The adventure of writing 50,000 words in 30 days is almost over for another year. As in 4,000 words/7 days close.
I don’t mean to say the “novel” I’ve been working on is finished. I’m not sure anyone looking at it would think that. But I’ve been doing what I set out to do.
Just writing. Whatever I feel like, writing.
It was supposed to be a wizard’s travelogue, filled to the brim with adventures and stories collected along the way.
Hasn’t really turned out that way. I haven’t written either of the two myths I meant to include when starting the project (silent apology to writing buddy who asked me to write one of them). And the travelogue sensation has been all but drowned out in places. Probably 10,000 words need to be cut out.
Then again, NaNo isn’t about being perfect. It’s about writing. Whatever you want. And apparently what I wanted was cyborgs, fire, and dragons instead of shadows, war, and magic flowers.
Cue helpless shrug, please.
This week has gone…differently. In some ways, I feel like I finally am starting to write this project. As if I had to wander through the better part of 40,000 words to realize I’ve been holding my map upside-down all along. And now all I want is to see where it will lead me.
So let me say one crazy thing–one month is not long enough for this madness of writing 1,667 words a day. I need more time. I need a second November to finish this adventure.
I need someone to smack me upside the head and remind me how nice it is to remember the names of people I see every week and get eight consecutive hours of sleep at night.
This week was especially exciting because in addition to nearing the end, I had a small word slump.
The cause? Book trauma.
This may be unfamiliar to some of you. Book trauma is essentially when I become too deeply involved in character’s lives I then get the sensation of a pencil being snapped in half when something goes horribly wrong. Not dying characters or unforeseen plot twists. I’m a seasoned enough reader by now not to be bothered by that. Much. It’s more that I’m so attached to the world, the characters, I can’t completely pull myself back to reality. If someone gets hurt, I can get over it. But if a character lets me down? Betrays everything they seemed to be and act like it’s nothing at all?
It’s as if your best friend suddenly told you out of the blue that you are fat and stupid and have a witch wart on the end of your nose and that they don’t care about you at all.
Dramatic, I know. It happens when you go hiking up Mount Doom on the weekends and spend your evenings in the Eolian tavern and a month writing 50,000 words instead of going to work parties and reading light magazines.
Or whatever it is normal people do.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just cry it out and be done with it. But the last few times this has happened, it’s like it’s been a delayed reaction. I was still sensitive talking about short stories I’d read eight, nine months afterward. It wasn’t until 24 hours after reading the section of the novel that traumatized me this time I felt that sick pull in my stomach that comes with realizing what I’d read.
Usually when a book makes me angry, the writing is splendid. I have ideas, I have plots, I have revenge and wrath and visit justice upon the horrid author’s ideas. Book trauma this time was different.
I couldn’t write. Everything I put on the page that night seemed like a horrible, shallow idea.
It wasn’t big enough to throw off my word count or set me behind. But it was pretty awful.
Word of warning–people say you can read to inspire your writing, and it’s perfectly true. But apparently so is the opposite.
Blog will probably return to “regular programming” in a week or two after NaNo ends…so a quiet thank you for listening to me grumble about my adventures. More book reviews soon.
Happy reading, and to the NaNo writers out there, happy writing. Everything will be back to normal soon.
Ready for another flurried update on the Search for 50,000 Words (in 30 days)?
I’ve been meaning to post more, but I think you can guess why that didn’t happen. Plus I had some other adventures this month to be blogged about soon…enjoy a little clue here, if you like.
I love the little charts the National November Novel Writing site has to make us feel successful for every last word, but looking at my daily word count…
I can’t help thinking how much it looks like a heart monitor.
I do realize a heart monitor is not supposed to spike that much. My word count isn’t supposed to spike that much either.
On the other hand, I have successfully added words to my NaNo project every day for 18 days straight. Which I find…
…okay, totally weird.
I am not one of those hyper-organized people who writes every day, at the same time every day, in the same place every day, with the same pre-writing ritual of shuffling the pens to one side, drinking tea, watering plant, lighting scented candles, etc.
Not by a lot.
