kaitou: (Nano)
It's time for my annual Nano quibbling! Wahoo!

So Nano is my favorite time of the year, even though I always feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown and spend much of it whining and panicking. On the other hand, I don't have any projects that I'm really _itching_ to do this year. On the other other hand, this would be a good excuse to get myself a new laptop. On the other other other hand, I've done this 8 times now and I've proven that I can slog it out, some of the thrill is gone.

What do you think?

[Poll #1621590]
kaitou: (Nano)
So I have ignored pretty much everything this month, and pretty much been completely off the radar. But! But!

I'M DONE!!! WOO-HOO!!!!!

7 Years of Nano, 2 Losses, 5 Wins! (Goes to fall over in a heap now)
kaitou: (not very bright)
September! Which means that there's only 61 days left until Nanowrimo! Anyone else planning to compete this year? Wanna a buddy/antagonist? Truth be told, I'm feeling pretty un-creative. Not that I don't love the ideas I've been percolating on, but I've just been feeling very unwriterly lately. But I love Nanowrimo, so hopefully this will help kick me back in gear again. So it's time for my yearly post where I ask for your opinions and brainstorming.

So here's what I'm thinking of: )
kaitou: (Default)
Yesterday I went with my boss to Honda to give a presentation to other Honda suppliers about our incredible new databases. The presentation part was ok, but afterward I got to go on a plant tour. My boss at first wanted to cut out early, but since I'd never seen the plant he said we could stay, which I really really appreciate.

OMG you guys, the Honda plant is run by Daleks! Ok, maybe not quite, but they do have all their material handling done by robotic carts. The carts go and pick up full boxes of parts, and deliver them to the station, and then wait, grab the empty box and run it to that location, go get more parts, and so on and so forth. They're not on any sort of track that I could see (I've seen ones run on a magnetic track before). They just run around and do their thing. Luckily they do stop if someone is in their way.

The other startling thing is that I have not gained any Nano weight. Usually I eat so badly for the month that I put on a fair amount of weight. And even though I know I ate badly this month, I came out exactly where I started. To the ounce.

Also, Japan has the best office supplies. I am extremely picky about my pens. I have tiny cramped handwriting, so I want a very thin pen. Until now my ultimate pen has been the uniball signo micro in blue. It has a 0.5 tip and not only does the blue write better than the black, it is a navy-ish blue which I never see in blue pen ink. It stands out in a subtle way. But last week in Detroit I found one better. This would be a JAPANESE uniball signo. And it comes in 0.38 tip. OMG! Love!
kaitou: (writing)
Nanowrimo is OVER! And I skidded into the finish line with something like 50,100. I say something like, because I never did get it all typed and had to upload a dummy file to the site. It got to the point where I could either write, or type, and the writing had to win. It makes the whole thing a little unsettling since I don't know exactly what my word count is. But I think I'm pretty safe in saying I reached 50K. My estimates are usually within 60 words of the actual count, and I didn't count any pages that didn't go all the way to the last line. So that buffer should be good.

And I actually wrapped up the story as well. Go me!

In celebration this year I bought myself a gps, so I will no longer be afraid to go to the mall up in Lima. (it's all back country roads to get there, and I got horribly, horribly lost the last time I tried)


Nov. 14th, 2008 11:00 am
kaitou: (sad moustache man)
Oh My God. Ihatenovembersomuch.

I apologize for not being around, not commenting or doing much of anything. I've just been so swamped between Nano and Work. This week was especially bad. Tuesday and Wednesday we had our two sister companies in to do an audit that lasted all day long. Then Wednesday after work a coworker and I drove to Michigan so that we could audit one of the other sister companies on Thursday. Once that was done we drove back to Ohio. Next Monday we drive up to Canada, audit the last company Tuesday and Wednesday, and drive back down on Thursday.

I'm thinking of taking the rest of the month off after that. I should have just enough vacation to cover it. I'm so behind on my Nano I'm not sure I'll be able to catch up. I'm 3000 words behind now. And after the auditing next week, I'll probably be further behind. I know a lot of people can bounce back from that, but I'm very slow (and not just because I handwrite).

But on the other hand I don't want to take the time off of work because I'm falling so far behind there too. And if it's impossible to catch up, should I even bother?
kaitou: (Default)
It's September now, which means I've failed my summer writing challenge to myself miserably. But a little thing like that won't stop me when it comes to challenging myself again. Because Fall also means that it's time to gear up for Nanowrimo. I'd like to try a little something new this year, and try going in with an actual honest-to-god outline. Usually I have an idea of the setup, and a vague idea where I'm going, and maybe a few scenes here or there that are important. And then there was that year with the Hong Kong story where the initial idea went entirely off the rails, and the 2nd plot wobbled horribly until it tipped over too. (I still got my 50K out of it, but good lord it was a train wreck)

So this year I want to try being a 'plotter' instead of a 'pantser.' And if I'm going to do that, I'd better figure out my plot now.

