. No, go ahead and judge me. It’s cool.

A few updates, since this is my September update, after all: I am now the webmaster of one of our local writing clubs. I was supposed to “update it,” but I’m an INTJ (search Myers-Briggs if you’re unfamiliar) who doesn’t just “update” things; I revamp them completely. This is great, except that I’ve had to learn everything from scratch (I had never used Wix before). Great experience, though!

I am slamming through my financial planning courses, as the deadline for my access to them crept up on me and I found myself a bit trapped. Rushing is never good, which is why my performance on the exams is less than stellar. Still, things could be a whole lot worse, and all things considered, I think I’m doing rather well.

Despite my hopes, my room renovation will not be finished by NaNoWriMo. That’s unfortunate, because I don’t think I can handle a second year of NaNoing hunched over my laptop on my bed. Especially since my laptop is dying (the screen hinges broke and it’s now sitting at about a 155 degree angle). But I am working on the room, and once early November rolls around and I can have my yard sale, the pace should speed up.

Here is my great confession: I have failed my 2,000 words-a-day goal. Funny that the one thing I promised I wouldn’t compromise under any situation has been the hardest hit. I’m writing at least 500 words a day now, hardly a challenge, but there are simply some days when I don’t have time for a challenge. Besides, the majority of that writing has been devoted to brainstorming. Most of it is dedicated to Cursed (I recently compiled all of this year’s notes about Cursed into a single document, and it alone is at 90K words), which has developed astronomically. For a long time, I wasn’t sure how the next two books would pan out, but after a very intense brainstorming session a few weeks ago, it all fell into place.

I’m also working on the brainstorming stages of a satirical fantasy. Like all my satire, we’ll see if it’s even remotely funny to anyone other than myself. This one, more than any other story I have before attempted, deals with weighty subjects, so I imagine that I will walk a fine line between being too serious and being too flippant.

For an update, this is thin as broth, but studying calls! I hope to publish content with greater quality and consistency in the near future.

May Update

After the whirlwind of March, April began in a turmoil of emotions. I kept hitting block after block in a great many areas of my life. One of my most persistent struggles is time management, i.e. the desire to accomplish more things than that for which I have time. I don’t know about you, but I have about a thousand hobbies but only one real, all-consuming passion: writing. Continue reading

March Update

A second month of 2016 has left and opened up a new path. So much has changed, yet so little has.

February was a month of color for me. The beauty of rainbowed wildflower gardens, the kaleidoscope of sensory music, the vibrancy of nostalgia. The full spectrum of light seemed to illuminate or color everything I did or thought about, and I can’t say that it’s over yet.

I spent most of early February trying to brainstorm how I was going to salvage my story Cursed. Continue reading

February 2016 Update

Usually time passes at a reasonable rate for me, but this past month felt like a year! So far, I’ve managed to finish one long and two short projects, and I have a slew of other ideas I’m planning to tackle in the coming weeks. My self-imposed challenge of 2000 words (70,115 in January), 15 minutes of reading, and 15 minutes of editing a day is coming along with gusto (as for reading, I’ve already accomplished 1881/5490 minutes, and that’s just January!).  Continue reading