Black Friday

I wasn’t sure I’d get this post written with the craziness of NaNoWriMo coming to a close and all the cooking involved in our (not necessarily your) traditional Thanksgiving feast.

However, the NaNo spirits blessed me with completion late Wednesday afternoon which, as you might expect, made cooking yesterday a whole lot easier (and less of a mess for my poor abused little laptop).

Giving myself a few days then I’ll go back to the draft and start polishing it up.

I have a few non-writing projects that need my attention, a house that needs decorating, and a cold I need to kick before I have to go back to the Day Job on Monday, so I’m going to go ahead and leave this one short…

Until next time, friends:
Be thankful for what you have and what you have had…
And, above all, be thankful to the people you have and have had… because their love is worth more than any of the other stuff.

National Novel Writing Month

Friends, this will be short.

While my word count is still high enough to successfully complete the challenge, I’m behind my personal goals and… quite frankly… that just won’t do.

Youngest spawn’s cheer team gave an amazing performance on Sunday, 5 Nov. They brought home a well-earned first place and qualified for Jamz Youth Nationals in Las Vegas. If you’ve seen the info-memes on Facebook about giving books as holiday gifts, it would really help the cheer fund if you popped over to the order page for some of those gifts 🙂

This year’s NaNoWriMo project is the second episode of the Heroes of Vadim saga. Several elements of this particular story have surprised me, but I think it will all work out in the revisions.

My stats so far:
Your Average Per Day ~~ 1,976
Target Word Count ~~ 50,000
Target Average Words Per Day ~~ 1,667
Total Words Written ~~ 19,766
Words Remaining ~~ 30,234
Current Day ~~ 10
Days Remaining ~~ 21
At This Rate You Will Finish On ~~ November 26, 2017
Words Per Day To Finish On Time ~~ 1,440

 

Unfortunately, these words don’t count – so it’s back to work for me.

On a less pleasant note: I am not ignoring tragedies or burying my head in the sand when it comes to social issues. I told they would show up here and this particular post doesn’t even begin to really touch the terrors of today’s world. This is not because I am trying to avoid them – it’s because they make me physically ill to consider. For my own sanity (cue the peanut gallery), I must put my heart and mind far from life in the here-and-now.

This is why we tell stories and why we listen to (and read) them.
To keep the real world at a distance for a moment and recharge to face it.

Until next time, friends – believe in love.
Terror is hate, and hate can’t be fixed with more hate.
Practice believing in love. If we all do it, we can tip the scale.

Nightmares, Torture, and Hellfire

It’s Friday the 13th, so embrace your inner scream queen, serial killer, or hellspawn – ’tis the season, after all 🙂

The world continues its journey through the apocalyptic opening credits of a dark future horror story. We watch society unravel in six-second clips, threaten, abuse, and then wonder why no one else is bothered by the obvious problem (whatever the hell that is).

But there’s nothing new, there…

Like horror movie marathons at Halloween, my annual exercise in sleep deprivation & self-torture looms on the horizon… that’s right: NaNoWriMo’s right around the corner. 50,000 words in the month of November: that’s only 1,667 a day – unless you look at the number of days I won’t be able to write due to cheer competition, feast preparation, etc.

I’m going back to my NaNo roots – heading into the challenge with only a vague idea and hoping that I can power through to create something enjoyable.

The last few years, NaNoWriMo has defeated me. A combination of factors lead to the disastrous failures of the past few years but many of those factors are (finally!) off the table this year.

The project is tentatively titled Hellbound and will tell a tale of a half-demon woman at the center of a power struggle between good and evil.

I’d give you more, but that’s all I’ve got at this point. Keep watch on the Facebook page once November starts, though – that’s where the cool lines and word count updates will be 🙂

Turning back to something a little less fun…

Here in California, sadly, Hellfire is a very real thing as I write. Some of the state’s most beautiful places are being devoured by fire with no relief in sight. I live in the foothills of Central California. I’m used to dealing with fire: hundreds of acres, dozens of structures, weeks to achieve containment: these are the fires I understand.

The Hellfire that’s sweeping through the northern part of the state, though, is a completely different beast.

There are 22 fires across 265 square miles (686 square kilometers, for those with metric brains) with no relief in sight.

At least 1,500 structures have been lost in Santa Rosa alone.  State Farm has received nearly 1,900 homeowner insurance claims and more than 700 auto insurance claims due to the firestorm. Entire towns have been evacuated. The town of Willits is all but cut off from the outside world.

At least 26 people are dead with hundreds still missing.

The sheer scope of the whole thing is terrifying, even for those of use that are, unfortunately, used to coping with fire.

And there we have it…

A beautifully disjointed collection of thoughts, just dismal enough to be worthy of a minor sociopath with a flair for the dramatic.

