Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The racism is part of the charm!

Ok, so I spent much of my free time today reading more H. P. Lovecraft stories again instead of writing. But it's "research", since I'm doing a Lovecraft pastiche this year. Yeeeeaaah... research... suuuuure.

And now I think part of the appeal of it is that you can get into this racist, horrified mindset. I mean, Lovecraft goes way beyond being "of his time" in the racism department. When you read the stories, you can sympathize and feel his horror at racial mixing, the fear of racial "degeneracy", the horror of foreigners, the fear that you yourself might turn out to be "tainted". It's interesting that eventually he seems to start to come to terms with it. The narrator of the "Shadow over Innsmouth" initially sees the Other as ugly and evil. By the end, he accepts it in himself and even empathizes with his poor cousin (locked away in an insane asylum). Unlike his uncle, he doesn't go and kill himself (although he does consider it.) He plans to go swim off to join his hybrid kin under the sea. (*cue happy song and dance number*). While this acceptance is itself part of the "horror" of the story, hey, it's progress. Of a sort.

The "cosmic horror" aspect isn't as objectionable to the modern day reader. But it's just as alien, in a way. As an atheist, I agree humans are not the end-all and be-all of existence. I don't think the universe cares. (I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.) However, the thought does not fill me with terror or drive me towards insanity! I mean, it would be cool to time travel by swapping minds with some alien race! (Though not so cool to have my own species wiped out in a mass migration of alien minds.) Oooo.... giant sea monsters... Yeah. But by reading the stories, one can understand how horrifying it can be. (Of course it's frightening to be squished like a bug, but it's not intrinsically horrifying! It's only horrifying in context.) And in the Lovecraft stories, that element of wonder does exist and is appreciated. The dream quests. The strange alien cities. The ancient ruins. Mind-boggling, imaginative stuff.

Well, maybe that's just me. Part of the appeal of the Narnia series to me was letting me understand the Christian point of view and getting the importance of faith (which would otherwise be mysterious to me). And I liked Jane Austen novels for showing me an alien society.

NaNo NaNo NaNo. Well. One thing about NaNo is that it reminds me how easy it is to write 25000 words a month. Why don't I do that every month? Then I wouldn't have to bother with NaNo. Why? ARRRGH!

Lovecraft pastiche of the day:

The first word of the day is always the hardest.

That the word is in a human language and of a wholesome cast, is a battle I must fight every day. Today I shall have the victory.

Thus, a definite article in my mother tongue. I bind myself to the letters that one may follow another to form a word safe to read or write.

The second follows the first. It suggests a subject, a verb, and indeed a phrase or even a full sentence.

Only by such oblique measures can I bring myself to speak... no, even now I cannot bring myself to /speak/. But the written word is farther removed from those thoughts that writhe with such reptilian vigor in the recesses of the mind.

It is no longer a mind I claim as my own. It has become tainted with the /other/.

No. No more words will I expend on it, lest my own words be used to conjure it into the daylight world bequeathed by the grace of God to Mankind.

But write I must. The compulsion baffles my doctors, but is humored by the custodians of this quaint bedlam where I have been consigned by my parents ever since my return from Sabokan County. I am brought pen and ink and as much paper as I require to damn myself.

/Yrkth Ugh.../

No. My hand is my own. It is not illness of the mundane sort that afflicts me, no fever of the brain, no madness or consumption. They do not understand, who have never breathed the ghost-laden air of Sabokan County. They have never looked upon the face of the Breaker of Worlds.

I wish to God I had such innocence.

It was shortly after the war that I was sent there. I was a clerk then. It was my task to enscribe the treaty as it was agreed between our government and...

And...

Ah, it is not any name I would willingly scribe. Those /powers/ that rule Sabokan County have names that are heard by entities tis better not to alert. More than heard. /Listened for/. Aye, there is one thing they can share with us, and that is an abominable /curiosity/.

Thus it was that I came to /their/ attention.

At the time I understood nothing. During the war, the folk of Sabokan County had allied themselves with our president and aided materially in our victory. Without them the blood toll would have risen even higher. Thus, even after his death, it seemed natural to me that we should honor our agreements and make this treaty with them. It was to end over a hundred years of violence and savagery that Sabokan County was finally embraced in the Union, under terms honorable and just to both sides.

