Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Bits and Bobbles

I’ve meaning to post about my Nano adventures sooner, but I found myself strangely relucant to admit abject FAILURE. It seems that Nanowrimo and Rachel’s Muse just don’t get along. I mean, the incentive to write daily is good, but the pressure to write so much every day is–not so good. I don’t do well with pressure; it ends up feeling like a chore, and I start to resent the whole business, including especially the Muse and the Idea itself. No, I don’t think Nano sits well with me.

So. Why am I blogging that today instead of yesterday or tomorrow? Two reasons:

Reason the First: Novemeber had become a giant albatross around my neck and I wanted it to go far, far away, and

Reason the Second: The Rejectionist announced an UNCONTEST for today, to post pre-resolutions to try out before the New Years. It seemed a good reason to blog on this day instead of another.

So without further ado, my PRESOLUTIONS!

1. Exercize more: Stop wasting money paying for a gym I never use, and start USING IT. Three times a week really isn’t too much to ask. SWIMMING!! BIKING!! ZUMBA!! Exercise is good for us.

2. Date more: Stop dinking around. Be bold! Be brave! Be brash! What’s another rejection at this point? Obviously its not gonna kill me. GO!

3. Blog more: It doesn’t have to be much. A paragraph isn’t that hard to do. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. Some of my more genius posts are actually quite inane.It doesn’t even have to make sense. Just get shit off my chest and update this place once or twice a week. That’s not hard! BLOG!

4. Write and Design more: Do I really want to waste three hours a day on the interwebs for the rest of my life? No, not really. Work everyday, a little or a lot, as long as it is daily. How hard can that be? What,”Nanowrimo”? I don’t know what you’re talking about. CREATE!

5. Save more money: Right? RIGHT!

Okay, that is all. Toots!

NaNoWriMo: Day 5 Updates, or All Work and No Sweets Makes Rachel a Very Sad Monkey

So, it is day 5 of Nanowrimo.  I am making slow progress. I am enjoying my book very much so far, but writing in deep point of view (DPOV) is mentally draining and it is very hard to make my daily quota of 1667 words.  My best output so far was for yesterday, at 1449 words.  I am beginning to think that my concept of a novel that is mostly in DPOV may be a bit too complicated and intensive for the high-speed marathon dash of Nano.

But I have realized something very important about my writing muse, which goes a long way to explaining why I have not had any luck in progressing on my previous WIPs.  It seems that I actually prefer to write in DPOV, and my older WIPs have all been plot-centered, focused on my characters doing, doing, doing, and going, going, going, but hardly anything at all  of what they think, feel, or sense.  It seems I need DPOV in order to maintain my motivation and interest.

The other issue I have with this WIP is the fact that every new chapter brings a new character and a new POV.  Which means I have to start from the beginning again, conceptualizing, plotting, and developing the character’s voice, motivations, and actions.  It takes time to get grounded in a new character, but once I manage to get in his or her head, it takes off.   And once I take off, I can write some pretty damn inspired stuff.   Let me share with you one passage I am particulary proud of:

Carolyn wiped her eyes of the tears that welled up at the memory of his words inside her.  She let her hair fall forward, a screen against the sight of him.  She kept her head down and scribbled into her notepad.
His voice stopped and someone else’s voice asked him some question she did not hear. She looked up, her silver pen heavy and thick in her fingers. Would he drink now? Oh please, let it be now. She wiped her sleeve on her forehead. Sweat soaked her hair. Hope and fear sank like the Titanic into her stomach, crashing and burning inside a sea of bile.

I am cooking pumpkin bread in the oven, and after I write a new batch of 1000 words, I will make chocolate chip cookies.  In the meantime, I am avoiding my word processor.  LET ME SHOW YOU A NEW WEBSITE I FOUND THE OTHER DAY!

It’s called “Merit Badger” where you can collect merit badges for all your accomplishments. Well-designed merit badges!  Here are some merit badges I collected today:

(You may click on the badges to be directed to the source page for descriptions.)

For doing Nano!





For getting 5,000 words squeezed out of my pulpy head!





