Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

On writing and winter and darkness

It’s been several days since I posted anything here.  I haven’t really taken a break, I just haven’t felt I’ve had anything meaningful to talk about.

It’s November 19th, and I can say that with 11 days remaining in November, this NaNoWriMo has been terrible.  Even the other years when I didn’t make the 50K mark, I had at least hit well over half.  But this year, I wrote my first two thousand words and then nothing.   There was no motivation to write, no ideas that made sense, and even when I had ideas I couldn’t be bothered to put them down on paper or into a word processor.  This year, I felt nothing regarding my writing.

Usually, this can be attributed to a few things.  The simplest is that I was just lazy and couldn’t be bothered.  Partially true, but even with that there have been other times when I’d at least write something.  Maybe I was just burned out after a near 31 days straight of writing for October.  I do know that the winter season, even though it hasn’t officially arrived, has had a greater affect on my this year than past years.

Normally, I’d be able to combat my seasonal affective disorder without much trouble.  But this year has been hard.  It was often a struggle to just sit under a light at times.  I hit one of my lowest points this year.  And there was a huge amount of anxiety that still hung on from the move I made in August.  I’m still trying to figure out if this was a wise move or not.  There comes a point when you have to decide if the move you made is less important than your mental and physical well being.

I also don’t like that there’s this all consuming darkness around me.  Not some metaphorical thing, I mean actual darkness.  I get up in the morning, go to work, it’s dark.  I get off work at 5, it’s dark again.  This is the problem with winter, it gets dark too early and it stays dark too late.

The days, at least, keep me busy, so I’m thankful for that.  This week has actually found myself a little more up than usual this past season.  That comes from the most unusual of places; football.  This past weekend the Saskatchewan Roughriders won the western final to advance to the Grey Cup.  I’m focusing a little bit of attention there.  Still, I’m going one day at a time, and hopefully I’ll get better.

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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Life, randomness


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NaNoWriMo: this year, kind of a bust

Power of Words

My NaNoWriMo this year has been a total wash.  I’m pretty sure I’m not going to hit my goal, mostly because I’ve been completely uninspired to write anything and lack total motivation.  My depression has carried over worse this year, and what usually helps (writing) has completely left me.  I’m now at a point where I continually question myself instead of actually doing any writing.

Oh, I come up with a few things here and there.  I did write a poem.  I drew a map.  I drew a picture.  But that’s it.  And the weird thing is, I kinda of know what I want in the story, but it’s just sitting down and writing it.  I take a notepad and a pen and open it and have nothing there to actually write.  I launch OpenOffice and sit down at my computer and nothing comes to me.

The funny thing is, years ago (over ten, as a matter of fact) I recall this same thing happening and I forced myself to finish what I started.  Because I had this annoying habit of leaving things unfinished.  I wanted to finish one thing and be happy with it.  And it was a piece of fanfiction.  Now, with my own original characters and my own stories I can’t even find the motivation to complete a simple thing, not even a short story.

And it just makes it worse because I only berate myself more.  I’ll try again tonight and see if I can write anything.  Can’t come up with something.

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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Life, randomness


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It’s NaNoWriMo

This year’s project is different than year’s past.  I’m delving into the world of superheroes, but it does have a familiar ring to it.

It’s set in the same world as what I created for Canyons of Steel.  It begins in 1971.

theheroicleagueproject002A group of heroes from Britain, Canada and the United States who come together to prevent a massive terrorist attack and uncover the conspiracy of those wanting to escalate the attack.

The original heroes of this long story are:

  • Britannia (Melanie Coopers)
  • Canadien (Jean Pierre Turgeon)
  • Mannekin (Donelda Stewart)
  • Free Spirit (Regina Morgan-Simms)
  • Yellow Jacket (Richard Hargrove)

They are based on some of the superhero archetypes found in comics, some being patriotic figures, dark avengers, pulp hero style detectives, magic users and what not.  There are feats of bravery, powers of invincibility, car chases, and even touching moments with family.

This year’s NaNoWriMo is called The Heroic League Project.

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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Canyons of Steel, Flag on my Backpack, Writing


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Writing: Sitting at 32K Words

With three days left in the month of November, I have hit the 32,000 word mark.  Well back of where I had hoped to be, and astonishingly, while this started with Black Mask & Pale Rider (for which I wrote 19,000 words) I switched it up and went back to Rocket Fox (which I wrote 13,000 words).

Right now, I’m hoping to hit 40,000 words for the month, which will be decent enough.  I’ve also listened to a few people who made some suggestions for when the book is complete.  This is a completely different world, if not universe, than what has been written before.  Vulpinia Prime makes mention of several locations, so I’m going to make several maps and add those to the end of the book.  I’ll also have a glossary of terms, which include slang, place names, vessels and the like.

