thessalian: (Yay)
*ahem*

My current word count for Birth Rites stands at 50042. I don't have a winner's icon yet because I want to wait until the end of the month or of the novel (whichever comes first, and I suspect that the former will), but the word count is there. With nine and a bit days to spare, I won NaNoWriMo. Go, me! I think this is the earliest I ever finished.

*happydances*
thessalian: (NaNo 2009)
I did say I wasn't going to show half-finished chapters, but this chapter snippet is more drabble than anything else and I think it's funny. Well, it'll probably be funnier to the UK peeps, but those of you who are in the US and have no idea what I'm talking about, Google 'Bagpuss'.

Once again, Doors Are The Enemy )

NaNo Day 1

Nov. 1st, 2009 10:44 pm
thessalian: (Default)
Final word count, Day 1: 5332. More than 10% done. Go, me!

And a brief snippet: the unedited, rough version of...

Headquarters for the Investigation of
Paranormal Phenomena and Interdimentional Entitles
CHARTER


We the Undersigned vow, in the sight of the representatives of:

  • Smog Hall

  • The Side Ways Marketeers

  • The Spellcasters' Union

  • The Skinchangers' Round, Greater London

  • The Unitarian Cultists' Registry

  • The Gremlins', Goblins and Metallurgists' League of Guilds

  • The Parliament of Vampires

  • The UnderFae Motleys' Association

  • The Society for the Prevention of Undeserved Cruelty to Supernatural Fauna

  • The Legion of the Incorporeal and the Undead

  • Various pantheons, inclusive of but not limited to the Greco-Roman, Norse, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean, Native American, Aztec, Inca, Mayan, Hindu



that we shall defend the Ways by whatever means is least damaging to the population; that we shall serve the defenceless mortals of the mortal Way (for pay where possible) while leaving as little evidence of the existence of the paranormal as possible; that we shall give plausible explanations for supernatural happenings to mortals where possible.

Rachel Iphigenia Hutton

Carl Montegue Tanner

Emmanuelle Cordeliane Thorne

Annette Marie Dodd

Michael James Algernon

...Anyone want to see actual story snippet tomorrow?
thessalian: (nano08WIN)
*ahem*

*points to icon*

51,159 according to the word count validator on the NaNoWriMo website. Without the notes about Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen, and the chunk of Chapter Fifteen that's already written.

8790 words exactly in spurts over the last 24 hours.

*ahem again*

IWONIWONIWONIWONIWONIWON!

No, the story's not over, but damnit, I haven't felt this good about finishing a NaNo since the first one! Actually, no, I didn't even feel this good then, because the story was crap, but hell, it was actually the starting point for this one so years of failure to produce a decent story at least gave me enough practice to start getting it right!

*ahem again*

All this to say that the attempt to reach 50k words in a month is not the pointless challenge it seems. It keeps you going on the story no matter what. It gives you something to work towards. If I hadn't had that, it would have been really easy to put this story off and put it off and put it off and ... well, hell with it. I have fourteen chapters down on paper, another part written, another annotated and ready to be turned into a chapter (as thirteen and fourteen were when I thought I was done for the night) and I think I know how it's all going to end. So it'd be stupid of me to stop now. (Plus I think [livejournal.com profile] mitchy and [livejournal.com profile] the_blonde_one at minimum would have heart attacks.)

*happydances* Congratulatory smoke, and then ... I'm too keyed up to sleep, aren't I? Wonder if there should be chapter fifteen...

*notes lack of circulation in freezing hands, pain in back*

...Maybe not.
thessalian: (NaNo Buggered)
That's it. That's enough for today. However:

*ahem*

5900 words done today. Tomorrow, all it'll take is 1731 words to take me to victory. And that, friends and neighbours, is more than doable.

