katster: (Default)
Sunday, May 29th, 2016 01:39 pm

So my friends Zibb and Mal, and I have started a new blog where we’re talk science fiction and fantasy and mastering Ahri from league of legends, in all corners of the media world from books to movies to games. You can find us over at Conceptual Neighborhood and while we’re still ramping up, there’s some good stuff there. (PS: thanks [info]lirazel for the name suggestion.)

I will probably still post here occasionally about things I’m thinking of that don’t necessarily fit the baliwick of Conceptual Neighborhood.

Mirrored from katster's closet.

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Monday, February 14th, 2011 01:28 am

As much as I didn’t want to leave the fun that was Corflu, alas, all good things must come to an end. I wandered out a bit after ten last night, and got home a bit before 1. Time: about two and a half hours of driving, all told. I was less sleepy than I thought I’d be, which is somewhat of a miracle.

I’m still trying to process the weekend. Maybe with a full night’s sleep, I’ll be able to attempt to write some of it down.

Short of it, though, is I had an amazing time, and I’m going to do my best to see you all next year in realspace. In the meantime, I’ve got a first issue of Rhyme to put out. (For those of you not at Corflu, I introduced Rhyme, but deliberately numbered it ½ so that it wouldn’t be the first issue — I’ll get the electronic copy to Bill later in the week, I suspect.)

Meanwhile, I think some sleep is needed. My cat has already found the pile of fanzines, declared them cromulent, and sacked out on them. Mebbe she’s a fan, too.

Mirrored from retstak.org.

katster: (Default)
Monday, February 14th, 2011 01:28 am

As much as I didn’t want to leave the fun that was Corflu, alas, all good things must come to an end. I wandered out a bit after ten last night, and got home a bit before 1. Time: about two and a half hours of driving, all told. I was less sleepy than I thought I’d be, which is somewhat of a miracle.

I’m still trying to process the weekend. Maybe with a full night’s sleep, I’ll be able to attempt to write some of it down.

Short of it, though, is I had an amazing time, and I’m going to do my best to see you all next year in realspace. In the meantime, I’ve got a first issue of Rhyme to put out. (For those of you not at Corflu, I introduced Rhyme, but deliberately numbered it ½ so that it wouldn’t be the first issue — I’ll get the electronic copy to Bill later in the week, I suspect.)

Meanwhile, I think some sleep is needed. My cat has already found the pile of fanzines, declared them cromulent, and sacked out on them. Mebbe she’s a fan, too.

Mirrored from retstak.org.

katster: (Default)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 12:22 pm

Yeah, that’s going to be the title of the fanzine I’m putting out. And I’m looking for contributions. I have the first year pretty much planned out as to topics. (I’m going to go approximately quarterly, so that means four topics.)

The first topic is ‘Beginnings’; I’ll need things by New Year’s for assembly and layout in early January. I’ll take anything folks want to throw at me, but my most pressing need would be a cover. I’ll probably end up having to whip something up using photographs since I don’t know how to ask for help (read: too nervous to ask), but I wanted to lay that out there as a thought.

The second right now seems to want to be called ‘Dreaming of Rockets’; my thought on that is Hugos, not the space race. I’m sure it’ll come up soon. That, I’m going to say, let’s shoot for a deadline of the Ides of March. This is a little more fluid, talk to me in January about it. I just wanted to throw the idea out there.

My email is katster AT retstak DOT org, or you can poke me via all the usual places (including the comments of this blog entry.)

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

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katster: (Default)
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 11:29 pm

So yeah, this weekend went really well. If I had to ring in the start of another lap around the sun, this is about the way I want to do it. Bear with me, for long kat is long.

It started at work Friday, where there was cake. We do this for birthdays at work recently, but one of my co-workers made sure there was cake for me. It was supremely good cake, too.

Saturday started out a bit meh, as I had to go do schoolwork in the morning, but once I was done with that, I headed out to Folsom, stopping along the way to treat myself to In-and-Out for a hamburger as my celebratory birthday weekend. Yum.

Then, at Folsom, we had a party. It was supposedly for those not going to SF the following night to have fun, but they decided to let me come and celebrate my birthday. One of our Wrimos even baked me a cake. This was sweet.

