Nanowrimo update

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Here it is, the first official Nanowrimo update since the month started and the challenge started.

It’s day eleven (I wrote this yesterday during our weekly Nanomeet, I just didn’t upload it yet) of the month and my total word count at the beginning of this post is right around 4000 words. Officially I should have been at 18333. I know that I’m way behind in my word count but it’s like I said in my last Nanowrimo post at the beginning of this month I didn’t have an idea of what I was going to write about. And at this point I still don’t have an idea in all honesty I’m literally just winging it at this point. Doing whatever I can to get some words written down.

The word count I’ve accumulated so far is mostly from these blog posts and a couple of book reviews which I’ve been writing these last couple of days. And that’s fine I’ll just call myself a rebel – truth be told I have been calling myself a rebel every year – this year and see what I can do this month during Nanowrimo. If it’ll be 50 000 words, I’m going to be ecstatic if not that’s fine. I don’t need to pit more pressure on myself at this point in time.

This might be the first year – since 2009 (my official Nanowrimo debut) –  that I won’t reach the word count of 50 000 words at the end of the month and that is fine. If it is possible and within reach I will of course try to make it but I’m not going to worry about, it’s not worth it. Not this year. I’m honestly okay with it, if that happens I know the reason behind it and doing anything creative is at this point a goal I’ve reached.

To me at this point it’s more important that I’m actually writing and for now that’s certainly happening which makes me feel a lot better than I have been feeling in a long time. Which is even more important to me. Especially since I’ve been feeling really down and blocked lately. Nothing in my life seems to ever be easy or going according to plan. This should have been a great year of new experiences and happiness and instead I’ve been feeling like I’m a failure. And I keep beating myself up about things and that is not what I want to feel like. I want to be happy and successful. However that is not what this update is about. This is about Nanowrimo and the progress I’ve made in writing. The book reviews are from books which I had read in these past couple of months, however like everything they had been backlogged since I wasn’t writing. Although I have to admit that it’s quite hard to write a review from a book which I read months ago. But I’ll get there, I’ve almost cleared all of the backlog there are just a couple of books left in my list.

Tomorrow – Sunday – we’ve set up our next Nanomeet. We’re going to the Ikea to have an extended meeting from I think noon till however late it gets or till the store closes, whichever comes first. They have a nice restaurant area where we can sit and they have some pretty decent not too expensive food. We did a Nanomeet at the Ikea last year and I think that we made it our longest meet ever. They almost literally kicked us out right before closing time.

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Camp Nanowrimo, the final day

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Yes, here it is! The final day of Camp Nanowrimo the April edition has passed by faster than I expected. And that is reason enough to make another blog post about my writing efforts this past month. There are some questions which have been playing on my mind these past couple of days.

Was Camp everything I hoped for it to be? Did I meet my goal? Am I happy with the results? What could I have done to improve my game? And what’s next? All legitimate questions at the end of a month which was supposed to be full of writing, plotting, character builds and so much more. So let me take some time to answer them one by one.

First of all I want to do a shout-out to my Nano-friends, we were in a Cabin together and even though I might not have reached my goal our group did reach the combined amount of words we’d pledged to write this month.

Was Camp everything I hoped for it to be?

Well, I certainly wrote more than I did in previous months, so in that regard yes it was. But before the month started I had hoped that this would be a sort of push in the right direction. I wanted to work on my story, at least that was the idea. Because I think that I truly have something interesting in my hands. Instead however I’ve been writing many different things, mostly blog posts and upcoming book reviews for my blog. I have been working on course assignments for a FutureLearn course and more. And I only spend one actual write-ins working on my actual story. I could have done better, that is as clear as day.

Did I meet my goal?

The short answer is no. Even if I’d passed the line of 10 000 words I would not have met my goal. My goal was to get back to writing on my story and that is not what happened.

What could I have done to improve my game?

Easy answer, sit my ass down behind the computer and work on the damn story or even just grab a notebook and start writing … instead I was more occupied with getting my Agent level up on The Division. Okay, I worked overtime, did a course for my job and started a course for myself. And I did work on blog posts, so I have certainly been writing. As previously mentioned my goal was to get back to working on my story and since I only did that one night I really can’t say that I reached my goal.

And what’s next?

If I decided to commit to Camp Nanowrimo in July I will really have to step up my game and I should probably work on my storyline and the plot for the rest of the story before I can actually do that. Because right now I’m kind of a loose cannon. I have no real idea of what to do next because I never got any  further than this point with my plot-line. That is what I’m going to focus on for the next few weeks. I need to get some new ideas for my plot and then I can actually commit to writing and reaching goals in writing.