Of course, it's probably more than that as a lot of it will be rewriting notes, so my count will fluctuate throughout the day, but as long as I have 50k total words of actual story bits, I've won. And all those notes were written today anyway, just so I'd have something to go on to make tomorrow easier. So there we go. I know where I'm going, I know what I'm doing, I actually finished chapter twelve when I didn't intend to, and now if I type too much more today, I'm going to go psychotic. So ... let's not.

For the win!!!
thessalian: (NaNo Buggered)
Okay, I may be having a bit of a Confidence-Free Zone over here, but I have one line that I've prodded out of (or perhaps into) my NaNo that makes me smile. In response to Mike asking "What's the worst that could happen?":

Emma’s eyes widened at that before she slapped a palm over them and groaned, "Mike, we live in a world where the powers that be have a sense of humour and Comedic Narrative is alive, well, and drinks at Stringfellow’s every Wednesday. And you had to say that."

And I think I know what's going to happen next. At least it's something to do...
thessalian: (NaNoWriMo)
I know it's 4am. Humour me. There is NaNo snippet. It involves Annette taking Carl to the Teddy Bear Workshop. It's worth it.

It wants to be your FRIEND! )

I blame the Noctisites.
thessalian: (NaNoWriMo)
Digging through past NaNo efforts, noting the evolution of the HIPPIE brigade, I note that there's actually a fair bit to salvage, at least from 2005's effort. Okay, maybe the post-apocalyptic thing is a little too ... I dunno, just too much, but there are a couple of bits and pieces that I think might be translatable to further efforts. So, without further ado ... well, while I can't fit twelve pages of chapter onto one LJ post, I can put in one scene and probably send the rest of the chapter, which is pretty well stand-alone, out if anyone wants it:

A Typical Preliminary Interview at HIPPIE )

The characters have evolved a bit, really, but ... same old silly sods. Now, back to poking this year's.

NaNo Exerpt

Nov. 4th, 2008 11:15 pm
thessalian: (NaNo Buggered)
Migraine or no migraine, we have reached Day 4 and I'm on 9151 words. And so, to celebrate, a tiny excerpt from a bit of the novel I know is going to have to be revised come December but what the hell, it is word count and that is the important thing, right?

A Game of Telephone )

Enjoy!
thessalian: (NaNoWriMo)
So NaNoWriMo begins ... and I am more or less in agony.

After a week of an unsuitable office chair and cold-but-dry weather (with the exception of the mid-week snow), it's now cold and wet and miserable. Which means my sinuses are flaring up and various of my joints are aching due to more-or-less premature arthritis, which hits me just about every winter now. Afflicted joints include knees, lower back and (and this is the real kicker, given) wrists. I am hoping the painkillers kick in soon. This is 'orrible.

However, it is not going to stop me. I have plans and grand designs and ... you know, stuff like that. I am going to design HIPPIE Home Base properly in Sims 2 - it's based on a place I used to live in Leicester and is just a teeeeeeny bit weird - while working on word count. There shall be word count by the end of the day; I don't care if it hurts.

Right. Lunch. Cola. Writing. Go!
thessalian: (orders)
Dear LazyMoo,

Thank you for taking a message for me while I was away yesterday. It's a terrible shame that the GP's query was delayed because you couldn't be arsed to take five minutes and look up a fucking letter. But of course, such things are not your job and you should not be expected to do any such thing as being remotely helpful.

That said, the things that are your job should be done by you, and while I have been nice and quiet about a lot of the stuff you've stuck me with, that is where I draw the line. This is why you found a pile of letters on your desk this afternoon - they have your initials as the typist, therefore it is your job to put them in envelopes and post them. I am not giving up bits of my day to stuff envelopes full of your letters just because they found their way to my desk while I was on lunch.

Get stuffed (along with the envelopes),

Your annoyed temp co-worker.

Seriously, why does she even have this job?

Beyond that, I'm actually not doing too badly, as these things go. I took a mental health day yesterday and feel rather the better for it - my shoulders will still not completely unhunch but at least they're not up around the level of my ears anymore. Plus I have the weekend to recover from Week o' Hell - that'll be good. Though admittedly, I have plans in that area already so it's not like a total relax-fest exactly.

