I’m going to do a thing

It’s going to be amazing and scary, and I may fail quite spectacularly but I also just as equally may succeed wildly. It’ll be an interesting experiment, and I’m going to have fun with it.

See, I discovered the OA forum (Beyond 50K) on the NaNo site. These are people who are writing more than 50,000 words, whether it’s 60,000 or 1,000,000.

In 30 days. Same as the rest of us.

And last year I’d (foolishly) thought I could write three novels in November (150,000) but hadn’t put any planning into it. Still, my chart was good. By about the end of week 2, I had hit my 50,000-word goal.

So this year, why not put 250,000 words as a pie-in-the-sky goal?

A friend wisely speculated about the quality of such a novel, written so hastily in such a short period of time. I asked, “But wouldn’t you want to read it if I did it?” And with a little bit of disbelief that the words were actually coming out of his mouth, he agreed that he would.

So I’m going to try that. I figure a three-act epic that could be broken into three separate 83,334-word novels if necessary would work well. I don’t have a plot yet, nor any hopes that this will be anything but an exercise in determination.

And who knows – maybe I’ll come to my senses before November hits.

But there’s only 10 days for that. :)

The tub of eternal bliss

Static, Fluffy McFlufferson, and Inky/Shadow/Midnight

I’m fostering four cats.

There. I said it.

What was I thinking! Four! But it made sense. We were going to take two, and they were being kept in a milk shed – safe with mom, but alone. Even with twice daily visits and love from their rescuer (they were dropoffs), they were going to need more socialization.

And my daughter had been counting down the days until the 14th, so…

What’s four cats for two weeks?

I forgot what it was like to have 12-week-old kittens in the house. It’s been sixteen years. Dot and Brindle were terrors when they were tiny. We left Perkins muffins in a box on the counter once, and when we got back to the apartment, the box was on the floor and three of the four muffins were completely decimated. The fourth had an impressive dent.

They would tear around our apartment, too. Driving our downstairs neighbor (who also had cats) nuts. They may have been the reason she moved out, actually. But she was sweet about it. Anyway!

We discovered through trial and error that cat food requires very specific containment. Now, growing up with cats, we always kept the animal food (purchased in 20-lb bags) in the bag. We went through a lot, so it never had time to go bad. Nothing ever got inside. So we did that when we got Dot and Brindle, keeping the bag under the sink.

Until I stuck my hand in for a serving and came back with a handful of ants. EW.

So we moved it to the second bedroom.

More ants. We finally purchased a plastic tub with a loose lid, which also got ants (geez, with the ants!), until we settled on a tub with latching lid (and an inside wall, and a call to the landlord).

Finally! A fresh, ant-free food solution! So that’s what we’d been using for years. That’s what we had when Dot passed, and we gave the last of her special diet food to a coworker, who returned the tub.

Fast forward several months to now.

I remembered my ant lessons. But the cats have been so shy, and not very jumpy, so leaving it on the kitchen table seemed a reasonable idea. Away from the door (ants), radiators (ants), and other things.

Static, the little shit, started chewing through the bag tonight.

Not his fault, obviously. The kittens were getting fed once daily at their previous home, and we’re trying to get them on a meal schedule (put food out, give them an hour to eat, then remove anything uneaten) so they can associate people with noms and happy tummies. Apparently, they needed a bit more today, because when I went out to catch whoever was chomping on the bag, I not only found Static with his toothmarks and drool all over the bag, but Inky/Shadow/Midnight (we haven’t settled) and Fluffy McFlufferson hovering like feline vultures, and “the shy one” (haven’t settled there, either) was watching from a prudent distance.

So I cleaned off the dusty top of the food tub, poured everything in, picked Shadow out of the tub, set it down, scooped them some more food, removed Inky from the tub again, and got fresh water.

I have a feeling they’re going to try to figure out a way to get into the tub. I can’t remember if we’ve ever resorted to putting heavy things on top of it, but it sounds likely. Anyway, I’m not out to get anyone hurt, and if they figure out a way in, so be it. I suppose there are worse things than kittens gorging themselves on kitty chow for a morning.

My favorite bit of writing advice

Vandalism of the sort you expect to see in Canada

You have permission to write badly.

I really like that little gem. It especially applies to National Novel Writing Month, but I find, in general, when I give myself permission to write whatever I want and to stop worrying so much that I’m not doing something “right”, I find the really good ideas.

All over the place!

struggling through

My mind is everywhere right now. I just shut down YouTube so I can concentrate.

I need to set up October in my #BuJo. This is very important, and I even made a note about it.

I need to get at least 30 questions put together for Plotober’s Question of the Day. I have lots of sources for these things, so I just need to collect them because #QotD starts tomorrow.

I need to (still!) finish Goodie Packet things! This should not be so hard. Aye yai yai.

Maybe I could do all three things tonight, but certainly not with the level of noise I’ve had going most of the day. Pff. Too bad, too. Because I was having fun. But stressing is not fun, and so here I go.

1) #QotD, 2) #GP, 3) #BuJo.

Plotober and character sheets


Smooshing two prompts into one while I watch my son’s choice of YouTube this afternoon. You’re welcome.

Plotober is tomorrow. It’s a combination of Plot and October, if that wasn’t clear, and I use it for NaNoWriMo prep. In Plotober, I post a question every day in our regional forums on the NaNoWriMo website. In Plotober we meet on Wednesdays at Panera Bread restaurants in our region and talk about our upcoming novels. Basically, Plotober is for all the anticipation we have for November and National Novel Writing Month so we don’t explode before November 1st.

Character sheets – do you use them? I don’t use them. I’ve thought about it, but it hasn’t really caught on with my writing. But for people who do, how do you practice making really interesting characters?

Jamie suggested the following:

Prompt: how writers can get better at fictional character sheets by making ones for real people. Nice or not, politically correct or not, in the privacy of paper, how would you describe someone you know to someone who doesn’t know the person and is going to go find them at Panera or something. “Short, Blonde hair, typing furiously,” “Blue Nike coat/zipper sweat shirt, short dark hair, laptop is geometric art” etc.

It sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, I have no better input on this one. For all the prompts that Jamie gave me that I had opinions on despite not having any experience, this one I failed with.