Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Wednesday...

And you know what that means!  Another chapter is available for your viewing pleasure at Youpublish!  This is chapter three of the story, where our intrepid adventurers go deeper into the caves and try to avoid the guards that still hunger for the recapture of their prisoners and the slayers of their comrade.  

That might be a little melodramatic, but hey.  Check it out if you get the chance.  It's free, and I'm trying to come up with something like a free e-book copy for anyone who downloads any of the chapters once I get everything all nice and edited.  I will hook you up, for reals.

I've been reading a lot of writing advice, lately, about how to make your writing better, and I see the same thing over and over again.  Experimentation, is one of them, and one I think is very important.  Getting stuck in one way of doing things just sounds silly to me, and that's probably one of the reasons I can't seem to stick with a genre to save my life.  But more than genre, experimentation is about medium.  How you express yourself, and through what form.  My goal today is to write a poem and one page of script.  

I've never been a good poet.  I always try to tell a story even when no story needs to be told, and I'm working on poetry as a way to strengthen my 'show don't tell' muscle.  Try to break away from that part of me that needs to be saying, 'and then this happened.  And then this happened.  And then this happened, and then that happens!'  There's a time and a place for that part of me, and that time is Not All The Time.

I was working on a script last year that my beloved and I lovingly refer to as The Zombie Apocalypse: A Play for Two People.  I did three weeks of writing ten pages of script every Monday, and then I stopped because God knows why.  I think I told myself that I had no idea how to write a play when I was, in fact, writing a play.  I would like to pick it back up again, dust it off and slowly finish it.  I liked the idea and where it was heading, and I liked that at the time I was working on two entirely different kinds of projects at once.  It was refreshing.  I was learning, and I think that both can teach me ways of how to write both better.

Speaking of writing, I finished writing the first chapter of my Young Adult story last night, tentatively entitled The Song of the Star.  I just finished a cover for it - something I've been doing a lot lately.  

It's fun, photo manipulation, and it feels almost like productive procrastination.  If you, for any reason, want to see the other covers I've done, here's the only time I'm ever going to link to my deviantart page.  I took all the pictures myself and use something called Picnik to do the manipulations.  If you don't do this, try it some time!  It's fun, and a chance to stretch other creative muscles, especially if you're like me and have a good sense of aesthetics, but can't draw to save your life.

Before I forget, I also have a prompt for you today.  It's called 'The Mirror':

There's been a terrible accident. You wake up in a hospital room, all alone, with nothing beside you - no cards, no flowers - except a small mirror. Do you dare look into it?
Write this scene. 500 words.    

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Day of the Dead

I'm going to be trying something new here for a little while.  I'm going to be posting a daily writing prompt for you fine folks who somehow find this place.  We'll try it for a little while, and see how well it goes.  You're welcome to leave a response to the prompt in the comments, or post a link to wherever you decided to share your words.  You can also write on your own blog, as long as you do me the favor of linking back to mine.  Thank you, and have fun!

Here's your prompt for today:

The Day of the Dead

Dia de Los Muetros, All Hallow's Eve, the day when the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead thins, and the dead walk the earth.

Write a scene when the ritual celebration becomes something... more.  The dead, just for this one day, actually walk the earth.  Do the party-goers encounter benevolent spirits, or vengeful zombies?  Loved ones, or strangers?  What happens in those few hours before the dead return to their own world?

Write 500 words.

Young Adult fiction

As a genre writer, I'm always questioning where exactly my writing fits in.  Is this fantasy, or science fiction?  What is this called?  My novels so far, in order, have been fantasy, fantasy/survival horror, fantasy/science fiction/young adult, and _____ whatever my current one is.  It's a mash-up of real life groups of people that would never interact on this world, and a tale of real human loss and redemption.  So, there's that.

My third novel was not YA by design.  It was a story that just happened to have a child as the protagonist.  A smart child, to be sure, but it was still the story of a child dealing with adult themes.  Eh, some adult themes.  That's another characteristic of my novels - there are really no truly adult themes in most of what I've written.  There isn't a lot of swearing, no sex, no gratuitous violence, and a handful of deaths that almost always happen off camera.  I've been wondering for a long time if all of my writing is YA, and I just don't know it yet.

So I got this idea a couple of days ago, and I thought it would make a great romance plot.  I've always wanted to write one of those, too, just for fun, and I have a couple of ideas, but this one just came to me in a torrent of ideas, and a couple of hours later I had an outline for a short novel.  Bam!  I love it when that happens.  I wasn't going to do anything with it, because I have this other novel that really deserves more of my attention, but today I started thinking.  If I made the main character a couple of years younger, and focused more of the story on her life and how these changes affect her, it would work way better as a young adult novel.  An on purpose one.