I've got a few prospective ideas I'm kicking around. Mostly thanks to [livejournal.com profile] flidgetjerome setting me up with a personal wiki to help me keep track of these things. I don't have a paid account anymore, so I can't do a poll, but I thought I'd see if you guys have an opinion on what I ought to attempt this year.

Under the cut! )
kaitou: (nanowrimo)
kaitou: (nanowrimo)
One of the nice things about writing your nano out long hand (and there aren't many, believe me) are the little extra milestones that make you happy. Like, going through 3 ink cartridges for your pen. Or polishing off a single subject notebook. I could do a little happy dance.

Of course, I could also do a little happy dance because I'm all caught up finally. And only two more days to go!

At this point I'm not even worrying about the plot and just writing little bits here and there that I wanted to get to to get those last few thousand words. I want to go back and rehaul everything anyway. (Which is why I went and got rid of all the old Three Winter's posts, if you actually want to read, drop me a comment or an e-mail and I'll show you, but holey moley, I want to rewrite this already) I want to really get elbows deep in the worldbuilding of it so that it's not quite so photocopied off of World War I.

[livejournal.com profile] twigcollins, I definitely want to talk shop with you when this is all over.
kaitou: (Damn I'm Good)
So far I'm feeling pretty good about Nano. The writing is absolutely terrible, but that's Ok! That's what it's all about. I am really happy about the little bits and pieces of world building and character quirks that are coming out and that's more than enough to balance out the repetitiveness and wobbly characterization. And I'm even ahead on my word count! This is not something I expect to last, especially the week of the ISO audit, so it's good to get as much cushion as I can.

In other news, fall is definitely here. The trees are gorgeous, the temperature is crisp. And the air in southern ohio is so dry and the water hard, so I am dry and itchy and nosebleedy. I have an impressive array of creams and lotions collected over the winters, industrial ones, fancy aromatherapy ones, shea butter bases....the list goes on. Right now I'm trying Burt's Bee's hand salve with beezwax in it. It's a little greasy, but so far it seems to be doing a good job, and I like the sharp eucalyptus smell. Anyone else with the same problem have anything to suggest?
kaitou: (nanowrimo)
Last night I set the coffee to start brewing in the morning. I set up my new writing playlists on my ipod (one of inspirational music, one of orchestral tracks for writing, and one of 'you can do it music' for driving to the write-ins). I rinsed out my fountain pen and put in a new cartridge. I put all my stuff by the computer...notebook, pen, ipod, a copy of the I Ching, and a baggie full of little stones labeled 1-64 for all the hexagrams that I made the other week (easier than coins or yarrow sticks, ya know).

I am ready to go.

But first, I have to go to work. >.
kaitou: (Zen)
Ok. With only two days left to go, I feel confident that I've finally picked a project to work on for this year's Nano. The same one I've been debating doing for like, 3 years now. The train one. I'll probably be posting it on my LJ, under a friends lock in all it's fabulously unedited quality. Partly because I like to have a lot of copies squirreled away if anything happens to my computer/flash drive, and partly because it's fun to read other people's Nanos, and unless it's REALLY bad, I want to be in on the fun.

The Train story now has a title at least. 'Three Winters' from a Chinese proverb that "A Kind Word Warms for Three Winters." It follows a few people on a cross-continent journey while they put themselves back together in the aftermath of a war.

Now here's where the Disclaimer comes in. Neither of the made-up countries in my story are stand ins for America, Iraq or anywhere else. At the same time I know that there's no way my opinions on current events aren't going to bleed into whatever I'm writing. I've tried not to blog about the war, I don't feel like I know enough to give any sort of worthwhile opinion. And for the most part, I don't know your opinions. But whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with anything I say that has to do with the war, I really don't want to talk about it in the comments. If you comment at all, I'd rather it be about plot or character or how miserable my grammar is.

I really don't think anything will even come up. But it's my ounce of prevention.


Oct. 23rd, 2007 12:52 pm
kaitou: (Not Being Seen)
I'm a little underwhelmed by the nanowrimo help forum this year. I'm looking for some ideas on how you could theoretically 'trigger' a volcano. It can be either actually scientifically based, or magically based as long as it has a solid theory behind it. From what I understand explosives wouldn't be at all helpful.

When I asked on the nano forum I got the scintillating information that volcanoes blow when the pressure is too high, and a link to the wikipedia site. Because, gee, I didn't think to look there already. I'm trying to come up with an idea on how to artificially increase pressure in a fairly short amount of time. (few months?)

So does anyone have any possible ideas, even silly ones that could help trigger an idea? That way I won't have to go back to my useless little thread that's been buried under threads like 'vile cheeses' and 'name my character!'

Thank you!
kaitou: (Hmph)
So for nano stuff my mind is drifting back towards maybe doing the train story after all. At least it wouldn't be hanging over my head anymore. I don't know.

Brain! We need to figure this out before the 31st!! You're on Notice!


