Happy Thanksgiving

May all who celebrate Thanksgiving today
Find that they DO have all the necessary ingredients for whatever they’ve decided to serve,
(may we be grateful for having the privilege and means to be able to choose what to eat
and help those who do not)
Find it in themselves to cope with the traditional family arguments and dysfunctional dynamics,
(may we be grateful for those we can lean on in times of trial and total frustration
and be such a person to others)
And easily find the lids that match the containers they have just filled with leftovers
(may we be grateful that we have enough and more than enough
and may we share our fortune with those who do not).

Happy Thanksgiving

(may we extend it indefinitely)

Turkey

(And may the membership of the
Turkey Voluntary Extinction Movement
hold steady until they come to their senses,
for I’m sure they know not what they do.
Just sayin’.)

So You Want to Write a Novel . . . In a Month

I’m still chugging toward the 50,000-word finish line and have switched to a purple fine-line sharpie because if I’m gonna resort to writing purple prose to stretch my word-count anyway, I might as well go all out.

paper nest

There’s a pile of used-up legal pads and scribble-covered napkins, envelopes, and post-its on my desk and a purse stuffed with two notepads and various folded pages with numbers circled at the bottom.  I have chapter fragments and scenes saved in the draft folders of two e-mail accounts and in fourteen documents on a flash drive (yes, I’m backing that up).

PaperI also have a small pile of pages sitting on my shredder, to save time.  I knew they were crap as I was writing them,* but I still counted each word.

One could argue that National Novel Writing Month may not be the best way to go about producing quality work—or anything else of note—during these thirty days.

And this may be true.

But one could counter-argue that staring at a blank page day after day, waiting for the perfect words to spring forth, is an even bigger waste of time and that a crappy first draft is better than no draft at all.

It’s all about attitude and reasonable expectations, right?

 

Of course, every writer can agree that even if you have the right attitude, accurate information, and realistic expectations, there can be unexpected obstacles to overcome . . .

 . . . but, man, what a rush!

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*Or, as a fanfiction writer friend calls it, “a side scene from the Alternate Universe of Suck.”

Weekend Writing Warriors: Nanowrimo Sunday #4

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

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One more week of Nanowrimo to go. If my writing hand and eyesight hold up, I think I’ll finish my 50,000 on time. It may not be a complete story, but the bare bones will be there.

And also a couple of Rosebuds—named after the Big Oops in Citizen Kane*— which is what you get when you’re too busy getting words down to pay attention to the continuity fairy, who has been trying to tell you that the great scene you just wrote can’t exist in the same story as the great scene you wrote two days ago, unless two of your characters are mutants and another has a Bag of All Holding with a (plot) hole in the bottom through which all those clues and handguns are apparently falling.

But I’m pretty sure these next eight are okay . . . at least from a continuity standpoint.

 Skull cross section

There are times when I wish I had a one or two predator traits—times when I’d swap flight, buoyancy and brains for quick healing and a concrete skull. Like now.

I opened my eyes, squeezed them shut, breathed carefully for a few seconds, and sat up.  I immediately regretted it; my head hurt like throbbing, nauseated hell.

“You’re awake,” a voice said. “Good.”

“Lies,” I said.  I reached back and touched the back of my head and regretted doing that, too.

 _____________

 I couldn’t think of what to write next and I couldn’t figure out how to introduce my hero to the Big Bad.

So I hit him over the head with something hard . . . and ended up solving both problems.

Who knew?

I’ll try to visit everyone today, but if I’m a little late, please forgive me. I have a wordmeter to feed!

 

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*In the movie, a reporter tries to figure out why the dying word of Charles Foster Kane, a wealthy newspaper magnate, was “Rosebud”.  But the movie also makes a point of saying that Kane died completely alone in his otherwise empty mansion.  So how did anyone know what his last word was?  Unlike Orson Welles, I’m not talented enough to get away with this kind of thing.

 

Random Thursday: Purple Skies, Baby Owls, and Lady Chatterly’s Leprechaun

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Got felled with one of my blinding (and I mean that literally) migraines yesterday, and so spent the day in a nice quiet room sleeping off my meds and sipping nice, hot mugs of caffeine.

