NaNoWriMo – 2018 – Novel

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The War against the Martian Imperium is not going well for Luna. The Empress asks Lady Hedy to take Jonathan Smythe, heir to House Smythe to negotiate an alliance with the Jovian Consortium. Luna must have the support to survive the conflict. With the Icarus fully repaired it falls to Captain Dyson Kiton to transport them to Titan and aid in the negotiations. But how can she do that with the Mars Fleet enforcing a blockade on Luna?

Lady Dana is forced to accept the role as Head of House Gray. Will it be in time to save Luna from the Martian ground force? Can she unite the elite mercenary force to help defend the Empire? What will she have to sacrifice to save Luna?

With Hedy gone, Erwin must enter his true strength as an Intercedist and aid Anthony in the rebuilding of the mysterious Vault. Princess Samantha jeopardizes her future as heir of the Sure Travelers by aiding Anthony in appropriating artifacts long thought lost. She is not the only one who will pay a price to restore the Vault.

The turmoil of the war only aids Sion Kiorkian plans. Can anyone stop him and his Martian allies.

Welcome to my NaNoWriMo 2018 Project

Be well..dcd

Incoming…this year’s NaNoWriMo plan…

This year’s plan for Nano in point form is:

  1. Dictate all the words and use speech recognition.
  2. Finish System War: Book 1
  3. Start the System War:Book 2

Dictate all the words and use speech recognition will include training myself to include the correct punctuation. (Or at least what I can remember to put in.) This will include finishing Book 1 using speech recognition. I’ve had the software and the mic for some time, it’s time to get a return on investment.

To take away some power procrastination, my rule will be:

Dictate when you can, type when you can’t.

It’ll be an interesting experiment to see if I am good dictator.

How much is left in book one?

I’m at 94K words right now and my estimate is another 30K to go. It’s the easy 30k of the book. everything is crashing towards final conflicts and resolutions. From past experience I know my key focus should be not rushing through it all.

As you can see, I will have a list of items to work on. The goals for the words on the page are different than the supporting goals to the writing. The list so far: Dictation, Not Rushing.

How will you prepare for dictation?

I have a clear idea about this. (Yea, I can’t believe it either) One page point form or paragraphs on each chapter. I’ve also decided these will be dictated and printed. (Sorry, I still need the comfort of paper) Unless I can get a monitor setup to work for me.

Secondly, I’ll try and start the process this coming weekend to work out any kinks on the technology side.

Isn’t speech recognition cheating?

Yes, No – not sure.  The goal for word count, today, is to dictate, speech recognition. Punctuation pass. This may not be practical – we’ll see.

How does this fit into long term goals?

This is pretty straight forward to answer. If the dictation proves workable, then I will be able to get more done able to get more writing done in a month.

How will you listen to music and dictate?

Ear buds or head phones with the music track. This will isolate the sound from the mic.

Be Well … dcd

 

Mindset

The impact of other’s emotions on my life disables me from writing.

Plain, simple, straight forward.

And right now, I don’t want to harden myself to this reality of life. But neither do I want to let it dominate me. I’m not sure where that leads me? Less facebook and cnn never hurt anyone. And it’s quite clear facebook and cnn have hurt people. It might be that simple.

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I suppose another option is to continue the filtering and de-following of the propagators of hate. That’s never a bad idea. I think I’ll start looking for a cave. Something not too sandy but still with good drainage.

This is really an inner  monologue on balance. Life balance. Learning to write, is only one part of a writer’s mindset, of my writer’s mindset. The problem is for me at this time writing is fragile. It takes time and resources, it’s not like fixing a computer, which I could probably do in a coma.

What’s fragile about writing? I mean come on grow up, it’s almost 2020, your jet pack will be here soon. Just sit down and type, how hard could it be?

I’ve never been a writer. It’s not a skill I have. My corporate emails are fraught with missing words, and prepositions are apparently unknown to me in amy form prose.  Don’t get me wrong, I love words, the nuance of finding the correct word for me. On the other hand, writing is like shopping for paint colours.

“Oh that’s a great sky blue.” I say.

