So we’re 4 days into Nanowrimo, and I’m doing okay, averaging 1,000 words a day which is my minimum. I haven’t done my words for today, but I imagine it’ll be around there. (I am wondering where to go next, even with my loose outline. Oops?)
So, here’s the rundown:
Physical activity: 3 times X 15 minutes
Covenant: 0 words, but simmering
Fireborn: 905 new words, broke 20k
Ever Touched: 3,000 words so far for Nano
Test roll: FINISHED. Just need to find the time to mix the chemicals and develop it! It felt good to be shooting b&w again
Chocolate consumption: Not too much, actually. Well within the limits of my diet. Kind of scary, but good for me.
Here’s a little snippet of Ever Touched. Background: Brianna is the MC, and she is at a Fey bar to gather intel. But she gets sidetracked by a drink and the dance floor…
A pounding began behind my eyelids. Lovely. With a whispered cheers, I took my first sip.
And nearly choked.
He wasn’t kidding when he said it was “very hot.” It felt as if a fire seared its way down my throat and spread through my body. It jacked me up in an odd kind of way. I wanted to dance, to move to the music, let the fire pulse inside me with the music…
I found myself headed toward the dance floor without any conscious thought of doing so. I dodged the mass of bodies writhing, gyrating, twisting, and turning until I found a reasonably empty spot.
And…started to move.
As the fire spread through me, I let the music take hold of me. I moved with it, and within it, spinning, forgetting everything — the episodes, my loneliness… I moved like an ethereal being between strobes, flitting across the floor like a wraith, spinning like a ballerina. I was everything; I was nothing in the pulse of the strobe lights.
And then it happened.
I was in that room again. A pinch of an injection. A face, blurry to my eyes, a mouth moving, forming words I couldn’t understand or hear. My spine bowed with the force of energy slamming into me, and I started to speak.
Words, disconnected sounds. Nothing made sense. I wasn’t dancing anymore. I was standing there, all alone, and trapped in the vision-thing and —
I’ve been doing mostly editing, but I did finish up the big project (on Labor Day, ironically enough), and while I’ve been working on copyediting the lovely KD Sarge’s next Turtleduck Press novel, Burning Bright (which so far is awesome, btw!), I have had a bit more time than I have had lately. I wrote bout 500 words on Fireborn, and have been happily noodling — or, uh, brainstorming ideas for When the Stars Fall, which my muse has insisted is BEFORE the Stars Fall. She feels this is very important.
So far, I’ve got a guardian angel in human form who doesn’t know it, frightening visions she believes are the result of mental illness, a rock star who’s about to die, and one rule: the angel and the rock star can’t fall in love. Also, they may have done this before in a past/parallel life before. Maybe.
So, um, that’s what’s been keeping me from going insane these days. Because life.
Here’s a little excerpt of Fireborn that I just wrote, so it may be rough:
“You…were a witness? How come you didn’t come forward?” Rick asked.
Another eye roll. “I didn’t want to be implicated…but then I started feeling guilty – ”
“Because you might be next,” I muttered.
“Yeah, that, too,” she said, glaring at me. She had a mean glare. She looked at Rick. “She would communicate with Tarot cards. And I saw…I saw her.”
Did I believe this? Could I believe this? Maybe she was mentally ill, or just twisted enough to compel us to dance on her strings. I gave Rick a questioning look, and he shrugged. So, I figured I was on my own until we could talk privately.
“You saw her? How does one see a ghost?” Mercy started to say something, but I stopped her by holding up my hand. “Of course you can see ghosts.”
“She’s around.” Mercy averted her gaze. “She won’t rest until she kills us all.” She gave me an assessing look. “Which is why I came here in the first place. Assuming you still want my help.”
Okaaay. “Yeah, of course. Rick?”
“Yeah, I’d like to hear what you have to say. Do you want another water?”
“Yes, please,” Mercy replied, taking her empty glass and placing it into Rick’s hand.
“Be right back. Try not to kill each other while I’m gone,” Rick said with a pleading look at me.
“We won’t,” I shot back. I gave Mercy an assessing look of my own. “Is this really for real, or you just having a joke at our expense?”