Feel free to use your imagination about my disorganized habits. Throw in a dragon. It can’t hurt. Eep, is my little world a mess.
So this writing-every-day thing is…highly suspicious.
I keep waiting to see what life responsibility I totally forgot about. Besides sleep, of course. Because that seems more likely. By far.
Last year I binge-wrote on the weekends (is that the proper term?), usually staying up into the wee hours of the morning listening to music (shall we say insistent enough? Cue guilty laughter, please) to keep me awake so I wouldn’t have to worry about falling behind on word count during my crazy week schedule.
I haven’t been up until two in the morning except maybe once this month.
This feels a little like cheating.
Maybe I’m dreaming.
Maybe I tripped over a rabbit hole and fell into Wonderland. Maybe I’ve been too busy typing to notice the colored mushrooms and hear the click of croquet balls over the sound of my keys.
Maybe I’m just writing and things are going smoothly, perchance?
Regardless, if you see a Jabberwock running around this way, please let me know. Will be happy to knit a story tailor made.
So we’re just over a week into the writing madness of NaNoWriMo–50,000 words in 30 days. While I probably don’t have the time/shouldn’t be stealing the time for this…well, the lure was too much.
I’m not sure if my experience should encourage or discourage someone thinking about doing it. I kind of think of NaNo the same I do writing in general. You’re going to spend a lot of time on it, probably fretting over whether it’s good enough, not getting enough sleep and (occasionally) ostracizing yourself from the rest of the world.
On the other hand, if you can’t stop writing, if the world you dream about keeps you awake at night so the only thing you can do is type, NaNo is a dream come true. With friends charging ahead right beside you.
So here’s how it’s gone for me and my life, pros and cons. You can draw your own conclusion.
I’m still alive and writing (this actually does require stating during NaNo).
I am currently awake and it is not 3 a.m.
I have had a full night of sleep (also warrants stating…especially after the last few days).
My current word count is 24,131 words.
I hate probably 7,000 of those words and want to go back and cut them out.
Other stories are shoving their way into my NaNo project that don’t belong.
The initial idea for this project is now sort of out the window.
And I am writing pretty much whatever I want (pro and con here, methinks).
I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning Nov. 1-2 writing.
Got a light cold the next morning from lack of sleep/changing weather/running myself too hard.
I stayed up too late catching up on things every night this week and have been groggy and somewhat blurry throughout my week (silent apology to everyone I creeped out with a pale, uncomprehending stare. Well, almost everyone).
A loved one who thinks I do NaNo like a substance addiction commented a few days ago about “presuming with all I’ve had going on lately [i.e. rehearsals, university responsibilities, performances, blogging volunteering, working one part time job and an erratic freelance schedule] that I wasn’t writing 50,000 words.” Wrimos out there can feel free to imagine my expression. I stayed almost straight-faced for probably 1.5 seconds before giving myself away by laughing in his face (this isn’t really a pro or con…but it kind of encapsulates the experience this week).
I started out fantasy and now sci fi has invaded. Wizards beware.
My current word count is 24,131.
My current word count is 24,131.
I am writing again.
So…yeah. That’s about the sum of it. And I should probably be catching up on things bluntly neglected while writing before I get back to my automatons and mermaids, so…
So in between working on NaNoWriMo (I’m still alive after 18,000 words in 6 days! Ha!), here is the promised blog post about Grand Bookish Adventure no. 2: Dragonfest Renaissance faire. Even though it’s been a couple weeks since it happened.
As word of explanation, I am a strolling player at the festivals–wander around, wear cool clothes, and play music (this is actually my job description. Simplified, of course. Don’t be too jealous). If you want to come to Dragonfest sometime, feel free to poke around on the website. And if you like this little adventure, I’m having another performance mid-November, so keep your eye on the blog.
Otherwise, here’s the story!
If you missed my ranting about how awesome Dragonfest and Renaissance faires are in general…Life off the Page. It sometimes happens.
Anyway, some of you may remember I was hoping in terror it wouldn’t rain. Because the violin does not get wet.
And yes, I went anyway.
