November 30, 2003


Ah well..... the due date arrived and I've gotten *no where* since leaving Jersey, so I only hit 31,838. Who knows, maybe this one I will actually poke at a few more times since it's an idea I've had for a long time.

But next year, I'm doing a diary or something!


Posted by Egwenna at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2003

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Well, traveling to FL to be with family has been prettygood (gorgeous weather, walking on the beach, manicure/pedicure, good food...) but I've fallen hopelessly behind. So.... while I might plug away a litte longer to see how far I do actually get, there's no way I'm going to make it.

Ah well, NaNo is just not meant to be in 2003.

Next year.

Posted by Egwenna at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2003

Still Going

November is sinking into nonexistence like a sunset, and here I am thousands of words away from the elusive 50,000.

I'm still plugging away, although wrapping up this plot in the space I have left is problematic at best. This beast took twists I never saw coming.

But that's the way of it, eh?

Posted by Jvstin at 04:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2003

Chugging along

Well, I haven't quite caught up and I struck out a huge section of one chapter because I absolutely hated it seconds after I finished writing it, but over all things are going ok. My girls are being fiesty, the men are being mostly grumpy, and Pauline nearly ended up wolf chow. It's all good. So, I know what happens next and it's just a matter of getting everything that I had in my head while I was feeding the baby out and into the computer.

It could happen.

Chapter 8 - Fateful Crossroad

Pauline felt something in her head explode and the world spun, making her feel sick to her stomach. She could hear Kristof commanding her to her feet, but she had trouble making her legs listen and the kaleidoscope of colors dazzled her eyes and made it impossible to make sense of things. She recognized Bastille, but the dog glowed in an aura of blue and green with flickers of red that vanished into violet before they faded. All around was shades of gray, the trees pulsing and swaying in greens and golds, the wolves were all in violet and black that seemed to suck the light in. There was something vile about that and she recoiled, but then she was being lifted and the view spun with the horse beneath her.

She wanted to stop. She wanted all of it to stop: the horse, the spinning world and whatever was making her brain feel like a toy boat in danger of going down the drain.

Posted by Egwenna at 10:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 16, 2003

Still trying getting back to good

Well, it seems that my #1 and #2 time sinks on procrastinating on Nano are IMing and doing email turns. Multitasking while doing Nano is just not working for me. :grin:

I'm still not back to good as far as word count goes. And I know this is awful--I showed Nicole (with a English Lit degree) a piece and she began picking it apart almost immediately as far as grammar issues are concerned.

On the other hand, the plot continues to surprise. I definitely am channeling Mr. Jack Vance, more than I actually intended.

Bridgette's comment about a map might be a good thing, though, since John and Althea are now on the road, so to speak. Although he was in the Knossos for only two days, it was a larger chunk of the novel than I thought it would be. And the whole betrothal stuff came out of nowhere.

Posted by Jvstin at 09:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 14, 2003

Still in the Hole

Ok... it's after 10PM and I should be heading for bed. Except I still need at least 600 words for the day, and another 6000 to dig myself out and catch up.

So I really shouldn't be wasting time here.... but here I am.

Drew myself a map today. Had to make sure the logistics of what I was thinking were within the realm of possiblity as far aswere everyone was and to make sure I was being consistant so I don't get confused later. And then I realized I wasn't sure where Pauline was timewise so I had to make a little log for who was on what day before I leaped over the next chapter to pick up the next thread.

And I need a name for a mountain range... names have plagued me this time around, oddly enough.

A couple chapters and 18k words in and the girls are split up and having their own little revelations about each other. At least Kat is.

- - - -

Their entrance at the camp went as she expected – ripples of silence and covert stares as Gideon led her to a spot off to the side. There were already several bedrolls there with saddles and packs nearby. It was a smaller space inside the larger camp and the pile of stuff and half a tent gave her an illusion of shelter.

“Now I know how Pauline always feels.” She whispered, crossing her legs in front of her when she sat down and huddling around the coats as if there were a security blanket.

“What do you mean?” Gideon sat next to her, glancing at Jochen to make sure the old man had seen them. Ilyas caught the look and put his hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“I’ll get something for us.”

Katelyn watched dully as Ilyas talked to Jochen and the other men gathered around the main fire. She imagined that she was at least one topic of conversation, and it bothered her. She’d always teased Pauline that it was just ego that made her think people were talking about her, but now that it was her turn in those shoes, she knew it wasn’t.

“What do you mean, about your sister?” Gideon gave a soft verbal nudge when she drifted off.

“I mean how everyone got quiet for a sec when we walked into sight. The way they try to glance over here without me seeing them do it so they can pretend I have no idea they’re talking about me.” Pauline had always been so factual about it, as if it really didn’t bother her, but Katelyn knew that if she wasn’t so exhausted, it would bother her a lot. “I’m not used to being the odd one out.”

