Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Hobblin' across the NaNo finito line

OH. my. GOSH. It's over. I am about to start crying with gratitude. Almost, but not quite. Instead I'll just heave another sigh of relief (or twenty...) and report that my final word count for both novels is 100,827. That is a Scrivener (for Mac, if it matters) word count. I just validated my novel on the NaNo site and the word count there is...100,018. WOW. That's uncomfortably close to less than 100k. Maybe I should tack on a few more words, just to create some kind of buffer? haha. No, I'm not that desperate.

But anyway, to break it down a bit more, here are the word counts as they stand (keeping in mind that neither is finished):

DANNA: 50,606

Now I'm going to go and stare at a wall. A very big wall. For a very long time. Or, well, the next hour or so before it's bedtime. If it wasn't a school night, I'd be having another glass of wine. Then again, maybe I will anyway.

On iTunes, a Dream Theater song is playing. "The Count of Tuscany". It runs to 19:16 minutes. I do believe this is my first listen.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

NaNo - home stretch

I'm anticipating some serenity in December (see above photo), once NaNo is over. That's not the right November spirit, right? But my spirit is tired and needs a nap! Thankfully, we are on the home stretch! Before I give today's word count update, I want to clarify things for Deniz (and anyone else who's confused):

This month I've been writing two novels, both of which were started from scratch as part of NaNo 2011. The first novel, DANNA, is a YA paranormal and will probably be finished a lot more easily than the second, VICTORIOUS, which is sci-fantasy. Not sure on the acceptable word counts for sci-fantasy novels, but considering the 'fantasy' aspect I figure they're expected to at least be longer than 50k? hehe

Now...a word count update: last night's session got me to 94,666 across both novels. 5,334 words to go until I hit 100k. It doesn't feel like a huge deal, because I've done it before, and easily. But this year has felt especially like a hard slog, for reasons I don't quite get. Perhaps the challenge was actually planning on 100k, instead of just 'accidentally' ending up with it? (Remember, I'm a notorious pantser!)

Monday, 28 November 2011

It's Day 28!

Last night I reached 90,873 words, after writing 7712 (I thought it was over 8k, but the word count API tells me differently) to catch up on all the days I had missed writing the full required amount. I have notes throughout my manuscript for VICTORIOUS that say "needs filling", so I can easily find the parts I have yet to write out. So far with this novel, there are bits I love and many more bits I don't love. But that's to be expected! I haven't touched DANNA since Day 16 began, except for at the end of Day 16 when I had already written my quota for VICTORIOUS and added a few more words to DANNA.

It's pretty well confirmed that neither novel will be finished by December. And right now I am listening to Magic Dirt, a beautiful song called "Smoulder".

Friday, 25 November 2011

Day 25 and beyond

We've got it all 'round these parts. At least when it comes to sizeable bodies of water. That up there is part of the Swan River, which is a pretty big chunk o' water. We've also got some serious ocean action happening. So if you like water, Perth is the place for you. If on the other hand you abhor it to its very essence, it's probably best to stay far away!

Now that I've talked about something entirely unrelated to NaNoWriMo, I will move things related to NaNoWriMo. Namely, my NaNo word count - 78,765. Seems like a lot, but I'm behind, and I won't get much writing done tonight either. Saturday night is a bust as well. In fact, most of Saturday is a bust. Half of Sunday will be a bust. So...I'm mildly concerned. But I'm determined that I will find little pockets of writing time here and there to keep me above...water.

Wow, maybe that first paragraph was vaguely NaNo-relevant after all!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Hi, Day are you?

First off...I take photos of weird things. It's something I'm kind of well known for. The above picture isn't particularly weird, but it shows something about me - I don't like flash. I guess flash can be used artfully, in ways I have never imagined, but since I don't know how to use it that way, I tend to stick to a distinct lack of flash in my photography. You have to have steady hands of course, but sometimes a nice blur doesn't go astray. My dad is a photographer, but as often as he's tried to teach me the ways of a true photographer, I don't seem to absorb his lessons too well. I just continue to do my own thing, with my own battered, crappy point-and-shoot.

Second - a quick NaNo report: 74,611 words. And last night I finally found these notes for VICTORIOUS that I wrote down ages ago (not in email or in Scrivener, but on paper...oh the novelty!), and though they didn't tell me much I didn't already know, they reminded me of a few small things, and suddenly I was (at least a bit more) inspired and motivated. If I wasn't going out tonight I would probably have a great run on words!

