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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cabins are Here!

I’ve been assigned a cabin for July’s session of Camp NaNoWriMo. This makes it real in my mind. Camp NaNo is really just around the corner.

I need to get ready.

That might be easier said than done. I have the worst luck when it comes to keeping myself organized and on task while living at home. Other people distract me.

Okay, maybe that isn’t quite fair. I lived with people at college and I was able to stay organized and get my writing done there. My family doesn’t understand that I need to write while I’m in the zone. They’ve never figured out that seeing me writing with headphones on doesn’t mean they should just talk a bit louder about whatever “urgent” task they need me to do.

My priorities are not always going to line up with theirs and I’ve been trying to explain that to them for years now, but of course in the midst of explaining it whatever bit of dialogue or description I was in the middle of writing floats right out of my head.

I’m half temped to make a sign and stick it on my own forehead: Is the house on fire? Is someone dying? Can it wait until later?

It’s not like I won’t take the trash out if that’s what needs to be done. I just might need ten minutes to tie up some loose ends so I can actually jump in where I left off again. Just let me know it needs to be done. Don’t make it into a full-blown conversation. Even better, write a note next to me of the things you’d like me to do once I’m done. Notes work. We already use notes so we know they work for us.

Somehow I think if I suggest this I’ll just end up covered in sticky notes by the end of July…

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Thoughts on July Camp NaNo

I can hardly believe that Camp NaNoWriMo cabin assignments start tomorrow. I can hardly believe June is more than halfway over. It really feels like just last week the last Camp NaNo session ended.

I feel so unprepared. Although I know I’m going to be a rebel and continue an ongoing project, I feel like I should be doing research, creating characters, and trying to come up with at least a vague premise for a novel. Instead I’m working on the project already, and hoping I can at least get close to wrapping up this book by the end of July.

This story started as an idea back in 2007 and an early version was written during NaNoWriMo 2007. I won that year. The story was very rough, and after some half-hearted attempts at revising the draft I decided it would require a complete overhaul. By the time I was ready to try again the story had expanded into at least three books worth of material. I wrote the first book of this new expanded story for NaNoWriMo 2010 and won again.

The 2010 version was much, much better in my opinion. I’ve reread it since, but I haven’t made any major revisions yet. At this point I’m still waiting to finish the three books I planned before I start going back and making changes. I’ve been working on the second book off and on since 2011.

Right now my goal is to finish the second book before November of this year, and then work on writing the third book for this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s only a tentative goal, and I’m sure I’ll change my mind on what I’ll actually write for NaNo a dozen times between now and then.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Not a Productive Day

Centipedes.

There are centipedes in the house.

I saw three of them last night. It took me forever to go to sleep.

Today I’m plagued with sensations of something crawling on me. It’s distracting and makes me feel like I want to jump out of my own skin.

I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything. I’ve been sitting around the house trying not to think about the many legged little creatures that are most likely hiding just out of view.

My efforts at distracting myself have not been terribly successful. Anything that gives me time to think runs the risk of leaving me open to remember my exoskeleton-ed nightmare. So far I’ve had the best luck in forgetting while reading Silmarillion fanfiction, but I fear that I will run out of stories that catch my interest before the day is over.

I have a feeling that before the night is over I will end up sitting in the desk chair with my feet pulled up and away from the floor. Usually small arthropods do not bother me this much, but knowing that there are at least several in my home, most likely in the same room as me, and I can’t find them to get rid of them just make me feel a little crazy.

Any suggestions for decent distractions would be most welcome.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fountain Pens

I’m twenty five years old. When I was born fountain pens were already a thing of the past for the vast majority of people in the United States. By the time I was finishing elementary school teachers in my small, backwards hometown were starting to require our essays to be typed on a computer and printed out rather than hand written. Suffice to say there are many reasons why I should have no interest or knowledge of fountain pens.

Even with those reasons I still found myself drawn to them.

A two toned fountain pen nib has, in my mind, been the symbol of writers for as long as I can remember. Even though I found the idea of fountain pens fascinating nearly everything I knew about fountain pens prior to a few years ago made me think that I would never own and use one.

First of all, I’m left handed and everything I ever heard about fountain pens (and that was very little!) said I would end up a smeary, inky mess if I ever tried to write with one. Looking back I probably should have shrugged my shoulders and tried it for myself anyway considering how many times I ruined or nearly ruined pages of handwritten notes in graphite over the years. (I’m still a bit saddened by nearly a summer’s worth of Yu Yu Hakusho fanfiction being rendered indecipherable by excessive pencil smears a decade ago.)

Another reason I waited so long to dive into the world of fountain pens was the expense. I was told time and time again that fountain pens were a luxury item that would cost me an arm and a leg. Now I know better. There are fountain pens out there that easily cost more than half a year’s wages for me, but there are also plenty of pens out there that are quite affordable for just about anyone. Even low cost fountain pens aren’t as affordable as the huge packs of Bics you can buy at Wal-Mart or Office Max, but using fountain pens is probably comparable in cost to most other hobbies that involve some degree of collecting.

I finally took the dive into the world of fountain pens when the tendonitis in my wrist got much, much worse from all of the note taking in college. I decided to shop around and ask for a fountain pen for Christmas. I got my first fountain pen from my mother as a Christmas gift in 2009. Once I got used to using it, the fountain pen did allow me to write for longer periods of time without pain.

