Pre Nano Freak Out

So there are always loads of voices in my head, pulling me in different directions and begging me to tell their stories. Seriously. Being a writer should carry a DSM diagnosis some days because I’m honestly not always sure that all these voices are coming from me. Gin would say that she is the loudest, with Sath a close second – but then there are the Proud Racers and the Clobberpaws and the Baskervilles and, and, and… It gets a little out of control in there.

Autumn is here and finally the weather is cooperating – I have worn a scarf to work all three days so far this week! With fall comes another opportunity for sleep deprivation and fast food/coffee binging: NaNoWriMo. Long-time Lettuce Readers know that I have been a nano fanatic since my first foray into 50K in 30 days way back in 2010. Don’t tell Gin, but it probably does mean that her voice is the loudest – she was there in 2010 and has been for all my nano “wins” in the eight years since.

This time I had planned to focus my nano-ing on the second in my Clobberpaws series – now that we have both Willow and another Irish Wolfhound, Ciaragh, it just seems right – but that story is moving more in spurts than the slow, steady chaos that marks my other projects. I had just about decided to return to Orana next month, focusing on a backstory novella for a character – Tairn is jumping up and down and waving her hands madly, as are Elys and Hack – when an idea popped into my head during a class I was interpreting yesterday. Without disclosing too much, this project is my exploration of meta – a play being performed that mirrors a real live event happening to the players – and because it is me you KNOW there will be supernatural something or another involved.

By the end of my lunch hour (aka sanctioned noveling time at the workplace), I had a plot outline, a cast of 11 characters, and an older piece of work that I could insert as a prelude or prologue for this… this… whateveritis. There are actors and Deaf characters and interpreters. So, away we go with the normal “Pre Nano Freak Out” which seems to be morphing into a “Pre Nano Planning Session.”

Y’all – there are bulleted lists and reference materials, and this is not about Orana or elves or anything like that. Who am I?

(Shut it, Gin.)

13…is the magic number…

Hard at Work…

Some people fear the number 13.  I don’t.  Not today at least.  There are 13 more Mondays that I will have to get out of bed at the absolute butt crack of dawn to drive in to Clemson for work before summer break.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job.  But I do hate that it isn’t in Greenville, the city that I love, the city that I moved back from the UK to be a part of, the city that has the most beautiful skyline I’ve ever seen, even at ten minutes to seven in the morning when the sun glints off the windows of the SunTrust building…

The last post I made here talked about how I entered Proud Racer: An American Greyhound in Yorkshire in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  Well, didn’t even make it past the first round of cuts, but that’s okay, really.  Mostly.  Yeah, okay, it sucked, but it wasn’t at all a surprise.  If for no other reason, my Proud Racer books are hard to categorize because I didn’t write them with a specific reading level in mind.  My niece, Mary Catherine, has read them and loves them and she’s 10, but to be fair her reading level is much higher than her age.

And I don’t say that because I’m her favourite Auntie.  Not.One.Bit.

Right now the #WIP (because I’m hip like that and on Twitter and What.Not.) or Work In Progress is more Everquest fan fiction.  I am looking at it as good practice for “real writing” but I’m finding it to be escapism bordering on addiction, if I’m honest.  The four guys that I played EQ with were amazing, and it was, to quote the man that breathed life into Sathlir Clawsharp (one of my characters), a perfect storm that all of us got together and started playing together.  I miss it.  I miss us.  But the characters in the WIP are not the guys I played with all those nights.  They have transcended those human operators and I fall more in love with each of them with every scene that gets written.

Why can’t I do this for a living?  Ugh.

Right, enough of that.  The point is that I’m writing, and I’m looking forward to Camp Nanowrimo in April and…August?  and then Nanowrimo proper in November.  I’ll be writing with the ABNA in mind this time, so maybe come next January I’ll be ready to submit a better manuscript and better pitch.

Anyway, ♪13…13 is the magic number…yes it is….♪ (apologies to Schoolhouse Rock…)

Excerpt from the latest Proud Racer Novel, in progress…

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Saltaire to Bingley and the Missing Train Station

“Where can we go today, Mommy?” Daisy asked as she danced around Mommy’s feet while Mommy made cups of tea for herself and for Daddy. “Daddy said walk, where can we go walk?”

“Hey, why don’t we go to Saltaire on the train and then walk the canal back to Bingley? We can get the train home from there,” Daddy said. Mommy grinned and nodded. “Daisy, do you want to go walk along the canal?” he asked. Daisy play-bowed and danced around the kitchen. “I guess that’s a yes?” Daddy said, laughing.

“Yes! YES YES YES!” Daisy yipped, making Mommy laugh. A walk down the canal! Daisy didn’t know what a canal was but it was bound to be exciting. She thought she had been before but wasn’t sure. Soon Mommy and Daddy had sorted out Daisy’s collar and leash and they were heading down to the train station. It wasn’t raining so Mommy and Daddy decided to walk. Daisy wasn’t always thrilled with the walk down to the train because there wasn’t a lot of grass for her to walk on or sniff, and there were lots of cars.

As they turned the corner from South Street onto East Parade, Daisy caught sight of herself in the window of the Aladdin Castle indoor playland. Next to her image she saw five other dogs, all transparent and sort of jumbled on top of each other. One of them lifted his big ears and looked around at Daisy in the window. She grinned. “Hey Hunky,” she said. “I’m glad you’re here.” Hunky’s image grinned back at her and then promptly ran into Profile’s image, bumping him into Bo’s. Jeany’s image giggled as Lizzard nipped at each of the boys before they started growling at each other.

“Don’t be afraid of the cars, Daisy,” Jeany’s image said. “We’re right here with you, and Mommy and Daddy-Simon are too.” Daisy grinned and bumped Mommy’s leg with her head. Mommy ran her hand over Daisy’s head, grinning along with her.