Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Imagine, if you will...

A writer in the wake of National Novel Writing Month is not a pretty picture. Imagine, if you will, a person with slightly greasy hair, wrapped in blankets that need washing, wearing an unattractive oversized turtleneck, having eaten an ungodly amount of little candy-coated chocolates and typing sporadically while watching silly videos on YouTube. You would have imagined me at this moment.

The good news is that I friggin' won NaNoWriMo. 50,006 words, baby! The cheering of the victory video by the OLL was recorded especially for me! 

However, as noted above, I'm usually a mess in the aftermath of NaNo. What usually happens is my writing drops off for several months. It's a trend that I've noted for both of my previous Novembers and I intend to avoid it this year. Fortunately, I have an idea that I'm excited about (it involves princesses and hedgehogs!). I think that excitement will help my productivity level from diving off a cliff this December. 

Another thing I'm trying out is Reverb10, a blog challenge someone in my NaNo buddies recommended. Yet another thing to keep my muse from hiding under the bed for months. Plus, I have a bunch of scribbled notes and ideas for blog entries if not short stories, so I think that I could actually fend off the dreaded post-NaNo shlump. 

One last meme entry:

Day 30 - Share a link to either your NaNo profile or a location on the internet where your story can be found.  If someone offered to beta read for you, would you be willing to do the same for them during the subsequent editing process?
Actually, here's a place you can read all three of my previous NaNo novels: Scorpion and Sandman ('08) Dirt Queen ('09) and this year's Glass and Salt

As of this writing, Dirt Queen and Salt and Glass aren't fully uploaded, but they will be very soon. Right now, I just want to dive into the pile of library books I've been ignoring for weeks and watch some more Tin Man (which I started yesterday and which probably is the reason I was writing all the way up to November 30).

To be truly honest, I don't think I'm going to be editing this sucker any time soon, so a beta reader would not be necessary. I'm perfectly willing to beta for anyone interested though, as long as they're willing to work with a full-time student, part-time kennel worker's schedule.

I are a winner! *whoot*

Monday, November 29, 2010

Something like thirty-six hours left...

Blah... Somebody shoot me, please. My short story for Creative Writing is due in two hours and I'm just now sort of kind of getting to it, moving some previously-written stuff around and trying to frame it with a second narration. And it sucks. It sucks so badly. I wish I could change it, but I've already sort of committed to this story. I can only hope that either a) no one else remembers today is the due date (it would not be a first for this class) and we can postpone turning it in or b) I actually get the thing done in two hours and it isn't as bad as I think. But, for serious, I hate this friggin' story.

The only good news is that I finally got the characters to age up into sixteen year-olds.

My NaNo on the other hand, despite having given me grief the entire month, is back (sort of) on my good side. I sort of kind of have finally gotten around to the character's motivations, discovering meaning behind their actions and whatnot. Sort of. Still a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. In mere hours... *hyperventilates*

Just two more meme entries to go!

Day 29 - Name one thing in which you indulged as a treat to keep yourself motivated and writing that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.
You know, I indulged in lot of things this month that I don't normally do, but none of them were really writing-centric. I think the only thing I really did to get myself writing were 1) to promise myself that I would write my hedgehog story if I made my word counts every day (and that didn't really happen) and 2) I climbed a mountain about mid-month to novel at the top. It was more to just say I had done that than to bribe myself into writing.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

P to the R to the OCRASTINATION...

Yeah, I really need to be writing. Like, a short story for English that's sort of due tomorrow, but was pushed off and forgotten in the hectic-tasticness that is NaNo this year. And it sucks. I mean, really. It's what comes of having to write a genre that I never write in, namely, genre-less writing. "Literary" fiction. I suck at it. I create this box in my head and have such a hard time crawling out of it. And I am trapped in this box with two six year old characters who refuse to let me let them grow up. I mean, how do you handle six year olds who are in "like" with each other?

And the rubber duck. Oh, the rubber duck, how I hate it.

Look at its beady little eyes.

I think Scrubs is going to die. Actually, I'm certain of it. What I'm not sure of is how his father is going to react to it. I mean, he has a one-shot pistol. I said that specifically. He's already fired his one shot. So how is he going to shoot Scrubs again to kill him? And how is he going to react afterwards? How is Ian going to react? Gah... Here's hoping I can wrap it up in just over 9k words.

