NaNoWriMo 2022, week 4 mini update

Week four is in the can! Three days left. Will I make it?! (SPOILER: I never intended to.)

The plan

To do what I can and feel good about the progress 🙂 I’m not a fast writer at the best of times.

The progress

Here’s what week four looked like:

I wrote 7,718 words on Alice in Thunderland and 364 words in this post, for a total of 8,082 words for the week.

Overall, I’ve written 31,868 words, or 64% of the 50k goal.

And … I made an adjustment to the first three days of the month. I forgot to count the assignment I’d written up for my book coach (!) So, that added 3,378 to my word count (reflected in the above). I’ll break down my weekly progress on Alice and on other projects in my next chapter update.

The pivot

I’m getting better at the quick shift from work to writing to work brain. Also getting better at sleep and the rearrangement of Torvi afternoon walk times, but appointments, meetings, and events continue to disrupt my plans/schedule/rituals. The appointments, meetings, and events are things I want to do, but they’re still disruptive. I plan around them to the best of my ability, but it’s still a challenge.

Am I coming off as too whiny? Too first world problems? Too middle-class CIS/Het white chick privilege?

Change can be an autistic’s nightmare, even when you expect it and plan for it. That’s the truth.

And in another three days, I’m going to be adapting to change again, as I resume curation and my usual daily schedule. I have to fit in the de-Hallowe’ening and Christmasing of the house as well. Yup, still have the Hallowe’en door decorations up. Everything else has been gathered and made ready for its trip into the storage tub downstairs. November generally means a pause on a lot of day-to-day activities.

In any case, I’m happy with how NaNoWriMo 2022 has gone so far.

I’ll fill you in on the last three days in my next chapter update next weekend.

The days of grey skies are here.

Until next week, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

NaNoWriMo 2022, week 3 mini update

Week three’s a wrap! Welcome to week four.

The plan

To keep on as I’ve been keeping on.

The progress

There were a few good days, but work and appointments, and social events also meant several low-production days.

Here’s what week three looked like (notice the nifty colour-coding?):

So, 6,548 words on Alice in Thunderland and 380 words in this post, for a total of 6,928 words for the week.

In NaNoWriMo so far, I’ve written 20,428 words of the 50k-word goal, or 41%.

The pivot

It’s not a pivot, but I’m trying to use my afternoon breaks at work to write. It’s not been as successful as I’d like, because it’s hard to shift gears between work-brain and writer-brain and back to work-brain again. Also, it’s only 15 minutes (yes, I hear you say, that’s the length of a sprint) so I don’t get a lot written.

As the days have been getting darker, I’ve also had to change the time I walk Torvi, which is right after work, most days, meaning that I can’t get right to writing. It’s that time of year when I have to bundle up in boots and scarf and mitts and winter coat, which turns a 15- to 20-minute walk into a 30- to 40-minute walk. Change, even seasonal change, is never easy for me.

Daylight Saving Time ended on the 6th, and that always discombobulates me for about a week. I’ve tried to compensate by getting to bed at a more reasonable hour and using earplugs and a sleep mask to help me sleep better. It’s definitely helped me get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

So, workdays, I write on my afternoon break (15 minutes), between walking Torvi and supper (30 minutes to an hour, depending), and then after supper to about 9 pm (an hour and a half to two hours). After 9, my brain shuts down and good words stop happening. That adds up to 2 and a quarter to 3 and a quarter.

Weekends aren’t much better.

It’s been a limited success.

But that’s been week three of NaNoWriMo in this writer’s life.

Until next week, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

NaNoWriMo 2022, week 2 mini update

Week two is done, for better or worse. Welcome to week three!

The plan

The plan was just to keep going, honestly.

The progress

I’m back to work this week (I forgot to mention that I was on leave last week) means all I have are evenings and weekends. And I still have other obligations to attend to. Again, I’ve been taking it easy on myself. There’s no point if I’m not having fun. And I am having fun, so whatever the ultimate outcome, I consider that a win.

Unfortunately, this week’s impediments to progress included a power outage, a forced Windows update, and a plant emergency (it fell, spilling soil all over the floor—I had to clean up and repot it). All of this resulted in about three hours that could have been devoted to Alice 😦

Week two looked like this:

I wrote 8,492 words on Alice, and blogged 320, for a total of 8,812.

At this point, I don’t think I’ll even make 30k, let alone 50k, but every word’s a victory! That is, every word is one I didn’t have before. It’s also more than would have written without the motivation of NaNoWriMo. It’s progress even if the ultimate goal isn’t reached.

The pivot

Again, not pivoting.

I did get my laptop updated (a little belatedly, as it’s been a few months since I last used it), and now I can work on the couch or dining room table if I want. I could even write in bed (!) though I haven’t, yet.

My portable desk.

I just have to be careful to close the document on my desktop. It will update on both with frequent saving, but honestly, it’s easier just to have the document opened on one computer at a time 🙂

Until next week, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

NaNoWriMo 2022, week 1 mini update

Welcome to my NaNoWriMo project for 2022, my alternate history/steampunk novel, Alice in Thunderland.

Airship captain Madeline Hatter must rescue her girlfriend and military research and development scientist Nuala Rabbit when she is kidnapped by otherworldly agents. If she can’t, Canada and its allies will be ill-prepared for the next great war. And if she can’t stop Thunderland’s Queen Hart from using Nuala’s wormhole generator to launch an attack of his own, it might not be a world war they face, but a worlds’ war.