She who knows colors rolls her eyes and says, “That’s robin’s egg blue…”

I’ve stopped picking out paint with her. It’s safer and in the end the color is great. Even if I don’t the right name. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But words are different. They are different depending where you are in the world and who your audience is.

Physic’s convention, A scientist stands up and asks, “What kind of diaper did Schrodinger’s cat wear?” Answer – “Depends”  

I’ve struggled with this blog trying to convey the struggle to just write and how I am impacted by the world and suffering. I’ll take another run at it another day.  For today I will leave you with this.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Until then, be well, dcd

Top Ten Reasons for me to finish my latest WIP

  1. Finishing is good.
  2. Stop getting the “Are you still working on that? I thought you finished it last year?”
  3. Get rid of the guilt all the characters in the novel are putting on me to finish.
  4. Finally get to write the scenes I’ve been waiting to write.
  5. The New Hotness will finally get a chance to be the Old Hotness.
  6. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.
  7. The first draft of the Mystery is getting angry at being ignored and is thinking of making me the victim in the sequel.
  8. I’ll be allowed to complain about George Martin not finishing his series. At least he’s been writing…
  9. Finishing will allow me to get rejected by a whole new group of people – Publishers.
  10. I can blog about writing again, because I’ll be writing again.

 

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Obligatory cat photo

As Always – Be Well – dcd.

 

 

A Retreat, Shame and wth? An Editor…

I got back from the writing retreat setup by Randy McCharles earlier this week. Randy’s a great friend to writers of all levels. Check him out. He has new series coming out soon. More news as events warrant.

 

Ok – the people at the retreat made me feel ashamed of my commitment level.

They were a bunch of BIC’s (Bums In Chairs) It was humbling. Their schedule looked something like this:

  • Writing by 630 AM
  • Short Break 10:15
  • Lunch Noon (45 Min)
  • Short Break 230 ish
  • Dinner 6:00 PM (an Hour)
  • And most nights another 2 hours of writing then a sit around chat.

With the guilt hanging over my head after the first day I tried to buckle down and get crunching out the writing.

Here’s what got accomplished:

  • 30K editing pass – and then sent to an editor for revision, plus alpha readers. Yes I crapped my pants.
  • 10K New words
  • Major problems resolved- two
  • Incorporate all changes from Editor on the Prologue. (2500 words)

Robert J. Sawyer Blessing My Keyboard

This is for what I refer to as the “CheeseSpaceOpera” Today’s working title “Icarus: Book One of the System War”.

Some of you might be still coughing about me sending something to an editor, please check her site out: http://moreedits.ca/. If she can work with me, she can work with anyone.

So in an effort for full transparency – Yes –  I am on the road to having something published; either self-published or otherwise. (Insert Laugh Track Here)

The biggest single new technique I learned and put into practise – Editing pass while you listen to the story. I did this through MS Word’s “Read Aloud” function. It’s astounding the sheer volume of prepositions I don’t put in when I write.

What are you going to put into practice for your writing?

Be Well…dcd

Part Deu…prepping the soul/spirit/mind.

While it is important to cultivate being creative and make it a habit to be creative without care for your surrounds, it behooves me see what I could do to maximize the success of the writing retreat. I’ll stop with the horsing around now and get to the point.

For several years now I’ve recommended the following videos in this order to help writer’s. As a writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy I am drawn to the new and the old or ancient. It’s good to remind myself there are excellent resources for writers in the near past. I would include Stephen King’s Book, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft , In this list of resources.

Shawn Anchor’s presentation at a TEDxBloomington in May of 2011 is my goto when I get off track. It involves outliers, unicorns, breaking his sister’s arm and most of all happiness. If you’ve watched it before, watch it again.

 

The second video is from Elizabeth Gilbert. This presentation is not about “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s about creativity and the dreaded “M” word – MUSE.

This presentation is from Ted2009, February.

 

Sadly there is another side to this preparation, dealing with the stress of day to day life or problems that have to be dealt with.

