Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaNo & GoodReads

I finished my novel on Saturday. Yay! Final word count was 65,731, for an average of 3460 words per day. Obviously my 10K-day to start helped inflate that, but I do wonder if I could keep up that pace for an entire month. Every year I've done NaNo, I have always finished writing before Thanksgiving, condensing what is officially a 30-day goal -- and sometimes beyond -- into just 2 or 3 weeks. How many stories might I have written by now if I was this productive year-round? Seems like every November (well, the years I actually participate) I remember how much I love it . . . but then it just falls to the wayside again.

Anyway, I spent a good chunk of today doing a different kind of writing: book reviews. I do like writing at least a little something on Goodreads, to explain my star rating if nothing else, but so often I don't do it right away, and then I forget . . . which leads to days like today when I go back and write ten or more reviews at once. I'm determined that eventually they will all have reviews, but considering I still have over 100 books without them, that day is not coming any time soon.

Anyway, here is a list of my most recent reviews, for anyone who might be interested:

The Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini

The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire

The Talisman, by Stephen King & Peter Straub

Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaNo, Day 15

So, here's a screen shot of what my word count graph looks like up to this point in the month:

As you can see, I kinda pounded it out in those first couple weeks. I jumped way ahead of schedule on Day 1 and just kept pushing ahead. Now I've slowed down considerably, though I still anticipate finishing my novel late this week, or possibly early next week. Before Thanksgiving, definitely.

Despite all the preparations I made this year, I've still run into some problems I didn't quite expect, though perhaps I should have. Even if I didn't anticipate what those problems would be, I should have known that it wouldn't just suddenly be easy. Sure, I've accounted for some of the problems I usually have when tackling a project of this size, but being successful in those areas just opens me up to a whole new set of problems.

I'm being intentionally vague, just because to get into specifics would give away certain aspects of the story. And, despite my setbacks, I am determined to actually finish and edit this one into something that I would not be embarrassed to allow people to read, a feat that I have yet to accomplish with any of my previous NaNo attempts. I don't think it will take on quite the same form that I originally envisioned, but I'm still optimistic about the final product.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaNo, Day 3

Couple things, before I get into NaNo stuff.

First of all, just watched the Stargate: Atlantis episode, "The Shrine." It was pretty great. Of course, I'm biassed, considering that McKay is my favorite character, so I always love episodes that are centered on him. "Tao of Rodney" is another one of my favorites (and, actually sort of an opposite to this one). But anyway, just felt like sharing a Stargate fangirl moment. I wish that I'd gotten into this series -- well, franchise -- earlier. A couple years ago, Pat and some other friends got me into it. We've watched through all of SG-1 (including the movies), we're currently in the last season of Atlantis, and then I do want to watch Universe when we're done, even though I've heard mixed reviews on it.

Secondly, I went to the Y today for the first time in a while. I've been really slacking the last couple weeks. Actually I could probably go on for an entire blog post about that (and perhaps I will at some point) but today I finally got back to it. Eight-minute runs (3 of them), with two-minute walks in between. I'm slowly working my way up, obviously not running any marathons any time soon. But if eight minutes doesn't seem like much, keep in mind that earlier this year I couldn't even run for a solid minute before needing to take a break.

And now . . . NaNoWriMo! I managed to write 10K words on Day 1, got another 5K yesterday, and 5K today. So, three days in, and I'm 40% to the official goal. I plan to do another 5K day tomorrow (halfway!), and then I'll be slowing down a bit.

Even though it's frowned upon, I did edit a small portion already, to make it suitable for posting on my NaNo profile, at which point I decided I might as well share it here too.



Jennifer Adams is in the Witness Protection Program, but she doesn't remember why. Her only clues are intense, vivid dreams, so strong she could swear they were real. When she starts seeing these visions even when she's awake, she's forced to consider the possibility that her dreams are actually something much more significant.

Now Jennifer is the subject of scrutiny by people she doesn't trust or understand, and suddenly she must question everything she thought she knew about her past and herself. Determined to uncover the truth, she discovers a lie more shocking than she ever imagined.



Jennifer walked down the steps leading away from the building. Caught up in her thoughts, she didn't see him until they had nearly collided. When she saw the face of the person she'd almost run down, she froze.

There were small differences. The kind of minor changes you might expect from someone having aged through his twenties. Subtle lines in the face. The hair was styled differently, shorter than she remembered it. But the curve of his jaw, the angle of his nose, the light in his eyes -- it was unmistakably him.

The man from her dream.

He was staring at her just as intently as she was staring back. This wasn't a random person she just happened to run into. "Mina." His voice caught as he spoke.

"I'm sorry?" She wasn't sure that she'd heard him correctly, or that he was even speaking English.

The man didn't respond, just kept looking Jennifer in the eyes, more intently than she would have liked. Curious as she was to compare the face before her with the one she'd dreamed about the night before, she averted her eyes, suddenly very uncomfortable.

"I wasn't watching where I was going. I'm sorry," she said again. She made a move to step away, but he reached out and grabbed her arm. Jennifer quickly shifted from discomfort to panic.

"Mina, wait."

"My name isn't Mina!" She jerked away from his touch, and grasped her purse more tightly, knowing full well that whatever the man wanted from her, it wasn't her money. She took a couple steps back, and felt a momentary and slight relief that the man stayed where he was. Her unease, however, didn't subside for long. His eyes remained focused on hers, and his lips were two thin lines, pressed together in . . . frustration? Confusion? Anger?

Jennifer quickly turned and began walking away.

"Wait, please," the voice called after her. "I just want to talk to you."

"But why? I'm not who you thought I was." She didn't turn around, and quickened her pace.

"You're lying," he said, more urgently, and Jennifer felt her heart beating faster as his footsteps echoed her own. "I know you recognize me."

It was true, she did. Not from any real memory, but from her vivid dream this morning. If Dr. Talcott was right, it might be a suppressed memory from the time surrounding the incident.

And that meant he was dangerous.