Posted by Egwenna at 10:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Moving right along...

You know, it's times like this, when I finish up with a good stretch of writing, that I wonder why the hell I procrastinated this morning and dicked around so much. Okay, I did actually do useful things, like pay my bills, but that's not the point.

Even if what I just finished writing doesn't make much sense, and I'm not sure that it does, it was still 3,700 words that weren't too hard to put out. And they got the story moving, although I'm really not sure where it's moving to. The pocket universe hadn't occurred to me this morning, I can tell you that.

In fact, most of what shows up on my screen is a complete surprise. I'll have a general idea ("They find a door, and this door leads them... somewhere"), but the specifics are a complete mystery until I actually write them. I suppose this is the "organic writing" that you were railing about, Deb.

So I'm taking a break for a little while to figure out where the hell they are and what's going to happen next. I only know three things with absolute certainty, but I don't know when they'll pop up in the story. Too soon, and the characters will have no reason to continue. Hmmmm.... I'll put in another couple of hours before I go to bed, I think, but until then I have the beginning of Angel season 3 to watch, and a few Invader Zim episodes....

On a side note, it appears that, now that I have my subconscious working overtime, it doesn't want to stop. Went downstairs to buy more Diet Coke and came up with vegetable juice and Boco, which is a sports drink that has people with perfectly flat abdomens in its commercials, the bastards. I meant to buy the Diet Coke, I really did....

And it is confirmed, I really enjoy writing to trance techno.

Posted by MShades at 04:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 12, 2003

Ah, that was fun....

Just finished writing the Family Dinner. Full of backhanded compliments, hidden insults and infighting. I can probably refine it in rewrites, but there are some glittering gems of venom and spite hidden in there, and that's always fun to write.

I got 3,809 done tonight, putting me at 14,474 total - 5,530 behind. That's only 3.3 days, which is an improvement.

One of my favorite lines from tonight: "The conversation stopped dead, hanging like the coyote about to plummet down the gorge."

Also found that I really like writing to trance music. Go figure.

Posted by MShades at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 11, 2003

Stepping back a moment

After my rant about organic writing, I went and spent some time outlining today. More babbling to myself in a semi-outline format. One paragraph per segment, with intervening chatter about what the hell is going on. Slowly, slowly it is coming together. I think I'm going to spend the next few days doing that, then go back to cranking out word count.

I've come to a decision. I don't need to make 50k by the end. I just need to have a direction and have a good flow, and be really cranking on this novel. Get a decent pattern down so that I can finally finish it. I really want to know where this goes and if it was worth writing it. The first couple of chapters started out so strongly I have to know if can complete it. I have to know if I can write a GOOD novel. One that is worth revising and worth working on and putting my effort into for the next year. Because I revise hideously slowly, and it'll take that long.

I really hope this novel isn't just another part of my million words of crap. *sighs* I'd like this one to be worth *something* because I just have such a fondness for my characters. *wry smiles* Won't know till it's done.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Organic writing

Some days I loathe being an organic writer. I'd love to have an outline in front of me that made sense, and all I had to do was figur out what comes next.

With Shades last year I started outlining ahead, just a few sentences to describe each chapter, and it worked out really well. I'm considering starting that for Dreamwalker. Because right now I'm sitting here, staring again, wondering why Jay's there and where he goes before the scene I know that has to happen and where the hell did all my action go when it started out going all so quickly? My pace dropped, and it's hell, and I'm going nuts.

I hate being organic. Somedays it works. And somedays, like today, it really really doesn't.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Baby steps....

Procrastinated pretty hard tonight, more than usual. Surprising, I guess, after the revelations of yesterday. I got 1,000 words or so today, which puts me 7,672 words behind now. Four and a half days.

But at least I know the next scene - the family dinner. I've actually been looking forward to this one. Working-class Eliza gets to endure her rich, successful sister and her exquisite fiance (who I still think is important, and I almost know why), as well as her absentee father and society maven mother. Should be fun....

Posted by MShades at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2003

I feel like John Henry....

I have never had the Block that bad. Never.

I've spent the last three days unable to move in this story. Just thinking about it was nearly impossible - every time I did, I would get distracted by some minute detail or thought and go off onto something else, ignoring my story problem completely. The goddamn thing was frictionless.

It's not the kind of block where you just think, "Oh well, I'm fresh out of ideas, better give it up." It was the kind where you know the story is on the other side, and all you have to do is get through it.

Basically, my integrated twins (who I stared calling AzRenn in my notes just to keep it simple, and that name will probably be useful later on) needed the main character, Eliza's, help to find their father. But in order for them to explain why, I had to figure out who their father was, exactly, how they got started on their little quest, and how Eliza can help them. Oh, and I cannibalized a race of people from another story that I started and never finished. Or at least the name.