And then to top it off, Saturday was also the 112th Big Game, which I was fairly certain Stanford was going to win. But my Bears somehow came out of nowhere, had the score close at halftime, and then proceeded to first pull away, and then let Stanford back into it before sealing the deal with an interception. It was Cal Cardiac Football at its finest, and so I got a nice surprise gift — an Axe. It was pretty funny because I was so not writing at the party, but listening to my game, and towards the end, the feed started cutting in and out, which made it hard to follow. The feed cut out just as Toby Gerhart tried to win the game for Stanford, and didn’t come back up until I heard the word “INTERCEPTION!” in my headphones and was trying to figure out what had just happened and whether that meant my Bears had won the game.

And then there was Sunday. Oh god, what can I say about Sunday? Besides the fact that San Francisco is probably my most favorite city on the planet and I love any chance I get to visit, the Night of Writing Dangerously was way more fun than I was expecting. It started simply:

It’s about 5:40 in the evening. The scene, a round table in a ballroom high above California Street in San Francisco. Seated there are seven people from Sacramento: myself, Richard, his wife Jennifer, Jenny, Candace, Temperance, and Stephanie. There’s some idle chitchatting about where people are and stuff like that. In front of the room, the bell is introduced — you come ring the bell when you’ve become a winner at NaNoWriMo (that is, hit the 50k mark). And that’s when the following happened:

Temperance: “So, Kat, you going to hit 50k tonight?”
me: “You’re kidding, right? I’m nowhere close.”
Temperance: “You’re in the forties, no?”
me: “Well, yeah, a bit over 43k.”
Temperance: “There you go. You can hit 50k tonight.”
me: “I’m not so sure about this idea.”
Temperance: “Look, how many words do you have?”
me: “About forty-three five.”
Temperance: “That’s about 6500 words. We’ll not count this hour. But six — we’ll not count seven — eight, nine, ten. That’s four hours. You only have to write about 1500 words an hour.”
Rest of table: “Yeah, c’mon, Kat, you can do it.”
me: “Okay, fine, you all. I’ll try.”
me (thought): This is going to be impossible and I’m going to fail and feel rotten at the end of it. Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Table: *cheering*

So I spend most of the evening sitting and writing frantically, although there were several breaks to take advantage of the candy pile and the hosted bar (too bad I don’t drink, but there was plenty of ginger ale and soda) and eat something resembling dinner. Oh yeah, and there were the most crazy donuts I’ve ever had with toppings like Cocoa Puffs and Nilla Wafers and Oreo cookies and Butterfingers and …the list goes on and on. Also, I went and took my author photo.

But most of the time I was writing. It was a write-a-thon after all. And after frantically typing all evening, writing a grand total of 6,481 words — a personal NaNo daily best — this happened.

Later that evening, about 10:15 PM:
Jason (peering over my shoulder): “So did you make it?”
me: “Give me a second, I just put it in the wordcounter.”
NaNo website: *loading*
Everybody: *waits*
NaNo website: katster has 50,182 words.
me: “Wait, what, I made it? I made it!”
Table (and Jason): “Go ring that bell!”
me: “Give me a second to recover and bask in my glory.”
*moment*
me: “Alright, now I’m going to go find Sarah [the coordinator of this glorious event] and let her know that I made it before I ring the bell so she doesn’t have to come frantically running.” [Backstory: People had been ringing the bell all evening, leaving poor Sarah frantically running to the stage. I felt bad, so I wanted to make sure she didn't have to run.]
*By sheer random coincidence, Sarah walks by at just that moment*
me: “Hey Sarah! Just to warn you, I hit 50k!”

…and so I nicely followed Sarah to the podium where I grasped that bell and rung it just about as hard as anybody had that evening.

And the rest of the night I wore a crown on top of my Cal hat and a manic grin. Kinda like this:

me, after it’s all said and done. Photo by my friend Richard

All in all, the best birthday weekend ever. Thanks to everybody who helped me make it to the Night of Writing Dangerously — cards should go out next week.

And no, I don’t know how I’m going to top this next year.