P.S. Happy birthday mum, you rock my world on a daily basis!!!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Day 22 dawns

I am exhausted today. I think I probably got 5 hours sleep last night, and that is never enough for the likes of me. My NaNo word count is 70,912. Last night I got to about 2 words past my nightly goal and was very tempted to just leave it at that. I did end up adding a few more words before calling it a night. I'm up to a scene that interests me, which makes me wonder about the scenes I just wrote and whether they're total crap or not. I have definitely been padding with unnecessary words, just to get myself to the next point in the story...while making my word count goals.

Anyway, hope everyone else is going well with their goals! Bring on December I say!!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

NaNo day #20

It's Sunday, and I have done my word count quota for the day. I currently sit at 67,332 across both novels. I really love the VICTORIOUS story, but it has been slightly like sitting around waiting for grass to grow, getting these words out. At least I'm getting them out. What I'll have to work with at the end of this are some novels in dire need of editing. But that's what I expected all along.

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!!

P.S. I'm listening to The 69 Eyes. They're good fun.

Friday, 18 November 2011

If I were to release a "best of"

In the early days, I created little pictures inspired by each of my songs...I haven't done it in way too long!
Truth is, my albums tend to contain bits and pieces that I'm not entirely thrilled with, but some contain more bits that make me happy than others. If I were to compile a 'best of', it'd probably look something like this (let's fantasise for a moment that it's a double disc affair!):

Disc 1
  1. Shelter
  2. Yes, New Loving
  3. Xerxes (it's not really about the Persian dude, but you know...)
  4. U.F.O.
  5. Northern Storm (worse than demo quality, recorded using Windows Sound Recorder and el cheapo headset microphone, but I've never managed to record a version I'm happier with)
  6. Revelled
  7. By the Wayside (Lush Version) (it's a bit too quiet, but if you turn it up you can hear it! hehe)
  8. Restrung (at present I'm rather fond of this one, and I listen to it a lot...yes, I listen to my own music. Sue me)
  9. Glossary Head (2011 version) (yes, there is an original version which I also quite like, but I think this one's a bit more "special")
  10. Build A Bridge
  11. Pay
  12. Beyond Pale and Ageless (Alt. Version)
  13. Leaves
  14. Chaos Theory ('cause it's weird and experimental and I like it)
  15. James Dale (Edit) (it's short, sad and about a character I killed off in a novel)
  16. What Do I Have To Do? (haunting, weird, experimental, reminds me of snow)
  17. A Lizard (like a fair few other songs of mine, these lyrics were written during high school...and set to music only in recent years)
  18. Interlude 3 (the third of the interludes, and yes, my favourite)
  19. Back Flip
Disc 2
  1. Judgement Line
  2. I Need Sleep
  3. Run Like A Man (edit) (it was only an edit 'cause I messed up the ending...still kicking myself for that, 'cause this was the best recording I ever did of this song, apart from that ending mess!)
  4. Red (this one reminds me of my character Louise from SUNDOWN)
  5. Burn This Need
  6. Debutantes (this song came to me in a dream, and Billy Corgan was singing it. It was a lot more rocking in my sleep)
  7. Weights On (remix)
  8. Snail Break (this is a song I co-wrote with a friend in primary school...I think he did most of the writing. Our early recording of it sounded nothing like this one)
  9. Judgement Line (Electric) - more haunty than the original
  10. Rude
  11. On the Clock (Snook Sessions) (I have no good recordings of this yet, but I think it has potential)
  12. Backhand (short and not so sweet?)
  13. Death's Business
  14. Experience (dedicated to at least one bastard out there!)
  15. Domino Head (I do believe the tempo's a bit messed up, but I still like it)
  16. Storyteller
  17. Fall on Death
  18. Token (possibly the first song I ever wrote? Definitely the first I ever shared with anyone)
  19. Ten Times Ten (Billy and WAG) (my first ever collaboration, so very exciting! This Billy guy seriously made my song sound amazing!)