Three days (or was it four?) I tried to figure this out, getting exactly nowhere until today. I found a hairline crack in the block and pounded my way through.

Found out some interesting things, too. The main thing is that Az, who I figured was the "nice" twin, isn't as nice as I thought. I knew that Renn was the wild one, but I didn't know that Az was equally calculating. Kinda scary.

Renn is the most fun to write. The only worry I have about him is getting the voice right. He's a semi-angry young black man, and, being a sheltered white boy myself, all I know of how he might speak comes from TV. So I do my best to make it as realistic as I can without him coming off as too stereotyped.

Eliza is smarter than I thought. She made some connections in AzRenn's story faster than I expected her to. Good girl.

So, when I should be at 16,670 words, I'm only at 9,615. Four days behind. I'd keep writing tonight, but I'm exhausted.

But at least I know where I'm going. For now.

Excerpt inside....


Az held up a hand. “Okay, I’ll make it short. But the long version makes more sense.” She glared at him, and he smiled. “Like I said, this is where it gets weird. Our father,” he said after a pause, “wasn’t human.” He looked up at her, waiting for a reaction.

He didn’t get one. She was still giving him a flat stare, tapping one foot. “Well obviously,” she said. “I mean, look at you. You’re two people in one body, you switch from one to the other…. Not many humans can do that, you know?”

“No, you’re right,” Az said. “Humans can’t do it. But some Kailings can.”

She frowned. “What the hell is a Kailing?”

“It’s what my father was. A Kailing.”

Eliza dropped her head on her arms. “That doesn’t explain anything, Az.”

He reached out to pat her on the head, but thought better of it. “Told you, the long story made more sense.” He sat back on the couch, stretching his arms along the back. “The Kailings are a race of people – and I don’t mean like black white yellow kind of race – different from humans.”

She looked up. “Huh?”

“Kailings aren’t human, Eliza,” he said. “They’re something… else. They live longer, they’re stronger and faster and tougher than humans are.” He leaned forward. “They do magic. They make art that makes you want to be a better person, science that makes you believe in god, and music that would probably bring about peace on earth.”

The room was silent. Eliza was vaguely aware of the refrigerator cycling off.

“Of course, there’s only about a hundred of them left,” Az said. “And my father was one of them.”

Posted by MShades at 08:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

after all my complaining

After all that complaining, I did make it, after all. Of course, it's also almost 12:30 and I should've been in bed ages ago.

Wrote a scene that occurs very close to the end of the book. Yeah, the end I know absolutely nothing about. *dry laugh* But this is a scene which sets up the protection. It is after they know what's going on and all that is left is the assault and denoument. And it's something that struck me the other day... don't even remember what sparked it. It's been rattling around in my head for a while as just this weird thing.

Hm, it might not be as close to the end as I thought. I think there's a Traci/Shane scene that follows it before the big attack. Huh. Interesting... even if I cut it later, I *will* write the scene. It'll be fun. *grins*

So anyway, I'm over 15k words total since I started a little over a week ago. Happy that I made my quota for the night. Worried that it's going to be a rough week trying to keep up. *sighs* I see a lot of sleepless nights in my future. I suppose I should be glad to have something useful to do while I'm busy being insomniac!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2003

tonight just sucks

I can't scrape words out tonight. Today. Whatever. I'm about halfway there and stumbling through a scene so far in the future in this novel that I might not even get to it by the end of the month. But it's the only thing coming even close to striking my interest right now, so I'm doing it. Because I can.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2003


I almost gave up until I noticed that I was 7 words short of 3k for the day. And I just couldn't let that go. So I persevered and ended up at 3364 for the day, which is 24 over the absolute minimum I had to be at in order to be on track. So I'm all caught up!

13360 thus far. *phew* My brain hurts.

I just started writing in an ice storm. It facilitates a lot of things. But really, I've just been wanting to include it since we had this HUGE ice storm last spring. Nasty. Dangerous. Gorgeous. I'm looking forward to getting to describe the morning after and see if I can even come close to doing it justice.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

why didn't i write 4 more words?

I look at my word count spreadsheet this morning and realize that I was far too focused on the daily count yesterday. In the upper right hand corner I have a total word count (which isn't the total of the novel, since it was at about 19k when I started).

Last night I ended at a total word count, since beginning NaNo, of 9996.

Why the hell didn't I write four more words???

Off to go try to be word count girl while the kids nap...

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

John's adventures continue

Made my minimum last night. This weekend is going to be busy, though, its going to be tough to do it. And I start housesitting for the Olsons on Sunday. Yes, I can use their computer, but there are going to be other distractions available to me--like a television that can play more than DVDs.

I will try and persevere.

Anyway, let me tell you a bit more about the story. John Holbrook, Chief Biologist on the Magellan, has crashlanded on a planet that is definitely not Epsilon Eridani I, which was the ship's destination. He's still not quite sure where he is, English seems to be a latin-like language of the clergy here, and he keeps stepping in it as far as mores go.