Mercy stood and tried to pet Love, who’d sat herself in front of me as my feline guard. She grudgingly allowed it. Briefly. “If you survive this, you’ll grow in power, and your child will be even more powerful.”
Chocolate consumption report: Not a lot. We did have Sanders Bumpy Cake for dessert on Labor Day though!
So that’s it from me for now. How are you all doing?
This is it, the end of RSW! I can’t even believe that it’s over!
I’m understanding that this year they are doing a “Manuscripts and Manicures” thing where you get a manicure in colors related to your WIP and post pictures? Sounds awesome, but I’ve been SWAMPED and have not been able to get it done. However, I
do have a stock photo I purchased a few years back for a project that does in fact remind me of one of my WIPs, Fireborn. —>
Okay, so onward with the reporting!
I did okay this go around. I took a few camping trips with hubby and that did not result in any big wordcount numbers, but did result in pictures! Also, I took on a few freelance editing jobs that made it tough to get any sort of groove going, and that’s totally okay. But that’s what happened. In some instances, I was just too busy to do something.
I also was adjusting to new medication for trigeminal neuralgia, and that impacted my ability to be productive.
So, enough with the whining! Here’s the final rundown:
How I did last week:
~Get to halfway point on editing job (page 175 or better!) DONE! Hit page 180 last night! ~Write something, anything, even small! DONE! Wrote a scene in Covenant last night. Don’t have a wordcount yet. It’s still on my iPad.
How I did overall:
~Finish Fireborn, my fantasy novella, episode #2 in my Reaper Girl Chronicles. NOT DONE. I haven’t finished the draft, but I’m within 10k or less of finishing, and I have A Plan for the rest!
~Outline Ever Touched (Fey Touched book #3) in Hivemind. (I do not do much outlining at all, so this will be light. But I’d like something laid out to follow) DONE to the extent it could be done. It kind of fell by the wayside as other goals took priority, but it’s started and as I’ve mentioned, I don’t do total scene-by-scene outlines b/c I like a bit of mystery.
~10k or more on Covenant, my dark fantasy project (stealthily writing now) DONE! It’s around 11k or so.
~Continue to work on Survivor on Sundays (Survivor is a psychological horror novel I started waaaay back in 2004 and wrote it only on Sundays. Over the years, I got out of the habit — although I had finished the book — and wanted to try it again with the rewrite.) NOT DONE. This also fell a bit by the wayside between camping trips and editing jobs. I have been thinking about it a lot and I did begin a comprehensive re-outline for the rewrite. Soon, I’ll restart Survivor Sundays again. However, I did manage a couple of Sundays, just not a whole lot! ~Participate in Camp Nano July session/pick a project DONE! Covenant and Fireborn combined for a total of 10k which made my goal!
~Create a name for Etsy shop (still noodling) DONE, although it’s nowhere near the one I want. Supposedly it can be changed.
~Find manual 35mm camera and see if it still works. If it does, shoot test roll. DONE on finding the camera, NOT DONE on test roll. Needed to buy a new camera body. Waiting for things to calm down so I can do the test roll.
~Read (2) books for review and post reviews by August 31 or sooner DONE #1, but not #2. It’s been read but not reviewed yet.
~Organize office NOT DONE but started!
For the excerpt, here’s part of what I wrote last on Fireborn:
“May I come in? It’s kinda cold out there.”
“Of course,” I said as I opened the door wider. Love watched the girl’s every moment. “Please have a seat on the couch. Can I get you anything to drink?”
Her eyes glistened with tears. “Water?”
“On its way,” Rick said. He left to get it.
I gestured for her to sit down, and once she was seated, she released a shuddering sigh, the kind you get when you’ve been crying for hours and you’re not sure you have anything left inside you. I was worried. I didn’t know her, but she’d been through something unpleasant.
I could relate.
“So…what’s going on?”
She squirmed. Clasped her hands together, then released them. Played with her long black hair. “It’s…it’s about the murders.”
“What do you mean?” Rick asked as he entered the room. He handed the water to the girl, who thanked him and drank it almost in one gulp.
“I know what’s been going on. Because I’ve been a part of it.”
