NaNoWriMo Update [1]

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So, how is everybody’s NaNo going? I’d really like to know and would be thrilled if you told me in the comments.

My own NaNo endeavor is going great so far. I’ve written every day, though I haven’t reached my daily requirements the last few days. I had a little bit of family time to do – doing it gladly, of course. But I’m still on track, ’cause I worked a little more intensively the first five days.

I finished project 2 – Courage – on Tuesday. I’m really glad how it turned out. It’s a Halloween story, so I’m late, but I guess it’s also good reading for any kind of November night when it’s raining and shadows look like critters you’d rather not have lurking in your apartment.

I’m especially proud of Courage, because it’s something I haven’t done before. I’m not talking about the supernatural part of it, I have done something like that before, though not with werewolves. My protagonist is transgender, and I used the singular they pronoun. It was a little confusing at first, but by the end I had gotten used to it and it went really well.

I haven’t gotten to editing it yet, but I hope I can do that next week, so you should be able to read Courage by the next weekend – hopefully.

Today, I finished project 3 – Halway Home. While I’m feeling good about Courage, I feel like dancing for having finished Halfway Home. It was a holiday project for last year, but it turned longer and now it’s a novel of almost 75k words. I’m really, really proud and happy. There’s still a lot of work to do, because it’s the first draft, but I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing for the first time – though there’ll be mistakes galore.

I hope to get it published, but that’s still far away.

So, two of five projects down. I’m thinking about starting another novel, actually, but haven’t decided for sure yet. I mean, it’s a great feeling when it’s finished, I just don’t want to fill too much onto my plate. Everything is so fragile, inspiration, time, motivation. But NaNo is certainly working for me this year.

I’m at 16k words, and I still have some words to write today. I hope you’re all doing great, but if not: Writing is hard. Any writing you do is magic. You’re awesome.

Okay, tell me how it’s going in the comments. And write, write, write!

I’m writing [4]

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Good morning, lovelies. As you can see by the picture above, I’m going a little overboard with the cover-making these days. This one is actually just a template, because it doesn’t fit Halfway Home at all.

That’s what I’m writing at now. I’ve finished my Halloween story Courage at about 15k which is mind-boggling for me. And now I’m at 71k with Halfway Home. Writing works at the moment and I couldn’t be happier. NaNo is giving me an additional push and I think I’ll be finishing Halfway Home at around 75k sometime next week.

It feels a little like magic, you know. Being able to write every day. The day after I’d finished Courage, I was like: meh! Don’t wanna write on a different story now! Wanna wallow in the feel of having finished a story and missing the characters! (Yes, that’s what it feels like.) But then I went on twitter and found NaNoWriMo sprints. And let me just say: these people are doing a hell of a job, giving you prompts to figure into your novel, cheerful, inspiring. So, I did some of those, just to get the feel of Halfway Home again. And it worked.

The next day, I could just work on it as if I’d never left. And it was a sexy love scene, too, and I hate writing those. Yesterday, I wasn’t really feeling it either, but I pushed myself through it. Somehow I’m working and somehow it doesn’t hurt at all.

You might wonder what I’m getting at with this. I’m not really sure myself. I’m using this platform as a writing diary of sorts (not to write every day, but to write about the experience). This is my experience at the moment. It’s the experience of why I love writing so much, because it can give you a feeling like nothing else can.

Having said that, I think I’d really like to thank my writing buddies, the fab peeps of NaNoWriMo, the coaches and sprint instructors, the authors who take the time for a pep talk, everybody involved in getting me going on that platform. I think NaNo is a great experience, and if you’ve never tried it maybe give it a go. It’s only the sixth, you can still jump on the moving train, sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo or wait till next year. (And yes, I’ve earned myself another badge with this paragraph, but I’m also feeling the thankful.)

I hope you’re writing. I hope you’re reading. I hope you love words. And I hope it all for you.

Later, lovelies.

Happy NaNoWriMo 2015

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Ah, November, finally. I love November, unlike a lot of people. I love the first cold days, the rainy days you spent at home with a novel and tea, the chills it gives you. And then there’s NaNoWriMo, and I’ve come to like that a lot too.

Since my prep post in September, some things have happened. Or rather, they didn’t happen. I’ve thought I would have done a lot more writing, finishing some things. But I haven’t. That’s why I’m going to do NaNo a little differently this year.

I will be writing on different projects during NaNo. And yes, one of them will be to finish a novel I’ve been writing on for over a year now – or not writing, however you wanna see it. I found that I would feel better if I finished these other projects before delving into a new one. So, this is kinda bits and pieces-NaNo.

If you’re wondering what I’ll be up to during NaNo:

Project 1: Finishing a dream, an obsession, a nightmare that kept me up for over three years now. I can’t go on with life unless I’m writing this and it’s only roughly 1,500 words I’ll still have to write – in German.

courageProject 2: Courage – After Dark. A short story I had planned to finish for Halloween. I’m a little late, but the story turned out longer than I had anticipated. I’m around 8.000 words now. Not sure, how long it’ll be in the end, but it’s something you’ll be able to read sometime in November, I guess. I’ll keep you updated.

