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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Year's Goals: Stick To Your Guns

Banana weaponized by B.C. Mathews
As we approach the end of the year, we tend to look back and wonder where the time went, if the year was a prosperous one, and how many socks you could've lost to the Underpants Gnomes in just one year. Or you know, take a look back at your goals and if you reached them.

This year I've kinda' stuck to my guns about the writing goals:

1. Re-writing and editing last year's steampunk NaNo novel, Blood and Brass. So far I've been doing well with this. I think it helps that I'm still in love with the idea, and that despite the fact of its NaNo-ness (you know, written super fast) that it's one of my more solid ideas, and one that was deceptively easy-fun to write and mostly re-write.

2. Submitting short stories, like for realzies. This has been my biggest success, not in terms of actually getting published ('cause I'm not), but in getting my work out there. So far I've shopped around four different stories, even though the submission process itself is actually excruciatingly lengthy to the point where I often either forgot what I threw out into the wide world, or I want to rake my eyes out from how freakin' long it takes. The amount of non-form rejections is actually quite nice.

3. Increasing my prolific-ness. I tend to be a serial monogamist and go all Single White Female on my writing projects. Actually, doing the 2013 NaNo which is still obviously in progress, was another step in the right direction. Getting out complete first drafts that can sit while I tackle other projects is never a terrible thing. And NaNo actually has been instrumental in me just cranking out drafts. And not necessarily completely shit ones either.

Speaking of NaNo, so far I'm mostly on track. I've been meeting or slightly exceeding the daily 1,667 words mark. And because NaNoWriMo is gung-ho for yo' mo-mo-more, those ra-ra cheerleaders for NaNo asked that you give three goals for the next week and a half:

1. Stop re-reading the stuff that came before. It only lures the internal editor into sharpening his doubt-ridden claws and proclaiming the entire thing shit.

2. So I'm meeting the standard 1667/day thing. Go for the goal. Scream GOAAAAAL like the announcers for football (or soccer, or whatever 'Murica calls it). Go for 2,000/day.

3. When NaNo is over, keep writing. 50K is not a book or even a first draft for me. Last year's NaNo wound up at 160K over a period of two extra months. Three months for a complete first and massive draft ain't shabby.

So, here's a slice of eh-crap from the NaNo novel, which I keep describing as "a dark Burn Notice in space":

Ren stood there breathing hard, before he looked up at Bourn. In a flash, he was at the table, and wiped off his bloodied hands on the tablecloth--yeah there'd even been a tablecloth. Then he scooped her up, holding her to his chest. And Bourn wished she could close her eyes. For the first time since her father was killed, she felt like her safety wasn't dependent solely on her every waking moment, her eternal vigilance. It had been ages since anything like this--like trust had welled within her.

It scared the ever loving piss out of her.

As he carried her to the door, Ren looked down at her with a strained smile. "You're okay, kidlet. Nordonl is nasty stuff. Still, we don't know how much he gave you. I'll burn the poison outta' your system in no time. Blink if you understand."

She blinked slowly, her lids so heavy she wanted to sleep.

"Blink now if you agree you're a rotten pipsqueak."

It hurt that she couldn't smile to reassure him. Bourn knew that they were in trouble. Instead, she blinked twice for no.

"So you agree you're a pipsqueak and a no good rotten rascal." He looked down at her after scanning the hallway, his gaze intense, and no longer playful. "We will look after you, Bourn. You're our pack now." And then he seemed to shake himself of the duel voice. "I'll show you the super secret handshake later."

Darkness hovered over the edges of her sight. And she fell into it.

This post brought to you by Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, where you can go bananas for a bunch of different writers from all across the banana-globe writing about bananas in different banana genres. Next up is Banana-nana-fo-fana Gilroy Cullens at Bananas vs. Pens. I mean Swords vs. Pens.

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