Sleepless Tangents And The 100 Word Trick

!DUE TO A LACK OF SLEEP, THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Just kidding. No it hasn’t. A friend dropped that line to my exhausted self when I had no idea how to start this post and I had to use it.

For real though, I am running on less than two hours of sleep as I write this so I’m going to warn you readers now: There is a high possibility very little of this will be coherent enough to understand, or not wander off on a tangent because I am too exhausted to focus.

The lack of sleep was totally worth it this time. Do you ever get so caught up in a book or plot or scene that when it’s coupled with music you just…can’t? Like, there’s not even any words that can describe the feeling. It’s just powerful and emotional and Oh.My.Gods. All you can do is swear, squeal, mutter incomplete sentences, and die while you cry internally at the amazingness that is the plot/scene/book.

Yeah. That was totally me all last night. I would have said screw sleep and stayed up all night — despite the looming long ass early work shift — if a friend and I had kept going in the roleplay because it was just that good.

I just couldn’t stop. Still can’t. I didn’t want it to end. I read back through every reply again before I finally did crash just so I could picture it again in my head. It gives me chills, it makes the heart clench and stop in emotion, makes your breath hitch in your chest. I would have kept reading it over and over if I didn’t put my phone down. Hell, I left the same song playing on repeat the entire plot because it just made it so much more powerful and deep. Actually, I’m still listening to the song on repeat, and it’s been two days straight now. The only time I haven’t been hearing it is in my sleep and at work. Not even gonna lie, I am listening non-stop. (My household wants to strangle me by now for singing it and blasting it so much.) I’m listening to it right now, but with earphones. It’s better with earphones.

It’s just… UGH. I CAN’T. CAN’T EVEN. HOLY DAMN.

See what I mean? Total incomplete sentences because I can’t put the feelings into words when I mesh the plot and song together. Unless you want a long stream of curse words and one word answers, mixed in with some squealing and screaming. All I have to do is think about it and…nope. Can’t even.

So, yeah, the less than two hours of sleep was totally worth it. No regrets. I wish it didn’t have to end, but alas, all plots must end to some degree. Sadly. Ah, well, I’m sure there will be another soon enough that I’ll be slack-jawed and addicted to again. They’re like a drug. A wonderful drug that I can’t get enough of.

Hello, I’m Daelyn and I am addicted to stories.

I’m an author, I’m supposed to be addicted to stories.

Alas though, it is Camp NaNo and the stories I’m supposed to be creating right now are novels, not co-written freaking amazing roleplays. (Though they can give you soooooo many plot bunnies you can actually USE in the REAL story. I’ve lost track of how many things I have planned and resolved to use in the real book from roleplaying it. It’s an insane number. Roleplaying with your characters is seriously an author’s greatest gift of ideas, it is so damn helpful.)

And I’m getting off track. Already. Again. I mean…

Which track was I even on to begin with?

I have no idea.

The first week of Camp NaNo is just about over and I’m still just under 10k. I’m kinda upset with myself for not being further, for not having finished Fated to Darkness already this month. My motivation is seriously waning and struggling this month. Which is weird, because normally I’m excited times a million on the first NaNo of the new year.

I mean, some unforeseen stress hasn’t helped matters, and the fact Easter is right around the corner and work is getting crazy because of it doesn’t help either. But… I don’t know. Something just still seems off with me this month for Camp. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Part of me thinks it has to do with finishing this novel. One minute I’m excited and squealing that I’m so close! Then the next I’m almost scared to be finishing it so I think I start dragging my feet. I mean, this novel has taken up two and half years of my life writing it. It’s going to be…weird to be done writing the first draft. Weird is going to be an understatement of the century. I’m going to miss it. As a friend explained to me, maybe I don’t want to stop interacting with the characters.

