Thursday, December 3, 2020

Today was overcast, gray sky from the north to the south, from the east to the west, with rain all day, sometimes just mist, sometimes pouring down. It's evening, and the rain has stopped.

This is a day off in the life of writer. I'm working my job. And too tired to think of writing, too tired to read, too tired to watch inspirational or educational videos. Too tired to make lists. Too tired to clean up my desk from the NaNoWriMo typhoon that left detritus everywhere. 

Just too tired.

#tootired #WritingLife #WritingCommunity #NaNoWriMo2020

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 Overcast with sun all day; warm and breezy evening.

I finished the month of NaNoWriMo 2020 with a blur of blah. I completed the MG novel draft, adding more scenes, an index, historical notes afterward, at 43,000 words. Still needed 7K for an official win, so I started writing down thoughts about the next novel, a YA also on the 1856 smallpox epidemic. Those thoughts are a stream of consciousness mess. I will have to do some more serious thinking when my brain is coherent and not dead tired.

Although this counted as a "win" for #NaNoWriMo2020  and therefore I am #NaNoWinner2020 it didn't feel like a win. I have a lot to learn about writing MG novels. I'll sort some of that out in the editing process.

Congratulations to everyone participating in NaNoWriMo. Thank you to the event sponsors.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 Thursday, November 19, 2020

Yesterday, there was a large crescent moon setting in the western sky in the evening. Yellow and bruised, and beautiful. Today, tropical heat. Cumulous clouds.

I've crossed the 30,000 word threshold for my 2020 NaNoWriMo novel. It's bad. But it's been a bad year, so that's not a surprise. I love my MC, but he's just not cooperating with showing his awesomeness on the page. My setting is flat. The devastation of the smallpox epidemic of 1856 isn't even pushing through. It's disheartening. 

And I don't have buddy writers. Well, I have one (love her), but I need more!

Will press on. Hoping to have a draft middle-grade novel (knock-on-wood; fingers crossed) at the end of the month.

#NaNoWriMo2020 #WritingLife #WritingCommunity

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

 Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tropical heat. Scattered clouds. Intermittent drizzle.

I've written more than 28,000 words on my middle grade historical fiction. My current thinking on the project: 1) I don't know enough culture and history. 2) My main character needs to have more fun. 3) I don't have enough story to make it to 50K. 

On culture and history, I don't think I'll ever know enough. Part of the fun of writing is learning new things. But it's also frustrating to realize how small the drop in the bucket is. 

On fun, I'm writing a story in a dark time--smallpox epidemic, people dying in droves, decimation of a people/culture. So fun isn't exactly what I was looking for. But tweens need something humorous, even dark humor. Not my strength. Need to look for opportunities for the macabre, I think.

On length, it isn't a middle-grade genre problem to be shorter than 50k, but it makes it hard to meet the NaNoWriMo challenge. Maybe I'll add some true history notes at the end.

I'm really grateful for the NaNoWriMo challenge that focuses my writing energy.  Now, I have to get to my dinner, and my novel writing.

#NaNoWriMo2020 #WritingCommunity 

Monday, November 9, 2020

 2020-11-09 Monday, 7pm. Mars rising in the eastern sky. Tropical warm evening.

I've been inside all day, so checking the weather to write that opening line gives me a little connection with the outside world, and is regenerating!

NaNoWriMo. I have been making promises to myself, and breaking them daily. I wanted to write 10,000 words this weekend to get ahead. I barely made 4K to just catch up.

The horror of my writing this 2020 NaNoWriMo story is that it is revealing a lot of flaws in the adult historical fiction I wrote and submitted for publication. The  adult novel timeline is a mess. I really, really worked on it. I went over and over it. I have charts. I have graphs. I have different characters with specific arcs. I spent months editing. And now, by doing a middle-grade story of just one boy who shows up in the adult novel as frequent background and echo, I've found that I have him in three places on the same day--not three places close by where he might have been. No. Three places hours apart in a historical setting where walking is the only option for him and he's 12! Doing all these things on the same day. And it has been like that from the start, in other places. Character actions not lining up with the timeline that would be realistic. Gah!

Facing these problems takes the edge off the fun of writing freely for NaNoWriMo. I've never felt so uninspired and sluggish. 

It helps that we have election returns. Whether they will hold up to the onslaught of narcissism and political feuding remains to be seen. That uncertainty also erodes the forward march of creativity.

Here's to everyone writing.

#NaNoWriMo #NaNoWriMo2020 #WritingCommunity 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

 2020-11-05 #NaNoWriMo #NaNoWriMo2020 #WritingCommunity

It's evening. Hot, humid, and too overcast to see the waning moon. (I am sitting in air-conditioning.)

I live in a lovely, tropical island paradise. November 3 was a legal holiday for elections. November 4 was a legal holiday for honoring citizenship. Two blissful days that I intended to dedicate to writing. In the past, I have proven I can write 5,000 words easily on a free day. So I was hoping to push ahead.

Instead I have been saturated with the blahs. Stressed about the election (and determined to keep my head in the sand until the air clears--I did vote!). And on top of that, I have workers doing construction at my house--blasting and drilling to remove the old concrete porch/deck to clear it away in order to build a new one. 

So I had two days of headache. And little writing. I'm barely at the NaNoWriMo daily goal.

Each year, the writing experience is different. Each year, I manage to pull through somehow, although it is rarely a sure thing.

I'm writing a middle-grade historical set in Spanish colonial Guam. 1856 smallpox epidemic. (I already wrote an entire novel about this, with adult characters, but one boy popped up in that novel, and I decided he deserved his own version of the story.)

Encouragement to all (and to myself)--let's keep writing. Stories matter.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

 2020-11-01 All Saints' Day and the start of NaNoWriMo.

Weather: full sun. Beautiful day in the tropics.

Mood: A little trepidation. I'm tackling a new genre for me--middle grade. With only one POV character. Nothing like a challenge.

I am a pantser. So my preparation for this month was 

    1) read middle grade novels. That was fun. Read two by Pam Munoz Ryan (Esperanza Rising, The Dreamer) and one by Alan Graetz (Ban This Book!) Started reading another Graetz (Refugee) but November arrived. 

    2) make a middle-grade novel genre bingo card.

There's nothing like procrastination.

Here's hoping everyone writes their novels this NaNoWriMo 2020.

#NaNoWriMo #NaNoWriMo2020 #WritingCommunity