Tephie's Personal Bombshelter MarkII

Just how many journals am I going to end up with?

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November 9th, 2015

Doing NaNoWriMo

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Though the lack of energy and sheer don't wanna I am fighting is saying I really shouldn't have. Last year had extenuating circumstances to keep me from trying but really, my last several NaNo attempts, though "successful", were fairly joyless slogs and maybe I should just stop. I don't like thinking that I only had about five novels in me, and not even completed ones, but maybe that's just it. I still generate characters at the drop of a hat, at least when not in the worst of my emotional lows, but they don't seem to have stories attached.

Anyway, I finally started to get a handle on this year. Not a great one, but I knocked around the edges, flipped things over and inside out then shook it until I might have found a point to grab and start hauling in the direction of a plot. So of course my hands have chosen now to start aching like hell when I type.

November 30th, 2013

Not dead yet

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I haven't written anything here (whichever journal service you're reading this on) since... June. I'm getting progressively worse at keeping these things up to date.  :(

I'll skip the knitting update, it will give me something to do later; hopefully not six months from now.

So, since last time I wrote:
  • I went to Anthrocon and had a good time.
  • I visited family, which involves driving 888 miles one way, seeing all the relatives, and driving 888 miles back.
  • I received a very generous and very early Christmas present after I returned home; that will get another post.
  • I honestly can't say where several weeks went.
  • Some of them were spent going "will I or won't I" in regard to NaNo.

2013 NaNoWriMo WinnerYes, I did NaNoWriMo again.

It actually went very, very much better than last year.

I had to restart it. My first attempt would work better for an opening to a sequel, which I don't have a plot for, so that was a short road to nowhere.

I managed to get to about 35k on my second attempt before getting horrifically stuck. I flailed around for a few days and ended up writing out a time line of events in the two locations which helped a lot, largely by making me go "but why did they do this/did that happen".

Eventually I realized I had started at the wrong point in time again. So I jumped back and started writing another beginning, but this one should hook up at some point in the middle of the story to my second stab at the idea. 

I still have a list of "why" to work out, but it's not the worst 50k I've ever written.

October 3rd, 2012

So NaNo is coming....

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After due consideration, I think I need a name for a small starship. Writing stuff under here. )

On other subjects, I survived the summer trip to see the family, though I had the lovely adventure of having the exhaust drop on the Jeep while traveling the NY Thruway. Thankfully my AAA membership was current and I was able to get a tow to a muffler shop in Canandaigua that was able to get me a new midpipe and catalytic converter (ouch!) and have me back on the road with only two and a half hours of delay.

There's not really a whole lot to say about the last few months.

I read a lot and despaired for the amount of romance crammed into otherwise interesting books. I read a very good original fiction novel by a fan author I enjoy and wished she had written more in that universe. Tanya Huff got me hooked into another series of hers.

I knitted some, but nothing that interesting since I focused on finishing a pair of socks identical to the last pair I knit except for being half an inch shorter in the foot. I'm currently juggling a few doll projects. One is finished and needs to be dyed and blocked, the others are all still in progress. Since one of those is destined to travel to Utah with the one that needs to be dyed I'm trying to focus on that one. Unfortunately the last couple days have been very, very bad with my hands so the 00 needles aren't fun.

I got an awesome haircut that I need to go have trimmed . I should have about two weeks ago actually. Wish me luck in getting it cut the same way again by a different stylist since the one that did the original is back in Massachusetts. There is one stylist I am pretty sure can do the cut, but I can't remember her name (I only had her cut my hair once before) so hopefully she'll be working and I can get her.

I lost a bit more weight, just enough that the awesome jeans I bought on clearance for $3.60 require a belt. I'm very glad I didn't spend more on them or I would be ticked.

And I think that gets everything caught up. Get ready for the NaNoWriMo spike in postings. :)

March 29th, 2012

All the cool kids are doing it....

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1. Go to page 77 (or 7, or just hit page down 7 times) of your current manuscript.
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 other authors. They've all done it already I think.