First of all, must get to the post office. I've got a few books that I have to send out for BookMooch. Given that I've already received Stephen King's Insomnia and have got A Feast for Crows coming in from Japan of all places, it's about time to start reciprocating. I would have started last week but my paycheque was teeny. Now it's not so teeny so I will send bits and bobs out. Huzzah for the post office? (I'll have to nick some big envelopes from the office before I leave tonight.)

Then there's my FFXI content IDs, which cry out for renewal. It's about time I started levelling again, really. Besides, my linkshell probably thinks I'm dead or something. I hadn't logged on in awhile because I hadn't been feeling well and then the IDs expired when I was on low paycheque rations so... Anyway, it'll be therapeutic, and something to do.

I also want to get back into doing DDR more regularly. It might help alleviate the stress - I just haven't had the heart or the energy to go bouncing around on the dance mat the last week or so.

Finally, the writing. I'm sort of in a state of perennial waiting for NaNo. It's like Waiting for Godot, only marginally less pointless. The NaNo forums are interesting this year - they've got a forum section specifically for MMO players. Vana'diel gets very little love but it's nice to know I'm not alone anyway. Oddly, because it's a 'virtual world' forums section, a lot of the conversation turns towards Sims 2. Turns out I'm far and away from the only person who uses Sims 2 as a character/setting design tool. Good to know.

I suppose I really should get back to work now but I'm taking my time, frankly. I have no intention of reaching the state I was in on Wednesday ever again, if I can avoid it.

Q&A

Sep. 23rd, 2008 11:01 am
thessalian: (writing)
Yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year.

Yes, it will be another short story anthology (as far as I know; it may run away with me, as sometimes happens).

Yes, it will entirely centre around the HIPPIE group.

No, it will not be the ones centred around favourite drabbles (has to be all new material).

Yes, it might well incorporate some of the other drabble prompts that I left out.

Yes, I will be posting it in snippets to the Drabble filter.

That is all. Thank you!
thessalian: (grammarian)
I am resigned to the fact that I am going to miss the NaNoWriMo deadline this year.

Note to self: When you say, "This year, I'm going to let people read it" ... it's not conducive to NaNo. Because 50k words in 30 days means, quite frankly, that there's going to be embarrassing word repetitions and some bits aren't going to make sense and bits of it are going to be on utter crack. The whole point of NaNo is to put aside that fear of writing something stupid and just write, and if it comes out screwy ... well, editing is what December's for.

Except I committed to letting people read the thing. And just over 50% done. I can't just sit down and write whatever, because people are reading the whatever, and it ought to be worth reading, in my view. So I sit and think, "Gods, it's awful - why am I bothering? I don't believe I'm going to show this to people..." and put it off and put it off and next thing you know, it's 10 days to the end and I hate the whole damn thing and I'm only about half done. I could make the deadline, sure, but I'd have to sit and write a whole bunch of, quite frankly, utter shite to do it. And I won't do that when people are reading it.

Thing is, though ... I'm still writing it. Sure, I'm thinking harder about it, and it's slower going, but I'm still doing the damn thing. Even though I hate it. And I suppose, since the point of NaNo is to get people writing, it has succeeded, and so have I. The point never was to write anything good - the point was to get people writing. All those people who think they have a novel in them get a chance to prove it, and if they're lucky, they'll come out of it with a story worth telling, or at least 50k words they don't want to waste. I think I have the former, at least, if I can just get it out right.

Maybe all that means is that I've outgrown NaNo. I don't need the prompt or the challenge to get me writing and keep me writing. I've got people who want to read what I come up with for the 'challenge' aspect, and as for the rest ... well, you guys know me. In all the years I've kept this journal, I don't think there's ever been a time when I wasn't working on something that involved telling of stories in one way or another. STing, fanfic, NaNo, Affils, whatever ... there's always been something. And even if I never make it big, or even really publish, that's never going to stop.

