Nov. 22nd, 2014

lenora_rose: (Default)
Life has been busy. Joseph just turned three, in the course of which we've taken the crib out of his room and apart, because he really didn't want to switch to the twin bed. (We're months from needing even the bassinet, and I suspect a bit longer before we move on to using the crib again and making Joseph share his room with Sibling. But I still want him well past trying to crawl in with Sibling.)

Speaking of which, we don't get to be more specific about the baby to come. The ultrasound was beyond inconclusive as far as gender goes; the baby was turned the wrong way and had its legs folded in front. (They got clear views of everything else, which looked normal and confirmed it's exactly the age we thought it was.) Ah, well, we just need two conversations about baby names then. I have already vetoed Derek Eric Yorikk Patrick.

There's another family crisis happening, alas: Colin's aunt has pancreatic cancer, which hits fast. On the one hand, this meant we got extra visits from his father and sister and even some of his cousins. While those visits were focused on aunt L., they did take time to see us and visit (My father-in-law and sister-in-law both stayed part time at our house; the cousins only came for dinner, with their two kids near Joseph's age. A fact which pleased him greatly.) which made it a sort of a silver lining. On the other hand, it's also had the opposite effect on my mother in law's long-since-planned visit to see us and Joseph in the vicinity of his birthday, in that she's also been taking some days over there. Colin and I (and JoJo) were dealing with colds which mostly meant not wanting to infect an elderly and ill lady, we're not only due to visit, once everybody else has gone, we're likely going to be among the few left who can see her as regularly (She has a goodly passel of friends, as well as family, though.) Her sister lives in Steinbach, and while she's been staying over in the city a lot, it's a hard job for an 80-some year old.

(And within 2 days of learning about that, I learned that one of my own Uncles - not much seen as an adult but a notable influence on my childhood - had a fatal heart attack. It's not the same as it might be if it were a relation I see several times a year, and not one far off in Northern Alberta, but it made a sad time sadder)

And of course, my hips decided to give me a crisis moment over the last weekend, when I was having trouble crossing a room. All muscle spasm stuff, not worse, but the heavy-duty relaxants they normally prescribe are contraindicated for pregnant women (The normal ones are, too). They've eased some since, and a physio has given me some useful stretches assuming I keep being good and doing them.

And I realise all this makes it sound like it's been more of a downer lately than it has been. And really, it hasn't (I suspect things with Aunt L. will get much more real much closer to the end, and after.) I mostly feel good, at least when I get sleep. Speaking of which....

(I had a pile of writing related thinkies I decided warranted their own post.)


Nov. 22nd, 2014 11:34 pm
lenora_rose: (Default)
I've been doing NaNoWriMo, part of the reason I haven't been posting. It's been overall a different experience from last year.

Last year I was plunging through the rough draft of a story where I already had around 40k words written and had been thinking it through and working around the idea for a few years, had revised and rejected any number of alternates and options in the daydreaming, plot summary, and planning stages. So while it was raw text, I retained a pretty good idea how it ought to go. AND, it's in a secondary world of a sort that doesn't require a lot of research I didn't already know. (The very very last thing I looked up during the revisions of it sticks out for me; the air dates of certain Doctor Who episodes. Not exactly what one would call deep research...).

This time I'm doing the zeroeth draft of a story where I have only the vaguest outline of what will be coming, have been thinking about the plans and characters for months at best, many of which months were eaten creatively by Labyrinth's revisions. I have a total of 3700 words of plot summary and character sketch (And some of that added after I started NaNo), and already know I need to do multi-book intense research on some very basic aspects directly related to the plot. And no time now as I pour on words, so this time it's fake it with the most shallow Wikipedia glance, write, and research later. Meaning that I might end up realizing whole sections simply need to be scrapped or replaced wholesale because the Boat/Surgery/Arachnid Doesn't Work Like That. (It helps to have a couple of relative kids on board. They get to not know stuff.) But it feels a lot more like wading through fog and mud with a hand-drawn map whose ink is running from the wet, with a dying flashlight. In the company of strangers.

Just starting a story with no plan beyond a neat idea is something I did in my teens a lot, but while my style of laying down prose is Still closer to pantser than to planner, and while I still tend to store more notes in my head than on paper, I tend to leave a lot of stuff churning in the backbrain a lot longer. For instance, I have a whole chunk of the third book of the Serpent Prince series wholly unwritten - but I started the first draft of the Serpent Prince itself back in 2002. I've lived with even the newest characters for a few years now. When i turn to that project, *even though* there are some key plot things in the climax I haven't figured out (There were for Labyrinth, too), it's not going to feel this lost. I'll be heading there WITH Ketan and Rosor and Teo and Jes, and I KNOW them.

The last, closest thing to this I've done was probably that first draft of the Serpent Prince, in fact. Which, again, 2002. And that was with medieval daily life as the key not-researched enough area, which is one where my knowledge, pre the rest of the research, was already at least enough to make it unlikely I'd fall into the worst "you learned that from Hollywood" pits.

So this feels alien, outside my comfort zone a bit, in a way last year's NaNo wasn't, because even Labyrinth as an idea that dates back at LEAST to 2010 (That's the last saved date relevant to it I can find in my files. I'm pretty sure if I scoured LJ I'd find evidence from 2008-9).

So I'm not enjoying pouring on the words quite the same (Tonight I'm ahead enough I opted for a break to write non-fiction, IE LJ posts, instead. In part because I actually do know some of the next scene, which means I'll be able to add words at a good clip.)

Also, as I confessed already, I had one night where I was so frustrated and stuck on the next scene that as I sat there, thinking, "I don't know what to do now, I don't want to write this, I'm horny but Colin is off to bed and his MOTHER is in the house..." and I switched to a new file and ended up awake far too late, with 4400 words of extremely naughty PWP (With unrelated unnamed characters). Which, since the next day I managed to pour on the words on the real project quite happily, I think was useful in unjamming the story itself, and EVERYONE to whom I've mentioned it said Go ahead and count it as NaNo Words, it's fiction and 4400 is a HUGE single-day word count, which fits the spirit... but still feels half like I cheated.

Well, if I make 54400 words at month's end, I can stop fretting it. If I just make 50k, well, then I can worry.


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