…and (unapologetically) Heʼs Back

The cover I quickly hacked out, to accompany my 2012 NaNoWriMo project information, earlier this morning.

Having just signed myself up for NaNoWriMo 2012* and punched out 500 (new) words to post in my novel for 2012 on the National Novel Writing Month website, along with my home-generated cover art (for both the new novel and last yearʼs abortion**), I thought perhaps it was time to stop tentatively pussyfooting and then not adding to the blog.

So hereʼs a post, the first since April (and that one was the first since not-quite-this-long-before-that, as you can read for yourself by clicking the link I just made). Have I continued, as I indicated in my last post, to do nothing much on the writing front for six months? Well… yes… pretty much…

I did churn out some 18,000 words (smartpenned*** in three different notebooks) of my experiences working this spring and summer for USDA APHIS PPQ (again, still trapping for invasive insect pests, particularly in my case the emerald ash borer, again). I am working with those aforementioned 18,000 words, uploaded and decoded/digitalized-into-editable-text, as letters to my brother Stephen and Aunt Alaire.**** So far I have about fifteen of the twenty-five (digitized Scrivener) pages edited and annotated. But only about (hmmm, let me check quickly… ) fifteen hundred words of creative composition (predictably, on Søren and Judah, the latter of whom I am seriously considering renaming a more accurate Yehudah***** or even another name altogether******).

Otherwise, it was all work these past six months, much like last year (go ahead, search out those posts for yourself — the search box over there on the right works fine for just such tasks as this; I am sure the old blog could use the clicks and hits), except that my work region expanded a lot and I found myself on the road and overnight in hotels for about half my working days (more on that soon, maybe even tomorrow). However, the job ended (perhaps, unfortunately, forever for me*******) mid-September, a little over three weeks ago, and I have needed to get seriously writing again.

A few thousand words in correspondence is nothing, really (nor actually are updates to Wakdjunkagaʼs Blog, but I have had thoughts and developments I wanted to post here, for my own interest, presumably few othersʼ). So I have to spend time actually writing, and this comprises just that activity for the late morning today.

That observation puts me over 500 words (a recommended length for most blog posts), so Iʼll desist for now. More, I hope, tomorrow (which would be something almost utterly novel for this year********).

* Thanks for the reminder, Gwen Hernandez.

** I donʼt know what happened to NaNoWriMo information on my genuinely (and unironically) unqualified writing success from 2010

*** For those who clicked that link back to last Christmastime, I have resolved my issues with the Livescribe Echo long since (thanks to intelligent Livescribe support, who had me use Janetʼs Windows laptop — a tale to tell there for the posts ahead — to set up the pen successfully; alas for products created mostly for Windozers and not the Mac world…). The pen has gotten some pretty fierce use for nearly a year now, including the journal junk mentioned above, and I intend to discuss more about it in days ahead, as I attempt to flex and exercise my writing chops before November arrives.

**** Family members, if interested I can e-mail the results out to you all, assuming I donʼt desperately use the results as posts here in future weeks.

***** Any opinions, folks? You may Leave a Reply below.

****** “David,” anyone? Suggestions?

******* Funding shotcomings, donʼt you know.

******** Donʼt believe me? Check back over this yearʼs postings… (The calendar to the right will work for that.) Not much there…

©2012 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

NaNoWriMo Start

I spent the working part of Monday, which was most of the day, starting about 8:30, diligently typing and dictating away (typing still works better for me) at my November novel (tentatively but poorly entitled Slaves of the Lesser Moon — improvements are welcome from all sources). I churned out the first chapter essentially, about 3500 words, inventing in the process the fictitious Wisconsin town of Pashitakua (located somewhere west of Viroqua, south along the river from La Crosse — both real places for the nonMidwesterners out there. Itʼs a college town, the home of (obviously also fictitious) McKennal College. My hero rooms with Terry, an overweight econ major who drinks a lot (they both are — drinking, that is — in the first chapter, but our hero Has Reason), and Terryʼs abysmal acquaintance, Birch Thorstein, physics major, is about to dramatically change Our Heroʼs life.

I hope to do as well or better today. Better because, having already spent (pointless, non-word-counting) time inventing people and places Our Hero will leave behind pretty quickly (I am planning by the end of Chapter Two), some of that basic spadework is over (not really: I have a whole planet, with its Ruined Civilization[s?] and multiple species of intelligent beings, to invent yet). Besides, I need to flee the mundane and Get the (real) Story Going.

