Saturday, October 29, 2011

My vacation in New England (now that I've got the NaNo announcement out of the way) was *fabulous*. I'd never been there except for one week a few years ago for a five-day conference; my friend picked me up and we spent about a day and a half during the conference hosting agency's business meetings (they didn't need us non-member attendees) and my friend took me around to a few interesting places. It was October, but I had just missed the peak color week - and it was heart-stoppingly glorious. This time, too, I kept hearing how the trees were so much more colorful *just* before I got there - but I'll tell you, if they'd been any more beautiful I think I would've died of wonder.

This time, we spent time just over the border in Massachusetts (my friend lives in New Hampshire), and the majority of the time in her house on the Kennebuck River in Maine. We ate, talked ourselves hoarse, ogled the sights, shopped, ate, played Scrabble, read, talked, ogled the trees, get the gist. I thought sure I'd gained 10 pounds, but when I got home it was only 2 lbs, so I was pleased.

I saved up for this trip; I had such fun just shopping my head off! I've got 95% of my Christmas shopping done now! And I bought myself a bunch of fun stuff, too. Old books, new books, note card sets, a beautiful sweatshirt, a deck of cards that says "Pie Fixes Everything" - a geography game! --and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. One book I got that I read that night and just loved was The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larsen. If you love maps, if you love well-travelled field notebooks with all kinds of sketches and diagrams, drawings, clippings, and comments in the margins - if you love stories about family members trying each in their own way to find their way back into one another's hearts after a tragedy - and if you love science? THIS is the book for you. If you know someone who loves those things? This is the Christmas present they need. That's all I'm sayin'.

And! I get to update my "States I've Visited" map! I get to add Maine and Massachusetts!

visited 26 states (52%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or website vertaling duits?

Friday, October 28, 2011

I got home from New England Sunday afternoon and have now put another week of work into the past. It's the Friday night before November 1, when NaNoWriMo starts, and I have made a few more notes about my November novel, but it's still frighteningly vague. I don't even know what kind of story it is! This is truly scary. I have invested a lot of myself, my money, and my friends' willingness to encourage me, in this. *eep!* I'll be doing a lot of brainstorming over the weekend, that's for sure! Well - I do need to keep in mind it's supposed to be FUN! So I have to mention, there will be map-drawing this weekend, too, and maybe some character portrait drawing, and who knows what else? Maybe writing music selecting...


Friday, October 14, 2011

Bright & early tomorrow, I fly to New Hampshire for vacation at a friend's of many years. She's got a place in Maine, so we'll be going there, too -- I've never been to Maine. I've visited NH once, for a conference, and managed to squeeze in about a day and a half to spend with my friend -- the first time we met, after oh, gosh, almost twenty years of snail mail and email correspondence. We found each other through the old Prodigy (remember *P?) Letter-writing BB. She's been a terrific friend, through good and bad days, comedy and tragedy, joy and despair.

Here's where I see some people say "The internet is a WONDERFUL place!"

People who have suffered tragedy due to internet connections say the opposite, of course.

What it is, is a human place. Humans made it and it is just exactly as good and as bad as humankind can be. I don't know why that isn't obvious to everyone, but there are those who act like it's Hades' Foyer. *shrug*

Me, I'm on vacation, and my vacation is going to be in New England in the middle of October. If i wasn't bouncing-off-the-walls tired, I'd be too excited to sleep. I just hope I'm not to tired to sleep, instead.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Here it is October again. That, as you may know, is the month before November.

Some of you may remember that I have spent other Novembers unsuccessfully participating (if you can call it that) in that annual global exercise in literary insanity called National Novel Writing Month. (aka NaNoWriMo) You might even remember the exact number of failures I enjoyed. No? Okay, four of them. I started four novels and never finished them. A couple of them got to 20,000 words, the others, I don't even remember but not that many by a far stretch. After the fourth failure I swore off the event. What was the point? I asked myself, and had no answer, so I quit. No more.

Obviously, I've succumbed again else I wouldn't be writing this, would I. * Sigh * What IS the compulsion? I do not understand. They got me this time with their Camp NaNoWriMo theme. This, it turns out (I think), is not this November's theme. It appears (I haven't bothered to do any serious research into the question) they had some kind of practice session/s in July and/or August? And called it Camp NaNoWriMo. But when I found the event's themed products, something snapped in my brain and I went nuts. Volumes of memories of my childhood summer camp came gushing forth. Things I hadn't thought about for fifty years came rocketing out of my deep memory banks and showered me with nostalgia. Hooked? Ha! Before I knew it, I'd bought the tee shirt AND the “care package” and was eyeball-deep in my journal writing down those memories.

So, ahem. This is a 100% self-inflicted misery. I tell my closest friends, poor creatures, and I announce it here, but there's nothing stopping me from changing my mind at any moment. Let's be clear: at this time I have zero ideas for a novel, and only a few very vague notions about characters. I'm hoping I can beef that up a bit before Nov. 1, you betcha.

I dug out the materials I purchased in years past; the book No Plot? No Problem! And the No Plot? No Problem! Novel-Writing Kit (I'm a sucker for kits, you may have noticed. I also rediscovered the little package of achievement badge patches I bought one of those years, with delight.)

I think for me, it's trying to find the fun in writing again. A lot of life stuff got in my way a few years back, and I just haven't felt the urge to write fiction. But I did enjoy it so, and I sold quite a few short stories to small-press and online markets, so someone else liked my writing a bit, one time, when I was busy writing story after story, it seemed like the ideas would never run dry. No way could I ever write them all. Funny how life stuff can make that all go away in the blink of an eye.

OK, so here's the announcement, ta da. I'm going for the brass ring: a 50,000 word novel in 30 days; between November 1 and November 30, 2011. When they make them available, I'll install a word-count meter here. I'll also try to post little reports, musing, whatever, here, daily but I'm not promising that.

Part of me is going, “Oh crap, here we go again,” and another part is going, “Oh goody goody goody! We're doing NaNo again!”