A noble aim, was it not?

As I say, I understood nothing. The terms of the treaty I wrote down as I heard them, without understanding the meaning behind the words.

In ancient times, barbarous tribes made their peace by fostering their sons and marrying their daughters to their one-time enemies. Now... now things are not done so simply. But that exchange of flesh and blood is not so archaic as one might imagine.

I was not brought to Sabokan County as a mere employee, but as an offering.

And I was given. For it is the desire of certain of those /powers/ to walk among mortals unnoticed. They wish to /travel/. The human world beyond Sabokan County has been locked from them by the work of those adepts who in secret association have guarded the human race from those /outside/.

I shall not speak of those rites which bound that alien being into my body. It is enough that this creature shares my mind, shares every particle of my being. I do not know what madmen, inspired by what hideous demons, devised such rituals. They are unfit for human eyes to witness, a blasphemy for human ears to hear.

/H'shia sunektlar yug inindiyath./

No. I will cut off my own right hand before I set such abominations down on paper.

/It/ is here, but it will see no more of the world than these four walls. It will corrupt no one, for I will never speak another word. This record I will burn as I have all the others.

I feel my body failing day by day. Such vile co-habitation is a constant degradation. Not for much longer will I endure this hell. Another week? Another month? See the tremor in my hand that no effort of will can suppress. Note the sickly hue of my skin.

Damn the treaty. Damn the peace. If I am a traitor for fleeing that unclean ritual too early, you are traitors to all Mankind for giving me over to...

/H'shia sunektlak yug urghulach!/

[Papers found on XXX's desk at the time of his death at the St. Mary's Sanitarium in YYY]

Addendum: (2012)

A sad story. The poor fellow was just trying to call out for help, but the host was too paranoid. Too scared to listen. He preferred to be stuck in the loony bin until the day he died (which happened a lot sooner than it needed to, down to pure human stubbornness.)

I wonder if it would happen that way today? I mean, there's laws about informed consent, yadda yadda yadda. But it sounds like they did give that clerk some papers to read and tried to explain things to him. He just didn't understand. Didn't understand what he was getting into, that is. Or what was getting into him.

Some people can't take it. Psychologically, that is. It's one of the deep instinctual fears and taboos, like snakes, bugs, and sex with your sibling. People don't like it. It feels wrong. But those instincts don't stop people from snake-charming, tarantula-keeping, or incest. So yeah. Just one of those things.

I suppose the Guest got home eventually. I couldn't find any record of its name or affiliation, though one can guess from the fragments here. Probably a yughul. Their techniques have improved since the nineteenth century, luckily.

I've met a few modern-day yughuls here and about. There was one at the gas station just off route 206 in Sabokan County. Nice fellow. Married to a human woman. Not sure how well that works, but hey, who am I to judge? I used to stop there regularly, on my way to the Unthinkable Library. The library moved in 2010, so I don't go that way much anymore.

People don't write this crap down like that anymore, either. Nowadays it's all facebook and selfies and youtube and twitter. Yughuls love twitter. Done wonders for their communication difficulties. Whatever you want to say, however dumb or weird, has been said somewhere in the twitterverse.

Annoys the Chronarchy no end.

They keep a lid on it best they can, but it's like whatsisface telling the tide not to come in. Yeah. I was an intern for the Chronarchy the summer before I was hired by the Hex. Whole different environment.

Really strict with the mind control.

Glad I only stayed the one summer.

The Hex gives me a longer leash. I can keep my hands clean, as long as I keep my nose out of the nasty shit. I can't help getting a whiff now and then, but...

Hey, they're keeping the homeland safe for humanity, right?

They gotta do what they gotta do.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Desperation sets in...

At 20K. Reaching into the big bag o' cliches, this is when I haul out the supernatural sexual assaults... and fail at Seduction By Darkity Dark Dark Seducers. D'oh! I chicken out at the last minute using the...

"It was all a setup! A trap! The Hex knew all along..."

Only to be countered by the...

