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Shameful Admissions

      October is underway.
      I am unprepared.
      I am definitely not going to get “Inferno” done before 10/15, which means when NaNo 2013 begins, I will begin it with my WIP incompleted. And I am ashamed.
      Yes, I have been writing. 1000s of words about things that I cannot publish, nor can I even post here. But I need “Inferno” to be done. Over with. Finito. Alas, it won’t be until December 2013 at the soonest. Unless, by some miracle I *do* write 50,000 words in the next ten days.
      *sigh*
      Anyway – I have been trying desperately to choose what I am going to do for NaNo 2013 this year, because I realize now that it will end up being a *real* part of my life and portfolio and I don’t want to hate it!
      WAAAH!
      Help me, Rhonda!
      Sorry for calling you Rhonda. Is Maynard better?
      But seriously, help me!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

NaNoWriMo 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

      I do not have a project for NaNo 2013 yet.
      WHAAAAAAAAT?
      It is already September. SEPTEMBER! And yes, I have not yet finished the first draft of “Inferno” (I’m closer, I swear, but it is just… not flowing. Because I am focused on non-publishable stuff… oy vey!). I am making it a goal to try and finish by October 15th so that I can have two weeks to really plot out my next project.
      The biggest problem? Deciding what I want to pursue next. Because if you have looked at my WIP page here, I’ve got like 10 or more projects in various stages of completion. And that isn’t even really close to the whole number of things I am interested in writing at some point.
      There’s a fantasy novel, a one-off, brewing in my brain. There’s a modern day romantic comedy story. There is also a “soft” sci-fi type novel that I sort of love… at least, in theory… and I want to write about that character as well.
      ARRRGH! How do you decide? I guess I’ll just wait until I get through “Inferno” and see what appeals most come October 31st… of course, that’s how I ended up with “Incandescence” and “Inferno” in the first place.
      What do you think? Which of those (really vague) projects would you like to see me tackle?

Love & Rainbow,
P.P.

Itchy Fingers

Itchy Fingers

      Well, I didn’t make my goal on Day One (work was BUSY), but I’ll try to make up for it today. I’ve got itchy typing fingers and its time to get this novel done!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

//EDIT: Okay, so this entry was intended to be much, much longer, but I was in a hurry to update before my husband dragged me out of the house to the ER since I was feeling weird heart palpitations. Thankfully, I’m fine. Unfortunately, I have many, many words to write and very little time between now and midnight. So… I guess I oughta get working to catch up for Day Two!\\

Mosquito Netting

Mosquito Netting

      Oh man! The humidity here at Camp is already killing me and there are so many bugs-
      Er… wait, my imagination is running away with me. But today is July 1st and thus, the beginning of July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Its a virtual cabin-in-the-woods in which a whole slew of crazy would-be and already-are writers take on the famed November challenge (to write a novel in 30 days) in the dog days of summer.
      We’re all insane.
      But that’s OKAY! Camp is more relaxed than November – you can set your word goal down and spend more time at the lake if need be – but it is still a wonderful ‘tool’ for writers like me, who seem to work best under specific ‘goals’ or time constraints.
      This year, Jack and I are both attempting it and he’s actually signed up for a cabin on the CampNaNo page and interacted a bit with the ladies we’re bunking with. He’s also going back to school so, he’ll be a busy boy this July.
      My secondary goal, is to update the blog here each day in July (though likely not from July 14-22 as I’ll be travelling and probably away from a computer) with my progress – though, as long as I’m writing, if I forget to splash it here I won’t stress too much about it.
      Now, Day One blog is complete, but guess what? Day One writing is not… so I’m off to my bunk to apply pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, in this case) and write, write, write!
      Wish me luck!
      And someone send me some sunblock SPF +1000, I’m fair and its sunny and I’m DYING out here!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Re-read, Re-Write, Revision