You are getting NaNo novels here. Yes, they are all "current", just some are more current than others. :D

NaNo'06 - By Destiny Stained

Synopsis: Read Nightfall? Now imagine that instead of a few hours of darkness that reveals all the stars you get decades of violent weather and dramatic climate change. Also, the most advanced technology in the known world is probably the tiny steam powered toys of that one foreign nation over there.

Nikkol watched Sierna settle into the sand, "You're going to nap? With everything we've heard today?"

"Seems to me that taking sleep where you can get it would be a good habit to develop these days."

The cave was silent for a while. The drone from the harps and the clatter of chimes seemed oddly muted. Sierna sighed softly, "I can't decide if I should tell you to go back north with your people or if I should ask you to stay here."

Nikkol sat up in surprise. "You want me to stay here?"

NaNo'07 - Dead Dolls

Synopsis: Cyberpunk, still without plot. (It's in world building hell stages.)

"It shouldn't take me long, but if the exploding grunts get to you, focus on the wall and the buildings rather than the killing field in between."

"Exploding grunts... great." Aeryn placed the pod and case on the table and settled into her datachair with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. "I'm tapped," she made a face and small sound of disgust, "in, and can things get any more revolting out there?"

Elyza chuckled, "If we knew what they were revolting against, maybe." She dodged Aeryn's blind swat at her as she passed her on the way to the table.

NaNo'08 - Escapement (Actively current! I was working on this a bit yesterday.)

Synopsis: Steampunk with too many plots. (I'm attempting to untangle them a bit so they make more chronological sense.)

Ian stepped through a door to the left of his desk, leaving Prudence and Sarah to study the strange instrument he had created.

"It looks a bit like an astrolabe," commented Sarah, "or rather, an armillary sphere, though I have never seen one quite so elaborate."

Prudence hummed a bit, "I suppose it's only reasonable, since it's a navigational instrument in some sense. I do hope Ian has written down how the use the thing, since I doubt it would be simple to read and I suspect he's unwilling to embark upon a journey of unknown duration just to read the thing for me."

"While traveling with you would be a delight, I'm certain; I doubt my business would survive my absence." Ian returned to the room with a suspiciously thick book, about twice the thickness of most pocket journals of the size, a small box, and a pair of keys.

NaNo'09 - [Still untitled]

Synopsis: I don't even know. This is the one that fractured and only stayed together long enough to get my 50k for NaNo. I have some ideas about fixing it, but they basically involve lifting out the characters, sweeping everything else away, and starting over.

Apollonia heaved a sigh. Right. Just wanting to be normal. "I hope you're wrong."

"Probably am. You and Abe, you like to ignore that people, any sort of people, can be downright stupid in their actions just because not being stupid is hard." Muriel, now stripped of scarf, cowl, and sweatshirt, sifted some loose tea into the mesh basket of her tea pot. "If I told you I thought something strong enough to hide a shroud from an agent had something to do with it, you would have latched onto that like a bear trap and you wouldn't have paid one iota to the possibility that the girl just didn't want to see it." She placed the now filled pot on the small table and plopped a felted cozy in the shape of a chicken over it. "Now that you have faced the idea that the girl looked the other way I can say I think something was meddling and the girl didn't know." She looked old and sad for a moment, "Well, didn't know for sure. She's pretty sharp that one, might have suspected."

NaNo'10 - Never on a Blue Moon

Synopsis: Well I started out with a problem on the moon base but we never seemed to get there....

She was dressed in business casual, charcoal grey slacks, cream top and a cardigan in a color he thought might be labeled 'old Victorian rose' or something. Her feet were covered in a pair of guest slippers that Kyle kept on hand to protect his floors from the horrors of outdoor shoes. "Doctor Samson-Greer, I presume?" she looked at him curiously, obviously expecting someone looking a bit more mainstream.

