Interlude…

Sometimes I need to stop typing and write with pen on paper. It’s not the words. It’s the sound of nib on paper. TDoorReSizehey rhyme and beat of the pen scrapping paper. Words of the same length come out in staccato beat that resonates with my soul. And then the change from print to cursive. The pen and paper become a different instrument. The sound is just as pleasing. Once I resonant with the sound my eyes come into play I try to focus on clear beautiful script. I fail most often here. Moments become infinity for me and I disconnect from time, there is only pen and paper.

 

Be Well…dcd

What I learned from NaNoWriMo 2017

With a strange sense of satisfaction, I find myself writing this blog post before the end of November.  I learned a lot about myself and my writing this during NaNoWriMo this year.

Here goes:

Special Award: Mary Robinette Kowal’s “No NaNoPrep” course was invaluable.

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Number One – I need more plot and structure to write.  I didn’t have enough material prepared, from incidental character names, to plot points, to the details of my characters.

Number Two: Don’t have to race to the next plot point. I worked to enjoy the scene I was writing.  There is more to improve on this. I also believe this is a weakness in my writing.

Number Three: Taking time to introduce my characters properly to the reader, makes them easier to write.

Numero Cat: I write the most words during word sprints at coffee shops, with an outline of the scene and alone.  Word sprints help me write, better, quicker, faster.  Make the  best use of my time. Having an outline of the scene or section I am writing generates greater output.  Once I start writing at a coffee shop I am highly productive. I write the best when I am alone focusing on what i need to do. While it is good fun and helpful to write with others, I am less productive. One of my goals is to have a higher output of words. Currently I average around 1200 – 1500 word an hour.  I want to get that much higher.  Once again more on this in an upcoming blog.

Number Five: Working with a soundtrack helps. I need to look at using different soundtracks for different sections. Instrumentals work best.

Number Six: Netflix is my friend. During breaks from writing, watching a TV show in the same genre helps to keep me grounded. I need to test this out more to be sure. Not movies, series. I don’t binge watch Netflix. If you binge watch, then I would suggest that this is bad tip for you.

Lucky Number Seven: Writing podcasts, like “The Prolific Writer” and “Writing Excuses” help my motivation. A LOT, LIKE A TON!

Number Eight: I don’t know how you become a writer without a writing group. The information and encouragement from a writing group should be mandatory for all writers, regardless of proficiency level. Thanks to Courtney, Lou, Melissa, Morena and Sharelene for keeping me on the straight and narrow.

Number Nine: (no not the Beatles song) Coffee shops. Lovely, pretentious,  coffee shops. My thanks go out to : http://iconoclastcoffee.com/ , http://remedycafe.ca/ , and https://www.transcendcoffee.ca/

There must be some deep psychological reason I love writing at coffee shops. A misplaced idealistic dream about what it means to be a writer? But Damn it, I love writing at coffee shops.

Be Well…dcd

Breaking 50K

Six days of #NaNoWriMo2017 and I can see my goal of 60K words in the distance.  Just passed the 50K mark, the “official” finish line for NaNo. Why 60K? Why not? Or is that to trivial an answer?

Those who I share this writing adventure with have busier lives than I do. Some of children, some are working longer hours with other goals besides writing. I on the other hand, have the time to write. Time to write better, quicker, faster. I don’t have to be satisfied with 1667 words and day for NaNoWriMo. Indeed, I should be able to do 2K words 5 days out of seven, seven out of seven during November.

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I also need to take time to learn from my writing. This NaNoWriMo has been the easiest so far. By being easier, it has also taught me many lessons on what I need to do better. But that is a topic for another blog. I am hoping to get 5k done today and maybe tomorrow. Then NaNoWriMo2017 will be over for me.

Be Well…dcd

Here’s your raw NaNo writing excerpt:

“I’ll see what we have and get the water Lady Isott.” The server said and headed off to the kitchen. As she reached the kitchen door, Mila and Cara came out bumping into the server. Mila and Cara grabbed the serving woman and pinned her to the floor, Mila with a knife at the women’s throat. The guards at the door drew swords and rushed towards the kitchen, as they ran, Trevor stuck his foot out tripping one. The other plunged straight at Mila’s back with a sword. He didn’t see Slode step out of the privy hallway running him through with his sword. By the time that Isott swung her gaze back to the other fallen man Gris was ontop of him, binding the man’s hands as Slode walked over blood falling onto the man’s face from the blade of his sword. The man stopped stuggling instantly.
“Back room.” Trevor gestured and everyone dragged their captives down a corridor near the kitchn to what looked like stock room. Two serving staff rolled the dead body into a table cloth and took it through the kitchen. Another two staff immediatley had mops out and were wiping up the blood. Isott was amazed at that everything disappeared so fast.
“Isott,” hissed Trevor, “Get over here.”
She went to Trevor and the rest. Trevor closed the door
“Won’t someone call the city guards?” Isott asked.
“Most people won’t remember seeing anything if you ask them tomorrow. Some didn’t even see it tonight.” Trevor said.
“How? How can that be?” Isott asked. “It happened in plain site.”
“What people will remember is that a serving girl stumbled going into the kitchen. Most didn’t see Slode kill the man. They weren’t looking that way. What they will say is the guards went to help the fallen serving girl helping her into the kitchen.”
“Those that did see everything will keep their mouths closed for fear of being associated with the bandits. And no one will believe that Mila Xygen was involved in anything.” Mila said while looking directly at the serving woman who Slode had tied to chair. Mila’s dagger was dangerously close to the woman’s face. The other would be assassin was tied in another chair. Gris was staring at him.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Day 13

