An Actual Writing Progress Update

I haven’t blogged an actual writing progress update in a while. I blame NaNoWriMo.

”Venom Infinitum” (science fiction short story):
For a while now, I would not share the name of this story because I was convinced I would be submitting it to contests that required anonymity-esque separation between the writer and his/her manuscript. Obviously, I’ve changed my mind about those contests. This story has gone through the critiquing gauntlet, and I am just about finished with the revisions. A few more days, I’m thinking.

Unnamed mainstream novel:
I haven’t done much with this story in a while, except for a few stints of research and world building tasks. Once NaNoWriMo is over, I expect to begin writing a few scenes, just to see how the characters get along (or, preferably, don’t get along) with each other.

”All the Time in the World” (science fiction novella):
Yes! I’ve finally brought this story back into the starting lineup! I’ve been letting a few of my ideas simmer in my mind for a while, and I feel I’m now at the point where they make sense…or, at least, they show promise of cooperating. But…as is my usual practice, I have an additional reason for renewing work on this story: a couple of the characters made their way into my NaNoWriMo novel.


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NaNoWriMo 2014: Notes From the 44,597 Mark

What other notes are really relevant at this point, other than…44,597 WORDS!!! I’M ALMOST DONE!!!

At this current point in time, I am (according to my calculations) 2,893 words over my projected pace, which means I can essentially miss an entire day of writing and still finish the challenge on time.

Which is probably how it is going to play out, anyway. I will be working most of Thanxgiving Day, and expect to be on the move almost the entire weekend (the vast majority of details of which I’m not even sure about).

Regardless, I am confident that I will reach the 50-grrrrr word mark in time.

Actually…with as many ideas and supplimental story arcs that have come to mind (especially recently), my writing of this story will go well into December. And, unless I completely missed it, there is no NaNoWriMo rule that says I have to stop writing my NaNoWriMo novel at the end of November.

If there were, I would have ignored it anyway.

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The Jersey Tells The Story

Anyone who knows me knows I like sports. Hell, if you’ve been following this blog long enough, you know that fact. So, as you might expect, I have an assortment of T-shirts and hats that praise my favorite teams. But, one thing I do not have are team jerseys.

Here’s why. I have what some people consider a very odd attitude towards wearing jerseys: I will not wear another man’s number. A sense of pride in who I am? Probably. But, the simple fact is that I won’t.

With one huge exception…


This is a throwback jersey of the Baltimore Colt’s great quarterback, Johnny Unitas.

I came to possess this jersey quite by accident.

Except…I don’t believe in accidents. The straight-to-the-point reason this jersey ended up in my hands was because I wanted it.

Why? I was never a Baltimore Colts fan. But, my dad was. I remember him telling me stories about some of their great teams in the past, and especially the exploits of his personal favorite Colt, Johnny Unitas.

Bingo! I knew the second I touched that jersey why it made its way to me, and decided right then and there that I would put it on a hanger and not wear it until my dad’s birthday.

Which is today.

Happy birthday, dad! If you were still with us, this jersey would be on your back. But, the next best way I can honor you on your day is wear your favorite player’s jersey in public all day to let everyone know where my enjoyment for sports came from…and I’ve already told the story about every aspect of your influence on me to three strangers so far today.

Love you!

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NaNoWriMo 2014: 38,295 Word Count Observations

With my NaNoWriMo novel now at the 38,295 mark, I have noticed:

…that, at this stage of the novel, I have been spending more time with my supporting cast than I have with my main character.
And I know why, too. Logan starts the story as a normal college athlete, and has bad and strange things are happen to him as the story moves along (not to mention that he is doing bad and strange things to others that he is currently not aware he’s doing). With my supporting cast, however, they were created as ‘abnormal’ from the start, so I can have fun with them right away. Of course, I’m just now getting to the part where Logan’s experiences start overlapping with everyone else’s, and, so far, it’s been a mind trip to work on. Logan and I are going to see a lot of each other the next few days…whether he likes it or not.