Mirrored from retstak.org.

katster: (Default)
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 11:29 pm

So yeah, this weekend went really well. If I had to ring in the start of another lap around the sun, this is about the way I want to do it. Bear with me, for long kat is long.

It started at work Friday, where there was cake. We do this for birthdays at work recently, but one of my co-workers made sure there was cake for me. It was supremely good cake, too.

Saturday started out a bit meh, as I had to go do schoolwork in the morning, but once I was done with that, I headed out to Folsom, stopping along the way to treat myself to In-and-Out for a hamburger as my celebratory birthday weekend. Yum.

Then, at Folsom, we had a party. It was supposedly for those not going to SF the following night to have fun, but they decided to let me come and celebrate my birthday. One of our Wrimos even baked me a cake. This was sweet.

And then to top it off, Saturday was also the 112th Big Game, which I was fairly certain Stanford was going to win. But my Bears somehow came out of nowhere, had the score close at halftime, and then proceeded to first pull away, and then let Stanford back into it before sealing the deal with an interception. It was Cal Cardiac Football at its finest, and so I got a nice surprise gift — an Axe. It was pretty funny because I was so not writing at the party, but listening to my game, and towards the end, the feed started cutting in and out, which made it hard to follow. The feed cut out just as Toby Gerhart tried to win the game for Stanford, and didn’t come back up until I heard the word “INTERCEPTION!” in my headphones and was trying to figure out what had just happened and whether that meant my Bears had won the game.

And then there was Sunday. Oh god, what can I say about Sunday? Besides the fact that San Francisco is probably my most favorite city on the planet and I love any chance I get to visit, the Night of Writing Dangerously was way more fun than I was expecting. It started simply:

It’s about 5:40 in the evening. The scene, a round table in a ballroom high above California Street in San Francisco. Seated there are seven people from Sacramento: myself, Richard, his wife Jennifer, Jenny, Candace, Temperance, and Stephanie. There’s some idle chitchatting about where people are and stuff like that. In front of the room, the bell is introduced — you come ring the bell when you’ve become a winner at NaNoWriMo (that is, hit the 50k mark). And that’s when the following happened:

Temperance: “So, Kat, you going to hit 50k tonight?”
me: “You’re kidding, right? I’m nowhere close.”
Temperance: “You’re in the forties, no?”
me: “Well, yeah, a bit over 43k.”
Temperance: “There you go. You can hit 50k tonight.”
me: “I’m not so sure about this idea.”
Temperance: “Look, how many words do you have?”
me: “About forty-three five.”
Temperance: “That’s about 6500 words. We’ll not count this hour. But six — we’ll not count seven — eight, nine, ten. That’s four hours. You only have to write about 1500 words an hour.”
Rest of table: “Yeah, c’mon, Kat, you can do it.”
me: “Okay, fine, you all. I’ll try.”
me (thought): This is going to be impossible and I’m going to fail and feel rotten at the end of it. Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Table: *cheering*

So I spend most of the evening sitting and writing frantically, although there were several breaks to take advantage of the candy pile and the hosted bar (too bad I don’t drink, but there was plenty of ginger ale and soda) and eat something resembling dinner. Oh yeah, and there were the most crazy donuts I’ve ever had with toppings like Cocoa Puffs and Nilla Wafers and Oreo cookies and Butterfingers and …the list goes on and on. Also, I went and took my author photo.

But most of the time I was writing. It was a write-a-thon after all. And after frantically typing all evening, writing a grand total of 6,481 words — a personal NaNo daily best — this happened.

Later that evening, about 10:15 PM:
Jason (peering over my shoulder): “So did you make it?”
me: “Give me a second, I just put it in the wordcounter.”
NaNo website: *loading*
Everybody: *waits*
NaNo website: katster has 50,182 words.
me: “Wait, what, I made it? I made it!”
Table (and Jason): “Go ring that bell!”
me: “Give me a second to recover and bask in my glory.”
*moment*
me: “Alright, now I’m going to go find Sarah [the coordinator of this glorious event] and let her know that I made it before I ring the bell so she doesn’t have to come frantically running.” [Backstory: People had been ringing the bell all evening, leaving poor Sarah frantically running to the stage. I felt bad, so I wanted to make sure she didn't have to run.]
*By sheer random coincidence, Sarah walks by at just that moment*
me: “Hey Sarah! Just to warn you, I hit 50k!”