In a way I think she’s right. Granted, I know there is going to be a Book 2 and I’ll see them all again for that adventure, but… This series is my heart and soul so I think I’m hesitant to finish it and have to let it sit while I work on Clockwork Heart. (I DO want to release something this year, and that is my most logical WiP to complete and release. It’s also a fun story to write.) I don’t have to let FtD sit completely untouched because I do need to work out the notes I need to print with it too when it comes to editing, and all the other concordance notes I want to finish too before I get to the major editing. But…that’s just not the same as writing it.

I’ll get myself moving on it somehow. I must. I would like a bigger goal than 30k for the month, and I would like a decent amount of words added to Clockwork Heart by the end of the month.

The last two days have sucked in writing though. I haven’t touched FtD the past two days. Or… Wait, did I add at least some words to it Tuesday night after I did my other blog post? I feel like I did, but… Oh hell, I can’t think straight to remember that. I mean, I did do some writing the past two days. I haven’t blown it off completely. I did my Shard and I posted to the #ThursThreads challenge again this week.

I kinda really liked what I came up with for the flash fiction challenge this week. I took it my normal dark direction, but I broke the glass ceiling of normal statistics for serial killers, and I also took it to a slightly sexual route, not even straight sexual. And I don’t normally ever write anything sexual, let alone LGBTQ+ sexual.

Was that too much information?

Oh hell, what do I care? I don’t follow the normal stigma. I like open and honest and brave people who aren’t afraid of themselves, who shed their masks and are willing to speak out despite the societal norm. It’s oppressing enough as it is to not lend my voice to the growing volume of acceptance. Change starts with one and grows.

Wow… This blog post really is all over the place. Not to mention shit just got deep.

And this post has had next to nothing to do with Camp NaNo progress, hasn’t it? I should rectify that a bit here…if I don’t end up wandering off on another tangent of thought. (I did warn you folks at the start of this post.)

So week one of Camp NaNo is coming to a close today and I am just under 10k words. I have two more work shifts before I have a day off again, but at least these next two are short shifts. They are also closing shifts which means, thank the Gods, I can sleep. Glorious sleep.

Hopefully since these next two shifts are short and closing I’ll be able to get some writing in without being exhausted or worrying about needing to be up early and if I should be sleeping instead of writing. I truly debated on just saying screw it and staying up all night last night to write, but I had a feeling my brain was going to kick me in the ass if I did that so for once I listened to logic.

It still kicked me in the ass.

Should’ve had that Monster earlier to wake me up…

I wish I had the energy to write tonight — I’m getting antsy from not writing for Camp — since I don’t have to be up early tomorrow, but I’m not sure how well that’ll work out this time. Then again, if I just start writing it might just keep flowing and I’ll forget how exhausted I am as I get caught up in it. Or, you know, I’ll write something so incoherent that I’ll fall off my chair laughing and wonder what the fuck just ran through my head.

Both of which I’ve done before.

Although that reminds me of another piece of advice a friend gave me yesterday: It’s easier to tell yourself “write a hundred words” than it is to tell yourself “I have to write”.

I never realized how true that was until I tried it, and I’m now calling it the 100 Word Trick.

The hundred words comes almost easily, and once you get that hundred words, if you’re lucky, it just keeps flowing and the next thing you know you have a thousand words, or two thousand, or five thousand.

The other trick she just taught me in regards to the 100 Word Trick: Start that hundred words of writing in a brand spanking new pristine white Word doc.

Why?

I asked the same question, and the logic she gave me I cannot dispute.

What’s less daunting? Going from 0 to 100 words, or going from 259,658 to 259,758?

Makes sense when you look at it that way, don’t it? Having a word tracker with charts and visuals like NaNo does helps make it seem less daunting too because you can see your progress in more than just rising numbers. You see jumps in a bar graph and your estimated win date going down, not to mention your “words left to write” number gets smaller too.

So perhaps I really should just drag my zombie ass off to my Word doc and start writing that hundred words. See where it leads me. Some words are better than no words, some progress is better than none.

After all, “you might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Music Musings

Music.

A tug at the heartstrings. A sense pure joy and elation. A rush of adrenaline. A saddened single tear. A heart breaking. A dream come true. A dark anger. A lost love. A family’s connection. A chance of a lifetime. A sudden mistake. A long lost memory. A hope for the future. A kindling fire. A foreboding shadow.