Now, I don't know anything about writing young adult fiction.  I was one not too long ago, and I still remember the strength of those thoughts and feelings, but I feel a little uncomfortable tapping in to them to write a book.  Adolescence was not such a good time for me.  But I really like the idea that I have, so I'm going to go for it.  It will be a learning experience, and anything I learn in the process, I'll share with you here.

Thanks for stopping by.  Check back soon if you want to see what progress I've made with this new idea!  I'm hoping to learn a lot more about a new genre in the process, and maybe I'll see that this is what I've been doing the whole time I've been writing.  Wouldn't that be something?  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Expectations and daily prompts

As some of you might or might not know, I manage a small writing group on a website called Reddit solely for daily writing prompts.  It's called /r/promptoftheday, and if you've never been, you should check it out.  I update it daily with a writing prompt out of either my own head or my notes, and very rarely a reader will send me a link that they think will make a good prompt, and usually I will use it.

 It has a much larger readership than anything else I do.  With 252 (as of today) subscribers, that's 252 people who see something that I have some up with and shared every day.  It's a lot of pressure to keep giving these people quality submissions.  I've been doing it for three months now, and I've exhausted my simple ideas and have turned to using the ideas that I was saving for my own future short stories and possible novels.

But you know what?  I love it.  Managing something so small and yet so much larger than anything else I do is quite a bit of fun.  It's anonymous, mostly, which means that everyone can see my username on the site (Lego_my_Lego) but it doesn't connect at all to anything else I do, which includes this blog.  It's a daily creative endeavor that I have to work at, much like this blog and other writing, and it's something I do for free and simply for the joy of it.  I'm not trying to peddle my own work, and I only link to outside sites if there's something there for others to use as a writing prompt, and I've only ever linked to my blog in accordance with the rules I set up for the community (provide a link if your work is above 500 words - so much easier to read that way, and it keeps everything so wonderfully uncluttered).

Why am I saying all this?  What does this have to do with writing, or blogging at all?

Good question.  Because it's something I do for free, and because I do it just because I want to share and motivate others, my expectations aren't nearly as high as for my other projects.  I do and always will hold myself to high personal standards, but because it's just for fun I can let myself relax and just shoot off whatever I'm thinking about that day.  Prompts have been simple, they've been complex, they've been genre specific and they've been genre-mixed.  It's something I can do just because it's fun.  I don't do enough of that, I think.  And it benefits people, to get their writing muscles working, and it benefits me to get my writing muscles going.  It's also really helping me with something I'm calling 'writer's greed', where I don't want to share my ideas with anyone, in fear that they'll be stolen.

I'll tell you something.  I've posted some ideas that I've had for stories, and not once - NOT ONCE - has anyone posted a response anywhere close to what I was thinking at the time.  Writers are too creative to steal stories.  It's not in our nature.  Ten writers can see the same thing, and get thirty different ideas.  If I was braver, I would write prompts based on what I'm writing, just to see how many different ways a person can take the idea.    

If you didn't follow the handy link I provided for you above, I'll share something with you - here's the prompt I posted today.  If you get a mad hare, feel free to respond to it!  Comments are always open here, or, if you have a Reddit account, sign in and post it there!  If I've made one person think about writing today, my job here is done.  Thank you, and have a great day!

There are two ways to get off world... the legal way, and the other way.  A character in dire straights has just learned that they cannot get off the planet using conventional means. What do they do when they learn what they have to do to still get into space, and what's waiting for them there that's so important?
The 'other way' can be as vanilla (bribes?) or as grotesque (selling freshly skinned corpses?) as you want. Be creative, and feel free to rearrange the details of the prompt to tell a good story. Surprise me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Second chapter online and experimentation

Last week I said that I would be publishing chapters ever other week on Youpublish, but that has turned out to be incorrect.  Two weeks between uploads is way too much time for me to forget all about what I'm supposed to be doing, so I'm putting a chapter online every week.

Welcome to chapter two of what I like to call The First Task of Symon Daye, wherein our heroes finally get out of the prison and begin the grand adventure of finding the lost city of Agras.  It's totally free and you don't need to download anything - you can read it right on the page.  If you don't have anything better to do for a while, give it a shot.

