How long is my Chapter?

While doing NaNoWriMo this year, I found I have become way more involved in the challenge. I blame Twitter and Facebook. Darned social media. It’s taking over the world, I tell ya. But don’t listen to me, I’m just getting old and technologically inferior. Also, I am easily distracted by the new and the shiny.

So since whenever I am not actively writing my novel or directly interacting with my family I tend to be on one of the social networks having a conversation with someone, I have noticed that one of the biggest concerns this year is: How do I know how long my chapters should be? And how do I know when my chapters end and begin?

Fortunately, this month’s issue of The Writer has a little blurb review of a book that seems specifically designed to help with that problem. “Write Your Book Now!” by Gene Perret has the answers. πŸ˜‰ In it, he explains how to get writing, how to keep writing, and a bunch of the technical stuff like how exactly do you get your chapters in some kind of logical order. He really gets that no one (unless you have super magical powers, which he does not address) writes a book at one sitting. We are all writing our books in pieces and chunks. With this book, he helps us create it and put it all together.

And isn’t that what creation is all about?

(Now, off I go to try to put some more pieces together in my crazy-pants epic fantasy…)

NaNoWriMo Continues to Try Eating my Soul

Ouch.
It’s seven days in, I’m hovering around 20000 words (out of 50000, it’s kind of a game), and I am so tired. Unfortunately, I let my alligator mouth write checks I’m not sure my hummingbird butt can actually cash. I’m involved in a big old word war with a different area–it’s all in fun, but pride is on the line–and I am nowhere near where I want to be with this novel. I need my word count higher, and I need to stop panicking about where my story is going.
And I need to get my word count higher. Did I mention that?

And now, it’s time for bed, before I fall asleep on my keyboard and leave a long line of random characters. Good night, World!
πŸ™‚

Freedom!

Finally, after what feels like forever, my doctor cleared me to drive again! Hooray! πŸ™‚ That means my seizures have been under control (medically, blech) for long enough that I am once again considered a safe driver. Yay me!

Now, I just have to fill out all kinds of MVA (DMV, for those of you who don’t live in MD, and have no idea what that random acronym stands for) paperwork, fax it to my doctor, have her fill it out, and then fax it back to the MVA–who will hopefully not procrastinate for months over this. Silly MVA…

But, hooray, freedom and not having to rely on our slightly sketchy buses! πŸ˜€

When the Mortgage Man Flipped Me the Bird

My mortgage started its sordid little life as $250,000 offer from my real estate agent’s “In House” lender. I laughed and told them they were insane. Later, Provident provided me a mortgage for all of two, maybe three, months. They sold it to Bogman, Inc, about whom I had never heard anything. This month, after many weeks of finagling a loan modification and making the first payment of said loan modification, Bogman sold my loan to M&T Bank. I had been with Bogman for the better part of three years.

The major problem with this? The terms of the modification require me to make my mortgage payment on the first of the month or the modification is declared null and void. The major problem with that? Neither Bogman nor M&T have sight of my loan right now. Well, they can see that I have a loan (so I can’t just up stakes and run away), but neither of them can accept payment on it. Not cute.

Halloween

I ❀ Halloween. I love Samhain. Mostly, I just love fall–especially when the snow does not come super-early like it did this year. Now, I have a zombie-fied jack-o-lantern hanging out on my front stoop. Icky. And I accidentally scared a toddler with it. Drat. All I wanted to do was give the little kids candy. (And the big kids, too. As long they had actually put together a costume. No, 17-year-old; your high school football uniform does not count. The ninja pjs might, though.)

This year, for Halloween, since we're rather low on funding, costumes were generally a build-your-own affair. My younger son went as a 1930s ganster. Or Frank Sinatra. It depended on when you asked him. My older boy decided he was going as a zombie, so he designed his own make-up and costume. Brilliant. πŸ™‚ He looked great. (I'll add pictures when I'm not so tired.)

Even scarier than the zombie pumpkin that's slowly trying to creep in the front door. …Now where's my chainsaw?

Decisions, Decisions…

I’m about to start a whole new novel next week. I’m just not sure which one to start. The one about a hitchhiker, the girl who loves him, and the demons? Or the second novel in my two-book (oh, please, only be two books long) fantasy series?

I need to figure this out over the weekend. While I’m starting the new one, I’ll also have to edit the others and continue to find freelance assignments. Craziness.

Need brochures written? Press releases? Craft books? I’m your girl!

Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜‰

Procrastination is so Totally my Enemy

As an antagonist, Procrastination is second only to Perfectionism in its crazy ability to beat up my hopes and dreams. Boo.

I have two articles due Right Now, and I’m not close to done with either of them. How did this happen? It’s not as though I didn’t know the deadline was coming up–it’s written on my calendar. And it’s on my gmail alerts thing. And I get email reminders from my self. And the “Currently Working On” folder is huge and right in the middle of my desktop.

I need a better system. Any ideas?

(Off to finish my articles. Eep.)

Read-a-thon Update

So after much distraction (two kids, three cats, one very needy husband), my finished Read-a-thon books are thus:

Demon Fish (very informative and well-written)
A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe (that one almost killed me)
I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River by Henry Winkler (awesome book by the Fonz–who kind of looks like my dad; weird)
Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn (very good light read)
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (2d time, so that’s kind of cheating, but it’s just SO good)
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (love him!)
and finally…
Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

I’m hopeful that next year, I’ll be able to prepare ahead of time for the Read-a-thon. That way, I’ll have a stack ready to go. And I’ll have been able to prepare my family ahead of time like I do for NaNoWriMo, so they won’t be expecting me to be on Earth. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for all of your support while I was reading like a crazy person!

Chicken Go Cluck-Cluck

Cow go Moo…

I made the judgmental error of letting the boys watch “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist”. Now, my older son walks around the house, randomly spewing bizarre lines from the movie. Hence, the title of this post.

The first time I watched “Kung Pow,” I was not impressed. I couldn’t figure out why my beloved, slightly odd husband found it so incredibly funny. I watched it again, and now I understand. It gains something in the re-watching, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s that I’m expecting the bizarre (a cow that fights with its udders? What?) or that I’ve somewhat immunized myself against the insanity. No idea. But, wow, was it funny the second and third time I watched it.

It was written and directed by Steve Oedekerk. (He of “Barnyard”. Yes, apparently he thinks cow udders are so hilarious that he also put them on BULLS. That almost made my brain bleed a little. Oedekerk also stars in the movie…by CGing himself over the original star. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but this remix/mash-up/whatever actually makes way more sense than the movie it “edited”. That movie was “Tiger & Crane Fist” also known as “The Save Killers.” I don’t know if it was the version I watched or what, but I couldn’t follow “Tiger” at all. 😦 So sad. I love martial arts movies.

“Kung Pow” drives me crazy every time I watch it–and that one girl who just makes crazy noises the whole time, I just want to smack her–but I love watching this movie when I just want to watch something kind of dumb and totally goofy. And I laugh and laugh and laugh.

And now, I have poisoned my children with it. Darn me, anyway. πŸ˜‰