Good Luck!

Today is the last day of October…Happy Halloween everyone! 

Halloween is also the last day before I lose my mind writing an insane number of words while drinking an insane amount of caffeine. 

I have a few loose ends to tie up before I start talking about NaNo.

My binder!  I have this binder full of stuff related to my various novels.  I have characters, plot bunnies with varying degrees of planning and notes, potential character names, and random notes.  It’s helpful and I love handwriting my notes.  I like spreading out my notes and my characters, and it’s much easier to refer to them when I need to.  It’s nice having notes that are organized.

I’ll be writing at home, at the library and the Living Room.  It’s one of my favorite places, and I love writing there.  The library is great too, since it’s generally quiet and I can go look things up when I need to.  Plus, I can stay as long as I need without worrying about hogging a table or needing to buy something every couple of hours so I don’t feel bad about buying one thing and staying for a few hours.  And at home, I can write in my pajamas with the t.v. on in the background and walk back and forth to the kitchen as much as I want. 

I don’t have a handwritten sheet of how much I need to write each day, but I do have a spreadsheet ready.  I need some way to keep track of all these words I’m writing and a spreadsheet worked really well last year, so I’m keeping up with tradition!

I don’t know what time of day I’ll be writing, but I figure it’ll be afternoon or the middle of the night…if it’s anything like last year!  But I won’t know until I start writing, and I may find that I’m most productive at a completely different time than I was last year. 

It’ll be a great month, and I’m looking foward to everything that happens next month!

The Official Survival Kit For NaNo

I’m really becoming a big fan of the NaNo Survival Kit.  It’s different for everyone, but I like having an assortment of things that help me get through the month. 

  • Something to listen to: Whether it’s t.v., music or podcasts, I need to have something to listen to when I’m writing.  It provides inspiration, and sometimes distracting when I feel the need to sing along. 
  • My binder!  I believe this is the first time I’ve mentioned my binder in preparation for NaNo…and I may talk about that on Halloween.  But for me, it has all my characters and plot ideas, plus other useful stuff like names I like.  It has everything I need, complete with index cards, post-its, and pens and sharpies in various colors.  If I need to refer to something, it’s probably in that binder.
  • Food: I’ve going to gloss over food, since I talked about that yesterday.  It’s there and it’s important.  Writing when hungry is not good.
  • I have a writing hat!  It’s this green headpiece kinda thing.  I think I’ll have to post a picture of it…it’s green ribbon, in a circle, with more green ribbon that hangs down from it.  Something a fairie would wear.  I have worn faerie wings in the past, and I think I may need to start wearing them again.  But not in public, because that might look weird.  But then again, who cares about looking weird?
  • A computer wins the obvious award.
  • A flash drive, and any possible way to back up your work.  I’ll be using a combination of my flash drive, dropbox and email to save my work.  And a text file plus Word.  I might be working on multiple computers, and weird things sometimes happen when I save stuff on my flash drive.  At least in Word.  I am not taking any chances, and I will back up obsessively if I have to. 
  • Random things like Pandora, Spotify, Q10 and Write or Die also help me get through NaNo.  Stuff to listen to, and writing software that minimizes distractions and keeps me writing?  That’s pretty cool in my book!
  • Write-ins and the NaNo website: There are some pretty supportive people in NaNo-land, and knowing there are people who will mock me for not finishing my novels is a big help.  Write-ins are helpful too, and I’ll be at a lot of write-ins this year!

Well, that’s all I can think of for now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about my back-up plot!

NaNo Music, Part One

I have a playlist for The Mermaid Pact!  I don’t know how much I’ll listen to it, since I have an assortment of things to listen to.  I’ll be listening to my podcasts, of course, and I’m sure I’ll be listening to Pandora too, especially since I added a few new stations yesterday.   

I went with a variety of songs this year- there isn’t any particular reasoning behind most of the songs.  I just went with things that seem to fit the characters and the novel itself.

I started making playlists for my novels back in 2008, and while it’s not the only thing I listen to when writing, I have found it useful to occasionally add in music that the characters might listen to.  Basically, I listen to whatever I feel like listening to: whatever may help me keep writing and is providing some inspiration is what I’ll listen to.

And here, we have a selection of songs from a 61 song playlist:

1- Lily’s Theme from HP And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 soundtrack

3- Lovely by Sara Haze

4- Wave Bye Bye by the Gin Blossoms

6- ’til Death by Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

8- If I Die Young by The Band Perry

10- Heart of my Own by Basia Bulat

21- Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones

27- The Big Lie by Sara Haze

37- Miss Invisible by Marie Digby

41- Sing by My Chemical Romance

48- Boys and Girls by Pixie Lot

53- Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves

59- My Sweet Song by Toby Lightman

60- Shine by Sara Haze

61- Dumbledore’s Army from the HP And The Order Of The Phoenix soundtrack

That’s it for this installment of music, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about my second novel for the month.



I try really hard to avoid them.  I am more of a panster, and by all appearances, outlines and winging it don’t seem to go together.  But is it possible to find a balance between winging it, and having an outline?

