Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I DID IT!!! I finished my National Novel Writing Month Novel!

Crossed the 50,000 word finish line about 10 minutes ago. Yowzah!

BOY am I glad that's over with! I'm going to let this puppy marinate for at least a month before going back to it and seeing if it really is worth kneading and stretching and shaping and coloring to try to make it worth actually sending to publishers/agents.

Now I need to get the word count posted, and put my Winner's Badge up!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Here I am, 1,751 words from the Finish Line. I just wrote some 2,550ish of them. But I am just too beat to finish it up. I mean, it's the finish! It has to be given a certain amount of thought, and a special effort, not one dragged down by fatigue at the tail-end of the day!

I'll think about how I'm going to wrap this puppy up all day tomorrow - then get home and have it done by 7 pm. Then to jog across that line, ripping the banner apart with my bare teeth in the world's biggest grin!

Or something. Anyway. I'm going to get it done. Goodness, me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yeehaw! I got my 5,000 words in tonight! Now I can sail on in to the winner's circle by hammering out just 2,500 words a night tomorrow and Wednesday night. PIECE O CAKE! AND!!! the story is right where it needs to be to end about then, too.

A. Maze. Ing. I am SO stoked!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

40,000 words, and this contest is MINE!!!

Yeehaw, folks, I'm going to finish this! NaNo's word counter tells me I have only to write 2,414 words a day now to get my 50K.

I still don't know exactly how this story ends, but it has done enough surprising (to me), interesting things so far that I'm sure it will end, somehow.

And now, I'm going to bed!

...ETA: Uh-oh, I guess NaNo's counter thinks I've got FOUR days left. Well, it still works out to only 3,219 words a day, and after 5,000+ both yesterday and today, I'm still completely sure I'll make it. No Problem-O.

Hee hee hee!
I'm finding this writing blitz to be much more tiring than I remember it, lol. As a result, I never did the third planned two-hour session last night, leaving yesterday's total a still-respectable 5,000 plus words.

I just finished today's first two-hour session at a little over 3,000 words, also respectable. I'll take a couple-hour break and come back for the last time this weekend. I am pretty sure I can hit 40,000 by tonight. That will leave me with a MERE 3334 words per day between now and midnight Wednesday to get to 50K words, which is QUITE do-able. Victory is SO CLOSE!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pounding down the words!

In two two-hour sessions today (one more yet to go!) I have written (officially, using the NaNoWriMo word counter) 5,038 words! Woo hoo! Another 2500 in the last session tonight, and I will have achieved today's goals!

I can DO this! 8^D

And just to add to the silliness, I'm posting a photo of the NaNo badges I've earned so far this time:

"Oh, my," you say, "How do you earn such wonderful badges?"

Well, starting at the top left, I earned these badges for:

NaNo Socializing (dragging a family member or friend into NaNoWriMo -- which I consider I've done since I assembled my crack Support Team of five friends and relatives!)

Caffeine Abuse (Consuming dangerous amounts of coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda in my quest for 50 K) -- oh, yeah.

Procrastination (Skipping writing for more than 3 days) -- hang my head in shame, it has nothing even remotely to do with vacuuming (though doing housework instead of writing is one of the ways you earn this badge...if you're not me)

Word-Count Padding (I did the writing out contractions option for this one. It's amazing how many words you gain with one little keyboard trick!)

THE RALLY BADGE!!! I am so proud of this one!!! I got it by having a 5,000 word day (today!)!

And, the Secret Noveling badge, and how I earned this one I'm not going to be specific about, 'k? Thx.

I can't decide whether to iron these badges onto my Camp NaNoWriMo tee shirt, or to leave them loose so I can re-earn them next year. Probably the latter.

Friday, November 25, 2011

OK, I'm over the 30,000 word hump tonight! I still have all day tomorrow and all day Saturday to reach 45,000 - that's 7500 words each of two days. But I did almost 2,000 in a little under...say...5 hours. Heheh. Well, it's going to be a squeaker, isn't it? However, some of that time today I spent working on the plot, and also on some cooking and cleaning (seems to help when I'm stuck on the plot). So - I bet I can get darn close to 45K by Sunday night! And then I'll have Monday, Tuesday and clear until midnight Wednesday to get the last 5,000 words in! That, my friends, is a Piece Of Cake.

I AM going to win this thing this year. There is a shiny, wonderful NOVELIST badge waiting for me to claim it (and according to the rules of NaNo I will be permitted to wear it at every single family gathering from now until the end of time for my relatives to tremble in awe and admiration) AND I will be getting the 50% discount on the price of the writer's program Scrivener, which is turning out to be pretty darned good. Lots and lots of features I haven't needed yet, but which I might someday find absolutely vital, and they provide a ton of video tutorials and forums etc so I'm looking forward to that. (Truthfully, Scrivener is priced *extremely* reasonably so I'll buy it even if I don't hit 50K, but I'd rather get the discount). ANNNNND there are some kind of secret web pages at the NaNoWriMo site that ONLY "Winners" get to see. I'm very curious about those.