Anyway, another except from my not so great American Novel is in the extended entry. It's nice in that John sums up his situation at that point in his thoughts.

That next morning proved that his window faced the east, since the streaming light of the rising sun flowed into the room, and right into the bed. John blearily opened his eyes, as did Eirene. "Ismail." she said, stroking his cheek. She then spoke a few words, John looked puzzled. He didn't think she was giving him her phone number. And he wasn't going to mention the dream last night. He hoped that he didn't look too drained from the experience. He blinked his eyes and bucked himself up.

"Thank you as well." John said. "And I am sorry for confusing you last night, Eirene." The young woman got out of the bed and went to a corner of the room where, in the day's light, he could now see she had left her clothes. Dressing in the simple tunic, she lowered her head to him, and then went to the door, opened it, and left. John in the meantime sat on the bed, still trying to figure things out.

"All right, John Holbrook." he said. "We've saved a woman, met her father, enjoyed the food of his house, nearly started an incident over local customs, and made love to a complete stranger because apparently only eunuchs sleep alone. And that was after crashing the life pod on this alien world that's hauntingly similar to Earth. And had a dream about fighting an entity of some sort."

"What am I going to do for an encore on day two?"

John sighed and went over to where he had dropped his backpack when he entered the room for the first time last night. All of his gear was still there, but then, if they considered him an Ismail, they might think anything he owned might be valuable, or dangerous, or both! He just hoped they didn't expect a lot more magic tricks. That white glow he had produced in the dream with Balrog...that was just a dream. It certainly wasn't something to be done in the real world. Not the world of spacecraft and life-pods.

Speaking of which, though, John thought, he found the transponder and turned it on. There was still no sign of any signals. If any of the pods had made it to ground, they were further away than the range of the device. A large city, John thought. News of people like him would reach large cities before others. Perhaps that should be his next move.

But in the meantime, a growl in his belly told him that he wanted food. Just what were breakfast customs? Or bathing customs for that matter, how did they work here? There wasn't a private bath in the room; of that much he was certain. Dressing in the same clothes he had on yesterday, he left his room to try and find some answers.

John's wanderings through the stone building were relatively short, as he was altered and attracted by the sudden feel of warm, humid air on his face. Following this, he soon came to what looked like the ruins of the Roman spa in Bath. Although, it was clear to John that these were in a far better state of condition than those ruins. A young man, dressed in a robe, walked out, giving a nod to John.

John sighed and went over to where he had dropped his backpack when he entered the room for the first time last night. All of his gear was still there, but then, if they considered him an Ismail, they might think anything he owned might be valuable, or dangerous, or both! He just hoped they didn't expect a lot more magic tricks. That white glow he had produced in the dream with Balrog...that was just a dream. It certainly wasn't something to be done in the real world. Not the world of spacecraft and life-pods.

Speaking of which, though, John thought, he found the transponder and turned it on. There was still no sign of any signals. If any of the pods had made it to ground, they were further away than the range of the device. A large city, John thought. News of people like him would reach large cities before others. Perhaps that should be his next move.

But in the meantime, a growl in his belly told him that he wanted food. Just what were breakfast customs? Or bathing customs for that matter, how did they work here? There wasn't a private bath in the room; of that much he was certain. Dressing in the same clothes he had on yesterday, he left his room to try and find some answers.

Posted by Jvstin at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2003

Maybe done, maybe not

Well, I've made it to 1960 for the day, and the end of chapter 6. A part of me wanted to roll right on with more Traci & Shane material, but I know I need to get back to the others. I'm trying to decide if I should write Jay's scenes, even if just so I know what's going on with him. It's like he's off screen and I have no bloody clue what he's doing right now. Or if I should care.

Funny, I have a similar problem when I'm GMing!

Anyway, I know I've got enough to really crank into the next chapter tomorrow. Gotta go through some more conversations with Traci & Shane, which are starting to get really fun. They've started to dive into the meat of the whole thing, which is cool. Neat to know what I'm writing about. *giggles* And Karen and Celia are going to start dreamwalking experiments. And I think Jay's just going to get plain old weirdly stalkerish.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

yay Traci!

Started a Traci scene and suddenly I'm humming along, almost 1000 words zipping by before I've even really noticed. When I've got her voice its like I'm channeling and not writing. Gods I love her as a character. I've got to get around to writing her backstory story for the erotica anthology. She's just yum, and so immediate and fresh and interesting. well, when she's working. When she's not, writing her is like pulling teeth. her dream sequences were actually a bitch and a half to write, because her tone's completely different.

A little Traci snippet behind the cut...


I can hear Shane rattling around in the kitchen. The oven door slams and something's cooking because I can smell it. He must've gone shopping. I hate it when he tries to take care of me.