Probably not the most logical of my logicless decisions in the last week and a half (please note, most of this was written before NaNo–but the point stands).
And some little droplets of water got on the violin I take to faires.
(Sound of Strolling Player internally dead. Not dying. Dead.)
(Feel free to imagine here whatever wet squelching sound, dry banshee wailings or aghast poetry you like)
Of course I wiped them off as soon as I saw them and was as careful as I could be. And for those of you holding your breath, when I scrutinized it later, the worst damage appeared to be light smudges on the high-gloss varnish. Similar smudges have appeared before because my hands typically sweat rivers when I play. So. Probably no lasting damage.
Didn’t help other musicians were quietly judging me by politely commenting how surprised they were I had come.
Can’t blame them. I’d be judging me too.
Let’s none of us tell my concertmasters/former or current teachers/professors/friends/employers/anyone remotely related to my music career who knows anything about music anything about this, okay?
Cloaks are wonderful things, do you know that? You can hide an entire violin and bow underneath it when you feel the first raindrop on your nose and run for cover.
I spent most of the day doing that and playing for people under the various tents I’d taken up residence in. No one seemed to mind. In a way, you can make more sales if everyone is forced into your booth to get out of the rain. And you suddenly have free entertainment.
Everyone was super sweet about tipping me too. I know a lot of performers station themselves in one place and put out a jar/hat/open case. Not that I blame them; faire life full time can be expensive. But it’s not my style. I like to wander, browse booths, visit the Queen, walk as I play…no copper beggar’s cup. I am a mummer, not a beggar. No offense.
But people tipped me anyway just because they liked me playing. There’s one man who sells swords (ah, beautiful swords.) that tips me every year. A pirate asked if I knew the tune Katyusha, and after hearing Maria Lazareva’s version…well, that was a very good suggestion, indeed. He tipped with coins. I appreciated the authenticity but found them very difficult to put into my belt pouches one handed.
He wasn’t the only one to request music. Two boys early in the day wanted to try my violin, and yes, I did let them.
One reason for this– a story my mother never tires of telling. When I was a wee little girl myself going to the faires, I met a lady who played violin with a little band. Even that young, my genetic must play violin had already kicked into gear. Short attention span or not, I think I would have stayed planted in front of her all day long. Despite all the other magic of the faire.
She asked if I wanted to hold it.
Her violin. If I wanted to hold her violin.
Yes. Yes, I did.
She showed me how to hold it and play a note. And I can’t say I’ve ever completely forgotten her, or the violin that was easily three or four sizes too big for me.
So when two young lads came up and asked if they could play, I said yes.
I began to reconsider after they’d done it two or three times each during the day. Despite the happy faire memories, there is a darker, jealous side to musicians.
I have never heard it said better than Kvothe in The Name of the Wind.
Asking a musician to play his instrument is roughly the equivalent of asking a man if you can kiss his wife.
As best I can remember it. Don’t have a copy yet and can’t find the quote anywhere. Bother.
While he uses stronger terms than I would…he isn’t wrong. If I hand you my instrument, you can either conclude it isn’t my Precious, that I trust you very much, that I am watching your every move, or I am partially-brain dead or have no other options before the world goes up in smoke.
I was watching their every move.
I imagine watching them play was rather like skydiving. No, I’ve never done it. But it has that sensation of standing on the edge of a cliff with nothing under you.
From a few words and the way they clutched and crunched the bow, I soon learned they were both 2Cellos fans. Unusual, but approvable. Also explained their horrible form.
Don’t think I’m being cruel. Everyone has horrible form when they first pick it up. If they don’t…I suspect wizardry or the mythic Inherent Talent which I have yet to come across in full glory.
Eventually, I agreed to learn Thunderstruck for them by next year. Since they didn’t know how to play it themselves. And why not? I like 2Cellos. Maybe more than I should.
Between performing, I stopped by Lady Jillian’s booth and bought my very own LillaRose hair clasp, which I’d been meaning to do since the first Dragonfest. It has a dragonfly with Celtic knotwork designs. I am very satisfied. Next time I’ll buy one of the gaudy ones with trailing beads to wear to symphony performances.