For getting into the FLOW yesterday!

(Click the badge for a description of what FLOW means)




Because I’m so damn distractable–OOH LOOK SHINY NEW BADGES!!


What was I saying?



Go get your badges from the Merit Badger NOW.

NaNoWriMo! About “Tweed”

I’d doing NaNoWriMo this year! I did it in 2008 and I’m trying again.

Last time I wrote a sword and sorcery fantasy which I have been in the process of revising and rewriting. This year, I am exploring the darker side of humanity; What is Evil? What makes otherwise civilized people into monsters? What happens when anger, hate, fear take control over our thoughts? And how do all our relationships play a part in the battle for good and evil within ourselves?

This book was inspired by the results of a writing exercize I did in 2008, called “Jack Ripkin”, which I posted here.

I am going far outside my typical genre with this one. It is not a fantasy, but more like an experimental crime noir type literary fiction. I am calling it TWEED, after the central prop or “mcguffin” that ties the lives of my many characters together; a old brown tweed coat, which the above character, Jack, stole. Every chapter will be in deep point of view as it moves back through time through the minds of each doomed character coming into possession of the coat. How did it come to be, and why is it cursed?

I started it on Monday after work and wrote 700 words about Victor, who had just killed his wife. I finished a rough draft of the chapter yesterday, sweating out 1243 words. It is a dark and disturbing chapter, deep in the mind of a dark and disturbed mind, but I found it strangely compelling–if difficult–to write.

I am a day behind in daily quota, but after I publish this post, I start on Carolyn’s–Victor’s wife–story. What madness is in her heart, I wonder? Who will she inherit the coat from?

I’ll be keeping this site updated as I progress! Watch for the monkey!

Lots of Numbers Here

Good god, I can’t believe its frickin November already. 60 days away from frickin 2010. 35 months away from the frickin Apocalypse. Speaking of which, has anyone seen that movie, 2012, yet? Is it really as goddamned stupid as it looks? I really wish hollywood would stop trying to cover up crappy scripts, shitty acting, and stinky concepts with frickin melodramatic special effects. Go back to good scripts, good stories, and good acting, I say! Let the special effects enhance the movie, not BE the fucking movie. Don’t let the razzle-dazzle bring attention to itself. Case in point: Star Wars Prequels vs Lord of the Rings. Transformers vs Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Am I the only friggin person who feels this way?

I digress.

Its Novemeber, will ye, nill ye, and the month of NaNoWriMo has begun (yesterday at midnight to be precise). I did it last year, and had intended to do it again this year, but shortly after Nano 08 ended, things with my ex went downhill fucking fast, and a major creative/writer’s block took root in my head. I’ve only just begun to get past that block, and don’t feel up to pursuing that monumental task of writing a book in 30 days. So instead of 1669 words a day, I am aiming for 100 a day. By November 30, I should have around 3000 words, or 12 pages, which is a short story. This is in addition to my regular blogging practice, of course.

So, with that in mind, back to writing! I’ve got 100 words to milk out of my dried up mental titty.

I did it.

Well, I did it. Didn’t think I could do it, at the end, but I put my butt in high gear and pulled a lot of words out my ass and put them in my document. So I made it past the 50 thousand word goal.

And the damn thing isnt finished yet. Theres still a lot of writing I have yet to do if I want to make this half-complete rough draft into a workable first draft, and from there a real live manuscript.

I couldnt have done it without the advice and encouragement of my sister, Jen, and my two writerly friends, Ian and Allie. Thanks guys!

Now I am catching up on all my reading, and hope to be a more dedicated blogger forthwith.

More Blogger Issues

  • It has come to my attention (thanks franki!) that no one was able to comment for some reason. Seems the embedded comment feature is buggy, methinks. I disabled it, and tested it out, and it seems to be working fine again.

  • I still can’t comment on other Blogspot blogs, as the new format is incompatible with my phone. I can only comment via my computer now. You’ll see my comments sporadically during the rest of the month, since all my free time is in writing for that damn Nanowrimo.

Obama is the Prez!