Day 28 - Name one thing you shafted all month in favor of participating in NaNo.
That short story I was talking about before. (Funny how these meme questions seem to be corresponding to what I'm talking about. I don't plan it, I swear.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Less than ten thousand to go...

I'm in the home stretch. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do this. But now I am!

I just had Scrub's own father shoot him. Why would I do that? I'm not even sure if he's going to die yet or not. I mean, he's the doctor, so who's going to fix him? And I already had one character get non-fatally shot. Two might be pushing it. I don't know. I don't really know what made do that, beyond perhaps the arguable temporary insanity brought on by Write or Die sessions.

To paraphrase Mr. Smith:
"Meme, meme, meme..."

Day 27 - What’s your word count now?  Are you satisfied with your progress or panicked that you won’t have enough time to finish by November 30?
As of this writing, I am at 40,315, after making a crazy turn around in the past two days. Not super happy with my progress, but certainly fairly certain that I will finish in time. At least, I'll make it to 50k. Whether or not this story will manage to wrap itself up is an entirely different matter (see the above note about the shooting of Scrubs).

In other news, I saw Disney's Tangled today. I liked it, but the flaws that did exist kinda really bothered me. I just want a good fairy-tale movie, people! How hard is that? Perhaps more details will come later...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Being held back from writing by writing...

So, there's only four days of NaNo left. I'm about 7k words behind what I should be for this particular time in November, but I swear I will make it. This resolution is helped by the fact that I've been crazily typing, which goes much, much faster than handwriting. (I really do think I could have done this by hand if only I hadn't been quite so busy/lazy this year. Last year it would have been a pushover, handwriting and all.)

Anyway, I feel as though my creative energy is being stifled by NaNo. There is so much I want to be doing, but I have to be NaNoing. And on the one hand, I resent this, and on the other hand, I almost appreciate it. After all, it's only a month and you have to practice disciplining yourself sometimes.

Been reading The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. I've found that there are two kinds of writing advice that I like: the snarky, vicious and personal (Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, "TERRIBLEMINDS" a blog by Chuck Wendig) and the tranquil, almost-New Age (The Right to Write, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg). And I get through the tranquil, almost-New Age by balancing it out with the snarky, vicious and personal. All of them often have the same things to say, just different ways of saying it.

Seriously, I have so much I want to be writing. Scribbled rants, blog posts, essays, stories, scripts, poetry... I want to make words! Curse you, NaNo, and your guilt-inducing word count deadlines!

On that note, more of the meme:

Day 23 - Do animals play any part in your story?  If so, how do they add to it?
I have goats. Mostly because I needed a source of milk. Because fae apparently hate milk in my novel.
Day 24 - Is religion featured in your novel at all?  If so, which ones?  If it’s/they’re your own creations, describe it/them and how it/they play(s) a part in your characters’ lives.
Meh, not really.  I'm sure there is religion in these people's societies, but it hasn't come up in my novel.
Day 25 - What are the names of at least two of your main characters?  How did you choose their names?
Chevy Lancer and Ian Woon.

"Lancer" was originally supposed to be Chevy's part in the story (based on this trope) and I really like the name "Chevrolet".

"Mr. Ian Woon" is an anagram of "NaNoWriMo". I needed a name, someone on the internet was far more clever than I, and so a throwaway-character-turned-main was christened.
Day 26 - Was any research involved (historical or otherwise) in your NaNo prep? 
"Research"? We have not this word in my country.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ventilation is your friend until it becomes hyper...

Yeah, it sort of sunk in that there's only eight days left of NaNo and I'm at maybe 28k. I have dropped my commitment to handwriting and have instead simply committed to finishing.

But, before that, just so I don't get any further behind on another commitment, heeeeeeere's me-me!