“What?” I couldn’t even believe what I’d heard. I exchanged an incredulous look with Rick. “Are you saying…”
“I was part of the group that killed Samantha. I’m scared that I’ll be next.”
“How did you find us?” Rick asked, reaching for my hand.
“I had a vision,” the girl replied matter-of-factly. “I saw you and your husband. And your cat.” She glanced at Love, whose hackles went up. “She doesn’t like me, does she?”
“She’s a…very special kind of cat.” I went to Love and picked her up, holding her close to me. She was purring, but not out of content. She was afraid of this girl. “Let’s start from the beginning. Who are you and how did you come to have a vision about us?”
The girl swallowed hard, eyeing Love warily. “Cats don’t like me, for some odd reason. I’m a witch. I practice black magic, and I know you’re not entirely human.” She looked at Love. “And she’s not from this world.”
“Name. Please?” Rick prompted. He’d paled. No one had ever discovered who we were. Or were so blunt as to tell us so.
“I don’t know what to say.”
She smiled, looking all innocent. A black witch? Hellfire. “My name is Mercy.”
“How appropriate,” Rick muttered. “So…you saw us in a vision. Why?”
Mercy shrugged. “Because you are connected to the murders.”
“And what murders are you referring to?” I asked. Just in case this wasn’t about our case. Hey, it was possible.
“The ones that appear to be suicides.” Mercy stood, set her glass of water down, and wandered to the wall where we’d hung our wedding pictures and pictures of Love. She glanced at us over her shoulder. “As I said, I was part of the group. And Samantha wants revenge on us all. The first two were in the group, too. And there’s a fourth, but I’m not as interested in helping him. He’s a douche.” She lifted her hand and traced a path down the frame of one picture. “You two will be very happy. You’re truly matched.” She turned back to us, and her eyes seemed…deeper. More piercing. “You will have a child together and she will be very powerful.”
My stomach twisted. I’d never even considered getting pregnant. “Oh?”
“Leliel…pregnant?” Apparently, Rick thought the same. Or so I hoped.
Mercy nodded. “A female born in this world but with Reaper blood.” She went back to the couch, but didn’t sit. “I’m here to stop my own murder. And…I guess Tom’s.” She shrugged. “It would be the right thing to do.”
I felt nauseous with the knowledge that we were talking to one of the people who’d committed this horrific crime. “But why, Mercy? Why kill someone?”
“She was being a bitch.” Mercy sat. “She…had been cheating on Freddie for like, ever – “
“But that’s no reason to murder someone, burn them to death!” Rick cried.
“There’s more. You’re aware we’re into the occult, right?”
Rick and I nodded together. Horror filled me, filled every cell. I was afraid at what came next. No, make that terrified.
“Well, she cast a spell on him,” Mercy said, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. “She called it the ‘failure spell.’” Air quotes. “Meaning, everything he’d ever do he would fail at – tests, winning girls over, his goals…everything. Forever.”
“Surely not literally forever, right?” Rick asked. He was sweating.
Mercy nodded. “Yes. Forever. That’s the other thing. It was supposed to give him a form of immortality. But not the good kind. The worst kind imaginable.”
I did not want to know. I did not want to know.
“Rick,” I hissed. “Really?”
“Curiosity,” Rick whispered.
“Let’s just say that he’d age normally but with no youth. That can be…really bad.”
I’d heard of punishments handed out by His Highness like this. The person would literally turn to dust in time, and the question was always if that dust was still conscious…bile came up my throat, and I made a beeline for the bathroom.
“Is she pregnant?” I heard Mercy ask. “Because that is one of the symptoms.”
Is Leliel pregnant? And is Mercy telling the truth? Stay tuned!
Well, this has been so much fun, and thank you all for the encouragement and cheering and the kind words! Good luck with your future endeavors.
Annnd here we are again with a Ready, Set, Write! progress report!
How did I do?
How I did on last week’s goals
~500 words minimum on Fireborn/rework current scene – Partially DONE. 1,376 new words written, but did not rework scene. Have determined that I need to rework most of the second half, so that’s a thing.