I think so.  My problem is that I would want to outline EVERYTHING.  I just need to find the right balance between outlining and giving myself enough freedom to keep things interesting.

In other words, I need to have enough wiggle room to pants it.  A general structure, you know?  Outlines were always this mysterious thing that happens in the distant future after I’ve written a first draft.  How could I be expected to write an outline when I don’t know what I want to happen?  It would be easier to outline after the first draft, when I have a better idea of what I want to keep and discard.

But maybe a very vague outline wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  A general idea of things that should happen.

Like that’s actually going to happen.  I can barely get myself to settle on plots and work on my characters.  How the hell am I supposed to motivate myself to do even a vague outline?

But this year, I think I’ll have an outline of some sort.  For both novels!

The one I’m doing about the family who only sees each other at funerals?  I have quite a few narrators. I think I might have more narrators than funerals…or maybe it’s more funerals than narrators…either way, one has more than the other.  I definitely need to figure out who goes in what order or who will be narrating which funeral.  I’m leaning towards the second one.  It’ll be a lot easier to go through it if I have groups.  There doesn’t need to be a specific order for each group, but as long as I know who’s narrating which funeral, I think I’ll be good.

As for the fairie mermaid girl who dies, I was thinking about shifting between letters/journal entries and the present time.  So it doesn’t need an outline or anything, not really.  But I should probably give it some thought.  You know, the progression of letters and journal entries, and what’s going on with her while seeing what’s going on after she dies.  I just got an idea!  Her journal could be a parallel story!  We see what happens to her while she’s alive and we also see what’s going on in the wake of her death.  I’ll have to get working on that.

I’ll have everything ready to go by the 24th, because that’s when my 8 day NaNo posting extravaganza starts.  I’m off to bed so I can be all rested up for a day of planning.

Who’s A Winner? Me!

I'm A Winner!

I finally got to 50k!  Which means I’m a winner!  Camp NaNo has been fun, although I did lose interest with the NCIS fanfiction I had in mind. 

I’m glad I focused on short stories, because I so rarely write them.  I didn’t want to start a longer project, only to abandon it. 

I ended up with 38,341 for my NCIS fanfic, and I was a little sad I lost interest in it.  I end up focusing on the micro-chip mystery of the season finale, but quickly got bored, and didn’t want to write it anymore.  I was really close to giving up Camp NaNo completely, but I am glad I decided to focus on short stories for the rest of the month. 

I really like having two novels, and I really prefer it too, because I can go back and forth between both.  Or if one doesn’t work out, I always have something else to fall back on.  And I’m not left wondering if I should give up, or try writing something different. 

For all the short stories I wrote, I ended up with 11,795, so my total for the month was 50,137.  I’m surprised I finished early, but it’s a relief too, since that’ll give me a couple days to figure out what I want to do for next month.

Not Much Was Done Yesterday

Yesterday turned out to be…not very productive.  I did get some writing in, but not a lot.  It’s okay, though, because this is fun, and there are going to be ups and downs.

Still, I am having fun with it, and things are starting to fall into place.  I’m not as stressed out about it as I was last week, but that was a fun kind of stress, the kind that goes along with starting something new, and if it’ll work out okay. 

My current wordcount is 19,185 words, which means I just need to write 819 today.  Who knows, maybe I’ll get on a roll, and write a lot more than I need to?  I definitely try to write as much as I can, but at the same time, sometimes I just need to stop at an earlier point.  I’ve been reassessing at different points- once at 667, then at 834, and again at 1000.  If I decide to keep writing, good, but if I don’t, then at least I wrote something. 

For me, it’s not just about reaching a number: it’s about the actual writing, and telling the stories that I have in my head.  There are so many stories to be told, not just by me, but by others as well.  And if I can get that idea onto paper, then I accomplished what I set out to do.

I’m Staying On Track!

Before I get into my update on Camp, I hope everyone enjoyed the 2 posts yesterday!  I wasn’t expecting to do it, but I figured why not?

So onto Camp.  I’m still ahead of schedule, which is good, because I definitely want to have some extra words stashed away, just in case.  I really like how everything is relaxed this month, and I’m not stressing myself out. 

I’m definitely trying to stay ahead of schedule, because I’d like to be able to take a day off and not have to worry about catching up.  Plus, if there comes a day where I don’t want to write (or can’t), then I can take some time off.  Or if I’m stuck, or any number of scenarios…I usually don’t have any problem catching up, so if I do get behind, it’s not that big of a deal, but if I can not write one day and not have to worry about catching up, then I’ll totally take that opportunity. 

I think trying to stay ahead is something I want to do during November.  Whether I actually do so remains to be seen, but I will keep it as one of my top options.

I think that’s it for now, so have a great day!

Yesterday Was Awesome!

I’m impressed because I managed to get the 1667 I need 2 days in a row!  Writing most of it in the morning really helped, because I got most of it done.  There’s not much to report, and I think I might have to change a theory or two.  There’s definitely stuff that I ended up writing that could be a good possibility, so that’s fun!  