Other than that, there's not much going on.  I'm currently reading two books, Stream of Consciousness in the Modern Novel, by Humphrey, and House of Leaves, by Danielewski.  I am always using the same patterns, the same ideas, and I'm not experimenting with my words nearly enough.  I can do anything with my words.  Anything!  I can say anything I want, in any way that I want.  In any form and any format.  Stream of consciousness is a little outdated, but I still think it's a valuable thing to know and to learn, and House of Leaves is a book that I'm discovering bit by bit as the story (stories?) unfolds.  It's very exciting.  Both of them are, just because they're something new and different, and because they're two very different ways of telling a story using methods I have never tried.

Experimentation is key, I think.  I've probably said this on here before, but I firmly believe that you can never relax, you can never let yourself think that you're any better than anyone else.  The moment you place yourself superior, you stop trying so hard to be better.  And that constant striving for a perfection that can never truly be gained is the largest part of being a writer.  A rut is a rut.  No matter how good you are, if you're not bettering yourself you're still stuck.

And I say this, like it's no big deal, when in fact I find the whole concept utterly terrifying.  Change how I write?  Just... change it?  But what I know is safe!  And I know how it works, what to do, how to do it, how everything is supposed to fit together!  Suffice it to say, it's hard.  But it needs to be done, for the sake of my craft, to make it my art.  Right now, I tell stories.  I need to learn how to paint stories with words.  Good luck to me, and good luck to you as well, whatever your goals may be, and wherever your experimentation may lead.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Growing Up

I still have a lot of growing up to do, as a writer.  I'm getting there, but I'm not quite there yet.

I've been really stuck on the second 'book' of my new novel.  This whole thing is a brand new experience for me, both in terms of emotional involvement and in content, and I've been having quite a bit of trouble.  The book is about death, and about life; it's about religion and spirituality and the belief that, in the end, it all comes down to one thing.  That it doesn't matter if there's someone in the sky watching you to make sure you're making all the right choices.  It's about being happy with your life and doing what you want to do, and following only the rules that make sense to you.  It's the story of a man searching for the answer (to life, the universe, and everything) in the face of horrific loss.  But I, the author, don't have the answers to give him.

I've only experienced loss once, and recently.  It was sobering.  It still is.  It's still hard to believe that she's really gone, that she's much farther away than Tuscon, and even farther away than a phone call.  She is very quickly becoming an inspiration for this novel that she wasn't when I started to write it.  It's a very hard book to write.  It's very, very hard.  Because, in terms of writing, I've only been playing it safe.  I haven't dared to address any adult themes, or adult lessons, like life, and loss, and how you really feel when you want two things the same amount, and both at once.  If I had to classify my earlier fiction, I would actually put it into young adult.  People die, in the book I've been editing, but there's no emotional connection to those people, and the majority of them happen 'off screen.'  I've been too scared to branch out and write something that would make me learn about myself, or that make some people uncomfortable.  This book is my answer to those problems, which is why it's so hard to write.

In many ways, this novel is autobiographical.  Jared (my protagonist) has lost someone, and is dealing with it, as I have.  He has trouble with his faith, as I have.  The world ceases to make sense for him and he's looking for the answer to a question that has no answer... as I am.  We're both very different people, he and I, but it's clear to me that while writing it, I am also writing about myself.  My writing has a lot of growing up to do.  I need to be able to express these emotions, and have the presence of mind to maintain all of these emotional story lines at once.  This is nothing that I have ever done before.  It's scary.

But that's okay.  It's okay to be afraid of the unknown.  No matter what I write, and no matter how I write it, I will improve.  I am, at this moment, scrapping 10,4 69 words of the second book that are taking the story where I did not mean for it to go.  This is progress.  I have never taken so many words out of a story before, not once.  But it's the right thing to do for the story.  I am beginning the daunting task of starting over, from the beginning, and trying to make it closer to the vision I originally had for this section (The Mad Priest of Nothigog is the name of this book.  I love it!).  This is what I mean by growing up.  I'm trying to learn, and I'm trying to keep an open mind to anything that could possibly make me a better writer.  If I learn nothing else from this book, I will consider it a success.

Shameless plug warning: if you would like to see some of my earlier writing, I have a chapter posted online at from an earlier work.  It's called The First Task of Symon Daye, and it's free to read.  I'm trying to teach myself how to edit a manuscript, and you can see what I'm learning there.

Thank you for stopping by!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to fight writer's block

I've seen so many of these posts in my day.  So many different ways to rearrange the same ten or twenty things that everyone says to do when you're blocked.  Take a walk, people say.  Or a bath.  Let yourself relax and stop thinking about your work.  Bullshit.  It's just the same, tired cliches on how to do something about being creatively blocked, when, really, there's only one answer.  So, here's my list.

