NANO NANO and odds and ends


Sorry this is so late.  The Odds and Ends first:

Mom’s term for Odds and ends was useless things.  When you couldn’t find a screw or a bolt or some specialized part you knew you’d left somewhere you looked in the box of the useless things. Digression over.

Frank Flemming has ordered me to put out an urgent request.  Would two gentlemen who commented on his blog: Paul who suggested that he carve Hellbender ont he moon with nukes, and Steven Stolarz either ping me (or him) on facebook or send me an email to my two initials, last name at the thermically enhanced email? You’ll hear something to your benefit.

Second, on the late, an apology because Deep Pink is also now very late.  I — as usual — thought I was being lazy, but it’s “virus, the continuation.”  I slept 10 hours last night, and I REALLY think I’m better.  Why do I keep getting sick… well, I always have low resistance to “strange” viruses, i.e. those that aren’t around much, hence the epic case of con crud I used to get.

For some reason this is the year my fans and friends visit, so it’s been… interesting.  Sometime this month we go to a workshop too.  I hope I’m well before we go.

Now, this is November and therefore Nano. (NaN0WriMo)

The first time I Nanoed (eh) I wrote Darkship Thieves.  Since then I’ve nanoed sometimes not finishing the book, sometimes writing two novels.

I never participate in the forums, just keep count for myself.

This year is a little difficult, because of a week-long conference, but also because I have six short stories due, a couple overdue already.

But I’m going to try.

I’d like to invite/suggest anyone else who is likewise nanoing share excerpts, word count and challenges on our November Sunday posts.  On other posts, too, if you wish, just put NANO at the beginning of the comment.

And now I’m going to shower and do a quick cleaning, so writing can happen.

66 thoughts on “NANO NANO and odds and ends

  1. I should try that one year, but this year I’ve got another commitment that I should be working on first. Next year. Maybe I try writing out that mystery novel idea I had? I think I’d finished the plot arc for it too without any glaring wall-stops in it.

  2. I’m being a rebel this year. (“Rebel” is the technical NaNo term for people who aren’t quite following the rules.) I’m using NaNo to finish my current work in progress. And then I’ll start the next one. I hope.

    I have this plan in full understanding of the fact that NaNo works best for me when I start a new novel on November 1. But that’s not always possible.

      1. You? Not follow the rules?
        Heven forfend!
        The writing will happen when it happens.
        When it does we minions will be here waiting to pick it to pieces.

    1. I’m planning on doing “NaMoWriMo” myself. Get some things out of the queue, at least, whatever they turn out to be.

      Stay well, Sarah! I don’t know how this works, but I always seem to get something right when you do. Prevailing winds, maybe… I’ll take my ten hours of sleep tonight after being the designated driver for a batch of post-Ball Marines.

    2. I already mentioned that I’m doing it. I have good reason to believe I can do it, I’ve produced 65,000 words of nonfiction (a lot of that, outline) in about two weeks, but fiction is a different kind of beast. I’ve tried several times before, but my inner critic shut down my efforts hard. This is going to be an serious exercise in making stuff up (since my natural tendency is to research things to death) and in wild improvisation (since I have trouble coming up with the next step), Enough with the false starts, I need to FINISH this time.

    3. Yeah, I’m rebelling also.

      The thing I was hoping to have plotted in time remains a confusing mess, and RL is a little pressing but has been cooperative recently. So I’m going to push on a couple of nonfiction projects now, and see if I can scrape up some fun time that wants to work out plot for main WIP, or condense vague incoherent ideas into something I can file.

      I’m eventually going to have an outline for WIP, and then I am going to produce it, whether or not it is November,

    4. “Rebel, rebel” is my theme song…

      Besides, either Cedar or Amanda G said that “cheating” during Nanoo nanoo by using it to finish something is not really cheating if you are writing. Which is the whole point.

      So, cheating.

      1. Well, I’m trying to finish a novel this month, but it’s not NaNoWriMo because I will not even try for the wordage. It’s figuring out how to get all the threads tied off. Most plot threads I’ve written thus far in my career.

  3. I really should give it a try this year. Not officially as a registered participant, but as a personal challenge. Ah, rebel, shoe fits. That’s what? Roughly 1600 words a day; or about 10 times longer than my little woodchuck humor for yesterday. IIRC, fan fiction is acceptable, but not publishable unless all the identifiers are filed off first. On the other hand, may start as fan fic and then skew into more original territory. Just pick a spot and start writing!

    1. Neat trick I heard for using fanfic as a launch pad– original characters are just characters from a different fandom, as far as behavior goes.

      So you need a bossy character? Bring in Gibbs!

  4. I’ve always wanted to try NaNoWrMo. I’d try this year if I weren’t spending the first 1/3 of the month trying to blitz through the rest of an Army class. Maybe next year I can take part.

    1. Army classes basically own you until completion. (Hey, you’re essentially military property, right?) No worries, stick to the priorities you already have.

