What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Goodbye, March. Hello, April and insanity! For those that already know what Camp NaNoWriMo is, welcome to another month of the madness. For those that don’t know or are new to the world that is NaNoWriMo I’m going to give you a crash course.

I know I’ve talked briefly about Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo before on this blog, but those times have mainly been discussing my own successes, failures, or bouts of insanity among writing for these month long challenges. I’ve never talked too much about the challenge in general though.

So today I’m going to paint you the journey of Camp NaNo and all its perks.

camp nano banner

Camp NaNo is affiliated with the non-profit organization called NaNoWriMo — an acronym that stands for National Novel Writing Month. Perhaps many of you have heard of it, but I’m not here to talk about the big NaNo show perks. Not today at least.

Consider Camp NaNoWriMo a trial run of the big and bad NaNoWriMo. Whereas NaNo is a more cookie cutter challenge with a set goal and fewer options of what you’re writing, the Camp version allows you more flexibility on numerous levels. And is more fun in my opinion.

Camp happens twice a year — once in April, and then also in July. Unlike NaNoWriMo, you don’t have a set number goal of 50k, and you can choose from more than just a word count goal. You can make your own goal to fit your own lifestyle. Within Camp you have all these options to choose from in creating your goal: word count goal, page goal, line goal, hour goal, or minutes goal.

From there you choose any goal count from thirty to one million. (I’m not sure I’d suggest trying one million. That sounds impossibly hard.)

One of the best things about choosing your own goal that can be more than just a word count is it allows you to do more than just write. Take this for example:

Last year for July’s Camp NaNo session I choose a page count instead of word count. Wanna know why? Because I had finished writing the first draft of my novel in April’s session and needed some more motivation to edit. You heard me. Edit.

Camp NaNo is flexible enough that you can use your goal for editing instead of writing if you wish.

I choose a page count equivalent to so many chapters of my novel that I had to read through, edit, and make notes on for what needed changed or fixed. That month was the furthest progress, and most accurate progress, I have ever made on editing because it kept me moving without losing my focus. It worked out really well.

If you’re ever lacking motivation to get started the forces that run this month long retreat send out a Camp Care Package every day in your account mailbox (not your email). These Camp Care Packages range from pep talks, to writerly advice, daily challenges, and invites to word sprints, write-ins, and other goodies hosted on their YouTube and Twitter account.

And if you ever need more than those daily packages, their site has an awesome Writing Resources tab full of events, information on the Camp counselors, and lots and lots of Q&A’s for planning, characters, beginnings, scenes, and so much more.

On the side of great resources, since NaNoWriMo and its affiliated sessions are part of a non-profit organization you can win some great goodies from their sponsors by meeting your goal. Sponsors that include (but are not always limited to): Scrivener, Dabble, Scribophile, Storyist Software, She Writes University, and Litographs. Scrivener I know is a big sponsor of NaNoWriMo and its affiliations, and they offer a great discount on their software if you verify you met your goal. Though I’ve not tried the software myself I’ve heard it’s a great tool for writers.

Another great thing about Camp sessions, you don’t have to work on just a novel or novella for Camp NaNoWriMo. You can be writing a screen play, poetry, a short story, multiple short stories or poetry pieces, revisions, essays even. As long as you can fit a goal of hours, minutes, words, pages, or lines to what you want to work on, you can make it work for Camp sessions. That’s the true beauty of Camp NaNo.

However, there is one more perk to Camp that happens to be my favorite.

The cabins.

Cabins are Camp’s version of a small writing group full of buddies you can chat with about anything during your month long journey. You can have up to twenty people in a cabin, and there’s three different options for joining. There are two types of cabins: public and private.

Within the public cabins you have two options. In your cabin preferences you can select to be tossed into a random cabin with mates you don’t know anything about. Or you can choose to be filed into a cabin that meets a certain criteria of similar interests. Whether that interest is by age group, the same genre writing as you, and/or with similar goals as you. That part is totally up to you.

Private cabins are a little bit different. Any member can create their own private cabin, give it a name, and invite campers they know by their username. If you have friends who join you on this mad challenge private cabins are a perfect option to chat along with them and nag — or congratulate — them about their progress.

If you don’t want to be in a cabin that’s okay too. Camp does offer an option to elect out of being placed in a cabin so that you can hole yourself up on your own to write if that works best for you.

