Posted in anxiety, creativity, disability, grief, individuality, nanowrimo, writing

11/15: Whooooaaa, We’re Halfway There… #nanowrimo

It’s the evening of the 15th. November, and thus NaNoWriMo, is half over.

I’m not.

Now, I’m not super worried. Granted I have a lot of other things on my plate as well, but this is also not out of the ordinary for me. I’m sitting at just under 11,500 words. Out of 50,000. Back in 2006, I was in the same position. I woke up on the 16th with only 11,500 words. I’ll write more tonight so I’ll be past that, but still, this is the precedent. This, as crazy as it seems, is normal. I’ve only ever finished before the 30th twice in the 12 years I’ve finished. Twice. 2005 and … a few years ago. I can’t remember which one. Probably 2012 or 2013. I gave myself a reward to aim for if I finished before the 30th: treating myself to a movie. I finished on the 29th.

2005 was my first year. I was living in Chicago, unemployed and bored. I finally remembered NaNoWriMo before it was over (in October, before it started), signed up and off I went writing a comic fantasy that has yet to be completed or edited to any reasonable degree. I finished on the 27th or 28th that year. I’m usually at less than 25K by this point in the month. It’s when the 16th rolls around that things start clicking and I get lots of words down.

Things started to pick up last night. Especially with the YA story. The cats tale is being shy. Mausi is stalled and going much slower. But this is how it is when you’re rebelling and are working on three stories instead of one longer one. Jumping back and forth between tales is challenging (especially when one is strictly 1st person, the second is 3rd person limited, and the third one is 3rd omniscient), but where one may pull out ahead (the YA tale) and the others trail, at some point, the YA tale may pause and one of the other two will jump in and keep me going.

Of my roughest years, 2006 and then 2009 and 2014 rank high. In 2006, I charged along and woke up the final day to needing 11,500 to get to 50K. Yes, the year I had a mere 11,500 in the first half of the month. I did it. I hit 50K that evening. In 2009, after swearing up, down, backwards, forwards and blindfolded that I’d never had a repeat of 2006, I woke up on the final day to needing 16,000 words. Oof!

But I did it.

In 2014, my dad passed away early in the month, so my mind was on a million things at once. I knew he wouldn’t want me to stop, so I didn’t. I remember reaching 25K on Thanksgiving, with a week remaining. I struggled to tell the story. It didn’t help that right around 25K, the tale I was telling stopped cold. I took a step back, walked around the house I grew up in (that’s the week I was down there), and remembered an idea I’d had about that series: having one book tell the intertwined back stories of the founders of the Sanctuary. I’d already started with one. So I wrote down names of the other elders and started telling each of their histories. Eventually, I’m going to intertwine them and tell the founding of the Sanctuary chronologically. That will be a massive undertaking.

I have days where I get 300 words and others where I get 2000+.

Now the pressure is on. I know I can do this. There is no “I give up” button.

Watch this space for updates.

~A

PS: I did way too much walking yesterday and have been down for the count today. My back was none too happy with me this morning. Sciatica radiating down from my hip to my knee.

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Posted in activism, bugaboos, disability, faith, life, nanowrimo, Personal, society, writing

11/4: Writing and Respect

I hit 2500 words last night and then had another task today, which took up a chunk of my afternoon. So I’ll write this evening and then tomorrow.

On my way home on the bus, I noticed things. The more I’m on public transit, the more I see both good and bad behaviors. One dude wearing a camo jacket and had camo on his backpack (and a trucker hat… with a trucking company name on it) sat across from me and was entirely too guilty of “manspreading.” And I really wish he hadn’t. There was a hole in the crotch of his filthy jeans… not big enough to know what color his undies were, but noticeable. Which is bad enough.

Then two examples of people wanting to get on the bus not waiting for people to get off the bus. The first time was when I arrived at my destination and these two kids just got on and even after I said ‘Excuse me,” loud enough, still stood there like they had zero clue. It wasn’t until the adult in the group (mom or aunt, I presume) who was still outside on the sidewalk spoke up and told them to get off the bus and let me get off. Because of being disabled and having my wheeled crate with me, the front door is best.