Oct. 18th, 2007 09:45 am
kaitou: (Bad Hat Plan)
OK brain, it's time we had a talk, you and I. Despite my reservations about this November, I've decided to go ahead with Nanowrimo. But I'm still a little leery of doing the 'Train' story. Following Chris Baty's advice while stuck in a very long traffic jam I made my Magna Carta of things that make me happy, and a Magna Carta of things I hate in writing. And you know what? The train story really doesn't hit any of my happy points. My hero is depressed and shell shocked and it's a very delicate story besides all of that. Really, it's not the kind of thing I would choose to read of my own volition, even though I still think it's a lovely and brilliant idea.

So, brain, you and I agreed that we were going to talk ideas. Something that involved my Magna Carta ticky points like Ancient Technology, Wacky Hijinks and Snarky Dialogue. I pleaded with you to come up with something, even in dream form, that I could use. Instead you gave me a dream about shopping for scrapbook supplies with my mom.

And now this morning you're trying to pitch a story set in a Roman Colony. Do you remember how little attention I paid to my Greek & Roman History class in college? Of course not. You're the one who wasn't paying attention. Of course, we could always make it a fantasy Roman analog. But remember how well that worked last year? When we tried to do a dream-world Hong Kong fantasy story and ended up writing a Victorian Hong Kong mystery? The only things that were salvageable out of that whole mess were the main character and the setting. Besides, I don't see you ponying up with any fantasy twists to help me out of this.

I'm warning you brain, if we can't work this out and come to an agreement by October 31st, we're both in big trouble.
kaitou: (Avatar)
Autumn is coming and it's time to start thinking about Nanowrimo. I'd thought that I wouldn't be able to do it, because I thought I'd be getting ready to move in November. But now that that time table's been moved up I think I'll probably be able to after all. (What I don't know is whether my wallet will be able to handle a month at Panera after the move XD) So it's time to start thinking of possible projects to do.

At the top of my list is the Train Story. I've had it in my head for years now, but I keep putting it off because it's kind of a depressing story...at least to begin with. It's about people who've been kind of shattered by a war putting themselves back together again on a long cross-continental trip to the ocean. It's delicate in a way that I'm really not sure I can pull off. Last year I decided against writing it because it was kind of sad and subsumed, and decided to do the Hong Kong story...which was supposed to be full of wacky hijinks, and that ended up being all emo despite myself. So maybe this time I won't fight it.

Another option that I have is a fluffy regency romance story where our heroine has made a marriage of convenience to a gay man, who, with his lover decide to get her a lover. This is mostly based on my friend Chris & his partner who sporadically decide that they need to get me a boyfriend, and then they shoot down every name they come up with.

And the last idea I had was based on the old fairy tale trope of the hero getting the princess's hand in marriage. And I got around to thinking about how she'd feel about that. And decided that she wouldn't be at all pleased, and that she'd put him in his place fairly quickly. He may be very good about swinging a sword, but SHE knows about government and would like him to keep his nose out of it. And basically he'd have to prove himself as more than a trophy husband.

As far as moving goes...Google Earth is an awesome tool. I can put in an apartment address and see where all the grocery stores, restaurants and such are.
kaitou: (nano_kthx)
Well, despite all the ups and downs my plot went through and the few times I seriously considered chucking the whole thing...I am a winner for Nanowrimo 2006! Yes! I've broken the pattern and the tie, so I now stand at 3 wins, 2 losses. In fact, I even come in as one of the higher wordcounts for the Dayton area, which is pretty awesome, I think.

This book...well frankly it was terrible, worse than any other nano thing I've done. But I think there's something really good there. I'm going to try and rework it and research the time period and place better so that I can make it into something publishable.

I win! I get to keep my ipod!
kaitou: (nano_kill)
I still need a title for this thing. 'Geomancy for Imaginary Places' isn't going to cut it seeing how there isn't any Geomancy anymore and it all takes place in Victorian Hong Kong, not AU fantasy Hong Kong. Any ideas? After this bit the plot should even out and be coherent with no more talk about I Ching and other things I don't know anything about. Well, about mystical things i don't know anything about. I have been trying to research what I can about the Hong Kong police force and what it was like when it began, but correct titles and such probably own't filter through for a few chapters, if ever.

So anyway...

Chapter Five, which is really more like Chapter Two )
kaitou: (nano_kthx)
I thought, gee, I ought to post some of my nano novel. But first!! I have to give you some background.

See, The plot's changed completely. No more ghost story, no AU Hong Kong, and thankyougodthankyouthankyou no feng shui or I Ching. My first main character was a sad Mary Sue that wasn't even INTERESTING. Which is extremely sad in a Mary Sue. But I am keeping main character #2 from AU Hong Kong. And so I'm keeping everything I wrote with him before I decided to change everything. Which is to say, that a lot of things that I set up here have to change, but I just don't have time to do it. Like, Richard doesn't have an office in the same building that Zhong (Jon) does, and the jade cups and later dream sequence stuff have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL PLOT.

Which, is now about thieves and detectives in Victorian Hong Kong. It's kind of like my version of Ninja Pirates.
But yeah, here's a lot of stuff about tea. )


kaitou: (Default)

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