July, July, July! It Never Seemed so Strange

And now it is August. Which means I have one month left before my day job kicks me in the pants and tells me to get going. This is the lull at the university where we have no allocated budget yet, no labs running, but I have to do some inventory, requisitions and preparations for the incoming storm.

Something that came out of this crazy July experiment of #50in5 was that I’ve convinced at least three people to do this insanity with me and they want to do it during other months. We had already planned November (because of NaNoWriMo) but now we will add January and March along for the ride. With new postcards specifically for those challenges.

(At least officially.)

As promised, here is the completed #50in5 card (sans stickers at the moment):

The front
The Back

But enough of that. Let’s talk about…

July Wrap Up

Words Written: 143,524
Days Written: 31/31
Drafts Finished: 2
Shift: 79,019
Shard of Sea: 113,183
Short Stories Written: 1
-“Wedding Gifts” – 1,524
Challenges Complete: 2
-#50in5
-Camp NaNoWriMo (July)

Highest Word Count Day: 7/21 (13,202)
Lowest Word Count Day: 7/31 (855)

Favorite Accomplishment: Finishing the thriller, Shift. That trilogy is complete. It also spawned a potential duology surrounding two of the other agents so it looks like I’m not done with the DPMS yet.

Least Favorite Moment: The blackout ruining my original plans to finish Shard of Sea. I still did it, by the grace of my laptop battery, but it really threw me off kilter.

[Camp NaNo] Week Two Wrap Up

Beating those Week 2 Blues.

I’m writing this before my writing for the day is done, so the numbers will probably increase later. We’re doing a challenge over on WriYe to Write Like a Pro every week and this week is Stephen King. I expect at least 3,000 words to be added somewhere…

But this week hasn’t been bad. I had some day job issues (128 high school students, 8 classes, two days!) but I managed to still get my words done. I thank the child for that; she taught me to sneak writing in wherever I can on whatever amount of sleep I might have gotten.

I did my second #50in5 on Friday, sick as hell, but done. Shard of Sea most likely has ten to fifteen thousand words left so I think draft one will be done by the end of this week. And then I can go back to the first draft of Lies of Jade and Ivory for the last two #50in5 days (one of which I am going to do alongside Mandi Lynn’s 10k Challenge).

So, here’s the breakdown:

The Split

Again, my main focus is on my thriller novel, Shift. I really want to finish that trilogy and get it all sorted and ready for a series-style edit. It’s quick to write because the POV character and I think very similarly. Except for the fact that she’s currently infected with a killer virus.

Shard of Sea is coming together, all plot threads weaving into a whole. I don’t think I’ll start the third in the trilogy – Ash of Cloud – until next year though. What I have to do after finishing this is reread the series in total (including book one!) so I know what is still lingering for book three.

Things I’ve Noticed During Week Two

I think, because I was so busy, I didn’t have the normal week two blues that come with writing NaNoWriMo novels. Not having my writing at the forefront of my mind made it that “reward” I received when I finished the day-to-day requirements (i.e. Work and Child). So having the mindset of “I get to write now” as opposed to “I have to write now” kept me afloat, I think.

I also learned that even with insanity at work, I can get fit words in. Which negates most of my excuse making in November…

The Wrap Up

Words Written: 30,615
Shard of Sea: 20,332
Thriller: 43,684

Total So Far: 64,016

Favorite Scenes:
Shard of Sea: The Vrolki-human duo finding the hidden sandstone cavern
Thriller: Mae confronting Beth about her infection… or is she?

Biggest Concern:
Shard of Sea: Wrapping this all up. I’m at nearly 90k already and I might go to 120k…
Thriller: I know who the Big Bad is. But now it is revealing him with a good bit of foreshadowing.

Biggest Celebration:
Shard of Sea: Finding my plot notes from January and realizing I wrote just what I had originally planned!
Thriller: Creating a new character that seamlessly (I hope) fit into the role I hadn’t known I needed.

Goals for Next Week:
Words: 28,000 words
Challenges: Two Days of #50in5 (One coinciding with #10kWritingChallenge)
Shard of Sea: Discover the Shard
Thriller: Explain the Evolved/Find Kerrington

[Camp NaNo] Week One Wrap Up

Week One’s Nays, Yays, and Numbers

Here we are on day seven of Camp NaNoWriMo. I like competition so this really helps me focus on finding every ounce of free time I can to get words onto paper (or screen). It also helps that it is during the summer and the normal course load at the university is lightened. Two lab classes and minimal administrative responsibility is much easier than four classes and full administrative responsibility. I can even sneak in some words on the (rare) lunch break.

The Split

I’m writing in two novels for Camp NaNo: Shard of Sea (high fantasy); and my final installment in a thriller trilogy. Shard of Sea is the novel I am doing #50in5 with, so it’s word count will be really boosted once a week (with twice a week happening next week). The thriller I am trying to get at least 2,000 words in every day. So far, it’s been good!

