Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo minus 1

Sunday, October 31

Today, I find myself anticipating Monday morning. Though I have not done as much preplanning that I had hoped for in this venture, I eagerly want to jump into my NaNoWriMo project.

Like I said on Thursday, I plan on writing more than the minimum. My goal is to get 17,500 a week or 2,500 a day. There will be days that I get more than the minimum. Yet, Mr. Murphy and his laws usually step in somewhere and bite me on my backside.

I have made some headway into some preplanning but not that much. When I start a story, I have the beginning and an ending and an idea how to get from one to another. Now, that does not mean that they are set in stone. I have added material to the beginning of one book because the characters demanded it.

Yet, this attempt will be different in that I do not really have an ending to shoot for. The beginning is still fluid as well. I do have an idea about it but it seemed to change several times over the last few days.

To flesh this out, I will begin to interview my characters. Why not, they are the ones who usually hijack my fingers and take over the story in the first place. This is an unusual feeling to me. I know they take over at times, because when I finally regain control of my body, I find anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 words in my file and 4 to 6 hours had passed.

It is an exhilarating feeling to have that happen. Still, I have to watch these characters though. I have had a secondary character hijack my muse. On one occasion, I had to promise the character his own story in order to get the story back on track.

So, tomorrow will start a challenge and I will begin working on it as soon as I get up. I hope you will join me in this challenge. My moniker is clark-stone. Contact me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writer’s Thursday - 2010-10-28

Thursday, October 28

Sorry, this was supposed to been yesterday’s topic. Today, I wish to discuss NaNoWriMo. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) where one challenges her/himself to write 50,000 words during the month.

To me, it forces me to practice BICHOK – Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. I get quite a bit written though most of it may require editing. Just think of this as your very first rough draft and cut loose so that you can get your ideas written.

Now, 50,000 words in a month can be intimidating. That boils down to 1667 words a day. I know some people capable of writing 2000 words in an hour. (I can only do that if I use my voice to text program. Otherwise, I can write about 1200 to 1600 words in an hour if I am uninterrupted.) Putting that way, then 50K words should not be hard to do.

Some advice to those who take the challenge. When you sit in that chair and start writing, do not let that internal editor stop you. Do what in the writing world refers to as 'freestyle' writing (journalism refers to this as 'power' writing). This is where one sits and records the ideas and thoughts about one’s novel. This is done by not worrying with capitalization, grammar and other aspects of writing. You can come back and edit later.

Another piece of advice: I would recommend that you do more so that you can have a buffer in case of a disruption (Thanksgiving visitors). One will not know what will pop up during the month.

I usually try for 2500 words a day with an occasional 5000-word day. That way I could take a day off every once in a while. Then there are those unexpected events that can get into the way. Last year, I had 49,483 words with nine days left. Then appendicitis hit. I spent a week in the hospital without access to my computer or story material. I just did get out with a day or two to spare and wrote another 1000 words to break the 50K barrier.

Make sure you join some of the group forums on the site. The feeling I have when I break that 50k barrier is worth the whole challenge. I broke that barrier six of the last seven attempts.

Currently, I have several ideas of what I want to work on for my project. It seems that every year I plan to prepare for the event, but ended up just writing when November 1 came around. It looks like that may be the way I do it this year.

Are you going to participate this year? If so, you can find me under my pseudonym of
Clark-Stone .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things Happen - Where’s the Water

Tuesday, October 26

Last week, I climbed into the shower to prepare for a good scrubbing. The water pressure did not feel right. Its flow seemed to be weak but sufficient. I did not think anything about it.

I managed to get my hair soaped up and rinsed. From there, I proceeded to lather up the rest of me. As I happily covered myself with soap, I had not noticed the water had stopped flowing.

After a few moments, the silence became deafening. I normally point the showerhead away from me while I soap up. When I looked over, I found that no water came out of it. Soon, I heard this strange gurgling sound followed by a sucking sound of the water being pulled back into the pipe.

Now, here I am standing in my shower with no way to rinse this soap off. The only water we have in the house is in the refrigerator. On top of this, I do not have time to heat it up. Brrrrrrr. BG.

No, I did not use that water. I ended up toweling off the soap the best I could and hoped I did not smell like soap when I went to my karate class. At least, I had managed to have my hair rinsed out before the water died on me.

This sounds like something I could make one of my characters go through. Though, I could make it worse in several ways. What if the character had his/her hair soaped up? What if someone yelled fire after the water went off? What if it was a prank? What if?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Musings - 2010-10-24

Sunday, October 24

Hello, another week has slipped by. I managed to get a few of my goals worked out and done. Yet, it seems that I neglected my duty to my blog. I keep telling myself that I will do three posts a week. It is doable. I just let the time slip by. Today’s post almost slipped by as well.

Earlier this week, I managed to get ‘off and on.’ ‘Off’ my duff and ‘on’ the goal of placing boards over some holes in the floor in the back room. They are a temporary fix, but now I do not have to walk along the joists to keep from falling through the floor. In this model of trailer, they used particleboard for the floor. If they get wet in any way, they will disintegrate. The high humidity of Louisiana finally caught up to that part of the floor.

Another goal was to pick a bucket of crabapples and turn them into some applesauce. I picked that five-gallon bucket this morning. Now, half of that bucket now sits in a pot on my stove along with one cup of sugar and two cups of Splenda boiling down. I did this two years ago and it makes a coarse apple sauce. To me, it tastes good and seems to keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

I need to discuss these particular crabapples in a later post. What I will tell you about them is that they are not typical crabapples. These are larger than most crabapples. I spent almost two hours peeling and coring the apples for this purpose. I might have done better if I just got some apples from the store. That would make a better quality apple sauce, but since these are growing in my garden, I could not pass them up.