"There's more than one way to skin a cat!"

by Ms. Supernatural Evil Indian Bisexual (Uniting racists, homophobes, and misogynists everywhere) Person. Which leaves Jules (idiot main character) a shivering wreck. I think she'll spend the night in a box fort, hearkening back to the comforts of childhood. (Too bad these are EEEEEVVVVVIL boxes, but hey, that's the way it goes).

I'm never going to write one of those hot bestselling supernatural romance novels, am I? *headdesks*.

This is also where I realize that my main character has no friends or hobbies. I'm not too sure about her motivation, either. Gah! At a point in the story where it would be natural for her to reach out to her friends... she doesn't have any!? Oops. Gotta explain that. Or distract herself with her hobbies? Err. No hobbies, either? All I know is she's not that much of an outdoor person, and that only because her mother was bugging her about exercise. And she's about to meet the Demonic Temptation... and I have no idea what to tempt her with because I just randomly threw a character onto the page to start NaNo and didn't figure out any of the details?

Damn it. This is why I need to think things through. (Here I am, thinking things through. It's easier if I pretend someone is out there smiling and nodding, humoring me.) So, what to wish for... "Go away and leave me alone!" And then she is? So I guess then she'd change her mind and wish for some friends instead. Hmmm.

And how is that wish going to lead to her being patient zero in a zombie apocalypse? "Hello, won't you be my friend?" *CHOMP* "Grrr, arrgh..."

Yeah. Whatever. Get writing. No bets on how many words I get done before the Doctor Who anniversary special airs.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I guess it's not a total loss

Even though it doesn't seem likely at this point that I will write 5500 words a day for the next six days. (Which is basically what I'd have to do to reach 50000 words this year.)

On the up side, I did manage to amuse myself with some of the stuff I've written for the novel this year. Not really horror as such, just some weird shit and random tangents. Not much of a plot, but there it is. I now have some kind of dead demon involved. He says he's an "oneiric cartographer" and calls himself "Abraham Lincoln". Hmm. Having quite the chat with Jules (my main POV character). He can explain the plot to me. Maybe. At least until the next infodump comes along.

Oh god. 5500 words. The first 1000 a day is easy. It's the next 1000, and the next, and the next... Ugh. I used to stay up at night to write, but now the kids go to bed really late and I don't have the stamina to stay awake. I write faster when I chain myself to the keyboard and force myself to do X words before I sleep, but it requires a certain desperation (only works if I really want to finish).

The disembodied voice dropped to a whisper. "Kem-phaos! Blinding Light."

Jules blinked. She noted again the darkness of the room and the drawn shades. "No danger of that in here, I guess?"

"Exactamundo," said the voice. "So I came here, to negotiate a deal between the Hex and the serpent."

Jules stared at the body on the table. "Did the Hex... kill you?"

"They were suspicious," said the voice. "People had already died. The Hex sent their agents on the trail of the infection. And they vanished. So when I turned up in the Sabokan office, the paranoid bastards stuck a sharp chord in my skull and gave me the full slice and dice."

Jules shuddered. "I don't do... wet work..."

"I know," said the voice. "They hired you for your mind. They think you can assimilate the model into your head and /rationalize/ the weather here, take it away from Liz Wagen."

"Really."

"Yep, that's what the Hex think. But the hiring pool was diddled with before the Hex got their eyes on it. The niska Kauket choose you for something else altogether."

"The what what did what?"

"Yep. There's a word for people like you... it's on the tip of my tongue. If I still had one. Lemme think..."

"What?"

"Oh yes. 'Bait'. That's the word."

"Bait." Jules shivered, suddenly chilled to the core. "Bait for what?"

"I named it once. Not gonna do it again. Things have ears, you know."

"Walls?" Jules suggested. "And the NSA."

"It's no joke," snapped the voice of "Lincoln".

"No," said Jules, after a moment. "So... they dangle me out there on the end of a hook, and..?"

"It's 'sayonara, Jules Edgerton, nice knowing you'. But it won't even work," said the voice, now edged with frustration. "The thing is too strong. As long as everyone is squabbling like a bunch of spoiled children, the big fish will just get bigger and bigger. It's the waste I can't stand. So many lost already, a list I never wanted to be on."