  1. Do the doable before you go. The issues will be there when you get back.
  2. Don’t pack problems for others at the retreat to solve for you. If it’s a writing problem, sure, but you know what I mean.
  3. In my experience, many creative people have trouble being selfish. You owe it to yourself, be selfish, enjoy the retreat, relish the time you have to write.
  4. Balance. You can’t write every single second of your retreat. So don’t judge yourself when you have a second cup of coffee or a second glass of wine.
  5. Strive to find flow. Most authors and artists talk about getting into a flow where the writing just comes out. Work on finding Flow. Basketball players, indeed professional athletes talk about finding flow. If you don’t believe in “flow” that’s fine, you’ll thank me when you find it.
  6. Write down what distracts you, make a list that you will deal with later.

I would say that all of you have read the blog and not watched the videos. Now is the time to go back a watch the videos.

Remember the goal is to prepare for the retreat, not start the retreat early.  Don’t confuse preparation with doing an activity. Proper preparation helps maximize what you get out of something, whether it’s a holiday or a retreat.

“It’s best to have your tools with you. If you don’t, you’re apt to find something you didn’t expect and get discouraged.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Be Well…dcd

What good shall I do today?

After I’ve had coffee of course.

I will be fortunate enough to attend a writing retreat at the end of May.  This is a selfish goodness for me. This is a holiday for me. And like any good holiday you need to prepare and pack, because as my wife says, “Pants are good”.

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When I was a younger man and took a holiday it took me two or three days to forget about work and be present in the holiday I was taking. There were entire trips where I never lived in the holiday. Never enjoyed it, fully. I was an idiot. I can’t emphasize this enough. The stupidity of not enjoying, your holiday is fundamentally wrong. I would go so far as to say, evil. People who are kind and generous often learn this late in life. It’s sad and tragic. In my case one of the great regrets of my life. (I know, I know, suck it up princess, some people never get holidays)

Why do I mention this? Because I need to prepare for a holiday, and so should you. For me there are three areas I prepare:

  1. Health
  2. Soul/Spirit/Mind
  3. What to pack?

Health wise I try to start my healthy regime 3 or 4 weeks in advance. I am starting now to make sure that I am physically prepared. While it seems obvious, consider what you will be doing. What hours will you be keeping? Will you need to adjust your sleep cycle? How active will you be?

I am unaware of any holiday that doesn’t change your physical activity level in some way. Whether it is walking more, or using muscles that you don’t normally use. If you are going canoeing and you haven’t canoed all year there is a great chance you will have back problems, for example. Take steps to strengthen your back.

Drinking. Will you be drinking more? Or will you be drinking less? Figure it out make choices that don’t let what you drink determine if you enjoy your holiday. There is nothing worse then running out of your favorite gin half-way through a holiday, except running out of your favorite coffee.

When I canoed regularly we brought two coffee makers on the trip. One was the morning cup of coffee, big robust, plentiful, filtered coffee. The other was a stove top espresso machine, complete with demi-tasse cups. You immediately have new friends if you offer a hard core, freezed dried food canoeing team espresso.  The husband and wife who are traveling with their children drinking instant coffee will think you’re angels sent from heaven. And if you pull out a little Bailey’s , be sure to have kleenex handy for they will be crying.

I point this out for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t believe it is healthy to make major life changes when you are taking a holiday. Don’t try and quit drinking coffee on a holiday. Secondly, everyone needs an indulgence on a holiday, maybe’s it coffee and Baileys, maybe it’s pedicure or maybe it’s just sitting in a chair and reading undisturbed. Figure out what your indulgence will be, make it happen.  Health wise know your limits. And you don’t know your limits until you write them down. As I writer I know there is a significant difference between what I think I will write and what actually goes on the page. The written word defines something, places limits on it. Know what you are capable of and if you are found wanting try and get better.

So for this trip, I plan to try and write 5000 words a day. To do that I know that i will need to exercise to keep from being worn  out. That means that I am making sure I take long walks every day. It also means that I have the shoes that I am going wear while walking. No blisters from new shoes for this guy. That means I will be exercising more than normal, which in my cases, figuring out when and where. Simple enough.

Not so fast bubba Louie.

It’s not enough to walk more, although its a start, I also need to walk with a camera pack, because I know I will be taking pictures.

You are way boring and pedantic now.

You’re right, but for me, to enjoy a holiday I need to consider the details. Maybe you should too?

oneRock

Be Well…dcd