sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

Nanowrimo 2013 Journal – Aftermath

I had a great Nanowrimo – and promptly ran out of opportunities to summarise the experience! If I get a breather in the next week I’ll write something.

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Nanowrimo 2013 Journal – Days 25 to 28

Monday 25 November. 9.37 PM.

It’s been another one of those fruitless writing days: the sort where, the moment I have waved goodbye to the husband, dropped the kids off at school, and boiled the kettle, the neighbours are swamped with a heap of noisy workmen.

Now, I have to say, it is getting beyond ridiculous. The neighbours on either side of my house – not knowing that I am already ultra-sensitive to unpredictable noise (thank you to my ISFP / Introverted / Melancholy personality type), and that I am trying to write a manuscript longer than anything I’ve previously attempted in an insanely short amount of time – can’t possibly have planned between themselves to alternate loud renovation works on a daily basis for several months straight with almost no respite in order to ruin my life, my sense of peace and my creativity… but forgive me for being paranoid about the possibility.

So, as 10 o’clock approaches on what has otherwise been a gloriously sunny late-spring day marked by a surprise gift from some friends, and where I at least managed to get a few things knocked off the checklist (Christmas gifts and paperwork and getting some repair work quotes), I am trying to tap out some words… While trying to ignore the fact that the other neighbours’ children are still wide awake and practising their musical instruments. As they do when it is 10 o’clock on a school night.  (Perhaps my view is skewed because my children go to bed before 8 PM on school nights, otherwise there’s not a chance they’ll be up in time for school.)

Tuesday 26 November. 12.12 PM.

It’s a beautiful, sunny, peaceful, breezy end-of-spring kind of day. There is nothing to do but write. I don’t know that I rate my chances of completing the 50,000-word goal as being particularly likely. I am currently sitting on 29, 121 words and need to write another 20, 879 before November 30 ends, with enough time to submit and validate my novel. Will I accomplish this? I have no idea. But now, at this moment, while I have a moment of blissful solitude and silence, I will try to write as much as I can.

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27 November, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo taken on an iPhone 5C.

Wednesday 27 November 2013. 2.30 PM.

It’s a glorious 29°C  here in Melbourne, Australia today. (That’s 84.2°F for my North American readers!) Sunny weather and blue skies seem to trigger the thing in me that wants to write. Frustratingly it was shaping up to be another day of noise, but a coffee with a friend followed by some alone time at an arboretum in our end of Melbourne with me, an orange juice, and my netbook PC meant that I got some writing done. Being outdoors refreshed my imagination, too. There were little ducklings waddling around everywhere, flowers blooming, and it was just open and quiet and pretty. I need the refreshment of nature to tap into my creativity.

I have started resorting to writing non-chronological scenes in the story just to keep the momentum rolling.

I have until 11.59 PM on Saturday to submit and verify my word count. I don’t hold my chances of reaching 50,000 words as very high. I need to write 4,600 words a day, every day, between now and Saturday in order to accomplish that. It’s an uphill battle from here. I wish I could just copy/paste the development material I used to create the characters and their back stories into the document – I’d be past 50, 000 words in a flash if that were the case!

However, on the plus side, either way, in this one month I have developed a manuscript and story longer than anything I had heretofore accomplished. I don’t know that my story will ever meet the light of day, but at least I will have given life to some of the characters that were stuck in my head all this time.

Will I be trying nanowrimo again next year? I reckon I probably will. And between now and then, I’ve got plenty of fresh ideas rolling into my mind to keep me going!

Current word count: 31, 608 Words. 18, 392 words remaining.

Wednesday 27 November 2013. 8.28 PM.

I’m sitting outside to write. Summer is coming soon, and with it the longer days and warmer weather. Melbourne is a part of the world that is wet and cold for much of the year, so it really was lovely to enjoy a sunny, hot, positive day.  (I would have preferred it without getting sunburnt,  though.)