…and so I nicely followed Sarah to the podium where I grasped that bell and rung it just about as hard as anybody had that evening.

And the rest of the night I wore a crown on top of my Cal hat and a manic grin. Kinda like this:

50k!me, after it’s all said and done. Photo by my friend Richard

All in all, the best birthday weekend ever. Thanks to everybody who helped me make it to the Night of Writing Dangerously — cards should go out next week.

And no, I don’t know how I’m going to top this next year.

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Sunday, November 8th, 2009 11:27 pm

I need to go back and add yesterday’s server-maintenance delayed post, but it will be up. Meanwhile, today, I’m giving you an excerpt from my novel-in-progress.

Help me get to the Night of Writing Dangerously! I only need about 16 more people to throw $10 at the pot!

Anyway, this is told from the point of view of a reporter character who is doing a series on a Congressman and would-be presidential candidate, and in this bit, goes to interview the Congressman’s son.

Meet Joey Breen )

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Sunday, November 1st, 2009 09:26 pm

So it’s November. November means it’s NaNoWriMo month, which means that I’m running around like a crazy person. Then I stupidly said, “Ah why not, I’ll update my blog every day this month. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do.” Since I’m sure there’s folks out there that want to keep me honest, guess I’d better get the month started.

Anyway, it was a good day. The kickoff was nicely attended, and I got a good chunk of writing done. I added another six hundred words at the write-in we did for TV. I haven’t watched the clip yet, so I don’t know how much of me made it in, but my highly awesome co-ML, [info]underpope, got interviewed and didn’t do so bad. (Ah, here’s the clip. I’m in the background a lot.)

But the combination of staying up way late for write-in, and then getting up way early for the morning write-in, alongside the timechange, is just making my brain go *splat*. And since that means I’m not coherent, that means it should be bedtime.

But I have nearly four thousand words, and I saw a nice sunset. It was a good day.

Mirrored from retstak.org.

katster: (Default)
Sunday, November 1st, 2009 09:26 pm

So it’s November. November means it’s NaNoWriMo month, which means that I’m running around like a crazy person. Then I stupidly said, “Ah why not, I’ll update my blog every day this month. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do.” Since I’m sure there’s folks out there that want to keep me honest, guess I’d better get the month started.

Anyway, it was a good day. The kickoff was nicely attended, and I got a good chunk of writing done. I added another six hundred words at the write-in we did for TV. I haven’t watched the clip yet, so I don’t know how much of me made it in, but my highly awesome co-ML, [info]underpope, got interviewed and didn’t do so bad. (Ah, here’s the clip. I’m in the background a lot.)

But the combination of staying up way late for write-in, and then getting up way early for the morning write-in, alongside the timechange, is just making my brain go *splat*. And since that means I’m not coherent, that means it should be bedtime.

But I have nearly four thousand words, and I saw a nice sunset. It was a good day.

Sunset

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Monday, March 30th, 2009 09:51 pm

So the neighbors made us cupcakes for Easter. This, of course, ends with me goofing around with cupcakes, microwaves, and the digital camera on my Blackberry…
A bit photo intensive, but trust me, you'll wanna see this. )

katster: (Default)
Monday, March 30th, 2009 09:51 pm

So the neighbors made us cupcakes for Easter. This, of course, ends with me goofing around with cupcakes, microwaves, and the digital camera on my Blackberry…
A bit photo intensive, but trust me, you'll wanna see this. )

katster: (nano04)
Monday, April 7th, 2008 12:01 am
So I went to a writer's retreat this weekend. In a dome house. It was fun.

If any of you is still following along on the 2005 Nano project, aka Sorrow of Memory or Last Hope, you'll be glad to discover that I am a scene and a half from the climactic scene of the novel, and more importantly, I know everything that happens up to the end of the climactic point. It means that if I get some time and smooth sails, I may actually *finally* be typing THE END on a project as opposed to just letting it hang, possibly as soon as the end of this month.

And then begins the task of revision. A writer's work is never done.

