Heat Wave

Well, Sydney can have their heatwaves, Melbourne can have their 42 degree days with their northerly, but I think a week of 41 degrees in December is something none of us were planning on.

It has been scorching here for the last week or so with a couple of days of relief. We are so grateful that we have not had the catastrophic fires that New South Wales and Queensland have had. I’m not going to even speculate on why that is. After all, we still have the rest of summer to get there.

Just to make it clear, in the 31 years I have been in WA, we have never had days in December this hot. It’s always been January, February or March. This is completely unseasonable weather.

As far as writing goes, I did finish NaNoWriMo, putting lots more words into Delta Recoveries and even writing a background story for that. Yes, I do realise it’s against the rules, but NaNoWriMo rules are meant to be bent – if not broken.

In this heat I have imported Souvenirs of a Serial Killer and Dragons Abound into Scrivener. When I get an opportunity, I will do some more work on those. Dark Reign and the Consequences books come first.

On a brief note, I have been asked once again to sit on a panel in GenghisCon and I have been assured that Dark Dimensions will be available online again before that date. Fingers are crossed and the usual “Watch this space”.

I hope to have the links up again very soon so everyone has access to Dark Dimensions.

Until then – “that’s all, folks”!

Done for another year

Yay! National Novel Writing Month is done for yet another year. (I know one day they’ll call it the International Novel Writing Month.)

There are probably people out there who wonder why I do it since I only get a certificate and no money prize at all. Well, it’s not about the prize. It’s about the fact that I have written 50101 NEW words in 30 days. So I had a few days where I couldn’t write, but I got them all done within the time. I like to think Angie was with me for the last couple of weeks, but she was probably really busy herself.

As usual, with NaNoWriMo, there are the rule followers and the rule breakers, the planners, the pantsers and the plantsers. I think I touch on something between the pantsers and the plantsers. For those who don’t know this jargon – and yes, it is jargon – a pantser is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants – without planning or anything and I do that most of the time. I have now learnt that I can do a lot more with just an extremely loose plan – hence plantser.

Sometimes, this does lead to problems with “hello, characters, where are you taking the story next?” with no clear avenue of movement. Sometimes I’m able to swap scenes to pick up something else while waiting for a character to give me that direction. (Did I tell you? It’s perfectly normal for a writer to talk to their characters? Others would call us schitzophrenic or split-personalities. We just call them characters in our novels!)

But it also leads us to finding out how far a character can take a story. Oh, that’s right. I was talking about those who follow rules and those who don’t. I didn’t this year. Again. I started with one story, didn’t have enough to go on (and it was starting to head towards someone else’s story) so swapped. Which is how we got The Sefindarfin Accords. But that ended really quickly (in NaNo I want to write fast, not try and figure out boring scenes) so I sat at work for a day figuring out what else to do. Yep, got it. Ended up writing about Delta Recoveries in its first years.

It didn’t help that Andrew told me he had some great feedback for Dark Reign and we had to get together. No, that didn’t help at all. For a few days after that I found myself thinking about Troy and his misfortunes instead of what I was supposed to be focussing on. It’s called shake oneself and get on with the main job. Stop daydreaming!

Comes along today and I had 1800-odd words to write. What am I going to end on? What is a great ending for Nano? Oh, that’s right. I haven’t killed off a main character in this one. Oops, click, click on the keyboard, CEO of Delta no longer lives. And up goes the word count. I’m such a nasty person to my characters (shut up, Marek, I can see you nodding from here!).

A day of sadness

We said goodbye to a wonderful lady today. Full of joy and a smile whenever we saw her, we’ll never forget that great beam.

We’re brought up to believe that everyone should die in a linear fashion. First great grandparents, then grandparents, then parents, then ourselves. Life doesn’t work that way.

Angie was a soul that brought sunshine to wherever she was. I didn’t know her as long as a lot of people but what I did know of her was that she was kind and went out of her way to help anyone she could.

I should have spent more time with her, but life catches us in blindsides sometimes.

Goodbye Angie. You will be in our hearts forever.