Day 18 - Who is the antagonist in your novel?  What drives their actions?
 Erm, that's still up in the air right now. Bluejay? I think? Mainly he's driven by his personality as a fae, that he wants something and will not stop until he gets it. It's just how they operate. Though, once he gets what he wants, he's likely to decide that it's not quite as interesting as he thought and forget about it. And when that thing is a person, that's not so hot.
Day 19 - Which authors or books have inspired your own writing the most, and why?
Erm again, I'd say probably Jack London and Bruce Coville, mainly because they were the ones who really made me think I could write. I was obsessed with Jack London for the longest time as he introduced me to wooden ships, iron men and the freeze-your-tush-off landscape of the Klondike and the adventures therein. Bruce Coville was a final push into the idea that I myself could indeed write an epic fantasy. At like, age eleven.
Day 20 - If you could meet one fictional character from any book you’ve ever read, who would it be, and why?
Wow. Erm for the third time... I'm going to have to take a rain check.
Day 21 - With about 10 days left to this arguably traumatic experience, what are your plans and goals for your novel, should you successfully complete it?
Blah! Eight days now. I honestly don't know if much is going to happen with this novel. It's more of just a purging than a serious project like my '08 novel was. Speaking of which...
Day 22 - If you’ve participated in or won NaNo before, what happened to your other novel efforts?  Still in the revision process/querying publishers/scrapped it immediately/etc.
'08 is still in editing. It has been in the same stage of editing for about a year and a half now, but I don't want to abandon it. It's probably the piece of writing that is the closest to being called my "baby".

'09 was a bit more NaNo-ish and so would have to have a lot more changed to even make it begin to be plausible as the story is intended to be, and I don't actually like it as much, so it's sort of a shelved thing.

Been using Write or Die madly and have about a thousand words for the day so far under my belt. I intend to at least put three more ten-minute sessions under my belt before the day is out.

Dear Bruce Coville...

originally written Wednesday, September 15, 2010
posted here for illustration of this point

Dear Bruce Coville,

You don't know me, but I have been a fan of your books since I was around ten or eleven. I understand you're well-known for your quirky books like My Teacher is an Alien, but I'll admit I've only ever read your fantasy work, such as the Magic Shop series. I loved loved loved Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. But the work that has influenced me the most has been The Unicorn Chronicles.

There were only two books, Into the Land of Unicorns and Song of the Wanderer, when I first discovered Chronicles. I searched in vain for more, since it was obvious the story was meant to continue. I asked librarians. I used my abysmal internet skillz to see if you had died or had given up or if I was just stupid and the library lacking. But to no avail.

Years went by. Then, one day a year or two ago, I happened across the third volume in the series. Eagerly, I snapped it up and read it in scant hours. 

Years more went by until yesterday, when I was deliberately combing the shelves and found the fourth volume. I snapped that up too and stayed up until one in the morning finishing it. I was exhausted today in my early-morning class, but having finished a beloved series from my childhood was well worth the hours of lost sleep.

In the letter before the fourth volume, you mention that you started the series in 1991, the same year I was born. I discovered the books at about ten or eleven, meaning that the books I read were at least several years old. Having looked it up, the first was published in '94, the second in '01, third '08 and fourth just this year in '10. This series has taken my entire lifetime to be published.

I am one of the readers you mention in your letter who started reading the series in childhood, have since grown up, and yet were still wanting you to finish the series. I noticed too that your books seemed to grow up too. The series went from a simple escapist story of a girl going into the land of unicorns that was perfect for my younger self, to an epic with its own take on myth and legend, dealing with mature themes like death and love and family, that was a very satisfying read for my present self. I was able to enjoy the work as much for itself as for its nostalgic value. And for that, I thank you, even if it took you nineteen flippin' years to get the darn thing out.

~ a fan

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When in doubt...

...give your character a mental illness. Which gives us a segue into the catch-up memes:
Day 15 - Do any of your characters have a disability or mental illness?  If so, how does that affect their development throughout your story?
If I had actually done this particular meme entry on the actual day 15 of NaNo, the answer would have been "no" (well, maybe the zombies, but there's a lot wrong with them), but today, that all changed.

I think Virginia is going to turn out to be crazy-nuts, based on her traumatic experiences. Most of her backstory is a hallucination and the resolution of the story is now going to be about trying to save her from herself and Bluejay, rather than trying to heal the zombie-fied children. Because there wasn't a way to save the zombie-fied children.
Day 16 - At around the half-way point, it bears mentioning that most of us wrimos have other obligations beside simply hitting that elusive word count.  What else do you have going on in your life (work, school, children, neurotic pets, etc.), and just how much are you shafting it to win NaNo?
School, work, sleep. Sleep is getting a shorter end of the stick, but mostly it's been NaNo losing out this year.
Day 17 - In what time period is your novel set?  Is it in this world or another?
Eh, I'd say a slightly alternate version of this world (y'know, to accommodate the fairies) somewhere in the future, after some sort of world-wide near-apocalypse.

