Monday, October 14, 2013

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is coming up!

For those of you that don't know, November is National Novel Writing Month. There's a non-profit organization that is there to encourage you to write a 50K+ word novel and will even offer prizes and discounts to winners and participants. You can find more here: NaNoWriMo.org

I'll be participating this year and will be attempting a double NaNo (two 50K+ books). Let me talk some about what I've been working on and what I will be doing for NaNo.

First up, as previously reported, I have finally shaken off the funk that has been following me for the last year or so. For a while there I was just completely in shock and didn't even realize anything was wrong, but it's been following me since last November and for the first time since then I feel like myself again.

I've been re-teaching myself piano and guitar, which I've been away from for 14 and 5 years respectively. It's incredibly humbling going back to next to no dexterity and the lack of any sort of calluses or protection on my finger pads (as I type this, be warmed by the thought that every tap of the key is causing an inordinate amount of pain to my left hand -_-).

I've been spending about 2-4 hours or so a day doing that and although it's going slowly, it's like putting myself back together. Music is such an important part of life for everyone, creation of your own music and being able to evoke music yourself is a wonderful gift that I've missed more than I knew.

I'm drawing regularly again as well. This is something I've done no more than dabble in for the last 8 years, but is also something that I believe is part of my fundamental make-up. From my first amazing drawing of Chill Penguin from Mega Man X twenty some years ago, through all the reproductions of the D&D Monster Manuals to working in my own drawings, both of models and original creations, and through my college courses in drawing and art before changing my major, I've probably drawn almost as many hours as I have written. Right now, I'm spending an hour or so a day doing that.

The lack of skill in all these arenas is astounding and frustrating, but everything is slowly coming back.

And I am coming back to myself. My enthusiasm and energy for life has always been one of my favorite things about being me—when they're not being oppressed by soul-crushers—and instead of quickly burning through the mania like normal, this feels more natural and more of a slow-burn of sustained running.

A marathon instead of a sprint. I'll let you know how it is going in 26.2 miles, but I think it's a pace I can maintain.

I was never a master in any of these trades, mind you, but I was more than a jack of these few, and right now I feel more like a 7 than even a jack.

(By the way, tarot cards definitely have it right in having both a page and a knight instead of jacks. I would rather have either of those than a jack. What were they thinking when they adapted tarot into poker cards?)

Part of the newfound drive comes from having made some level of progress with the house. I now almost have a bedroom/office. It's completely unfinished with only half the outlets I need and only a temporary light dangling from the ceiling, but there's a bed, a dresser and a desk, and it's relatively clean. I'd say it's almost fastidious, at least as much as any location can be fastidious (I'm not being stupid, I'm using personification).

(I've also borrowed the dictionary from my childhood home. It's great. It's like, 7 inches thick. ...of course, I already knew what fastidious and personification meant, and I'm at work right now anyway, but it's still reassuring having that tome available for consultation)

So having a workplace is fantastic. And then there's an oven, sink, refrigerator, microwave and toaster on the 1st floor too. I'm getting spoiled in no longer feeling like I am camping out at my house (which I've felt like from September of last year until a few weeks ago).

A Warrior's Way has mutated into a full-on novel of itself. It was always going to be a novel-length book, but I feel that anything under 80K qualifies as a novella in the fantasy genre, and anything longer than a novella has exponentially more issues and difficulties to deal with than a nice, short romp of a book that a novella would be. I suppose I should say, A Warrior's Way instead of A Warrior's Way.

I've been working on this and numerous other short stories, but this will not be the focus of NaNoWriMo for me. (If you continue working on another book during NaNoWriMo, you're a "rebel", which isn't a bad thing, but they have their own groups to talk about being rebellious and so forth I imagine. I'll be doing a straightforward double NaNoWriMo).

The first book I will be working on is called A Cross at the End of Days, which is my foray into urban fantasy. It features Vera Cross as one of the inheritors of the legacy of guarding the Seal of the Seven Archmagi, and what that means in the "real world". It will be the first published work of a War of the Ages book that takes place between 10000 BC and 3000 AD (the time of the Seal on all magick). Guardians of the seal frequently act like police for the supernatural remnants from the Seal and I hope to make this a serial affair. If it goes well, this opening book will be released in two parts. It will introduce Vera's character and follow her investigation into creatures trying to use the Mayan End of Days to destroy the Seal of the Archmagi. (Yes, I am aware that was last year, but in the book it's revealed they got the math wrong).

The second book I am writing on is called The Santa Hat, and follows the path of a magickal Santa Hat as it crosses hands over and over again during the Christmas season leading up to Christmas. It will be the only book I write under my actual name instead of Zero Angel since books published under my pseudonym are not always family friendly. Both of these books have been in planning for over a year, and The Santa Hat has been in planning for over 3 years now.

Because of time periods relevant to the storyline of the books, both of these would be great to be released in November or early December...so we should have them edited and ready for publication by November 2014.

If they both end up being ~50K words, then that means I will be writing ~3.5K words per day during the month of November in order to get the first drafts down. I'm hoping Vera's story will be at least a little longer. No matter the results, I am going forward into NaNo optimistically and feel confident of my stamina in the long run.


(Speaking of running, for those of you that heard about my ankle. I'm currently walking and back to going up and down steps without fear, but it's still giving me some trouble. I'm hopeful I'll be able to start running and exercising it again in another few weeks).

Wish me luck! I hope you'll be joining me for NaNoWriMo, and I will keep you all posted of my progress through the backlog of works.