Possibly at the same time.  I don’t really remember.

But I’m feeling better today—a little dizzy, but that’s nothing new—and also very thankful for friends who have sent me so much stuff this month that I already had this post pretty much pre-assembled by the time I could bear to look at a screen again.

Thanks, guys!

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Knitbats!

Remember my Purple Elephant rant from a couple years ago?

Looks like I may have to break out the %&#$ double-pointed needles again.

Knitbats

This (these?) are Boo.

Boo’s pattern is on sale at the Mochimochi Land shop.

I don’t want to wrestle with a handful of small sticks for three hours
just trying to cast on, no matter how adoraboo
(ahem)
he/she/they is/are.

Maybe I should send the pattern to my friend Grace instead,
as a sort of self-serving holiday gift?

Gold Box

(Don’t tell her, Cha—let it be a surprise!)

ooooooooooooooOOOOOoooooooooooooo

A Short Physics Poem

Roses are red.
Chromaticity’s wavy.
That’s why the sky isn’t purple:
It’s gravy.

ooooooooooooooOOOOOoooooooooooooo

Catris

This is a good visual metaphor for how I’m piecemeal writing my Nanonovel this week . . .

catris

 . . . except with plot elements and werewolves and swanmanes instead of kitties.

And some of the blocks would be hissing at each other and/or pointing guns.

Or threatening to take each other’s P.I. licenses away.

Or scent marking the lower levels.

Never mind.

(Thanks again, caitlin!)

ooooooooooooooOOOOOoooooooooooooo

Because Baby Owl

To misquote Robert A. Heinlein,

“Baby owls, like butterflies, need no excuse.”

Baby Owl

He actually said “little girls” instead of owls,
but in my experience, little girls seem to need a lot of excuses,
and tend to deliver them even before you’ve asked.

(Stolen from Paula’s FB feed—thanks, Paula!)

ooooooooooooooOOOOOoooooooooooooo

Troll of the D’urbervilles

My friend Siobhan sent me the link to this video, with the subject heading:

“Guess I can’t give you any more crap about the wereduck thing.”

No, Vannie. No, you can’t.

This Post is a Fuggly Hack

I don’t have a Real Post™ today, because I lost my grip on the amount of time I’d planned to use to write something thoughtful and profound and ended up using all of it to scan images of the family for a school genealogy project due tomorrow; attempts to fix my printer’s sudden amnesia regarding our WiFi connection; and copying out Sunny’s math homework by hand, while squinting at a series of tiny, texted images sent by an angel of a fellow parent, whose child did NOT forget his math book yesterday.

The first of four pages.  And yes, the hand is supposed to have four fingers, though I'll admit that it does resemble a pinkie amputation, rather than the thumb-tuck i was going for.

The first of four pages.*

And then I had to finish up my wordcount, because if I want Thanksgiving off from Nanowrimo, I can’t start slacking now.

So instead of entertaining you with my quirks and eccentricities and the epic battle to keep our elderly cat as continent as possible—or at least incontinent in acceptable areas—here’s a link to  terrific article by Cory Doctorow, which was published in this month’s issue of LOCUS:

My theory is that the parts of our brains that keep track of other people and try to model them, the seats of our empathy, can be tricked into treating the adventures of imaginary people as though they were real. Even though your rational mind knows that imaginary people are inconsequential, the largely automatic, unconscious systems that organize information about the people around you in order to figure out what they’re likely to do — and that let you predict how they feel in given situations and sympathize with them — don’t differentiate between information about real people and imaginary people.

“Stories Are A Fuggly Hack” Cory Doctorow, LOCUS, November 2014, p.25

And while you’re reading that, I’ll be trying to get my printer to cough up those school project photos I scanned and/or hacking away at the fuggliest story I’ve written, to date.

Wordcount, ho!

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*And yes, the hand at the bottom is supposed to have four fingers, though I’ll admit it does resemble a pinkie amputation, rather than the thumb-tuck I was going for.