The next step with these crabapples will be to make a wine out of them. I have an overabundant amount of them and I hate to see them go to waste. I have not made up my mind on how much I will make though. I am leaning toward making about 10 gallons of the stuff.

My last batch of crabapple wine came out fairly well. It tastes great mixed with cola. As for other soft drinks, I have not tried them just yet. I will talk about this a little later.

My major goal for this week is to write a post for every day of the week. This post will be completed the night before and I will post it the next morning. That being said, I hope your week has turned out well. Have a fun day and keep smiling.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Reflections - 2010-10-17

Sunday, October 17

Hello everyone. Welcome to the start of a new week. I have several thoughts that came to me over the last few weeks.

It seems that I am constantly reassessing my goals and what I need to be doing. If I do not watch out, I can find myself wasting away my time by constantly reassessing. I plan to sit down and start working on the goals instead of thinking about them. But not all the thoughts today are about my goals.

Now, one of my goals is to see if my new boom box can be used as an external speaker set for my television set. Until a couple of weeks ago, the sound on our television set would vary depending on which channel we watched. It turned out that the cable box did not have a strong signal. He said something about being 16 dB low and that’s quite low. After the technician left, we no longer had problems with the sound.

Yet, there is one aspect of living in a small town that I do not care for is the lack of a good radio station. The ones I like to listen to are either 70 miles north of here or 55 miles south of Natchitoches. They have one station in Natchitoches that plays decent music but they do have interruptions that I do not care for.

This morning I connected a cable to the audio out connectors to the cable box. My boom box has an ‘Auxiliary Input’ in the back of it. Now, I can listen to the music channels that the cable provides without having the television turned on. Another plus is that there are no commercials. It is working perfect. I am listening to a 70’s station as I type this. Now, to find batteries for the boom box’s remote.

Now, toward my goals, I wrote out these goals on individual sheets and have arranged them in order of importance. The 4 x 6 inch photo album that I am using helps keep them organized. I will cut back on reassessing my goals to Sundays. The rest of this week will be working toward completing my goals.

I know I normally write three blog posts a week and last week I missed the Friday one. I may make up for that by doing an extra post tomorrow. I should do this every day because I like to do it. Yet, I find myself trying to avoid doing it as well. It is like a non-important internal conflict fighting within me.

Well, those are the two thoughts I wish to cover for today. There are more but I feel that long posts would not be received well. I like them short, so I should follow my own tenet. Have a productive week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday - 2010-10-13

Wednesday, October 13

Sorry for the absence over the last week. I have intended to work on my blog and even started working on it several times. Just that the time passes so fast that before I knew it, I had missed posting to my blog.

Today, two stories appeared on television that I plan to use in my stories. One is a happier occasion and the other is more tragic. The first is based on the Chilean rescue of the trapped miners. The effort they took to reach them and to bring them to the surface has to be commended. This is a tragic story that has a good outcome.

As I write this, they are pulled the 10th person out of the ground. So far so good. I am happy that this story came out with a good ending.

Now, the other story has gone from bad to worse. A couple weeks ago some Mexican drug bandits attacked an American couple on Falcon Reservoir. This reservoir is on the Texan-Mexican border and they have warnings for not crossing the border on the lake. The American couple rode a set of jet skis on the lake, and the husband was shot by a group of men. She managed to escape.

Now, in the news this morning, ABC Good Morning America reported that the Mexican police commander investigating the incident had been killed. His head had been delivered to the authorities in a suitcase.

I do not know why but both stories hit a cord with me and I wish to write about them. Like I said in an earlier post, I usually find stories on the Internet, newspapers or even television that I like to base some of my stories on. Actually, I get my inspiration from everywhere I look.

One of my favorite T-shirts has something similar to this written on it: What you say today may end up in my book tomorrow.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Musings - 2010-10-03

Sunday, October 03

Welcome to the start of a new week. Today, I am going through my goals reassessing them and trying to prioritize the more important ones. I have allowed myself to be bogged down with too much of the trivial stuff around my life and have not worked on the important parts of my life.

So, today, I am looking over a list of items that I wrote down on a pad earlier this week. The list is quite long, and I know there are more items that need to be placed on this list. The top two things on my list are ‘my spiritual/mental health’ and ‘my physical health.’ The third thing on my list is ‘my book.’

In a way, all three are interconnected in that I need to work on all of them to feel happy and healthy. The problem is that I got a good look at myself in a mirror and realized that I have not taken good care of my physical health. This affected my mental health in that I felt depressed afterward. Also, not working on my love, which is writing, has gotten me down as well.

So, today, I shall go over my to do lists and begin working on prioritizing my goals. Also, I shall take out a sheet of paper and expand on what I can do to advance my spiritual/mental health, my physical health, and my novel/writing.

The main thing I have to work on is bringing myself around to the single-minded drive of not allowing anything to knock me off of achieving my goals. This means that I need to corral my self-doubt and toss it into a closet. Also, wrapping up the fear of failure and other fears in duct tape so thick that they cannot find their way back to the surface. Then bury them under heavy rocks.

I have ideas on how I can work myself into a position to build on these goals. One is to meditate in order to set my mind and body on the right course for the day. In some ways, I can compare it to self-hypnosis in that I will be using combination of affirmation cards and prayer lists to work my mind and controlled breathing to empty all stresses in my body. I have done this before and it seems to work. My problem is that I allow other things to interrupt my meditation time.

So, I can tell you that sometime this week, I will re-implement my meditation time. I may start off with 15 minutes and then increase that time every couple weeks. I have some meditation music. I may even build a script to listen to as the music plays. I do have a text to voice program that could read it to me. (I hate to hear my own voice.)

I do not know how this will turn out but I am aiming to better myself. One major goal is to remain happy and healthy. Do you have any ideas on this subject? Let me know.