I’m hoping I can complete the first book by the middle of December and have a draft copy to go over and make any editing notes, then begin a rewrite in January and February.  For some reason, I always find the rewrites easier because I just have small things to add here and there, change up or remove.  It’s also harder, because I often have things that must be removed.  Then of course, there’s always continuity issues.  Once the rewrite is complete, I’ll set the book aside for a bit, set up the plot line for book two, then come back to book one and make any further changes.

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in randomness, Writing


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Writing: Rocket Fox – the soundtrack

The music I’ve been listening to while writing Rocket Fox has helped, though at times it does get distracting.  I’ll stop writing and just imagine.  Have a movie in my head play along with the music.  But, those times actually do help in writing.  They make it so I can visualize things a lot better when I write and help push things forward.

I’ve only hit 30K words with this NaNoWriMo, and it’s been a little disappointing.  I know November isn’t over yet, and I could push to hit 50K quite easily.  It’s been an uphill battle, writing almost 20K words in Black Mask & Pale Rider, then switching gears mid way to start (or continue, rather) writing more in the Rocket Fox universe.  I’ll carry on, actually, and keep moving forward.  I’m not giving up on either of them, it just might take me a little longer is all.


Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Writing: Switching gears

A little voice in my head said that it would be a bit of a struggle going through NaNoWriMo this year.  I hit a massive road block in my writing for Black Mask & Pale Rider, where all my thoughts and ideas drifted.  I sort of know what I want to write, but it’s difficult because the will just isn’t there.  As well, I keep having ideas that crop up that don’t take place on Earth in 1863, but in deep space on the other side of the galaxy.  Which, may be a problem considering I’ve dreamed up two separate worlds.

So, after several days of procrastination and avoiding my stories altogether (combined with some self loathing and depression), I’ve decided that while it’s not part of Black Mask & Pale Rider, I’ll still write what I need to for the first book of Rocket Fox.  I had some ideas spark with that work, and I’ve been neglecting it for a while now.  So the remaining days will include flipping back and forth between stories.  With 11 days left, I might get close to 50K, but I’m not too sure.  There will, undoubtedly, have to be a couple of days where I put in a massive push to the finish.  Force myself to write.  We’ll have to see how it goes.


Posted by on November 19, 2012 in randomness, Writing


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One Word At A Time

An editorial I wrote that originally appeared in The Outlook weekly newspaper.

As I sit to write this, I have written over 19,000 words since November 1.

For the better part of a decade, the month of November has been dedicated to writing.  The month has been called National Novel Writing Month, or as it has been often called NaNoWriMo.  Individuals across the globe participate in this writing challenge to put down fifty thousand words that will eventually become a novel.  Some make it, some don’t and some manage to put down well more than fifty thousand words.

There’s a large group here in Saskatchewan that takes part every year.  I’ve been taking part since 2007, though last year was the first year I actually hit the fifty thousand word mark.  There was one writer in the Lake Diefenbaker region who wrote well over one hundred and thirty thousand words.  This person was from Beechy, and the name might be familiar to some.  T.L. Wiens is the author of Making the Bitter Sweet and Where a Little Rain Comes Down.  To be able to write that much in one month is impressive.  I thought I was doing well with my fifty six thousand at the end of last year’s event.

NaNoWriMo is open to anyone and everyone, there’s no age limit, both men and women take part, and any genre is welcomed, as long as you are writing.  Science fiction, fantasy, drama, comedy, even non-fiction works are allowed, as long as you’re writing.  As long as you’re putting one word after the other in a goal to reach fifty thousand words for the month of November.

It’s a lot of work, and I know there are a few people in the Lake Diefenbaker region who are taking part in this event.  There will be times when doubt will creep in, and you feel like giving up.  Try not to.  And if you don’t manage to write fifty thousand words, it’s not the end of the world.  You tried your hardest.  Because here’s the cold hard truth about it; writing isn’t easy.  It’s actually very, very difficult.  Sure, you’re not using muscles like you would when doing a physical activity, but you are working to produce something.  You have to plan it, organize it and then write it all out.  It takes time, and there are going to be spots along the way where it may take its toll.

You just have to remind yourself, keep putting down one word at a time.  That’s one of the philosophies of NaNoWriMo; quantity not quality.  We’re not writing Shakespearian plays in the first stab.  We’re just writing.  Making the words pretty and making the sentences make sense, that all comes later, after the goal of fifty thousand is achieved.

It’s already half way through the month of November, and for those who are writing, they may be hitting panic mode.  But here’s something to think about.  If you’ve been writing, then you’ve been contributing to a global total word count that is over 1 billion words.  Of those 1 billion words, almost 2 million of them were written by Saskatchewan writers.  That’s a lot of words, and if one of those contributors is from the Lake Diefenbaker region, then you’re part of this provincial and global experience.  You just have to keep it up and keep moving forward.

One word at a time.

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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in randomness, Writing


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