Still behind, but feeling good now that I have a slightly more definite resolution in mind. Still gotta figure out how Ian's going to play back in, but we'll see if he redeems himself or not.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm back...

Fiction is an exploration of non-fiction concepts. Every time I learn something interesting in a class, my first thought is how I can apply it to a story.

At least I'm thinking of something I can apply school to. Sometimes.

Sometimes I wonder what my fiction, or even my non-fiction like my blog posts, is contributing to the world. But at least I always know what the things I learn can be contributed to. (Though if I'm confused about what contribution I am making, then what does contributing to my confused contributions do for anyone?)
Thinking too hard about stuff again instead of writing. Had a crazy long work-weekend, so got maybe a total of a thousand or so words in. Currently at 18,042 when I should be at least at 23,338. That's about 5200 words I need to make up. Blah.

Day 12 - Imagine you’re behind in your word count goals (even if you’re not) and are going to pull an all-nighter to catch up.  Screencap a playlist of inspirational music you would use to get you up to speed.
Lulz. I'm actually behind, but the thought of an all-nighter would just about kill me right now, having had maybe a total of twelve hours of sleep in the last four days.  That said, pics!

Day 13 - Name a male character from your novel.  Describe him through the point of view and words of the female character you introduced in question 3 (if they never interact, pick another female character).
"'Scrubs' isn't even a proper name. He doesn't even deserve it anymore anyway. People who loved him gave him that name. But he doesn't deserve it.

He's bigger than Chevy. Thicker, younger. Brasher. Doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut. He's going to get himself in trouble."
Day 14 - Is the sexuality of your characters a large part of your novel’s story?  If so, are there characters who deviate from the heterosexual “norm”?  In what way?
Not really, beyond the main couple being married and the secondary couple being attracted to one another. More just "boy loves girl" than any statement on sexuality.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reality can be boring...

I think the reason I have so much trouble with "realistic" fiction is because I "know" something of reality and I feel a compulsion to "write what I know".

Problem is, what I know is boring. I'm a young college student, growing up fairly compliant as a child, with no list of sordid childhood romances or any particularly eccentric adults or friends in my life. Plus, because I am so close to the details of my life, they are hard to make special without sounding saccharine and pretentious to my own ears.

I know, one of the skills of a writer is finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, but it's something I have to work on.

No man is an island; I am no man...

This meme is brought to you by the number eleven and by the letters P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N:

Day 11 - Ever tried collaborative writing (such as play-by-post roleplaying)?  If so, what do you think of it?
Tried it once. We kept it up for several thousand words, but it eventually just sort of flagged, probably due to my inexperience in the whole thing and our lack of communication.

I can't say I'd do it again. As much as my characters tend to run away with the story, their motivations are always in hand, or at least in my head, even if I don't know what they're going to do with them. To let someone else be handling motivations of characters makes it too much like real life, where you don't know what other people are thinking.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And Zoidberg...

Day 10 - How does your love of writing manifest in non-NaNo months?

Lots of writing.  Lots of writing about writing. Lots of thinking about writing. Lots of writing about thinking about writing. 

And whining. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's been turning around...

I went from being nearly 5k words behind to being only 1500 words behind, and I'm not done writing for the day. And that's on top of the frame of my bed breaking, necessitating a near-complete rearrangement of my room. And horrible traffic on the way to and from class. Yeah, I'm pretty much awesome.

I meme at you quickly:

Day 9 - Have you told anyone else you’re doing NaNo this year?  Who?  What was their reaction?
Told most of my family, as well as a few friends. I've done NaNo before and told them before, so their reactions were mostly "Oh that thing again". A few friends that had never heard of it before were like "Zomigosh, you're insane" in the most flat monotone possible. General excitement and support. There's a reason I hang out with these people.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turn around, baby, turn around...

Yes, I intend to turn around my progress for NaNo. Really quickly.

Barely wrote a word over the weekend. I blame work and sleep. Also head colds. Seriously, never feel really happy about how you're the only person in your family who hasn't been sick yet. You will immediately get kicked in the head with congestion. Like, literally, within hours. And you will suffer through your shift at work and then immediately go home and crash.

