Tuesday Tabellion – Return Once More

I did not mean to disappear. Responsibilities landed elsewhere for awhile. Far, so far, away from writing and the creative drive I hold so dear. As I type this, it is 1am. I should be sleeping but my neighbors are decidedly obnoxious – the downside of living in an apartment – and my mind is busy contemplating what to do with an idea. An idea that was once applied to a potential verse novel. This novel died a most horrible death in the long run because of flaws with the world building, character building, and lack of a true antagonist. It was my first attempt at taking my very organic spur of the moment poetic writing style and turning it into something structured. Parts of it went well. Other parts…not so much. I learned a lot about myself as a writer and as a poet from this process.

I considered taking it apart. Reusing some pieces, discarding the rest, yet this seemed like the wrong route to take. Starting over entirely seems to be the most logical way to approach this. It seems to be paying off thus far. The idea has a few antagonists now, and the world sits on a more reasonable foundation & timeline. The characters need more fleshing out as far as their goals and motivations are concerned. Overall, I like the changes. The core concept is still the same as is the two main characters and their ultimate ending. Everything in between, concept wise, is much stronger than in the previous incarnation.

I also ruminated on what to do with the verses of the prior work. I loathe the concept of discarding them entirely. A large portion of them are very beautiful poems. I won’t lie – there are some really horrible poems in there too. I think the good and beautiful will see the light of the day soon as their own book because it seems wrong to keep them in the dark.

For now, I’m attempting to establish my focus on taking this better conceived core idea and turning it into a novel of some kind while also working on Hallow & Hearth. April, June, and September are becoming strong contenders for months that will be a pain in my behind. Trying to be optimistic that I’ll be able to keep some kind of creative momentum going during them while being extremely focused & productive in May, July, August, and the remainder of 2016.

End of 2014 Update

As I write this, I am taking a break from working on the outline for the Reaper’s Moon rewrite. After realizing there were major world-building flaws and the story was missing the proper catalysts for certain character changes, I decided to rewrite it entirely. The catalysts changed the overall story drastically thus making it a very different story to tell. Oddly enough, the new outline is missing an entire sub-plot and its corresponding secondary characters. Not sure these characters will make a reappearance in the writing process. Only time truly knows. I plan to get the rewrite process underway in February 2015.

From November 28th until December 28th, I embarked on a project to stretch myself creatively as NaNoWriMo wasn’t so great at doing so. I challenged myself to try and write 4 poems a day everyday. I did not succeed with the everyday part but I was close. Over the course of the month, I wrote 100 viable poems which is more than what I get out of NaNowriMo. This project resulted in the start and completion of Passion & Prudence. Normally, a poetry book has a minimum working time of a month and a half so completing Passion & Prudence earlier is a huge accomplishment. It is even more of an accomplishment considering I am seriously out of practice after the time-consuming and writing-limiting craziness of the majority of 2014.

On December 28th, I also got a healthy start on Vervain & Vice.

My writing goals for 2015
– Continue the intention/process of writing 4 poems everyday
– Complete Vervain & Vice, Yowl & Yarrow, Hallow & Hearth, Glyph & Grey, Rune & Rapture, and Lyre & Letter at minimum
– Continue posting a new poem every Wednesday
– Continue the monthly Free Kindle book promotion
– Rewrite Reaper’s Moon and bring it up to a final draft state
– Outline, write, and strive to bring two or three more story ideas up to a final draft state

My personal goals for 2015
– Take steps to remineralize my teeth in order to avoid $7000 worth of dental work
– Obtain a place of my own and get it into order
– Unpack then further downsizing of various categories of possessions I never got to in 2011-2013
– Daily yoga and meditation
– Work harder on staying away from the foods that may me sick – illness does not help the creative process!

Of course, the obtaining a new place and the moving process could stagnant goals in both categories for a bit of time but I’ll get back to it. I think 2015 will be a great year for me personally and creatively. 2015 will be the year of N.L.!

The End of NaNoWriMo 2014

NaNoWriMo has come to a close for me as I validated my work on the 26th at 58,901 words. I continue to be shocked and amazed that I made it to the end and then some. There was a lot of free writing and general writing notes. I did discover a couple “fatal” flaws in Reaper’s Moon which I need to figure out how to fix before I can continue on the rewrites. Overall, I am glad I have left it alone for a couple years or I would have been blind to its flaws. I finished out Elysian & Ether with 37 new poems. Nightmares & Nevermore finished out with 35 new poems. Passion & Prudence has picked up 3 so far. In total, I wrote 76 poems but the one for Reaper’s Moon is flawed as I realized a world building flaw after I wrote the piece.

This was an extremely difficult NaNoWriMo as I struggled with creativity, motivation, depression, ad social anxiety. For all my excitement about a write-in every day, it was too much for me mentally. I tried to overdo it only to trigger anxiety which aggravated the already looming depression.