Music is a topic that can be pulled in so many various directions. It can be used to put so many things into the words we cannot fathom to express without it.

Melodies can be haunting and spine chilling like a graveyard on All Hallow’s Eve. They can be sweet and gentle like a lullaby to a newborn babe. They can be the empowering trumpet sounding into battle. They can be the rhythm and life of the party. They can be the cracking heart of a life changing moment.

They can be anything.

Music can be anything.

It can make you cry. It can make you laugh. It can make you smile. It can make you scowl. It can make you feel alive. And it can kill you inside.

So many tiny working parts go into making these pieces of our soul, these works of art in and of themselves. A line of lyrics. A melody and tune. A feeling. An instrument. A certain voice.

Every little piece is tweaked until just the right senses are touched. Just the right brush of emotions are caressed across your mind and heart. Until it leaves you breathless and your heart quivers, until you feel the chills running down your spine and the whole world ceases to exist around you.

Music tells a story, an unforgettable story.

They are poems and ballads. They are stories and memories.

They say when you are happy you enjoy the music, and when you are sad you understand the lyrics. And that is something I can only agree on one hundred percent.

Music is more than just music. It is heart and soul.

And when you put two pieces of heart and soul together, you are left with something so touching, so beautiful, that it grabs you and it sucks you in, never to let you see the light of day again.

Music is stories; and what happens when you put those stories with the stories of an author’s mind?

You see, nowadays, so many trailers for books are being created, casting real people to play the characters we created as authors. How it makes everything come to life and those claws of the emotion just dig right into your soul and drag you down under. Making you want to fall into the welcoming arms of the character’s of the book and go following along on their adventure through the pages.

But there is more out there than just the promotional trailers. Once you are sucked into the book’s folds, the author has to find a way to make you stay.

You could be captured and held captive in a dark dungeon, with only the quiet drip of stale water to hear and the cold press of steel against your wrists for company. You could be enticed by a ball under the fireworks, watching the sparkles of color dance across the twilight sky. You could be given the riches of a lord, left to fill your heart with its desires of the materialistic. Or a hand to marry where you fall for the prince of your dreams, you happily ever after tale.

But still, the author must make you feel these things as the character’s do to hold you in their trance. They must know how to make it feel real.

How though? How can a simple weaver of tales and words keep you so entranced by just those inked lines across a page?

Simply by adding a little more magic, a little more art and emotion, until you have nothing left conscious to you except the world inside the book and the stories hidden among the lyrics of an added song that pulls you deeper.

Writing and music both allow you to escape, and when the two merge to dance together under the skies of that author’s heart, the result is something so breathtaking and stunning that you never want to leave.

Books can draw you in and pull you into those fantasy and futuristic realms. Descriptions can have you vividly imagining it all. Relatable characters can have you rooting for the good guys and swearing at the villains. The right words will pluck at you and pick you dry until you are immersed.

But when you add music, those feelings are intensified a thousand times over.

Whenever an author or reader finds that one song, that one, perfect song that resonates so deeply with what they are writing, they come to make a true work of art that is sure to strike a cord deep within everyone. It can simply be for one scene, for one chapter, for one character alone, for a relationship of characters, or for the whole book.

No matter what it is though, it holds you in its trance and doesn’t allow you passage back out without paying a toll of your heart and self. To find that song is like finding pure gold treasure under your pillow instead of a dollar coin for that lost tooth. It enriches the novel, enriches the emotions and the scene itself.

It makes it memorable.

It makes it that much more powerful.

The two alone can be a powerful voice, but to put them together…

Put them together and you have found the way to describe the indescribable.

Music is life. Writing is life. Together they are heart and soul at its most deepest meaning.

Together, as an author, a reader, a singer, a dreamer, a dancer, a pessimist, a truth-seeker, a free spirit, a working lad, an artist, whatever you may be; together, they are a new story all your own now within the confides of your mind.

A life no one can take from you.