Just in time for the holidays!

3D The Matilda

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Restarting My Fourth Novel Pt. 5


NanoWrimo is done.  Did I hit the coveted 50,000 words? I did not.  Did I beat my best ever writing day of 4,358 words?  I was close at 4,180 last night but I ran out of time.

I went to another write in, the last one for this session, and I kept writing (mostly) up to 11:59PM.  A pretty solid night, to be honest, and the second best word count in one day for me.  I know other people are punching out 7,000 to 8,000 words in a day and I can’t imagine those kinds of numbers in one day.  Maybe in the future.

By just separating out the word count on the write in night’s I attended shows that I should go to more of them.  I went to two and joined some friends on another night this week and those three days were my highest producing days of the month.

It was good to get out of the office and write somewhere else.  Words flowed and other thoughts popped up in the story.  And best of all, I am finally at the part where I want to write down my idea.  It’ll just be a blip in the book, but man, am I excited about this bit.  So, thank you Lair of Abraxas for hosting those NanoWrimo write ins!

So, is the book done?  Far from it.  Am I going to keep plugging away at it? Why yes I am!

I finally feel connected to the story and I can see its end before me.

Of course, I’m currently talking first draft.  There are a lot of rough patches in there as it is.  But I must be one of those weird ones who actually enjoys editing.  It’s fun to find the diamond in the coal and shape it to fit the story.  Because, the story must flow and he who controls the flow must know the story!

What I am trying to say is that it will get completed and I have no bones to lose for that.  So, yay!

Restarting My Fourth Novel Pt. 4


Well, this was a bit of a crazy week, to say the least.

With the holidays, food comas and friend and family get-togethers, my writing has taken a wee bit of a backseat to life.  Oh and Monday was my birthday so there was that, too.  I took the day off so that I could get some actual writing done.  While I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, I am fully on track (I think).

I was at that point in the writing process where my muse had taken off for the weekend.  I wasn’t feeling it.  I mean, I did plug away at it as even 10 words is more progress than say 0.  Having Monday off really gave me time to look into what was needed and that was (Tada!) me knowing what all the other characters were up to while I had been focusing on the main group.

Research!  I had to go through my pages and pages of backstory and future-story.  To be honest, there are only about 50+ pages in the story bible, and only part of it is listed in a consecutive order.  So hello, haystack!  I have many needles in you and I don’t remember their names…

See the problem there?  How do I look for what character X was last doing if I can’t find them?  So yeah, umm, I reread pretty much the entire story bible to figure out who was who and what was who doing and was who with another who at the time?

I can sense anger as all those characters weep at my loss of memory of them.

But it was time well spent!  I mean not in number of words well spent, but actually having a clue of all the things happening roughly at the same time and jeez… there is a lot happening.  I think next time I will write the adventures of one solitary character with no other points of view to keep from getting lost. Yeah. Let’s see if my brain will allow me to do that, ha-ha!

Yesterday was part of a big slowdown in the word factory too, but for a more malignant reason.  Bowker Industries got hacked and a lot of people’s account stuff was stolen.  You’re asking, who is Bowker Industries?  Well, they are the one company in the USA that provides ISBNs  for books (click the link if you want to know more…).

I had purchased a block of ISBNs so I got to spend the day verifying that none of my account (bank, site, payment info, et al.) stuff was stolen.  Luckily for me, it wasn’t.  But I did get to spend a large part of the day resetting passwords to prevent damage to me and mine for the future.

All of my characters rejoiced at this… well, in my head they did…

So here I was struggling to find the time to get some writing done today when my writer friend Lyndsie Clark (you can check her out at http://www.lyndsieclark.com/) said she was going to a write-in yesterday.  Weirdly, I had just talked with someone that I needed to get out of the ‘chamber of words’ to get any real progress done. So that’s what I went and did!  Sign from the muse accepted.

The write-in was an interesting experience.  When I first got there, I thought I was the only one.  Now I was a little early, so I wasn’t too surprised by this.  Once my friends arrived, we were still the only people there writing. I had expected more.  This is when I found out the place had two sides separated by a wall and doors.  The other side had a lot of people typing away into their manuscripts!

I did get quite a bit of writing done there and it felt good to get out of the house to do it.  I am going back again on Friday, the very last day of Nanowrimo and write until the last minute!

Well, that’s my intention anyway.



So yeah, I was pretty excited about making pies yesterday.  Though, I was corrected that I was only making one pie and one tart in a pie crust.  Semantics!

They turned out pretty well and I wanted to share them with everyone.

I really enjoy cooking.  It’s an amazing skill to have that I get to use every day, multiple times a day.  Baking, on the other hand, is not something I am terribly comfortable with.  This was (technically) my third attempt at baking.  I know, I know, what about cookies?  I don’t include cookies in this because once you’ve got that dough, just don’t burn them.

I had attempted a raspberry crumble and while tasty, it was rather dry.  My next attempt was an apple pie but I didn’t know what I was doing and used a flan pan.  This was definitely NOT dry and tasted fabulous, but it was a mess to cut.

So, for the actual pie (thanks for the clarification, Désha), I went with a peach pie because we had a lot of peaches on hand.  Well, I mean I thought we had a lot of peaches.  Another run to the grocery store and we now had… too many peaches.


I am not crazy enough to figure out baking recipes of my own until I’m comfortable with the whole process.  For the peach pie, I turned to Alton Brown!  You can’t go wrong with Alton Brown.