"No," agreed Jules. "I can see that. So what are you saying? I should hand in my resignation and go look for a new job? How annoying." Jules sighed at the thought. "My mother will kill me. After a million 'I told you so's."

"Nah, I'm not saying that at all."

"No?" Jules brightened.

"If you resign now, it'll be a mindwipe at breakfast and a quiet death at dinner. Tying up loose ends, you understand. And another poor schmuck will be recruited in your place. No. There's no resigning."

"Oh."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another day, another thousand words...

...wait wait wait, wasn't it supposed to be two thousand words every day?

Um.

Yeah. D'oh!

But I got to the end of the mini-story I had within the novel, doesn't that count for something? I mean, it had a beginning, middle, and end. Sort of. And it even had the whole horror thing going! I introduced a new cult (apparently Captain Jean Fortier was a Deacon of the Chronarchy, despite being a "God-fearing man")! Yeah? Yeah?

Gah, my eyes are killing me. Maybe I'll have to do the next 35000 words with my eyes shut. Maybe that will actually be an improvement. Let's see how well I can touch-type. *opens eyes to check* Hmm. That wasn't too bad. But my hands may slip and then I'll end i[ tu[omg ;ole tjos. Bah.

Or maybe I should just write the rest of the novel using only cliches. (What was my motto? "All cliche, all the time"? Something like that.)

Questionable narrative trick of the day: I was doing that first-person "interview transcription" thing for my mini-story. Only then I came to the part where the narrator swore an oath to the Deacon not to tell anyone ever about what they did. And he keeps his oath. Argh! So I went to all the trouble of thinking up the details of what happened, and now I can't tell anyone about it! *slaps self for being silly* All I could do was hint darkly and drop in a little "foreshadowing" (since the person was telling someone else about it years later) and hope for the best. And because of the form of the narrative, I couldn't directly say what had happened to the narrator, either. Oh well. It's not like I was subtle with the "hints". I don't do subtle.

The bad part about ending a section is that it's harder to jump back into the next section I need to work on. I think I left off in the middle of a phone call. I need to make Jules seem really close to her mother. That way it will be more fun when I do evil things to her mother. Ha ha ha. It seems this novel will have at its core a guilt trip horror for Jules, since it will be ALL HER FAULT. How I'm going to get there... yeah. This is where having an outline before I started would have come in handy. I HAVE NO F***ING CLUE. See the caps? SEE THEM? That's how clueless I am.

Day 17. 15000 words. I'm so doomed.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blah, I give up

This is hopeless. All yesterday, every time I could have opened my NaNo file, instead I clicked on this.

[SQUEE] OMG! OMG! OMFG! It's Paul McGann!!!!!!!!! Karn! Time War! AAAAAAGHHHH! He's brilliant. 7 minutes of pure epic. Now that's more like it, Moffat! [/SQUEE]

Yeah. I had a goofy smile on my face all day. Ok, so it's totally catering to the old Who fans, but so what? So what if it's more fetishizing of the Doctor? Who cares if it's pure fanwank if it's good fanwank? Between this and the release of the lost episodes and more to come, what a fantastic 50th anniversary it is for Doctor Who! "Night of the Doctor" was the best (new) bit of televised Doctor Who I've seen since... I don't even know. It really makes me wish for a Paul McGann series or mini-series. I always liked his audios (the TV movie...not so much), but this takes it to a whole new level.

Yeah. So this stupid TV show is making me happier than my NaNo novel ever could. Ha. I don't know. There's no way for me to do NaNo (all 50000+ words of it) unless I want to, and this year I don't want to that much. Nothing to prove, since I've done it many times before, and the story is a bit meh.

So I tried reading some of the H.P. Lovecraft stories that got me started in this genre (well, by way of "Call of Cthulhu" for the idea that it would be fun as a RPG) in the first place... and it's so depressingly racist. A huge part of the "horror" in it is a fear of "other" races. From reading some of the short stories, it feels like if he ever found out he had a black great-grandmother, he'd want to kill himself or something. God forbid that "swarthy foreigners" should move onto his street! And all those villainous "mulattoes", "hybrids", "mongrels", "half-castes", "Indians", "Portuguese", etc. Geez. And... white men might not be the most powerful beings, around whom the universe revolves. Oh noes! The horror!

