Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2014

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo preparations, I dug out the still unfinished manuscript I had worked on during NaNoWriMos 2010 & 2011. I read through it at last night’s write-in with my local writing group. A lot of re-writing needs to happen if I decide to move forward with it as a novel. There is a clear distinction of what was written first and what was written much later. The later items are well-written and beautiful. The rest needs a ton of help.

Unfortunately, the bulk of the main story line was written first so I’m perplexed over what to do with it now. Not sure the main story line can be salvaged to turn it into what I want it to be. This was the first project where I attempted structure poetry. It was foreign, distant being when I began. I got more and more comfortable as time went on.

Still, I’ve predominately just done traditional poetry for the past two years so I’m not sure I’ll be able to do justice to “structured” poetry. Nevertheless, I am going to try and do something with Reaper’s Moon during NaNoWriMo 2014 if I can keep my manic nature in check.

Although it seems strange, I am glad that I ended up leaving Reaper’s Moon alone for awhile. It makes the errors and the successes easier to recognize.

NaNoWriMo 2014 should also mark the completion of Elysian & Ether and Nightmares & Nevermore as well as the start of Passion & Prudence.

Poetry Wednesday: The Last Christmas

This piece is from the first draft of my novel in verse, Reaper’s Moon. It is an epilogue of sorts. It seems appropriate, given the Christmas theme, to post The Last Christmas on this Christmas Wednesday.

The Last Christmas

The house fills with aromas
cinnamon, vanilla, apple and pine
reminding me that Christmas is coming
I do not hold high hopes for great presents
it would be silly to do so
never set one’s self for disappointment
may it be avoided
I wait for sounds of stirring
an indication it is okay to be up and about
Christmas morning is not until tomorrow
good to be patient and wait when the house is full
of sleeping relatives who do not want to be awakened
by a clumsy fourteen year old girl
noise emerges from the area of the kitchen
perhaps Mama is awake and starting breakfast
surely help would be welcomed with food preparations
I ease out of the warm bed onto the cold floor
frigid and creaking under my toes as I try to be a mouse
creeping, scurrying slowly toward the kitchen
creep, creak, creep, thud as I trip
falling three steps down to the first floor
desperately hope no one has heard
quickly extracting myself from the floor
continue on my journey to the kitchen
wanting so much to be helpful on this day
full of stress, too many relatives, too many expectations
of what a successful holiday should be
Mama stands over the stove starting maple sausages
their maple sweet scent starts to permeate the air
mixing with all the other holiday fragrances
and the increasing odor of coffee
smells of morning alongside a holiday backdrop
combating odors make me feel a little queasy
no, no illness on this day I plead with my stomach
try to make the best of it all
may forgo eating breakfast but no crime in helping
many mouths to feed today
Mama pays no attention to me
she flips sausages on the griddle
then turns to cracking eggs in a bowl
standing by waiting to become scrambled eggs
at the thought of their silky texture I
feel more ill but attempt to suck it up
I move closer to Mama and my presence is noted
‘Your help is not needed Lys, you’ll just make a mess’
story of my life – too clumsy for my own good
‘Thought you may want help, sorry
I’ll just sit here – quiet like stone’
Mama goes back to preparing breakfast
I sit at the table observing
wishing I could be more useful
to Mama, to everyone
always looking in, wanting to be more
find new meaning in days and holidays
this year is not that year
so I sits transparent to Mama
and others who migrating in
shuffling straight for the coffee pot
only grunting at Mama by way of ‘Thanks and Good Morning’
not human until caffeine intake is adequate
I fail to understand the allure of coffee or caffeine
makes me too jittery – a live wire
hate to shame Mama with my inadequacies
year after year Mama’s shame increases
not a thing I can do to ease Mama’s burden
after all I was born and continues to live
I now has full understanding why people
become prone to depression during the holidays
these days always make me more insightful toward
my own shortcomings on full display to
family, relatives and friends if I had friends
like invisible stone, my presence goes without notice
I am grateful
knowing that later I may not be so fortunate
a belittled little black sheep me
breakfast commences and the conversation is silence
broken apart by the occasional grunt pretending to be a request
to pass the sausages, eggs, toast or coffee
especially coffee
breakfast breaks as quickly as it began
everyone scampers off to their corners
like a herd of elephants running from a predator
I make a quick shockingly quiet dash for my room
mercifully unnoticed
I spend the day in my sanctuary
from time to time, my senses are assaulted
by the sounds and smells of cooking
Christmas Eve preparations underway
most of time is passed in napping
not sure what else to do with
time, the rest spent lost in a book
safest place to be when relatives are afoot
night falls and Mama comes to collect me
time for horrors of dinner to commence
no escaping the commentary, the disappointment
all seated around the table
heads bowed in pre-meal prayer
waiting to rip into the ham and each other
a special dinner nothing more than a war zone
war zone with food that goes down like ash
even if it was tasty before it hit the table
escape from battle is futile
I know that holidays are as close
as I will ever know of wartime sufferings
quiet and wanting not to be noticed
prayers cease and food begins its
rounds around to vultures
vultures too lazy to circle their prey
cooked or containing a frantic heartbeat
no words spoken as plates are filled
forks shovel charred morsels quickly toward
waiting snapping mouths
scrapping forks and knives
along vibrating porcelain crying out
trying to taunt those uncomfortable
around this dais of ritual
ritual that should die and never be repeated
with those assembled
trying to be so mouse-like is me
wanting to be absorbed by the chair
giving exit from this prison
nothing, nothing happens but scrapping,
shoveling, chewing, grumbling in consumption
waiting while stomach twists and churns
needing anything, a word
a reason to flee, to hide
did I build up unrealistic expectations
no, never
memories cannot lie
I am behind enemy lines being taunted
taunted with silent words
the enemy will descend without fail
must be ready, don mental armor
even if it is weak, it is better
better than just me alone
silverware cease their porcelain song
is it time
complete silence as predators contemplate
contemplate the best attack method
crouching, itching to strike
I feel their anticipation digging into my flesh
claws coming out from behind eyes boring
devilish smiles drag up lips
a firestorm comes on quick wings
with growls, they bare their fangs
the silence splinters under pressure
a blinding flash of light
pain snares my head
clutching it, I bow
as they howl breaking
from their mission
raise my head up
glimpse the horror
blood pouring from eyes
as howls breaking into struggling breaths
everyone except Mama and
my little sisters, Ellie and Missy
my enemies fighting themselves
fighting what seems to be death
death coming on swift brutal wings
is this the day Mama had spoken of?
the Day of Reckoning?
why are the four of us free
free from this bloody demise
am I really free
pain beating out of my skull
makes me think otherwise
every bone pulsing, hurting beneath
papery skin pulling
what is happening to me
to them as last breaths
come as shuddered sighs
thick in my eyes
slipping under water
hearing Mama’s cries so far
far away from my hands
only grasping the lace tablecloth
to avoid sliding under
drowning unto myself
bones twisting, turning
stronger than before
gain strength in the surrounds
of Death’s guise
Mama, sisters
wailing but unchanging
only sorrow clings to them
emotion vibrant and colorful, new
grey lines streak the sky
shadow lands taken to the dead
taken to the dying
shake my head, maybe
my body no longer mine
mourning cries, wolves sound
wolves so close with purple streaks
accenting the haunting stench of death
screams of terror follow
dutiful little soldiers
marching in line purple, grey, black
perfect circle
yet I do nothing
but sit
gripping the last vestiges
of tangible reality keeping me
anchored, upright
noises muffle, my eyes focus on
the strange swirling colors
purple, grey, black
until new cries join
join into the cacophony
not human, not wolf
the stars
the stars are howling
into this blackest night
I give in, oh vocal stars
I give in
take me home
into the dark