Scrivener 2
(which I went ahead and bought yesterday, as an upgrade from my previous subscription, in order to avoid having to click the “Try” button every time it launches this month) features a name generator, which I played with late in the day (about the time Janet was supposed to arrive home, to change and then disappear for in-town Zumba, which she enjoys a lot), attempting to devise a name for the Hero. I came up with Grant Hunter (so far). I was hoping for something exotic but manly (and Tarl Cabot is taken, has been these nearly fifty years; John Carterʼs been claimed for a century now), and I am not fully impressed with my current attempt. Grant Hunter sounds like a real-estate agency or a Wall Street type, rather than my college-student-about-to-turn-interplanetary-adventurer. Obviously, I am open to suggestions. Please. (Furthermore, at the present time, several old friends have unwittingly, I hope/or not temporarily, donated their names for various characters in and around McKennal.)

My purchase of the Scrivener upgrade does not mean I am planning not to complete my 50,000 words this month and “win” NaNoWriMo (although I am still not predicting success, either). But I donʼt think thereʼs that much of a market these days for old-fashioned planetary romance, for one thing. (But what do I know? Iʼm still the one hoping to place three stories somewhere, qualify for SFWA and/or its mystery counterpart, and allure an agent. Yet I donʼt like taking the time to finalize stories and put them out to editors myself. Sheesh.) Nor does it mean that I am going to spend my days whittling away at e-mail, Facebook and dilatory drafts of daily blog posts. I didnʼt let myself even think about something for this morning until I had a good solid day of creative writing behind me on Monday. And thatʼs my plan for every working day this month. (And I am definitely planning to keep this post short.**)

My other task for yesterday was washing windows (cue Van Morrison). Janet does have a secret agenda for me to be productively busy every day (as long as Iʼm not working, which for her, means substituting or acquiring a Real Job). Right now, she reminded me that our windows are filthy (at least in her opinion, but many really were dirty — but no longer), and that itʼs long past time I went through the files on the old computers and got them ready to ship out to Goodwill or some place for donation. That procedure will probably be the nonwriting tasks for today and Thursday (tomorrow is cleaning-house day, interfering with regular at-home plans but permitting me to enjoy lunch out with The Lovely One). On the other hand, I feel I have a job, churning out better than 2500 words a day all month to create my new (and first completed) novel. Oh well, those and other plans are the reason(s) I would like to produce around 5000 words a day (if I can) and thereby have free days for Other Things.

We have actually been eating out altogether too much lately. I mentioned yesterday that we had late dinner at The Pepper Sprout in Dubuque last Thursday. We have also been out for dinner at Café Indigo* in Davenport the last two weekends. Way back, on October 22, we went to the Quads for a visit to Kohlʼs (Janet had a 30%-off certificate that she hadnʼt found anything to spend it on the previous Sunday, when I had ironically located shoes and stuff for myself unexpectedly, and we were slated to spend the upcoming Sunday at my Uncle Billʼs life celebration). I was also expecting to acquire white hair spray at the Halloween store that had popped up the last two years near Panera on the corner of Kimberly and Jersey Ridge — not there this year, as I discovered after I had hiked across the parking lots from Kohlʼs. And we ate dinner while out. Then last Saturday, Janetʼs sister and her husband were in their old stomping grounds for a funeral, and we all got together for dinner, again at Indigo. A great time for all of us, but perhaps The Lovely One and I need to plan some stay-at-home meals more often for a while.

And as I figured I would only bless/curse you with about 500 words, I am about twice again over that amount (or right back at my usual thousand words), so I had better stop blathering (I always say that). I kept writing, with a few hours off to clean the windows, right up until she got home, broke to chat and make her lunch and our breakfast for tomorrow, and now I am back at the computer until she gets home from Zumba, by which time I intend to be relaxing with some food (all I ate today was leftover Halloween candy every time I passed by the bowl, curses) and my notebook with House on the tube. She has already been gone for a half hour, so this will have to be it.

* No oneʼs interested, but at Café Indigo I had the Pork Medallions a week ago last Friday and the Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto Gnocchi this past Saturday.

** And now weʼre solidly over 1100 words, too. Sigh. (Which does make just about 5000 for today overall.)

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.