So yeah.

Currently, I'm not sure what my total word count is. Last official typed up count is 7491, but there's some more to be typed up after that. Needless to say, however, I'm still behind by a bit. But I intend to change that with some hardcore writing today (while dosed up with painkillers and decongestant, so we'll see how that goes) and tomorrow's write-in.

Did take the time to write up about a page of rambling for my princess hedgehog story and it's going to sit on the back burner until December methinks. Or I might use it a bit as rewards for myself after reaching word count goals: "Make it this far and you can dabble in another story for a while." Bribing, even bribing yourself, works wonders.

To continue this brief stint of procrastination, however:

Day 7 - Where’s your favorite place to hunker down and write?
My bed. Seriously, with my notebook, I can be laying on my side and writing comfortably up near my head. It lets me nap - er, I mean write without having to expend much energy. Yay for laziness! Plus there are blankets and since I am in the basement and it is the middle of fall, it's one of the warmest places I could be most of the time.
Day 8 -List your current, most up-to-date word count.  Are you satisfied with your progress thus far?
Listed above: 7491 is my most current offical count. And no. No, I'm not.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's happening again...

NaNoWriMo does this thing. I get really excited about an idea, anticipate writing it all of October, then November comes and the idea just doesn't seem as awesome as I originally thought. And a few days into that idea, when I've made a respectable amount of progress on it, I suddenly get a new idea, one that I think is a thousand times better than what I am currently writing.

Mainly it seems to be because all of my NaNo novels seem to come out angsty. I don't mean them to, but they do. In contrast, the shiny!new idea this year has a premise of anything but.

"Once upon a time, there was a hedgehog who dreamed of becoming a princess."

Yes, I went there. Basically, running with a long-established want to write a "fairy tale princess" story (seriously, I have notes from months and months back) and my recent binge of Princess Tutu (finished it, loved it, though bittersweet ending to the max), I actually have a decent idea for how this story would go. And I really want to write it.

But I think I'm going to just scribble everything I have in mind about it down now and then get on with my NaNo for this month. Then December will be waiting with a shiny!new idea already in place to distract me from the editing that I so sorely need to do.

Continuing the memetastic(ness)!

Day 6 - What is your one biggest stressor related to forcing yourself to write at least 50,000 words in a span of 30 days?
Turning off my inner editor. After having won NaNo two years in a row, I now know I am capable of doing it. The idea of writing 50,000 words in a month is, while still a challenge, no longer a daunting near-impossibility, so my inner editor pokes its head and demands that I actually put an effort towards story-telling. After all, if I'm not spending my time panicking about whether or not I can make word count, then I should be spending my time panicking about something else.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chugging on...

Day 5 - Name two songs from your playlist that you feel are connected with your novel in some way, and explain how they are.
This is one of the questions I was both looking forward to and dreading. Looking forward to because I could plug some great pieces of music. Dreading because I rarely have songs that actually relate to my novel in my playlist. They usually just are songs that I like to listen to while I write.

However, this year, there is one song that immediately demanded it be about my novel. Thing is, it isn't actually on my playlist. I just have it in the back of my mind that it describes my novel quite well.

How You Remind Me by Nickelback. I don't listen to a lot of Nickelback, but this song came on the radio one time at work and as I actually listened to the lyrics, it describes the projected relationship between Bluejay and Suli (now possibly named Virginia... I'm not sure yet who Virginia is... ah NaNo) so well.

Zelos ~ serious arrangement ~ from the Tales of Symphonia soundtrack is one of those songs that doesn't actually have much to do with my novel per se, but it captures a particular mood that I really like. Plus I love the game and knowing where this piece of music plays in that game brings up another swell of emotion that is perfect for bits of the story.

My characters got out of that mess they were in, in a fairly believable manner, I think. I mean, it by all rights should have ended in their deaths, but Bluejay's introduction was enough to save the day. It came earlier than I meant it to, but it seems to be working thus far.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whining is never the answer...

Writing, however, usually is.

Currently, my characters are doing something really stupid. I mean, really stupid. By all rights, they should die right now, that's how stupid what they're doing is. I mean, they're in a situation where the only real outcome should be that they die. I mean, they are professionals. What did they go and do a thing like that for? They knew what they were doing,so why'd they do it?

