A Nearly Impossible NaNo

It doesn’t matter how many times you win NaNoWriMo, it always feels epic. This will be my fourth win since I started doing them in 2010, including both the Camps and regular NaNos of course. My story isn’t done, and in fact I think I’m only a little over halfway to being finished.

Looking back over the piece, it’s amusing to see what sorts of tropes got repeated. I don’t mean words, or phrases, or anything like that. George R. R. Martin is known for his extensive description of food and meals. Tolkien for his obsession with hobbits and their culture. For me it was having drinks with long discussions around said drinks. And they weren’t even alcoholic!

I realized that for every major conversation, I had folks that would be drinking. Twice I have characters preparing and drinking tea, once they’re drinking water, and another pair is getting coffee together. All different scenes and all rather different characters to boot.

I suppose I have to come to terms with the fact that I have a drinking problem. Er, in my writing, I mean.

Not that it’s terribly strange, at least I don’t think so. I wrote this piece in July, which is mid-summer here in the southern US. Our temperatures hover between upper 80s – low 100s (30 – 40 Celsius). So naturally when you do have a moment to sit down with friends and family and share conversation, you’re typically nursing some kind of drink. That’s my excuse, at least, and I’m sticking to it. Hydration is important, people!

In a lot of ways, I’m amazed that I actually finished this NaNo. There were a ton of things stacked against me, and not all bad things either. Here’s a quick list:

  • Sister got married, and I was a bridesmaid. Plus the guys had their bachelor party the night before so we had friends sleep over at the house. Needless to say, things were a bit hectic!
  • The day after the wedding, we found out that our water main outside the house was gushing water into the lawn. The cause? A tree root unturned the knob that kept the water shut off. Seriously, nature can be vicious at times! Apparently this is a common problem too! So keep an eye out for new homes with adorable trees planted on either side of your water line. They may be planning terrible things.
  • Due to said water leakage, silly me went outside in shorts to help out the Water Department fix it. The mosquitoes loved me. I am apparently a magnet for them. Need to know if mosquitoes are in the area? Just air drop me in, and I’ll let you know in ten minutes.
  • Right after the wedding we went on a trip to the beach. It rained almost the entire time. BUT we still had lots of fun beach time and the rough waves were totally worth it.

This was just the beginning of July. If I hadn’t gotten any writing in the first week, I could have lost a quarter of my work. Instead of giving in to my whims, I made the time to write. Some of the best times I had were sitting outside and listening to the waves and the seagulls while working on my NaNo fiction.

Slathered in Bullfrog of course!

Here’s a picture of one of our favorite writing places. It’s warm even though it’s early morning of course, and the beach is right on the other side of the white railing. Everything was still wet from the downpour the night before. I took this just before we left that afternoon.


Should I Feel Guilty?

Still here, and still caught up with Camp NaNo for the time being!

Almost half way!

Almost half way!

You know sometimes I feel guilty as a writer that I’m working on a fanfiction piece instead of some original work, but it’s also really freeing at the same time. There is quite a bit of pressure when you write original stories. Even if you try hard not to worry about it, there are thoughts swirling in the back of your mind. You wonder how your plots will be seen, what people will think of the characters you’ve made, if people will have trouble understanding the magic or technology in your world, what statements you’re making with the choices you make. It’s silly stuff really, but will sit in the back of your mind like the smell of trash left in the kitchen for too long. Even if you don’t notice it, your writing does.

When you write fanfiction, lots of those problems are handled for you already. Don’t like the characters? They’re part of the fandom. Don’t understand the magic? Take a look at the references in these books/episodes/movies. Of course then you get a ton of other questions to worry about. If you write someone out of character (OOC) then you’ll piss off a good chunk of fans. If your plot diverts too far from the original, you won’t even see a fraction of the readers. All these things have to be considered. As a writer, it’s kind of nice to have a different set of problems I suppose. As I saw mentioned once, it’s fun playing with someone else’s toys and not having to make your own.

Technically I didn’t need to get writing in today, but I always prefer to have a buffer. I hate running behind because then it’s always difficult to catch up again.

