Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo, maybe next year...

So if you can't tell by looking at my blogroll (over to your right) I follow quite a few blogs here. Most of them are writing-centered, but a few are real life friends. We're not talking about those today (sorry guys, you know I love you). No, today I'm going to talk, just a very little bit, about a project that a bunch of the writers I've met here are into.

NaNoWriMo (means National Novel Writing Month) is this great project that gets folks to write a novel. People that have been kicking around story ideas, and always wanted to write... something, are encouraged to join. It runs from November 1st through November 30th, and the participants have that time to, well... write a novel. It sounds pretty fun, and if I'd have known about it earlier, I might have even joined in. However, I am currently already writing a novel (which doesn't count because it's already started, and it's destined to me much more than 50,000 words, which is the project word count), and I will be starting revisions on The City after November 1st.

So why am I writing about it if I'm not involved? Because it's rad. If you've ever had the idea to write a novel, or even just have a story kicking around in your old skull factory, you should do this. Take the month, get something on the paper. It doesn't have to be great, the project is all about quantity, not quality. In my own writing experience, one of my biggest hurtles was learning to write daily, and I think NaNoWriMo would be a great tool to get someone started on the habit.

Want to know more?

Now onto my own stuff :)
Daily word count is still functioning properly! I think that 500 words a day is the perfect mark for my schedule, and it feels great to have forward motion every day (which is something I struggled with a lot while writing The City).

Clockwork Charlie is up to a whopping, 6,044 words! I know that doesn't seem huge, but it feels great, and it still seems like I just started. I think I'll also have a general outline to post on my WIP page soon... ish :)

I've spent all of October staying away from The City, waiting for the crits to come rolling in, and after November 1st I'll be starting revisions. Very excited to look at this story with some fresh eyes.

I think that's it, for now,
thanks for tuning in,
buh bye then

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woman Troubles, Robots, and Chapter 2!

Good morning, good afternoon, or good night (whichever it may be). How are things?

I love writing about Mac. Who is Mac, you ask? Well, Mac is the robot in Clockwork Charlie. He is her sidekick, her friend, and the only family she has left (not going in much further than that at this point I'm afraid). It really does take me back to the sci-fi and fantasy stuff I read as a kid, C.S. Lewis and L. Frank Baum... The hero always had a loyal sidekick, someone they could trust, no matter what. There's a big part of me that misses that, misses the simplicity in it. Anyhow, it's lots of fun for me, even in a more adult setting like C.C.

Writing from the perspective of a woman... Needless to say, it is very different. I've written women main characters in my short stories before, but this is already a very different venture for me. One big thing I've already come across, is trying to write about a woman's body; without seeming lecherous. I think I'm staying on the right side of the line, but only time will tell, right? ;)

I'm very proud to say that I have been able to hit my 500 word goal every day, excluding the weekend. If I am able to write on the weekends, I'll use either my Saturday or Sunday to get a 2,000 word day in.

The count thus far, is at a healthy 4,125 words. YAY! (that is not sarcasm, just in case you were wondering) I have just climbed into Chapter 2, and I'm very happy with my pace.

Mmmm, the coffee is delicious today, but my cup is empty. Time to get away from this glowy box and get a refill.

I think that's it for today,
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Friends, Word Count, and Progress

Hey you! Gee, that is a very nice shirt. Is it new?

Wow. I have to say that I loved my first Blogfest! Thanks so much to Dayana for putting it on, and thanks to everyone who visited, commented, and even became followers of my blog. It was all very exciting, and I loved being able to read all of the other stories that came out of it. You can click HERE to check those other stories out, and see Dayana's latest blog.

Can't wait to find another Blogfest as fun as Animal Writes was! :)

And now on to something completely different! (or at least, kind of, a little bit different)

Writing continues for Clockwork Charlie (of course it continues, I just started!). I'm already really enjoying this story, and am totally in love with my MC. I think that's important; caring for your MC. You're going to be taking this journey with them, helping them, and even causing them pain. So it stands to reason that if you don't care, no one else ever will (at least, it seems logical to me).

What do you think?

Now, while I wrote my first novel, I wasn't in need of a full-time job. I was able to set a word count of 2,000 a day, and meet that goal. I loved it. It was incredibly freeing (and also too freeing at times, what with all the slacking).