Most people expect someone with the title of doctor to wear a suit or look like a stereotypical academic wearing a sports coat and slacks, maybe a button down shirt and a sweater vest, or it if was particularly warm, a polo shirt. While Dan generally did wear slacks and polo shirts, occasionally even the sports jackets, and was not adverse to a nicely tailored suit, that was not what caught people's attention. The details tended to change frequently, but it was his hair that generally made people need to shift their mental gears on meeting him. For the moment he was sporting a mixture of thin synthetic dreadlocks, some were bright lime green, others sky blue, but most of them a shade of purple that looked nearly black. He'd left out the plastic tubing and was relatively sparkle free other than a few crystals sewn in here and there.

NaNo'11 - A Favour Owed

Synopsis: Tatsumi owed his old friend Bennu a favour. She didn't expect him to repay it with a small child.

Jaana blinked at the apparent change in topic. “Last I heard, yes. Complaining that more people call him Opa rather than Onkel these days.”

“You might want to have him over from time to time. If the twins see something then Nehi likely will as well. And of course Karen or myself can also confirm if we are here.”

“I had wondered why you were raising the girl, she has Power then?”

Bennu shrugged, “It’s less about her than it is about a favour owed an old friend.”

November 2nd, 2011

NaNoWriMo has started

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I'm almost a full day ahead on my word count already with 3101 words right now.

This year I actually have a planned story structure, a beginning scene, an ending scene, and signposts at specific points in time to stop and write. We'll see if this makes things easier or not when I'm further along.

Another new thing for this year is that I'm not writing one big plain text file with nothing but multiple returns or scene dividers to break things up. This year I have the trial for the Windows version of Scrivener running. (Thank you [info]clare_dragonfly for letting me know there was a Windows beta!) The plan is to win NaNo and use the 50% off coupon I will earn to actually buy this software. Last month I spent some time importing my old NaNo stories into Scrivener and even just using it for editing like that made me want it.

A lot of babbling and some screen caps under the cut. )

Goodness I got wordy. Pity it wasn't novel content. :)

October 2nd, 2011

29 days and some hours until NaNoWriMo

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Yes, I plan to do it again. I even have a vague idea to work from. Very vague. I still have time though, so I'm not worried about that yet.

This will be my sixth NaNo. I've noticed some trends in my NaNo experiences that are rather depressing. It gets harder every year for one. Here's a bit of a review of the experiences: This ended up rather long. )

So in the end it boils down to this:

  • Unless I have a really good idea I'm going to be whiny and complain a lot.

  • Even with a good idea I'm still going to whine.

  • When the writing goes well, it will go very well.

  • When it goes badly, it can go very, very badly.

  • I can, if pressed, knock out about seven thousand words in a day.

  • I am much more comfortable getting a day or two of buffer built up and sticking between fifteen hundred and two thousand words.

  • When I'm stuck, add more characters or split them up so I have more than one location to write about.

  • If the story just will not move I'm probably pushing in the wrong place.

  • In general, the less I post the worse it's going.

November 28th, 2010

50,184 Verified Words

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Or 50,725 if you trust EditPad

I'm sure at least a third of those will be cut in editing, but for now my hands are tired and I don't want to look at it any more. XD

Verification is hungry

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My program says 50,059
NaNo's site says 49,456

Writing more words, I am.

November 27th, 2010

Less than 2k to go!

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48,560 words down. :)

Alexis and Jordan drifted off but that's okay, Christian and Matt picked up the slack. I think I have another scene with the boys that might finish me off in terms of word count. The actual story needs heavy editing, but that's not surprising. NaNo is not for finishing a polished story, it's for getting a rough draft down.

November 26th, 2010

When you're stuck, add characters

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Thanks to Lexie and Jordan I made it to 46055 tonight.

Paula had little to do with it, and Matt, Cory, and Christian even less, but they did their little parts and Christian and Matt may be taking over tomorrow if I get stuck again.

November 24th, 2010

Might need a day off

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My hands are really sore today, but I still managed to get to 41,812 words.

I also started a dog sweater. It's for a small dog and I'm already a couple inches into it. I think the pattern dramatically overestimated the yardage required, but I won't know until I finish it. If I don't need the second skein they over estimated.

November 22nd, 2010

Only 10k left....

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And sadly, I know at least half of this will be ripped out in editing.