How to fight writer's block:

1.  Scream.  Often and loudly.  Scream at every blog post that references things like going for walks or taking baths.  Alternatively, scream while taking a walk or a bath.  It's great for getting rid of stress.

2.  Skip around your house whistling Scarborough Fair, or any related Simon and Garfunkel song.  This one is good if you have dogs, so their looks of disapproval and disappointment can force you to get back into your chair and sit at your computer, and better if you live with actual people, so they can ask you how you're feeling and if you've taken your meds today.

3.  Play a drinking game!  Take shots of your least favorite alcoholic beverage every time you try to get up from your computer.  You're already one behind if you've followed the above advice, so get to it.  You might not get any writing done, but when you wake up you'll already be sitting at your computer, so you have no excuse.

4.  Teach yourself a new skill.  Like minesweeper!  Or throwing cheerios into your mouth.  Or how to type with your toes.  Anything that doesn't involve getting up, or else you have to take a drink.  Eventually, you will be so bored that you will have to actually type words to keep yourself from blacking out.  Problem solved!

5.  But seriously.  How to get through writer's block?  Work through it.  Keep writing, even if it's crap, because you can always go back and fix it, unless it isn't there to fix.  If you like any of these ideas, though, please try them.  And let me know how they work for you, because they sure as hell didn't work for me.

ALSO!  People, I have put the first chapter of my book up on YouPublish.  Here is the link to my profile, and here is the link directly to the chapter (where it is up, FOR FREE, because I love you guys).  This is not the final edit!  After I'm done putting all the chapters online, I will also put the completely edited book in the same place, either for free or for a ridiculously low amount of money.  Keep it in mind, and if you happen to read it, let me know what you think!

So, what's your least favorite beverage?  I think mine's gotta be either whiskey or absinthe, and if I had to take a drink every time I stood up I would probably type until I peed my pants.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I'm having a little trouble getting motivated enough to edit this book.  It's been sitting in a drawer for almost a year, now, collecting dust.  So I'm editing it, chapter by chapter, while also trying to work on other projects.  These chapters, to keep myself motivated, will be put up on youpublish every other wednesday (starting today) for free.  I'm not selling anything that isn't my best work, this is just a way for me to learn more about the site and if I have the personal willingness to put myself out there in a way I haven't before.

I'm always very hesitant to put anything out there that isn't my best work, and I still feel that way.  These chapters are in their first edit, and still have a long way to go before they're fit to print.  This is more for me, in a lot of ways, than for the reader, but I still have full confidence in my story and I really think you should check it out, if you have the time.  It's available for free, now and for always, as will the rest of the chapters that I put online.

I need to learn to let things go.  That nothing can ever be perfect.  I need to learn how to market things, and how this whole world of self publishing even works, anyways.

Of course, I would really appreciate anyone who takes the time to pick up a copy.  It might not be perfect, but I can assure you it isn't terrible.

Here's the link, check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I received my first professional rejection.  That's right, folks - I'm officially in the business of getting rejected.

I am viewing this as an incredibly positive experience.  The best of experiences.  As soon as I got the email that they were passing on it, I sent it out again.  Now we'll just have to wait and see.

Rejection is as an important of a process as anything else in the time frame of getting published.  I'm not going to get a story accepted every time I ship it out the door.  It's a fact that I just need to face.  But every time I get a letter, or an email, it means that I have taken the most terrifying first step.  I sent it out.  My work, my baby, all alone in a harsh world, but I have done everything I can as a parent to make sure it's successful.

I'm very happy that I got a rejection.  Really, I've been telling people about it.  Every rejection I receive means another chance that I took.  And every chance I take means that one of these times, I might get the ultimate payout.  One of these days.  One of these days, I'm going to get paid for doing this.  I'm going to go through a lot of rejections before that happens, and even after it happens for the first time.  I'm perfectly okay with this, and you should be too!

I've heard a lot of things about rejections.  I've heard that anything personalized is actually a good sign, and that's what I'm going to continue believing.  Mine had my name at the top, and the line "I hope you find a good home for it soon." included in the letter.  How wonderful!  I'm very excited.  This is a new stage in my writing life, and it's off to a great start.

As you can probably tell, I'm very happy about all of this.  It's either laugh or cry, and I so love to laugh.  So bring it on, world!  I'm going to become someone great, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review of

So I've been on the NaNoWriMo forums a lot lately, as I'm doing this whole Camp NaNo thing.  That's where I found, and also where I found Write or Die.