So there you have it! Camp NaNoWriMo’s perks and workings crash coursed in all its brilliant madness. Of course, there’s much more I could talk about for Camp NaNo, and their other affiliations — like NaPoWriMo and the Young Writer’s Program — but those are topics for another day.

Here’s to writing like mad for the month. If you’ve taken the plunge into the challenge, share how it’s going and what you’re working on in the comments below.

Struggling Already

Well that plan I had to stay on track for NaNoWriMo during work days hasn’t worked out. Wait… Did I even mention said plan in Tuesday’s post? Or am I just thinking I did when in reality I really said it to a friend yesterday and I just can’t remember which one I really did? (I swear that made sense in my head.)

Since I can’t remember when and how I mentioned it, I’ll say it again, or, ah, for the first time here. Whichever it is.

(Excuse my incoherent babbling and easy confusion, I’m exhausted off my ass. I feel like a walking zombie. I think I’ve had a total of about 10 hours of sleep since Tuesday morning now. Again.)

What was I talking about again?

Oh, right, the plan for writing on work days that I can’t remember if I said or not. Yes, that plan.

So on Tuesday I mentioned I had the first day of NaNoWriMo off and then I worked four in a row. I’ve gotten through three of those four days and by the Gods has it been non-stop running like a chicken with no head. I’ve been exhausted since Wednesday morning when I got up for the first shift, and it hasn’t gotten any better.

Wednesday’s are bad days period for me, especially if I have to work the morning because I also have horseback riding at night and I also have a Shard to write those days. First of all, I didn’t get to bed Tuesday night until probably about 3:30am. (It could have been a little bit earlier but Facebook was being a royal arse in the final moments that would have allowed me to go to bed a little bit earlier. Go flipping figure.) So by the time I was asleep, I got three hours of really disorienting sleep before my alarm was waking me up for work.

That shift was crazy busy and exhausting because our warehouse and corporate is a bunch of marble-less morons. (One of these days I’m going to write a blog post of just retail experience/bullshit and it is going to be hilarious.) I got home with just enough time to change and rush out the door for riding, even though I was quite sure I could have fallen asleep on my horse. It was a quicker lesson than normal — not everyone in my group was there — which was nice so I got home earlier. But by the time I got all settled at night to start writing, I could hardly keep my eyes open. They were burning and irritated, still are three days later, and I could barely focus.

So on the very first day of work shifts, I was already burned out enough that I knew 1.5k words was not happening before midnight. In which case, I settled and was happy if I made it to 6k, which was another 600 words. I managed that.

I tried to go to bed earlier Wednesday night in hopes I’d make up some of the loss of sleep, and, yeah, no, I should have known better. Took me an hour and a half to fall asleep and I woke up twice in the middle of the night. By the time my alarm went off again for another morning shift I had gotten probably five hours of sleep in which didn’t make a damn difference to my exhausted state. I still felt just as tired waking up as I did going to bed.

Yesterday’s shift felt even longer than Wednesday’s and by the time I was home, I had a decision to make on when the hell I was going to sleep next, because, guess what? I worked at fecking 5am today!

Since I was still exhausted, I tried to nap in hopes it would help enough that I could manage to stay up and write through the night, head to work, then come home and crash for a couple hours nap again.

Well, the nap didn’t work as you can probably guess. I laid in bed for an hour and a half before saying screw it and gave up. And I didn’t sleep last night because every time I have this damn shift, trying to go to bed for at least an hour or two makes me so disoriented and actually sick to my stomach that I just can’t do it anymore. (I swear these shifts are killing me.)

So I didn’t sleep, but did I get any words written?

Of fecking course not.

Not only was I still too exhausted to properly function, but my mind and want to write was nowhere close to me. It was an awful night. I managed one sentence yesterday. Just one. One measly cheating sentence just so I could update word count and say I wrote something. I feel so pathetic.

I had wanted 1.5k yesterday, too, or more. Then today I would have settled for just 1k after that ungodly shift. So in these last three days I should have had 4k all together, and how much have I written?

600 words. I’ve done 600 words.

I need another 643 words in the next four hours to stay on par, and I can still barely focus straight. I managed a two hour nap earlier, but it hasn’t really done much good.

And I still have one more shift to go, which is of course another morning shift. I’m so ready for Sunday when I’m off. I’m so ready for next week, where I have a shorter week, and not a single morning shift. And thank the Gods today was the last 5am shift I’ll have for the next two months!

