Camp NaNoWriMo Prep

One more day.  I have my project ready to go, I have some blocks of time scheduled.  I’m ready!  Although I don’t feel entirely ready.  I can do all the little things to prepare but I don’t ever really feel ready until I’ve settled in and the words are flowing.  Then I know I’m ready.  I’ve shown up and I’m working.  Having my handy notebook, writing calendar, and pens nearby is helpful but unless I can get out of my own way long enough, nothing will get done.  I’m also very scattered, however much my need for a clutter-free environment rails against this.  I write in my study, at the dining room table, the couch, in bed.  Being able to sit in one place at the same time every day sounds amazing to me, but my life, as it is, doesn’t allow for that.  And that’s okay.  Instead of fighting against it, I have to work around it.

The other night, I downloaded an e-book by Sara Rosett on how to be a more efficient writer.  I guess it’s working because I haven’t been reading much of it.  I’ve been writing!  So, as much as I’d love to finish this e-book (I’m sure I will) and see what other gems she has to offer, I’ve been devoting whatever time I can to my writing projects.  That’s the thing that always sticks with me – scheduling writing time.  Of course, today and tomorrow, I have a little more free time than usual so I can totally see me screwing this up where the more free time I have, the more goofing off I do.  I have to rein myself in.

Also in Sara’s book, I got to the chapter on eliminating distractions.  Yes, social media and e-mail are huge distractions for probably everyone, but I can generally push through and ignore it without turning things off or having something set to “silent.”  For me, the bigger distraction is music.  I love to listen to music but I can’t listen while I write.  I envy those who have their playlists for an entire novel and they listen to that while they write.  Me, I want to sing the words and dance and pretend I’m at a concert, which means I’m not writing.

As for my projects, I’ll be concentrating on writing poetry.  I feel the itch to dig out an old camp project, and I’m sure I won’t be able to leave it alone because there’s something about Camp NaNoWriMo that brings visions of campfires, ghost stories, cabins in the woods, etc. But yeah, mostly poetry.  Speaking of camp though, earlier this week, I recalled a movie that I watched one afternoon with my mom.  I’m not sure how old I was at the time we watched it, but the movie came out in 1983 which means I was ten when it came out.  Anyway, the movie was Camp Sleepaway.  Have you seen this movie?  I remember being horrified at the time.  Today, I can’t even imagine why we rented that movie. The cover had a bloody knife going through a sneaker.  Neither one of us watched horror films.  What the hell were we thinking?  I found the movie online last night and watched the whole thing again just because, once I recalled it, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  Well, I was even more horrified.  At ten, eleven, or twelve, I’m pretty sure that I was not aware of just how many things were wrong in that movie.  First of all, the acting is really bad.  Like 1980s bad.  And then you’ve got the weird flashbacks, which thankfully explain why “Angela” is so traumatized, but oh my god! I’m traumatized just by watching it.  I had to cleanse my palate and listen to some good music.  So, there was the kids’ dad and boyfriend which the kids see together in bed, the weird aunt(?)  Was she the aunt?  I don’t even know, but worse there’s the kitchen dude at camp who tries to show Angela his bits (too bad he didn’t live long, Angela could’ve really shocked him), and the main guy who runs the camp seems to have a thing going with one of the camp counselors.  What’s up with the creepy old dude and underage girl thing?  Nothing actually happens onscreen but yeah, gross.  And that ending…hello, plot twist!  I don’t even know what to think.  Shocking, yes.  Surprising, not really.  I’m just wondering if there was a lot of gender bending movies back then.  Maybe there was, I wasn’t watching them.  That one kind of fell into our living room by accident I think.  Just as out of place there as it was for the times.  But you know what, I’d probably watch it again just for the hell of it.

Okay, I got a little a lot off topic, but I did have a point.  Thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo made me think of that movie.  And, in my head, I somehow made a comparison to the movie and my writing.  As in, sometimes it’s dead in the water before it ever gets started.  That it tries to be deeper than the surface it sinks in.  Hopefully, I’ll be doing the backstroke in crystal blue waters, and not run into any bears that like to eat novels for breakfast.

And now I should probably get some work done.

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Charting Not-so-New Territory

novel chart from campnanowrimo

I found this chart (I think it was from one of the pep talks from Camp NaNoWriMo?) but can’t remember who came up with it.  If you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit.  Anyway, I thought it was accurate.  So accurate, in fact, it’s both funny and painful at the same time.  Mainly, I fall all along the first line.  From ‘This is the greatest idea’ to ‘This sucks.  And it’s boring.’  I’ve reached that ‘Dark night of the soul’ to come out with a craptastically finished piece of work a few times, but usually that bottom-most pit is so overwhelming, it’s hard to get out of.  It’s hard to push past all of the self doubt and the fact that you’re drowning in a big pile of shit.

I’d be interested in any ideas you’d like to share on how you reach the end.  How you push through from initial idea to finished novel.

Camp NaNoWriMo

camp nanowrimo 2012

If you’re a writer of any sort – poetry, short stories, novels – you’ve probably heard of NaNoWriMo or the camp versions known as Camp NaNoWriMo.  Since the camp versions (in April and July) allow a little more creative freedom in that there’s not a strict word count (50K) and it doesn’t have to be a novel (it can be a screenplay, memoir, poetry, whatever), the challenge seems to be a little easier to tackle.  At least for me.  I was gearing up for all of the writing I hope to do for the month of April – NaPoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Poem-A-Day Challenge at Poetic Asides – and hopped over to update stuff on the camp site.  I looked through past attempts and came across the one pictured.   I remembered the idea, but not writing that synopsis which I read and went, ‘huh, that’s pretty good!’  I’ve returned to this idea several times.  So many times that it demands to be written but I can’t seem to finish.  If you care to notice the little bulls eye thingamajig, it’s sitting at 10%.  Yeah, I suck.  You’ll also notice that I’ve attempted that particular project off and on since 2012.  Wow, I really suck.

For this April’s camping adventure, I hope to finish a book of poetry that I’ve been working on for a while.  It needs to be done!  I need it to be done!  Will you be participating?  If so, what will you be working on?  Let’s share in our suckiness creative genius.

Holy Crap!

It’s now the middle of March,  probably my favorite time of year besides summer, and I’ve neglected this blog since the beginning of January.  I’d like to say I’ve been busy writing.  Mainly, I’ve been busy goofing off, but I hope to fix that.  Instead of talking about what I haven’t been doing, I’ll focus on what I have been doing which is reading.  Lots of reading!  I’m participating in a book challenge over at Goodreads.  These books aren’t my usual reads but I’m enjoying them, plus it’s getting older books read and either a permanent place on my shelves or…out of here.  I think I’ve read 6 so far which is actually a lot for me in such a short amount of time.

I’ve also been debating about a Patreon page and thinking about what kind of content I’d want to have, rewards for patrons, all that good stuff.  By the next time I post to this blog, I’ll hopefully have launched my page and be rolling with that.  I’m really excited about the ideas I’ve come up with.

I’m also looking forward to banging out some new poetry during NaPoWriMo next month.  March and April always seem to bring a sense of renewal for me. The cold, gloomy winter days are gone, and in their place are warm sunshine, chirping birds, and blooming trees.  The keyboard is thawed out and ready to rock ‘n roll.

For now, I leave you with…the tree that isn’t sure what it’s supposed to be doing.  This is the second tree we’ve planted in the same spot (the first one died), and this one has sprouted broad leaves, and now tiny pink blooms.  I hope they last because they’re pretty to look at and I have no other flowers around here.

More pink blooms 3.17