I slowly straighten my legs out, then swing them over the edge of the bed and stand. I'm cautious. I've had dreams like this and collapsed, my legs going right out from under me. But they hold this time, and the shaking's dying down finally. A little tylenol for the ache in my head and I'll be fine. I stumble to the door and into the bathroom, and yank open to the medicine cabinet.

Damn. "Shane!"

He's there like he was expecting the summons. "Hey, babe. You look like shit."

"Where's my tylenol?" The pain's coming in quickly, right between my eyeballs. It always does when the shakes finally go away.

"I put it away. You know what it does to you." Shane reaches out with the spatula in his hand and taps my forehead. "You're better off without it."

I grab his shoulder before he can turn away from me and lean into him. I can't judge it... my balance is shot to hell... and I clank heads with him. The pain's nothing compared to the stuff inside my head. But he winces, and that almost makes me smile.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

video games for writing?

Kev's decided that since he's buying an X-Box, he'd better get used to playing video games again before dropping all that money on it. Which means he sent me away and settled in for long hours of games... leaving me all kinds of time to PBEM and write. I'm gonna LOVE this. *grins*

On the other hand, I'm um... well, I've gotta write almost 4k words tonight if I wanna catch up. I'm not sure it'll happen all in one night!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2003

It's all crap! :-)

The past few days I've made my word count so I'm only about 1,500 in the hole. Of course, if I ever actually do anything with this the whole first part of chapter two is going to fall to a bright red pen (in other words, everything I wrote today could be summed up and deleted). Oh well. So goes NaNo.

Excerpt - Chapter 2- Step on Through to the Other Side

Pauline sat beside her sister, waiting. Katelyn’s hasty leap hadn’t landed on equal footing, instead she’d come through a few feet in the air and at an angle and as a result had taken a hard spill. Certain that her sister’s head was at least as hard as the ground she’d hit, and that there were no broken bones, she’d done her best to make Kate comfortable.

It had been evening when they’d arrived and it would have been nice if Kate had come to so they could find shelter, but she’d made do with a nearby pine tree, trusting that the drooping branches would hide them from most things. It was certainly better than staying out in the open, so she’d dragged Katelyn in and bunked down. The coats were useful for making the ground more comfortable since they didn’t need them here otherwise.

Then it was just a matter of waiting. Sunset had swung around to sunrise and Pauline ventured out now and again to look around, returning quickly in case Kate woke up, but the sun was well up in the sky before her sister finally stirred.

“Hey.” Pauline waited until Katelyn had rolled over and she was certain she was awake. “How bad is the head?”

“Ugh… this sucks.” Kate looked up, confused. “Where are we?”

“On the other side of the light.” Pauline told her, knowing that fact was going to be the first thing Katelyn didn’t like. There would be others.

“Oh shit. That wasn’t a dream?” Katelyn stared at her as if it had to be a joke, looking around at the tree they were inside of and not quite seeing it. “Oh my God – Mom and Dad are going to freak!”

Pauline nodded. They weren’t the only ones.

Posted by Egwenna at 09:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

not tonight

I am incoherent. When I went to bed last night, I'd lost language. I was staring at the screen, at an IM, unable to put words together to form sentences that made sense.

I'm not much better tonight. So I'm putting myself 1700 words in the hole and skipping tonight completely. It just isn't going to happen.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Rubicon....

Wrote less than a thousand words tonight. I've hit the point where I have to decide what this story is about, and until I do that, I can't proceed.

I figured out what the deal is with the guy-who-is-two-guys. I interviewed them and their mother as I made my way home and got a pretty decisive history out of them. Even came up with a term to describe their condition: integrated twins. I've figured out their mission, even. They want to find their father, who ran off before they were born.

What I haven't figured out is how the main character can actually help them. They seem to believe she's important, but they haven't gotten around to telling me why. Perhaps if I can dig up more information on their missing father, then I can figure it out, but at the moment, I have no idea how Eliza can help them.

*sigh* I wish I could just skip ahead and write the family dinner. It'll be such fun, except that I have a feeling that Eliza's sister's fiance is important, but I don't know why.

Plenty to sleep on....

Posted by MShades at 11:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 05, 2003

short night

Okay, I'm done for the night. 1259 today, and consider I was about 100 words over last night, I'm only 300 short tonight from the overall goal. I can make that up tonight. Right now, the story's devolving into rambling and I need to find a new direction for it and fast. So I'll sleep on it.

I think it's time to pull back a little and sketch out the next few scenes. At least block out a little of the overall arch. Eep! Organization! Who'd'a thunk?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

more procrastination

wrote 200 words
decided to do market research for short stories
i think you should know i LOATHE market research

i find it amazing the things i will work on sometimes as procrastination

must write more words

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

starting late

Starting late tonight. Wednesday is gymnastics night, so I'm not home and eating dinner until after 8pm. Then KEvin wanted to watch Angel, so I did the quality time thing and got game moves cranked out instead of writing. Still productive, and saved me from them being distracting to me later on, right?

