Two Stories At Once??

I’ve never been a fan of reading more than one book at a time. I can never keep track of what happens in one book verses another. Oh the big things are easy to figure out, like the entire plot arc, but it’s the small things that get lost. Even if the books are different genres and premises, there’s still things that bleed together.

I’ve realized I’m the same with writing. I’m supposed to be writing a gift fic for a Secret Santa exchange and it’s due today. Obviously I’m late on it (bad D. Ann) but I’ve come to realize it’s because I really can’t keep two stories in my head at once. I’m so focused on my NaNo novel that every time I try to think of a plot line – and mind you, I only need to write 5,000 words for the Secret Santa, so it’s not like it’s rocket science – I get stuck. I get a few hundred words in and can’t figure out where to go from there.

I don’t want to back out. Even if there is a pinch hitter waiting in the wings to write the story. It’s just my stupid mind doesn’t want to think of anything longer than 1,000 words on another story. I’ve started and stopped this story more than a few times. The exchange doesn’t happen for two weeks so I’m thinking I might just ask for an extension.

I’ll be done with NaNo on Wednesday which will give me more than enough time to write the story since I’m not doing anything for Thanksgiving. Well anyway, I’m off to try my hand at another plot arc for this baby. Wish me luck

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Short Update but Necessary: ROW80

I didn’t realize how much NaNo would kick my ass this month. Add in all the traveling I did and I’m surprised that I’m even ahead of my goal for the month. A lot of it is crap..and by a lot I mean a lot…but the words I have written are the most I’ve ever written EVER for a story. So I;’m happy. The editing process is going to be tough and it’ll stretch out over a couple of months, but I happy with my progress  Now all I have to do is actually finish it, edit, and submit it somewhere where it’ll hopefully be picked up and published. But I can worry about that over the coming months. 😛


Writing Goals

NaNoWriMo (Goal: 2k per day): I’m about 2 days ahead, currently sitting at 40,439 words. Got less than 10k to go and I’ll have crossed the finish line!

General (Goal: Write every morning): Completely failing at this. The past few days have seen me in a writing slump but I’ve made up for it. I realized that I write the best during sprints where I can talk and challenge myself against others. I might go back to writing in the morning, but I think what I’m doing now works for me. We’ll see what truely happens when Dec. 1st rolls around.

Blogging

Pen, Paper & Imagination (Goal: post everyday about my writing): I’ve posted every day, yay! Updating this blog is super easy since writing is what I’m focusing on for November. However, I will have to figure out what I should do once November is over, i.e. blog every week, have certain topics, etc.

Quiet Contemplations (Goal: blog 3x per week): This is going to be on hold until I’m done with NaNo aka December 1st. I’ll start thinking up topics over the next week but my posts are going to be nonexistent until the end of the month.

Overflowing Bookshelves (Goal: Draft posts for the rest of the year): I’m doing alright on drafting my posts but I need to work on them some more. I’ve signed up for a blog-a-thon bash in January where I’ll really work on the nuts and bolts of my blog.

Jusani Blogging Goals (Goal: Draft the last 3 articles): Didn’t work on it. Will make a list of ideas this week and starting thinking about how to write them.


To see a list of all the Nov. 18th check ins click here. Connect with other ROWers by following #ROW80 on Twitter or joining the Facebook ROW80 group.

Back on Track

These past few days have been a killer for my writing. I haven’t written a single word in the past two days. I can blame jet-lag all I want, but the reality is, I just didn’t want to write. I would stare at my computer and sometimes I would even open up my word document but not a word would be written. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m sick of my characters and I want something new to happen. Something exciting. A new story line, new characters, new struggle.

But I need to stay on track and at least finish this novel, even if it doesn’t get anywhere off my hard drive. So I’m powering through it. I’ve reached 30k today so there’s just 20k more to go to cross the NaNo finish line. I’ve got another 30k or so to go to meet my personal goal. I’m exactly halfway through my novel so it makes sense that I’m in the middle lag portion portion of doom. I’ve decided that I’m going to write the exciting scenes for the next few days to at least give me a break. Hopefully that’ll jump start my writing again.

5k Challenge Reflections Day 2-4

It’s the end of day 4 of my 5k challenge week and it’s interesting what you learn in the process. I wrote up a reflection for day 1 (found here) and I still agree with the assessment made. But in the past few days I’ve realized a lot more about myself and my writing habits.

Day 2: I wrote 5,026 words almost all of which was written on a plane.

