Thursday, October 2, 2014

Back on the horse in time for NaNoWriMo

Well that whole self-pep talk thing went over well.  *sarcasm, wonderful sarcasm*

Let's try that again, shall we?

Moving on, then!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Time to spam R2+ L2! Knowing when to be realistic without the guilt.

  Borrowed from
So, if you haven't figured it out, my writing is the T-Rexaur and I'm the two daintily clad SEED soldiers booking it out of there as fast as my pixelated appendages can carry me in crippling, triple-exclamatory horror.

With an initial NaNo goal of 50k, I'm currently at 18k.  I have a thesis/IRB proposal due next week, a panel proposal due in two days, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.  Countless other writing projects, taken on last month in a bold rush of ego, (including this very blog) have been scattered to the winds because simply, I can't type fast enough or stay awake long enough to do them all.  Which is the reason this blog, unlike the others, will be very brief in compare to the first couple I have written.

Today, I decided to take advantage of the new CampNaNo system and knock my goal down to 30,000 words.  That means I have only 12k to go rather than 32k--a goal that I think I could reach in 9 days easily. Even though I felt guilty about it initially, I felt a big weight come off my chest.  I can make that goal and still get my graded work done.  I can get everything done, without feeling guilty that something's being left behind.  And if I don't, at least I'm pretty close, and the hard work that I have been able to accomplish isn't dismissed as nothing.

But how did I get into this situation anyway?  Well, it's a lot of my own fault. I took on too many projects.  I knew April CampNaNo was happening at the same time as the twilight of the semester.  I knew I needed to make this semester count.  I allowed a couple of people to completely disrespect my time and disrupt my efforts to be productive. I slacked off when I should have been working.  The list goes on.  Then there are external forces at work, which I won't go into because I'm not so much concerned about them.

But sometimes you have to just be realistic about just how much you can do in a certain amount of time and be aware of the obstructions that are going to make your tasks difficult. Be honest and don't be ashamed to say "No I can't, not right now."

Because here's what happens--come crunch time, everything you pledged to do comes crashing down, deadlines sneak up, and when you have to start prioritizing what you're going to do and what you're going to leave until later, guilt sets in.  And guilt's just one of the many seeds of writer's block.

So moral of the story: pace yourself, for goodness sake!  Because I sure didn't.  AND IT BLOWS.  :(

Now if you excuse me, I have to go slog through...everything I signed up for. *sigh*

See you soon,

The Writing Raccoon

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prepping for CampNanoWriMo

Well, it's that time of year again!  Or at least one of those times of the year.  April will mark the first of two Camp National Novel Writing Months that will happen this year, the next being the one in July followed by the main event in November.  I've tried by hand at the last few years' worth of NaNos to no avail at success, but I'm feeling especially ambitious this time around.  Bring on the novel writing!

But the question is, as it is every single time around, what to do for my April NaNo?  I'm already in the middle of working on my project Starbound, and I'd feel like I was cheating if I just tacked that on or started my word count at where I've left off there.  One thing is for certain, I want to tackle something in the universe of Mahtim--the world in which my novel takes place--but a different tale.

I have a few ideas, starting with an abandoned NaNo project from 2011 that fell apart.  It was called Skybound, and it was a light steampunk/fantasy hybrid set about almost twenty years before the events of Starbound, so I guess you could say it's a prequel story.  It centers around Lorelon, a kingdom that became isolated geographically after a cataclysmic event called the Starfall, and was left to perish.  Instead of dying out, the people advance far beyond the rest of the world (it's steampunk, so I'm sure you have an idea how) and use this new technology to escape the literally sinking rock they're living on and settle out on sky islands, remnants of the Gods' world hanging in the atmosphere over the ocean.  The story revolves around a  scholar named Cedric, a pirate named Jan and the uncovering of the truth behind Lorelon's terrific and terrifying progress.

Another idea goes even farther back in the timeline, just after Starfall happened.  It has to do with the dark times of Mahtim when the Clerics began to realize they no longer had access to their divine powers and the realm of the gods was destroyed.  I have only vague ideas on this one.

My last is a story about what actually happened to cause the Starfall to occur.  This centers around the elven archmage Verdelet and the human twin daughters he is charged to raise.  A prophecy is fulfilled through attempts to avoid it.