The whole premise behind the site is to set a time limit and a word goal, to to write for that set amount of time while being prodded by the website as an incentive to keep going.  There are consequences and grace periods, or what happens if you take too long and to what setting you want 'too long' to be.  The entire point of the site is, as stated in the title, to write or die.  It has various unpleasant things happen on the screen when you've taken too long to write something down, from changing the color of the background to loud noises.

The writing space itself is a plain white area for text, and the only real complaint I have with it is how it screws up my formatting whenever I try to copy from the 'done' screen and paste it to my document, but that's mainly because I'm one of those people who puts two spaces between each sentence.

So.  I think that this is a very good site.  I've talked about those 'NaNoWriMos' and how that whole subculture isn't really my thing, and this tool is a very good way to sum up the entire NaNo experience - quantity over quality.  What inevitably happens when you're writing and panicked about something happening on the screen is hurried, not well thought out writing.  But in November (and now, during 'camp') it's always about getting the words down first, and straightening them out later, if ever.  For that reason alone I was hesitant to start using the site as a tool.  But there is a very good point in this somewhere, about just getting the words down, no matter what they are.  Using Write or Die, in Normal mode using a 'scrict' grace period, I can write 1000 words in twenty minutes.  I can do this without the application of a web site, I'm sure, but this is the first place I've learned that I can do this thing.  They might not be the best words, but after I paste them to my openoffice document and play around with them for a bit, I have 1000 more words than I would have otherwise.

My advice, for normal, non-frenzied writing,  is to tone down the grace period.  Having something happen when you've been sitting watching a blinking cursor for too long is really great motivation to make sure that you're constantly putting words on the page.  They might not be the best words, but once they're there it makes it a lot easier to go back and fix them.

There's also an offline version of the application that I am considering getting but haven't decided on yet.  The site is great, and has been one of the reasons I've been writing so much lately, but it's also mentally exhausting to keep it up for too long.  I'll report back if I decide to take the plunge.

Thanks for stopping by, and see you later!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review of

I have been writing so much lately.  I just don't have much to show for it.

I've found this absolutely wonderful site - - that takes one of the principles (morning pages) of the book, The Artist's Way, and allows you to write online.  There are rewards for different things, it tracks your stats, and best of all, it shows you kinds of things you would never realize by yourself, such as what time frame you're writing in (past, present, or future), what you're writing about, and generally finding correlations in your writing that you're probably doing subconsciously.  Oh, and it also compares your stats with everyone else who uses the site, and even compares your recent pages to what you've written in the past.  For anyone who loves to count numbers or keep track of their progress, this website is going to be your crack.  Global averages, and how your writing compares both recently and overall?  And we're talking a lot of categories here.  How you're feeling, what you're concerned about, your mindset, even your frequently used words.  Highly, highly recommend it.  Like for serious.

I'm still doing Camp NaNoWriMo, too.  I'm just staying off the forums, now.  I can really understand why some people don't like NaNoWriMo, and I can still understand why some people don't.  My productivity levels have been off the charts since I started this thing, but I was looking for an excuse to get back to those levels.  I would have found something eventually that would have led me to write, I just needed the incentive.  I've written a whopping 12,222 words since midnight on July 1st, bringing my novel up to a solid 25k word count.

I like this book.  I do, I do.  I like writing.  I'm working on getting more into the flow state, actually working on this, as a daily thing, because I cannot remember what it was like last year when I was writing feverishly.  Was it like this?  Now, I get a little bored just typing.  My thoughts are going much faster than my fingers, and taking the time to transcribe them is a boring task.  The feel of fingers on keys is nice, but there's no other stimulation, and it gets a little old.  So I'm doing some exercises, becoming more aware of the time it takes me to write x number of words, and trying to keep my mind occupied.  Meta-writing, if you will.  Thinking about how I'm writing, while I'm writing.

That's what I think a site like is really good for.  A way to think about the words on the page, when the real message is elsewhere.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great night!    

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look into the mind of the writer

It's four thirty in the morning.  I'm trying to get my 2000 words done for the day.  Or am I?  I'm listening to the five songs in my youtube playlist (three of them are Oingo Boingo, of whom I cannot seem to get enough lately) and playing failed game after failed game of minesweeper.  I'm doing everything, actually, except writing.

