State of the ‘Chain’

Now that we’re half way through December, I think it’s safe to say that NaNoWriMo was a bust. Got to about 20k then gave in to the chittering monkeys clambering for a break. Which is too bad because it looks like every one of the dozen other participants I know finished this year. I think a big part of my failure was tied to a growing lack of motivation. Well, maybe next time I’ll get more involved with communal write-ins. That said, I hope to practice by continuing to write over the mean time. Maybe post some of it here.

Harking back to the roots of this blog, the next few posts are going to be book reviews. Hopefully this will once again become a somewhat regular occurrence (seeing as I’ve got about a dozen more books waiting to be read). As for Blogenning… well, everyone seems to still be recovering from NaNo, so who knows.

NaNoWriMo 2011: Part 5

Holy crap, I’ve actually started writing again.

Long, long way yet to go.

Playing in the Background: Apocalyptica, Flogging Molly, Alestorm, Dropkick Murphys

Current Word Count: 15,462/23,338.

Edit: Okay, it’s about an hour later. New word count: 16,071/23,338.

Quote:

GET. UP. His elbow bent as he propped his palm against the ground for leverage.
The mantra resounded through his head.
GET UP!
James pushed, forcing himself to knees. His vision swam and mind reeled with the surge. He tried to steady himself with an arm against the car door, but the chicken pot pie that had been dinner surged forward with a violent heave, painting the black asphalt.

NaNoWriMo 2011: Part 2

It’s 3AM, so I have to consider this as the end of Day 2.

Got a little further along, but it’s literally all been character development – haven’t even touched the main plot or characters yet. HA! This is going to be boring as hell for anyone who I let read it!

Despite participating since 2008, I attended my first ever NaNoWriMo regional event today with some others from The Blogenning. I figure the social involvement is the one thing that really might help push me all the way to 50k. Then again, it’s only been 2 days and I’m just passed the minimum pace mark.

Hopefully get a few hundred more words in before bed and then maybe a thousand or so before work tomorrow.

Playing in the background: Prime Suspect (U.S. version)

Quote of the day:

Hector, in contrast, seemed to struggle, his behavioral issues only growing more pronounced with age. His doctors and teachers often grew despondent with how little progress they were able to affect. Despite this, Matron Mullery was suspicious that a burning intellect lay behind the pained fury of Hector’s storm-grey eyes.

Current Word Count: 3,407/3,33(where I am/minimum pace count)

NaNoWriMo 2011: Part 1

So day 1 is behind us. *whew*

1,765 words and already got about another 600 towards Day 2. That’s not a bad start considering that so far I’ve written the first half of a prologue and the first part of chapter 1, but the tail of neither. And still haven’t introduced my main character. Hopefully that’ll happen with chapter 2.

Yes, I write short chapters. Thankfully that’s acceptable in the genre I’ve chosen to write – thriller/action/mystery. I was tempted to switch to horror and match Brandon and Ian in a competition for fucked-up-ness, but that isn’t something I think I could write for more than a few days without getting really bored. Instead I’ll just do my normal job – inflict copious amounts of damage on their psyche, this time in an effort to inspire.

Obviously this blog is going to slow a bit now that NaNoWriMo has begun. I’ll try to post every couple of days. I actually took a bit of time and surfed through my old LiveJournal account, where I recorded my last NaNo efforts. I know most people always think they’re passed writings are crap, but I always think that mine were wittier and funnier, like I’m losing my touch. Then again, those posts were pretty frustrated.

Tonight is going to be the first time I attend a NaNo write-in. Wonder how many looks I get writing on my cell phone. With the battery shot, my laptop just isn’t worth lugging around. Okay, back to the grind.

 

Playing in the Background: Blue Planet marathon on Animal Planet

Current Word Count: 2,353

 

Reading – A Glimpse into My Past

Richard Sugden Library

I love to read. Growing up in a small town, much of my youth was spent in the library, devouring first the children and young adult sections. By the time I was 8 I was a veteran user of the card catalog, spending hours in the adult half of the building. The library was my baby sitter – I loved the solitude, the silence, and, most of all, the access to so much information. When I wasn’t in the library or at school, I was at home, either in front of a computer or buried nose-first in a book. This carried into High School, when I spent long hours in the library at Copley Square, one of the oldest public libraries in the country, while waiting for my train home. While in High School, where community service was promoted to such a degree that we spent every Friday for half our senior year volunteering, I worked at my city’s library. My love for books – particularly good fiction – was the reason I always romanticized being a writer.

The new home of the Worcester Public Library, finished only a few months before I began working there. I actually really liked the old factory that was it's temporary home during construction.

That was one of the reasons I started this blog – to push my reading into writing. It was 2008, and my efforts with creative writing had waned as I progressed through college. I still read quite voraciously, it just wasn’t triggering the urge to create like it had in my youth. So I challenged myself to read and review 100 books in a year. Unless you include graphic novels, which I didn’t, I didn’t even get close. I could make excuses –  I had started late in the year (Around April) and it was also the first time I attempted NaNoWriMo – but the truth was that it’s actually a pretty tough goal.

And there was one massive side effect – I burned out. I’m a bit ashamed of the fact that I didn’t really touch another book till mid-2010. Sure, I kept reading, but 2008-9 marked my return to comics and graphic novels, left untouched since I was a child. I read 3 books in 2010 – 2 of them in airports waiting for connecting flights. It wasn’t until recently, as my interest in graphic novels began to wane and I sought inspiration for the upcoming fustuarium that is NaNoWriMo, that I was really able to pick up a book and lose myself in the pages (in large part thanks to a book gifted by a friend).

BPL Central Branch, where I spent many evenings during High School

 

Honestly, it was a bit like coming home.

So even though NaNoWriMo starts next week, I hope to once again post reviews here. I’ve got A LOT of catching up to do, so there are going to be quite a  few titles you’ve already come across elsewhere. The first two will hopefully go up this weekend. And as NaNoWriMo progresses, in an effort to refrain from distractions like music and television, I’ll probably once again return to my old refuge and friend, the Library, hoping that the embrace of it’s musty scent and yellowed light catches a spark of creativity where only vexing emptiness sat before.

In Preparation for NaNoWrimo: Part 1

As I said, I’ve been pushing myself to shake loose some mental cobwebs and start writing. I’ve come to like using Google Docs for one reason: I can access it anywhere. There’s even an app, letting me write – however awkwardly, using my phone.

One of the corporate sponsors of NaNoWriMo is Yarny, which I believe is still in beta. It’s very similar to GDocs, pushing the idea of writing to The Cloud. Except it gives you some interesting options – tags, color indexing sections for easy reference, etc.

Yet while I’d love to give it a shot, the fact that GDocs has an app really makes it unbeatable (there’s also the communal sharing thing, but that doesn’t matter in this context). I don’t know how viable an option that’d be for Yarny (it would be an interesting feat of programming), but I’ll keep an eye on them just in case.

Moving on, I decided that I’d post some of my writing here. That way it’s public and I can’t be tempted to use it for NaNoWriMo. Below the cut is the first 2,000 words of a short story I’ve been working on. Though it’s mostly been written in spare moments here and there, what’s kind of sad is that’s barely over a day’s work at NaNo pacing, but it’s taken me about two weeks to get this far. It’s fantasy, which is the genre that comes to me most naturally, and I hope to keep expanding it over the next couple of weeks. Maybe even finish it.

To that end I present what, for now, is titled: Over The Cliff.

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