There were also gentlemen who made me a bit too amused at the prospect of using the clasps to pin back their beards.
Yup, that’s still funny. I think they were pleased to have entertained me.
Also stumbled across a booth selling rings while I was there…so I bought one of stone and one of wood. I was thinking of Kvothe again, of course, with his rings of bone and fire and blood. They’re both a bit big for me, but most rings are. I have small hands. I don’t know why I picked the black stone ring. They had orange and jade-green and a brownish color…somehow I just felt like the black one.
Speaking of Kvothe, I did run into J. Christopher Wilson again, writer of Wards of Iasos. We have had a few tentative book discussions since Dragonfest Year 1.
I read Iasos. He reads George R.R. Martin. I therefore had no compunction in recommending The Name of the Wind. Well, very little anyway. If Game of Thrones is half of what I’ve heard as far as content…he’ll be fine.
My recommendation was somewhat solidified by a woman who appeared behind me while we were talking. As soon as she heard Rothfuss, she firmly seconded my opinion.
Then apologized for interrupting. A true bookworm, I presume.
Actually, as soon as she said Mr. Wilson should read the Rothfuss, her head swiveled to me and she said:
“Are you Kvothe?”
I burst out laughing. She shook her head and mumbled no, guess not.
I couldn’t help thinking–should I be offended? Flattered? I know where she got the idea, wandering minstrel just happening to recommend that book to someone.
Should I have been offended at the comparison to a blade-tongued musician who lies freely and spends far too much time noticing the appearance of young women?
And is also very handsome with bright red hair and one of the best musicians ever penned?
Am I okay with that?
Apparently I am okay with that.
Maybe. Sort of. Not like I’d go around telling people that. More like “Oh. I guess I’m Kvothe to you now. Okay.” I guess there are worse names. Maybe. Ish.
I should have said “One family,” the way all Ruh do, but I was too surprised to think of it in time. Anyway.
Whoever you were Bookish Lady of Dragonfest–you made my day. A deep curtsy to you and your library.
Of course, that’s saying a lot. Most of the day was fantastic (minus the rain).
There was a booth full of wooden wands where the carver said to “Feel free to swish and flick.” I was tempted, but holding my violin at the moment. They were about the prettiest wands I’d seen around.
The jousts were, as usual, very good. The final joust of the day a little girl in full armor came to watch. Of course one of the knights chose her as his Lady. I love that they choose little girls so often–you know it makes their entire year. Especially this little girl getting her yellow rose.
We actually had an unhorsing. The knight stayed still so long I actually started to hold my breath, worrying he’d gotten hurt. Then he bounced up light as you please and threw his arms in the air for applause.
He got it. You have to know that hurt. He also took two more passes in the lists at least.
We have amazing knights.
New steel fighting group The Order of the Red Boar this year. They are…intense. Very intense. To the point I hope they don’t actually decapitate each other. Historical martial arts groups are graceful, one hand disengaged, foil flicking like the tail of a cat. The Red Boar, with their broadswords and fury, well, they’re more like tipsy Vikings who grabbed the sword instead of the hammer. Expect much shouting, falling, and slamming.
They also invited me as resident musician…it is a highly tempting offer. And slightly flattering.
And for the last event of the day…you are now reading the narration of a minstrel who has officially played in the Rat Puck.
Somehow I missed mentioning this game before in my description of the faires. Not sure how.
The Rat Puck is a game I’ve never actually heard of outside of the Hartville faire. One of my distinctive early faire memories involves a woman and baby (both in garb) standing on one side of the road, gentlemen rat pucking on the other.
And when they pucked it in her direction, she belted out if they would be so kind to keep their rat on their side of the road.
Never blamed her for that, but after playing it and almost being whacked and whacking others with flying rats…woo, she was right.
The rules are simple. Everyone gets a hollow bamboo pole with an end chiseled to look like the mouth of a recorder (delicate rules regarding pole width I don’t fully gather). You are also bequeathed with a color coded felt “plague rat.” And it is your duty to wedge stick under rat and fling it halfway across the faire shouting “Cheese!” and hoping to be the first to get it to its wooden circle.