Re-read, Re-Write, Revision

      Guess what time it is?
      Time to abandon my Camp NaNo project at ±17k to get back to work on “Inferno”. Time for re-reading “Incandescence” and opening up Scrivener to re-work “Inferno” from scratch. Time to get that last edit on Book One, then edit Book Two. Time for moving toward publication.
      I’m inspired by a colleague who is making her writing goals come true – who just commissioned two great covers (sincerely, like… I was a fan of the first one, but the second one really blew my skirt up!) for her novel and who is getting ready for the release of that one all the while, preparing a whole slew of other projects for publication. Have I ever mentioned how much I admire her work ethic? She’s a freakin’ MACHINE, man. In the best way, that is. Hardly misses a day of word count, punching out quality work and an excellent blog day after day. All of that while
      I strive to be more like her.
      Anyway – why am I giving up on “Going Home”? I’m not. Just… I can’t get “Inferno” out of my head. I keep thinking about how its going to end. And then wondering if it still ends the way I originally planned. My first draft is incomplete, so I have not yet “discovered” the ending.
      Unfortunately, I’ve just started another read-through of “Incandescence” and I keep finding things that seem asinine and which I want to change.
     *le sigh*
      I know, I know. A writer is really never satisfied and at some point, we just have to relinquish control and call it “done”. So, I shall finish this read-through (making notes as necessary as I go), then I shall re-work my first draft of “Inferno”. Then I shall probably give “Incandescence” one last edit before starting my final draft of “Inferno”. And in the end, I will (assuming I don’t find a publisher) commission two covers and release these babies out into the world!
      Yep.
      That’s the goal. By the end of 2013, one way or another, Hannah, Mike & their 102-year-old great-great-grandmother will be published. Boo-yah.
      Plus, I want to finish “Going Home” and get back to “Rudabet” and I’ve got several shorts.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

By the Seat of my Custom-Ordered Bloomers

By the Seat of my Custom-Ordered Bloomers

This post was originally featured at BookBabe as part of the TTC/MK VBT 2012.
———————
      Its a question every writer (okay, maybe just those who have ever participated in NaNoWriMo) must face at some point.
      Are you a pantser or a plotter?
      Which is to say, do you write by the seat of your pants (a ‘pantser’) or do you write with meticulously constructed notes and plot points (a ‘plotter’)?
      This would make a great poll – in fact, I’m posting one on my Facebook page today to coincide with this post? I wonder which is more common amongst my fellow writers and whether or not there are others like me.
      Because I go both ways.
      *ahem*
      During the best, most organic moments of writing — I am a pantser. I fly by the seat of my bloomers! I clamp on my chunky magenta headphones, crank up the playlist, and let my fingers do the work. It has been that way since I started writing books twenty years ago. Perhaps that is why I enjoy sprinting/word wars so much during NaNo; sprints are a license to just let loose and allow whatever comes out to just be.
      Yet I write a lot of fantasy, and with fantasy worlds comes world-building, history-writing, research-gathering. And I have been told that I do world-building to excess. I don’t believe that – you never know when some small nugget of information may end up being crucial to a plot! Plus, its fun. For me at least. I adore creating timelines, maps, intricate relationships between Ancestral Houses or religious institutions, webs of intrigue stretching across time and space. I have reams of pages filled with brief character sketches, key exports from certain regions, weather patterns, historical changes in geography/topography/political boundaries, lists, maps, details about the style of dress, notes from books or websites about various topics that may come up in the plot, real world mythology and legends… I could go on, but I think that gets the point across.
      I am a meticulous planner. To the point that, yes, sometimes I bog myself down in detail. But I like to err on the side of caution and have too much information than to end up stuck on some niggling detail in the midst of a hot and heavy writing session.
      But I have a shameful secret to share. Despite all my world-building, all the information I’ve put together for various projects — several of those, my dearest and most beloved projects, remain unfinished and incomplete. Probably because despite all the planning, I wrote them as a pantser and tripped myself up in the actual plot.
      Which is why, when I began my current WIP, “Incandescence” and its sequel, “Inferno”, I made a conscious decision to go against my usual modus operandi and outline the plot BEFORE I started writing. I spent a couple days before last November scribbling out first a general ‘this happens, then this, and then this, then the end’ before fleshing it out into scenes and chapters. This process has been super stream-lined thanks to Scrivener, which I purchased after winning NaNo last November.
      In the future, I am going to continue to work on my process. I think I work best with a good combination of both plotting and pantsing. Of course, the beta readers’ verdicts are still out, so…
      Anyway, my answer to the question above is muddled. I guess I would have to say that I swing both ways, and I’m comfortable that way. What about you, friends? Are you pantsers, plotters, or both? Would you consider yourself something else entirely?
      Comment below and then check out my poll on Facebook to vote and see how other people are answering!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