Now I just have to figure out how the hell I’m staying on par for today and tomorrow. Somehow I need to try to manage 2.5k words in four hours to help put me back on track. Somehow…

It’s not a good sign when in the first five days of NaNoWriMo you’re already struggling to stay afloat. Here’s hoping I can make up that word cushion again next week and not lose it like I just did this time.

Welcome To My Madness

nanowrimo-2016

So I took the plunge after all.

I know I had been debating and debating over doing it and then my fingers suddenly decided for me at the last possible moments of October 31st that I was going for it despite everything. (More like an hour after midnight, because that’s when I finally set the book up on the site.)

And ya know why?

Because, dammit, I want to finish this book this year. I want to be able to say I finally accomplished an actual goal I set that did not have a deadline I couldn’t change. I may not get through all the notes for my concordance like I wanted to within the final month of 2016, but if I can say on New Year’s Eve that I finished the first draft of this novel, that’ll be good enough for me.

Ultimately, that was my biggest goal of 2016, to finish this novel so that next year I could edit it. Of course, another one of those big goals was to have my license, but, well, I got half way to that goal so far.

So yes, I took the plunge into madness for another month and have signed myself up for NaNoWriMo. And ya know what else? I know the holiday season in retail is hard to begin with, and I know it was going to get harder with one of our stores going out of business January of next year and everyone else is refusing to help them, leaving only my store (mainly me because I’ve done it before thanks to an ex-boss requesting me to help that transferred to said store, though ex-boss is now gone) to help that one out, but I’m not doing it this time.

I’m putting my foot down this time.

Yeah, I feel bad for that store and its struggles right now, but I’m not comfortable enough to be dealing with their madness when I don’t know what their madness is. I know my madness at my store, I know how to deal with my madness, I don’t know theirs. I’ll do maybe one or two days to help if they don’t find a solution before Christmas rolls around, but I will not do it in November, and I will not do it during Black Friday.

And frankly, NaNoWriMo is important to me, writing is important to me, finishing this novel this year is important to me, and I will not let work ruin that for me this time. I don’t want to be stressing over a store I’m not very familiar with to deal with their madness on top of my own store’s madness and on top of writing.

Not this time.

I haven’t quite figured out how I’m saying any of this to my boss yet tomorrow, but I will figure it out. (I’m horrible speaking my mind face to face unless I have totally lost it in the pissed off or upset department. That’s the introvert in me speaking, and probably my father’s work ethics and genes as well. Oh, and if anyone has a suggestion for how I tell my boss this, I will not dispute dropping a comment below.)

Anyways, now that you’ve listened to me ramble on for 500 words of self talk and epiphanies let’s talk about NaNoWriMo!

This month, like every other NaNo month I’ve done for the past two years, I’m working toward finishing Fated to Darkness. (I swear, I write more words in three NaNo months combined than I do in the other nine non-NaNo months put together. This is why I need more NaNo’s, then I might have finished this book awhile ago, or maybe more than one.)

After looking at the Word doc yesterday, I have broken 400 pages and I’m probably now about 1k away from breaking 200k for the whole novel. Like I did in April’s Camp where I somehow managed to write 63k in one month, I’m aiming for a personal goal of 5k on my days off, and 1.5k on days I have to work. I know I probably won’t have nearly as many days off this month as I did back in April, but it’s a good rule of thumb that seemed to work for me so I’m sticking with it. 1.5k is actually less than par for each day (1,667 words is par for each day) but this is just a nice round number to go by, and it also is a little more manageable for the crazy work days. My days off and whatever other cushions I build in the feverish moments of writing will make up for that 200 word difference.

I’m praying this novel doesn’t take another 50k to finish — I’m thinking it won’t, but one never knows with my characters — and if it doesn’t I plan to jump into an older novel depending how many words left I have to write. It’s probably going to be Breaking Point I jump into, but it’s also been a long, long time since I looked at that novel so it may not be the best choice. If I don’t jump into Breaking Point, well, then I’m not sure what I’m finishing the month with. Perhaps I’ll start something new, or just turn a flash fiction work into a story.

Or I could write the sequel story to The Black Lake. I could expand on The Beast, too, or turn Shapeshifter Wings into the novel it’s supposed to be. I only have one chapter of that written so it wouldn’t be hard to catch up on it and totally pantsy the rest of it. That could work. But I won’t worry about that until — if — I finish Fated to Darkness before I hit 50k for the month.

(I’m really, really praying I finish FtD within 50k words though. If not, I’ll be pushing over 250k for the whole novel and that means it won’t be done this month and I’ll have to find another way to push myself to write in December. At least with NaNo months I have something I push myself for: the win and the badge that says I did it. Okay, and the self accomplishment, and the fun of it, but the badge is a real seller. LOL)

Anyways! I had taken the first day of NaNo off so I went for my 5k goal. I would have loved to have done way more, but since I started late in writing and only got 500 words before bed, I have to settle for this. Actually, I would have settled for just 2.5k today because I FINALLY finished the horrid Chapter 28 I’ve been stuck on since July’s Camp. (See what I mean about the NaNo months and non-NaNo months productivity?) I’m ending the day with a total of 5,430 words, but I also work the next four days (that I know of, not sure about Sunday yet) and they are all morning shifts. Which is half nice, it’s better than the afternoon to close shift that I get absolutely nothing done on those days because I have literally no time for anything. But that also means I might be pretty tired from staying up and writing at midnight.

I’m kind of hoping to do 1k after midnight before bed every night so it helps to cushion the loss of writing time for whatever I have to work the next day. Except for Wednesdays… Wednesdays are going to be real pains in the asses this month. If you follow this blog you know I do a Wednesday Word flash fiction piece from P. T. Wyant’s blog, and I still plan to do those through NaNo. But Wednesday is also horseback riding day, so there’s a chunk of…two to two and a half hours of time out of my day already. And of course, most Wednesday’s  I still work some awful morning shift which takes away any of that time, leaving me with not much left to work with for the day. Which sucks monkey balls. (Don’t ask, I’ve had sugar.)

What I plan to do is write my Shard before I go to bed and have it up and posted everywhere I put them, then I can sleep and go to work in the morning if I have to, then come home and go straight for riding, then finally that night perhaps I’ll have time to crank out at least a thousand words for NaNo. That’s gonna be how I have to do it. Unless I go for doing the NaNo writing of 1.5k at midnight instead and do the Shard after riding since that’s less words to write, but I’m also pushing the clock on those posts sometimes when I do that soooo…

I think I just have to play around with it tomorrow and see what works.

Okay! I really need to end this or I will just keep going, and going, and going, and going. (Friends did used to call me the Energizer bunny when I was a kid for a reason.) So that’s the plan for NaNoWriMo this year, along with keeping up with Snippet Sunday’s and my other weekly sharing post, and my flash fiction, and of course work and the holiday…

What is sanity again?

It’s going to be an interesting month how I pull this off, I can say that much. There’s a method to the madness in my head for it but I’m not sure I could explain it without looking crazier than I already do. LOL.

Right! Yes! I need to be signing off, because I need to finish setting up Sunday Snippet posts for this month that I did not do last week, and in an hour I’ll have a Shard to write.

Welcome to my Madness for the next four weeks, followers! I promise it’s going to be an interesting ride if you stick around, and I hope I don’t scare any of you off.

Taking the Plunge?

Three days.

NaNoWriMo is three days away.

Just three days.

I’m…not ready. Actually, I’m not even sure I’m doing it. Sort of.

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between I’m doing it and I’m unsure if I’m doing it all month long. I’ve got three days to decide now, and somehow…I think I seemed to have an epiphany on my decision this morning.

Earlier this week, I was thinking I wasn’t going to do it because of some negative news I got at work that added to the holiday madness in which I’m already dreading. Anyone who works retail knows the holiday season means you work longer hours and more hours. Well, try adding having to help out another store during that same time because they are shorthanded on the account of going out of business in January of next year and have had one manager walk out already. So not only do I have longer hours and more hours at my own store, I might be pushing overtime to help out another store during the madness.

If I have any sanity now, I guarantee you it will be long gone by the end of December.

So you see where my new dilemma came with NaNo. If I have to be doing even more hours at work during November, how am I ever going to manage writing 50k words on top of it, right? Sleep really will be non-existent. That bit of news turned me back off of attempting NaNo for the second time.

(Last year failed because of a computer crash the first week of November that left me without a computer for over two months.)

However, one of my 2016 goals was to finish the rough draft of Fated to Darkness and I know that is not going to get done unless I tell myself I am doing NaNoWriMo and start writing my ass off regardless of work. I know that is the only way I am going to finish this novel this year.

(Seriously, I write more in the two, three NaNo months a year than I do in all the non-NaNo months put together. What is wrong with that picture? This is why I need more than 3 NaNo’s a year.)