Just remember – on Friday the 13th and always – I’m not a psycho obsessed with demons, explosives, rebellion, or the types of damage certain weapons might have on the human body… regardless of what my search history might lead you to believe.

Until next time, friends, be kind. It helps.

Rain In August (and other oddities)

This is today’s weather forecast. Did I mention that windshield wipers were necessary during the morning commute to the DayJob? Yes – it’s as miserable as it seems it would be… especially for the denizens the Central Valley who are so often reminded we should appreciate the fact that “it’s a dry heat.”WTForecase

Speaking of the DayJob… it hasn’t quite sucked the life out of me – but it’s making a hell of an effort.

In other news…

I am still chipping away at the previously mentioned projects and, thanks to a comment on the Facebook page, have another one rattling around one of the currently unoccupied corners of my mind. Or maybe sharing space with another fledgling plot. It’s hard to tell, sometimes.

Youngest spawn has finished camp and cheer season has officially begun. Practice Tuesday and Thursday, games on Saturday. This (in addition to the DayJob and other year-round responsibilities) is my life for the next three months. You may “see” less of me out here in the etherworld, but if you happen to wander our direction in real life on a Saturday, you’ll probably end up at a youth football game. You’ve been warned.

In the grander scheme of things: the world in general (my country, in particular) continues its downward spiral. I fear the doomsday clock will move even closer to midnight next year – assuming they even wait that long to make the adjustment. I think, though, that’s all I’m going to say about that today.

I make no promises about what I may or may not say tomorrow.

Blanket Fort

The “real world” has grown exponentially more depressing and my desire to hide away from it all is hard to deny.

But, as someone occasionally accused of being a responsible adult, I can’t just heed the call of the blanket fort without considering the consequences.

Thankfully, the Muse has finally decided she’s seen enough of the copper coffee pots.

She has taken me back (or is it forward?) to the days after the end of the world: a decade after a few superpowers chose play the very dangerous and deadly game of Whose Bomb Is Bigger, Anyway? and ended up destroying civilization.

Some saw the way things were headed and prepared: shelters were built and stocked and, when the bombs began to fly, evacuations began. Some were barely large enough to keep a single family safe but others were designed to house the populations of entire cities.

Others preferred to stay above ground: to fortify what they could, help each other as much as they were able, and let fate lead them into the future.

Still others blindly trusted in divinity and bureaucracy: content to wait for government assistance and/or the hands of the Gods to scoop them up out of harm’s way.

Survival has done a lot of things to the races that lived here and has, in some cases, made matters worse.

Did I mention the fact that the so-called fantasy races never died out? That some of the largest and most secure bunkers belonged to elvish royals and some of the greatest ground-level safe-zones were built by humans and dwarves working together? What about the…

Enh…

I’ll let you find out for yourself 🙂

Make The Plan, Execute the Plan

It should be simple, right?

It’s time to buckle down and start earnestly working on new stuff.

Words just flowing from mind to page faster than the word processor can manage.

That’s the plan.

Right now.

Any time.

Some time (and a couple website face-lifts) ago, I spoke of my muse’s decidedly temperamental nature…

(I am, of course, being as diplomatic as possible…in case that finicky, selfish, agonizingly contradictory inkblot is currently reading over my shoulder.)

…and how I sometimes had to woo her with coffee, chocolate, and (sometimes undeserved) accolades of adoration and greatness.

Currently, she has me slogging through every old-to-ancient unfinished work she can direct me to locate. She allows me small changes to unimportant details. She even allows an additional sentence or two in the middle of the piece to clean up a scene. But when I get to the end of the draft…

Nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Still, I try.

I have reached the point that I am emulating my real-life muse (may she rest in peace) and sit typing a tongue-twister buried in my brain from high school drama over and over again hoping the words will transform into something resembling a story.

Or the next part of a half-finished story.

Or anything at all, really, other than A quicker cup of coffee from a copper coffee pot.

Don’t laugh – it’s good typing practice 😛

At least she’s giving me that much.

They’re Already Here

I was once accused of not being able to do anything half-assed… and that what I considered half-assed was more effort than most people put into anything.

I guess that’s why, when I said I was going to start working, I jumped into a half-baked story that seems to need quite a bit more fermentation before it’s ready to be presented to the world.

While it brews, though, there’s something coming to a boil…

A world (in a different dimension) that evolved in-line with ours with one major difference – those races we know as “fantasy creatures” and “faery” are the dominant species. Mankind, as we know it, is greeted with the same sort of skepticism (and belief in them met with the same sort of stigma) as exists here.

But, like our world, there are folks who truly believe…
Intelligent, respected folks…
With evidence…

Getting someone to believe, however, is another matter entirely.

Not sure how much dimension-hopping will happen… but I think it’s going to be fun 🙂