~500 words minimum on Covenant – DONE. Wrote 2,044 new words.
~Finish book #2 for review – DONE, and will be posting review tomorrow.
~Start Survivor Rewrite…again. Not DONE. I have been working (and reworking) the outline and trying to figure out what the best first scene would be. Have not reached any conclusions, but it is simmering.
This week’s goals:
~Begin reworking Fireborn’s second half/1,000 words min
~1,000 words min on Covenant
~Make ruling on Survivor’s first scene
~Finish Camp Nano (10k, both projects combined)
A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: From Covenant, a bit more than one line…oops!
The door squeaked open. A servant with an irritated look glared at him. Reproach. Of course, he wasn’t worthy to even be in this section of the [compound]. Okay, fine. “Um…I’m looking for Annah?” Damn it, he sounded like a moron. She’d never let him see her. He had to project the idea that he belonged here. He cleared his throat as the servant arched a questioning eyebrow. “I was sent here by…” Who? “a Watcher. To check on her progress.”
The servant frowned. “But by checking on her, you will essentially destroy her trance and cause her to lose focus. Why would a Watcher want that?”
Busted. He put his hands up, swore when they shook. Decided to go for honesty. “Look, I can’t sleep because I’m worried about Annah. She’s my best friend, and if I can just see her, say hi, I’ll feel better. And I know she will, too.”
The servant gave him an assessing gaze. “You’re not going to give up if I say no, are you?”
“No.” Osri smiled.
“Very well, then. Make it brief,” the servant said, stepping aside so he could enter and then shutting the door. The room was lit by candlelight only, golden and shimmering. It was not what he’d expected. “Annah is this way.” The servant led him past fancy couches and end tables to a small alcove set into a window.
A huddled form sat inside, her head down and her face covered.
The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc): Still adjusting to the new medication and it has been tough to stay focused. Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon staring at my screen just unable to make myself do anything because I was so tired. I took a nap, and I perked up a bit afterwards. And being stuck on all three WIPs was a bit rough, too. Starting to work my way through that now.
Something I love about my WIP: With Covenant…there are so many layers that are revealing themselves to me as I go. I was stuck on something, and was mindlessly surfing online and bam! something came to me and another layer appeared. It’s like magic, I swear. And I’m just shy of 10k in the draft so there’s so much more room for more!
Yeppers, I did it! I made my second goal. Kind of funny…I finished last night’s writing less than 200 words away from 40k. (!!!) I was running short on time, and I (really!) didn’t have any more time. So I promised myself I’d write at least 200 words today before posting this (usually I post first and write after). So, I ended up writing 337 words. And I hit 40k.
And the groundwork has now been laid. Now the crap really hits the fan. It’s gonna be awesome.
ROW80 has been awesome experience. I’ve met some wonderful people and I was able to keep focused and accountable, which is one of the best motivators for me. Who’s in for Round 2?
Running total: 40,155 words Words remaining: +5,155 words Feeling: Triumphant and accomplished Body count: Still 1 person possessed. Eye report: Slightly twinge-y Back report: A pain. Looking into it tomorrow
And, a bonus! A snippet of today’s work. Please note that it’s unedited and rough. But it’ll give you an idea of what I’m doing. Ignore the wacky formatting — not sure how to fix that.
“Open your eyes,” Soren said. “Talk to me face to face. I want to know why you did it.”
A blast of light killed the darkness. I could see again!
My vision blurred in and out. Adjusting. Excitement filled me.
“Soren.” My lips moved. It was my voice. But it wasn’t me. “Soren, calm yourself. I cannot have you getting distressed.”
Soren was translucent, phasing in and out of corporeality. Oh, Soren. Didn’t he say something about being weakened when the Queen….?
It was her. She was speaking through me!
But could I talk to Soren?
“Soren,” I said, and my voice echoed around me. I couldn’t talk too loud, or Ixania would know I was here. “Soren, it’s me. I’m still here.”
Soren didn’t react to this at all. He just seat there, wearing this horrible, devastated look that broke my heart into tiny little shards.
He couldn’t hear me. I was…mute.
“I am going to be distressed, Ixania. This is not what we agreed upon.”