And okay, maybe some bonus tracks (some of my favourite covers):
  1. Real Love (Smashing Pumpkins cover)
  2. Darkangel (Gabriel) (VNV Nation cover)
  3. Scientific (the Government cover) - these guys are my friends and I used to go see their band live all the time. There aren't any recordings of their version of the song, as far as I know, and I really wanted to preserve it on 'tape')
P.S. NaNo word count = 57,331.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cover art

I was telling another blogger the other day that, until I started this blog and got around to exploring the writer blogger corners of the blogosphere, I really had no idea that cover art was such a big deal. I guess I just took it for granted that I was attracted to pretty shiny book covers. Well, sometimes I prefer them not shiny, to be honest. Point is, it's nothing I ever thought about. I still don't think about it much, which is odd. I have, however, made my own cover art. Mostly for my music.

Above is one example. An album full of my earliest songs, so very dodgy to listen to now in hindsight. The album was titled SOUR because I threw all the songs I wasn't that fond of (or that I never did "proper" recordings of) on it. They had to have somewhere to go, after all! They, along with my other music, can be found here for free download. But anyway...I just wanted to talk about cover art and how I've done some, but mostly not for my books.

P.S. NaNo word count is 54,302. I'm off to a somewhat shaky start with VICTORIOUS.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hello Day 16!

There I am at the beach, with my broken iPod touch and my pink Toyota hat (it came with my Yaris, wheee!). Also, my pink headphones (they're the kind you can change the covers on, so I have a black and a white pair of coverings too). And you can see my wondrously ordinary camera in the reflection too.

Anyway... Today is the day I begin writing VICTORIOUS (yesterday I reached 50k in DANNA, and yes that is a working title...they both are). I have a page of notes for VICTORIOUS and that's about it. Part of me feels really tired, and yet I'm also excited! This is gonna be a good one. And my first real attempt at a sci-fi/fantasy crossover. Wheee!

I'm feeling good today. Happy! And I like it!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 14 ends, and my keyboard gives me crap

My laptop's keyboard is being MIGHTILY ANNOYING tonight. It's making most things rather difficult to type. It's doing this thing where it highlights text and deletes it and the arrow keys are on the fritz and it's all just annoying! Suffice it to say that writing my last few thousand words was a big pain in the butt. But I got there and I'm now sitting on 48,626 words.

I'm calling it a day (or rather, a night) and will get the last 1,374 words written tomorrow during lunch hour.
And if I don't get them entirely written then, I will finish them off after work, before heading off to dinner out. After that it will be Day 16, and time to start on novel number two, tentatively titled VICTORIOUS.

I must say, this is the first year in a while that I'm rather eager for NaNo to be over, in fact I'm almost dying for it to be over. I want my afternoons and evenings entirely free from commitment so I can do as I please, as my whimsy takes me, as I most heartily desire. But until November ends, that ain't gonna happen. Pity I keep finding new ways to occupy my time that don't involve writing. Not ideal at a time when you're trying to write 2 novels in 30 days. But oh well, it happens I guess.

Hope everyone else is going well with their goals, NaNo-inspired or otherwise! Thank you for all the blog visits lately. I have been working on reciprocating but if I haven't got to you yet, never fear - I will!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

[Day 13] 43,822

I wouldn't say no to eating this right now:

But alas, there is none!

Instead I'll report on my NaNo progress for the day. I was so sure I wasn't going to make it to my goal. I had many moments of staring at the screen feeling utterly devoid of inspiration - for anything, much less writing 3,333k in words. But I got there, and now my word count stands at 43,822.

I have a lot of commenting favours to return, and I will do that I swear. For now, I am exhausted from all the cocktails I drank this weekend, and must succumb to my intense desire to just stare at a wall drooling. Good night world!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

And a 40,106 for Day 12

That's the book I'm reading right now. It's one of those I bought from a book sale at the university where I work. I must've got it on sale for $5 or something. For the record, it's a tiny book, as in small format and compact and cute. Which is why it makes me SO MAD that it's officially for sale from its publisher's site at $27.95!!! Books are so ridiculously expensive in this country that it makes me utterly boiling mad.

But let's talk about NaNo. I feel the need to take this NaNo thing one day at a time! When I think about the fact that I'm not even halfway through, that I have an entire new story to start (one that I am going to love, though, so I'm not complaining) I feel a little bewildered. I also haven't done this week's Chrysalis story yet. But to be honest, I'm trying to ignore that!