Depending on what my writer’s group will do and how my plot-line progresses I will decide whether or not I am going to join Camp Nanowrimo later this year.

Camp Nanowrimo is fun and it certainly gets me to write more but so far I’ve never managed to reach my goal and win. I don’t mind so much because it’s less important to me than the November version of Nanowrimo. But it certainly is on my list of things I want to do.

LGBTQ Romance

This is something which I came across last week and I decided that I wanted to give my opinion on the matter. During the Camp Nanowrimo meeting this past Friday I started to work on this blog. Anyway I didn’t get to finish it and I decided that I would work on it some more during the weekend. However by the time Saturday or Sunday rolled around the matter had been resolved as posted on the website by the person who this happened to and therefore I wasn’t sure if I should post it or not. But I decided for me this is something I want to write about it. This is a topic that matters to me. And not just me, but a lot of like-minded people around me.

One thing though, because this matter has been resolved I’ve decided to remove the link to the initial blog.

LGBTQ-Romance

Every now and then you come across something either by coincidence or maybe by sheer accident which you just can’t scroll past. You have to read it and in this case even give my opinion. It’s not something I do often but this is something I want to say something about because I think that I have something to say.

Ever since I’ve been writing at least ninety percent of what I write is LGBTQ related. A mere ten percent if even that – is either heterosexual or has nothing at all to do with romance. For that reason I consider myself a LGBTQ writer, just like I consider myself bisexual. The reason why I couldn’t scroll past this particular post has to do with both of those facts. I came across a post on a Facebook page which referred to a blog post – when I followed the link it brought me to a personal blog of two writers. No. I won’t be posting the link. Since the matter has been resolved I don’t feel that it is necessary to link to that blog or the writing contest website this is about.

The original post was dated on the thirteenth – and by now there has been made an apology by the organization behind the writing contest – but still it’s something I want to write about because it’s ridiculous especially in this day and age. In 2016 we should be able to live our lives the way we want to without being judged but apparently that is still a long way off.
The person who wrote this blog post participated in a competition with a story – a gay inspirational story which she entered into the Inspirational Romance category. Sounds logical right? Well apparently it wasn’t all that logical. If the criteria only state that it should be a romantic novel which features a religious or spiritual belief system. And assuming that those criteria are met I think that a novel featuring a gay couple, or a transgender person involved in a romantic relationship shouldn’t be a problem. At least there is nothing in the rules which excludes stories. Which is probably why the author was so surprised when she received the request by the website to move her story to a different category. Which she refused because they wanted to send the story to a none romantic story category. Reason was that none of the judges wanted to read the story because it contained a gay relationship.

Apparently you still can’t be a spiritual or religious person while also being gay. I myself am not a very religious person though I’m a Catholic – I was baptized, did my first communion and even my confirmation. While my religion might not be very important to me, I do consider myself to be a very spiritual person. Anyway that’s besides the point.
This person was asked to move their story to a different category, which she refused with good reason since the book meets the criteria. If your story doesn’t meet the criteria and you’re asked to move it to a different category I would say that it’s their good right to ask and author to move the story. But the reason here seemed to be that the judges were unwilling to read a gay romantic story. Well, the problem doesn’t lay with the story! It’s with the judges!!! What kind of a judge are you if you’re unwilling to read stories because it’s not the type of ‘romance’ you consider to be normal?

In my eyes – love is love. It’s as simple as those three little words. Love is love. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s shouldn’t matter what kind of romance story it is as long as it is well-written romance. Whether it’s F/M, M/M or F/F romance shouldn’t matter it should be about the romance. But that is just my humble opinion.

They always say don’t judge a book by it’s cover – clearly that is what they did here. They didn’t read the story they just noticed the word ‘gay’ and decided that they didn’t want to read the story, that it wasn’t worth their time.

I would like to add don’t judge a story by it’s category. When you read an LGBTQ story it doesn’t mean that gay romance is thrown at you on every bend. It could just be the fact that there is an mention of a gay relationship or even simply the fact that someone is gay and that could literally be all there is too it. Romance can be all about the courting, sex might not be part of that storyline.