“You had an agreement?” I asked, then shut up. He couldn’t hear me. Duh.
“Who is there?” Soren asked, looking around him. Had he heard me?
“No one is here but you and I,” Ixania said with my mouth and vocal chords.
“I thought I heard something.”
Ixania scoffed. “Nothing is here, dearest. Now, I know we had an agreement, but I had to…what is the word…improvise. Solstice did their job, preparing Miss Emily to be my Vessel. So it had to be done.”
“And it could not be anyone else?” Soren asked.
“Good question, Soren,” I murmured. I tried to move my hands, my feet, my head. It was like being paralyzed from the neck down — I had no sensations at all. I could hear and see, but that was about it.
I was a prisoner in my own body.
That scared me down to my bones.
How would I get out of this? Could I get out of this? Or was I stuck…forever?
Been a writing fiend, and it’s going really well. I did take last night off to work on a story for an antho, but other than that, I wrote every day. I’m coming up on 40k whch is so exciting, and things are really heating up!
Stats (all days combined):
Wordcount today: 6,211
Total for Nano so far: 15,217
Words left: 14,783
Treat: Hot chocolate!
Nick is: being evaluated
Asha is: being saved by Joe
Emily is: in unspeakable pain
Mood music: Tool, Eyes of Eden, Various
Excerpt: in which the shit hits the fan…
I was looking at myself in the mirror when I saw it: my new eyes flashed to black with silver streaks. My heart plummeted to my feet. What was going on? Why were my eyes doing that?
I blinked, and they went back to normal.
I grabbed a brush out of the drawer and started to brush my hair. It always calmed me. Always soothed me. I needed soothing. I needed answers.
And answers you will get in time, an unfamiliar voice said in my head. It’s too soon. I need to grow stronger first.
I dropped the brush, and it clattered on the floor.
I ran out of the room, not sure where I was going – where could I go? I was locked in here, with this thing in my head, and –
Don’t be afraid. I will not harm you.
I wanted to close my ears, make myself not hear her.
You cannot get away from me. I am within you.
I could certainly try, though.
I went back to the bathroom and frantically searched for anything that could bring me pain. I figured if I was hurting, I would be able to ignore her.
Of course, the bathroom didn’t have anything. Who knew? They probably anticipated this sort of thing and didn’t want us to hurt ourselves.
Were there others like me?
Yes. But no one as strong as I.
I sat on the bed, my hands shaking.
“What do you want?” I asked, my heart racing.
Your beautiful, young body. And your mind. That is all.
That was all?
“And here I thought you might want world peace or something,” I muttered. “What if I asked you to leave? Would you do it?”
I cannot. I am entwined with you now. If you hurt me, you will hurt yourself.
Slow going here. Been stressing out about some things and my wrist was hurting last night, so both days were low wordcount days. That’s okay, there’s still time to catch up. And since I’m not about 50k anymore, it’s okay. Totally okay.
Some interesting things happening storywise. I’m very excited about the possibilities.
Stats (both days combined):
Wordcount today: 1,530
Total for Nano so far: 9,006
Words left: 20,994
Treat: Chocolate pudding, yum.
Nick is: being held captive by Piper
Asha is: still freaked like whoa Emily is: Terrified and excited to get her sight back
Mood music: Adam Lambert (Trespassing) – technically, his music, while I love it madly, is too upbeat for this story, but last night I had an urge for his music.
Emily is seeing Soren for the first time (she was blind and now can see)….
Soren cleared his throat, and I finally got my first look of him.
He was…an angel. Wingless, but no less ethereal and beautiful, with white hair pulled into a braid that tumbled down his back. Eyes that were black as night and held streaks of silver. Long, elegant fingers. A simple robe that reminded me of clergymen.
But his eyes…breathtakingly beautiful. It was as if I could look into them and see eternity. See the shifts of space and time, see civilizations being built and dying. I could see my entire life in his eyes, and never get tired of it. I could see the universe, the world, the fragile light of a soul. Mana, as we Hunters called it.
It was all there in his eyes.
I’ve been very, very busy and the days are just flying. Finally, I have a few minutes to do an update.
