I’m back… and just in time for NaNo

Yes, it’s true. You’re actually reading a new blog post by little old me. I’m really back! The last time you heard from me back in June, I was preparing for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo and my first-ever homemade writers retreat with my bestie. Well, Camp itself was a bit of a bust, but what did go splendidly well was our retreat.

For me, it was a chance to see what life would be like as a full-time writer instead of an only-in-November one. I had a schedule, and I stuck with it: have some breakfast, write for four hours, have some lunch, then back to writing for another five hours.

It was, quite honestly, amazing.

I really, really liked the feel of those three days. Quite often I wrote past my stop alarm because I was that close to the end of the scene and wanted to get it done. I clocked in a word count of over 18,000 words in three days, but that last Sunday afternoon I struggled to add words to the count. It took me a good hour of only kinda sorta necessary research to figure out I was procrastinating. I also realized I’d reached the three-quarters done mark of my book.

Which meant I was almost done writing the first draft of a novel.

Which meant I was at the same place I’d been with Boyfriend Experiment the last time I stalled out and didn’t finish.

Which means I haven’t written a word since July 23rd.

Fast-forward to this month’s Preptober discussions with my bestie about what we’re going to work on for NaNoWriMo. I know I should pick up COC and finish it. I know this. Maybe it’s the excuse-maker in me, but I’m pretty sure part of why I procrastinated was I have no idea how to end the book. There are too many ways it could go, and I’m not sure which is the right one.

Prep_tober
Is your NaNoWriMo prep complete?

I don’t care what you say, endings are fracking scary.

Thus I took the path of least resistance and decided on traditional romance for November. I’m going back to the basics–no prophecies, no magic and no trying to remember where I put a certain plot point or added an important detail so that I don’t screw up the semi-complex story line. It’s set in my fictional Texas city of Kilcavan, and will include a boy and a girl, horses and a hurricane, and a little jealousy thrown in for kicks.

I’m sure this will be another good NaNoWriMo. I’ve set up numerous writing sessions with work and non-work friends. I’ve got a new bullet journal layout with a nifty grid of milestones to earn toward rewards at the end of each of its six levels that will track my progress along with my usual word count bookcase.

This year I also have Lois Lane of Daily Planet fame watching over me and inspiring me when I’m at home (click here to see my Instagram fangirl geekout over her arrival). When I’m elsewhere, I’ll have my ever-present companion Snoopy along with his new buddy Mars, a small toy statue that looks exactly like Cal’s mustang.

I’m off to binge as many episodes of Smallville as I can between now and November 1 when writing begins, because once NaNoWriMo starts, no more TV until the day’s word count is met. :)

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Writer’s Blocks Scene 4

AM_ROM_DTH_ESC1Hello once again, blogosphere! It is finally time to post the last of the scenes written with my Writer’s Blocks (for more on this, see the related “Writer’s Blocks” posts under “Past Musings”). Unlike the previous rolls, which were relaxing and had no time limit per se, this one came about because M and I had been at it for hours and were about to pack up for the day. That’s when she challenged me to do another roll. I stared at her, as there was barely a half-hour left on the clock before we’d be kicked back out into the Texas heat once the library shut its doors. Then I said, “Why not?” and we threw the dice. Here’s how they settled, with the further explanation provided by the little insert that came with the set (click the image above to see it full size):

  1. Hero — Male adult
  2. Genre — Romance
  3. Plot — Escape — hero must get away from an enemy, a place or an internal conflict
  4. Plot Twist — Death — major character unexpectedly dies

It’s going to come as no surprise that two of my apparently favorite elements returned, but this time throwing me a loop with a male lead in a romance. For a “lightning round,” it would be quite interesting. I’m just glad I didn’t get something much more difficult like horror genre and quest plot or some other equally hard combination. As before, included below are the actual notebook pages; click on a page to bring up the full size version.

AM_ROM_DTH_ESC2 AM_ROM_DTH_ESC3

For the time constraints, I’m surprised there’s even fewer marked out sections. Then again, perhaps it’s because of the time limit I just wrote and didn’t rethink it too much.  So I present to you the final transposed scene. It’s going to be a bit cheesy, and anything in [brackets] is edited for content due to the subject matter. You can probably guess what I edited out to make this PG-13.

Scene 4

John dragged Anna into the darkened hotel room, giving her one last kiss before tossing her on the bed. She smiled up at him and beckoned, and he didn’t waste any time. Stripping fast, he watched as she did the same, and pounced as soon as she revealed all that smooth white skin. She felt as good as she looked and while he would have preferred taking things slow, they were on borrowed time. It sucked to be on the run, but when a cop set you up, they set you up good. She pulled him back to the present with a hand on his [hip], and he kissed her hard. Taking the hint, he stroked a hand down her long body and they both groaned when he [joined] her. Moving fast, it didn’t take long for them to crest together. He managed to roll sideways before collapsing, and smiled when he felt her snuggle against him. He drifted in and out of sleep the next couple of hours until he finally gave up. Easing out from Anna’s embrace, John headed for the shower. Turning it on hard and hot, he stepped inside and drenched his head, hoping the water would wash away some of the cobwebs and he could think of their next move.

The banging on the bathroom door shocked the crap out of him and he heard Anna yelling that she thought she heard sirens. Not thinking Edwards would be that dumb but not wanting to risk it, he shut off the water, dried off and threw open the door. Anna was nearly dressed and he was damned glad all he had was jeans, shirt and boots. Dressing nearly as fast as they’d undressed earlier, he held out a hand and squeezed hers once. She squeezed back, then picked up the .45 that had been kicked under the bed and handed it to him. She kept the Smith & Wesson for herself.

God, he loved a woman who knew her way around guns.

They bolted out of the room and sure enough there were sirens too damned close. They made it down the stairs but had to abandon the car as the cruiser screamed into the parking lot. John dragged Anna into the hall that led to the back of the hotel, and dove for cover as bullets erupted around them.

Apparently, Edwards had drafted the local sheriff to flush them out.

Reaching out for Anna, he panicked when he didn’t find her beside him. Spinning around, he saw her lying just five feet away. She’d caught one of the stray bullets in her stomach, and was bleeding badly. He started toward her, but she shook her head. John refused when she told him to go, then smiled when he saw she still held her gun. Telling her goodbye was one of the hardest things he’d done, but they both knew she wasn’t going to make it and he wasn’t going to waste the chance she’d given him.

He flinched as another volley of bullets rang out, and the rage at seeing Anna shot in the head nearly did him in. Realizing he had only seconds before he was surrounded, John cursed Edwards and bolted.

That’s it for now on the Writer’s Block scenes. I’ll be meeting up with M again sometime this month, and we’ll see if we get our homework done or choose to work on other projects. You never know, I might pick up the dice at home and give them a toss to see how they land…