Then I discovered another wonderful thing about fountain pens: ink. There are hundreds of different inks for fountain pens available today. I was no longer stuck using just the “popular” colors to write. If I want to write in purple I don’t have to use bright or pastel purples that end up hurting my eyes. I can use Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses and write for pages and pages without tiring my eyes.

I’ve tried to be careful with my spending when it comes to fountain pens. I could easily see myself buying more than I could possibly use. So far I’ve done a pretty good job. Right now I have nine pens and eight different inks. My most expensive pen was just under $30 and two of them were under $5 (I got both of those in Japan and now I wish I had bought at least a few more while I was there).

Since I got started with my first fountain pen I’ve been writing most of my rough drafts by hand. The only notable exception is NaNoWriMo because I just want to get the words out. Fountain pens aren’t conductive to producing words at super speed, but they’re very good for forcing me to relax and get swept up in the process of writing.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Trying to Write Every Day

Writing is important to me. It’s something I’ve done on a fairly regular basis since I wrote what I consider to be my first story in first grade. I try to make it a priority in my life, partly because I enjoy writing, and partly because I’m told that I need to write every day to become a better writer.

Life just doesn’t work out that way all the time. For me writing is a hobby just like video games. As much as I love writing, my time and energy has to go elsewhere from time to time.

When I have a longer than normal shift at work I usually don’t write. If I have a social function my friends or family want me to attend I probably won’t write that day. Some days I just don’t feel like writing and I don’t see any reason to force myself to write when it isn’t fun.

A lot of times people seem to expect anyone who considers themselves to be a writer to be completely dedicated to the craft. It doesn’t matter that writing is something fun that doesn’t pay any of the bills, and keeping the bill collectors away has to take priority over some of the more enjoyable things in life.

Sometimes I even find myself pressuring other people to take their writing more seriously. It’s almost as though we all expect writers to have nothing greater going on in their lives.

As much as I love writing the pressure can take the fun right out of it. Whenever a hobby starts to feel like a chore rather than something to look forward to once the chores are done it’s probably time to adjust the you and the people around you are treating that hobby.

If writing isn’t your job it shouldn’t be an obligation. Just enjoy it and don’t let the world pressure you into making it into something more.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Why I’m Not an Aspiring Author

Hello out there!

Depending on how  you found this blog you may or may not already know me. I go by Blitz online. I’m twenty five years old and I’m lucky enough to have a job at a fast food place that actually pays above minimum wage. It isn’t the sort of job I want to keep forever, but it’s enough for right now. Most days I’m able to avoid the fantasies about becoming a best selling author and quitting my job to write full time.

I enjoy all aspects of writing. In fact, I still enjoy writing by hand the majority of the time. I think transcribing my rough drafts to my computer at a later date is a great way to do some preliminary editing. These days my rough drafts are written with fountain pens, and I admit that I’m a bit obsessed with them. I enjoy experimenting with different nibs and inks and one day I’d love to find the time to learn a few different handwriting styles.

Even revising and editing can be fun if I’m in the right mood, although I think I enjoy the rush of creating something new a bit more (but isn’t that true for just about everyone?).

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2006, and I’ve won four times. More often than not I participate in the Camp NaNoWriMo events too, although now that they allow lower word count goals for those I’ve taken to lowering my standards a bit.

As I wrote above, sometimes I do find myself fantasizing about being a published author, but if I’m honest with myself it is not something that I’m ready to actively pursue. I still have a lot of practicing to do before I feel like I’m ready to have my own stories for sale right next authors I’ve read myself. I know people have been published much younger than I am now, and maybe some of them aren’t any more talented than I am, but they’re certainly braver than me.

So for now I just write, and I love it. Maybe some day I’ll start to seriously wish to be published, but for now I’m just having fun.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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July Camp NaNoWriMo

I’ve got myself officially signed up for the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo now.

Back in April I set a goal of 30,000 words for myself, and that proved to be a bit more than I could handle. I’m going to mainly blame that on getting very sick at the start of the month and never really getting myself motivated to make up for the time I lost while sick. Regardless of why it happened, I failed to reach my goal by a lot.

This time I’ve decided to set myself a very reachable goal in hopes that I’ll actually be able to achieve it and then keep going from there. For that reason I’ve set myself the goal of 10,000 words for July. It’s  not much. I’ve written more than that in day back when I was crazy, more motivated, and willing to completely shut  myself away from the world for more than 24 hours at a time. I think 10,000 words will still be a stretch for me though. Especially since the plan is for me to move house sometime during that month.

I’m not going to worry about trying to come up with a new project for the month. I’ll just be a rebel and continue the project I’ve been working on all spring. I wrote the first book for this project for NaNoWriMo in 2010 and I’ve been working on the second book on and off ever since. It would be really nice to finally get it finished so I’ll feel less guilty starting something new for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m hoping I can finish up the rough draft for book two in the next 25,000 words or so. We’ll see how that goes.

Let me know if you’re being a rebel or going for a goal other than the traditional 50,000 next month. I’d love to have a few more people to request as cabin mates.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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