October 2013


10 days ago, in a rather silly mood, I gave you a peek into the world of National Novel Month 2013 and roughly what’s in store for me. Much has changed since then, including the major points of my plot. My muse is much happier now, even if it’s taking a turn into fantasy, something I never thought I’d do.

But that is actually nothing compared to my excitement over this:

My dad is going to do NaNoWriMo with me this year!

Repeat: my dad is going to do NaNoWriMo with me this year!

I can’t even – I’m so excited! SO EXCITED, I tell you. This is awesome because, well, dad. But also, he is an incredible writer. He is king of his industry, and is editor and co-owner of a monthly magazine which is rocking the competition like whoa. I’ve done NaNo for two years; this will be my third attempt (and hopefully second win!). His plan is to do lots of flash fiction pieces to total 50,000 words throughout November. Dad who beat up cancer last year and threw a party.

😀

Okay, also my plot. You remember that whole thing about ghost lessons? Yeah, that’s still there but majorly in the background. Here is my (evidently fantasy) plot as of now: In the 17th century, Richard was in love with Cassandra Hart, but despite everything he did for her, she never loved him back. She married Francis instead, and this made him angry. He appeared at their wedding, threatening they would rue the day etc., before taking a blade and stabbing himself through the heart. He stayed on earth as a ghost, and then underwent the requirements for becoming a Voleruh and took on the name Reshkhi. Voleruhs are evil creatures of the undead that steal ghost’s souls. Reshkhi has hunted the Hart family for centuries, with the desire to rip out the female Harts’ souls. Thanks to protection left by Cassandra, Jillian’s and Lea’s ancestor, he was unable to destroy them. Now, the youngest Hart, Jillian, has died at age 17, and her mother, Lea, has been trying to protect her from Reshkhi. Lea died one year ago, and when she did, the protection was broken. Now, Reshkhi is determined to take the soul of Lea’s daughter, Jillian.

* For the record, I’m aware of the “isn’t a ghost a soul?” issue and my comeback is: ghost = spirit; soul = soul. So hah.

It’s a work in progress. I had to create a creature – a Voleruh – which seemed to put me firmly in the fantastic. Which is SO weird. But whatever, let’s run with it, right? Don’t confuse my startled-ness with disliking fantasy; on the contrary it’s one of my favorite genres to read. But it’s also a lot of work and I admit I’m pretty nervous. Still, it’s an easier switch, as I’m not building worlds or races or languages a la Tolkien.

None of that is really important.

My dad is doing NaNoWriMo with me!

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I have it! A plot!

Welcome, everyone, to this year’s edition of National Novel Writing Month. Joining me this morning is writer S. S has worked on several novels in the past, one of which, Light on the Sea, is going to be published next year. This year, she’s at it again. Her method to some seems questionable at best, and so I’ve asked her in to discuss this year’s plans.

Me: Now, S, is your method this year any different than in previous years?

S: No, it’s generally the same. It’s a little rough to be sure, but it has definite success rates.

Me: Success rates you yourself will soon see, so I hear.

S: Yes! I’m very excited. I’ve wanted to publish a book since I was little, and suddenly it’s turning into a reality. I couldn’t be happier. And this year’s NaNoWriMo is going to be great, too, I can feel it.

Me: This year’s – what? Could you explain to our audience?

S: Oh! Absolutely. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a competition of sorts where you write 50,000 words of a new novel in only the month of November. It’s a great way to get people writing, laughing, and really learning about their own creativity. You can plan all you want before November, but you can’t start any actual writing until 12:01am on November 1st.

Me: That sounds like a fun goal. But it also sounds exhausting.

S: It is [she says with a grin]. It’s nutty. But the first one I ever did is Light on the Sea, so it has some potential. Lots of authors have been published through NaNoWriMo. I’m making my calendar for word count, and also food, before it starts.

Me: I guess we should let you get back to planning out this tough course. But before you go, would you tell our listeners and readers what this year’s novel is about?

S: Good timing, I just nailed it down this week. This year I’m diving into the world of ghosts: Jillian Truell has just died. She sets about walking through walls, frightening the living, and moving objects around a room – except, she can’t do any of it. Confused, hurt, and still dead, she takes up residence in an abandoned house she names “The Temple.” It’s there she meets Barnabus Bugby, a ghost older in both years and death day – 1774. With his help, she learns all the skills to being a ghost. But is it enough? Read that with a really intense movie voice and you’ll get the gist. It’s also the first time I’ll be trying to write in the first person, so it’s sure to be an adventure.

Me: Thank you so much, S. Are there any ways people can support your admittedly –  uh, intense – endeavor?

S: There is, actually. See, NaNoWriMo is put on by a non-profit called the Office of Lights and Letters. You can go to this site and donate. Your donation helps bring free creative writing programs to more than 500,000 kids and adults in approximately 100 countries, 2,000 classrooms, and 600 libraries.

Me: Thank you so much for taking the time out of planning to talk with me today, and best of luck!

~~~

Links:

NaNoWriMo: http://nanowrimo.org

Donation Page: http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=272579

Novel Update

My novel is now in the capable hands of several other writers and editors.

It is now out of mine.

Ahhh! I sent the draft out, and was pretty excited about that. I am excited about that. And about a day later, I started freaking out a little. It was like all of a sudden all the scenes I wanted to fix climbed out of their locked boxes and yelled, “Hey! It’s time! I’m ready! Fix all of it!”

And of course, I can’t. Because I need to let it chill. It’s time to step away. But all the scenes!

It’s about 160 pages long. This is a thing. A real thing. Whoa.

The Gambia

I’m sponsoring a child from The Gambia. I’ve donated to a lot of charities in the past. This was one of those groups on the streets who managed to get me, and with the knowledge I might just donate once and cancel (rent’s tough), I signed up. A couple weeks later, I got the information on my child – the one matched directly to me. He is named Nfally. And I moved the deductions to my credit card, and will keep it up as long as I can. They know how to work the personal touch.

Especially because I can write him letters. Someone will translate, and he can send letters back. What to write to a 7-year-old across the world? He only speaks Jola, which I would love to translate, but there are over 9 dialects which I’m bound to get wrong. They have rhymes as a subject in nursery school (or perhaps they meant he is good at rhyming), and it is his best subject. I asked if he could write a poem.