(Also, if any of you want a copy of the first draft of the novel, let me know. I'm happy to see what people think of it, as long as they're cognizant that this is a first draft and will get hacked to pieces once I let it sit for a bit.)
katster: (Default)
Friday, October 26th, 2007 10:31 pm

katster’s handy fix-it-down and do-it-to-yourself type tips for winning NaNoWriMo with your sanity (mostly) intact…

This is a reprint of an article I put in my LJ last year.

The first and most important is that “It’s Nano. Embrace the suck.” (This is actual advice I gave last year to the Sacramento Nanoers. It’s advice I will be giving again this year. “Embrace the suck” has become the unofficial Sactown Nano motto.) Authors are not the most objective when it comes to their work, and will go on and on about how much the book sucks. Granted. It’s Nano; you’re writing 50k words in one month. Of course it’s going to suck. If you embrace the suck, it makes it that much easier to get through it.

Two, it really does help to write a bit each day. Actually dividing it out shows that one needs to write approximately 1,667 words in a day; Chris Baty and the other folk at NaNo HQ suggest two thousand words a day so that you can have slack for days when you absolutely cannot write. But try to get a few words down every day. Whether it’s three or three thousand, every word is one step closer to that magical 50k. (That said, I’m shooting for 2,500 words/day this year. I have to get on a plane and go back east before the month ends, and I want to be done before I get on that plane.)

Three, do not go back and edit. If you can avoid it, do not go back at all. Because seeing text on the screen seems to draw what Chris Baty calls “the internal editor.” You do not want the internal editor to show up! It makes it that much harder to make it through 50k. This ties into my first point about embracing the suck, because the internal editor is the guy mumbling that your work sucks, and well, if you just change this word to that word, and delete that sentence…the internal editor wants you to get *rid* of words, and that’s fatal when you’re trying to make word count. Lock the internal editor in a box, and don’t let him out until May at the earliest. June’s better.

Four, get started. Write as much as you can while you’re still bright-eyed and raring to work. Because it will slog later in the month, as the rest of the world, who doesn’t understand this whole Nano thing, will start making demands on your time, and you’re also going to hate this writing thing and curse whatever deities you believe in about letting you think you could actually do this. That’s natural. Plus, if you get behind on word count early, it’s somewhat discouraging. I know this one well because I didn’t get started until November 8th in 2005. I still managed to win, but that’s because I’m a fast writer, and the story suddenly just avalanched onto the page. I do not recommend this technique to anyone.

Five, use nasty tricks to get your word count. Is your character baking cookies? List out all the ingredients. Trying to figure out what to order at a cafe? List the menu. Another great one that was given at the Sac Nano meet and greet last year was “When in doubt, describe.” Description eats word count like nothing else. And if all you feel like writing that day is “I hate this; what got into my mind?”, go ahead and write it into the file. Yeah, it’ll end up a bit disjoint. That’s okay. Your inner editor is locked in a box, and when you let him out in May June, he can take stuff like that out. Right now, all you care about is word count, and that sentence is eight words closer to it. If you write it a dozen times, suddenly, you’re 96 words closer to your word count. Plus, it’s a good frustration reliever. Also, RaBiChi, from the Sactown Nano group reminds me: Eschew compound words! Don’t shove words together! For example, it’s word count, not wordcount! Another suggestion to think about would be to get rid of all your contractions. But do not take this to extremes…unless you want to sound unnatural, that is.

Six, you don’t have to write in chronological order. There’s a neat invention on the computer called “cut and paste”, which you can use to move chunks of your novel around later. (Don’t do it in November. That’s dangerously close to editing.) If you have to write chronologically, but you can’t think of a scene, write “And then something happens” and go to a scene you know about. Remember, style doesn’t count for much anything in Nano.

Seven, it isn’t Nano until you kill somebody in your novel. In 2005, I killed a minor character, but it lead to wonderful things happening. Also, I found out I can get in the mind-set of a sociopath. It’s not a good place to be, but it makes the character that much more believable. Just to have more fun, I started 2006 off with a mass murder. And if you’re looking at me like I’m insane, folks at the meetup last year suggested being even more drastic, like killing your main character. Yeah, it seems insane, but death scenes take up lots of word count. And if you have to kill a few kittens along the way, well, at least you’re just doing it on paper. (You *are* doing it only on paper, right?)