It’s a work in progress 🙂

The plan

I didn’t have much of a plan. I’d roughed out the first 20 chapters or so and was just going to pants the heck out of it. So far, so good.

While I signed up for the 50k, I don’t anticipate that I’ll be able to “win” this year. I’m trying not to put pressure on myself and aim for quality over quantity. I’m learning that gamification doesn’t work well for me anymore.

Even counting words from other projects might not get me to 50k. I’ll settle for whatever I get. This year, NaNo’s all about diving into a new project and giving myself the space and grace to do it well.

The progress

I started off slow but gained momentum as I worked. There was a little hiccup because of Wordstock Sudbury, but attending the literary festival was worth it. More about that in my next chapter update.

The firs six days of NaNo looked like this:

4,688 words of 50,000, or 9%.

The pivot

I don’t really have to pivot, but I want to get my laptop updated and try writing in the living room sometimes. Just for a change of place. I even have a lap desk ready to go …

Well, that’s it for this week.

Sun dogs. I take ’em where I can find ’em.

Until next week, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 23-29, 2022

Welcome to the last thoughty Thursday until December 15th.  Get your mental corn popping while you can 🙂

I won’t disappear completely, though. I’ll be doing my NaNo mini updates every weekend.

Bill Hutchinson reports that former police officer J. Alexander Kueng pleads guilty in George Floyd death case. ABC News

Amy Romer explains how a First Nation rallied against the foster care system: “The new residential school system.” The Walrus

Jonathan Landay: Russia rehearses response to nuclear attack as tensions rise over “dirty bomb” allegation. Reuters

John Paul Tasker reports that Canadian handgun sales freeze takes effect. CBC

Laura Hensley wonders, why was the Lyme Disease vaccine thrown away? The Walrus

Harmeet Kaur says Diwali is having a mainstream moment in the US. CNN 

Ellen Walker unveils the horror of our favourite monsters. JSTOR Daily

Go inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. A virtual experience you can get lost in. The Giza Project

Amelia Soth: walking streetlamps for hire in seventeenth-century London. JSTOR Daily

Jessica Stillman says pretending to be extroverted doesn’t help introverts be more successful. Inc.

Marguerite Ward says the “glass cliff” is a serious problem in corporate America. Here’s how to dismantle it. Insider

Diana dove in a nuclear submarine. Physics Girl

Andreas Muller: a physicist explains what quantum entanglement is. Fast Company

Alex Wilkins: the lightest neutron star ever found could contain compressed quarks. New Scientist

Will Sullivan reports that NASA team begins study of UFOs. The Smithsonian Magazine

Camille Fine shares the last solar eclipse of the year in photos. USA Today

Steve Gorman: NASA instrument detects dozens of methane super-emitters from space. Reuters

Thomas Gualtieri and Kati Pohjanpalo explain how cold seawater can heat Helsinki’s homes. Bloomberg

Why eight eyes are better than two (if you’re a spider). Be Smart

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

Until my first NaNo mini update, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 23-29, 2022

Welcome to November! This will be the last tipsday until December 13th (!) That’s right, I’m NaNoing again and foregoing curation until December. Get your fill of informal writerly learnings now!

You could always peruse the archives if you miss tipsday too much 😉

Vaughn Roycroft presents Murphy’s Law—the unboxed writer’s version. Elizabeth Havey: what was that phrase about authenticity? Kelsey Allagood shares what horror teaches us. Then, Sarah Penner is making the most of Canva with these seven design ideas for writers. Victoria Strauss explains when new isn’t better: the value of experience. Writer Unboxed

Clive Barker’s weirdest monster. Tale Foundry

C.S. Lakin stops by K.M. Weiland’s site: how writers can infuse mood in story settings. Helping Writers Become Authors

Over on her own site, Susanne discusses writing about difficult emotional experiences. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Susanne explains how to quickly establish the setting in scenes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

How school makes you a bad writer. Answer in Progress

Kris Maze offers the ABCs of school author talks: how to engage kids. Eldred Bird: writing horror vs. writing terror. J. Alexander Greenwood is making a podcast love connection. Writers in the Storm

Why the Bechdel test isn’t enough. The Take

Manuela Williams suggests some revision strategies for your poet’s toolbox. Then, Dominique Richardson wonders, should you write a YA series today? John Matthew Fox lists five ways movies sabotage your writing skills. DIY MFA

Don’t force your characters to ask leading questions just so you can deliver exposition. Nathan Bransford

Ann-Marie MacDonald on her new novel Fayne and the stage adaptation of Fall on Your Knees. CBC’s Q

Elizabeth Sims lists 20 reasons everybody should write short stories. Then, Michael Mohr reveals the secret sauce to being a good writer. Jane Friedman

Rayne Hall explains how to write a spooky ghost story. Fiction University

Why ASL was banned in America. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses peopling your stories (and your world) with individuals. Fox Print Editorial

Colleen M. Story shows you how to tell if you’re self-publishing your book for the right reasons. Writers Helping Writers

What makes a good story idea? Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the entitled writing of Yarnsworld. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that fail at human resources. Mythcreants

Sir Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye, agent Andrew Wylie. BBC

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.