Project 3: Halfway Home. The novel. I’ve started this as a holiday short story for last year, but it got longer and now I’m at 68k words. That’s what happens sometimes, but I’m looking forward to finishing it. I guess another 10k words will do it, hopefully.

Project 4: A short story. I have the idea and title for this one, but don’t wanna go into it too much. It’s still in a dark space of my brain, because I didn’t have the time to think about it much. I want it to be around 7,000 words. We’ll see.

Project 5: Remembering Amy. The idea is very old. It was actually a novel I started in rememberingamyGerman, but now I’ve been rethinking the concept and want to turn it into a short story or novella, depending on how long it will turn out to be. It can’t really be done in the way I envisioned it before – too sentimental, almost soap story-like.

Those are the projects I want to work on. Hopefully, I can finish all of them, or at least most of them. Some of these projects have been haunting me for some time and I actually found it a relief when I decided to schedule them for NaNo. I’ll probably be updating you every Sunday about my progress.

Happy writing to all who participate on NaNoWriMo – and those who don’t too. Virtual pen to paper, lovelies. Let’s go!

Halfway Home [1]

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Halfway Home is one of those stories. They don’t let you go, they wanna get written. And that’s what I’m doing at the moment. Yes, you heard correctly, I am writing.

I’ve been running in so many circles this year, one of them was, that when I get back to writing I would start with this story. And I kept pushing it away, saying ‘Tomorrow.’ Well, tomorrow has finally arrived. For ten whole days, I’ve been sitting, I’ve been hammering away on my keyboard, I’ve written about 17,000 words.

Let me tell you, it feels good. And I’m doing this without safety net, I’m not even obsessing much. It’s just a story about two women, the kind you’ve already read about a thousand times and will read about another thousand times, because it’s delicious when two women meet.

Dina and Kerry meet at a hotel in Cincinnati. It’s just before Christmas which Kerry celebrates with her family, while Dina is stranded on her way to her own family. Then her father dies and in the painful days that follow Kerry, a stranger, is there for her. That’s how it begins.

I like these two women. They’re very different, they’re at different points in their lives, with different people and different problems. But a deep understanding forms between them, a connection. It’s not just about love – though there’s always that. It’s about friendship, about caring, about having a bad day and the person you call to get drunk with.

I’m not sure of how long this story is going to be. My gut feeling tells me about 70,000 words and I’m about halfway there. But my gut doesn’t write this book, and my gut has been known to be wrong about things. So, maybe it’s gonna be less, maybe it’s gonna be more. I’m just here to enjoy the ride.

Eventually, I hope that you will, too. Enjoy this story, that is. But at the moment, it’s all mine. And I’m just so happy writing again. It’s so hard to find that beginning, that moment where everything else becomes stale and you hunger for your own story. You sit down and it’s like you’ve never been gone.

Writing Projects [2015]

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Ah, December. For me, December is kind of the month-equivalent to Neverland, a place in time when tv specials remind us of what happened this year and we already look toward next year, our plans, our resolutions. Nobody really lives in December, it’s all about the past and the future and, of course, Christmas. In my immediate family, there are still three birthdays to be celebrated and I layaway from one of them to the next until one week later there’s Christmas and another week later it’s New Year’s.

So, I decided to forego all pretense and tell you about my writing plans for 2015, since it’s practically almost here now.

I feel like 2014 has been a wake-up call for me as writer to finally take my passion for the written word seriously. I want to write – I want to write more than anything else in my life and I’m willing to make sacrifices. I’m also willing to work hard (yeah, I know NaNoWriMo kinda showed what a lazy scribe I am, but never mind that now) and maybe even stick to a schedule. Maybe…

Of course, should I come across an awesome idea that just lies there and trips me, I might stop what I’m writing immediately to write that first. But for now, I looked through my stuff, some of it older than the Moses of a web book I’m working on, and found some projects I’d like to write next year.

Here’s they:

Halfway Home – will be first. I still like the story and I’m still thinking about it. I started writing this as a Christmas short story but it got to be longer than I anticipated and now it’s at 18,916 words and far from finished.

It’s about two women from New York who meet in Cincinnati – Dina is on her way to Denver to possibly spend her last Christmas with her father who’s very sick, and Kerry is celebrating Christmas with her family and ex. They get to talking as Dina is stranded there because of bad weather and when her father dies, Kerry invites her to spend Christmas with her family.

What I like most about the story is that it’s a character piece. Dina and Kerry are very different from their background and way of living but they find common ground. There’s Kerry’s boisterous family and Dina’s rather stocky, conservative family, Dina is a hot shot lawyer and Kerry a carpenter. They don’t have much in common but they meet when they’re both lonely and need somebody in their lives who’s got nothing to do with their lives. That’s the connection. As they return to New York, there will be other people, too, friends mostly. Some of them will keep them apart, others may work to get them together.