I am watching the last pink of sunset fade from the clouds. I can hear all kinds of birds and insects chirping a dusk chorus. Cicadas are quieting but the crickets have struck up their raspy song. Willie wagtails, blackbirds, magpies, currawongs, and wattlebirds add their voices to the avian cacophony.* I can hear frogs coming from the nearby reserve, too. I really, really love nature and it inspires me, in all its movements and colours and cycles, but if there is a time of year and day that seems especially magical to me, it’s the late spring and early summer sunsets, on these sorts of sunny days. I can easily explain it – Christmas is coming, and so is my birthday. Even if I am getting older, I still retain some of the childish joy about these times of year. This is a time of transition for us, too. A time of endings. This year, and this fortnight, marks one of the biggest years of my life in terms of soul searching, dreaming, and implementing massive life changes. And so, there’s a heightened excitement for me as I sit under the darkening skies and know that soon the stars will shimmer into being. If only I could get this wordcount happening faster! (Step one: log out of social networking websites.)

*Thank you, Museum Victoria Field Guide to Victorian Fauna App. I’m using the iPhone version.

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27 November 2013. Sunset. Melbourne, Australia. Taken on an iPhone 5C.

Thursday 28 November 2013. 11.37 AM.

Must keep writing.

Current word count: 35, 409 words.

 

Thursday 28 November 2013. 2.10 PM.

It is time to draw on the methods of frantic pre-deadline writing I used to complete my honours thesis two years ago:

Step One: Good bye, Facebook, Instagram, et. al.

Step Two: Good bye, social life.

Step Three: Hello, coffee, Scrivener, and a playlist of every Tool album I could get my hand on from 1992’s Opiate to 2006’s 10,000 Days (and 2000’s Salival thrown in for good measure!) It’s writing time.

Step four: type any disjointed idea that turns up in my head. I can always edit later!

 

Thursday 28 November 2013. 6.35 PM.

NaNoWriMo Profile: Work in Progress

NaNoWriMo Profile: Work in Progress

I’m pretty close! Only roughly 10, 900 words to go!

 

Thursday 28 November 2013. 10.09 PM.

Today was a good writing day. It’s such a relief.

Current word count: 43,322 words. 6,678 words remaining to finish nanowrimo.

Deadline to validate final word count of a minimum of 50,000 words: 11.59 PM, Saturday 30 November, local time.

 

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Nanowrimo 2013 Journal – Days 21 to 24

Thursday 21 November 2013. 11.01 PM.

Life has been a bit stressful lately. It’s hard to force myself to write when daily life feels like chaos.

Once I sat down to write, and tapped out a few hesitant sentences, finally the ideas began to flow. I have written more than I expected to achieve in the last 45 minutes. It’s like, when I write, the chaos keeps quiet for a brief moment and I can immerse myself in another world. It’s a world of my own making, where crises lead to meaning, where relationships are deliberate, where there is clarity about the dark depths of humanity’s past and yet the hope that the future might be a better place.

It’s late, and I was tempted to just hobble off to bed feeling defeated and weary, but writing has a strange way of energising me and enlivening me (as does, I imagine, the light emitted by the computer screen that may well be disrupting my sleeping patterns).

Current word count: 22, 934 words. 10 days left. 27, 066 words to go.

Saturday 23 November 2013. 2.26 PM.

Current word count: 24, 546 words. 25, 454 words to go.

I am going back through earlier chapters and adding context and detail to some sections. It’s interesting that the direction of my story and plans for it have changed so much since I began, that for consistency’s sake I need to ensure that my earlier material doesn’t contradict the later chapters.

Saturday 23 November 2013. 10.53 PM.

26, 924 words.

Sunday 24 November 2013. 8.58 PM.

Current word count: 27, 517 Words.

I’d write some philosophical tome on how I feel about nano right now, but… words… typing… effort.

Ideally I would have written 40,000 words by the end of today. It’s not going to happen. Instead I’m going to try to focus on the fact that in three weeks I’ve managed to write the longest manuscript so far that I’ve ever attempted. It’s longer than even my honours dissertation in my final year of university, and that thing took me two years of research and writing. So, as far as personal achievements go, I’m actually doing a lot better than anything I’ve ever tried – even if I’m behind schedule.

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