In other news, I’m almost done with Stephen King’s Joyland. It’s really interesting to read since I’m partway through The Shining right now too. I had to stop The Shining before going on vacation, because Jack Torrence was yelling at people over the phone and just generally being angry all the time, and I simply couldn’t get into it. Not with my sister getting married and a fun vacation on the way. Jack was kind of becoming a party downer, though I guess that’s kind of what he’s supposed to be. I couldn’t see his perspective at all, and his anger was starting to make me angry. So I’m letting that book breathe for a while to read something different.

joyland_stephenkingJoyland so far is very much the opposite. Sometimes it’s tough to believe that both were written by the same writer. Of course Stephen King is older, more settled, and probably happier than he was when he wrote The Shining. The writing style is still there of course, along with the fabulous descriptions, the character mannerisms, and the dialects that I love in his work, but the protagonist is an optimist. He doesn’t start that way of course, but he gets more optimistic, more sure of himself, as the story progresses.

Of course, I haven’t reached the end yet. It’s dangerous that the protagonist is a nice guy, cause he is in a Stephen King novel after all. Plus Goodreads lists it in the Horror, Thriller, and Mystery genres, so I’ll be curious to see what happens to our nice guy protagonist. It’s a fun read though, especially for the summer. I probably would have finished it at the beach if i hadn’t rained so often. Some of my favorite stuff was the description of carnie life, the way the college kids on summer break get trained to run the rides, and of course all the supernatural stuff that’s sprinkled throughout.

I’ll probably be posting up a more detailed review once I’m done. So far it’s been a blast.

This is not the writing you’re looking for

So apparently my muse decided to take a bit of a detour. I was reading over an interesting discussion on the Livejournal community batfic_contest where folks were talking about the various reasons they haven’t been following Batman fanfiction much lately. I admit I’ve been just as guilty of this as the next person, but I was curious to see why other folks have been veering out of the Batman writing world for the last few months.

Almost everyone was talking about how the latest Batman comics have really turned the fandom south. I personally haven’t collected comics since the early 2000s. I tried a few years back but couldn’t get involved in the storylines. They didn’t feel as interesting and epic to me as they did then, and now I’m seeing that plenty of other folks feel the same way. Regardless of how well the movies have been going, the latest comics have just been… well, downright awful. Take a look at what Hefner had to say about Harvey Dent’s few appearances back in April.

No, you know what? Why don’t you see a picture?

This in my opinion is one of the main reasons folks are disenchanted with Batman comics lately. Imagine that you’ve seen The Dark Knight for the first time. You didn’t believe all the hype and waited around before finally getting exposed to it. You love it. You want to read more about this world, so you go out and buy a few issues of The Dark Knight comic series. You’re thinking, hey this is probably in the same vein as the films, right? Surely DC is learning from the popularity of the movies and is trying to market this, right? No, no, think again. The above picture of Two-Face (hyped up on some venom or toxin more than likely) is from the second issue of this comic, proving without a doubt that it wasn’t following in the same tone, style, or interest as the popular Nolan films have.


Anyway I’ll step off my soap box for a bit and give you my word count for the day. It’s not on Ghosts of Pike’s Peak, but a Batman fanfiction piece instead. The next film’s coming out soon and I feel like I ought to get primed for it somehow. Even if the comic industry refuses to help out. The story still needs some cleaning up and some polishing, but the rough draft is done. It had Kelley laughing aloud earlier, so it passed my litmus test.

If you’re interested in reading it, I’ll be posting it at some point over the next week or so in response for the latest Nolanverse contest, Why Do We Fall? I hope you’ll take the time to drop by and read the entries, vote, and maybe even add your own writing as well.

Project: Told You So

Summary: An explosion destroys a building, flinging Batman and Dr. Crane in opposite directions. Surrounded by fire and smoke, police dogs are in the distance and a helicopter hovers above. Both of them are badly injured, but somehow must work together to find a way out of this mess. Post-TDK. From Crane’s perspective.