That, at least, is the plan for the story. I still have a lot of writing to do and am glad for it. I think Dina and Kerry are among my favorite characters I have created. I’m looking forward to writing them again.

I’m not sure with which story I’ll continue, so those next projects are in no particular order.

Carpe Tempus – is the novel I worked on for NaNoWriMo, and while I didn’t finish it, I still think it’s a good idea and would like to work on it further.

Wells Brandis returns to her hometown after her mother died to sort through her belonging and sell her house. She has never been especially close with her mother due to the older woman’s secretiveness. While she tries to find out who her mother really was, she has to deal with her own problems and relationships.

It’s drama, make no mistake. Every now and then, I like to bury myself in something truly sticky and dramatic – today is not one of those days and I find writing about it a little tiresome. It’s not in and of itself but I still find it difficult to write about – so, I guess, this is not the first thing I’ll be writing after Halfway Home, but I still want to return to it next year, we’ll see. There’s always November, though I’m not sure I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo next year.

On the Rebound (aka Playing the Game) – is the German text I’m planning to work on next year. I decided to add a German text because I genuinely like writing in German, every once in a awhile but not all the time. It’s a very prosaic language and great for literary ambitions.

The story is about two girls meeting in high school and falling hard for each other. The story is told in retrospects when one of them, Lane, tells the story of their love to her daughter after meeting the other, Amy, unexpectedly at the airport. I’ve already written a lot for this story, over 70,000 words, but there’s so much work to be done on it… I’m not even sure where to begin, but I’d like to make this chaotic first draft readable at some point.

For the German projects of the future, I’m pretty sure I’ll be using old ideas, stories I haven’t been working on in years, maybe. The idea to On the Rebound dates back probably about ten years if not more. I didn’t even add dates to my stories then which says a lot – the young always think there’s so much time, and that their stories will be written in a flurry. I’m looking forward to working on this one, because it means facing a younger me and editing her horrible writing into something readable.

Love, Unexpected – is a new idea, one I had only weeks ago. I think it’s good. One of the things about myself that baffles even me, is that I’m obsessed with certain tropes or themes. And the most surprising is probably the Wedding theme. And I’m talking heterosexual wedding, and as such a heteronormative background for my lesbian romances. I guess it’s not that difficult to see the appeal, as all queers constantly live in a background of heteronormativity and the wedding of yet another relative or friend is just part of everybody’s life.

In this story, Greer Tomlinson, an arts dealer in California, is returning home to South Carolina for the wedding of one of her high school friends. Her girlfriend is not happy with her going and their fight might be the end of the relationship but Greer still leaves. Her friends  from way back when haven’t changed much, at least not the bride and her best friend. Sara and Caroline are still taunting other people for being different – among them Sara’s sister Madison who is an out lesbian. You know how it goes from there, Sara falls for Madison while she’s in South Carolina and the wedding is the beautiful, yet slightly neurotic backdrop for it.

I love homecoming-stories, especially for a wedding. I don’t know why but there are quite the number of films – most of them tv movies – that I like. You know, just spending an afternoon watching Bridesmaids with Sela Ward… it’s weird, but I like it. Kinda like watching High School Musical with my mom, it just makes me happy.

Sightless Eyes – last but not least. I already wrote about this in my latest post about MyNoWriMo. I’m planning on a little different NaNoWriMo which will probably happen in June, thus MyNoWriMo. We’ll see how and if this will happen, but the idea for this novel is a big one – it’s actually a trilogy.

I call it The Sonnet Series. Each part has a Shakespeare Sonnet as inspiration and the title is from the respective sonnet, too. For Sightless Eyes the inspiration is Sonnet 43. It’s the story of Hunter Fielding who doesn’t know it yet, but she’s a gamechanger in the undeclared war between humans and supernatural creatures. Well, maybe it’s not that dramatic but she has visions and those visions help the extraordinary creatures in the town where she now lives with relatives to fight a supreme enemy.

Cryptic enough? I don’t want to give away too much. The Sonnet Series is one of my big projects. The idea is from June last year and it’s been marinating in my brain some. It’s one of three very ambitious projects, one where I want to step out from my usual genre of lesbian romance and simply make a queer character the hero of a different genre. Hunter is said character and she will have her share of emotional turmoil over creatures she’ll meet but it’s mostly about her fight against the discrimiinating force that wants to kill her, too, now that she’s discovering her powers.

Those are the projects I want to work on – and hopefully finish – next year. Yeah, ambitious, I know, but I think it’s doable. We’ll see whether I’m right or not – it could be me overestimating myself, of course.  I’m looking forward to next year,  though, but have to get back to this year and my revisions on The Affair.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.