40,098 words

Today's segment brought to you by Sam's creepy stalker of a neighbor. I need to think of a way to keep that poor woman from going home because that guy is seriously creeping me out.

November 21st, 2010

Weekend progress

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I totally forgot to update yesterday. I had a nice car trip and lunch out and still managed to write some and get to 36,686 words.

Today I reached 38,391 words. I'm still two days ahead and I hope to get to 40k tomorrow.

Knitting catch up time. )

November 18th, 2010

Errands done, Hair is cut, Writing... went

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I think I am out of steam. I hope I think of something to write tomorrow.


Still two days ahead, no loss of buffer today either, but I really had hoped to be at 35k tonight. Oh well, if I do figure out what to write tomorrow I can try for 36k which will close enough to 36,667 that I might push for it if I have the time.

No matter what I do tomorrow though I must go out and take down the wind chimes outside my window. We have had snow and I've spotted ice forming on them this afternoon. That section where they hang is prone to becoming a very large icicle every winter so the chimes have to come in.

November 17th, 2010


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Sick today. Hands hurt. Wrote anyway.

1750 words, which is less than I have been but more than yesterday. My total is now 31,860 which is still two days ahead of schedule.

I'm still not feeling the love for this story, but I do like the characters at least. Except maybe Peyton, he's a prissy ass and doesn't get along with Vince.


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I totally did not feel like writing today. I didn't knit either. Frankly I don't know what I did today other than talk to Mom on the phone and that wasn't a very long call (for us).

Anyway, only made it to 30,110 which was just 1084 words for the day, not even the NaNo standard of 1667. I'm still two days ahead though, but only 3443 words in the buffer now rather than 4026.

But! At the end of the last scene I wrote I pulled the names of four new characters out of the air. Yes, this means I have nine named characters to chase around, though I don't expect these new four to be major players. For one thing, other than Director Elizabeth Riedel I have no clue what they do, other than be generic federal level law enforcement types. Basil Ericson will probably need a good manly nickname if anyone needs to call him anything other than Ericson. Peyton Nibbe has me pulling my hair already and I at least think I have an idea of what he does. I think he's going to be a problem when I get him and Vince in the same room, competing professionals I suspect.

The one that has me most interested though, is Logan McGregor. When I was trying to find her given name she told me she was named after her grandmother's family (Logan was Grandma's maiden name). It was a ploy to curry favor with the rich relative and it worked, for Logan. She gets an allowance from her Grandmother, and has a fat trust fund waiting for her to turn thirty.

Logan is actively chatty at me, which is a pleasant change from the other characters. Well other than Vince, Vince sort of had a meltdown on me and got me ahead of schedule with his internal freak out.

November 16th, 2010

Still chugging

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4026 words ahead now.

The urge to take a day off is strong. However it's pretty nice to have a buffer of a couple days, and if I can keep this up for another day or two I'll be three days ahead.

Obviously 30k is close now, that's the goal for the 18th and I'll hit that tomorrow unless I totally flake out. I've been doing about 2k a day so 31k would be logical for tomorrow, however the goal for the 19th is 31,667 so I might try to push for that instead.

Assuming I can force myself to write. I just really don't want to write this year, I'd rather be knitting.

November 15th, 2010

Slogging along

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27,032 / 3698 words ahead

I'm getting burned out on this. I like each character individually. I like them together. Unfortunately at this point it feels like it would be more interesting to write about them going out for pizza beer, and bowling. Which, considering I don't bowl, would not be very interesting.

The story should be changing location tomorrow though, and the group is splitting up. One thing my other NaNo stories has taught me is that splitting a group and tracking the splinters makes the word count easier to reach. When I get bored with one group I can hop to the other. Here's hoping that trend continues this year.

November 13th, 2010

Half way there!

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That is two days ahead of schedule. :)

Kyle, the big muscle-y computer geek makes lace for a hobby (knit and crochet). XD

So close

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But I didn't make it to 23,334 before midnight. I could say it was because I spent half the day being sick but really, I could have written instead of getting three rows done on my shawl and finishing a slipper.

23,009 isn't so bad though. I guess I better be sure to get to 25k tomorrow then. :)
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