I'm not an author - maybe I'll never be an author. But I'm a writer. And I don't need Chris Baty and his bunch, however fantastic the concept is, to tell me that I am one just because I managed a certain number of words before an arbitrary deadline. So I'm likely not going to make the 50k words, and it doesn't bother me. I'm writing. That's what counts.

(And I still hate it. So there. *g*)
thessalian: (inspired)
The people at SquareEnix lie. They lie like cheap rugs. They said the FFXI version update was going to happen yesterday morning, which is why I suggested that [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo wait until last night to sign back in - to spare him more sitting around waiting for update than necessary. But I go to do a quick mog house check before heading off for YAFA interview (YAFA being [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo's new and nifty acronym for Yet Another Fucking Agency), and before I can do anything ... version update. 553-object version update. I mean, okay, it could be worse, but counting the reinstall, this is the third time since I got XP set up on this computer that I've had to sit around for update installations. Gah. Why do they lie?

In other news ... well, yeah. YAFA interview. I don't think it'll go badly or take overly long, and I've already done the typing tests (from the comfort of my own home, no less). These ones rang me while I was going through Waitrose for a bit of a grocery shop yesterday. Always fun trying to talk to people while competing with the sound of trolleys bashing into each other. Still, the message got across loud and clear and if this pans out, I'm looking at another Royal College job. Let's hope if I get it that it turns out better than the last one. I'm sick of waiting around for these legal solutions people to get their brains into some kind of gear.

I'm behind on the NaNo. It's incredible, really - I've had years when I was working on other projects as well as working a full-time job, and never been behind before. I mean, it's not a huge deal and I know I can catch up (with my typing speed it's almost inevitable, once I actually get inspired) but it's still ... I dunno, it feels like a chore this year. Maybe it's just my mood, which has sucked of late. I suppose at least I always carry a pen and notepad around, so maybe I'll get something done on the way to YAFA interview. Though to be fair, I'd rather nap - I should have been okay if I'd just slept properly from when I eventually went to bed to when I had to wake up, but ... eh, insomnia blows.

These things are sent to try us.
thessalian: (geeky)
Since the word count widget I'm currently using doesn't actually work, I won't bother with the coding at the moment and just leave it at this:

7,720/50,000 (15.44%)


I haven't set up my filter for NaNo stuff yet, partially because I haven't actually relegated any of what I've written into anything like chapters as yet, and I've been busy with other things (like, for example, actually writing the godsdamned thing). But that's a task for Sunday, assuming everything else goes well.

[livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo discovered what I was doing wrong with the attempts to hook the Frankenbox back into the router - apparently there are two network ports and I was using the wrong one. Big bloody surprise. Oh well; fact remains that the thing's now hooked into the router and all the stuff I want to keep off Eshu is being transferred to the Frankenbox's C drive. This is an awful lot of stuff, so it's going to take awhile, and because I can be really paranoid about this kind of thing, I am going to watch as all of this gets done. Though at least all my RPG stuff and my writing's backed up properly, and my Daria eps and Sims 2 downloads are well on their way. The music, on the other hand, is going to take forever. Anyway, assuming it's done by a reasonable-ish time of night (though the way things have been going with my sleep patterns of late, that's anything before 5am), I'll give the XP install a try. If not, I'll give it a shot tomorrow. There's going to be a lot to reinstall once things are set up properly, and I'd much rather get it all done and out of the way in one lump if I can. If nothing else, it'll get that network cable hooking the Frankenbox to the router off the floor sooner; it's not particularly unobtrusive.

I hope this works. I have work on Wednesday (the nice people at the dermatology clinic I was working at the other week asked for me back for a six-day stint) and I would like to be able to use the new and shiny iPod on the commute. Commuting sucks enough without having to deal with other people's noise while doing it.
thessalian: (cynical)


Not all of the stories are done yet. However, I have just about decided that I'm going to post one of the ones I finished, mostly because ... well, I've been writing all month and would like to reassure myself it isn't all crap. I'm thinking of the HIPPIE Case Files one, because it's the one I'm least likely to try and publish and I did like that one. It would be a shame if no one read it. Of course, I'm still all nervy about it. I can see that I've improved over the years but I still know I could be better. It's just never perfect, and that aggravates me. But I suppose that's a good thing - the more I strive for perfection, the closer I'll come to getting it someday and the better the imperfect work will be in the meantime.