But the really big incentive is that I just sent a check off today to Mr. Typewriter for an Olivetti Lettera DL / 33 portable typewriter. This is the typewriter I bought myself in 1968 to take to college with me. It also, as it turns out, was the model that what's-his-name used to write Apocalypse Now. I loved that little typewriter. I have no memory of what happened to it, though. It must have vanished from a yard sale or something. *sigh* I'm getting to the age where I'm vulnerable to this ridiculous kind of nostalgia-splurge. Gonna have to be careful about that.

AFTER I get my typewriter. And it will be much better for my conscience if I've "won" NaNo before it gets here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Now It Can Be Told

I'm going to retire Dec. 16th. I have plans. I couldn't say anything anywhere to anybody before I told my boss, and I waited until Nov. 15th for that.

I'm going to CA to visit my son and his family for a couple weeks over the holidays, then coming home to Be Retired. Ahhh....

I suspect - I strongly suspect - that the Ahhh... part isn't going to last longer than a couple-three months, maybe. Because I have a LOT to do. I intend to move to Paris (France, not Texas, ha ha ha co-workers you're so funny) around the turn of the year 2012-13. Probably more like Spring of 2013, but you never know; maybe I'll get my house sold sooner than I expect. I'm not looking to make a killing on it, so maybe it'll move.

But in the meantime, I have to pare down my possessions by about 99%. Literally, 99%. Then I have to sell my house. Neither of those are trivial activities. Lots of work.

Anyway, I've been planning & scheming and saving and figgerin' for a long time over this. I need to do it (a big dream of mine, of course, else why would I?) while I'm still young and healthy enough to enjoy it (not to mention, afford it). I'll have to live like a starving student (except with food) -- tiny walkup studio apartment, walk everywhere, scrimp, economize, budget budget budget - but the thing is - it is 100% totally do-able, and I'm doing it.

It's probably a good thing I have so much work and hassle between me and Paris. Otherwise I might just die of excitement!

And, I'm planning to get over there by cargo steamer! Adventure: In for a penny, in for a pound!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fell behind last week. Took several days off from the novel. I continued to think about it, and make notes, etc. And this weekend I'm on a big push to hit 40,000 by tomorrow night. I'm centering my whole weekend around it - three two-hour sessions wherein I get 3,000 words each session, both today and tomorrow, will do it. So far so good! I made 3,000 this time with 47 seconds to spare! (EggTimer is a very handy little timer program!)

And as is usual when writing, I'm discovering that when I actually hunker down and concentrate and go for long blocks of text, things start popping up in the story that are useful and helpful and all kinds of interesting. Where does this stuff come from? Is there really a troll in my basement who's feeding me stuff up through the floorboards if I just trust him enough to put them on paper for him? And what does he get out of it?

Enough - obviously I need to get away from the keyboard for a bit!

Session One of Six - completed!

ETA: much later: OK, it's a good thing I got that 3000+ in earlier because now I'm pooped. The little chore I'd scheduled to keep me busy between writing sessions sort of...morphed...into something bigger than I'd expected. And I am finding that this writing biz is tiring! So - I will try for the 3 3,000 word sessions again tomorrow! Maybe get an earlier start...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fell behind a little bit. Took three days off. However, yesterday I devoted over an hour to plotting and planning, so I knew where to go when I sat down tonight. The joint's jumping now! We got explosions and fires and disappearing woman, schemes and nefarious skullduggery all over the place. About time, too, I say!

Boy, is this thing going to need a lot of work when it's done. LOL

Friday, November 11, 2011

Well, to my surprise, I did it! I got caught up to my 2,000 word a day goal tonight! This, after I didn't write at all the night before the night before last, I wrote the night before last, then didn't write again last night. I've been really tired, and my stomach's been burning. I suspect this is all about Week Two of NaNoWriMo. They told me there'd be days like this. However, despite my discomfort and grumpiness, I sat down and hammered out enough words to get caught up again. And I still have two more days of weekend to go! I hope to have built up another nice word-cushion by Sunday night.

I won't say anything about the novel itself because I've locked up my Internal Editor in a deep, dark dungeon many many light-years from here until the book is finished.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I'm using Scrivener to write this thing, and there seems to be some discrepancy between the Scrivener word count, and the NaNoWriMo site counter. Scrivener says I wrote 2030 words tonight, but when I put the total in the NaNoWriMo word count update, and checked my stats there on my NaNo Novel stats page, it says I wrote 1919. That's quite a difference! Oh well, I'll just go with the total number, that's all I care about. And I will make sure that I get well past 50,000 at the end, to make sure NaNo agrees I win!