…I’m spending way too much time concerned that some people might feel I’m cheating.
One of the NaNoWriMo rules prohibits editing. Yet, if you look through my notebook, you will see arrows and revision marks and alternate passages on almost every page. All of these mark-ups will remind me of what I really want the manuscript to read like when it comes time to type it out. Are these additional—obviously, second thought—marks a form of cheating? Depends on who you ask. But, the more I obsess over that point, the less fun I have with this entire experience…and, of course, the less writing I get done. Perhaps, it will appease those who would claim I’m cheating by mentioning that I don’t include the edit notes and alternate passages in the official work count…unless they’re really good.

…that I will probably run out of time.
If you look at my stats (I’ve approximately 1,600 words over the pace that will get me to 50K words by the end of November), you might think I’ll make it without a problem…just keep my normal pace, you might suggest. And that’s where the problem lies: my ability to keep my current pace. I will be starting a new job soon, which will eat up much of my usual writing time until I can adjust to the new schedule. Also, I’m working most of Thanxgiving Day and well into that night, so I’m expecting I will not get any NaNoWriMo writing done that day. And, most potentially disruptive yet…I might have to go out of town at the end of the month for an extended period of time, meaning I might not have an opportunity to do much of anything writing-related. Stay tuned to these sagas.

…that I have no idea where this story is going to end up.
This is strange for me. With one or two exceptions over the years, I usually start the actual writing process of a story already knowing where it will end up. But, with this NaNoWriMo novel, I’m writing what comes to mind, barely following the anorexic order of events I never actually completed, making new story arcs up as I go. But, before I allow this unknown-ness to bother me, I remind myself that my main reason for participating in NaNoWriMo in the first place was to learn and experience a new way of writing. I‘d say I’ve accomplished this.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve barely written 200 words today, so I’m going to get back to it.


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A Few Random Notes For The Fun Of It

I just finished a two day training course on Tuesday. I went on an interview on Wednesday. If all goes the way I suspect, I could be working in an entirely new career (for me) by next week. So, if my writing output seems less than normal, you can blame this career move.

Which means it’s my fault.

I liked it better when I could blame my kids.


I’ve been following my high school alma mater’s football team, the Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders (Greenbelt, Maryland), close enough to know that they finished their season undefeated, and won their first game in the Maryland 4A South playoff bracket last Saturday.

I find myself wishing they were that good when I was a student there.


Graphic of the day…

As much as it could be *cough* accurately *cough* said that this graphic is dedicated to the lack of true leaders I’ve worked for in my life, the timing of having found it reminds me that it is almost time for me to start production (a.k.a. full blown writing) on a series whose main character is a textbook example of what a workplace leader should be. Don’t worry…he has plenty of other faults for the reader to boo at.


Yes, I’m still participating in NaNoWriMo. My recorded grand total to date is 32,352 words, with approximately 600 words done so far today.

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Halftime Report

It is done. I officially reached the halfway point of the NaNoWriMo writing challenge last night.

My word count: 26,176!

That puts me a thousand-plus words over the pace for 50K words by the end of the month. This makes me very happy.

I suspect, though, this word count padding won’t last long. I’m taking a training course this Monday and Tuesday, and starting a new job on Wednesday, and I’m not entirely sure I know how this new activity in my life (along with the commute) will affect my writing time. It’s quite possible that my next post will be me bemoaning about how I’ve fallen thousands of words behind schedule. We shall see.

I can tell you this for certain: time might trip me up, but any decline in word count production will not be because of a lack of ideas. With each new scene I write, with each story arc I develop, I come up with at least two new ideas. Writers love this level of creativity from themselves. Even if I do not complete the word count challenge on time, the novel will be completed.

Thanx for checking up on me. Now…back to writing!

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Scratching That Itch

Simply put…

NaNoWriMo behind the wheel
…I do not care where I am when the NaNoWriMo bug bites…I’m gonna scratch that itch and write!

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