  • Nano: I didn’t write anything yesterday because
    a) I didn’t wake up early enough.
    b) When I did wake up, we went straight to the polls.
    c) It was really, really busy at work; sometimes job security really sucks.
    And d) At the end of the day, I was just too wound up about the election to even begin thinking about writing!
  • Elections: Barak Obama is our President-Elect! By a decisive margin! I am overwhelmed with the quivers, my friends. I watched McCain deliver his concession speech, and I thought he looked releived, not disappointed or angry. Not at all like he has looked in the past few months. I get the impression that grumpy old coot knew it was a lost cause the whole time, and was grumpy because he had to maintain the farce. Probably all he wanted was to go home to Arizona and eat his tapioca pudding.
  • Election Issues: Gay Marriage
    Connecticut sucessfully shot down a measure that would have made it possible to convene on the possibility of banning gay marriage. Kudos to my fellow citizens!

    However, it seems voters in California have passed their own: Proposition 8. To which I can only say: good job devaluing relationships you know nothing about, and of which you have no right to judge. “But we must preserve the sanctity of marriage! Its a sacred institution!” I hear them whine. Well, so what? If marriage is indeed a sacred institution, then it is the province of religion and thus of the Church, not of the State, and our government should not be dipping its fingers in the marriage pot.

    If marriage is a sacred covenant between two lovers and God, then no married individual should be accorded benefits from the State that are denied to other individuals, on the basis of that status alone. No tax breaks. No property and estate allocation laws. No shared health insurance, no pensions or assisstance for survivors of a deceased spouse. No divorces settled in civil courts.

    Unless there is a strong secular rationale for prohibiting gay and lesbian unions, the government, and the people upon which it derives its authority, have absolutely no compelling reason to legislate any sort of marriage at all.

  • Flu shots: I haz em, today.

Nano update and Voting

  • Nano is going well. I’m right on target and enjoying myself. The process is not as hard as I had anticipated but it IS work. I also find it amazing that before I started there were so many problems and details that needed working on that I was wondering if I would even be able to write at all–but now that I’ve started regardless, solutions to those problems manifest themselves to me. It still amazes me, even after al thse years, how self-revelatory the creative process is, and how effortless and natural it is. And it amazes me also how quickly I forget that fact, moving from one project to another.

    its as if, in the face of some grand vision, I believe I am too inadequate to bring it to life. and in a way it is true, but it is true of all artists of every stripe, and it doesn’t stop them and it shouldn’t stop me.

  • I voted! Brian literally dragged me out of bed (I asked him to) at 5 am, and we walked over to the polling center, which is right next door to us. There was already a line queuing up, and by 6 am, just before the doors opened, the line was already a blocka and a half long, the air fogging up from so many mouths breathing steam. Parking was impossible, and Brian and I congratulated ourselves for choosing not to drive.

    Naturally, I voted for Obama, and pretty much straight-ticketed for Democrat, with the lone exception of one Greenie for local office. Yes, I am quite liberal, and not ashamed of it. I will be on pins and needles all day, until the results of this election are announced.

    As much as I love voting–I love the whole social aspect of it–I hate waiting until midnight before the results are announced!

Now back to working, and writing!

Nanowrimo begins!

It is now November first, and that international month of literary torture known as nanowrimo has begun. I, fool that I be, have volunteered to sacrifice my time and sanity by participating in this most masochistic of endeavors.

Today, and in the 29 that follow, I must crank out an average of 1667 words a day to meet the game’s requirement for a 50,000 word novel. Below my goofy face in the sidebar, you will see a nifty little doodad called a word counter. You can keep track of my progress there, and if you are so inclined, praise my successes and mock my failures.

maybe I’ll even have time to do a little blogging here and there. Too bad blogging doesn’t count in the nano book-writing marathon.


The goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words (apprx. 250 pages) in 30 days. That translates to 1678 words, or 7 pages a day.

It took me 2 days to write Jack Ripkin. Jack has 1164 words or 4 pages.

In order to win Nano, I must double my output in half the time…holy fuck, what have I got myself into?