NaNoWriMo 2013: The Completion

I officially completed NaNoWriMo 2013 on the morning of November 26th with exactly 50,000 words. The win was little bittersweet as I did not finish Reaper’s Moon nor did I write as much poetry as I had in previous NaNoWriMos. Near the end, writing became more of personal journal rather than the novel or the verse. There is the potential to find a few additional poems within this “free writing”.

Poetry Totals

Xenium & Xyris: 15 new pieces for 47/100
Zephyr & Zinc: 15 new pieces for 44/100
Elysian & Ether: 7 new pieces for 21/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 13 new pieces for 35/100

Reaper’s Moon also picked up 1 200 Line piece as well as some suggestions to fill the “holes” in between existing pieces.

It has been a long strange month for me which significantly hindered my creativity and progress. Still, I remain hopeful in much productivity in the very near future.

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Days One and Two

Day One of NaNoWriMo was shockingly difficult and Day Two is proving to be just as challenging. I am out of practice. The chaos of September and October left very little time for writing. Now, I pay for this lack of commitment toward daily writing time. I spent around six hours writing for Day One and ended up with a piece for Reaper’s Moon, three pieces for Xenium & Xyris, two pieces each for Zephyr & Zinc and Elysian & Ether, Nightmares & Nevermore picked up four pieces. I really need to review the seventy-five previously written pieces for Reaper’s Moon as I am not sure what to do with it or if yesterday’s pieces is actually useful to the novel. I was suppose to review the novel and its outline during October but ran out of time.

At the time of this post’s writing, Elysian & Ether and Xenium & Xyris have one new piece each while today’s potential writing time quickly comes to a close. I find it very challenging to write in my mom’s house, and I woke up far too late this morning to indulge in any write-ins. I only managed to carve out this time, sort of – her cellphones keep ringing which is driving me crazy, because my mom is currently gone but she is returning soon then we are going out to run errands.

Fourteen pieces in two days is pretty good but the word count is lackluster. There is a four hour write-in tomorrow at my favorite coffee shop. Hopefully, I can make up some of the word count then. My plan this evening is to read through Reaper’s Moon in lieu of writing. This review should help with Sunday’s productivity.

I do not have high expectations of word count or writing productivity during the coming week. Move #2, to Denver, will be on the 10th. I will be spending much of the week getting boxes sorted here at my mom’s house while determining what is left that needs to go down to Denver. The week following the move is bound to be a bit chaotic too as I unpack and get everything sorted while learning a new schedule and house layout.