Just by looking, I know I definitely have more interest and more outlined material to work with concerning Skybound.    And it would make a lot more sense too, since I'm working on its prodigy right now and all of that information is relevant and accessible.  But I just don't know yet.  To be honest, I'm a little jaded about taking it on again as a NaNo project, only to potentially let it down again.  But that's the point of NaNo, isn't it?  To stop thinking and just write?

One thing is for certain, whatever I work on I want to be certain of what I'm working on, because in the past I've gone full throttle with a plan for maybe five days and then flip-flopped to something else.  Hopefully that won't be an issue this time around.  I have more than enough writing projects to keep me stimulated (this blog, for instance, not to mention my three thousand tons of grad work).

So, this month will be chock with outlining, character profiling, everything but the actual writing; that should balance out well, and I have Starbound keeping me busy too.

....Starbound, which is doing SO AWESOME now that I've finally figure out the cleric mechanics, and therefore, have figured out the entire world and the first three chapters of the damn story.  Love it when that happens.

See ya next time,

the Writing Raccoon

Thursday, February 28, 2013

If I may kindly introduce myself--

Just picture it.  It's 11:28pm, on any given day.  Today, it just happens to be this day.  It's been raining for days and everything I own feels damp even though I've purposely tossed it in the dryer to amend that.  I'm sitting in a basement with the guys, tossing my d20 around.  I'm not really paying attention on doing anything special but hitting the damn beast because I'm too preoccupied with how I should be doing grad homework and not playing D&D up to two times a week. My mouth tangs of soda and not enough food.

Then someone makes a passing comment about something; anything will do, really, and before we know it my beloved crew has derailed onto a 15 minute tangent, 20 tops.  It's the moments like this that really bring us together, but the game is on pause.

I demurely open my netbook.  That should be just long enough to finish that paragraph from before.

This is basically my life, and I think, in varying degrees and measures  it's the life of a lot of writers nowadays.  Humans are really odd.  We construct all of these conveniences for ourselves to spend more time in leisure.  But then we become restless and fill that space with non-leisure.

I personally just seem to be programmed to defrag myself constantly, always appropriating space for more work, social obligations, school, Twitter...

And if I'm not careful--slowly, the writing gets slowly pushed aside, and aside, and aside, until it falls off the table.

But I love writing, I think.  Writing keeps me alive.  And it makes me happy.  It sustains me--why can't I sustain it?

Well, the natural response is that I'm lazy.  I'm working on that.  There's also the trauma inflicted on me by several people in my past who thought I was isolating myself and wasting my time with something that had no immediate product (by product I mean money. ).

And the biggest reason is?  I don't have a real reason.  I should just be writing, making time for it, even if it's only a few moments or six hours, or whatever.  I'm doing it now, aren't I?  And the world isn't crumbling down just yet.

When I work at the writing center at my school (not this semester), I sometimes have space in between appointments.  Sometimes they don't show.  So I take the opportunities as they come.

One of my co-workers once marveled at my ability to find time to write.  Half-distracted, I replied, "Well, I'm just a writing raccoon.  I steal it where I can, however I can."

So, yeah.  That's kind of what this blog is going to be about.

I wanna do a lot of things with this blog, actually.  Basically?  Whatever I want that relates to my writing life.  For example, I'm probably going to talk about books.  I'm on a quest to read 100 books for pleasure this year, along with my friend Marie K Stevens (check out her blog here) and I'm gonna wanna talk about what I like about the writing and what I don't, what I wanna try in my own stuff and what I wanna stay away from.

Naturally, I'm going to talk about my writing process/progress.  That's probably apparent.  I have one major project I'm working on now, and I'm trying to stick to it.  I can foresee wanting to talk about what I choose to send out, too, how I do it, and what not.

I'm probably going to talk about my fanfiction too.  I have a 28 chapter fanfiction in the works, and I haven't updated in months.  I'd really like to finish it.  Because it counts. It does.  So what if I can't publish it traditionally?

And just a heads up, I'll probably chat a little about PbP roleplay, videogames, anime, TV shows, and etc.  Because the main ingredient in all of them issssss.....

The purpose of this blog is to get me writing about anything, and keep me writing however I can.  No matter what.  I might update several times a week, but always at least once.  That much I will commit to; I don't think that's a bad start.  How's every...(one moment as I glance at the corner of my screen) Friday sound?  Awesome.  =)

Yours truly,

The Writing Raccoon