The recipe was pretty easy to work with and I thought it turned out really well!  Now I will offer some clarification, those are not what you may automatically assume they are.  They are monkeys!


Now, the next one was the one I super excited about.  For some reason, I had bought cranberries on a whim and then didn’t what I wanted to do with them.  I came across this Cranberry Curd tart recipe from Laughing Spatula.  This one was a bit more work and not a true pie (thanks Désha).  And man, is it tasty!

Well anyway, I had a blast making these and they turned out pretty well!

Restarting My Fourth Novel Pt. 3


Time keeps on ticking, ticking… into the future…

Here we are at the end of week three of Nanowrimo!  To be honest, I’m not as far along as I would’ve desired.  I was hoping to have at least doubled what I had written the last two attempts and I’m not quite there.  I am within spitting distance though… though I don’t recommend spitting because of paper and electronics and water?  Yeah one of those things, most def…

I’m at the point where I want to be done with the bit I’m in and move on to the parts I’m excited about, but I can’t jump ahead this time.  Last time led to this disjointed affair that was a pain to fix and I’m not talking about contortionists getting busy… though that’s an idea I might have to save for later.  What would have been the cause of this meeting of the bends? Hmm…

Ugh, distractions.  As if the world isn’t enough, my brain wants join in the fun, too.  Well back to the topic (topic, topic, toepic, toepick…).  Oh, to be on the cutting edge of things…

One of the more exciting aspects of this latest week is that the story is going in places I hadn’t expected!  Characters are doing things that aren’t on my list and other characters I didn’t know about are running amuck as well.  It’s exciting! It’s different! And it’s new to me!  There is definitely more going on than I had initially expected.

So besides the doldrums of trying to get this thing done, how was the rest of the week?  Well, not too shabby to be honest.  I am prepping recipes for Thursday because I have too many mushrooms and too much fruit.  And the second one can only mean pies!  My baking ability is relatively untested as I am a much better cook.  But I am excited to make pies for some reason.  Pies, pies, pies.

See?  Distractions!  I’ve been to the grocery store this week in as many days there are in it.  Day one of cooking starts tonight!  Am I prepared?  I think so?

I hope everyone has (or has had… those crazy time dilations) an excellent Thanksgiving!

Now I have to get back to finishing this bit where she punches him in the face…

Restarting My Fourth Novel Pt. 2


Has it only been a week?  I swear, sometimes it feels like it’s been a month and other times it only feels a couple days.

This November has been a bit of a time filled… time… No, I don’t like that, no, no, no.  Let me just say it’s been busy.  Most of the 8th and 9th were spent getting to and from places so my writing totals took a hit.  The 10th was an incredibly busy day but I did finally get to go to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe.  It was pretty amazing.  By the way, if anyone happens to go there make sure to check the mailbox at the very beginning.

The 11th was an eventful day as I got to see my wife be awarded for being awesome, but then it was followed by a snow storm and us being stuck in New Mexico.  Oh those crazy winds and those narrow mountain passes.  We did get back home on the 12th and then everything was back to a relative form of normality.

But yeah, my writing times and totals took a bit of a hit.

On the plus, I got more on this one done this one week than I did when I attempted this last year in the whole month.  So yay!  I haven’t quite doubled my overall output for last November and this April, but it’s within spitting distance.

So what have I learned?  As always, writing seems more exciting as an idea than as an activity, but the stories still want out!  Typing in a car with heavy wind and icy roads is about as much fun as it sounds.  It can get cold and lonely in the “chamber of words” as the day turns into night.

And the last lesson for now is, “I love it when my characters talk to me!”

Restarting My Fourth Novel Pt. 1


My first week into this year’s Nanowrimo is very important to me for one gigantic, solid reason.  I am GOING to FINISH the first draft of Waltzing Matilda.

Last year was a struggle when I tried to write it.  And by struggle I mean, nigh impossible.  I thought I was prepared as I could be and I was super wrong (check out Writing My Fourth Novel Pt. 2).

But all that work from that attempt (building the timeline, character motivations, et al.) will… wait, I mean WILL pay off.  I have all the information I need… as far as I know at this moment.

Earlier this I did try working on book four but it was an even more frustrating experience than last year.  While I had written more in 2017, it was all disjointed and my brain could not make the connections work.  So I did something, I stepped away from it for many months.

This was probably the best plan, to be honest.  I got to work on a few other things, try and lock down this whole business experience, actually hang out with people and not feel like a mole man.  I had enough time to go on a trip to Ireland and actually got to get some reading done.  You see, I hadn’t read a book by someone else for a year and it was good to take my mind off of the veritable nail balanced on the table.

But as November drew nigh, I knew I needed to get back to it.  I grabbed book three and ripped through it and it was a fun experience.  I had forgotten so much that each page was almost like a new story (well except that déjà vu feeling in the back of the mind that I’d been there before).  I eagerly jumped into the notes and timeline for book four and it all made sense.  It was a tiny bit sparse here and there, but I’ve worked with literally nothing before.

I grabbed what I had written already and… it was disjointed.  Yet, I could see what sort of corrections were needed to make it click.  And that was Day 1 and Day 2 of Nanowrimo.

Here it is into the final day of week 1 and I have made progress into the middle!  Funnily enough, a lot of time is remembering character names and quirks.  It isn’t the fastest I’ve written but I don’t think it’s the slowest either.

And anyway, I have the WILL to GO and FINISH the story!

(Disclaimer: cheers and other celebrations to be set once it is completed)