Much tireds out tonight. I keep waking up at 3 a.m. and never really getting back to sleep before the alarm rings at 4:30 a.m. Bah, humbug.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

No new words tonight - I had a plumber in to fix something here, and I bought a couple of ebooks on how to use the writer's program Scrivener, which is one of those incredibly powerful tools that have umpteen functions and layers and all kinds of adaptability etc etc, but which you can also just climb up on and start 'er up - but I spent an hour studying the first ebook. I needed one night off, and I was 1.75 days ahead of the standard NaNoWriMo goal of 1667 words a day, and even using my own personal goal of 2000 words a day, I'm still 785 words ahead. Back to the grindstone tomorrow night! I aim to win NaNo this year - if ONLY to get the 50% discount on the actual Scrivener program (they're letting NaNo writers use it for NaNoWriMo to see how we like it; it doesn't have all the functions and features of the purchased version but ye gods, there's way more than I'll ever use anyway).

So, anyway, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it. My imagination will be better for the rest, believe me.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Well, I made something happen in Owl Island tonight. I'm not sure it really carries the story forward, but I had to goose *something* into happening! Thank GOODNESS for re-write!

Well, I"m being a good little NaNo - no second-guessing myself. Got to see this thing through to the finish line THEN worry about rewriting and editing to make it better.

I'm satisfied with my progress for the first week: over 16,000 words! Next up: The Dreaded Week Two!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Another weekend over, *sigh*. But I made my NaNo goal today, and I got MOST of my household To Do list done. One thing I conveniently forgot was that I had intended to put the plastic over my windows this weekend. It's going to be more and more necessary, I'm afraid. It really IS fall -- and knowing Nebraska, winter could drop on us like a ton 'o' snow ANY day. So -- I will try to do a window or two each night this week. Around NaNoWriMo, of course. I do have my priorities straight. *sniff*

Saturday, November 05, 2011

What a nice day I've had! My friend Lin took me to see Une vie de chat, an absolutely enchanting short (70 minutes) French animated film about a Parisian cat with two lives, and the little girl and the cat burglar whose lives he enriches. I loved, loved, loved it! Then we went to a bookstore, and then we ate Italian at our favorite neighborhood place. Days don't get much better than that!

And, I have met (exactly, as it happens) my daily NaNoWriMo goal of 2,000 words! Huzzahs all around. Oh, I should mention that Lin treated me to the movie as a reward for reaching 10,000 words last night. Friends don't get much better than Lin! Thanks, Lin!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Made my goal of 10,000 words tonight! Woo hoo!

Thing is, I think a lot of this is going to have to get trimmed in the rewrite. Oh well, at least I'm getting the story down. This is so much fun!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Another good night on the novel! It's coming together, kind of. It's going to take me all this first seven days to even get all the main characters introduced, and it's going to be interesting trying to sneakily start the actual plot while the reader thinks they're just being introduced to characters - but then, I guess that's true of any novel. *slumps* Duh.

Well, it's good to be writing again, and so far, so good! I'm well within reach of my goal for tomorrow night: 10,000 words!

And I've got a bit of a synopsis, finally:

An inner city kid from Omaha, a recent and bitter divorcee from Des Moines, and a disappointed accountant from Minneapolis each reserve a cabin on an island in the middle of a remote Minnesota lake, for a month of rest, meditation, self-reflection, and peace.

They think.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

So - another great writing session on the second night of NaNoWriMo. Over 3,000 words! Well, it's been fun so far. I'm going to run with it and build up as much of an extra (over 2,000 words a day average) as I can, because as sure as there's little green apples, there are tough, dry patches to come. But not this first week, anyway. All the experienced heads at NaNoWriMo say so, and my four other experiences bore that out. The first week's a breeze, the second week's a bastard. The third week is hell, but if you can get through that still laying down a decent word count, then the last week is like the Giant Slalom in the Olympics - downhill all the way and thrilling as heck.

In the meantime, one day, at least 2000 words, at a time.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

OK! Well! This first night went very well. It feels great to be writing again! Woo hoo!

I blocked off two hours but I'd reached my goal by about 1 1/4 hour. I'm reaching for 2,000 words a session - and two sessions a day on the weekends and holidays. I hope it goes this well all month! Ha ha ha, of course I do.

'Scuse me, I'm going to go eat chocolate now. *g*

Well, here it is. I'm even wearing my NaNo tee shirt. (I've adopted their camping theme from their July and August novel-writing month sessions, because I like it better than what they've come up with this time, well, I like this tee shirt better than the November one.)

I aim to post at least 2000 new (and the first) words on the word counter tonight!