Besides that, had they added a rule where they stated that only heterosexual stories were allowed for submission. An author of LGBTQ stories might not have liked that, I know I wouldn’t have but they wouldn’t have entered their story either. I have entered my fanfiction stories into challenges and sometimes they included the no gay or lesbian stories rule and while lots of people didn’t agree with it they did respect it. I always try to see it as someone saying they like scary stories but no gore. You can have scary stories but you don’t need the gore to make it scary. If you state beforehand that you don’t want something it won’t come back to haunt you.

The fact that they never stated anything in the rules and the way they handled the situation screams close minded and bigoted. Even while the end result might be the same, it feels completely different.

I applaud that the person who this happened to because she spoke up, she told her story and it’s good that she publicly shared it on her blog. The fact that she did so in the way she did is even more reason to applaud her.

Whenever I wrote a story involving lesbian romance I would warn people before they started reading it. I’m talking about fanfiction here, where warnings before a story or a chapter are very common. And I still got flamed every now and then and it has always annoyed me to no end that bigoted close-minded people ignore warnings and are judgemental when they haven’t read a single word. And this really reminded me of that situation but in my opinion in this case it’s even worse since these judges should have remained professional.

As I stated at the top of the page the issue has apparently been resolved and a sincere apology has been made by the organization of the contest. Which I think is the right thing to do of course. But it’s sad to see that even in this modern time in the year 2016 these things still happen.

Camp Nanowrimo mini-update

I guess it took me long enough to get this post finished already but I decided to add a small Camp Nanowrimo update as well. Like I said before I had no idea what I was going to write when I arrived at the meeting, but after reading this story the choice was easily made.

Camp Nanowrimo update

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Day one was a success, a complete and utter success. However so far my day one and day two writing has been the only writing I’ve been doing. Let me think for a minute while I come up with reasons why I haven’t been writing … I’ve been busy… No, honestly I just didn’t sit down to write, besides that The Division is pretty time consuming. I don’t think I’ve even been this into a game before. I love teaming up with other people and getting things done. Anyway if anyone feels like teaming up add me my gamertag is Nepeace.

But in all honesty that’s just excuses, if I’d wanted to write I could have found the time. I mean there are twentyfour hours in a day and with my new job I’m home earlier in the afternoon. So in theory I should have more time to write instead of less. I’ve just been pretty busy with a lot of things besides writing or thinking about writing.

But I’ll be fine. We have another meeting planned for Friday evening – that’s tomorrow – at the library. I’m already looking forward to it and I’m really planning on getting some stuff done. Although I’m not exactly sure what I will be writing. Maybe I’ll write another blog post or choose to work on my story. It’ll be a spur of the moment thing – at that time I will choose what feels right at that time.

I’ve just fired up Scrivener …. only to find out that I had no clear idea of which file I needed to continue writing on my story. For a second there I’d thought I lost it. An irrational fear because I’ve always been adamant about saving and backing up my stories. However I started working in a file that I gave a name that made no sense to me at this moment. The problem is that my story still has no tittle so I called it ‘2014 rewrite’ or something along those lines. Not a smart thing to do, so when I finally found it I immediately renamed it. That is not something which I ever want to go through again. Pfew! SO after that shocking discovery I took a look through some of the files and discovered yet another issue I had no idea about. I have literally reached the end of my outline. I have managed to reach chapter seven, scene three and that is where my outline ends. However when you look at the way I choose to divide my book (3 acts, 27 chapters, 3 scenes per chapter) you know that I haven’t even reached the end of the first act.

I have some ideas, but at this point I have no outline anymore. So that might also be something that I can work on. Or I can just sit down, fire up my tabled and keyboard and start typing away – freestyling it. Honestly though I had no idea, none at all. I guess that I was too focussed on writing in November and with my personal struggles in December and Januari it just didn’t register. And since I choose to write blog posts instead of actual stories so far this was something new too me.

It’s been something I’ve noticed lately – I really struggle with my memory. I tend to forget things which I could always remember. Need to keep an eye on that – if I don’t forget that is.

Anyway, I’m signing off for now. I need to get ready because I have to defend the honor of New York in a little while with my fellow agents from Delta Company 606.

I’m a member of Delta Company 606.  We’re a casual group of players who usually play between 06:00 PM CET and 12:00 AM CET. Our average age is 32 and our average level is 15.  Headsets/ Mics are strongly preferred.  If that sounds like you, join us here: https://www.the100.io/g/2343?r=184749

The countdown

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This has been by far the strangest Nanowrimo week I’ve ever had. Even after this month, this particular week really topped it! I have been talking about all of this ‘crap’ that has been going on all month and today on the 25th that all sort of came to a conclusion of sorts. It’s not solved and it wont be for probably a long time. But I have found some piece of mind again. I’ve had a really difficult year at my job which literally started on the morning of my first work day of this year and concluded on this day. And as I’m saying this I also want to say that I am relieved because I can finally move on, I want this upcoming year to start on a positive note. I don’t know if it is possible to actually make that happen but I really hope so.