Eight, if you haven’t grasped it from everything else I’ve said, your mantra is “Word count. Word count. Word count.” Whatever you do, just keep putting words on paper, and trust that your brain knows what it’s doing when it comes to this writing thing. I once saw a sticker on a friend’s laptop that read, “You have 213 bones in your body. Surely one of them must be creative.” Trust that creative bone, and keep trudging.

Nine, ignore those punks who write their entire Nano in a week. They’re overachievers. Or they have *way* too much time on their hands. You’re not in competition with anybody unless you want to be. (That said, competition is sometimes a good way to get your creative juices flowing.)

Ten, if you have the time, find a local Nano group and hang with them. Sometimes, just knowing there are other actual people out there suffering under the same delusion that they could write 50k words in a month makes it that much easier to go from delusion to reality. Plus, there’ll be folks who have done it before, and they’ll offer you nasty tricks on making word count and support when you cry that 50k is just too much! (Seriously, the Sactown gang is what got me through Nano the last couple years.)

Eleven, you’ve won just by attempting this thing. The word count is immaterial. So what if you only get 15k or 30k down before you run out of steam? Yeah, it’s not 50k, but it’s still an accomplishment. 15k is 30%. 30k is 60%, which is more than half. It’s an awfully big commitment to write a novel in November, and if you manage anything towards it, that in itself is an accomplishment. That said, it feels nice when Nano declares that you’ve written 50k, even if bells and whistles and confetti are only going off in your mind.

And that’s pretty much all of my Nano tips. If you know any others, feel free to share in comments.

Originally published at retstak.org. You can comment here or there.

katster: (Default)
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 01:17 pm
I've been meaning to write about this since the Pennsy trip, but first that trip and then Westercon got in the way of making this post, so I want to share with you now (and maybe get a few more pre-orders on the book.)

In the fall of 2005, shortly after my namesake hurricane took out New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, I was approached on Pyramoo by [livejournal.com profile] macklinr. He knew I'd been taking the destruction rather hard (seriously, you try watching news footage that's all "Yourname did this," and "Yourname did that," and "Currently, the death toll from Yourname remains incalculable...") and offered me a small way of making it better. That way was to contribute to a book that he was thinking of putting together.

You remember Choose Your Own Adventure, right? It's all written in the second person, and you'd make decisions on where you wanted to go next in the book. I loved those things. Anyway, occasionally, you'd make a bad decision, and it would come to a bad ending. Well, [livejournal.com profile] macklinr theorized, how about a book that's just bad endings? Wouldn't it be fun to write one of those and give the proceeds to charity? He approached me with this, and I agreed to help.

Flash forward two years. A lot has gone on since then, a household move to Sacramento and a few other things, but the gears have been slowly grinding, and the book is just about due to come out. [livejournal.com profile] macklinr has been posting random bits to his journal as they come out, and OMG! this thing is excellent looking. You can see some of the sample stuff either by going to the website for Finis or by poking through the posts about Finis in [livejournal.com profile] macklinr's journal.

But the part that finally moved me to post this? This:


And there it is in black and white, buried along with all the other authorial credits, my own name. It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the project, I think, having somebody with the same name as the hurricane contribute. *grin*

Anyway, seriously. What the fuck are you waiting for? It's my first published work and all the proceeds go to charity! You can't go wrong in buying six copies! Preorders close next week, so you need to jump on it, but by preordering, you get a copy signed by most of the contributors. And my humble self will go to the preorder signing thingy, so I'll be among the most. :)

Anyway, yes. Hie yourself over to Indie Press Revolution and get your six or eight or well, just one copy today! It'll make me happy. :)
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katster: (fourth week)
Thursday, November 30th, 2006 10:19 pm
Alright, so who had November 30th, 2006 at 10:13:00 in the pool?

Yeah, I did it. Barely and by the skin of my teeth, but I did it. Worse than I thought it was going to go that first week, but better than the despair that I was actually not going to finish.