Current total words: 2,942

Total Words for 2012: 55,431


Anyone who claimed they knew these tunnels so well obviously didn’t know a damn thing about them. Crane told him so. The Batman glared and continued regardless. Sometimes even the brightest pupil would only learn by making a mistake on their own. The Batman was apparently one of those types of students. Crane was not in the least bit surprised.

Several Updates All Rolled Into One

So I have a few updates that I’ve been meaning to share. Most are in the fanfiction area, but there’s a writing update as well. Today wasn’t the worst Monday in the world, but it was certainly a runner-up, and surprisingly work wasn’t really that much a part of it. On the drive up, it was rainy and foggy, but although the traffic was slow, there wasn’t much else to complain about. It was the drive home later this afternoon that left me exhausted by the time I got home.

I had a semi suddenly switch lanes without brakes, and nearly ran me into a line of cars that had been completely stopped in front of him. Apparenly he was too busy rubber-necking the accident that was off of the road to notice the people who were stopped in front of him. On top of that, after leaving the grocery store, a woman on the phone turns right at the light and onto the road I’m on. She pulls into my lane for a few minutes as I slam on the brakes, and just barely gets over to her lane in time to not hit me.


It’s times like this when my hour-long commute wears down on me. I guess I’m lucky enough to be able to telecommute on Fridays though, so that’s something at least!

If you’ve been following my Fanfiction.net site, you’ll notice that I’ve been posting up several stories there starting yesterday. One is my Lucius Big Bang piece, “As the Seventh Month Dies”. The other is my Zombie Bang piece, “My Life as a Dead Man, Regulus Black: Post-Mortem”. Finally, the only Batman piece that’s new to the list is a short Crane-centered piece that was part of a holiday fanfic exchange my sister and I did. Nothing major, just a short piece we gifted to each other. If you decide to drop by, please leave a comment to tell me what you think so far.

Speaking of fanfiction, I signed up for the next installment of Werewolf Big Bang. Although I’m mostly in the planning and brainstorming stage at the moment, I do think I’ll be doing a sequel-ish piece to Dr. Crane and werewolf piece that I did before, The Daemon Within. I think it’ll be like a second episode in a series, where you don’t necessarily need to read the first part to understand what’s going on, but it does indeed help. I need to make some time to get this planned a bit better. Looks like I’ll be choosing a day in the near future to catch up on a few of these writing projects in the works!

Oh, and yesterday I got some writing in on my Werewolf novel. Terry watches as the pack decides on what to do with their three captives, and he gets some insight on some of the other motivations going on within the group. I was putting off writing this piece because it’s always difficult to balance so many characters at once, though I think I did a fairly good job (for a rough draft). Next up, Katie will be coming around, and it’s sure to be a gruesome sight when she sees what Brakkis has with him.

Summary: Leekston is an unassumingly quiet southern town, but it hides many secrets. An unusual government entity that studies the strange supernatural activity in the area is only one of many. Six years after the incident at the Kayak Hills subdivision, Suzie once again must protect her family from the creatures of the night and help to prevent a bloodthirsty werewolf pack from tearing her friends and family apart.

Project: The Secrets of Leekston (Working)
Deadline: April 2012 (Updated Deadline)
New words written: 2,365
Present total word count: 58,335

Total Word Count for 2012: 6,105

Two Down, One to Go

Woot! I finished my edits for both of my Big Bang fanfiction pieces! *Happy Dance*

I still have a whole novel to finish revising and editing, but to celebrate getting these two done I’ll be using a piece from My Life as a Dead Man: Regulus Black, Post-Mortem for my Six Sentence Sunday choice. I have no clue if I’ll have anybody get annoyed at me using fanfiction instead of original fiction, but oh well. Writing is writing in my book, and both of these were a blast to work on.

As the Seventh Month Dies – Done & Ready for Big Bang Posting.
My Life as a Dead Man: Regulus Black, Post-Mortem – Done & Ready for Big Bang Posting.

Suzie’s Nightmare is the next piece on my radar. Looking forward to diving in!