Then, on the way home, two ‘kids’ in their early 20’s or so didn’t bother waiting for an elderly woman to get off the bus. The only difference was that no one, not even the driver, told them to wait. Most drivers will hold up their hand and tell boarding riders to wait because someone was exiting. This driver was younger and female and had a new setup with a plexi-glass barrier up (that can unlatch and swing open for her to get up) for her protection. Maybe she’s fairly new, or she is concerned about getting any riders upset, but she said nothing. These two just pushed past the older woman.

This brings me to a bugaboo I have: lack of respect. I’ve seen, and dealt with a lot more of this on public transit recently. I use a cane and I still am expected to ask for a seat in the priority seating area for elderly and disabled riders. None of us should have to ask. The signs are actually pretty damn obvious. A couple days ago, a fellow disabled rider had to tell a woman who purposely turned away to ignore that someone else with a cane (me) needed the seat she was in. The older woman said I needed the seat. She reluctantly moved. We chatted and she said she recently watched as someone requested that an able-bodied person move so the disabled person could sit in the area designated for us, and the guy sitting there refused to move. Another guy, who was disabled, told the reluctant guy that he was required to move for people like us. He still refused. I can’t remember what she said ultimately happened, but man…

We. Should. NOT. Have. To. Ask.

It’s called respect. Try it sometime.

Sadly, I’ve seen a decline in it in recent months, even in the last few years. I do my best to respect others. But it’s a two-way street, ladies and gents and everyone else. If you want my respect, you gotta earn it. You are NOT entitled to it. Shit, you aren’t entitled to anything other than being able to breathe… and equal rights. I don’t give a shit who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living, etc. If you treat others like shit, expect that in return. You are owed nothing. Want respect? Be worthy of respect.

I believe that every person who makes it to adulthood has earned a basic amount of respect… say 5 points. You can lose some of those points by being an absolute asshole to people… or you do massively evil things. But I believe we all start adulthood with those 5 points. You want more? Earn them. Do good deeds, be kind to those who maybe aren’t as lucky as you are. Respect those around you, even simply by being polite and kind to them. Let them off the damn bus before you board. It isn’t difficult to do. It just takes a few extra seconds and a little patience.

Practice kindness and respect. You’ll earn them tenfold in return.

~A

Posted in cats, creativity, dreams, family, grad school, life, nanowrimo, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, writing

11/3: NaNoWriMo: WTF am I doing??

Yeah… three shorter tales. Below is what I put on my NNWM profile for this years’ work. Intel Reports may get a title change… potentially DisPATCHES from Earth… but we’ll see. Mausi is the historical piece. I’m expanding upon a short-short I wrote for the Writer’s Games in 2016. I loved the characters… still do. Something about the bond between grandmother and granddaughter. Maybe for me it’s to do with the fact that I never knew my maternal blood grandmother (she died when my mom was young) and barely knew my paternal grandmother (but we had a bond nonetheless… she passed away when I was 6). I find the bond spanning generations to be fascinating and wonderful. What I do remember of my dad’s mom was a woman who loved me and wasn’t afraid to say so. I still miss her 40 years later.

So an “orphaned” young teen trapped on a transport ship with no human contact; feline reports about trying to make contact with humans; and a tale spanning decades and generations. Yup… I have my hands full. Plus school and everything else.

******

In Between (YA SF): Trapped on a transport ship, Leyna is now a young teen, having grown from infancy unwanted back on Earth due to reasons she doesn’t understand, and is unsure of why the destination colony hasn’t accepted their ship. While the older passengers have been in stasis, she was saved from death and sent to the colony. During her time in a specialized stasis chamber that allowed her to grow and thus learn by subconscious transmission, she has come to understand that she is “different” and the colony is little more than a fancy prison.

As she reaches the age of 13, she is able to leave the chamber and learn more about the ship and her fellow passengers. What she learns and what she realizes about herself forces her to make decisions that could cost her her life, and those of her fellow passengers.

