Camp NaNoWriMo 2016

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been blogging for fifteen years. That’s over half my life, and I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around that.

What I forgot to mention (and half the reason I wrote that post in the first place, oops) is that I have about a page of blog post ideas and almost as many separate post ideas in progress, many of them stagnating to the point where I forgot what was actually supposed to go in a given post. Oops.

Fortunately, Camp NaNoWriMo is upon us. Since I seem to have better luck with projects that aren’t fiction, I’m giving myself a deadline for writing some of those posts. That’s right. Writing more material for this site is my Camp NaNoWriMo project, so this site will be active once again.

That doesn’t mean you’ll see all these posts at the same time. Far from it. I plan on scheduling these posts, so you’ll continue to see about a post a week on average until I run out of ideas. This is particularly important for November NaNo and the weeks leading up to it, since the one month of the year when people are paying attention to me is the one month of the year I don’t have time to take advantage of that attention. Funny how that works.

I’ll be back at the official @NaNoWordSprints Twitter throughout the month, along with some other fabulous Wrimos and volunteers, to lead writing sprints and get you across your goal finish line. Join us there and watch your word count rise!

And a very happy Camp NaNoWriMo to everyone! Write, write, write!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What are you working on?


Alumnae Weekend, Camp NaNoWriMo, and Life Update

It’s May, and that means lots of things are happening.

Camp NaNoWriMo was a bust, with my total word count on the new Wrimonia novel a lovely 2004 words. Come on, I couldn’t write ten more for 2014 or cut two words for the palindrome 2002? Still, despite the extra time I had later in the month, I spent that time on other projects, like other writing and code and reading.

Alumnae Weekend (the real one, not just the math bowl) went okay. I’m indifferent toward the idea of school reunions to start with. While I’d never go to my high school reunion for multiple reasons, I do like many of the people I went to college with. Problem is, the nature of such a reunion means most of the people you talk to are the people you were friends with while there. As someone who floated around social circles for most of her life, this was awkward. Add in the fact that some of these folks are people I wish I had gotten to know better and now we’re adults and that ship has sailed. Still, between vegan brunch and Waffle House at 2am and a secret party and a stolen songbook, I had a good enough time.

My Knee. Oh, the knee. See, my alma mater’s campus has a few very climbable trees. I passed these trees on the way back from my class party to the big college shindig celebrating the 125th anniversary of the college. And what did I do in my nice dress? Climb one of the trees, of course. Because why wouldn’t I?

This didn’t work out too well. I tried walking on the branch and fell out. Luckily (?) I landed on my feet, but then I decided it would be a good idea to try again. And again! I repeated this cycle a few times, landing on my feet every time until giving up and going to the fancy shindig. I thought nothing of this while getting dragged on the dance floor and going to Waffle House afterward. But the next morning my knee hurt. I hobbled to the kitchen for breakfast, pain in every step. I dreaded standing and hoped this injury would go away because knee injuries, in general, aren’t a good thing.

Thankfully it did. I stayed off my feet most of the week and by Thursday I resumed a mostly normal gait. I took the stairs! And took out the trash! I could probably take a long walk now, but for safety’s sake I’m giving it another day or two before doing so. Because you never know.

I’m also close to beating Pokemon Black. Well, not including all the postgame stuff. And wow. Pokemon Black/White is phenomenal. Seriously, if you like Pokemon (or even if you just liked it a kid), go play it if you haven’t already. I need to do a little more grinding before the very last fight, but that’s no big deal.

And the next post or two will probably be another book review post now that I’ve accumulated a good number, along with a tea post. Get excited.


Camp NaNoWriMo is almost here

Camp NaNoWriMo, the lightweight, set-your-own-goal and work on whatever you want version of National Novel Writing Month, starts on Tuesday. Eek! I’ve had mixed luck with Camp NaNoWrimo, mostly because I try to edit during camp and then fail miserably. This year I do have a new idea to write from scratch, so I’m hoping for a win.

What is that idea, you ask? Funny you should ask. I’m considering a third Wrimonia novel. (Haven’t read the other two? Go fix that.

Adventures in Wrimonia: Mia Goes to Camp

Mia Wonnor has never gone to camp before. She’s also never done Camp NaNoWriMo. But when April comes around and Mia finds several unfinished novels taking over, Camp NaNoWriMo looks like a great chance to complete both at once. With Wrimos from all over the world sharing cabins and working on any creative project they want, creativity is in the air at Camp NaNoWriMo. Mia is ready to finish all the novels and maybe decide which one she wants to edit.