I've discovered that I must shut down IM and my email while writing. Shut them down entirely and get my work done, then reward myself by turning them on again.

I managed to squeeze out 127 words during the day today, along with a few revisions on the current chapter (6). I've got a ways to go.

I was was trying to get longer segments per character, but now I'm pulling back again into smaller bits and pieces. I've got Karen and Celia together, so I've been shifting to tell the scene from the proper perspective. Although I'm not sure I'm always doing it just right. These last few scenes don't seem to be coming together quite right.

I think I need to wake Traci up again. After all, she DID just have a weird dream.

Life would probably be simpler if I wrote an outline. Although also much less adventurous.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Making the grade

Okay... turns out that right before I went ot bed last night I managed to bang out the required number of words with a few extra just in case. Somehow, I did the same thing tonight despite the fact that both the baby and I are a little ill.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll feel better because it's really hard to focus with an upset stomach.

Excerpt, Chapter 1 - Shadows of the Past

Katie heard her mother scream, knew she’d be running after them, or driving after them. Something. But she didn’t stop. The narrow gap between some of the cars was easier for her to fit through and she slowly gained on him. When she caught up she grabbed the coat with both hands, demanding that he stop at the top of her lungs. But he reached back and swatted her aside like a bug, slamming her into a car door, and then he kept running. Her lungs had hurt, her legs had burned and she was shaking so hard she had trouble getting back up. Then he was in the empty aisles furthest from the gym door and there was nothing to slow him down. Pauline was crying out, but while she could hear the pounding feet as the parents came running and their shouts of outrage, she knew they weren’t going to catch him before he reached the trees. And then he’d vanish again like he did last time.

Bastilla had shot passed her in a blur. Confined to the backseat of the car with the girls, she’d escaped when their mother got back out to see what the commotion was about and again raced to the rescue. Even now, years later, Katie was convinced that Bastilla would have put even a greyhound to shame, that nothing could have outrun the dog that day. Fast as he was, the man certainly hadn’t. But he’d reached woods.

A friend’s mother scooped her up and a father had run passed in pursuit, and all Katie could do was watch, terrified, as Bastilla hurtled across the open asphalt like something on a wildlife program, catapulted across the small drainage ditch and charged into the brush.

Then there were only sounds: the man yelling and cursing, Pauline screaming and the dog roaring with rage. Frantic, less able and less agile, the parents had valiantly followed, splashing through the ditch and flailing with their arms to clear the branches from their faces as they went in after them. They’d returned victorious, numb with relief, and Katie had sat with her mother, Pauline and Bastilla on the curb.

Posted by Egwenna at 02:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Still one day behind....

...but at least tonight's writing was pretty easy.

Unfortunately, I am very nearly at a crucial moment where I have to define what kind of story I'm writing. It's obviously not a normal story - I have a character who is actually two people in one body. They can shift forms at will, and one or both of them has extra-normal abilites. The main character has just discovered that one of them is a guy she knows.

Yes, I just finished watching season 5 of Buffy. So sue me. To my credit, the Glory option was about the tenth one to come to mind... *smile*

Trouble is, I have to figure out what the hell he is. Metahuman? Supernatural? Alien? I have no clue. I guess that's what I'll devote my next 24 hours of pondering to.

Speaking of Buffy, I now have the first 4 episodes of season 6 downloaded. High procrastination potential. *grin*

Posted by MShades at 10:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 04, 2003

Made it

Stiff hands and poor typing aside, I made it. 2219 words today to get me back on track, and even 108 words over the bare minimum. Woohoo!! The chapter's sort of rolling along... I'm in the middle of another dream sequence. I think I'm rolling too fast, though. I need to drop the plan I had and move with a different one. Some more exploration of sleep deprivation first, I believe. Then tomorrow we get into some real weirdness. I mean tomorrow in the story, not tomorrow, tomorrow. Should be sometime later this month.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Day 3

Have we added blogging to the list of procastination techniques? We should.

We should also add checking the word count every 5 minutes just in case it's magically jumped to the minimum.

Of course, it hasn't. And I'm not going to make it there tonight. Ah well. This is how it went last year for me too. Set up is a pain in the heiny and then I get closer to where I want to be and it's just a matter of stringing the scenes together and capturing them before they escape me. But to catch them all I'd need a laptop in the shower and the ability to dictate or type while feeding the baby because all my best writing happens when I can't possibly write.

4,080 and a loooong way to go....

Posted by Egwenna at 09:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

stupid transitions

I hate chapter transitions. Just finished chapter 5. Still have 1300 words to go to make it back to minimum tonight. And I'm staring at a file labeled "Dreamwalker, Chapter 6" and I don't know where I'm going. I keep stutter-starting... almost putting something down and then realizing, no that's not the right direction.