The new location, however, is probably going to be better creatively as there is far less chaos caused by stuff in the surroundings. My sister and brother-in-law are very anti-stuff. They keep panicking over everything I am bringing into their home. These majorly extroverted individuals seem to be forgetting that a severe introvert, with hobbies, is moving in with them. Sadly, I did whittle my possessions to less than twenty percent of what I use to own. I continue to own a surprisingly large amount of items but only about twenty-five percent of it is going to Denver with me. True to form, most of the boxes – in the garage at my mom’s house – contain books with boxes of kitchen items coming in a close second.

Eve of NaNoWriMo 2013

Going into this year in an odd frame of mind. Having no place of my own makes it challenging for me to find the right frame of mind for writing. I am happy that the packing is done and the house sold on Tuesday to people who could afford to fix it. The selling of the house has removed 90% of the debt from my life which will be a huge benefit in the long run. I will be moving in with my sister and brother-in-law around November 10th which is kind of annoying but praying my sister does not go into labor until the end of the month. Regardless of all the issues, I am hoping for a productive month with Reaper’s Moon and the four poetry books in the works.
I’ll be going into it with the following stats –
Xenium & Xyris: 32/100
Zephyr & Zinc: 30/100
Elysian & Ether: 14/100
Nightmares & Nevermore: 21/100
Reaper’s Moon: 75
Twisted Fortunes: 7
Cleanse: 5
Total Poems Written Overall: 1467

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2013 – Day 22

I spent a bulk of Day 21 out with my Mom. We had lunch and did a little shopping – mostly for allergy and pain supplements I was running low on. The downsizing to my current state of being is the amount of supplements I take to stay upright and functional. When I got home, I decided to get rid of the bed frame and box spring around my beloved memory foam mattress. Best decision ever! I slept so well last night. It was little awkward to get out of bed this morning especially with the Fibromyalgia morning stiffness. Standing up from a low sitting position – the mattress is 12” thick – with stiff legs was slow going and a touch painful. Still the best sleep I have had in months.

Writing was very minimal as I only wrote yesterday’s NaPoWriMo contribution of Half Moon for Obiter & Oleander.

Day 22 is brought to you by a mind that would like to be catching up on sleep. However, no such luck on the sleeping. A lot to do today as I’ve been shirking on the household tasks and the writing.

The area is supposed to get a foot or so of snow by tomorrow. It could be the truth, it could be lies. You never know with Colorado.

Today’s NaPoWriMo contribution is Demon Dreams, a piece for Kirsch & Kerosene.

I got a decent amount of writing done today although I am never going to catch up in Camp NaNoWriMo even after altering the word count goal to 25K. There’s always November. As long as I make an attempt to write at least two poems a day from tomorrow till start of June, I should get both poetry books done by then. Once those are done, I hope one of the novels in verse will finally let me write it for June’s WriMo. I am praying Reaper’s Moon gets over its gigantic hissy fit so I can finally, finally finish it. August’s WriMo and NaNoWriMo will be spent – hopefully – with a novel in verse, Zephyr & Zinc, and Xenium & Xyris.

Today’s final counts are:
2 poems for Kirsch & Kerosene
2 poems for Obiter & Oleander
0 pieces for novels in verse
Some Free Writing
652 total words
1 NaPoWriMo Post
1 Camp NaNoWriMo Post
Camp NaNo Word Count: 12,291/25,000

The Perils of Writing

Had this brilliant idea today. I figured I would go to a coffee shop in a city that I normally do not go to. The first five coffee shops were packed to the gills. Decidedly, it is a sad day when a writer cannot find a coffee shop to write in. I was heading to a familiar business, Panera Bread, having struck out on the coffee shops when I remembered there was a small coffee shop in the shopping center I was near. It wasn’t too busy and had ample available seating. Oh happy day! The only problem with Good Measure Coffee & Tea, in Louisville, CO, is the lack of outlets for computer. This lack means I was unable to stay as long as I would have liked. There was a power strip but, for some reason, my computer refused to acknowledge the power coming though it. Nevertheless, spent a decent amount of time writing while enjoying a Turtle (chocolate & caramel) latte.

As I was getting ready this morning, the verse novels decided to chat it up. I was ecstatic until I went to write. They stopped their incessant yammering as soon as I picked up a pen and/or came near the laptop. Little bastards. I would really, really like to finish at least one of my novels this year but they are being mighty uncooperative. At this rate, I will never finish any of the novels even though the concepts are fantastic.

Three poems so far for today to go with the two I wrote yesterday afternoon. Not feeling overzealous with the writing right now but this is common for the start of WriMo. My writing mojo is good for the first day or two then a lull followed by a whole lot of progress later in the month.

Been looking for some new music and one of my cousins (who has the same first & last name as me – there are three of us!) suggested New Kids on the Block. Sorry but I did not care for them in their heyday and I still do not care for them. Never really enjoyed music from any of the boy bands.