*************************************

Intel Reports (Comic SF. in progress name): We all know it. Cats are smart. Little do humans know, but they’re really an alien race that has sent several intel operatives to figure out if humans are ready to handle becoming part of the Universal Consortium.

One problem: They can’t seem to communicate with the Felines. A few manage to get close, but their sentences are gibberish. This Tail of Time is made of reports from operatives throughout time. From the Egyptians to modern humans in the 21st Century. Reports from the Front Lines of First Contact.

***************************************

Mausi (Historical Fiction): Mausi is the nickname for 10 year old Anelie Scheer, but only her grandmother, Annika “Oma” Siegel is allowed to call her that. It’s the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a wall that separated Oma from her beloved husband, Erich, after the end of WWII. The rumors of the wall coming down bring Annika to reminisce about her marriage and the hope of Erich still being alive. She wonders if he remembers her.

**************************************

~A

Posted in crowdfunding, nanowrimo, writing

#NaNoWriMo winner & #crowdfunding

I had to write a shade under 15K today to finish. I did it. Dad is probably up in heaven thinking his baby girl has gone completely off her rocker, but I know he is probably also proud as all get out.

Now to figure out paying rent and all that stuff. SHARE THIS POST!!!!

rent: 750

storage: normally 200 a month, but I’m behind on November so fees and stuff will double (add December rent and fees)….

I would write a lot more, but I’ve written damn near 15K today…. I think I’m worded out for the night.

~Dragon out…. cold…zzzzzzzzzz

Posted in crowdfunding, dragon, eviction, nanowrimo, Personal, writing

At 32K #nanowrimo #crowdfunding

I want to pass 35K and get close to 40K tonight…. then finish it off tomorrow.

I got more milk for my coffee (I do instant espresso straight into milk with some sugar…. so good), so I’m ready for tomorrow’s marathon. I have no appointments tomorrow.

Halfway to 33K at this exact moment. My biggest single day was the final day of 2009 with 16K. Started at 34K and verified my count a few minutes before midnight. I do NOT wish to repeat that insanity. So I will head back to my writing and try to get closer to 40K tonight.

I’m also resurrecting my GFM. I have about $94 bucks coming to me from a website build on Sunday. But that won’t cover storage or rent. I’m behind on storage and need to be able to do both storage and rent for December.

If I could downsize my storage, I would, but there is little in between what I had before and what I have now, and really very little that can be tossed/shredded. Still looking for work as well… but JJ and ML helped immensely with some brutal but good insight on my resume and letter. Now to implement it.

Posted in dragon, music, nanowrimo, Personal, writing

11/28: I can do the thing… #nanowrimo

I’m at 28K. I know…. I’m crazy. But I think we established that a LONG time ago.

I had my first session of speech therapy today. I did really well… it brought back a lot of my old voice training for singing and theatre. Now I’m yawning like mad and I’m not THAT tired…. it’s a matter of retraining me to use my “head voice” or what they call “forward voice” or something like that, in every day speaking. I have exercises to do every day.

So, as I  said, I’m at 28K…. I’ll do my best to hit 30K, or at least get damn close, tonight.

I just need to stop yawning, dammit.

~Dragon

Posted in crowdfunding, dragon, family, nanowrimo, Personal, writing

Sunday! GAAAHHHH!!! #nanowrimo #crowdfunding #dad

Well, I was going to spend my day leisurely writing a few thousand words…. and then I got hired for a website via Taskrabbit. And I did a little too good of a job medicating myself last night to get sleep…. groggy as all fuck at 6am to feed the cats (seriously, I keep coming very close to running into doors and things), then woke again around 10:30am… and zonked out again… waking up around 2pm. My connection was acting up, the current main computer almost got flying lessons, and I finally got the website up, running, connected to things it needed to be connected to, and now, coming dangerously close to my normal bedtime, I intend to get some writing done. While I doubt I’ll get anything more than maybe 1-2K, I will do my best. The closer I get to 30K, the easier things will be.