Somehow, I came to this revelation this morning in my sleep and woke up with a newfound desire — desperation? — to finish that goal this year. So now I think I am going to plunge into the NaNoWriMo madness in three days. I’m nowhere near ready, but thankfully, I have the next four days off to try to be ready. Sort of.

I guess we’ll find out in Tuesday’s blog post if I really did plunge into the madness, or if I bailed.

Recapping and Rethinking

Yesterday was the Halloween Bash Facebook party with Victory Tales Press. It was my first ever Facebook party promotional event for my writing and I’d say it was a success. (After I spent I don’t know long how stressing over it and worrying and trying to plan. It went a lot smoother than I expected it to.) I’ll definitely be up to participating in more and hosting my own in the future for releases.

I had a lot of fun. Read some great ghost stories, learned of some awesome Halloween pranks, a recipe or two, played a couple games, had chances for prizes. (I won an eBook.) And my one hour of hosting wasn’t a bust either, I had people playing along with my Halloween Scattergories game, and sharing their Halloween costume idea, favorite kind of tale to read or write, or their favorite legend for a chance at my giveaway. No one seemed to comment to the snippet I shared of Embermyst but otherwise it went well.

It hasn’t gained me any followers to my blog or Wattpad yet, but I did gain 3 followers to my Facebook page just from the event so there’s that little happy dance. My post reach sky rocketed this week too from the event. Since, you know, I refuse to pay Facebook three or five dollars to help promote myself. Everyone wants money nowadays… *Rolls eyes*

Everyone also wants to screw over Daelyn lately.

Right now I’m running on fumes again. I had another 5am work shift so naturally, as my night owl complex goes, I didn’t sleep last night. We’ve been down this path before, we know I manage to get through the day with burning eyes and lots of yawns, including some irritability. Then I’ll crash around midnight the next night to catch up on sleep.

Except there’s one problem with that train of thinking this time.

Guess who works two effing 5am shifts back to back?

Yep, this author right here. Make the night owl — who the boss knows doesn’t sleep on these shifts — do two of them back and back, and then work Thursday and Friday long days as well. And who can’t even remotely sleep in on Saturday as well because of a family event.

I tried to sleep when I got home from work today but…it’s nearly impossible for me to sleep soundly enough during the day to feel better. I was up and down so I’m still exhausted. All I’m saying is I better get four days off in a row starting Saturday or I am going to be one cranky author. (I already have Saturday off for the family event, and I took off Monday and Tuesday because of Samhain and NaNo. I’m praying I get Sunday as well. I could use four days off like that, it’s been way too long since I had something like that.)

And speaking of NaNoWriMo…

*Heavy sigh*

I don’t want to go into it right now. For now, let’s just leave it at I got some news today from work that I’m quite sure is really going to screw whatever measly odds I had at completing NaNoWriMo during the holiday season. Which really pisses me off and upsets me because I had so many hopes to finish this novel this year, and now…

*Shakes head sadly*

I had started doing so great the last week. I was really on top of everything and I was caught up and feeling good about things and then…as always, something always screws it up. Go figure, huh?

Right now I’m just praying I make it through this week alive and without needing any bail money. Then again, if I look like a walking zombie out of exhaustion by Sunday, at least I have half a costume for Halloween the next day.

October Goals and NaNoWriMo

Last Friday I talked about my un-accomplished goals of September and how, much like at the beginning of September, I still did not have any idea on what my October goals were going to be. No surprise there.

So you know what that means? I get to figure them out by rambling on and basically talking to myself here! Hooray!

(Don’t ask, I’ve been in a very strange mood and I am dreading working at 5am, which is only the start of my five day work week and another 5am shift on Monday to boot. I am not a happy camper. If I’m a walking zombie by Tuesday’s post, just hand me caffeine, a blanket, and a pillow, and back away slowly.)

Now where was I? Oh, right, October goals.

Yeah, I’m not sure what I want them to be. I mean, obviously there’s going to be writing involved, but I don’t know how much writing. NaNoWriMo starts up in three weeks and three days and I still don’t know if I’m going for it.

I want to. I want to finally do the big daddy of them all and go for it after three years of Camp sessions, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid of failing since I can’t choose my own word count goal, and I’m afraid of not having any time or energy to write because…retail, and the holiday season.

I’m still debating with myself on it.

I really should do it. (If I could do 63k in a month for a Camp session, why the hell can’t I do 50k for November, right? Wrong when it comes to retail.) If I do it I’m almost certain I will finish the first draft of Fated to Darkness by the end of November. It probably won’t even take the 50k to finish depending how much I write this month. I’m worried I won’t finish this draft this year if I don’t go for NaNo so I probably should just to push myself and actually make one of my yearly goals this year. I can’t remember half of the other ones right now.

So I should go for NaNo, and if I finish Fated to Darkness before I hit 50k, well, then I’ll either start Book 2 of this series (doubtful) or I’ll add some more words to my neglected first ever novel, Breaking Point.

(I say it’s doubtful I’ll start Book 2 because I want to work on my concordance for Book 1 before I start writing Book 2 so I have everything sorted and together, and my original plan was to finish the first draft and the concordance for Book 1 by December 31st so that I could spend 2017 editing the book, and then starting Book 2. I’m starting to think I might use the first Camp session in 2017 to start Book 2, and just work on Breaking Point until then in between editing to give myself a break. It’s sounding like a good idea now that I actually talked it out with someone earlier.)

Anyways! I’m getting really off topic here from October goals by talking about NaNoWriMo and now 2017 plans. And I’m also inwardly freaking out that I can write Book 2 into my plans because that’s insane that I’ve gotten this far, and AH!

Okay, okay, I’m cool, I’m calm. Just a mini author happy moment to think of finishing this book to start on the second book. *Tiny squee*

OKAY! Back on topic!

So, October goals, again.

I would love to actually finish Fated to Darkness this month and then wing NaNoWriMo or not even worry about it with the holiday. But I am a NaNo addict now, and I think I’ll need the push of NaNo to finish it. So the question then becomes how much should I plan to write for Fated to Darkness this month?

I wasn’t quite sure on that at first, but I’ve been thinking about it and I believe I’ve put the goal of 20k into my head again. It’s a reasonable amount without making myself stress this month since I’ll no doubt be stressing with NaNo next month — if I go for it, probably will have to.

Right now the Word doc I was using to write in to keep easier track of my word count has about 5k words, maybe almost 6k words in it. In my head I’m aiming to see that number between 25-30k by the end of the month.

Now that my writer’s block and pulling teeth seems to be getting out of my way in the chapter I’m on too, I shouldn’t have any trouble reaching that as long as I sit my ass down and write. It shouldn’t be hard, especially now the weight of getting Embermyst ready for publication is off my shoulders. The only things left I have to worry about with Embermyst now that it’s been released are trying to promote yet and figuring out what the hell I’m doing for the Halloween Facebook party in which I am a co-host to for Victory Tales Press’ Halloween Bash.

That stress is mostly off my shoulders now — which is good — and it leaves most of October open for me to focus on whatever once more.

Which, that really means I should plan for a lot more than just writing for this month, but for some reason, I don’t want to stress myself this month. I’ll be stressed next month, and December, I don’t want to die early in the season.

I could be doing all my camping notes, and I could be aiming to write the entries, and I could be aiming for some other things, but I’m leaving them off the plate this month. If I do some, great! If I don’t, I’m not stressing over it. I have three months left to complete my goal of finishing the first draft and concordance of Fated to Darkness, and goddammit I want to make that goal.

So yes, other than focusing on Fated to Darkness, NaNo, and the crap I have to get rid of from the yard sale before Thanksgiving, I’m not stressing on anything else. Those are the only three things I’m worrying about this month, and next month.

At least 20k to Fated to Darkness, be decently ready for NaNoWriMo, and whatever I can knock out on the yard sale crap are my actual goals it looks like. That’s it for October. No more.

Off The Face Of The Earth

That is exactly where I have gone for the past two months about.

Off the face of the earth and down into some dark hole with no way of climbing back out.

But I did have a valid reason.

You see, about those two months ago, after up setting my Sunday Snippets for the month of November and starting to actually get on a roll and pattern of things, my computer, very suddenly and unexpectedly, crashed.

Internet explorer stopped responding with Toshiba. I could not close out of the browser. I could not get anything to respond. The screen started fizzing and flashing. Not even ctrl alt del would work to close anything out.

In the end, I had to take the battery out and force it to shut down.

And when I tried to turn it back on the next morning…

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

I got the Toshiba logo screen and then nothing but a blank glowing black screen. I could not do a damn thing. No mouse. No log in screen. Not a damned thing.

Again, I had to take the battery out and force it to shut down.

