Hi all, and yes, I'm still here. I've been feeling odd, and it's affected my online activity. Part of it is/was the adrenaline crash following Camp NaNoWriMo in April, but it's been more than that. Ups, downs, new creative ideas, absent family members, fooling around, catsitting, alcohol. It's all a muddled mess, really, which makes the only applicable word "odd". I can't say "strange", you might think I was implying something bad. Same with "off", which I usually use for when my health is just beginning to irritate me, but not truly getting in my way just yet. Anyway, I'm still here, even if my to-do list has gotten delayed somewhat by my general inability to do much of anything.
Oh, and I've painted my finger and toenails bright gold (possibly closer to brass) for the heck of it and because it was bright and cheery and summery. My manicure isn't going to last long, I've already chipped it, but the pedicure should last for most of the summer at least. It doesn't hurt to pamper yourself a little every so often.
July Camp NaNoWriMO!
I think I called it "debate wisdom of July Camp" on my to-do list a few weeks back, and while I still may not think it wise,
precisely, I'm definitely going to do it.
Too many projects have been left unfinished over the years, and they need at least basic rough drafts. I've picked through a couple and invited my mom to read one "more complete" manuscript while I've laid out a different one to finish in July; it was posted on here as Missing Puzzle Pieces
awhile ago, a scifi novel about a woman with amnesia trying to put the pieces back together before something bad happens, even if she doesn't have any idea what that bad thing is. I'm not going to edit what I already have for the moment (much); while I'm not entirely pleased with the draft I have so far, at least it's written down. I got through six and a half or seven chapters, which is more than I can say for the rest of the story.
I'm going to enforce a more relaxed pace for my remaining sanity. I spent April in an adrenaline and caffeine high, and the crash hurt emotionally and mentally. The caffeine level was so far beyond my norm that I grew dehydrated enough I couldn't wear my contact lenses. (That's pretty damn dehydrated.) And I can't tell you how much I really hate wearing my glasses.
I don't have a numeric goal yet for the month of July, I need to spend a little time sketching out plot points for the rest of the story arc and guess at how long it will take me to get there. I'd like to see another "The End" ideally, but this is not an ideal world, and I don't want to kill myself trying to get there again. I've reached "The End" once now successfully, I know I can do it. I don't need to prove that again.To my April Camp NaNo cabin:
You guys were great, and I will definitely be keeping in touch, but I've convinced some friends from my roleplaying game site to take part in July, and I'm going to put together a cabin for them. I'd toss you all together but I don't think there'd be enough room. The cabins are 11 people or something like that, maybe 12? I know I have four confirmed nibbles over on that site, but if you're taking part in July, let me know, please! Maybe there'd be room for everyone and I can introduce you all to new faces. I get the impression the age range of my friends/acquaintances there is more extensive than those here, but aside from that, they're all great people, I promise.
Over the next few months I'll probably be posting several exercises under the heading "Writer's Workbook". (First one was posted a couple days ago, even if it was just a quick freewrite.) Most aren't going to be all that interesting, but I will be collecting them. I'm starting with the book Ready, Set, Novel!
by the NaNoWriMo people, who I'm safely happy to believe understand plotting out a book, and other prep work that goes into it. I don't know which exercises will be more useful to me, but the ones I actually sit down and write on the computer instead of sketching a few notes on a sticky note (or the book itself, which is designed for that) I'll post. Maybe they'll help you too? I'll probably move on from that book to the "No Plot? No Problem!" kit workbook that I bought back in March and which definitely helped me get through April's madness. I'm probably going to take that progress log image linked above to the printer's and ask them to print it out and laminate it so I can use it over and over again. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to stick gold stars on it once without ruining it for the next time. Magnets, maybe? (Then it'd have to be on the fridge.)
Returing to dA Activity
The last thing on my to-do list from a few weeks ago was the Beta-Readers
gallery upkeep. I started back in March and early April, but once I got swept away with Camp NaNoWriMo I dropped it entirely. It's time to get back to it. There's a whole profile gallery full of people's unmatched author and beta-reader profiles, none of which are getting any nibbles because they've been there so long that no one knows if the author or beta-reader is still available or interested. I hope to change that by going through the entire gallery (and I already have them listed in a spreadsheet) and contacting everyone, and then posting a series of blog features trying to connect people. If I can mark down writing/reading ratings (PG, PG-13, R, etc.) and keywords in the process, maybe I can theme the blog features enough to prod authors and beta-readers at similarly minded people.
It sounds like a lot, and it is. It's going to take me awhile. But I do want to do it, because maybe I'll feel more comfortable about asking for a beta-reader for my April manuscript when I'm done. (I feel like if I can't beta-read for someone, I'm not doing my part to pay it forward.)
I also need to be a bit more proactive about searching out new literature-focused articles for my Literature Articles You Should Know, perhaps even turning it into a series posted every so often instead of one journal constantly updated (but that'd be a lot of work, too). And there was a feature series I was talking about with someone which also got thrown by the wayside come April. That will hopefully come out soon, as well!
I've written to a few people here, and I hope to get into something resembling a regular pattern. Once I do, you might even get something other than boring (rambling), chatty cards. Poems, doodles, sketches, I don't really know. That was what I had originally hoped when I planned to start writing to Grim. Would anyone like to start trading mail? I know it's can be chancy giving your address out to strangers online, and I do not recommend doing it unless you're sure you're safe. Send me your address in a note, not a comment
, so that it's private, but I will dutifully write to each and every one of you! If we're not friends yet, I may not be prepared to offer you my
address just yet, but that just means we need to get to know one another!
That's not that hard.
If you've gotten a card from me, I hope you'll write back! I will certainly return every letter/card/postcard/note I receive, even if it takes me awhile. And I have all these pretty cards sitting on my desk just waiting for someone to write to!