The problem is, conflict is in the air. Just as with any camp, there are cabinmate conflicts, character conflicts, and merit badges to be earned. There are nature hikes and the occasional bear. And the Block Ness Monster lurks in the lake, halting progress of anyone who dares approach…

And as always with the Wrimonia novels, I’ll be posting in installments once I’ve finished the book and fixed the typos.

You should join Mia and me at camp! It’ll be a lot of fun. I’ll be back at @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, leading some word sprints for camp for maximum word count increasing.

And if April isn’t for you, Camp will return in July for more writing fun.


Camp NaNoWriMo: Success!

I wrote word number 50,132 at around 8:30 tonight to finish Camp NaNoWriMo, and you know what that means.

Camp NaNoWriMo winner icon

That’s right. I’m a Camp NaNoWriMo winner. It was a real push to the end, but I finished with several hours to spare, and even a bug in the Camp NaNo website didn’t keep me from verifying on time thanks to Dan and Jezra fixing it before midnight in my time zone. For those who still haven’t verified yet, the bug should be fixed, so you should be able to verify if you haven’t already.

The story is finished. This is something I thought might happen before hitting 50,000 words based on the brief outline I made with 10,000 words to go, but luckily enough ideas flowed out of the brain to keep my six inches of post office receipt outline going for 10,000 more words.

The thing I’m most proud of during Camp NaNo is my 5,000 word hour. I didn’t think this would happen, but I had to try after missing the mark by roughly 200 words. So I set the timer for one hour and went to town, sliding in at 5,002 words an hour later. That one was close. It’s not something I want to do too often, though. It may seem like just a little faster than my typical word war speed, but those few extra words a minute every minute make a huge difference in my coherency.

A couple of other notes before I call Camp NaNo a wrap:

Daft Punk’s Human After All and Discovery are great magical writing albums. I wrote my first near-miss 5k hour to Discovery, which is almost exactly an hour long. Human After All is right around 45 minutes long, making it great for 45-minute writing sessions. I haven’t tested Homework because I don’t own it and because it’s almost 74 minutes long, not a very nice round writing session.

The other musical discovery is Dragonforce. A couple of people told me about them, one of them in passing. Today I was looking for good writing music and the name came up again. Grooveshark came to the rescue, queued some of Dragonforce’s music, and I wrote my 5k hour. Their music is ridiculously fast; the person who mentioned them in passing described it as speed metal. This is the kind of stuff I want to write to all the time. I’ll have to start exploring similar artists before Three-Day Novel weekend so I can have a nice big playlist of similarly fast music.

Congratulations to everyone to completed July’s Camp NaNo, and good luck to everyone doing the August session of Camp Nano! You have a fun month of writing ahead of you.


A new magical writing album?

Remember how I was going to write and write and write today? Well, a bit of back pain put a damper in that plan, so I wound up writing on my laptop in bed for a good bit of the day. If you’ve ever written in bed, you probably know that writing in bed isn’t conducive to writing at breakneck speeds, but by golly, I tried anyway. It didn’t work too well. I could write at close to my typical rate but only for a few minutes at a time. This was unacceptable, but I still managed three thousand words while lying in bed, mostly on my back with my laptop on my thighs.

Then the back pain subsided for awhile, meaning it was time to write for real. I put on the magical writing album, Shake the Sheets by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and went to town. The result? 3200 words in 40 minutes. Repeating this timing resulted in similar results but with different albums in my testing of potential magical writing albums. Now I have just over 20,000 words to write tomorrow. This is manageable. I think I can do this.

But instead of writing, let’s talk music. The two test albums were The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Hometowns and Andrew Jackson Jihad’s Can’t Maintain. Neither of these albums is very long, making them ideal for magical writing to happen; I can time word wars around the length of the album. The latter album turned out to be much better than the former for magical writing goodness. While there are some good fast songs with strong beats from Hometowns that are great for writing, it’s like Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga in that about half the songs are great for magical writing and the other half, while good songs, don’t have the magical writing vibe to them.

Can’t Maintain, on the other hand, has a lot of potential. I’ll have to give it another listen while writing tomorrow, but it may become my second magical writing album. The loud fast beats and folk punk influences make it great for my fast-paced word wars, especially since my writing tends to go more quickly if I write to faster music. The length is just right, too. At just under half an hour, I can queue the whole album, hit play, and time a half hour writing session that way. Shake the Sheets also has this advantage for a 40-minute writing session at 39:52. I can write for eight more seconds to a different song.

I’ll definitely be testing out some more candidates for magical writing albums and expanding the overall magical writing playlist before NaNo. It’ll be key for getting me through those days where I don’t want to write at all. Any candidate suggestions are welcome.