It’s rather like a bizarre game of golf.
Not sure why we shout “Cheese.” Apparently affects the accuracy of rat puck. Kind of cheese does not matter. Adding other food words to cheese does.
Not going to question that.
How did I do? Badly.
But it was all in fun, and I didn’t really care. I’d wanted to play the game for years, but thought it was gentlemen only (and I wasn’t there/didn’t have the nerve to ask/was probably smaller than the poles at that time). Whenever one of the seasoned players made a bad puck, they howled “Shame, shame, you are a shame to the clan” at each other. It was…highly amusing.
Also pucked rats over the main road that bisects the faire. At that point we were pucking rats toward people, even thought the faire was almost over.
Nobody got hit (that time), but I did hear about it afterwards.
One of Queen E.’s ladies had offered to hold my violin while I played, and when I hurried back to the court area, the Queen herself was holding it very carefully, like you would delicately rest a bare sword across the palms of your hands.
So undying respect to the Queen and her court. They understand a musician’s fierce-toothed possessiveness and how to handle an instrument properly.
So as an apology for not blogging as often lately, and for the absentee blogger I am almost certainly going to become during NaNoWriMo, I am going to bend one of my rules and blog about my life instead of books or things that didn’t happen or someone else’s stories. That way you can understand a few things that have been keeping me away from the keyboard.
Don’t get too comfortable with the idea; I enjoy my privacy as much as a curmudgeonly old cat lady and this is probably not going to be a regular thing.
After starting this post, I realized it was very long…so after a week’s delay, rather than have one gigantic story that will be too long for me to edit or anyone else to read…I give you three.
Starting (in chronological order of my Grand Bookish Adventures) with the
Feel free to use your imagination about what they’re like. And share the whimsical stories with me. I will gleefully fabricate more fantastical details for you. With dragons, of course.
In truth though, the biannual library sales are two of my favorite weeks of the year. The books are inexpensive to the point of making those of us buying them seem like sneak-thieves and robbers. There is almost always something for everyone, and if you walk out with only one book, you are stared at with a mixture of revulsion and disbelief (To my memory, I have never done this). Sales typically run from Wednesday through Sunday, fall and spring (you’ll see why this detail is important shortly).
This year I bought…way more books than I should have. Most are sitting in a tidily stacked little tower, patiently waiting to be shelved. My first recent adventure went something like this:
Went to sale on Day 1
(because, seriously. There are lots of other good book hunters out there. I don’t want someone to snatch my favorites before I get there. Also why I haven’t mentioned where the sales are held. I will share books with friends…but only very, very close friends)
Bought Nielsen’s Runaway King and anything else of hers I found.
C.S. Lewis’s battered Space Trilogy (but it’s complete, and in condition I won’t mind loaning out to other readers, especially those with questionable book-eating habits)
The Wise Man’s Fear–identical edition to the one I’d borrowed from the library.
What! you say. Why would she buy that book? Doesn’t she hate it? Wait…does this mean she loves it now? Why did she buy it?
…Because I need it. You’ll get a full explanation after NaNo is over and I have time to write the Rothfuss reviews. Now stop questioning my character inconsistencies. It was there, I wanted it, I bought it. Mine. The end.
The one-volume His Dark Materials…a friend recommended them, and I bought a battered The Golden Compass last sale…so now I have a duplicate…but it saves tracking down the others if I find out I like them.
Tehanu!!! Finally I have my hands on you and can keep reading Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea cycle. Also the sole LeGuin find for the duration of the sale.
Several Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern books. Including the first one so I can finally start reading the series.
Adam of the Road. Again, how have I never read this?