Yesterday, I had a HUGE revelation about one of the main characters. It is SO huge that it’s going to impact everything I’ve planned. But this will make it better, and a bit heartbreaking (sorry, can’t help that — some parts of Fey Touched were heartbreaking, too). I also have a solid idea for book 4, if you can believe that. Lots happening. Lots of thinky-thoughts going on. I just love my subconscious. It is so wonderfully evil.
Stats (all 3 days combined):
Wordcount today: 3,020
Total for Nano so far: 7,476
Words left: 22,524
Treat: Good music!
Nick is: a puppet dancing on Piper’s strings :shudders:
Asha is: freaked out like whoa Emily is: scared and angry
Mood music: Dawn of Destiny and Eyes of Eden
Soren took deep breaths.
I prodded my wrist, trying to see if I’d been injured. See? No. Feel.
“I’m so sorry. That one was strong enough to break through my magic. It’s strong enough to make you its vessel. I got rid of it. It won’t be hurting you again.”
My stomach was flip-flopping. “It called me its soon-to-be Queen.” An icy finger ran down my spine. “What did it mean? I’m no Queen.”
Weight on the left side of me signaled that Soren sat down on my bed. “There’s a hierarchy there among the grave touched. They have a Queen. And a King. Their version of nobility and commoners. It is determined by strength. The Queen usually takes a vessel when she’s strong enough, and chooses a mate who is as strong as her. And they rule the Nether together.”
“But I wouldn’t be the Queen. I’m not grave touched,” I protested. Having even a slight connection to those things was freaking me out, sending me in a tailspin. Vertigo made me lay back against my pillow, putting my hands over my bandages. When would these blasted things come off?
“That’s exactly it. The one who is Queen is planning on taking you as her vessel. And through her, you will be Queen.” He brushed a wayward strand of hair from my face, his fingers cold and soothing. “I will die before I allow that to happen.”
“Thank you. I don’t want that to happen, either. It sounds..horrific.”
“Being taken as a vessel is an unbearable kind of torture. One that you cannot begin to imagine.”
Yesterday, I wrote a grand total of 184 words. I was very distractable and the words just weren’t flowing. Today, however, I wrote 1,306 words, and things are moving again. One of the MCs, Emily, surprised me today. She is about to do something I hadn’t planned on, but it’ll work nicely.
Stats (both days combined):
Wordcount today: 1,490
Total for Nano so far: 4,456
Words left: 25,544
Treat: Homemade Apple Crisp – yummy!
Nick is: still in the twilight zone
Asha is: terrified
Emily is: scared and depressed
Mood music: Pandora (various)
I drifted off, the dream returning once I was sleeping. It seemed I couldn’t get away from the darkness…
The zombies surrounded me, licking their lips with blackened tongues. Panting like dogs. Their skeletal hands, skinless except for a few places, reached for me…
One got my wrist. Its touch was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. Slimy, cold as ice. It permeated deep in my bones.
I shivered, giving in to the sensation even as I wondered what was happening to me.
The pain at my wrist jolted me back to reality. Its teeth – what was left of them – sunk into my skin and I didn’t feel anything any more….
A good start, all in all. I wrote 316 over quota, which is great. I always like to have a buffer in case I have some bad days. I am not going for 50k. I will instead be going for 30k on Grave Touched, which should bring me to around 60k at the end of the month.
Here are some stats:
Wordcount today: 1,316
Words left: 28,684
Treat: Hersey’s Drops
Nick is: in the twilight zone
Asha is: freaked the hell out, and it’s about to get worse
Emily is: very, very scared
And maybe I’d stop having the dreams.
A place of utter shadow, skeletons walking, feeding on blood. A city in ruin; desolate. Darkness curling around me, weaving between my toes and fingers. My skin gray and dull. My eyes just empty sockets.
My heart gone, buried in a deep grave, untouched and dead.
Obviously, I was scared to get my sight back. But it felt too real, too…right. How screwed up was that?
I was the Queen of Darkness. I was the one who brought the dark, the desolation. I belonged in a grave deep below the world.
I was not sane.
How’d you do for day 1? Feel free to share in comments.