Bits of Fun

Nano Survey

Taken and adapted from The Polling Booth, because I like surveys and they’re a good way to kill time. ūüėČ


–¬†What age range are you?:¬†¬†Late 20s
–¬†Male, female, other?:¬†Very much female.
¬†If 1 is 100% Masculine and 10 is 100% Feminine, what number would you rate yourself for your country/background?:¬†Er. I dunno. 8? I very definitely identify as very female, but I also definitely have traits that others would probably consider masculine… but I don’t view them that way. It’s just the sort of female I am. I have trouble with this question.
–¬†Country and/or Ethnicity (if you are comfortable telling this)? Southern American with Anglo-Welsh heritage.
–¬†Myers Briggs Typology?¬†(Take the test here): ENFJ (which is an evolution. I used to be an ENFP, but that’s definitely shifted in the past few years)
–¬†What number of years have you participated in Nanowrimo?:¬†Every year since 2002, except for 2006, when I was directing a show, and 2009, when I was writing my Master’s thesis. I’ve won about half the time, and I’m hoping to fulfill a three-year streak this year.
–¬†Do you write books outside of Nanowrimo?:¬†Obviously, given the nature of this blog. ūüėČ
–¬†Did you write before you participated in your first Nanowrimo?:¬†Yes.
–¬†How long have you been writing fiction for?¬†And if before Nanowrimo, what forms?:¬†I’ve been writing seriously since I was eleven (there’s a whole story about how¬†Star Wars¬†changed my life that I should probably tell here sometime), and I’ve been a natural storyteller for as long as I can remember. I was always the kid coming up with ridiculously complex worlds for us to play in. I discovered fanfiction as a teenager and spent a lot of energy on it, honing my skills. I never gave up on original things, but there were definitely periods of time where they fell to the background. Its’s only in the past few years that I’ve shifted to original writing almost exclusively (though the occasional fanfic does still prick at me for attention).
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Nano Prep — Unleash the Hounds

2013-Participant-Vertical-BannerIt’s that time of year again! Sign-ups have started for National Novel Writing Month. I’ve already set up my profile and conned one local friend into joining the madness with me. I just realised that this is my tenth year of participation. (My first was in 2002, but I punked out in 2006, thanks to directing Romeo and Juliet that month, and in 2009, thanks to writing my Master’s thesis, which I guess are both okay reasons).¬†I’m looking forward to continuing my winning streak — 2011 and 2012 were both very good for me. I believe 2013 will be as well. I’m so excited for it that I’ve already started diving into the forums — and I’m clearly not alone in wanting to immerse myself in Nano’s special energy as soon as possible. There are nearly 29,000 writers signed up as of this moment, and several forums have taken off like a shot — particularly the Fantasy Genre Lounge and the Reference Desk.

October at my real-world job is completely bananas. Especially this year. We host a conference towards the end of the month, where a few hundred of the experts in our field descend upon our Playhouse for almost a full week of paper presentations, staging sessions, shows, and festivities. My boss and I spend several weeks preparing ourselves and our volunteer coordinators and teams of helpers, and then spend a series 16-hour days herding the cats, guiding our volunteers, schmoozing the VIPs, and just generally being as capable and charming as we can manage. I’m presenting my own paper, so, y’know, no pressure there. This caps off a month where we’ve had two teacher seminars in a row, last weekend and this, a few leadership seminars, and a host of other normal, non-conference responsibilities that always crop up at the beginning of the school year. So, really, while Nano is always a bonkers challenge of its own, this year, it’s also a reward. After a month of bleeding out for other people (happily! I do love my job, it’s just seriously exhausting sometimes), in November, I get to retreat into a world of my own creation. I’m really looking forward to it.

This year, I’ll be working on re-envisioning my screenplay,¬†Tallows House, as a novel,¬†The World is Always Ending. (Working title, at least, thoroughly stolen from a Neil Gaiman short story). This is a pet project, and I freely admit that. I’m more interested in getting¬†The Antares Project¬†to a finished, query-able state, and I think it’ll meet with more success. But, it’s also at the fill-in-the-gaps-and-fiddly-bits stage, which isn’t good for Nanoing. I’ll share some more about TWAE’s premise later, though, and probably some character sketches.

Honestly, at this point the hardest part is¬†not¬†writing. I had a snippet of exchange in my head yesterday, and I just have to hope it’ll still be there to recall on November 1st. I’ve had a great idea for dealing with the timeline and communicating its non-linear bits, and I can’t let myself scratch down more than a few memory-jogging notes.¬†But that’s part of the fun of it. I like letting the pressure to write build up, like a champagne bottle ready to pop.



NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt – Where’s My Character?

So, as part of the gearing-up for Nano, they’re posting writing prompts on FB’s. I don’t always manage to see them in a timely fashion, but I did today’s.

For today’s writing prompt, we’re playing a game we like to call: “Where’s My Character”!¬†Describe the city or location your novel takes place in with 100 words, without mentioning any names or dates. Make it evocative enough that others can guess where your novel takes place in the comments!

As I set to it, I realised I could really best identify my location by what grows there, even moreso than the scenery itself. Which was sort of interesting. So — where am I setting my Nano13 novel? (Some of y’all who already know the project — or me — well enough will already know).

Three farmhouses, square, paint chipping, nestled into a sunny valley between old, careworn mountains. Wrap-around porches crawling with ivy. The surrounding fields grow corn for grain and trade; the vegetable gardens yield pumpkins, asparagus, squash, beans, many herbs. Berries grow wild. The families trade east for peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes. It’s particularly good country for apples, turkeys, and horses; the families also keep a few hogs, chickens for eggs, and a couple of milk cows. The landscape grows calmer to the east, towards the ocean, but swiftly sharper and denser to the west. Long, plentiful growing seasons, but potentially temperamental winters.