Yeah, but if they die, I'm not sure how the rest of the characters' situations are going to be resolved. But they really should die. So they might. But they might not.

Anyway, meme time!

Day 2 - What’s the title of your story?  Why did you choose the name you did?
Well, the temp title is City of Glass Eggs, which actually has nothing to do with the projected story at all. I just picked it because my novel has cities in it and glass in it and I like the words "glass" and "eggs". They sound cool. Yeah, other than that, there is no reason and hopefully I'll come up with something better before too long.
Day 3 - Pick one of your female characters.  Introduce your readers to her, from her point of view and her words only.
"I'm Mel."
Day 4 - What genre is your novel?  Why did you pick it?
Erm, the best way I could sum it up would be something like "dystopian fantasy". The premise is "fairies meets zombies" basically, so... yeah. It happened that way because I had an idea once upon a time for a "fae meets girl" story,with a setting possibly in the Seelie Court. Soon afterward, I saw Terminator: Salvation and due to my propensity to emulate other works that I have read, I decided to try to set that story in a post-apocalyptic world. The nuclear fall-out zones would be like the fae's forest and so on and so forth. The zombies came in when I decided that really not-good things happen to the children that the fae kidnap and then forget about.

Anyway, don't have my word count for today yet, but as of yesterday, I was at 5858. On track despite handwriting everything, spending way too much time listening to music for the NaNo CD swap and having had a really bad day yesterday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No internet access for the win...

Yes, I missed blogging here yesterday. I did, however, actually write a blog entry. It was just for somewhere else. I posted it there and updated my word count. And then my laptop died.

It's what comes of letting your brother use your laptop for over an hour at a write-in with no outlet access and then not being able to charge it until the next day.

Yes, I went to my first write-in last night and it was marvelous. Barring the lack of outlets in our corner of teh bookstore (which didn't really bother me, seeing as how I am trying to entirely handwrite this year's novel... my hand weeps), it was really great. The Christmas music was odd (I mean, just two days after Halloween, and they played two Muppet versions of Christmas carols within an hour of each other), but somehow it really got me in a writing mood. The little spurts of conversation followed by periods of silent writing were something I've never done before. It was nice.

The best moment was right at the beginning when I arrived. I sat down and there was still the awkward atmosphere brought on by a strange newcomer when I accidentally ripped the ribbon bookmark from my notebook. It apparently just hadn't been glued on very well, since it just came out with no damage to the book itself.

The instant outpouring of genuine sympathy was amazing. I had five people, complete strangers all, commiserating and reassuring me that it was okay to feel the loss keenly, since writerly bling is precious.

It was wonderful. And to make up for the loss of my cheap ribbon, I got a priceless NaNoWriMo bookmark provided by the lovely OLL for write-in locations around the world. I luffs it.

Current wordcount (without having written yet today at all): 4247

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm a terrible NaNoer...

Reasons why:

1) First of all, I call us "NaNoers", whereas the official term by OLL seems to be "Wrimos". Terrible.

2) I didn't stay up until midnight as planned. I got until 10 pm and just crashed. Probably had to do with having woken up at 5 that morning.

3) I should be writing my 1667 words and instead I am blogging the below meme.

4) Meme time! Gotten from here: 

Day 1 - Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before?  If so, which years and what end result?  If not (or even if so, for that matter), what’s your connection to writing?  Why do you want to participate this year?

Yes, I've participated in NaNo before. 2008 was my first year and first win (writing Scorpion and Sandman, still one of my most favorite things I've ever written, even if it is a big steaming pile of unedited fail right now), 2009 was last year and my second win (writing Dirt Queen, which was cool, but not as cool as I would have liked). So now I'm going three-for-three!

Writing just is. I don't know how to describe why I do it.

Participation in NaNo is something I don't even question anymore, even though it's only been two years. It's less "Why would I do NaNo?" and more "Why wouldn't I do NaNo?".

Doing a lot of handwriting right now, so I don't have a legit wordcount yet, but my first four words are "Once upon a time". I'm not expecting any record-breaking wordcounts from myself for the first few days, due to Real Life having quite a few obligations it demands I look into, but as long as I crank out the 1667 words every day for the next few days, I'll be happy.