Today’s installment of mindless drivel from the land of NaNoWriMo…

Cara stepped from her hiding spot and dropped to the floor in silence.
“Well, what should we do?” Cara said.
With a bang Isott crashed backwards out of her chair spilling onto the floor. She spun with her dagger held out to Cara.
“I could have killed you.” Isott said, trying to regain her composure. Cara was still laughing.
“Oh yes, you are so scary.” Cara said putting her hand over her mouth. This did not prevent her shoulders from shaking.
Isott’s eyebrows knit together. She took a slow breath to regain control. It didn’t work.
“Damn it Cara, with all that has gone on, is going on. It wasn’t funny.” Isott said. “How long have you been listening?”
“Long enough to know that I need to be at that meeting.” Cara said.

Isott thought about this. “No, I have a different task for you.” Isott said.
“I don’t take orders from you, Isott. I provide information. I try and get information you are after. But I don’t take orders from House Adunthe.” Cara said.

Isott considered this. Did she mis-understand the relationship that Daniel had with Cara? Maybe the direct route to her problem.

“I need you, no, let me re-phrase that. I would take it as a favour, if you followed Daniel for the next several days. I am afraid he is going to do something stupid.” Isott said. She found Cara studying her closely. She in turn looked at Cara.
“You’ll have to be more specific,” Cara said, “I need to know what you are afraid of.”
“He’s going to go after the rogue magic users by himself, I know it. And I don’t think he understands how dangerous it is.” Isott said.
Cara shuddered, remembering the scene from the docks. The sickening popping sounds still clear echoing in her mind. She forced down the rising bile in her mouth.

Remembrance Day 2017

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.-George Santayana

We live in a world where memories are measured in seconds and the ‘apps’ of our lives are often designed to forget or erase what we just shared with others, the moments of our lives. It’s not that we can’t remembered what happened last week, it’s that we can’t remember what happened last snap.

Chose to remember the truth: the good the bad the ugly. Lest we forget.

Be Well -dcd

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My father is third from the left. He fought in Korea for Canada.

#NaNoWriMo2017

This post, like most if not all of my NaNo post consists of unedited or reviewed words. Simply the flow of words that came out. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

An excerpt from “Markaz” wherein we find evil.

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“Ground them, please.” Akim said.
Ceira turned back to Bek who was smiling at Akim’s words. He was already trying to pull power from her. She took the breath, calmed and release the power slowly to him. She found it better to keep her eyes closed while Bek worked. It helped her focus on her task of giving him the power. The grind of the earth being pulled against earth reached her ears and the muffled screams of the now enclosed thugs did not distract her. She continued to give Bek the power he needed, increasing it as she imagined the improvised earthen room coming down and meeting resistances from the men inside. And then the screams and pop like sounds as the roof came to the ground. The sound reminded her of stepping through goopy mud. Finally the silences which sent a thrill through her, a soft sigh escaping her lips. She knew that Bek would continue until the men were well beneath the ground so the animals wouldn’t smell the bodies and dig them up. Not that there would be bodies. It would be bones and goo. Bek just didn’t push the people into the ground, he pressed the ground up at the same time. Like a hardened earthen vise. And then Bek stopped pulling power and she waited calmly until the reserve in her emptied before opening eyes.
She looked at Akim.
“Do you want us to ground the rest?” She asked.

NaNoWriMo Day 4 2017

A little unedited excerpt from this year’s NaNoWriMo Novel – MarkazDay 4 Words

The loud laughter of middle-aged men erupted throughout the bar. Isott looked over to the disturbance, shaking her head. Daniel tapped her on the arm, gesturing to her to look again. What she saw was impossible. One of the two men was pointing at a drink, concentrating on a glass that had the drink flowing straight up into the air. He then carefully brought his arm down and the fluid went into the glass. They both laughed and his partner yelled, “Higher”. The other man focused his attention on the glass and the liquid rose out of the glass higher than before. He then gestured to an empty glass and moved the liquid to it, splashing as it fell into the glass. They slapped each other on the back. The tavern was silent by now watching the two. They didn’t notice the silence or attention. The one moving the liquid said something to the other, who nodded his head. The strange focusing of the two men returned and the liquid at the table went into the air. The one gestured to an empty glass at a table near them were some merchants were watching and dropped the beer into one of their glasses. Sloshing most of it onto the table. The woman picked it up the drink and toasted them, laughing.

Isott’s looked back to the two men, they were concentrating harder now. Beads of sweat forming on their foreheads. The men noticed everyone watching them now and the one seemed to be focusing on all the tables at once. They both seemed to glow? And then all the drinks on almost every table rose into the air, higher and higher, almost touching the ceiling.

“I am the greatest,” bellowed the man standing holding both hands high in the air. He was in ecstasy from something and then all the drinks in the air fell soaking the patrons, producing screams and complaints. Isott watched as the man arms still high in the air grew brighter and then collapsed like a sack of corn to floor unmoving. His companion now stood looking at his own hands. He too seemed to glow. He cried out, “I can’t get rid of it!” Looked down at his chest, “No” and exploded.