Several other Unknown Authors, Collection of Fairytales, and anthologies that made their way into my hands between Sale Days 1-2 (no, I didn’t camp out there, searching the stacks…that actually sounds like fun though…)
Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone. I’ve actually never heard of this author. Which is somewhat irksome and gloriously exciting at the same time. Usually I’m hesitant to buy an unknown book…but it was Ace Fantasy…and it looked good. Like Ursula LeGuin high-epic fantasy good. The covers were gorgeous, the volumes were slim, back-cover blurbs intriguing and condition practically brand new. They had vol. 1-4, 7, and the “newest,” The Revenge of the Rose, but I only picked up one, hesitant of an unknown author…which leads us to…
Day 2. Went back to the sale for the rest of the Moorcock series.
Yeah, I know. But if they were good, I’d be kicking myself for years for not getting the rest. And if I hate them…well, that’s nothing that hasn’t happened before. (Actually, if anyone knows anything about/totally loves this author, please fill me in! I love hearing what other people think of books. Just no spoilers, please!).
I was also browsing books for someone else who couldn’t be at the sale that day…so don’t judge me too harshly for going back just for Elric.
The Crown of the Collection:
Backtracking a little–Day 1 I made the mistake of going to the old/fine books section. Never do this if you aren’t willing to meet a book you can’t part with.
I found a limited edition Anne McCaffrey, Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.
I gaped. Unfortunately, it was buy that book (because word of the wise Book Hunters, don’t bring your checkbook to the sale. Only cash. You will most assuredly overspend) or take home the towering stack of bargain books I’d already collected.
I went with the pile of books. Gave the limited edition a loving look and promised to be back on half price day. If it would wait for me.
Day 3 I refused to go to the sale again; I had too much work-stuff going on.
But if my loved ones trouping out the door on their merry way wanted to peek in on the McCaffrey, just to see how it was doing…
To Skip to the End…
Apparently there’s a rule I wasn’t aware of that better books are culled before half price and bag day.
…and I wasn’t there…
The Merry Troupe of Day 3 brought the book back for me.
They are awesome in every sense of the word. (initiate BookmarkedOne low, graceful bow of undying gratitude).
Here’s a grainy picture of the glorious crown to this year’s collection:
Did I mention the blue is fuzzy? Anybody else ever had a felted book cover?
Needless to day, I did not go back to the sale again this fall.
(Is that needless? Or would you keep wondering?)
Anyway. That really was the end of my visit to the fall book sale. If any of the titles struck your fancy and you’d like to see them reviewed first, let me know! I’d love to hear what your favorites are or what books you were curious about reading yourself.
And NaNo starts at midnight tonight so…for those of you who aren’t writing 50,000 words this month, happy reading and relaxing. And those who are…
Call your dragons and brew your coffee! Swallow your fears and stir your ink! Our day has come!
So I finally caved in to my writing brain and announced a project for NaNoWriMo 2019. That’s right–in addition to full time-university classes, work, rehearsals, performance gigs, blogging, theorizing on magic systems and hunting dragons (was that last one out loud?) I am going to attempt to write 50,000 words in a month. Maintaining sanity during this endeavor is strictly optional.
This is a terrible idea.
And I am very happy about it.
I did demur for a while. Hence “To NaNoWriMo or Not NaNoWriMo?“. I should get some rest from my life. Take care of my health. Make the logical decision.
Ha. Sure. You may notice the logical part of my brain rarely wins these arguments.
On the other hand…
If I spent the entire month of November only sneaking writing time once in a while as thousands of other writers were charging ahead to do battle with and feast upon glorious new words, slaying monsters, riding dragons, crowing their names to the clouds like Peter Pan because we are writers….
I’d miss it.
And what would I have to show for the month after I hadn’t joined in? Certainly not a completed draft of a novel.
So I might give this a go again.
Late nights typing, noveling music, forgetting deadlines until they are breathing down my neck, dodging loved ones’ questions of whether NaNo is actually a peaceful writing community or more like a demanding boyfriend or addictive substance…meeting new characters, giving aloof nods and sudden bear hugs to old ones, making myself wonder if I really know how the world works at all…and falling in love with fantasy all over again.
So in the midst of working on posts chronicling book review/symphony trip/Dragonfest 2019/fall book haul…I am faced with a dilemma.
It’s almost time for National November Novel Writing Month. The madness where a passel of questionably sane writers gather together, bonded by the singular desire to complete one novel in 30 days.