Things I’ve Noticed During Week One

I found that if I am warring, I can focus on words for a short amount of time. Unfortunately, the baby does take away from that if she needs something, but I can do them after she’s fallen asleep for the night, or when she’s cooking dinner with the spouse. Waking up early is productive, but it all depends on how sleep was the night before. If I had a bad night of sleep once, I can handle it and go on. If it’s been multiple (as in the week I’ve had with Miss Teethy Sick), I’m pretty useless.

The Wrap Up

Words Written: 33,401
Shard of Sea: 10,289
Thriller: 23,110

Favorite Scenes:
Shard of Sea: The fight between the elfin scouts and the necromancer
Thriller: Mae finding out de Milo is the new chief

Biggest Concern:
Shard of Sea: Figuring out how the magical map works. It came up mid-writing.
Thriller: Who the real Big Bad is. I had an idea but now…

Biggest Celebration:
Shard of Sea: Slipping right back into the partially finished novel without a hitch
Thriller: Recalling Mae’s voice and being able to “think” like her again

Goals for Next Week:
Words: 25,000 words
Challenges: one day of #50in5
Shard of Sea: Get to the reunion scene
Thriller: Have Kerrington escape and the fallout from that all squared

[Camp NaNo] Hello Muddah. Hello Faddah.

Here I am at Camp NaNo July! (I hope that song is stuck in your head forever now.)

As I mentioned in my last post (about #50in5), I have decided to work on two different novels during this session of Camp. One is under a different pen name and will be the last novel in a trilogy.

The. Last.

I have never finished a trilogy before so it’s actually really exciting that it’ll be done. And at the same time, I think it’ll be sad. Which is why the first thing I did this morning for camp was to write the first paragraph and the very last paragraph. The ending 50-or-so words that will cinch the rest of the series together with a callback to something the character said in the first book.

So if you’re into thriller/suspense following a federal agent, let me know. I’ll give you that NaNo name.

The other novel I am working on would be under this pen name. It’s title, for now, is Shard of Sea, part of the Albica trilogy, as I will call it for now. I’m using that for #50in5 (which, pst, if you want goodies…). With luck, it will be every Friday along with July 21st, to coincide with Mandi Lynn’s #10kWritingChallenge.

Shard of Sea already has ~65k written in it, so I expect I should be around 60% done with the novel, if not further along. It follows Lady Thilda Rouk, who is the leader of the quickly-going-bankrupt nation of Lasiris. What’s even worse than that is the hints that the Lich who killed her mother and sister, and caused her father’s death in war, has returned. So she, along with her guardian Sir Auciet and her lover, Sir Rylis, go to the Vrolki for help.

The Vrolki tell her two things: first, she has to collect and repair the Lightbreaker; second, they’re sending emissaries along with her. These are their stories. (dun dun)

The only downside of working on this novel is that I haven’t touched it since 2016/2017. Many family events happened – good and bad – so I left writing for awhile. Coming back, it is a joy to read but some of the subtle things I was weaving in are still lost to me.

But that’s why I have planning documents and plot journals. So if I don’t figure out the few things I was hinting at by the end of my re-read, I’ll have to search out which journal all the details are in.

So, I will be taking a page out of erin‘s book and trying to check in weekly here. Maybe I can get back into the blogging swing of things…

Stats:

Words Written: 2,514 words
Chapters Completed:
0
Favorite Scene so Far:
The only one I have written so far, haha.

A New Challenger Approaches: #50in5

AKA: Don’t let me write in a journal.

Earlier this month, I made a second Camp NaNoWriMo account. My main one is finishing my thriller series (under a different pen name) but I wanted to finish up one of my fantasy books that I left dangling pre-baby. As I wrote this out in my Planning Journal (a book where I just let myself do some stream-of-consciousness planning and journaling about my writing life, goals, hopes, dreams, failures, etc.), I started to deduce a way to do them both in a month.

Most people would probably just split their main account and do 25k/25k between the two novels.

I decided no. Let’s go nuts. So I made a second account for my novel, Shard of Sea. And then I decided… why not dedicate Fridays to fantasy sequel and the rest of the month to thriller?

After mentioning this to my Writing Gang (Liz, Tatra and erin), a new challenge was created. As erin outlines, we are going to participating in #50in5. It’s pretty simple:

5 days.

10k a day.

50k in 5 days.

Is it doable? Sure. I can do some pretty fast drafting so 10k a day (provided my spouse is down for watching the kid during her fits) isn’t going to be too horrible.

Is it wise? Probably not. But I write relatively clean first drafts so I won’t destroy my novel in the process.

As erin outlines, we’re going to be making this A Thing ™. I have some postcards in the works that are functional (will help you track your words!). She has some awesome stickers to mark your progress. And you will also get some friends doing crazy work together.

So if you’re down, join us! Head over to erin’s post to sign up for goodies (if you want them) and prepare for some craziness in July.

(The second novel is an optional insanity if you’re being a NaNo Overachiever.)