For the first time in my life, I was certain that the world would be better off if I shot a man in the head and bore the consequences. And I didn’t have my gun.
And the word count is now up to 75,000 for the manuscript. I figure there’s about another 30-35K to go (Or I hope that’s all…)
Negotiating an unfamiliar transit system can be nerve-wracking, but I got to do it in a foreign language while trying to stay off the radar of anyone—or anything—associated with my nearly-father-in-law. The paranormals were much easier to avoid than the spies—I could see them coming.
WiP Snippet from Tuesday’s work:
Then he turned to us, the black blade still in his hand. “Why are you standing still? Run!”
Today’s WIP snippet:
“It’s rare for them to know a ghost from a different time frame the same way you and I know living people. It’s not like there’s some ghostly party going on where they discuss their afterlives with one another.”
My friend Robin MacPherson has an interesting blog post about “Losing” NaNoWriMo. What it boils down to is this quote from the piece: “Writing is not a race. Publishing is not a race. It’s a long game.”
Writers are a peculiar lot (yes, there may be other people who are peculiar in the same way, but not being one, I can’t speak for them.) We love to be loved, and hate to be ignored, and yet we are also anti-social at times, reclusive, driven, didactic, insecure, and occasionally arrogant. We will, with glee and detailed analysis, discuss the evisceration and dismemberment of an eighteenth century murder victim over dinner and cry in mental anguish about the plight of dogs in shelters ten minutes later. We’re freaks who will exult a word so obscure even the Oxford dictionary has difficulty justifying its continued inclusion in the Great Book and excoriate a stranger for misuse of an apostrophe. It’s part of our essential insecurity that we’re always sure someone else has it better and is getting more than we are, that when someone else gains, we somehow lose. This is a habit of thought we really must do away with. You do not “win,” or “lose” in this business, you succeed (with a specific project) or you don’t. And then you start over with each new project. There is no magic finish line or end game where you never risk failure and have suddenly “attained writerhood,” and never need worry or work again. Unless you chose to stop writing altogether and rest on your laurels (and what fun is that, really? You just get a bay-scented butt and a case of dermatitis.)
Specifically with National Novel Writing Month and with writing in general, I’ve always disliked the idea that we writers are competing and that one person “wins” and another “loses” when the only person you are really competing against in this business is you. I didn’t “lose” NaNoWriMo (notice I never used that term); I failed to meet a goal. Failure is a step to success because you learn from failure–not from success. Success without failure only teaches you to be arrogant and lazy. Seeing your lack of success at a specific goal as “losing” is a step to lack of self-esteem–and the gods know we really don’t need more of that. For everyone like me who did not meet a goal recently, you didn’t lose; you set yourself up to win in the future by understanding your limits and work habits better.
Now, start again.
One more bit of BSP, though it’s not all for me. John Scalzi is starting his annual Holiday Buying Guides where us writer/maker/musician/creative types and charities can post info about our stuff for you guys to peruse. He’ll be doing new guide posts each day through the end of the week, so do check it out!
It’s officially December which is, apparently Blatant Self-Promotion (BSP) Month for us author types (and other self-employed artistic/creative people). I always feel very uncomfortable pimping my work or myself, so here’s my BSP for the annual gifty season: consider buying books (preferably mine) for your friends and family. Or at least buying stuff made by people, not machines, or even not buying anything, but making some stuff yourself. Also, if you’re in the position to nominate a book for an award, you should do that–it makes us writer people very happy to know you thought so well of us and our work.
So there: that’s my BSP. Go forth, enjoy your friends and family, do good stuff, make good stuff, share good stuff.
I’m going back to work now.
Here’s your last teaser from November:
“They must have their apocalypse—their dead in legions unburied, an endless sea of bones….”
As predicted, I didn’t make it to 50,000 words for the month of November, but the count wasn’t too far off: 48,133 words. Once again I fail at National Novel Writing Month, but at least this time it was by a very small margin.
So at the end of November, with one month left to go (and another major holiday in the mix before the December 31 deadline) the first-draft REVENANT manuscript currently stands at a total word count of 65,181 words.
See you in December, but I may be posting less so I can be writing more as I continue the quest to FiMyDaNo.
Well, I didn’t make the NaNoWriMo challenge count goal of 50,000 new words added to the manuscript this month. Partially due to the scurrying about for Thanksgiving and some other issues, I made it only to 45,400 for the month of November. But that puts the total manuscript count at 62,447 and well along to be done by the deadline of December 31. I should be able to finish up before Christmas, if all goes well.
In the meantime, we’re all tired here and naps are apparently the order of the day, as demonstrated by Bella, Jack, and Leopard.
And now… back to FiMyDaNo. Take some time to savor the weekend at hand before jumping into the next holiday.
Traded jobs with Hubby today. So because of ferry delays I drove the 2 hours to fetch my mom and then 2 hours back home with her. Mr. Kat started the standing rib roast while I was on the road. Oven wouldn’t do Convection Roast at 200°F so it cooked a little fast (should have been 4-5 hours, was done in 3.5) and was pretty much done by 3:30 pm. So I got home with Mom in time to jump into finishing the au jus, boiling the butternut squash-and-potato dumplings and finishing them in browned butter and sage and warming rolls while the brocollini steamed and then finishing THAT in garlic butter. The roast stood a little long and was a bit cold but the food was DELICIOUS! Mom took a nap afterward and we watched The Mask of Zorro. Then she came down and joined us for Men in Black and birthday cake (it was her birthday yesterday) and we all had a lovely time. Oh My God the chocolate cake with fresh raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting was fantastic and the food was sooo good! I’m never cooking turkey for Thanksgiving AGAIN! EVER!
From the WiP:
The room was clean, if sparsely furnished, and we settled into a pair of couches that sat at right angles near the back, overlooking the small garden through tall, Moorish arches. The heat of the day reflected off the stone wall that held back the hillside and the house above to flood the room with the scent of orange trees, jasmine, and bougainvillea. It might have seemed romantic and pleasant if I hadn’t been exhausted, bloodied, and dizzy with weakness.
So… today’s progress not as impressive as yesterday’s but still on track, so long as the Thanksgiving celebration doesn’t get out of line.
Total new words today: 1,442, making the NaNoCount 45,193
Total Manuscript words: 62,241
It’s getting chilly around here, but I managed to get a few more photos of Jack and Bella before even they don’t want to go outside. Here is Jack, keeping watch, while Bella looks for treats in the grass: