Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Wrap Up: Noveling, NaNo, Travel,SNIPPETS, and Almost Zero Blogging

Despite the fact that I only wrote two posts during November, I am still going to do a month end wrap-up, because while I wasn't blogging, I was doing LOTS OF OTHER STUFF NaNoWriMo. And Thanksgiving, and visiting family, and driving, and *gasp* reading. I read a lot of books this November, and I plan on reviewing at least half of them this December (finally).

The monthly wrap-up is hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction. Make sure you click over and check out everyone's posts - and while you're at it, check out Nicole's monthly discussion post too!

-NaNo and Adventures

So I was NaNo - ing like crazy the past three days (well, when I wasn't driving up and down the country), and I decided something: November NEEDS JUST ONE MORE DAY. Seriously. I got home at 1am yesterday morning, got up at 6am, worked till 2:30, made it home around 3:30, and wrote furiously until about 5pm - when I fell asleep on my computer.
I awakened around 10pm, and got back to writing. This put me at just over 47K words. 47K words people . . . So close.

On the upside, I have 47K words of a new novel (and I managed to write over seven thousand words in a few hours, so I know I can do it). And I did better than last year (45K), and the year before (10K). So I'm not complaining. And most of the things I did when I wasn't writing were 100% worth it. On that note, one of the blog posts I did write was a handy, gif-filled guide to procrastination. You can check that out here.
My NaNo project, better known as "The Butler Did It," and my writing process, were the subject of my other post, part of the Beautiful Books link up hosted by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In. You can read that here.

On November 20th, I went to a book event for Winter by Marissa Meyer. It was up in Petoskey, and it was masquerade ball themed. I brought two of my sisters, and two friends, and we made a party out of the weekend. Marissa was fun, hilarious, and a great story teller (erm, obviously). I loved Winter (spoiler-free review to come!), and I can't wait for the short stories to follow up the series.

After my drive up to Petoskey, my sister Grace and I drove the opposite direction - to Tennessee! I was off to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and precious niece. We hung out, played games, and Grace and I checked out exactly two places in Nashville: a giant used book/dvd/music wonderland with $2 manga, and an epic international market that had all of the things we needed to make dango and onigiri at more reasonable prices. And there were all sorts of other things, like live crabs that fell onto the floor and started crawling around - and eels swimming in tanks. I tried an, interesting, Korean rice drink (there was rice in the drink). And frozen mochi. If you haven't tried frozen mochi, you are missing out on something amazing. Anyhow, Grace and I loved this place and we were sort of glad we didn't have much spending money.

On Wednesday, we all drove to Arkansas. We had to drive Highway 40 (always a pain), but it was bearable because Grace and I had brought my music adapter. We listened to my book playlists, in the hope it would make me feel like writing. It sort of worked, but I was driving in intense traffic, so there wasn't much I could do about it.

The hunting lodge where we stayed from Wednesday to Friday had zero internet or cell coverage. This was great, because it took away a lot of distractions. On the other hand, the lodge also had a lot of board games and a pool table. I did a lot more "gaming" than writing, but it was also spending time with family I don't see as often. I also spent a bunch of time playing with my niece (she just turned one, and she's absolutely adorable).

After the lodge, we drove over to Little Rock (uhm, yes, lots of driving), and my phone exploded (well, almost) as soon as I got a signal. We played more games, and went to go see Creed (since we are all more or less Rocky fans). And then on Sunday, we drove back over to Memphis to go to church, and met a friend from my parent's college days. After that, we drove home. And the aforementioned getting in at 1 AM happened. So I had a lot of fun, but this explains how I bombed the last week of NaNo!


Congratulations! You made it through my travel rambles. As a (?) reward, here are a few snippets. I have been chatting back and forth with a few other writers, and I decided to (gulp) post a bit of my writing. I am notorious for keeping everything close to my chest (few people who know me have read any of my work in it's more raw state), but in an effort to thicken my skin, I decided to post some of my current work.

 Since I freak out about this stuff, I just decided to pick a random bit from my NaNo project and paste it here. It involves my three major characters. The narrator is my MC, Ernestine (Ernest), and you can read more about all three of them here.
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I gaped at this woman, blithely offering her servant tea when her own brother had been brutally murdered the evening before. Either she was incredibly strong minded, or a monster herself. Maybe this was what people whispered about?

Lady de Carrefour’s lips twisted into a bitter smile, “I know what you’re thinking. But someone has to take charge. And poor Sydney is at his wits’ end out there.”

“Hardly,” interrupted another voice, from the doorway. And the man himself entered with a tea tray in hand. Until I saw him, I couldn't even place the "Sydney" she meant. It was Sydney Smith, the surprisingly young Chief Butler – but even I wouldn’t have addressed him so intimately. That the lady of the house herself would do so was terribly untoward. Of course, I am the last person who could blame her. After all, I was the one who’d disguised as a man so I could follow her brother to the Citadel. But she couldn’t know that, or I’d be worse than dead.
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-And now, another unedited snippet from my current pet WIP - The Last Coffee Shop (more about it here and here).

 The last snippet I shared involved my MC Mads, and one of her best friends, Alan. This one features my other most important character, Luc, before the set of events that end up with him taking Mads hostage (and basically ruining her life). Again, I went for total randomness, which seems to make it easier.
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“What are you doing? Are those real chickens?”
Mads just barely avoided upsetting her stool. “Luc! Do you have to sneak up on me like that? I didn’t even hear the door! And yes those are chickens.” Mads closed her eyes and tried to stay calm. That had come out in a snarl, making Bette shift beside her and knock the ground with her hoof.
Luc came around the cow, so he was in Mads line of sight. “Sorry.” He looked a bit sheepish, but not guilty. “What are you doing?” he repeated.
“Milking the cow, what does it look like?” snapped Mads, still thrown off.
Bette let out a soft protesting moo and shifted again, so Mads had to reposition herself. “Now you’ve upset her.”
Luc was still staring at Bette, his wide eyes even wider than usual. “That’s a cow? I’ve never seen one before. I pictured something, smaller . . .” he skirted Bette to stand beside Mads. “Eugh.”
“What?” Mads continued to spray milk into the pail, finding her rhythm at last.
“That’s where our milk comes from?”
“Where did you think?” Mads rolled her eyes. “Seriously, don’t be a baby. You can’t be squeamish about this.”
“Hey, most of the milk I’ve had was synthetic, you know, with that blue tinge.” Luc shook his shaggy head. “I hope you sanitize it somehow.”
                “You think this is gross but you drink that chemical soup?” replied Mads. “This is natural, and it’s good for you. We only give our customers the real thing. That’s one of the reason we’re ‘The Last Coffee Shop.’ Sure, there are bars and shops everywhere in the galaxy serving synth coffee, that blue milk stuff, and powdered instant lattes, but none of them give you the reality, the experience that ancient Ithiran shops give you. It was a morning ritual for so many people.” Mads trailed off, flushing as she realized how emotional she sounded.
Luc whistled softly. “Well, you have to have your line in somewhere. Don’t blow a fuse.”
Mads shot him a lethal glare. “You’re here to help, not comment. Do you see that bag of oats up there,” she jerked her chin at a shelf above them.
Luc spun on his heel. “Yeah, sure.”
“Get a bucket full of those and put them in front of Bette. Then you can refill her water trough. That’s the black thing. The hose is by the door.”
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-That wasn't so bad. I think I can handle this . . . maybe (hits post before she can hit delete)

So, do either of these strike your fancy? Are you brave enough to share a random, unedited snippet of your own in the comments? How was your November? Did you do anything fun/eat anything wonderful? I am back from NaNo and ready to read - and on that subject:

-Some of the Books I am Reading/Read in November: