Monday, November 29, 2010

With one headlight.

I have equated writing before to "driving at night with your headlights on."  Some of you might ask if there is any other way to drive at night.  If that's you, you're missing the point.

"So what is the point?" you ask. "You can't just say something stupid like that and expect everybody to jump to the conclusion you're trying to make with your inane metaphors."

Jesus, calm down.  I'll tell you what my point is.  My point is that when driving at night, you can only see as far as your headlights let you.  You can only see maybe twenty feet in front of you at any given time, and it's a little unnerving to me to think of things which might be out there that I can't see.  Things in the road that could total my car.  Sharp turns, road blocks, Bigfoot, the greasy smears of roadkill left by previous vehicles, sudden drop offs with no safety rail, "Dead End" signs, "No Outlet" signs, "Avalanche Area Next 400 Feet" signs.  Scary things that I could run into at any moment, and probably would if it weren't for my headlights.

I might be able to see only a little ways ahead of me, but my headlights let me see all this scary shit in enough time to avoid it.  So, even if you can only see twenty feet in front of you, you can make the whole trip that way.

Writing's a lot like that.

When I started my NaNo novel, it was late afternoon and the sun was high enough in the sky that I could see perfectly all around me.  I didn't need my headlights yet.  But now I'm at that point in my novel where the sun has set and it's fully dark.  I've turned my headlights on, but one of them is burnt out and the other one is sort of flickering at irregular intervals, and I'm afraid it's going to go out completely.  I'm so afraid of it, in fact, that I have caught myself riding the brake.  I'm barely moving.  I could walk faster than this. 

But I don't want to stop completely.  I have a destination and I have to get there.  I'll be way late, but I'll get there.  I'm just hoping that by the time I get there, it'll be morning and I'll be able to see again.

For now, I'm making like the Wallflowers.  I can drive it home with one headlight. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Zero to Fail in 8 Days

Well, I think it is safe to say I will not reach 50K by November 30th.  I just had too big an interruption by moving from Juneau to Ellensburg in the middle of the month.  I had to pack and take the ferry down, and then drive across WA.  Then when I got here, my aunt took me to Tri-Cities for the weekend.  And now on Wednesday, we will be going to Tacoma for Thanksgiving.

I had thought I would get a lot of writing done on the ferry because there was no internet on the boat, so there would be nothing else to do.  But the trip was so... utterly awful that I barely got any done at all.  I think I wrote 3000 words the whole 4 days I was on the boat.  My cabin was about 30 feet from the children's play area, so all day, every day, there were babies and toddlers screaming outside my door.  I couldn't concentrate.  It was rough seas most of the trip, too.  It was very hard to concentrate when the floor was rolling under me hard enough to throw me off balance.  And also, the bed I had to sleep in was the most uncomfortable thing in the history of bed-like things.  I couldn't sleep at all in that bed.  One night I slept a grand total of an hour and a half before I woke up and could not go back to sleep.  It was terrible.  So even during the times at night when it was quiet outside my room, I was so tired and felt horrible, so I didn't do any writing.

I'm not terribly upset by the fact that I probably won't "win" Nano.  Winning was never really my goal.  I really just wanted to use Nano as a jumping off point to start writing my own stuff again, and I did that.  And I will keep on working on this story after November is over. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The power of voodoo. Hoodoo? You do!

I had to share this, because it's been in the making for like a year and it's sort of related to my story.  Vaguely.  Okay not really, but srsly.  I just want to post this.  I did the sketch back in Jan/Feb of this year, and I colored the figure in March over he pencils.  When I got him colored, I sort of forgot about it for a while.  Backgrounds don't really interest me all that much.  lol  But then in October, I got a neat program called PaintTool SAI that makes doing digital lineart SO fricken easy.  So I did the lines and laid them over the sketch and the colors I'd already done.  It only required some minor adjustments.  Then I colored the rest of it, and I just finished the background like yesterday.

Obviously it's World of Warcraft fanart.  Well maybe not obviously if you don't play.  But... if you do, obviously that's what it is.  The trolls in WoW are followers of voodoo, and they're a very superstitious but spiritual people.  They worship the Loa, which are not gods, exactly, but powerful spirits, and one of the loa they worship is Baron Samedi, the loa of the dead.  The Baron is usually depicted with a top hat; it is one of his most recognizable trademarks. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNo's mother wears army boots!