In spite of this month’s difficulties, I am looking forward to next month and 2015. December will be an editing/planning month. I intend to edit a few more free chapbooks, Elysian & Ether, and Nightmares & Nevermore while working out the flaws in Reaper’s Moon. January will be the month to work on and, hopefully, finish Passion & Prudence. I intend to spend February with Reaper’s Moon. I want to get the flaws fixed and the entire book rewritten by the end of the month. I know I said I wanted to get the book done by the end of NaNoWriMo, but I did not realize that it had so many flaws in the world building and character constructs. There is a lot to fix before I can move forward. The idea is solid and the unflawed works are beautiful, I just need to figure how to put it back together without scraping the novel altogether.

Of course, my plans for 2015 could change some – and I hope they do – when I find a new place to live.

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Days 3, 4, and 5

I have been feeling under the weather the past couple of days. I have managed to keep up with the word count by writing whatever pops into my head when I sit down to the computer. Not useful toward my goals for Reaper’s Moon, Elysian & Ether, and Nightmares & Nevermore but sick me was of the opinion that words were words. I managed to get myself together long enough to attend a write-in this evening, Day 5, where some poetry did happen. None toward Reaper’s Moon but Reaper’s Moon did manage to pick up a piece of rewrite work late on Day 2. Not where I had hoped to be progress-wise come Day 5. There is still time to pick up the pieces.

I have mentally thwarted by restlessness driven by the hope of getting my own home again. I continue to have no prospects on that front. It is has been over year since I discovered Al-Bisslii was caving in on its self – an issue I could not afford to fix – so I moved out and sold it to someone who could afford to fix the damages. Next week, will mark a year of when I moved in with my sister. While I do not live with her anymore, I certainly had expectations of having my own place by no later than this upcoming mark. If nothing else, this past year and then some of living with others has made me more appreciative of who I am, what I want out of my life, and of my long-standing single gal status. It has made me more aware of how I show love and respect to others and how I expect such in return. I cannot recall when I have actually gotten these things in return where they truly mean something to me. Perhaps that is why I have no interest in living with other people – family relation or not.

As I type this at the write-in, I become very engrossed in the notion of coming here tonight might have been a mistake. Sick, tired, tired and more tired.

There was a write-in on the evening of Day 3 but I did not attend. There is a write-in tomorrow yet not sure I will attend based on my current physical state and frame of mind. Keeping fingers crossed that I will be well enough for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday write-ins so I may be extremely productive like I was on Day 1.

And accountability be damned for the past three days. I fell off of the “wagon” dramatically. I need to figure to stay on course even when sick.

Not sure what my daily word count stats for Days 3 and 4 are but I know the other numbers.

Current Stats
Reaper’s Moon: 1 piece of rework
Elysian & Ether: 74/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 74/100
Day 5’s Word Count: 1932
Total Word Count: 8,634/50,000

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Day 2

Did not write today until I went to a write-in as I struggled to wake up in the morning timeframe. In the first hour of the write-in, I put down five poems. Three for Nightmares & Nevermore and three for Elysian & Ether. Both books are over 70% done now. I had intended to work on Reaper’s Moon but found myself in a mood that did not translate to the novel. All the poems I have written since yesterday have been very dark and, at times, rather bloody. It is truly a shame to not have the mood translatable to the novel. Such would work very well over there as I have two death scenes to rewrite and one other to write.

After the first hour, I wondered why was I at a write-in. I am horribly uncomfortable as a forthcoming storm is causing a lot of pain to crawl up and into my spinal column. This does not bode well for writing in general. It certainly does not mesh well with crappy seating at a coffee shop. There is only one local coffee shop I like the seating in but my friend refuses to write there anymore because she does not like the changes they made to their coffee plus it has gotten really busy on Sunday afternoons. Personally, I would rather not write here because it is in need of extensive cleaning and better (unbroken) chairs.

By some miracle, I did manage to get a couple more in word count than the daily minimum. Not sure how I accomplished but it was not all poetry. I did spend some time hashing out some additional thoughts for the direction for Reaper’s Moon.

No-Grain November continues to forge ahead. I managed to resist the temptations of ice cream, Halloween candy, and bread thus far. I do find myself thinking about these foods but only when I am extremely hungry. I am also discovering that more physical pain is synonymous with wanting sugar and wheat. Not surprised by this discovery though. Long been an emotional eater. Pain is just another emotional reason. Sadly, these foods I crave are a source of physical pain so I am stuck in a horrific loop. I need to break it desperately but my past failures are very clear as to why I fail. The loop in all its painful glory.