It's hot.  Hot, hot, and sticky.  Oingo Boingo is yelling in my ears about how I'm going to die, and the backs of my legs are sticking to my chair, coming wetly off of the fake leather whenever I try to find a cooler spot.  It's just me, my headphones, and a single ceiling fan at a crazy hour of the morning, while I 'write'.

I don't seem to have anything to say, tonight.  My hair is in the loosest of buns, in a desperate attempt to get the mass of it off my neck.  My beloved spilled beer on my computer, and the space bar is sticky.  Everything is sticky.  Keys, skin.  The bottom of my tea cup, where tea and leftover sugar have dried in what looks like a sticky paste.  I cleaned up spilled soda tonight that could have been from last night, and I remember the feel of it when I walked in it with my shoes.  Almost like crunching.  A sticky day.

It's smelled like rain all day, but there was no rain to be seen.  The phantom rain.  It's only July, but this might be a sign of monsoons to come.  There was lightning in the clouds when I drove home, and the dust of dried raindrops from yesterday clinging to my windshield.  Monsoons will be fun.  The smell of rain in Arizona, of dust and water, and dust storms that always contain the promise, but rarely the treat, of rain.  Just wind, and that tantalizing smell.

Skin can't touch skin, it's a rule in the summers.  My shoulders are cramped, and my bangs are getting in my eyes.  I want to put them somewhere, but they're too short to tuck behind my ears.  God, I would kill for a back massage.  Well.  I would ask nicely for a back massage.

Not writing.  I want to write, but instead I'm sitting here in the ungodly hour of the morning, smelling false rain and sticking to my chair and my clothes, listening to the macabre lyrics of a band that was popular before I was even born.  My shoulders ache.

Have you ever wondered about the secret, glamorous lives of artists?  This is it.  Searching for inspiration, or lacking that, motivation enough to get 100 more words on the page, and 100 after that, and 100 after that, until I have reached my goal and until I can go to sleep with the least allowable amount of guilt.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm a liar

I'm more than one way a liar.  I'm not uploading Luna to Smashwords, I'm uploading the first edited chapter of my novel, The First Task of Symon Daye.  And it didn't happen yesterday, and it isn't happening today, either...  I need to make my SO make a suitable cover for me.  I was going to just make something in Paint, but I didn't really think that was fair, either to me, or my novel.  I'm awful at paint, and my beloved is so, so much better at art than I am.  So, now I have to get on his butt to help me out.  I don't think anyone will be too upset, but just in case, it's still free, so, you get what you pay for.

I'm still doing Camp NaNoWriMo.  I'm chugging along pretty well, but doing this only makes me remember how much I don't really like people who do NaNoWriMo.  Everyone should write, I firmly believe that, but we're talking about some people who haven't written since November.  Haven't.  Written.  Since.  NOVEMBER.  These people aren't writers!  They're hobbyists!  Grumble, grumble, and I'm done.  There are a lot of people who have written, and who use NaNo for the same reasons I do.  Getting yourself motivated, having a national support group of people going through the same things you are, and all in all I think it's a very effective way of getting people to write who wouldn't normally do so.  And I can't really talk about writing.  I took a month off after NaNo last year (my computer was broken, damn it) and this is the first time I've gotten farther that 10k into a novel since.  Lots of short stories, and other, more personal writing goals met, but I still can't say with any degree of accuracy that I'm a professional writer.

My novel.  Man, my novel.  it's called Coming Home, and it's the strangest thing I've written to date.  It's not really fantasy, and it's not really science fiction, it's mostly set on another world, but it could just as easily be set on a world that's made out of bits and pieces of our own.  I like it.  I really do.  It's a sad story, but that's okay.  Some stories are just sad.  It's about death, and I've just lost someone.  It's about losing faith, and I haven't had faith since I was a child.  It's about the Truth, and I don't know it.  That's okay.  Neither does my character, and neither does anyone he interacts with, though they might claim differently.

I've said this on here before, that this novel is going to be incredibly important to my growth as a writer.  I've talked with my fiancee, and we've both come to the conclusion that it's not really an art, for me.  I'm not an artist.  I love to write, and I think I do it well, but it's not art.  I'm driven, but not by a higher sense of aesthetics.  It's a craft.  Work.  Beloved work, to be sure, but still, work.  There is a definite sense of effort being put in to writing, and also of trying to make my writing better.

Blegh.  NaNo starts again, and immediately, I'm back making journal posts.  I feel pretty bad about the story, but I'll get it up there.  With a decent cover, or, if I can't coerce one out of him, one of my own.

Time to get writing.  See you on the slip side.