The 801 words I wrote today were not necessarily words I wanted to write but words I had to write. Since this is for a huge part reason why I’m so far behind I decided to add these words to my word count. Literally since this month started it has been an uphill battle and I want to see if I can still manage it.

Wednesday November 25th – Word count Wednesday: 801

There is so much I have to take care of because of that work related situation that I had literally no time left to spend on my story. I spend most of my day on the phone, seriously my cellphone and my land-line have never before gotten this kind of a work out it’s a wonder they didn’t blow up.

Thursday November 26th – Word count Thursday: 0

I thought that that 5000 words in a day was my max, but apparently it wasn’t. On November 27th I managed to write 6000 words. Even though I had already given up on winning Nanowrimo this year it kind of feels like it’s possible … I could theoretically still make it. I don’t wish this way of being able to get through Nanowrimo upon anyone but maybe this could be the one positive thing that gets me through this month.

I had a terrible sleep I was awake most of the night, first I couldn’t get to sleep and then I kept waking up and couldn’t get back to sleep and at 7.30 in the morning I was up again. I decided to give up on sleep and get some writing done. At first I wanted to work on my story. The first appointment of the day would be at one in the afternoon so I had some time to spare.

First I needed a breakfast, I made myself a couple of sandwiches and some tea and I sat down at my desk. I started writing at eight in the morning and didn’t stop till eleven in the morning and that was when my phone started ringing off the hook. I wanted to start writing on my story but I decided to write down a ‘small’ compilation of this past year and what the situation resulted into.

In my mind it was going to be a couple of dates and small entries which explained what happened. In the end it was huge. By the end of yesterday I was at 4500 words and this morning I continued writing because I came up with some other important and choice defining moments during this year. The file is now 5955 words long and in the next couple of days I will be adding more details.

So I had a word count of 4500 words on that file yesterday which I also decided to add to my word count for Nanowrimo because believe me it reads like an unbelievable story. And during the write-in at the Library besides all the talking I did about my situation I added another 1500 words to the daily counter. Which gave me a grand total of 6000 words.

I’m now at 34k … and given to the fact that I have no real plans for Saturday, Sunday morning or Monday besides some phone calls I might just make it. It could be do-able … I’ll keep you posted, these last couple of days might just safe me! And give me one positive thing about this month which has otherwise been a terrible situation which I don’t wish upon anyone, ever.

Friday November 27th – Word count Friday: 6000

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The final week

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No words, so nothing to say besides that I was too busy with other stuff. I wasn’t able to join the write-in which is a shame and obviously part of the reason why I didn’t get any words done on Friday. I went home to my parents for the weekend so Friday after work was spend on the road and on the couch with my mom. Which is a great way to start the weekend. Besides that I knew that I would have the time during the day on Saturday.

Thursday November 19th – Word count Thursday: 0
Friday November 20th – Word count Friday: 0

It’s the weekend! And getting to the daily word count is a little bit easier during the weekend than any other day of the week. In general you have a little bit more time during those days than you have during the week when I spend a lot of time at work. Anyway ever since I started writing this version of this story (it’s a re-write of last years Nanowrimo’s  project) I have been so content with what I am writing. It really works somehow, and if I’m unsure of where to go with a certain part of the story it somehow gets solved while I’m writing. Things I was unsure of even during the prep period are now getting cleared up while I’m writing the scenes. My story is going really well. I know that my word count is telling a different story but since the first day of November I have been dealing with a crisis situation at work and it takes up an awful lot of time and is putting a lot of pressure on me. Nevertheless I feel good about my story and the part that I have written, the words just flow. Maybe I’m grasping for something because at this moment this is basically the thing that keeps me going. When I’m writing I can put all the worries aside for a while. I’d hoped that I would have been able to get more writing done but I didn’t and that’s fine.