NaNoWriMo 2012 – Day One

NaNoWriMo 2012 - Day One

      It’s here! It’s here!
      Wheee! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began at midnight and I’m so excited I could spit.
      Since I am going to be super busy meeting my daily goal (1667 just to reach the 50k, but double that to actually complete the novel in November) I will probably not do a whole lot of blogging. Which is par for the course, isn’t it? I’ve been a terrible blogger these past few months.
      Please forgive me.
      At any rate, I was going to stay up and write starting at midnight, but alas, I was tired and fell asleep at about 10 on 10/31. But, I woke around midnight-thirty and the words just wouldn’t wait. Thus, I put to pen the official ‘first words’ of “Inferno” (first draft) – a line six words long.
      I then returned to bed and slept until four or so, woke, and wrote.
      In total, despite reading 95 issues of The Walking Dead because I. Could. Not. Stop., I added 5211 words to the first draft of “Inferno”, completed the Prologue, Chapter One, and part of Chapter Two.
      This may sound like a great start to NaNoWriMo 2012, but I really wanted 10k for Day One. C’est la vie. There are 29 days to go in this frantic month of writing and I shall make it to 50k for sure. Its the 100-120k I’m worried about reaching…
      Wish me luck!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Wrinkled Papaya is Not a Euphemism.

Wrinkled Papaya is Not a Euphemism.

      Last night, on the once-in-a-millenia date of 10/11/12, I submitted “Incandescence” to Harper-Voyager for consideration. Now, I’m not holding my breath (though I am totally praying my butt off) but it felt amazingly horrible and exhilarating to click that “Submit” button. I posted a milestone on my Facebook page and received the confirmation email shortly thereafter.
      So the deed is done, man.
      In the past few days, I added several vignettes to the story that I had not gotten around to writing for the first draft. They are gruesome. They are… just- wow. One deals with isolation, betrayal, and starvation. Another, with a child’s perspective of the horrors in the world (er… the ancient evil rising to the surface, not just mundane horrors). A third features a rebellious girl who dies screaming and a fourth shares a story eluded to by Alexander in another chapter.
      Overall, I am pleased with how they turned out, but I could change things, certainly.
      Plus, less than an hour after I hit submit, my dear sweet mother started reading the novel and found a typo in the prologue. Tend instead of Tent. How did I miss that when I read it outloud to myself?
      C’est la vie.
      The important thing, as my friend Ray and I were discussing, is that we took the plunge, we took a risk, took a chance… we did it.
      What to take away from this post?

  1. My mother, who has never been much of a reader, is reading “Incandescence”.
  2. “Incandescence” has been submitted to a genuine publisher for consideration.
  3. Today I opened a (mostly) blank project in Scrivener to get ready for NaNoWriMo.
  4. The last four chapters I wrote for “Incandescence” are bloody and gruesome.
  5. Wrinkled Papaya is not a euphemism. (But it totally should be!)

      And that my friends, is all for this morning. It’s Friday and it is time to work. Boo-hiss.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Hot like Fire

Hot like Fire

      Aaaaaaand we’re off!
      Camp NaNoWriMo officially began today, June 1st, and with it, I put the first words to page on “Inferno”, the sequel to my WIP “Incandescence”. The chapter I began with is not chronologically the first one in the outline (which is still incomplete…oy vey, too many irons in the fire!) but I could not wait to get back into OLDLADYNAME’s head again and find out what has happened in the interim.
      Er… yeah. I was waiting for her to tell me.
      I started with her because she is not (generally) in the middle of the action. She’s on the periphry, sharing her knowledge and experience, relating things about the world and plot that other characters (especially those who ARE directly in the fray) cannot. And she spends a lot of time thinking or telling stories rather than being out there, doing the deeds, so maybe readers would think to skip her POV chapters. I don’t know.
      But I love them. I love writing them, I love re-reading them, I love her. I love discovering things she knows that I did not even realize she knew until it came out on the page. OLDLADYNAME is an enigma cocooned in a conundrum swathed in perplexity wrapped in bacon (because everything is better with bacon). She’s such a strange little old thing with such a big heart, this iron-clad faith, and great anecdotes about peeing the woods.
      I know, I know. I’m babbling.
      I’m just very excited to be (temporarily) back to composing rather than editing. I’ve really been struggling with some stuff in “Incandescence” – though mostly its just insecurity – and I’m ready to lay it aside for a few days so I can really concentrate on “Inferno”.
      So. Show of hands – who out there is participating in Camp NaNo this year? I’m hoping to do both June and August, myself! I love the challenge and daily impetus to JUST WRITE that comes from NaNo. What’s your favorite part of NaNo?

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.