Still ... a winner is me for another year. At least something's going right. Between the GI illness, not hearing from the agencies and a current issue with one of my wisdom teeth (the left lower side of my jaw is swollen and I look ridiculous; good thing I'm not really going out anywhere these days), I'm sort of counting the blessings I have - writing, RPing, my friends, [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo and my infinite capacity to amuse myself.

Note to self: must get out to the West End tomorrow to get gummies. Though I might try Atari-Ya first; they're closer and they may have some. Then the post office. Yay for the post office!
thessalian: (NaNoWriMo)
Well, I said I'd redo word count when I had something worth talking about. So:

40,081 / 50,000
80.16%


Plus I think I finally found a handle for "Wormwood and Chamomile". Which is good because that one's giving me all kinds of shit. Anyway, after that one and graveling-things and gremlins on the Tube, I think I'm pretty much storied out. But that's going to take me over the 50k mark anyway, so go me. I may keep writing tonight (this morning) but I may not. I'm just not really that sleepy. Which I suppose is bizarre in and of itself, but what're you gonna do?

Oh, by the way, I've been considering posting one of my shorts on this journal, mostly to reassure myself that what I'm writing is not utter and complete crap. I just can't decide which one. I mean, guy who sees ghosts on the Tube? Modern "stolen away by the fairies" story? The one where a trip to a witch-run brothel takes a turn for the more-serious-than-I'd-intended? The one using the same characters as last year's full-on NaNo, taking some timeline liberties? The London cabbie? Or should I do it at all? 'Cos I still think they're crap.

Comments encouraged.
thessalian: (NaNoWriMo)
And tonight's word count is...

35,050 / 50,000
70.1%


In other news, I now have a cane. [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo unearthed it for me - black with a silver gargoyle for a handle. Needs a bit of silver polish, but it's held up really well given that it's been hit by a bus. It's definitely helpful - there is still pain, but with it, I can get up from a sitting position without wanting to scream. This is a bonus.

And now I'm contemplating bed. I've just done over 3.5k words and starting to be actually knackered. Wish my stomach and knees didn't hurt, but not much can be done about that tonight. I'm thinking of whipping up some kind of warm glycerine rub for my knees tomorrow - I've got a couple of ideas that might help the pain somewhat. I'm thinking ginger, coriander and lemon might work, even if I'm going to smell like a stirfry when it's over. Though to be honest, while my remedies mostly seem to work for other people, they never work a damn for me, so I'm not sure why I bother. Still, anything's worth a shot at this point.

[Edit: I wanted to get in on the 35k thread, so I added a few words to one of the stories I was working on, since I didn't want to get started on the ritual scene I have going in the other story because if I did, I'd be at it all night and I would like to get to bed before sunup just the once...]
thessalian: (careers)
Started applying for jobs today. Yeah, I know I'm still ill, but I'm getting used to it now, and I need to start now unless I want to find myself paychequeless for the start of 2007. That wouldn't do at all, would it? So despite the continuing illness, I've updated my CV and started looking for work, start date pegged for December. This gives me a couple of weeks at least to build up my tolerance for doing things like, I dunno, going outside and carrying out a day full of activity. I just wish my knees didn't hurt so badly. I think I'm going to get a cane. Where can I find a nice cane; does anybody know?