Current Stats
Reaper’s Moon: No Work Done
Elysian & Ether: 3 for 74/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 3 for 72/100
Daily Word Count: 1927
Total Word Count: 3595/50000

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Day 1

I did not start writing until after 1pm when I met up with a friend for our standard Saturday afternoon writing ‘date’. This was not unexpected as I knew I would be busy with household tasks in the morning. In a little over an hour, I put down nine poems. Two for Nightmares & Nevermore and eight for Elysian & Ether which brought Elysian & Ether to 71% completion. I decide to take a short break after that, and write out this blog post.

I did not work on Reaper’s Moon today. I plan to start the re-write/re-work process tomorrow. I wasn’t feeling it, and wanted to get as much poetry written as possible for the poetry books. Divide and conquer… At least, such is my intention during the beginning of this NaNoWriMo.

The No-Grain November jump start is going okay. So far, I have resisted the siren songs of the Halloween candy my friend laid out on the table. Eating every two hours has made me not hungry as the day has progressed. This morning, I was extremely hungry by the time the next snack came around. Now, not so much. I even missed a snack this morning as I ended up sleeping in. I do have a slight caffeine withdrawal headache, and I would really like some caffeine as I am lagging. Must be strong. Should not have been consuming caffeine off and on over the past month anyways. Shockingly, I feel better when I am not on it. Such blasphemy from a writer, I know.

As I type these words, all I can think about is how much I want to take a nap. Still I have at least 600 words to write to make the minimum word count for the day. I do not wish to fall behind in the daily counts during this NaNoWriMo.

After the break and a quick snack, came back to work. Wanted to attempt to bring Nightmares & Nevermore up to 70% at the very least but, after two poems, it seemed that the verse fairies had abandoned me to play with the leaves and squirrels outside of the coffee shop window. I cannot blame them for enjoying the sun before snow supposedly arrives. I did manage to meet the minimum word count goal for the day which is all that matters.

Having written only a handful of poems over the span of a month for several months now, I am immensely pleased with having written twelve in such a short time frame. Even though the month just started, I am feeling optimistic that Elysian & Ether and Nightmares & Nevermore will be completed without detriment to the intended work on Reaper’s Moon.

Current Stats
Reaper’s Moon: No Work Done
Elysian & Ether: 8 for 71/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 4 for 69/100
Total Word Count: 1668/50000

Eve of NaNoWriMo 2014

NaNo-Participant-2014It is time for National Novel Writing Month once more. November is gearing up to be great with a lot of write-ins – one every day! Never have I been so excited for write-ins before.

In preparation of this year, I went through the first draft of Reaper’s Moon and pulled all the ‘weak’ areas so I can rework them. Determined to get a solidly finished draft done for Reaper’s Moon. I plan to also complete Elysian & Ether and Nightmares & Nevermore so I can get started on Passion & Prudence. If time/creative energy allows, there are several other novels in progress that would like my attention & affection.

This past year has been really tough on my creative process. I hope NaNoWriMo will help give me that ‘kick in the ass’ I need to get writing done.

There will be no Free Kindle download or Poetry Wednesday for the month of November. Those features will return in December along with the release of Russian Hymns. The Kindle version of Russian Hymns is available for pre-order.

Pre-NaNoWriMo Stats

Reaper’s Moon: One half is done, one half to rework/rewrite {sad panda face}
Elysian & Ether: 63/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 65/100
Passion & Prudence: 0/100

NaNoWriMo 2014 will bring a major change to my day-to-day as part of reclaiming my creativity through health. Oh, I’ve had a lot of starts and stops in regards to becoming healthier. Unfortunately, things have gotten to the point where I am nearly crippled from pain. Back in October, I gave up wheat and sugar for a few days before caving in to my addictions. This ‘caving’ has made the pain even worse. Clearly, wheat and sugar are definitely not for me but I am horribly addicted. November 1st is the start of a program that claims it can kick such an addiction. It has a 3 day jump start where I eat every 2 hours in order to balance blood sugar and reduce cravings. I plan to do this jump start for 5 days to err on the side of caution. I really do not want to fail again. I am really sick and tired of being pained and tired all the time. I’m into this change-for-the-better with a lot of planning. I have 80% of my meals for November planned out. I’m happy there is a write-in nearly every day to avoid the toxic influences lurking around my mom and her house. I spent yesterday and today making grain-free snacks and prepping (travel friendly) meals for the next few days. After the 5 day jump start, I start alkalizing supplements and re-introduce exercise.

I am certain my NaNoWriMo 2014 blog posts will contain a bit about this change to help hold me accountable.

On the note of addiction and toxicity, there will be no spending in November beyond groceries, gas for Luna (my car), and a set amount for a caffeine-free sugar-free beverage at coffee shops ($2 max per coffee shop visit). Living with a hoarder has been heavily coloring my spending habits lately and it isn’t for the better. I had worked so hard to declutter and simplify yet it seems for nothing right now.

Yes, NaNoWriMo 2014 is for reviving my lagging creative process but it also serves as a distraction to, I hope, keep me from paying attention to the screams of dying addictions.