Butterflies

No, I don’t have butterflies in the stomach – although maybe I should. Anyway, yesterday we went to a presentation of butterflies. What scientists want is for the ordinary people in our wonderfully beautiful city to get out into native bush and photograph butterflies. They’re trying to build a national database of native butterflies and it ended up being very fascinating.

Like, we didn’t realise we had a tiger swallowtail caterpillar (not sure Eastern or Western) hanging around our pond one year. Don’t know what happened to that one, in the end. But it was fascinating to learn about it yesterday.

We had a walk in the education area of King’s Park, which showed us a few different things, like we found what were probably an egg sac of a spider but there were also other things that our scientist-guide, Andy, asked to take photos of. So we’ll hopefully find out what they were one day.

All-in-all, it was a nice break from writing and now we’re set to upload photos of butterfly species whenever we see them when walking. Nice to know we’re doing our bit for the environment as when endangered species are found through photos, their location is kept separate from the public information.

When is it too much writing?

So this really is not what this topic is about.

This is about setting up your days for writing – or even art – and then having other work piled on top. Not that I mind the other work, but it becomes challenging when you’re trying to finish NaNoWriMo.

And not to say the other work is not important, just ill-timed! So it’s a matter of setting out time to do both. But when paid work gets involved, suddenly the days are numbered.

Nevertheless, it’s all a challenge to see how much you can do in a short timeframe. I can do this! I will do this!

NaNoWriMo

Yes, it’s that time of year. It’s National Novel Writing Month. And I’m currently sitting at 15,708.

And, yes, I ignored the rules again – for the second time. I started with one story, but that needed a heap more thinking than I had done – given it was only 30 Oct when I had the dream that inspired it, I’m not surprised.

So I have gone to what I had half planned.

When writing Delta Recoveries, I accidentally created a whole new hybrid race. Yes, the particular 2 halves have been done before, but that’s neither here nor there. My two had their genes manipulated, then spliced, then manipulated again, then spliced once more. So there. Science behind it. (Just kidding.)

I realised, however, that Killion’s race has a complete and complex history behind it and I needed some of that to be written so I could work on his reactions in Delta Recoveries. So suddenly I’m writing his first diplomatic experience. So far he’s survived with just bumps on his head. I’m being very nice to him – knowing full well that he will have quite a long time in cryogenic suspension by the time he meets our team in orbit above Earth!

Of course, when it’s NaNoWriMo, I’m not supposed to be checking FB – unless it’s writing related. Well, not sure what happened, but got involved in 2 conversations about climate change and one convo was a sub thread on another topic. Not sure how that happened but that’s what happens when a group of writers get together.

Now it’s time to get back into writing this diplomatic encounter!

Holidays

It’s holidays time and it’s November. Which means only one thing, really, and that’s National Novel Writing Month (or, NaNoWriMo, for short). It’s amazing how many years I’ve been doing this challenge and thoroughly enjoying it every year. 12 years.

And I have to thank NaNoWriMo. Out of it has come Clans in Conflict and Consequences. Soon to come from NaNoWriMo will be Delta Recoveries. But that’s for the future.

The subject today is – finally, I’m free-writing. No editing, just writing the story as it comes to me.

I had a few things on the go – my murder mystery that is currently waiting on the backburner, a historical story to go with Delta Recoveries and, of course, 3 nights before NaNoWriMo came the dream. Therefore, I started with the dream but there just wasn’t enough oomph in it to continue, so I swapped from super powered humans that included demons, etc., and aliens to just aliens, even if they are hybrid.

I’m pleased with how it’s going but I’m amazed that it’s another political story. Oh well, I suppose a lot of life is political and it just depends on how you look at events. But I’m not going there. This is not the platform for me to comment on life’s events, this is about how life affects my writing and how I write.

So I’m gearing up to do a lot more writing over the next 2 weeks and hope to hit the 50000 word finish line before I go back to work. Whatever I write after that will be a bonus!

And I’m attending 2 write-ins, this year – one in Midland on 13 November and one in Pinjarra on 16 November. I’ve got my NaNo shirt to proudly display on both days. So those of you in each area, watch out for the mad lunatics writing furiously away in a corner of the Dome cafe in each place.