Not sure what I want to do tonight, projects-wise. There's always the NaNo, obviously - I finally did something with that "Voudon Udon" idea that [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo planted in my brain during last year's NaNo launch party, so I could finish that off. On the other hand, there's lots of coding that needs to be done on the City of Complications site, and I still need to find chat software; I'm probably going to stick to Yet Another Bulletin Board for the forums but I need a place for people to chat ... unless I do this via IRC, which I suppose is a possibility. Man, I haven't been on IRC in years; I hope I remember how mIRC works. So I could do that. On the other hand again, I've been having some ideas on how to start the actual text content of Urban Chaote, so there's that to consider...

Argh. Why do I do this to myself every godsdamned time? It doesn't matter how free my days are; every time I turn around, projects pile on projects pile on projects and my inspiration winds up pinging in every damn direction, leaving me standing in the middle of a pile of half-finished projects going, "What's next? What's next? Agh!" It's not that I can't focus on one task and get it done; it's just that when a piece of inspiration hits me, I tend to grab hold of it and start it up so that I don't lose it, knowing that I can come back to it later. But suddenly it's 'later' already and I don't know where to start with concentrated focused effort now. Everything wants to get done NOWNOWNOW, you see. I'd damn my muse if she hadn't provided me with so much good shit over the years.

Okay; let's try the old-fashioned logic thing. Certain of these projects have actual deadlines, primarily the NaNo. That has to be done in the next 17 days. And just because I'm very far ahead doesn't mean I can slack. I'll get my 50k words done at least before I think too hard about any of the rest of it. In the meantime, I'll consider what kind of shots of London I want for City of Complications so that I can either find what I'm looking for online or ask [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo to be a sort of a bespoke photographer - well, he offered. At least the character sheet submission format is easy - [livejournal.com profile] darkdanc3r used the CbN format for her submission so it's probably easier to just stick with that; it's pretty standard over the WoD boards I've seen anyway. It's now just a matter of writing out the text for a general London overview, and establishing things like chantries in London as a whole. It hasn't been a problem in the one playtest I've done because that was just a random street meet between [livejournal.com profile] darkdanc3r's character and a not-so-random supernatural who is, I'll admit, one of my favourite creations. So it's not like no work's being done on CoC just because I'm busy with the NaNo.

After that, I'll shift my focus to CoC coding and chat room software searches, work out how to establish the YaBB board on the site and write the general overview of segments of London that will tend to be used in chats. I'm thinking for that one that I'm going to have to set up a number of rooms, seeing as how London's so interminably big. I might be able to get away with City / West End / Various Chantries / Other, but I doubt it. West End is too rife with subdivisions, for example Chinatown, Soho, 'Theatreland', Covent Garden and Oxford Street. Then there's Other, which covers just about any segment of Greater London you care to name. I really need to narrow that down a little bit, but most starting Mage characters are not going to be able to afford living in Zone 1. I'll consider Greater London divisions later, I think, but I think I'll probably just divide out a few useful places that I already know quite well - say Wimbledon, Tooting, Finchley, Golders Green, Colindale/Brent Cross, Wood Green, Clapham and such - and leave the rest to handle itself. And then Camden, of course. Can't have any kind of London campaign without Camden. It doesn't have to be going to the trendy in my universe! Though I suppose there'd be scope for plot there...

Anyway. Once that's done, I can focus more on the Urban Chaote stuff. With all the London-centric spooky stuff I'll have already written by that point, I'm sure to have a better handle on it by then. I'm having different thoughts on the magical aspects of it, too, as the intial idea I'd had was apparently an unintentional recreation of Ars Magica's system and it makes [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo uneasy. I'd like to do more on it sooner, but I've got other committments, plus there's the whole job search thing, which really takes precedence over all of it ... but not at eight in the evening. Besides, beyond applying for things, what more can I do?

So now I have a Plan. Plans are good. Must also remember to book Dragonmeet - [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo reminds me that you can get tickets on the door, but they are always more expensive and anyway, advance booking means you spend less time in the queue. I do not go to Dragonmeet to spend time in the queue. Of course, this year I don't go to sell anything either. I just want to go shopping and play games this year. There's enough time next year for ACG to make another appearance.

My life is just never particularly slow, is it?

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