Countless times for weeks we tried to get it to boot up properly and once we finally got it into safe mode on some stroke of luck and we were able to back up nearly all of my files. We tried countless computer restores, and then computer restarts back to factory grade square one.

But nothing was working.

They would get up to seventy some percent and then crash and burn and stop working again.

Just when everything looked bleak and dull and it was coming down to either buying a new harddrive, or a new computer — granted this one is hardly over two years old to begin with, and I did NOT want to buy a new computer because I liked this one — we had a stroke of luck and the factory restore worked.

It seems now that everything is back up and running in working order. Though it does start up slower and run slower period, it is working once more and that’s about all I care about. Well, that and the fact we were able to save most of my files from being lost, though I did lose pictures in the end. I didn’t lose anything writing related though, thankfully. I would have died if I lost the 12 pages I wrote in my novel right before this crash happened.

I have gotten extremely lucky this time, and that’s to say the least.

I’m still terrified of using my computer though. Scared it’s suddenly going to crash again on me or it’s not going to turn back on. Every time I start it up and get that momentary blank glowing black screen before the sign in icon shows up gives me a mini heart attack and I panic. And every time it takes long to load something I’m panicking it’s not going to work. But hopefully as things still work that little fear will fade away into the backdrop and things will return to normal.

Hopefully.

Now, what did this little two month computer lapse cause?

Everything. Just about everything.

I had to drop out of NaNoWriMo just as I hit a groove in writing because I had no computer to write with. (And I never would have made it writing long hand.) I had to drop out of Sunday Snippets — except for the scheduled posts I had made right before the crash — and I couldn’t blog hop or even share my link that I had one up for that week. (Thankfully a good friend was nice enough to share my link to the group.) Obviously I haven’t written a blog post in two months and this blog has been completely silent for all of December now. I haven’t written a word of my novel since this crash and the characters have been driving me up the wall for it. Half of my to do list was unable to be accomplished without a computer (like blog hopping, making a new cover, posting something new to Wattpad, sharing my stories on Wattpad to get more noticed, etc etc.) so I’m even more behind now. And…

You see my point? This damned thing threw my whole existence out of whack.

I ended up turning into a night owl that was going to bed at 1am instead of my normal 3am-ish because I had nothing I could do. That is not okay. That is not okay for me. I was a lost, irritated, stressed, and down puppy for the past two months.

But now that spark of hope that things are going to get back on track is kindling, and I pray that this one doesn’t get snuffed out. It’s been a rough and crappy two months, but now there may be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully now I can get myself back on track and pick things back up to decrease that long to do list.

And maybe just in time for the New Year.

We shall see how it goes, and I pray that I can crawl back onto the Earth and stay there this time without disappearing unexpectedly. Except, Mercury’s Retrograde is coming up next week so…

Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed.

Author Crisis

Yes I have currently hit an author crisis. My first biggest crisis that hit me like a ton of bricks.

You see, about a week ago, it suddenly hit me that the title of the first book in a series I’m writing — a title that took me forever to come up with and finally just clicked one day, a title I adored and loved — no longer works with the book.

Well, it doesn’t work with this particular book.

I’ve come to realize it works better with a book later down the line in the series. But that also leaves me title-less on Book 1. As of right now I’m simply calling it Book 1 of the Dark Heir Chronicles.

I had a few ideas on what I could rename it, wanting to keep it semi close to what the title originally was. Only I wasn’t getting that right click to it. Except, now I think I’ve finally had that click.

The new title came to me out of the blue as I was about to go to bed a few days ago or so. (I’ve seriously lost track of time and days lately, they all blend together with lack of sleep and stress.) I keep tossing the idea around in my head, debating, but I think I’m sticking with it now.

Of course, this sudden crisis and title change leaves me having to redo the cover I made for this book what feels like eons ago now. And I can’t remember what font I had used on the cover…

*Sigh*

It’s like starting all over almost. The little crisis actually made me panic for a day or so. And it came at one of the worst times, too, during NaNoWriMo.

(Which… I’m not going to go there on how behind I am in that already. It’s bad, really bad. Though I have written during both my lunch breaks at work. I just…haven’t typed the words up yet. I’m still really far behind though and need to get moving on that and the notes I want to write for it. I was going to do it yesterday after work, but got side tracked catching up on Sleepy Hollow before the next episode came on.)

So now that I may have solved my author crisis of titles, I still have the crisis of being behind on word count. Along with other writer unrelated problems, that’s actually about to get worse next week, too.