I no longer have that luxury. I work a full-time job, and have lots of people in my life, that are fun and beautiful and wonderful. 2,000 words a day is just not a realistic goal right now, so I'm going to shoot for 500.

So far, so good. Clockwork Charlie is now at a healthy 1.788 words (I have no definite end number, though I'm shooting for somewhere around 80,000). I'll keep you up-to-date on my progress, wish me luck and lots of coffee :)

thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Short Story, a Blogfest, and a Pizza Boy (minus the pizza boy)


So I signed up for my first ever Blogfest! You can follow the link on that there TITLE :) You really should, Dayana has a great blog, and I'm super glad to be one of her followers.

An advance warning: This is not a feel good story, and it may get a little graphic. Animal cruelty is disgusting, and I tried to be honest about that in this story.

Scent of Fear

sniff snuff sniff
This damn kennel reeks of fear, I've been smellin' it since they started bringin' in those others. First timers... ya can always pick 'em out by that smell.

I lean against the bars ta' see what's there... can't see much, but the growlin's already started. Once they catch a whiff of another dominant, the newbies always go right ta' growlin'. Most of 'em won't last though... there's just too many of us ol' timers here, and we already got the taste and scent of blood.

Once you make it past your first time... well, ya' can't ever go back.

There's a ruckus outside; a bunch of snarlin' and bangin' against the kennels. Someone got loose. Dutch'll be here any second, and whichever poor bastard is out there, well he ain't gonna make it to see the ring.


That'll be Dutch... I scoot way back in the kennel and pretend to be sleepin'.

"What the hell's goin' on in here? I'll skin you mangy bastards if you don't..." I hear him take a couple steps... there's a mean soundin' growl, then a thud and a whimper. "Well, I'll be dipped. I think you're Dallas's pooch, huh?"

Must've been Runner, then... He's a beast. I don't know what Dutch hit 'em with, but it had'ta been big, cuz Runner ain't even whimperin' anymore. Bad for Runner, but good for me. That means one less fight for the rest of us.

"The rest o' you mutts better keep yer' damn yaps shut!"


With that, Dutch is gone, just as quick as he came. The fear is even thicker in here, now, most of these dogs ain't seen Dutch before. They got no idea what he's like, or how he acts when we ain't here. He feeds me good, and even lets me sleep in the bed with him... when I win, and ain't too bloody and hurt, that is. He promised that today was gonna be my last fight. All I gotta do is win, and he won't bring me back no more. I plan on winnin'.

There's no more growlin' or barkin' now. The old timers like me are just waitin' our turn, and the newbies are too scared, too wired, too clueless to know how to act. So they just stay quiet. It's better that way anyhow.

The noise from outside is gettin' louder. They'll be makin' bets and talkin' trash like they do. Pretty soon, Dutch'll be in ta' get me. Then it'll be time ta' get ta' work. It ain't fun, and I'm older than I once was, but at least I get fed regular. Some o' these poor dogs get brought in, off the street. Hungry and tired, without any meat on 'em, but willin' to fight to stay alive.

I guess that's what we all got in common.

Then, the noise from outside gets real loud. Someone opened the door, and I'm sure it's Dutch, cuz all the others got real scared again. I can't stop my tail from waggin'. I know what's comin' next, and it makes me all jittery. My front shoulder still hurts from last time, but I don't limp or whimper. Can't let 'em see me as weak. They'd be on top of me quick, I know I would.

"Come on, Duke," says Dutch as he starts unlockin' the kennel. "It's time to show these pups how we do it."

sniff sniff

I can smell blood on him as he puts the shades over my eyes. Could be Runner's, but I don't think that's all. They've already had a few fights today, and there's always dogs that don't make it out. The thought puts me on edge, and I can't help but to start snarlin'. Don't know who I'll be fightin' today, but it's bad luck for them.

The place he pulls me to smells bad, like blood and smoke and piss. They always do. The people are already screamin', some of 'em know me and yell my name. "Duke. Duke. Duke." That's always strange, the only one I care about is Dutch, and he's right next to me.

"Okay, Duke," I can feel Dutch kneelin' next to me, "it's about time. You gotta just one this one more, ya' know."

I can smell the dog across the ring. He stinks, and I got a picture in my head of what he should look like. Big. Mean.