I’d like to note that today would have been my father’s 90th birthday today. I miss him. He was my cheerleader, my rock, my…. my daddy. I was his baby girl to the very end. The image attached to this post is the flag I received via the mortuary. I still have been unable to get his or my mother’s ashes so I can start the process of having them placed in a military cemetery. Dad was a WWII vet. He earned a place there along with mom’s ashes.


Back to getting at least a few words down…. no giving up!!!

~Dragon (who still needs help financially with stuff…. any help will do)

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, nanowrimo, Personal, writing

Day 26 of my 12th year of #NaNoWriMo

Don’t ask why I’m starting so late in the day…. my body has created this terrible habit of not getting the needed restorative sleep during the night, so when I go to feed the Feline Overlords at 6am, I’m dragging my sorry ass out of bed, trying to not run into walls and step on things that can make my skin bleed. The best I am able to do at that hour is feed them, take a vitamin if I don’t trip on something, and then crawl back to bed.

I’ve been up a couple of hours now, have perused my FB feed, started to check email, had coffee and something resembling food. The music is playing, we’ve had someone try to use their key in my front door before realizing they were on the wrong damn floor. Mind you, I’ve done this myself, but I stopped before the key part. I always have some kind of sign hanging on my door. I looked up at the door and noticed it wasn’t there, then checked the apartment number. Wrong floor. This time, with neighbor doing it, they scared Portia, who happened to be IN my arms getting snuggles. Unlike her her older sister, she left no claw marks. If it had been her sister, I would be nursing several scratch marks right now instead of writing this.

So I start the day a smidge over 20K in words with five days remaining, including today. The site says I need roughly 6000 words per day each of the remaining five days to make goal. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this is doable. Monday and Tuesday have appointments in the afternoon, but beyond that, I should be fine.

Unless the heartless bastards at the electric company decide to cut my power before the 30th. One of the joys of being perpetually unemployed. Bills get behind. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated…

~Dragon Writer

Posted in crowdfunding, nanowrimo, Personal, writing

#nanowrimo 20187 total to end 11/25

I guess I’ve always been a bit masochistic with doing NaNoWriMo. I leave things to the very last minute. The goal, for those who don’t know, is to write a 50K word novella in 30 days, the month of November. I am behind, but being the insane person I am and a history of having some massive days such as the final day of 2009 where I had 16K to write in one day…

…and did it!

Doing 5k each day for the remainder of the month could be worse. The remaining days of this weekend will be crucial, as I have appointments Monday and Tuesday, which will suck some of my time and energy.

But I will do this.

~Stubborn Dragon is Stubborn as all Hell

PS: I do need financial help to cover storage, electric, cat food, and next months’ rent…. any help is appreciated.

Posted in genealogy, history, nanowrimo, writing

#nanowrimo 18K and counting

It isn’t even 7:30 here yet, so I’m pretty sure 20K is within reason for the night.

This story is a little different than my usual. For much of my life, I’ve written Science Fiction and Fantasy. This year is more real world with ghosts and ancestry. I don’t think I’d call it horror, but that tends to be where ghosts end up. It’s a very human tale, though. The tragic circumstances each of the related ghosts ended with in their lives are the cause for the, being stuck with the property. It must change hands within the female bloodlines tracing back to one of my own real life ancestors who was tried, convicted, and hung for being a witch in Connecticut. This was before Salem. I’ve used names, but other than her name and the real trial and death in 1663, everything else is fictional.

I’m enjoying having my modern living MC take the Victorian female ancestor to task for her behavior and how she treats the others. Abby is quite the feminist and she’s getting her PhD in Philosophy…. never mess with an educated feminist when your own Victorian ways haven’t changed because you’re a stubborn pain in the ass who scares and bullies the other ghosts.

This is, more than horror and suspense, a tale of discovery and understanding that personal history can affect us in modern times. To learn from our history, both personal and societal, is vitally important. Something I think not enough of us grasp. And those of us who do are left to watch those who remain ignorant of our history to destroy what we have worked so hard to build.

I have a long way to go with this tale…

~Dragon