As for the million other things I’m writing, I think I’m definitely going to try spreading them out over the week.  My new plan is to do my Camp NaNo stuff in the morning, at least as much as I can, and then go on to my other stuff.  Unless I need a break from Camp, in which case, I’ll do something else.

My word count is 15,086, and I wrote an extra 1750 words!  I’m definitely going to try writing 1667 today so that I have some extra words in case I need them, since I haven’t wanted to work on it too much.  However, I might take today off.  Or maybe I’ll just write, and see what comes out.  I’ve mostly been doing just enough so that I’m not too far behind, because if I’m going to be behind, I want the gap to be manageable.  I hope that makes sense!

Yesterday, I wrote a total of 3949, if you count the 2 other novels I worked on, so I managed to get a bunch of writing done.  Honestly, it feels good to be ahead in my word count, and I hope I can keep it up, even if it’s just a few extra words.

I also got some reading done yesterday, so hopefully I’ll have a couple book reviews sometime next week.  I’ve also been doing some cooking, and I really am starting to love the whole idea of checking cookbooks out of the library. 

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Day Two Of Camp NaNo!

Camp NaNo started yesterday!  I’ve been waiting and waiting for it, and now it’s arrived!  For anyone who’s not familiar with it, it’s NaNo…year-round.  It’s great for people who can’t/don’t want to do NaNo in November or for people who want to do more than one novel in a year.  While I’m a big fan of multiple novels going at one time, I know it’s not for everyone, so it’s a good way to get all of those ideas out.  Plus, last year, I learned that 2 50k novels is the most I’m willing to do, so it’s perfect for me!.  This month, I’m doing an NCIS fanfiction, and it’s based off of the season finale.  The timing of Camp NaNo is perfect, because I’m hoping to have this thing (mostly) written by the time the season 9 premiere rolls around in mid-September.  I think it’ll also be a good test run for NaNo, because this month, I’m planning to keep up with my other novels while writting a 50k novel.  I’m not sure how completed they’ll be by November, but at least one should be done, maybe 2 or 3 if I’m lucky.  Anyway, it’ll be good to see how it works out.

It’s off to a really slow start, and my own theories about what’s going on aren’t thought out at all, so I’m winging it.  I’ll definitely have to write those down as soon as possible.  I’m not sure if it’ll reach 50k, but I’m going to try!  And if I have to word-pad, I will.  Since I didn’t do any planning, I am having some trouble with it, so once I come up with my own theories, it’ll (hopefully) get easier.  I think part of it is because I’m so used to doing Harry Potter fanfiction, and it’s a lot easier to reference Harry Potter than it is to reference NCIS.  I’ve seen bits and pieces of the first 7 seasons, and only the second half of season 8, so I’m not completely caught up on it yet.  I feel like I have a good handle on the characters, but still, I feel like I’m missing a few things.  There is this fan wiki site which looks like it’ll be really useful, and I’ll probably refer to it quite often this month.  I’ve already learned something: if you’re doing a fanfic based on your theories on what might happen in the next season, it’s a really good idea to write them down before you starting writing the actual fanfic!  Since it’s only day 2, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

It’s strange to novel in a non-November month, but it’ll be a good way to narrow down the field for November.  My last (and only) attempt at doing a novel that’s not during NaNo failed- I did get 10,000 words or so, so it wasn’t a complete loss.  I definitely got into the mindset that November=writing, but I’m slowly trying to change that, so maybe I’ll get farther along in noveling the rest of the year.  I can do it!

So, yesterday, I wrote 1746, which was rather surprising, considering how much I didn’t want to write.  I struggled with the first 800-ish words, and after that it got slightly easier.  Maybe today will go better.

Libraries Are Awesome

I’ve been to the library several times over the last week, and got so much done!  I finished a few books I was reading, I worked on my blog a little, and I did most of my writing for the week!  Oh, and I looked at a consanguinity chart too, and managed to make sense of it.

It’s nice and quiet, there are comfy chairs, tables, free wi-fi and outlets!  The outlet part is especially important because the battery in my laptop is pretty much dead, and I can’t afford a new one, which means that I am attached to the power cord at all times.  It tends to be inconvenient when I want to work on something at a place that is not called my house, since I need an outlet, and most places don’t seem to have a lot of outlets.  If they have any at all, that is.  I mean, I can write out some notes or an outline or brainstorm…but if I want to actually work on one of my novels, I need to be plugged in to do so.  It’s not that big of a deal, because it nevers hurt to brainstorm, but at the same time, I can’t access any of my typed notes.  I did write down the notes I had typed up, so at least I have a written copy in my binder.  And looking at my notes when brainstorming could help me come up with ideas.

Now that I’m done whining about how my battery is dead, I don’t know why I didn’t think of adding my library to the list of place to go to.  Coffeeshops are also good places, but it’s harder to justify staying at a coffeeshop for a few hours.  At least for me- and I tend to get slightly more distracted at a coffeshop than at the library…the library is a magical place.  I feel like I have to be productive at the library, especially when I look around and see people studying and stuff.

I think that’s enough rambling for now.  There’s no doubt I’ll be rambling about something else soon!