  5. This year I used InkTober as a month of writing prompts, to write to every day. And I did write every day, and used almost every writing prompt.

    On the other hand, my poor brain is demanding I give it a break, not launch into NaNo, and the sheer accumulated mass of household chores to do seems to agree. I may try to keep up writing every day, but it won’t be 50K by month end, I don’t think.

  6. Hmm, nope. Can’t accept this challenge now. I have more than enough stuff I need to do that hasn’t been done yet. Best of luck to you actual writers, I’ll sit on my untapped potential and contemplate a while longer.

  7. I’ve attempted NaNo in years past, but never managed to succeed (either had shift work, which meant no sleep cycle, or grad school, which meant no life).

    This year’s attempt is off to a rather poor start courtesy of an insipid bout of norovirus, but I’m gonna give it a shot nonetheless. Now I just have to decide what plot bunny I’m going to try growing….

    1. I know of at least two cases of people crazy enough to complete graduate school and significant creative writing projects at the same time.

  8. Paul who suggested that he carve Hellbender ont he moon with nukes

    While I applaud his understanding of right action I must nonetheless issue a correction: The proper image to carve into the lunar surface is trollface.jpg.

    1. I’m partial to starting to write “Chairface Chippendale” but getting interrupted after finishing a couple letters.

  9. I’m going to shower and do a quick cleaning, so writing can happen.

    Good – we wouldn’t want you writing anything dirty.

  10. I’ve been planning for MONTHS to do Nano. This was going to be the year I finally WON!!! YEA!!!… Then Halloween rolled around and there is so much work to do, and when I mentioned that today was the first day of Nano, my whole family made that noise they make when they think I’m being a selfish ass. So right or wrong, I can look forward to absolutely NO help (meaning leaving me alone when I’m writing) from that direction, and there IS way too much stuff that needs done around the house right now. So… guess I’m not doing Nano this year.

    Current state: Sad, depressed, feeling stuck (in a way that is highly unusual for me).

    1. I used the “15 minutes a day” idea to get through my dissertation. Now I use the Pomodoro method. 25 minute chunks of time. Then, since I need to move I get up and do a chore. Another 25 minutes writing. Rinse and repeat.

  11. I have always been convinced that NaNo was invented by someone not responsible for doing holidays for their family. Three pies? No, we’ve got company, better add a fourth. Four is enough for eleven people, right? Can I find a big enough turkey at any store in town or do I need two? (Three teen boys and a grad student/assistant prof, and a husband in a very physical job.) Do we do it on Thanksgiving, or is my husband going to work his scheduled 12 hour shift that day, and will we find out before the day before? The diabetic can’t wait til 8 pm for dinner, after all.

    February would make so much more logistical sense. November was picked by someone whose mother/mother-in-law/spouse does Thanksgiving!

    1. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about November. February has the problem that it’s only 28 days, but January might work well. If your New Year’s Resolution is to write more, why not get a jump on it while you’re still feeling motivated.

    2. Yes. Also our family has two birthdays in November. And often a conference or workshop.
      BUT my best year, we had a conference, a workshop, a death in the family and lost a cat…. People are inscrutable.

    3. Probably. OTOH, they also did in the summer, the first year.

      The only warning Chris Baty has in his book is that you want to start on the first of the month and end on its end, for the psychological effect.

    4. Maybe, but it might’ve caught on because there are good reasons to fail to make word count, too.

      We’ve done a week at Thanksgiving with Elf’s family almost every year since we’ve married– which usually meant that I took the kids and was there from Sunday night to Saturday morning, and he got there Wednesday night. Needless to say, not a lot of free time. 😀

    5. Even if you’re not hosting Thanksgiving, if you’ve got to travel to get to family for Thanksgiving, November is a difficult month to get anything done. Especially if you decide it makes sense to spend a few days around Thanksgiving with family, to better take advantage of the travel time.

  12. I always do NaNo. This year, I’m mostly taking the traditional path, except that a couple of months ago, I wrote down a scene that came to me while I was in the shower, which turned out to be a perfect opening for the story I’m doing this year, so I have about a 2,000 word head start.

    The real challenge is to try to finish the novel. I’ve managed that only once, but I do think that a month is about the right amount of time for me to spend turning my outline into a rough draft; more than that, and I’m just procrastinating.

    I will say that if you’re not in the habit of using the website, don’t start now. They’ve completely fouled it up. It took me ten minutes to figure out how to update my word count. (For anyone else using it and struggling as much as I did, it’s the little “+” in the green button next to the stopwatch button).

    I’ll look forward to sharing something every Sunday.

  13. Not for me, this year. Family are coming to visit for a week, plus other commitments. I wrote a novel in August and one in Sept-Oct. And am working on three more. Enough!

  14. I’m a slight rebel–I disinterred a couple of chapters written years ago. I think it’s time for this one.

    I usually get my 50 K, only bombed badly once. Published six of the seven I did finish. NOT going to publish the really bad Zombie story.