...just, again, the book is BARELY GETTING STARTED. :P
katster: (Default)
Monday, November 13th, 2006 05:54 am
my brain is pastede on yay.

Well, more to the point, it won't shut off.

I crossed the 25k mark on Nano today, which makes me feel that the large portion of this week I lost to illness is now made up for, plus I gained my slack days back.

Am musing on a post about my presentation of gender.

Plus now the damned Nano story has gotten to the point I see places where the story is going, and it *annoys* me. Because this thing seems to be approaching Robert Jordanesque levels of wordcount, if not intricacy. That's a bad thing. I'm going to blow past 50k and *still* not have the twins back in Nithmoral, let alone tell the major story I wanted to tell. Plus, the more and more this goes, the more and more I see that the story that *interested* me and made me pick this as my Nano project is off in Part 2, which will probably not even get wrote this year. :(

Speaking of the illness, other than not being able to hear conversation (I have to keep asking people to repeat themselves, and it annoys me. I can't handle being suddenly mostly deaf) and a bit of a cough, I'm feeling much better than I was. I managed to finally cajole my doc into a Wednesday appointment, so I have happy kill bacteria dead pills.

Other than that, things are going rather well. I have to sorta hope that the meds are shortcircuiting what might be a possible upswing. Not that upswings are bad, per se, but I eventually pay for them. And that, my friends, is the part I dread.

What's new with all of you out in LJ land?
katster: (bloodsport)
Friday, November 3rd, 2006 11:02 pm
Zokutou is down, and that's where I've been getting my word meters, so I'll go with this one for today.



Yeah. I kinda just blew the day away. I dunno how I got ten thousand words in three days, it just kinda ... uh, well, happened.

So, with this in mind, I open the betting pool. There are two questions.

(1) When is katster going to hit 50k words? Date and time, in Pacific time, because that's the timezone I work in.
(2) By the time November is over, how many words will katster have?

Unfortunately, there are no prizes, but I will honor the two winners (or one, if somebody nails both) at the end of the month.
katster: (nano05)
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 02:14 am
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2,170 / 50,000
(4.3%)


It's a start.

This year is not going to be as good as last year, but that's okay. Embrace the suck.

Now I leave Dixon, drive home, go to bed. For I have accounting midterm tomorrow.
katster: (chalice)
Tuesday, October 31st, 2006 04:37 pm
There was neither non-existence or existence then;
there was neither realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
What stirred? Where? In whose protection?
Was there water, horrendously deep?

There was neither death nor immortality,
There was no sign of night nor of day.
That One breathed, windless, by Its own impulse
Other than that there was nothing beyond

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning;
with no sign, all this was water.
The life force that was covered with emptiness,
That One arose with the power of heat.

Desire came upon That One in the beginning;
that was the first seed of mind.
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom found
the bond of existence in non-existence.

Their cord was extended across.
Was there below? Was there above?
There were seed-placers; there were powers.
There was impulse beneath; there was giving forth above.
Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced! Whence is this creation?

The gods came afterwards, with the creation of the universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen --
perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not --
the one who looks down, in the highest heaven,
only he knows -- or perhaps he does not know.

--The Rig Veda 10.129
katster: (bloodsport)
Monday, October 30th, 2006 11:42 am
This is in response to my offer to [livejournal.com profile] fairoriana to offer tips on how to make it through. [livejournal.com profile] rolypolypony took me up on it. And then I figured it's probably general interest, so I decided to post it here.

katster's tips for succeeding and staying (mostly) sane during Nano

They're pretty basic.

The first and most important is that "It's Nano. Embrace the suck." (This is actual advice I gave to the Sacramento Nanoers last night.) Authors are not the most objective when it comes to their work, and will go on and on about how much the book sucks. Granted. It's Nano; you're writing 50k words in one month. Of course it's going to suck. If you embrace the suck, it makes it that much easier to get through it.

Two, it really does help to write a bit each day. Nano suggests 2k a day so that you can have slack for days when you absolutely cannot write. But try to get a few words down every day. If it's three or three thousand, every word is one step closer to that magical 50k.