So I was taking the piss with my "Sabokan County" with its villainous Indians and the ancient artifacts held by runaway slaves, etc. but it's going to be me who ends up sounding racist. Bah. I need to balance these things:

The "Yesan"? Aye, I know of them.

Mongrels and hybrids. A blight upon this state. Why does the governor refuse to have them driven out? A show of force and they will fall. The cowards have no stomach for a true battle. They are weak-willed, decadent runaways and savages.

But you asked me who they are. Very well. According to the tales of the Indians of the lowlands, they are foreigners from over the mountains. They do not speak the local patois, but rather a devilish, uncouth tongue. In recent decades they have mixed their blood with African slaves run away from our plantations.

More than once our militias have pursued them into the hill country, but each time they eluded us with their foul tricks. The dogs lose their scent in the icy streams there. The trappers who habit the woods say that the water is tainted by the vents of hell that are found in the dark, narrow crevasses that split the bare rocks of those hills. The other Indians refuse to set foot in Saboakan country, deeming it a place of monsters and evil spirits. For our guide we had only a French halfbreed who, once fortified by drink and promises of coin, was willing to show us the hidden roads and passages.

Aye, I took part in one such expedition. It was in the fall of the year 1791. We were one score and seven, god-fearing men all, though the halfbreed was a Popish idolator after the faith of his father. He had such a collection of wooden saints and beads, and fetishes of feathers and human hair as his mother had blessed for him. I hold no truck with such blasphemous superstition, but our guide held them vital to our enterprise.

Many a time would he close his eyes, bowing his head and muttering strange prayers over his fetishes and saints. They dangled from the rosaries he held clutched in his hands. These times grew more excessive the nearer we drew to Saboakan lands, until only the threat of the lash moved him to continue on.

It was maddening that the runaways should make better time on their feet than we did while mounted on horseback. Still, their spoor was marked by blood, as the halfbreed found, so they were not traveling unscathed. Surely they could not walk for much longer. They had not much provision: the owner keeps a tight guard on the kitchen. But these field slaves are hardy beasts, and can endure where a civilized man would have fallen.

with bits from other points of view. But the whole thing is just going to sound like a racist stereotype now, all around and against everyone. D'oh!

(Even if I don't reach 50K, I'm still going to write as much of it as I can. Even what I have so far is more than I'd have written without NaNoWriMo.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's aliiiiive...

No, not my novel. That's as moribund as ever.

I mean my mini-laptop (i.e. the netbook). I finally got around to fixing it. Whew. They don't even make those anymore, which makes me sad. I don't want a tablet, damn it. A tablet propped up on a desk with a keyboard plugged in (and a mouse!?) is just silly. A regular laptop is too big for my tastes. And the high-end super-light super-thin laptops are too fancy and expensive for me, when all I want is something low-powered (I do NOT want to play games or watch movies on it!) to type on. The whole point is to keep it basic and with few distractions!

Yeah, so how's that working out?

Um. Right. Wasn't there some NaNo marathon going on today? Did I get lots of writing done?

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

No no no no no. And all the chocolate in the world isn't going to get me to write it any faster. (Actually, I want a gummibär. I used to be so addicted to them when I was in 6th grade. Recently I was reminiscing about it to my kids, which prompted me to buy a package, which just got me hooked all over again! D'oh!)

I only managed to get to 10000 words by typing in whatever random filler I could think of that was at all relevant to my story. Gah. This is the "found text" portion of my novel.

[from the notes of Marcus Zolti]

It is our perversity that dooms us. No matter how grotesque the infection, there will be those who deliberately seek it out, whether out of desire for personal gain or out of resentment or hatred of their fellows. Our estimates place that number at 0.03 of the population in peacetime. Under stress conditions such as war or natural catastrophe, that proportion may rise to as high as 0.1. (See the study by X and Y in 19xx, and that of Z in 19yy).

Once a critical point has tipped, we have no recourse but the most drastic measure, to cauterize the wound and discard that which is rotten beyond hope of cure. This dreadful fate has swallowed too many of our nations over the centuries, but by its nature means that history is left in ignorance.