I better go get a game plan, and soon.

So It Begins

Well, it’s official, I’m a crazy idiot.

Remember me saying a week and a half to two weeks ago now that I was still watching a tug of war take place in my mind over doing NaNoWriMo or not? And how I predicted I would make up my mind at 11:59pm on October 31st to take the plunge and say “screw it”?

Well… I wasn’t too far off on that prediction.

Only about twenty minutes before that prediction did I take the plunge and signed myself up for NaNo.

Now, mind you, don’t forget this is me trying to write 50k words in a month on top of working long hours five days a week, the holiday season, other stress and home occurrences that need taken care of in this time frame, and many others things that I am sure are going to pop up.

I told you I was crazy.

This is no longer a descent into madness like Camp NaNo was. As a good friend put it, this is now an ascent into a higher level of insanity. Considering my life is already madness and insanity right now. I’m just opening my welcoming arms to more insanity, like the crazy author I am that someone got addicted to NaNo.

(Seriously though, when you work retail, the real meaning of the holiday season is literally gone out the window and you are sick of it two weeks before Thanksgiving already. It’s ludicrous and honestly is already driving me insane. Has been driving me insane for the past month already! You know it’s bad when you start twisting the lyrics and swearing to Christmas songs in your head as your are setting the stuff up in your store because you are already tired of seeing it. And it’s only November 3rd. I am so screwed.)

And so far, this plunge hasn’t been running too smoothly. November 1st I spent the day literally blog hopping and multi-tasking the whole day, minus having a work meeting. So I got nothing written that day. Yesterday I managed to put in a little over a thousand words before going to bed at 5am after I knocked some other things off my to do list. And I had meant to get up to 3k by midnight yesterday so my gap of below goal wasn’t too much and, well…

To put it nicely without going into a rant or more, it just didn’t happen after certain occurrences. So I’m still around 1.2k at the moment and a good 3k or so below goal. With no full day off till Saturday again. (I was supposed to have Wednesday off, but now that got ruined, though I only work a middle shift of 3.5 hours which really isn’t even worth it.)

I’ve also come to find that in the past month or so of off and on writing for this novel that I did not keep up with updating my notes on it. I need to sort through a bit and add a piece for the filler chapter I had to write to get myself back on track. A chapter that is complete crap and is either getting a total rewrite in revisions or is getting cut. Except it solves a problem I created, soooo…

Well, that’s a dilemma for rewrites, not now. Just gotta keep going forward, after I get myself sorted out again.

I really should have planned this better instead of that last minute hasty plunge. Oh well, at least I did have the next five chapters or so planned out already to go off of. Just need to make a few minor tweaks and I’m ready to roll. So it’s not too bad yet, right?

If I stop procrastinating by doing other things on my never ending list… Which, coincidentally, this blog post was on that list.

I need a new system to work with.

Arguing With Myself

Or maybe it’s more like playing tug of war with myself. Or more like debating.

Either way, I’m not sure which half of me is winning. I think it’s rather neutral right now, which isn’t helping me, of course.

I’m still debating on NaNoWriMo. That’s what all the arguing, debating, tug of warring is about.

I know, I know, I said more than a week ago I wasn’t going to because it would end up being the death of me with everything else going on. And then I said I was probably going to be the idiot that made up my mind at 11:59pm on October 31st saying “Screw it all!” and go for it. Then I went back to saying nope, can’t do it. Now…

You see where my tug of war is coming from?

Right now I seem to be stuck over that center ground where no one is winning. Though I think the “no” side is starting to gain some ground again. Work for the next week and a half will be the death of me when we’ve got surprise visits from the really big bosses, like the guys at the top of the chain, next week. Which means making the store look perfect, as in grand opening kind of perfect.

It’s. Going. To. Be. Hell.

Who am I kidding? It’s already been hell the past two days. I’ve still got three more long days to go this week and I’m already exhausted and ready to wave the white flag after two.

I will probably still be debating over NaNo for the rest of week. But I still have so much else to do as well, and no time.

Seriously, what is this thing called free time anymore? I have none.

My time consists of work, attempting to get some sleep, maybe finding time to eat, and all the other necessities of the day. There is no free time. Especially not with the never ending to do list.

There’s always a constant supply of things that need done. The to do list, work, the holiday season, and stress. I’m finding stress is one of those constants lately.

So tell me again why I want to do NaNo with everything else on my plate?