Stupid transitions.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A slightly better day

Well, today, I managed to make quota a little easier than my slog on Monday. I think this is because I was able to produce a lot of verbage describing a new location and its inhabitants for John to meet and greet. I could have written a little more but I felt my energies flagging a bit.

I have a tiny excerpt of the drivel I am writing in the extended entry.

The actual physical experience of being on a ship inside the Manifold was not quite what John had expected, either. Certainly, he had been warned that differences in physical constants made for a slightly altered experience, but aside from slight differences in the perception of light, and a slightly decreased sense of gravity, John didn't notice any difference. Personally, he thought that it was more of a psychosomatic thing, himself. The need to believe that the physical laws of the Manifold brane were slightly different, and thus people naturally tried to notice slight differences that might not really be perceivable. After all, John, reasoned, a slightly different value of c shouldn't truly matter that much in the long run. It was the geometry of the Manifold brane that allowed for the shortcut with respect to normal space, not any major loosening of the laws of physics.

In point of fact, from John's point of view, nothing changed much on board ship during this short period. He had been instructed to run additional tests and checks on biological samples, and Dr. Michiba saw each of the crewmembers every second day. There was still much to be learned about this new technology, it had been characterized by one of the popular science writers of the day as "a piece of 23rd century Science fallen through time into the late 21st century present."

John was pleased when he managed to win the second chess game with Li, managing to checkmate her King, finally, on the forty-fifth move. In the meantime, Michiba's game with Paulsen was going more slowly, John expected that the Go game would probably last through much of the expedition before being completed.

Doctor Holbrook regretted that he didn't have the opportunity to propose a tiebreaker game with Colonel Qin before the day came to exit the Manifold brane, and reenter the physical universe in the Epsilon Eridani system.

Posted by Jvstin at 08:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chewing up the reams....

Okay. Got 1,944 words done tonight. This puts me a little under one day behind at 5,286 total. I figure Friday, being my day off, will be a good time to play catch-up.

I still don't know very much about anything in the story, but I do know enough to give myself two Questions to Ponder for tomorrow. That's progress, I suppose.

I'm also trying something a little new on this one. I know that my narrative voice tends to be very neutral (does that even make logical sense? who cares...) So I'm trying to write as though it were in first person, but it's the narrator writing about herself in the third person.

Okay, that makes even less sense, but trust me, I know what I'm doing. I think.

Posted by MShades at 10:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Weekdays are hard

I had a hard time last night making my minimum. Workdays are a bit of a drain on my time and energy. But I am still at the minimum after three days.

I haven't really put in chapter headings and the like, I should probably do something along those lines, no?

Posted by Jvstin at 08:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

An awesome procrastination tool....

And I mean "awesome" in the original sense of the word, i.e. "inspiring awe and wonder."

Check this out: The HeroMachine

"But... I have to be able to visualize my characters! This is work! Honest!" *evil grin*

Of course, this doesn't work so well if your heroes are normal people, but for fantasy or sci-fi, it's pretty cool....

Wonder if I can find a place in my story for this guy....


Posted by MShades at 08:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 03, 2003

Not at quota

Well, I'm not at the quota tonight. I made it about 1000 words today, and I'm starting to collapse, and I haven't done game moves yet. *tired groans*

My total thus far is 4557, about 444 words short of the overal minimum. Basically, I should've cracked 5k today. I think I actually should've finished chapter 5 tonight. So, tomorrow night I've got to finish that and start chapter 6. Maybe i can crank out a few words over lunchtime or something.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Time for a breather....

Okay. I'm at 3,300 words. Took me two hours to do it, with much procrastination going on. Mmmmm... Legion comics downloads....

Again, things have happened that I didn't expect. I think Eliza might be in love - or at least serious like - with Az, the guy who works at the local convenience store. There was a supermarket robbery that caught me completely by surprise, and it's entirely probable that Az isn't exactly human.

I really wish I knew what I was thinking....

Posted by MShades at 07:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Never do today....

14. I really, really have to wash the dishes. Right now.

15. I almost have season 6, episode 2 of Buffy downloaded, and when I do, I can watch the first four episodes of the season in one stretch! Yay!

I'm working on it, really. I'm actually 2 days behind at the moment. I should be at about 5,000 words, and I'm only at 1,800. Maybe because I have no idea what I'm doing. Or because things keep happening that catch me completely by surprise.

Like just now, Eliza got an IM from someone. She doesn't know who it is, so she denies the message. She then gets an email which says, "I need to talk to you." She has no idea who sent the email, and neither do I!

*whimper* Make the bad subconscious stop....