Friday, 11 November 2011

33,700 or something

Oh my! I forgot to post yesterday. I have failed NoJoMo! But at least it wasn't an official goal. ;) My word count in Scrivener is something like 33,700. Over the count I had to get to, anyway. In Word it's 33,533. I think that is still over the required count. Right now, my writing sessions feel like pretty hard slogs. This weekend is kind of full too, so I'm going to have a hard time getting any momentum. But I'll do what I can, even if it's the bare minimum, and be happy with that.

I didn't mention this yet, but I decided to add Mack's point of view to the story. So there are sections from his point of view, as well as from Danna's. It's kind of cool. His sections tend to be much shorter than hers, which in my experience can be quite typical of boys vs. girls. I think it fits.

Anyway...hope everyone's going well with NaNo and other assorted projects! I have yet to write this week's Chrysalis story. Yikes. Oh, and P.S. That picture above is another from the Fremantle Monument. I shared some pics from there a while back in this post, on another stormy day.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

30,727 for Day 9

Yep, 30,727 is the current word count. I'm 727 words ahead of my goal as of 7:58pm. I may or may not write more this evening. If I get another burst of energy, I will. But considering how exhausted I've been this and last week, I might just take it easy and eat some more Snakes and watch some more NCIS.

Maybe I won't eat more Snakes. Maybe I'll have ice cream. These are the big decisions. So much pressure. ARGH!! Got any advice?

What would you choose? a) Snakes Alive, or b) vanilla ice cream with Ice Magic and slivered almonds?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Day 8

I shall not fail in the posting every day-ing-ness! That's why I'm here with my eyeballs about to fall out of my head with tiredness! Just for fun, I thought I would share a relatively short extract from my NaNo work so far. It's unpolished, it's a rough's NaNo. I know I don't need to explain to any of you! But with all the above in mind, here it is:
My mouth has fallen open.
“Careful, don’t wanna catch flies,” Mack tells me as he settles in the seat diagonally opposite me.
“Melinda’s meat.”
He’s still wearing his sunglasses, so I can’t see the look in his eyes. I can imagine it, though. Especially with the sudden furrow I see appear on his brow. It smoothes quickly and I see his eyebrows quirk upward. I get the distinct impression he just rolled his eyes.
“That her name?” he asks idly.
We stare at each other, or at least I stare at him. I can’t tell what he’s staring at. “You do know the sun’s gone down, right?”
“Cheers for the tip.”
That’s all he says before turning to stare out the window on his side. I watch him a moment more, dying to comment on the baseball cap. Then I resume my own survey of the urban countryside.

My word count is 28,276. Tonight I didn't get much done, probably 1500 words? I suck at maths, but basically if you took last night's word count away from this night's, you'd get the difference. And on that note, I need to go and sleep or something terrible may happen (I might fall asleep while typing, for e.g.).

Hope you are all great!! And thanks for all the blog visits!!

P.S. New Chrysalis prompt story must be written. Oh gawd!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Crap, but I'm okay with that

Doesn't quite rhyme, but I'll go with it.

Tonight's writing session got me to 26,696. I've written tomorrow night's quota, which is good since I may not get any writing time at all tomorrow. I might actually take my laptop to work with me so I can get some writing done at lunchtime. Or...I might not. Depends on the mood. But to explain this blog entry's title, I'll say that quite often this stuff I'm writing is crap. There are odd moments of un-crapness, but for the most part I'm writing for the words, not the genius. But I'm not worried. After all, what is revision for if not de-crapifying our writing?

In other news, I finished reading that Jackie Collins book. You can read my review here. You may be shocked by how unscathing the review is, all things considered! I know I was. Anyway, now I am reading this:

Sunday, 6 November 2011

100,000 - 23,482 = 76,518...right?

Day 6 of NaNo is over, and I've written 23,482 words. I'm pretty sure I've written tomorrow's quota already (unless I am making a horrible mistake and my computer's in-built calculator is lying to my FACE!). It's good to have a buffer, but by no means do I feel comfortable just yet. After all, I have another 76,518 words to write in November!