Reflection: I didn’t want to write on the plane. The seats are tiny, there’s barely enough room to stretch out your arms to type…it sucked. But I knew i needed to utilize the 4 hours I had on the plane so I sucked it up and wrote a little less than 4,800 words. Moral of the story: You can write anywhere and at any time. No excuses.

Day 3: I wrote 533 words for NaNo and 900 for a flash fiction (Thunder). I blame my lack of words on jet-lag.

Reflection: I really like short pieces better than a long drawn out piece. The 900 word flash fiction was so easy to me and it sparked my curiosity. Just six words sparked an idea and I ran with it. I realized that I need to start thinking of my NaNo in terms of small individual pieces. It’s easier for me to write when I think it’s a standalone piece and since it’s a first draft, I can go back and edit it all together so it flows.

Secondly, I completely disregarded the moral of day 2 and decided to have an excuse. I could have written but chose not to. Was I tired from the traveling and going across 3 time zones, yes. Could I still have written, yes. At the end of day 3 I didn’t really know what it was that was stopping me, I just had this urge to not write. To take a break and just let it sit.

Day 4 (today): Words written = 0.

Reflection: I need to give myself a break. Yes I can get mad that I’m not making my 5k goal each day but I’m still ahead of my writing goal. Do I need to put more emphasis on my writing now that I’m home, yes, but I also realized that being at home is draining in a different way than traveling is.

When I was traveling, I didn’t have to worry about the day to day stuff. I didn’t have to worry about who’s going to feed the animals, or take the trash out, or go grocery shopping. I could just write and my biggest worry was, where I was going to eat that day. Now that I’m home, I’m looking around and I see all the things that need to be organized, the backyard that needs to be cleaned before it starts raining heavily, etc. etc. So I can’t just sit and write or nothing will get done. I had to go to the grocery store because there was literally nothing to eat in the house and I’m tired of fast food.

So it’ll take some adjusting to being back home especially since I didn’t have a writing routine before I left. But it’s time well spent figuring out what will work for me in this space.

F3 Cycle 104: Thunder

I’ve decided to start doing a weekly writing prompt, called Flash Fiction Friday. F3 is a community where prompts are posted every Friday and you have until the next Wednesday to respond. In’s not a contest, just a way for writers to get some inspiration and write a short based on it.

This week’s prompt is in honor of NaNo. Because November recognizes words, specifically 50,000 of them that we write in a new story, F3 decided that this week’s prompt was going to words. We have to use the words: gunshot, train, mime, balcony, monkey, & rain, in the story or title with a 900 word count maximum. My story comes right in at 898, excluding the title.

Without further ado, I give you:

Thunder


Nicolai looked out the train window, watching the rain blanket the earth in a wet haze. Lightning flashed in the sky and one…two…three seconds later thunder rumbled in his ears. He lifted his cigarette to his lips and took a drag, a thin trail of smoke curling out of his mouth. Sweet ambrosia, he thought as the nicotine swirled through his lungs, lessening the tension in his shoulders. Oh, he knew it would kill him, slowly but surely. A silent killer waiting in the shadows until he succumbed. But on this day, he didn’t care about the future. There was only here and now.

He lifted his hand to take another drag when a soft rustling sound made him glance toward the seat across from him. He hoped that it was just Eva moving in her sleep, trying to get comfortable on the too-small train seats. She had sprawled out across three of them last night. Nicolai had spent a few amusing hours watching her toss and turn, arms flailing around and making soft grunting noises that made her sound like a monkey. He rolled his eyes. Eva was only amusing in sleep. He didn’t want to deal with her right now.

But alas, first one eye then another opened, blinking slowly in the harsh light before their owner sat up. Her stringy brown hair was smashed flat against her face and her makeup was half smeared on her right side. His lip curled; she looked disgusting.

His eyes returned to the dreary scene out the window, watching the raindrops trickle down the windowpane on some slow decent to death.

“It’s cold,” she said, wrapping her shawl around her shoulders. “Where are we going?”

Nicolai flicked the ash from the cigarette out the window, ignoring her question. She’d know soon enough.

The speakers crackled to life. ‘Kosva, next stop.’

Apparently, sooner than he thought. He snubbed out his cigarette and stood up. “Come,” he said and walked down the aisle to the exit. He could hear her stumbling behind him, bumping into him as the trained started to brake.

“Sorry,” she murmured as she moved to stand a few feet away.

He grimaced and had to stop the immediate urge to wipe his coat where she had touched him. He shouldn’t bother; the rain would wash her away anyway. The train slowed to a stop and the doors hissed open.