In the case of Savaiki, an island of limited population and bounded by a natural barrier (the sea), an attempt was made to isolate all potential /collaborators/ in advance. The failure of this attempt is a sobering lesson for us all. All blood, toil, tears, and sweat were rendered useless when the resistance effort was spearheaded by none other than the primary candidate for /collaboration/ himself.

What the heck? It looks like a zombie apocalypse snuck itself into my novel. Either that or Marcus is talking about the Cybermen. Or some Unpronounceable Nasty from the Outer Darkness.

It's still more coherent than the next section, where I got really really tired of trying to think of things to write and did the whole madman-hiding-in-his-house routine. Ah well. Only 40000 words to go. Not sure if I'll finish this year. Only if I manage decent word counts this week. I may have to start holding things hostage against myself. Bah.

Friday, November 8, 2013

It's week 2!?

Yikes.

I'm waaaayyyy behind. I didn't feel like writing for a couple of days, so I didn't. Inspiration has nothing to do with it. I never ever feel "inspired" to go off and write fiction. (As opposed to blog posts, forum posts, world building notes, story ideas, code, online roleplaying games, etc. etc.) Well, hardly ever. And never for more than 100 words at a time. And the last time that happened was probably the first week of NaNo last year. Other than that, it's just "I do want this written, and it's not writing itself, so I'd better sit down and type." So. It wasn't lack of inspiration. It was more that I felt I had made some strategic errors in how I had set up my story (it's supposed to be Lovecraftian horror-ish something or other, or so I claim) and I have no clue how to fix it now without starting over completely (which I don't want to do.)

I should have thought more about the plot before starting! This is why I've never been much of a "pantser" writer. I admire people who can pull it off, but I suck at it. It's not that I stick to my outlines, but the outlines do help me with seeing the overall structure of the plot (such as it is). This year I have no outline at all. So at the moment, I find elements missing in my story (too many people killed off before the point at which my main character enters it!).

In order to reach 50000 words and any kind of conclusion... guess I'll have to improvise!

Today, so far, it's been 1500 words of... nothing happening. Argh. Last year, my novel flew along at a break-neck pace (to the point where people I tried showing it to had trouble following it). This year, it's the opposite. But still, one gleans tidbits here and there about the characters from actually writing it all out. Sunanda is a vegetarian! The Director is a weird hairless person who has apparently been in quarantine in the old farmhouse for over two years! Bell and Webster always eat... lunch... together. The sysadmin doesn't say much! Jules likes the biometric security system (it makes her feel like she belongs!)

So yeah. Lots of random trivia. Not much happening.

I also spent most of my "writing time" today surfing the net looking for something completely pointless to help with a game I'm not even supposed to be playing during November. Bad Taisch! No cookie! (At 8500 words as of this post).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stupid netbook...

Do you think I have the time or the inclination to go flash your stupid corrupted BIOS?

Grrr.

So yeah. I went off to the library today, set up my computer, and met the infamous Black Screen of Death. No start, no nothing. And there go 200 words I wrote yesterday that I forgot to backup. Naturally, I didn't have the flash drive with me that had the BIOS on it, nor could I remember the exact procedure to use it even if I did have it.

Grrr.

So today is a "work at the desktop" day. I promised myself I could go and whine about it after I reached 1000 more words. Which I did, so here I am. Whine, whine, whine. And cheese. Cheese on crackers. Mmmm, crackers... (Actually, I want to go buy a new flash drive. People keep taking mine. Kids these days! When I was in high school, the idea of carrying 8 GB (let alone whatever the latest high capacity storage is these days) in my pocket was utterly inconceivable.)

Ok, I'm going to walk around a bit before returning to the NaNo thing. Eat... food... yah... food... good... The gummy bear song is playing again, which means I've reached the end of my playlist. Cause I'm a jelly bear! Oh yeah! I'm a doobie doobie yum yum (!? I don't even know). (It's so creepy. Why do these bears want to be eaten? It's like that critter in the Hitchhiker's Guide series.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Start earlier, write faster

Well, that's all there is to it, really, isn't there?