Three, do not go back and edit. If you can avoid it, do not go back at all. Because seeing text on the screen seems to draw what Chris Baty calls "the internal editor." You do not want the internal editor to show up! It makes it that much harder to make it through 50k. This ties into my first point about embracing the suck, because the internal editor is the guy mumbling that your work sucks, and well, if you just change this word to that word, and delete that sentence...the internal editor wants you to get *rid* of words, and that's fatal when you're trying to make word count. Lock the internal editor in a box, and don't let him out until May at the earliest.

Four, get started. Write as much as you can while you're still bright-eyed and raring to work. Because it will slog later in the month, as the rest of the world, who doesn't understand this whole Nano thing, will start making demands on your time, and you're also going to hate this writing thing and curse whatever deities you believe in about letting you think you could actually do this. That's natural. Plus, if you get behind on word count early, it's somewhat discouraging. I know this one well because I didn't get started until November 8th last year. I still managed to win, but that's because I'm a fast writer, and the story suddenly just avalanched onto the page. I do not recommend this technique to anyone.

Five, use nasty tricks to get your word count. Is your character baking cookies? List out all the ingredients. Another great one that was given at the Sac Nano meetup last night was "When in doubt, describe." Description eats word count like nothing else. And if all you feel like writing that day is "I hate this; what got into my mind?", go ahead and write it into the file. Yeah, it'll end up a bit disjoint. But that's okay. Your inner editor is locked in a box, and when you let him out in May, he can take stuff like that out. Right now, all you care about is word count, and that sentence is eight words closer to it. If you write it a dozen times, suddenly, you're 96 words closer to your word count. Plus, it's a good frustration reliever. Also, RaBiChi, from the Sactown Nano group reminds me: Eschew compound words! Don't shove words together! For example, it's word count, not wordcount! Another suggestion to think about would be to get rid of all your contractions. But do not take this to extremes...

Six, you don't have to write in chronological order. There's a neat invention on the computer called "cut and paste", which you can use to move chunks of your novel around later. (Don't do it in November. That's dangerously close to editing.) If you have to write chronologically, but you can't think of a scene, write "And then something happens" and go to a scene you know about. Remember, style doesn't count for much in Nano.

Seven, it isn't Nano until you kill somebody in your novel. Last year, I killed a minor character, but it lead to wonderful things happening. Also, I found out I can get in the mind-set of a sociopath. It's not a good place to be, but it makes the character that much more believable. And folks at the meetup last night suggested being even more drastic, like killing your main character. Yeah, it seems insane, but death scenes take up lots of word count. And if you have to kill a few kittens along the way, well, at least you're just doing it on paper.

Eight, if you haven't grasped it from everything else I've said, your mantra is "Word count. Word count. Word count." Whatever you do, just keep putting words on paper, and trust that your brain knows what it's doing when it comes to this writing thing. I once saw a sticker on a friend's laptop that read, "You have 213 bones in your body. Surely one of them must be creative." Trust that creative bone, and keep trudging.

Nine, ignore those punks who write their entire Nano in a week. They're overachievers. Or they have *way* too much time on their hands. You're not in competition with anybody unless you want to be. (That said, competition is sometimes a good way to get your creative juices flowing.)

Ten, if you have the time, find a local Nano group and hang with them. Sometimes, just knowing there are other actual people out there suffering under the same delusion that they could write 50k words in a month makes it that much easier to go from delusion to reality. Plus, there'll be folks who have done it before, and they'll offer you nasty tricks on making word count and support when you cry that 50k is just too much! (Seriously, the Sactown gang is what got me through Nano last year.)

Eleven, you've won just by attempting this thing. The word count is immaterial. So what if you only get 15k or 30k down before you run out of steam? Yeah, it's not 50k, but it's still an accomplishment. 15k is 30%. 30k is 60%, which is more than half. It's an awfully big commitment to write a novel in November, and if you manage anything towards it, that in itself is an accomplishment. That said, it feels nice when Nano declares that you've written 50k, even if bells and whistles and confetti are only going off in your mind.

And that's pretty much all of my Nano tips. If you know any others, feel free to share in comments.

[Edit: Changed all of my wordcount to word count, because of RaBiChi's comment. See the end of the dirty tricks tip.]