NaNo is stupid and ugly. Also fat and smelly, and its mother dresses it funny.

Reblogging this because my friend Naamah is fucking awesome, and I love her writing, because she always has something worth while to say.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Here's Romy.  I realized I still had this oooold sketch from like... years ago.  He's been a character in my head for that long.  I love his hair.  XD  It's so 1920s.

I had a huge bug with the Windows beta of Scrivener last night.  I compiled the text in order to post it into the NaNo word counter, and it made all the text in my file invisible.  It was still there, apparently, just.... I couldn't see it.  SUPER.  Luckily I was able to get it back.  *deep breath* It's a beta, it's a beta, it's a beta....

Still, I made like four backups of my project.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


“So, Romy,” Sam said. He got that twinkle in his eye that he always did when he was about to rib me for something. “Tell me again why you were worried?”

I glanced at him then returned my eyes to the road. “Don’t start.”

“What?” He didn’t laugh, but the humor was still there in his eyes. I tightened my hands on the steering wheel. Sam had a naturally swarthy, sleepy-eyed look about him that usually made me want to hit him. The urge usually increased in direct perportion to the rise in smart alec comments that came out of his trap.

“It was some bad omen you saw this morning? You remember,” he prompted me.

“Sam,” I said. I sounded tired, even to myself.

“You found a dead bird on your front porch. That was it, right?”

I sighed. “I wasn’t worried because of that. This thing just had the potential to get out of control. It was a risky move.”

“No. What would have been risky would be to allow Capone to waltz into my town like he owned the joint and start making demands. We had to nip this thing in the bud. Cut off the snake’s head before it even had a chance to coil and strike. You want I should have let him do that?”

“Alors pas. I agree with you, but public displays like that one are a good way to attract unwanted attention.” I rubbed my forehead.

“It beats the alternative,” Sam replied. “And quit that Cajun talk. Anyway, you have your hoodoo joujou bag, right?”

I pressed my lips into a frown, but I touched the lump under my shirt where my talisman hung around my neck. “It’s called a gris-gris.”

“Yeah, that thing. It keeps away the bad luck, right?”

“That’s the idea.”

“Well, then.” Sam gestured in an it-goes-without-saying kind of way. Though generally, with Sam, it never went without saying, because he usually said it.

“I thought you didn’t believe in voodoo,” I said, looking sideways at him.

“I don’t. Only backwater rubes and dinges believe in all that bushwa.”

“Hey now!”

“And you, of course.” Sam grinned and scratched his long nose.

I snorted. “Watch it, peekon. I’ll get a voodoo queen to work roots on you.”

That made Sam laugh.


this was a particularly troublesome piece of dialogue i've been working on today.  i'm trying to work in the voodoo/occult/superstitious aspects of the story without coming out and blatantly saying ROMY WAS HALF RAISED BY HIS DAD'S NEIGHBOR'S WIFE WHO PRACTICED VOODOO 8D  show, don't tell. u_u

One Down

First day of NaNo, and I hit my minimum word count. In order to make 50,000 words by Nov 30th without KILLING myself, the daily word minimum is about 1,667. In other words, I need to write about 1,700 words a day. I did it today, but it was tough. I got about 3.5 hours of sleep this morning. I went to bed around 8 a.m., I think. And that was only after I took some melatonin. I set my alarm for noon, then got up and started researching. I stated writing about 2 p.m. I took a break for dinner when I hit 1,000 words, then struggled with the last 700 words till about 11 p.m. But I did it. I’m hoping it will get easier as I get further in. It was just really slow going today because I had to stop every couple paragraphs to research something. Fortunately there is a lot of info about New Orleans in 1929. The Big Easy was a pretty popular place during the Prohibition because it was totally lax and apparently corruption in politics and police was rampant.

I’m such a stickler for details, I’m beginning to wonder if it was a good idea to set this novel in the ’20s. I’m not satisfied if my reader doesn’t believe I’ve been to the place I’m writing about which, in this case, is sort of impossible. I want to use street names, and names of real buildings that existed at the time, and names of real historical figures. Fortunately, so far I’ve been able to find most everything I need, even down to the kind of firearms policemen of the period would have used, and whether they would have worn shoulder or hip holsters!

But I did spend way too much time researching today and not enough time writing. I hit my minimum, but only just. I need to cut loose a little and realize that I can go back and fix the details later. x_x