Posted by MShades at 05:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2003

Excerpt from Dreamwalker

A brief excerpt from today. I'm relatively happy with the tension between Shane and Traci. I'm just hoping I can maintain that tension since I've set the bar so high already!

"I'm not leaving until I do what I came to do, Traci," Shane says. His voice echoes in my skull with remembered familiarity.

It makes me want to get away. "Get. Out. Of. My. Room."

He stops right in front of me, one hand gliding over the space just above my forehead, then down my nose, to not quite touch my lips. His lips twist into a mock of a smile and he bows, and steps back. "As you command."


Baby-doll had a name. She wasn't just some brat goth-poser. She was here for a reason, and Shane knew her. Which means I know her. But I'll be damned if I can remember the bitch.

Traci's my favorite. I love the way she thinks, she way she tells her story. And I love Shane. He's a bastard, but he's my bastard. And he's got depth to him and I want his story to come out.

Traci continues to be the driving force in the story, yet Karen and Celia hold so much of the base plot. It is nearly impossible to see, just yet, how things tie together. It will all out, in the end. Just not too soon... not too soon. After all, there're still a good 67k worth of words left to go, I hope!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dam almost breaks

Well, I finally managed to get writing tonight. I made it to 1832 for the day. I was tempted to keep going, but I realized that Karen and Celia were starting to chitchat. And it was important (laid a gun on the mantle in the form of cooking in the fireplace and yet I'm not certain WHY that's a useful detail at this point).

I'll pick up again tomorrow and see where this takes me. I'm trying to decide if I should stick solely with the viewpoints of the three main characters, or if I should branch out to the three secondary characters. After all, Art's life doesn't stop just because the women have left -- he still has work to do on the case. And Jay's been sent away, and doesn't appreciate it. Although writing what he does will tip the hand, I think. I *DO* need to make notes on him, however, so I don't lose track of what he's up to. And Shane... he's the one that intrigues me the most. After all, Traci's going to be asleep for another several hours. I know Shane's busy in the meantime, making phone calls and checking things. Although again, perhaps, I should just make notes and get it all figured out.

I'm slowly dropping hints about Traci and Shane. I'm hoping the hints are intriguing and not befuddling.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Procrastination -- Addendum

12. But the blog looked icky... I just HAD to tweak it.

13. These Trumps can't wait. Just a few hours or so and I'll have the perfect pictures to make them.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Semi-Official List

Official NaNo Procrastination Techniques

1. But I HAVE to talk to so-and-so on IM! It's IMPORTANT!

2. No, really... there's this meeting at work Monday morning at 8am and I have to prep these materials...

3. If I don't run my PBEM game, my players will be upset!

4. But the other players depend on me to respond quickly so they don't get bored in the games I'm in!

5. Is it my fault Dara's having entertaining conversations in my head?

6. Making lists of procrastination techniques isn't working on NaNo?

7. My laundry needs done.

8. My kitchen is a mess.

9. My children need baths.

10. My cat needs waxing. (That's the I'm wasting time instead of writing excuse I've heard from OWW. *smiles*)

11. I haven't been to the gym in a year. I have to start going again NOW.

Anyone got more to add?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 06:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Here I go again....

Last year it was just crazy.... this year, with a baby who will hit all of two months in a few days, it truly is madness.

I took yesterday off to pamper myself, but I did at least think about it. Today, at 3AM after feeding the previously mentioned baby, I started writing. I didn't get very far then, and I'm only just over 1,200 now, but WTH -- last year I started a couple days in the hole and it's not even bedtime.

Now, to see if I can manage this feat while in FL for a week with the family!


Posted by Egwenna at 05:44 PM | Comments (4)

Introducing Jvstin


My name is Paul, and I apparently am now playing a novel writer on TV with my insane decision to join the Nanowrimo project :)

The name of my novel is "Beyond the Veil of Stars". I managed to hit the minimum last night.

As soon as things become clearer, I will talk more about the book but I will say that its inspired by Jack Vance...

Posted by Jvstin at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Christ a'mighty....

So I started over today. What I wrote yesterday just kept gnawing at me all day, it was that flimsy and pathetic.

I had a chat with the main character and we worked some stuff out. I have her pretty well done, her basic background and what she wants out of this. I still don't know what kind of story it's going to be, though. I get the feeling that faeries are involved. And the title is "Wishing Well," though I'm damned if I know why....

*sigh* Gonna be work this time around, it looks like. At least I'm not the only one.

Posted by MShades at 06:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2003


Welcome to our small group of people doing NaNoWriMo for 2003!

Me, I'm Deb, and I'm writing Dreamwalker. I've already started it WAY back when, but got stuck around 20k in. So I'm planning on adding 50k to it this month, which will get me within 30k of the final goal for the whole thing. *fingers crossed*

Today I clocked 1701 words, and am feeling pretty good about it. We'll see how I hold up during the work week!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack