Just another wannabe author…

Election Day!

November has come.

For months, we have been bombarded with campaign ads, mud slinging, dirt digging, and false promises.  With the popularity of social media on the rise, the political race has gone viral, explosive blog posts, both real and imagined, pepper facebook walls and flood twitter.

For weeks, we’ve been assaulted with just why we should vote.  Not who to vote for, just to vote.  They want you to believe that your vote matters.  And it does.  Just not how they say it will.  All those little local things, yeah, each and every vote counts.  For the big important stuff?  Well, that’s more controversial than I want to get on this blog.

Today it all comes to a close in the good ol’ US of A.

Today is election day.  Today we find out if equal rights really is a right or a privilege of the Christian right.  We pick a president based on which we think will screw up less over the next four years.  Laws are passed or denied, based on the fickle whims of the public masses who mostly have little understanding just what they are voting for anyway.

And it can’t come soon enough for me.

In honor of that, I’m going to sit on my couch, watch for the election coverage and get my NaNo on.

You see, November is also National Novel Writing Month.

Every year, thousands of writers around the world have their own race.  It’s not political.  It’s not world changing.  It’s not meaningful for those outside the race.  In fact, most people think these special writers are absolutely batshit crazy.

We are racing towards the same goal.  50,000 words in 30 days.  That breaks down to 1667 words a day.  Every day.

During past years, an average of approximately 14%, give or take a bit, of people who post as little as one word count update finish the entire 50,000 words.  Just 14%.  That is pretty damn low, if you ask me.

NaNoWriMo takes a great deal of work.  You need to be disciplined   You need to be diligent.  You need to be willing to commit absolute shit to stark black and white without deleting it.  You need to say no to distractions.  You need to give up things every single day to meet your daily word goals.  You need to set up an IV of caffeine and eat your weight in chocolate.  Muffins are a plus.

It is fun.  It is crazy.  It is a complete roller coaster ride.

Kinda like the elections… only fun.  I guess.  Maybe not.

Are you NaNoing this year?

Nesting and Other Stuff

Some days everything just piles up.  Like snow in summer.

Or not.

Lately, I’ve been nesting.  Cleaning like a fiend and making Halloween costumes for the child and myself.  We shall be trick or treating.  The actual knocking on the neighbor’s door kind.  Of course, I will be right there with him.  I find it more than a little depressing that Halloween has become so dangerous that trick or treating is frowned upon by many.

I’ve also been working on the planning stages of a collaboration.  We’ve hit snags here and there, but overall, it’s been going rather well.  It’s hard to tell, but we have the basics hammered out.  The writing part is sort of daunting… and it will involve a great deal of editing as we go.  Discipline!

Before we get there, though, I need to finish the tooth costume and get the house clean clean clean.  That way I have less to worry about while I’m writing and can focus.  Focus… yeah… right.  I have an almost 3 year old in the house!


Bad Blogger, Bad

So, yeah, I know I’m supposed to be updating this thing regularly.  I just don’t have something to say often enough.  I’m working on that, since I actually do have plenty to say.  It’s just not always relevant.

My work view

This is how revisions look. Seriously.

Does it always need to be relevant?  I don’t know.  I feel as if it does, but I’m not so sure.

Right now, I’m suffering through Revisions Hell.  And let me tell you, it is Hell.  Maybe not Ninth Circle of Hell material, but Hell nonetheless.  I not only have to read my own writing while convincing myself it is far less worthy than it really is, I have to FIX it.  Now removing all my beloved ellipsis and run on sentences is easy.  Flow and plot holes takes more finess.  Keeping at it is the hardest part.  It takes a great deal of focus and focus is hard to find lately.

Far more enjoyable is planning.

Planning what, you ask.  (Yeah, I’m sure you asked, don’t burst my bubble.)

Why, I’m glad you asked!  I am planning a collaboration with a friend and fellow abused writer.  We shall be writing a post apocalyptic dystopia together.  It’s been a great lesson in world building. (He’s much better at world building.  I hope I can teach him as much about character building.)  I haven’t ever done a collaboration before, not willingly anyway.  Sometimes it’s hard when ideas clash, but when it works, it works beautifully.  I can only hope that it will continue being an interesting experience.

I’m also planning a series of short stories that I hope won’t ever see the light of day.  Possibly the dark of night, though.  Very dark night.  Either way, it will be fun for me to write, and that’s what counts sometimes.

I say again, I should not be left alone with a paint program.  Ever.

I draw things… and then, worse, I show them to people.  I post them publicly.  Really bad things.

So you, my lucky ducky readers, get to see my horrendous versions of my main characters.  Yeah, you don’t know how good you have it.  Then I shall open myself to your laughter, because I’m laughing my ass off at myself.

First up we have the wonderful Stu.  He is a white knight in dragon form, prone to rescuing little helpless elves and then seducing them with his bipedal form… which I spared you all from having to see.


Next, I present to you the ever lovely raven haired beauty, Sue.  She is giving and kind and possesses a fiery temper than Stu finds impossible to resist.  A dragoness in the body of a slender elf maiden.  Perfect and feisty and oh so sweet.  And lovely, dammit!


Yeah, yeah, wipe away your tears of mirth.  Paint is an evil program and I can’t resist it.  It’s so…. so… I have no words.

On to more serious matters.

Stop laughing.


So, I made it ten full days of writing the bare minimum.  Then I ran into a snag.

A really big snag.

He weights around forty pounds, has red hair and is obsessed with watching Pocoyo.

Yes.  Toddler.

You see, I am writing an erotica.  With BDSM themes.  It’s supposed to be sexually charged, erotic, and all around sexy.

I have discovered something I’ve known.  It is really hard to feel sexy when you have a toddler jumping on you and screaming in your ear.  It is nearly impossible to think and write a sexy scene when those things happen.  I can’t do it.  I get about five whole minutes, just get into the right mindset, and then he’s climbing on me, demanding attention.  The whole attention needing thing isn’t the problem.  It’s that I can’t write when he’s doing that.

Today I am trying to write an actual sex scene.  Smut.  Really smutty smut.  And I can’t do it.  I can’t focus long enough to get the whole scene out, let alone the word count.  It is frustrating.  So now I will be waiting for his naptime, if it happens, or bedtime.

That means my streak is probably broken.  And even if it isn’t, when I hit my groove, I’m going to keep going out of sheer desperation to take full advantage of sleeping child time.  So, everyone now gets to stare in jealousy at my lovely graph while I bang my head on my keyboard, then go play with kiddo.  Maybe we will go shopping.  Being out in the heat always tires him out.

Day Seven Camp Update

So, I’m insane.  Which means it’s time to post a graph picture.  Yeah, I roll like that.

My graph, it is perfect.  OCD perfect.  I’m going to go bash my head on the keyboard like a monkey now.


I gave myself a writing challenge this month.  To write slowly.  Specifically, I am allowed to write the bare minimum to finish 50,000 words by the end of August.  That is 1613 words per day.  I fudge a little bit just to keep from stopping in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.

Today is day Six, both of Camp NaNo and of my own personal challenge.

Today I began contemplating ways to cheat my own system.

Somehow, I am not sure I will make it to the end of the month writing so slowly.

Today, as I reached the end of my arbitrarily designated allowed number of words, I was on my game, in the zone and truly on the ball despite the fact I feel in no way sexy.  The writing was flowing, it was beautiful, complete with the high that lets me churn out huge word counts without breaking a sweat.  I wasn’t aware of the heat, or the bad songs that creep up on Pandora.  I was unbothered by having Toddler sitting on me watching Pocoyo in various languages other than English.  In short, I hit my stride.

Stopping myself was nearly a painful experience.

As I posted that section, complained to my writer’s group and skipped said bad song, I began having a conversation with myself on how to cheat my very own system.  It went something like this:

“You could keep writing today, not post the number, and then take a break tomorrow.”

“No, that would be cheating!”

“But it feels so good!”

“It’s still cheating!  Cheating myself, no less!”

“How about you just adjust your daily goal.  You know, till your brain shorts out each day, like usual.”

“That’s cheating too!  1613 words!”

“But it feels good!”

*whines* “But it will screw up my pretty graph!  Think of the graph!”

It’s still going on in the back of my head, even while I write out this blog post.  One of these days, the shifty eyed part of me is going to win.  I will cheat my own system, or, more likely, throw it out the window while cackling like the Wicked Witch.  Definitely cackling.

Gratuitous picture from a year ago of me and Toddler. Enjoy.

Bringing Sexy Back

So, I’ve been thinking a great deal on writing sexy.

I’ve also been reading a great deal of erotica.  Research, you know.  Not that all erotica is sexy.  Or even good.  But, there IS good erotica out there once you dig through the crap.

But that is not what this post is about.  Not really.

I’ve discovered that Toddler doesn’t want to sleep anymore.  Ever.

It used to be that he would nap and I could crank out a few thousand words and rock with my bad self.  This wonderful situation is now a daydream of epic proportions.

Now my writing goes something like this.

I sit down at my computer and screaming starts from the bedroom where he is jumping on the bed with my cell phone for entertainment.  Not “I fell off and I’m dying” kind of screams, which would have me in there so fast my computer would still be attached to me.  No, this is “this video is not what I want to be jumping to and you aren’t here to watch me jump anyway so I’m gonna shriek in frustration and not use my words because words suck” kind of screaming.  It’s the kind that grates on nerves and never lets you forget that you really just have to sexy anymore.  Because you have a toddler.

Or maybe I sit down to write and he sits next to me playing the Gummy Bear song on full volume for hours on end while leaning on me to make me watch with him.

None of these, or their variations,  are conducive to writing the sexy.

To write sexy, I need to think sexy and it is nearly impossible to think, feel or be sexy when I have Toddler sitting on me or screaming at me.  It makes finding that mindset so much more difficult.

I have no trouble pretending no one will read my smut.  I have no problem letting people read my smut.  I’ve developed an increasing problem writing any sort of sexy scene.

I miss naptime.  I really really miss it with a passion usually reserved for chocolate during pregnancies.  Naptime was me time.  Well, on with the attempt at bringing sexy back for Camp NaNo.

I’ve been busy this week.

Not writing, sadly, though I have gotten some work done.

Nope, I’ve been terribly busy finding new activities to keep Toddler entertained so I CAN work.

This is Toddler. Everyone say “hi.”

Does he look like trouble incarnate yet?  No?  Oh.

Well, he is.  Toddler requires a never ending supply of entertainment and once that is done, bedtime has become a cry fest.  So, not much has gotten done.  Right now he is watching cartoons so I can steal a few moments to wake up, drink my coffee and post this.

Today, I have no witty introspection on how the writer works or how my brain is hard wired.  Nope.  I just have a cup of coffee while I ponder what activity will keep him entertained the longest.

And a list of our favorite activities!

Shaving cream – As an adult, you have no idea how much fun a two year old can have with a can of shaving cream and a big plastic box to play with it in.  Oh, and a convenient sprinkler for clean up.  It keeps him entertained for HOURS.  He has so much fun.

Water beads – These are kind of like squishy jelly beads that are wet.  Water is always a hit with Toddler.  Things I can vacuum up easily are a hit with Mommy.  I think I possibly get more entertainment out of the water beads than Toddler does.

Vinegar and baking soda – This is one we play with indoors.  Once it’s dry, you can vacuum up any messes.  A big bin, some narrow vessels and a LOT of vinegar and baking soda for fun until the vinegar runs out.

Painting – We paint outside.  Painting is a very messy endeavor when you are two and it is very hard to keep the paint on the canvas.  Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.  I like to find cheapish canvases so that I can hang his glorious artwork on my walls.  I’m awesome like that.  And who needs brushes when hands and feet work so well?

Cars – I have to say, I love HotWheels.  They are $.88 all the time at Wal-Mart.  Who can ask for more and Toddler is a serious car aficionado.

Hello, Mess!

Letters – Toddler is a big fan of letters now, despite the fact he refuses to sing his ABCs with me.  We have wood letters, foam letters, magnetic letters.  And he knows them ALL.  He still wont sing the ABC song.

Ivory soap – Admittedly, I had much more fun with this than he did.  You put a bar of soap in the microwave for two minutes and watch the fun begin.  Then throw it in a nice big box and watch it get thrown all over the play room.  It’s the little things in life.

Coloring – I didn’t know this, but apparently coloring is not for paper.  It is for walls, and carpets, and mommy’s legs, and the letters, and… I could go on and on about what things coloring happens on.  Rarely is it paper.  And whose bright idea was it to use flat paint on the walls?  Flat paint doesn’t scrub well.

Ellie, you will be missed.

Now, I would like to ask for a moment of silence to Ellie.  Ellie was a good phone who died before her time.  She had hours of entertainment inside her, which is now forever silenced.  She will be missed.


Things Gone Strange

You know things have gone strange when you devolve into a discussion on the literary themes of TRON: Legacy.

The conversation starts innocently enough about dystopian versus post apocalyptic themes.  The Road, 2012, The Postman.  And then along came TRON.  There is no end of the world, thus it has been decided, there was no apocalypse.  It is, however, a dystopian.  I don’t even know where to go from there.

Writing groups are strange wondrous things.  You never know what strangeness will come out of them.

A word war ensued to quell the mania.  Life goes on.

TRON: Legacy has been given literary themes.

What are your favorite post apocalyptic or dystopian books or movies?

Six Sentence Sunday

From WIP Go, Little Novelist, Go (working title, rough draft)

I watched with avid attention as he boxed my little kitty up for me, cradling the white cardboard gently against my chest when he handed the box over. “Yes, she is.”

“You said it’s a mountain lion?”

The man looked at me for long enough that I grew uncomfortable under his gaze. “Yes. She is a portrait,” he explained in an odd clipped way.

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