Dutch jerks the blinds off my head and I only have a second to look... I was right. He's huge, and he's got blood and spit hangin' like shoelaces off his face. This ain't gonna be easy.

Soon as his mask comes off, this one's on the lunge. He comes at me low and quick, just not quick enough. He means business, but he's a first timer, no doubt. He's already low and half-way turned when I snap up his back paw. He ain't frail, but I tear through his skin quick, and he starts flailin'. He's scared. This won't take long.

He turns real fast, spinnin' two or three times before I feel the bones crack. He screams loud, I see a few heads turn away. It ain't pretty, but I don't know what they were expectin' when they came here. He starts pullin' away, and I let him.

The screamin' stops, and he thinks it's over, but I didn't hear Dutch's whistle. I'm on him fast, and he's surprised. He yelps, but it only lasts a second before I feel the flesh on his throat give way.

Ahh, there's that whistle. I let go, but somethin's wrong. There are new people, and lights everywhere.

"Get down!" they holler over and over again, and folks are listenin'. Dutch won't be happy about that.

I'm spinnin' around, lookin' for Dutch when I feel somethin' go around my neck. It's a leash, and it ain't Dutch. No point in fightin'. Whoever's holdin' this thing is strong, and ain't gonna let go. I just hope Dutch is okay, I don't hear him anymore.

"Well you're a good boy, aren't you?" It's a gentle voice, no one I've heard before, and he leans down next ta' me. "It's okay, fella, you're retired now. There's some food in the truck, and we'll take real good care of you."

Retired... looks like Dutch kept his promise this time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

692 Words, a New Beginning

Good Morning, fun seeker. You're looking (insert something sexy here)-tastic today!

Wow, staring at that white page was daunting. I spun in my chair and clucked my tongue, made high-pitched groaning noises and tapped my fingers in a ghost pattern on the keyboard, without pushing them in. My girlfriend even laughed at all my craziness as she asked, "Is this part of the process?"


That first sentence is an ice breaker, it's my ticket into this new world, and it needs to be a good first impression. I probably spent more time tottering here, thinking about those first words, than I did writing. I'm okay with that, it was a beginning, and I think that this new world and I will get along just fine.

If you haven't already guessed, I started writing my next novel, "Clockwork Charlie," yesterday. I woke up with the bug, and got a quick outline written before I had to go to work (my day job- blech). I felt good about it, and it was a nice release; proof that this next story was ready to be told. I didn't really think a lot about it at work, it's just not a conducive environment for that sort of thing.

As soon as I got home though, I knew it was time to get to it. It went really well. I didn't reach any number goal or even really set one, for that matter, but I got started. 692 words, that's what this new beginning comes down to, and I think we're off to a great start.

Oh, and I got to reference TikTok, from the Oz stories, in my writing! How cool is that?

In other news, the coffee is delicious, and I'm hungry. I think I'll have some yogurt and Grapenuts. Mmmmm, foods...

Buh bye, then

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some Time Apart...

Well, hello there.

Right after I finished the first draft of my novel, excitement was overwhelming, and I didn't really think of much else. I was ready for edits and critiques and revisions. I was ready to offer my own critiques to friends and crit partners looking for the same thing as I was. It was all very exciting, a new era, a new world for a writer just finishing his first novel. I was ready for all the new steps.

Now, I'm ready to be writing again.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still very excited about everything and happy to be patient as crits roll in and editing trudges forward. However, I miss writing. So, it's time to get on with it.

I have quite a few steps left to really be finished with "The City" (name change coming soon) but I can't take any of those steps until I'm ready for revisions. Thusly, I will now step away from it. I will send chapters as crits come back, I will be patient and thankful to those that are sacrificing time and talent to help me out, and I will get those revisions done when the time comes.

For now, though, I need to write. It's a release, and I need it. It's a bit like breathing for me, and as much as I love to snorkel and look beneath the waves, I also need to know when to come up for air. And who knows, maybe a little time away will be good for us, "The City" and I.

She's very important to me, and I love her, but I need time to be my own man. I'm sure that she'll flourish away from me as well. She needs time to mature, to develop into her own story...

Ok, I think I took that metaphor a little too far, but you get the point. So, within the next few days, I plan to start work on Clockwork Charlie, and I'm very excited.

I think that's it for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then