He stepped onto the platform and gazed around, a hand covering his face from the rain. They needed covering. “There.” He pointed off to his left to a building barely discernible through the downpour. “The building with the balcony and red overhang.”

They started across the station, thankfully spared a large crowd because of the weather. He smiled slightly as anticipation rushed through him. The rain was the only reason he stopped at Kosva. No one came out in this weather.

They reached the building in no time, taking the stairs two at a time to reach the landing. Nicolai shouldered the door open just as another flash of lighting crossed the sky. She rushed past him and into the warm dry room. Nicolai closed the door and slowly clicked the lock shut. Finally.

Reaching behind him, he pulled out the gun from the small of his back and pointed it at her.

“Are there any towels?” she asked, flitting around the room like a soggy butterfly. “We need to—” She turned to face him, eyes flicking down to the gun and back up to his face, her eyes wide. “Nicolai…what are you doing?”

Nicolai smiled at her, the gun pointed steadily at her heart. He walked forward, forcing her backwards out on the balcony, the rain washing away the last of her makeup. Lightning rent the air. “What does it look like?” Thunder started to rumble as he cocked the gun and fired a warning shot, lightly grazing her cheek. The heat in his belly grew as he saw the blood trickle down her face. He wanted to lick it.

She flinched as she backed into the railing, trembling like a leaf. “Nicolai, please.”

The desperation in her voice was so delicious he had a moment of doubt. Maybe I should keep her. His mind toyed with the idea for a few moments, wondering how she would dance and sing for him. It would be better than this pathetic whimpering she was doing now. But no, he shook his head slowly, not taking his eyes off her. He was done with this toy. It was time for a new one.

“Wh-why?” A flash of lightning brightened the sky.

One…Two…

“Because I can.”

Three…

He pulled the trigger as the thunder rumbled and watched her body arch back before falling slowly to the ground. Ecstasy.

Nicolai walked closer to the body, toeing it slightly to make sure she was actually dead. Her head lolled to the side, eyes wide open, mouth parted in an expression of surprise. All she needed was some white face-paint and rosy red cheeks and she could have passed for a mime. She might even have been pretty then, though the rain washed away all traces of her blood. Her most beautiful asset.

“Goodbye, Eva.” His hunger satiated, he turned around and left the room. Whistling slightly, he exited the building and walked down the street enjoying the flashes of lightning and thunder.

5k Challenge Day 1 Reflections

Yesterday was the first day in my personal 5k challenge. I got close, 3,559 words to be exact, but I didn’t reach my goal. I had less that 1.5k to go but the clock ticked over into a new day and I realized I had to get some sleep; I knew today was gonig to be hectic.

So reflections: (1) Don’t put off writing 5k until you only have 3 hours left in the day. For three hours I did really well but to reach my goal I have to start sooner. There’s no real reason why I didn’t start writing earlier in the day but I could blame it on being tired and wanting to spend time with my mom on my second to last day in Ohio. I’m not going to see her again for a couple of months so when we finally did roll out of bed, we spent it at the movies.

(2) I have to go back to writing in the morning. That way, if I do have a busy day or want to take a break and watch Eureka on Netflix, I can, without my writing goal looming over my head.

(3) Sprints are a must. They are one of the few ways I can really focus on my story and put all my effort into it. The small breaks inbetween are jsut perfect for refreshing my brain and getting the creative juices flowing again.

So I have some work todo. While I didn’t make my goal for day 1, and I might not today since I’m travelling, I will still met my 50k goal by the end of the week. I’ll just pound out the words when I get home.

Wish me luck!

5k Challenge

I wrote 5k on Tuesday last and I felt so empowered. I made up and surpassed my NaNo word count and it showed me that my only limitation for my writing is myself. I broke my writing record that day. At the end I had written more words for a creative project than I had ever written before. Every single word I continue to write in my NaNo is breaking my record all over again. I can do it. I can cross the NaNo finish line by the end of the month.

In honor of my 5k day, I want to do a challenge this week. Everyday I’m going to write 5,000 words each day. I’ve gotten past the internal editor now. I know the writing is crap in some places…ok in a lot of places…but I know I have to get it on the page and then I can go back in December and edit it. So this week is a way for me to pound out my word count. I’ve gotten a little behind for my personal word count goal (I should be at 22k as of Sunday and I’m sitting at 18,442) so these 5k days will help me get on track and surpass my goal.

If I make my challenge this week, I’ll break 50,000 words by next Sunday. My story won’t be over but I’ll have 95% of it done.

Wish me luck!