  15. Don’t write fiction, but I have a chance this month to write creative fun code at work! Squee!

  16. I’m not doing NaNo, it seems like pain. I have enough writing going on here for two normal people.

    However, I will be happy to share on Sunday. As noted on MGC, one of you wonderful people thought up something so scary my plot is back on course. Should (maybe) be ready enough for an exerpt on Sunday. Depends how nassssty the eves-troughs are tomorrow. Gotta get ’em before they freeze full of leaves.

    1. I’m trying to catch up on the pine needle fallout. Didn’t get much done in spring because of a big project, so the ground has a thick covering. I use a 9′ rake behind the tractor to get them in rows, but getting ’em to the burn piles needs manual labor, and I’m just getting back into that. 3 months stuck in the Comfy Chair saps a bit of endurance, and the foot is still healing.

      I’m reading Jennifer Pournelle’s Outies set in Jerry/Larry’s Empire/Mote universe. I find I have to read it in chunks. (Looks like this is far better to read as a physical book, which I have. The appendices are useful but necessary, unfortunately.)

      1. Pine needles. Yeah. I have a few. ~:D

        On three acres one does not rake. One drives the mower over it and lets Nature do her thing. Although since last Sunday the mower needs to be in a boat, as we got inundated again. Its like a rice paddy out there.

        1. Mowing would still leave me with a thick coating of duff; the stuff has the wrong pH to let anything grow, and it’s way too flammable.

          We have 13 acres, though only 3-5 get raked. I made a rake for the compact tractor from hay-rake tines to speed up that part of the work. I keep thinking about finding a towed baler…

          We’re going to be dry for a week or two (says Nat’l Weather service), so I can do winter tires when I don’t feel like doing pine needles.

          1. Mechanization! Nice! Maybe I’ll look into doing something like that. Power take-off makes many things possible.
            I wonder if there’s a market for bales of pine needles. ~:D

            Got my gutters done today, there were actual plants growing in there. Hydroponics for the win!

          2. I just looked up mini-balers, pretty cool little things you can pull behind a sub-compact tractor, like the small Kubota. Also they have mini-hay rakes.

            But what I really liked was the sickle-bar mower. 3-point, pto driven, perfect for cutting ditches and pond banks.

  17. OK, I give up. What does that stand for?

    Whatever it is, would finishing and posting a chapter that’s been held up for six months count?

    I’ve written three or four chapters worth of story, and thrown it away, because the dialogue keeps running off into the weeds. Just today I deleted two more lines, and got it going in a better direction.
    Artie: “Don’t open that!! It’s the original can of worms!”

    1. National Novel Writing Month

      Sort of a voluntary hell for aspiring writers. The initial idea was sound: Just write – doesn’t have to be great, but write something. Not edit – write. Edit later. The problem I have with it is that it’s like a new set of sports fans – it is (or was) ALL one would hear about for a month from some.

  18. I’ve got two conventions to sell at, and then I need to close the books on this year’s in-person sales so that information will be ready when tax time comes around. And then I get to start working on the rebuild of my various websites, getting them to modern standards and hopefully pulling traffic and income.

    But I am working on rewriting a novelette I originally wrote some years ago for a shared-world anthology that since has been canceled. As I’m excising everything that was proprietary to the shared-world concept, I’m seeing just how many logic holes there are in it. Some of them may have been presupposed information from the shared world, but there are several points where I didn’t really think through why certain characters appear at certain points and I’m going to have to do a lot more development so things unfold logically. OTOH, now I’m no longer restricted to the anthology’s 10,000-word limit, so I can expand as much as I need to.

  19. I apologize for this but I couldn’t resist:

    NaNo NaNo NaNo NaNo NaNo NaNo NaNo NaNo, Batmaaaaaan!

    1. Don’t be, I managed to make a Japanese pun at my husband yesterday.

      It’s because the Japanese word for “seven” sounds like “nana.” (IIRC, they don’t consider seven as lucky as we do, but still.)

  20. I’m not even trying this year; Jaenelle’s discovered how to crawl away as fast as possible, and Mummy isn’t very fast. RL just ate me alive.

    On better news, as of Nov 1, my youngest brother has a son. Healthy, very red faced, very Chinese looking little boy. ^_^ My side of the family finally has children besides mine!

  21. I’m going to be doing Nano this year. Got off to a good start though, as usual, not on the project I was thinking I’d do. (Though I rarely go in with more than a ‘well this idea off the queue looks like a good one this year’)

  22. Definitely a NaNo rebel. I usually do short stories but this time I’m working on a novel I already started. I ignore most NaNo advice. I edit. There is no point in my writing 50,000 words if they later have to be so extensively rewritten that I’d essentially be writing it twice. Your mileage may differ. There is no point in writing any differently than I normally would just to increase word count. 50,000 doesn’t matter; this project needs to be longer than that. It’s not getting finished this month anyway. NaNo is useful in establishing good habits.

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