Saturday November 21th – Word count Saturday: 2024
Sunday November 22th – Word count Sunday: 1291

For a Monday 2210 words is a lot, usually Mondays aren’t my best day for writing but yesterday went pretty well I added a completely new scene. One that I had been wondering about. My main character needed to break out of prison, get to a safe place with some unexpected help and that was one of those parts which I hadn’t worked out yet. I still wasn’t sure what would happen however while I was writing the scene started to develop into a full fletched break out of jail scene. And besides that I broke through the 25 000 words line and that’s a great thing, just a little shame that it happened on the 23th of November. Chances are that I will not make it this year and I am fine with that. It’s a tad bit sad that things aren’t working out this year, it would have been my seventh win in a row and the seventh year I’m participating. So I won’t be able to keep that streak going and that’s a shame on the other side there is a lot I’m dealing with and every word I did write this month is a win. Reaching 25 000 words is a huge win, especially since I’m so content with what I am writing.

Monday November 23th – Word count Monday: 2210
Tuesday November 24th – Word count Tuesday: 659

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Day fifteen – the halfway point

Nanowrimo 2015 Participant

There is not a whole lot to tell about the first couple of days of the second week of Nanowrimo. I know that this week is also referred to as hell week but in my case it has been a wonderful week or at least it was a wonderful weekend!!! Damn! I really got ahead in my story, I am so happy when it comes to my writing. November on the other hand has been a time of extreme high and the lowest of lows.

Monday November 9th – Word count Monday: 1877
Tuesday November 10th – Word count Tuesday: 1076
Wednesday, November 11th – Word count Wednesday: 956

Thursday, November 12th
My first 10K!

Wohoo! I reached them finally at day 12 my first 10K. I know I’m doing really lousy and that I’m way behind. But seriously walk a mile in my shoes … lately there has been so much going on in my personal life and I’ve been getting so much crap thrown at me that right now I’m not even sure I’ll ever reach the 50K. Chances are that I won’t and that would really suck because so far I’ve always been able to make it. But this year (this whole year had been pretty bad, but lately it has gotten worse) the bar might just have been set too high. I feel confused, exhausted, disappointed but most of all I feel used. And I have to deal with so much at this moment that I really don’t see me reaching the 50k before the end of the month. But we’ll see how things will turn out, I’m just going to continue writing and use this as way to get some stress relieve, because that is what I really need right now. I’m currently just surviving, nothing more and nothing less.

Word count Thursday: 1101

Friday November 13th, Saturday November 14th and Sunday November 15th

The reason why I grouped these three days is because we had three write-in’s in three consecutive days! Yes, three! We started on Friday with our regular spot during November, the Library. Our group’s honorary member came all the way from Sweden to re-join us. It was wonderful to see her again and to be able to have three meetings in a weekend. It really helped me to up my word count. On Friday I joined the meeting later than expected and I had to leave earlier because I had another appointment which makes it obvious why the word count on Friday was relatively low. However on Saturday we had a meeting at the Ikea! Yes, if your Swedish friend joins you all the way in the Netherlands for a weekend of writing take them to the one and only local Swedish Furniture Giga-store. We had a good laugh about that as well. But over here in the Netherlands the Ikea stores have a huge cafeteria area where we can sit down, use their electronic outlets, have a drink (and free refills) and food for a very nice price. We arrived around noon and left the store at eight thirty PM. Yes, that was an eight hour write-in!!! I wrote 5000 words that day! I really needed that word count! So I was really happy, what I was especially stoked about was the fact that I really took a leap in my story. I added three chapters and it was almost like an outer body experience, the words just flowed and certain events which had all along been unclear to me. Even while I was plotting I wasn’t able to get them clear in my head, suddenly became extremely clear. I’ve had that a couple of times before and each and every time whenever I re-read those stories I can hardly believe that I am the one who wrote them. So at this point I have a really good feeling about my story.

The only downside to the weekend was that I didn’t make it to the goal that I set for myself. I really wanted to reach 20k. That would have been awesome, it would mean that I wrote 10k in three days! It was too much, I wasn’t that far off but I just couldn’t go on.

Word count Friday: 730
Word count: Saturday: 5065
Word count: Sunday: 3553

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Monday November 16th, Tuesday November 17th and Wednesday November 18th

I know I’m not doing well at all and I really doubt that I will make it this year. There is a situation in my personal life which is taking up all of my attention and most of my energy. I’m trying really hard to use my writing as a way to deflect the anger and disappointment I’m feeling. Yet a lot of my time is being consumed by talking to my parents and sister on the phone and trying to find the information we need so desperately.

Monday November 16th – Word count Monday: 304
Tuesday November 17th – Word count Tuesday: 796
Wednesday, November 18th – Word count Wednesday: 517