And a question.
Should I do it?
Last year was my first go. Something in my brain said “Hey! You’re busier than you’ve ever been in your life (quite literally), why not add one more thing?”
I did it. And I sort of loved it. 50,000 words, several weekends of staying up until 2:00 in the morning, and a lot of Thomas Bergersen’s “Into Darkness” on loop later, I had the better part of a novel. To call it complete would disgrace my inner editor. To call it a waste would be a lie.
I think it was April that I started getting emails again to write a little each day. I can’t remember if it was during NaNo or then that loved ones began expressing concerns that I was fostering something of an addiction.
Well, they’re not wrong. And I did express symptoms–incoherent speech, deep distraction, withdrawal from social interactions, suddenly heightened emotional state. Also wasn’t getting much rest, which wasn’t helping my case. I have never earned the “looking-after-your-health” badge on the NaNo site. In case you couldn’t tell. Sometimes I just look at it and laugh. Sure, sure, people do that. Right? Two of you? Three of you?
So most people that know me well are softly counseling me to step back. Rest. Rejuvenate.
They’re not wrong. It’d be nice to relax. Take some time off work stuff. Read. Sleep. Let my gaming kin know I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Blog more often. Not feel over-stressed about upcoming gigs/final exams and the like.
It’s a solid argument.
So why am I still wavering?
Because I miss writing. A lot. And I have a project in mind.
So if there are any WriMos out there who can help shove me over the edge into doing this or back into the field of sanity, talk to me. Tell me if Tales from the Legendarium should be done next month, or if it should wait a while. I don’t usually ask for advice…but I could use some words of wisdom.
And to all of you forging ahead without looking back, may your files auto-save, may your computer battery never die, may your inspiration be endless and your stamina last you until December 1st, 12:01 A.M. May you write the best thing to flow from your mind to date, utterly free of cliche. May you succeed and survive.
Stock up on your caffeine. Especially the dark chocolate. You’re going to need it.
I’m not really sure I understand The Sword of Shannara. I gave it my best shot.
It’s a New York Times bestseller. And it has a lot of stuff going for it, including a new TV series. I wasn’t ever really interested in it, but I saw it at the library, grabbed it on a whim, and took it home.
It started pretty slow. I was okay with that. Lots of terrific books don’t start in media res. So I stifled my yawn and kept reading through the “Enter Mysterious Stranger” and introduction of actual main character. Big wizard-y guy. Kind of like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, at least in role, if not in bushy eyebrows. Oh, and then the wizard-y guy leaves with a warning to leave the Shire–er–Shady Vale, as quickly as possible.
“Like The Lord of the Rings with Frodo?” some little part of my mind wondered.
Oh, and then there’s this creepy thing chasing them through the night that can fly.
Like a Black Rider and Nazgul.
Hush, the book seemed to say. Keep reading.
I kept reading. Met Menion Leah and watched the little band travel through a creepy forest.
Me: Like the Old Forest on the other side of Crickhollow?
Me: While we’re talking, Flick does behave a lot like Samwise, don’t you think?
Book: Hush already.
I kept reading. Menion Leah fights this ugly tree that has a temperament remarkably similar to Old Man Willow, got to this haven of dwarves that seems a great deal like Rivendell, oh, and then there’s a council where a Fellowship is chosen to take a group on a quest…
Yeah. If it had been The Lord of the Rings over again, I couldn’t have complained. I love that book. But Terry Brooks isn’t Tolkien. I wasn’t feeling much of anything for the characters, and his long historic/political lectures didn’t really seem to fit.
So I probably won’t even make it to the Sword the book is named after. Which is a shame.
I’d really like to be wrong about this.
If anybody’s out there who knows and loves the book, please, please tell me about it. I’d hate to give up on something good before it really got going. I just can’t really see what’s ahead.
And there are other beautiful books bewitching me with their voices like mythical sirens, calling my name.
Writing Status: Unblocked
Word count for the last 24 hours was something like 4,000 plus words. Which I don’t usually see outside of NaNoWriMo season. Unless writing is going very, very well.