A small spot for me to publish random thoughts that might help other writers find that tiny voice echoing feebly inside their heads.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
In the Midst of Madness - Updated Reprise
My First Win
originally wrote this article right after my first foray
into NaNoWriMo. Looking back, I wonder how I ever managed to finish
that first story. It hasn't been published yet, but it's in the queue
to be done after my other sci-fi novels make it to print. No telling
when that will be.... It still holds true, though my youngest son is
now 20 and my eldest son has moved out. I've participated every year since, winning each time, usually finishing early. During this month, I will share excerpts from each.
time to write is something every author deals with. Some of us have
more time to devote to it than others, but still find that life
intrudes. I just spent the month of November taking the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. While it's invigorating
to test my writing abilities, it also tests my patience.
those of you who have never heard of NaNoWriMo, I'll explain. The
participants make the personal commitment to write a 50,000 word
novel beginning November 1st and ending November 30th at midnight.
There are no money prizes, no one reads the novel but you, it doesn't
even have to be perfect, it just has to be done. For this, you get a
caffeine addiction, sleep deprivation, frazzled nerves, numb fingers,
a nifty little logo to put on your web site, a printable certificate
and the satisfaction of knowing that despite everything, you
amazing how quickly life intrudes when I set a goal like this for
myself. Everyone in the household becomes "needy",
particularly my youngest son. Things he could do for himself
suddenly take on far more importance, meaning that Mom has to get up
and take care of it. The phone becomes my enemy. I can go for weeks
at a time when the phone won't ring, but once the November challenge
begins, it rings all the time. I'm not being paranoid, I kept track!
The week before NaNo began, I had a total of five phone calls in a
week - one of which was for me. As of November 1st, I had at least
that many a day - and most of them for me.
are another thing that interfere. Deciding what to fix becomes a
major decision that I usually leave to the last minute. Grocery
shopping becomes a task that eats into my writing time, irritating me
further. When I get home, the actual preparation is the most annoying
because it's accompanied by complaints about the meal.
is not the only time that these things are problematic, I simply use
that as an example. During any given day, the precious moments I have
to get the ideas out of my head and into written form, are limited. I
don't know about other authors, but my family fails to recognize that
what I am doing is actually "work". To them, it's Mom
sitting at the computer - again. Old hat, since ninety percent of my
free time is at the computer. If I'm not writing, I'm reading what I
wrote and editing it with a mixture of brutality and care. The words,
"I'm working", don't make much of an impression on three
in the midst of all this madness, I find enough time to get things
done. The precious words get faithfully added to the text even as my
eyes cross and my head hits the keyboard. Life, though it interferes,
is what I draw from to fill my books with lively conversation,
anecdotes and action. So, though I may resent the interruptions, I
welcome them, because it shows me that I am a part of life, not set
apart - and that is truly a writer's richest resource.
Below is a short excerpt from Chapter 11 of The Wall of Time - Lone Wolf Book 7
My First NaNo Novel
smiled. Not everyone would consider it to be one. It was the kind of
smile that made honest men wonder what they'd done to deserve God's
wrath and guilty men remember how they'd earned it. It was the
expression on his face when he was anticipating something incredibly
exciting, or terribly unpleasant. In this case, it was probably both.
Whistling tunelessly, he requested permission to land.
hit the atmosphere of Aolani and landed at the spaceport. With his
ship secured, he walked to the Whips and Chains Bagnio. It was the
worst establishment on the planet. Their whores were dirty, drug
addicted and disease ridden. Only the really sick or twisted would
work there. Eboneé had enjoyed her position for five years, longer
than anyone else.
his way through the crowded streets outside the bordellos, drug
emporiums and bars, he saw a clutch of people outside the 'Dirty
Seadog Pub and Massage Parlor.' He couldn't be sure, but it looked
like a bunch of dwarfs dressed as clowns. They were singing an old
rock 'n roll song slightly off key and rubbing peanut butter on a
group of unhappy aliens who looked rather like giant slugs. As he
passed them, he noticed the distinctive, fruity odor of cheap, diet
Cheerwine. No wonder they were so boisterous. Diet Cheerwine was the
poor man's all purpose mind altering drug.
scrawny man in a dirty black leather thong and studded dog collar
answered the door. He had a name tattooed on is skinny chest: Cliff
Brooks. Cliff escorted Wil into the lobby and told Eboneé she was
wanted below. The whore took her time, making sure she was perfectly
attired for her new playmate.
she arrived at the head of the stairs, she had on a skimpy black
leather outfit that barely covered her breasts and crotch and didn't
cover anything else. Her thigh high black boots had metal heels and
she wore gloves with metal spikes. Chains adorned every available
surface and a nasty looking black snake whip hung at her hip. She was
the epitome of the S&M Dominatrix.
had to do his best to hide his snarl with a smile. She was so
overdone, so full of herself, it was almost painful. Eboneé might
think she was tough, but she had just met her match. Wil had dressed
just as carefully for his visit. Wearing an ill fitting, wrinkled
gray suit, dingy white shirt and a bland tie, he stumbled clumsily up
the stairs. Not even the clothing could disguise the magnificent
physique under them. Eboneé liked her job, she liked men, especially
good looking, strong men. This one was going to be a treat. She led
him to her room, decorated with a wide variety of sex toys from all
over the galaxy. Humans were not the only ones who liked it rough.
smiled as he walked through the door. This expression wasn't
frightening. He did his best to convey a man who was excited as hell
to be in her presence.