I did the lock-myself-in-the-library thing today. Did about 1800 words in 3 hours. At that rate, it'll be hard to finish NaNo in time. I'm sure I've been closer to 900-1000 words per hour in the past, but that involves more typing and less backspacing. Argh! Maybe if I get more desperate I can force myself to just keep going, instead of sitting there staring at the screen, typing a sentence, then erasing it and rewriting. (I used to do that in text games, too, but other players expect a relatively quick turnaround, so that made me write faster.)

I'll try to get a bit more done today (not likely to get caught up, but not falling further behind is a plus), then go to the library again tomorrow.

Random element of the day: hexagonal cats. What the heck are hexagonal cats!? I have no idea. Are they related to spherical cows?

Random quote of the day from one of my kids: "Show me your blog. Because I desire to see it. Aren't you not supposed to make blogs?" (Me: "Done yet? If you say anything else I am going to type it.") "No. Nah no." "What about the thing I said about cats?"

5000 now.

That's 1/10th. Whee.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"My 300th word was 'hotel'..."

It's day 3. My nine-year old daughter just ran into the room and announced her 300th word. Well, at least someone's enthusiastic about this endeavor! Bounce, bounce, bounce... Now she wants to start her own blog.

Whereas I just about scraped my way to 3100 words now and wonder why I'm doing this. Urk. Because I feel like it? Because it's a way to get some story ideas out of my head and onto paper (or into a computer)? I do want to know what happens in this story. But why do I have to write it!? AARRRGH!

Actually, not much is happening. I have no plot. That's why after 3000 words, the main character has just parked her car outside her new house. Whoop de do! I think I know what to write next. I just have to do it.

Yeah, that's the problem with me writing. "I just have to do it" translates into hours of procrastination. The "fall-asleep-and-dream-your-novel-into-existence" thing unfortunately doesn't work. I know because I've tried it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2: In which I grit my teeth and...

...restrain the urge to punch all those people who already have 10000, 20000, 50000, or 100000 words already!

I have... 800.

Instead of writing, I spent my time yesterday reading the logs from the game for which this year's NaNo is supposedly a sequel, in hopes of getting some plot ideas and reminders of the recurring characters. Those logs easily totaled more than 50,000 words over 14-15 sessions! Somehow it all flows much more easily when there are three of us working together. And I actually enjoyed reading it. Some great moments, at least for us, if not for external readers. I had forgotten how strangely some of my NPCs spoke (though I was painfully reminded of how badly I do some of these accents/dialects.)

I was amused when I came across one player's (OOC) comment at one point: "I can see why people in HP Lovecraft wanted to kill themselves." Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Sadly, I lost the plot when the two player characters diverged too much. One "drank the kool-aid" and got sucked into the weirdness apparently happy with the transformation, while the other got cornered by creepy agents from the Other DHS and was fighting all the Wrongness tooth and nail, including the other player's evil new "mother".

If it's just me writing the novel, I can keep a tighter rein on things. Right? Right? Ha ha ha ha ha!

The problem then is that I have to put in three times as much effort. Which is why this NaNo is going sooooo sloooooowwwwwwly.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's begun...

...and my character is still stuck at the Metro station.

So I'm not too sure about the story having begun, only NaNo.

But I've done 500 words and the main character has a name, so I'm here (and there, and everywhere) procrastinating. And asking myself "why? why? WHY!???"

Why is there a Harry Potter reference in my NaNo? I don't even like Harry Potter.

Why do I have flashbacks? They suck. And just when I'd freed myself from the "mysterious prologue" disease this year. Damn damn damn.

Why can't I work on my game instead? Or my webpage. I feel that I should have a webpage. I made my game link to my webpage, only there's no point when I don't have one! (Beyond a blank placeholder thing.) Well, I'll start a separate blog for that, to keep that stream of babble from infecting my NaNo blog any further.

Why am I procrastinating, when I know it's just setting me up for hours of pain later tonight when I try to catch up on my word count?

Why do I think I can do 5000 words a day when it's this much of a struggle just to hit 500?

...

"Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah yeah. YEAH!" I put those loops in my NaNo soundtrack song for a reason, didn't I? Why don't I listen to myself?!

Right. I have to get my character out of the Metro station by the end of today. I really will. Yeah.