Above is a picture of one of our beaches here in Perth (actually, South Beach in Fremantle), which I took a couple of days ago. Pretty, huh?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

NaNo-Chrysalis crossover

So, Day 5 of NaNoWriMo draws to a close and I've got a word count of 18,038. The number I needed to reach today was 16,666.6 recurring until it gets to 7. As in, 16,666.6666666666667. I think. Or maybe I put one too many 6s in there. Either way, it was something like that, at least according to my Mac's in-built calculator. I've decided to go with that!

I also wrote about 1200 words for the Chrysalis Experiment today, hence the inclusion of the icon above. I wrote it using my novel's characters, and I may be able to use it towards my NaNo word count eventually. For now, it's set aside as a little 'vignette'.

In other news, I enjoyed a post-Halloween Halloween party this evening with some great friends. Haven't had that much fun on Halloween in a long time!

Anyway...may all your Day 5s end on positive notes as mine did, and may each of you glimpse a fluffy bunny or two ('cause man they're cute!).

Friday, 4 November 2011

Day 4 at an end...thank gosh for that!

13,372 words

I don't need to say more than that, do I? But I will. Just a little, don't fret!

It's bedtime and I am in dire need of a good sleep. I was tempted to give up a little bit ago but I decided to stick with it until 10:30 to try and make my goal word count. It's currently 10:21 so I'd consider that a goal well met.

Now...sleeeeeep. (Man, whatever happened to the old rock 'n roller I used to be? Being out till 5am was never a big deal back then!)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Day #3 is done!

Tiny picture for a tiny blog post! And may I just say that when technology fails me, I get MAD. But moving on from that nice blog entry I had already written and then lost...! Day 3 of NaNo is over and I've written 9,453 words. Once again I've fallen behind with my required word count. Last year I averaged 5k a day until the first weekend hit. I should have had 10k exactly by the end of tonight. But I'm not too worried. I'll catch up.

As for the story itself...? My female MC has run away with me, insisting on becoming more sarcastic and 'witty' than I had planned. Not sure she will get her way in the long run, 'cause she's meant to be more dreamy and spaced out than that. But I guess we'll see. Male MC is coming along nicely. Rude and obnoxious, but showing his courteous side now and then (though in such a rude and obnoxious way that nobody recognises it as courtesy). I have to play up his 'lady's man' angle a bit. But now I'm wondering if I do, after all. Sigh. Best laid plans and all that...

OMG. This blog post is NOT tiny anymore. But I can make it at least no more gargantuan by finishing here and bidding you all good night! Sweet dreams of NaNo victory to all of you who are participating! And sweet dreams of other things to the rest of you!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

NaNo Day Dos

Just a quick note to say...argh, it's past bedtime, but Day 2 of NaNo is over and I'm pleased to say I got a little more on track this evening (while still allowing for at least a dash of that procrastination which any sane writer person has to indulge in to survive November. Hey, wait...did I say sane?!).

So my current word count is 6,349. To complete 50k in 15 days I need to write 3,333.3 recurring each day. So as of tonight I am ahead of schedule! Entirely satisfied with that, I can say!

I hope everyone is having a great November so far! Catch you at the end of Day 3, people!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

National Novel Writing 1

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo is done for me and I've written 2,148 words. Not what I was aiming for, but not too bad either. My actual aim is to write double the usual required amount, since, you know, I'm writing 2 novels this time. Last year I was averaging 5k a day for the first 6 days or something. I can do it...I think I'm just taking more care this time than I did last time.

I have been guilty already of deleting sentences, paragraphs, etc., so I can rewrite them. My usual style is to just write, consequences be damned (consequences being "oh my gosh that sentence SUUUCCCKKKED!"). But I've suffered a fair bit of trouble in revisions lately because of that WTF-ever attitude, and so maybe I'm trying to reduce what pain I must suffer with these novels in future revisions. I can't let it hamper my chances of achieving my NaNo goal, though! That is the bottom line.

NoJoMo also starts today: November Journalling Month. And while this isn't a journal, per se, I've opted to do NoJoMo here anyway. Just for the heck of it. Why not make things even more crazy 'round here?! And speaking of crazy, I have another Chrysalis story to write. Prompt forty-four, folks!! We're so near the end I can taste it! But what a busy month this will be.

P.S. This month we will see 11/11/11, and at 11:11am (and pm for that matter) we will see 11:11 on 11/11/11. What can I say, I get a kick out of this stuff!