Posts Tagged ‘nanowrimo


It’s On!

NaNoWriMo has officially started, and apparently, I’m officially participating. If you want to be my buddy, I’m listed as Kaine Andrews on there, too. If not, that’s okay.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to drop around 1,667 words per day to hit the 50k target for the month. I don’t think I’m going to manage that today. Still feel like crap, suffering from strep, food poisoning and at least three pulled muscles. But I did manage about 1,400 words, which is… something, at least.

Anyone else out there on the NaNoWriMo train? How goes it so far? Tell us about your project below, if you like!NaNoWriMo


It’s almost time…

NaNoWriMo 2019 is almost upon us. In just 13 hours, the keys will begin clicking here on the Pacific, as people commit to the mad dash to 50k words in merely a month.


I still don’t know if I’m going to do it or not. I want to try; since my meltdown last week, I feel a little better. Or did, until I finally finished moving. My back and shoulders are completely destroyed and my asthma will barely let me breathe… though that’s nothing new. There’s a nebulizer next to my computer. I can deal with that.

But then I had dinner last night. That was a mistake. Red Robin here in Albany is apparently the goddamn devil. I had an A1 Peppercorn Burger (hold the onion straws), and the lady of the house had a Whiskey River (with veggie patty.)

We have been on a rotating schedule in the restroom since arriving home last night, things coming from both ends. It isn’t helping our muscular exhaustion or the headaches we both have from moving. It doesn’t seem ready to stop. I don’t know how well I can picture lurking above my keyboard at 12:01 AM to begin the first word rush, which I had actually intended to do as late as 5 PM yesterday.

Given my temperament, if I miss the starting gun, I’m liable to just throw in the towel. It’s not a healthy attitude, but I know myself, and I know how I am sometimes.

But for those who are participating for certain, and those already going (it’s November 1st already in a great many places), I wish you luck. May the words flow easily.

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Desk Job

It was not easy, and I’m fairly certain my kneecap is in the wrong place and my spine is terribly misaligned, but my desk (and thus my computer) are now where they are supposed to be. It was an exciting adventure.

I will most likely be updating my “View from the Desk” video in the near future because for some reason I enjoy thinking people might admire this space and one day say “Did you know? This is where the magic was born!” Not that they would, but it’s fun to imagine.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to attend a NaNoWriMo meeting. I am terrified. I don’t know whether I’m going to go or not. Depression, anxiety, pain, and strep throat say no. Logic and the desire to be free of those (at least the ones I can be; the strep still has 8 days of antibiotics to clear) say I not only should go, but that I must go.

We’ll see who wins tomorrow afternoon. Or if my spine has popped back into place.

Until next time, folks.

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Chrysanthemum Graves

Being unable to hold it in anymore, I scribbled the first few paragraphs of my NaNoWriMo project. I thought I’d share. Let me know what you think!


“What the fuck are you doing? Where the hell are your shoes?”

The voice came from somewhere further inside the house, the heavy walls and their tapestries deadening it, killing any echoes and making it hard to tell where it had come from. Still, Danny knew it well enough. Calm, despite the words it chose. Deep, rumbling like a subterranean landslide. Faint traces of an accent, but one that was almost impossible to define.

“Taking care of the floor, man! Isn’t that some shit you’re into? Don’t wanna track all over the place.”

Danny’s voice was shrill, nasal, almost the human equivalent of nails on chalkboard. He hated the sound of it himself, and would complain about it to anyone who even vaguely touched the subject, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. Puberty and its mysterious ways had been unkind to him in that regard.

The owner of the other voice had appeared at the end of the hall leading from the entryway. Contrary to his irritation at Danny’s lack of footwear, he was barefoot. A pair of gray sweats were the only clothing he wore. His chest was bare, shiny with sweat. Danny assumed the other man had been in the middle of one of his routines when he’d heard the bell.

“I like to keep my floor clean, yeah. That’s why I don’t want your nasty feet dragging on it. I mean, couldn’t you at least wear some socks? Go put your shoes back on. Then meet me in the kitchen.”

The man turned to his left, slipping through a beaded curtain that blended so well into the wall that it would have been invisible if you didn’t know to look for it. He was silent as he did so, and despite the rattling Danny knew he’d provoke by walking through it, the beads barely moved, as though they refused to defy the master of the house.

“Uh… right. Whatever you say, Ichi.”

His voice shook more than usual, and Danny cursed himself for it. Ichiro had never done anything to make him feel the pulse of fear that always quaked through him in the other man’s presence. Nothing to him, anyway. But Danny still always had to wonder if one day that would change.

He slunk back up the two short steps that separated the main room from the entrance, slipping his feet into the battered sneakers that had last been replaced sometime during Obama’s first term, before moving to follow Ichiro through the curtain.


A Writer’s First Words

A lot of people need to be grabbed by the first sentence. If they’re not, they’ll chuck the book aside and move on to something else. It’s not my style (and I know plenty of folks who aren’t that way), but I get it.

Some writers know how to nail that first line and grab you right away. Neil Gaiman is one of those. The Graveyard Book opens with “There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.” Beautiful. Others can’t handle it; rarely has the first line in a Stephen King novel grabbed me. He takes a while to warm up. (Thad Beaumont’s explanation about the writing process in The Dark Half about sums it up.)

The opening line for Chrysanthemum Graves, my NaNoWriMo project, is going to be some variant of this:

“What the fuck, man? Put your damn shoes back on!”

I haven’t written it in the actual manuscript document, yet. I’m trying to be good and not actually start until November 1st. But I put it in my notes, and I saved a picture of what I think the place this line is said looks like, because it struck me last night and won’t let go.

How do you feel about your first lines? What’s your favorite? Your most recent? Let us know down below! (And feel free to link to your NaNoWriMo projects, if you like!)

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NaNoWriMo Prep Work

I spent a couple of hours scouring name sites for common Japanese names and their meanings.

I spent some time looking up the language of flowers and what they mean in different cultures.

I spent two hours pulling my hair out, arguing with someone on whether I am “allowed” to write about an Asian main character. (The person I was arguing with was not Asian, for the record.)

I spent an hour running down articles about the presence of yakuza families in Hawaii because I was told there was “no such thing.” The individual telling me that didn’t even know what a yakuza was.

I spent an hour being interrogated as to why my main character was a yakuza and the antagonist is an onryo, when my “essential whiteness” says I should only have a two-bit white thug and a generic ghost.

I spent twenty minutes having the plight of the Japanese following WWII explained to me, and how it makes it horribly insensitive and problematic to even touch on anything related to it, being a white oppressor who is just as responsible for the nuking of Hiroshima as anyone on the Enola Gay who actually dropped Little Boy.

In other words, I’ve spent about three hours actually trying to work on things relating to the story I want to tell, and four and a half or more being told all the reasons why I shouldn’t be allowed to write it, most of those conversations ending with me being blocked after a healthy round of alt-right insults.

It makes me not want to bother. I had a lot of nervousness going into this, since writer’s block has been kicking the crap out of me lately and fighting with my depression to decide which will leave me less functional today. The little twinkle of an ex-yakuza being stalked by a familial ghost was with me when I woke up one day gave me some hope. “Gosh, maybe I can do something with this,” I thought, as I poked and prodded it. I did a profile over on the NaNoWriMo site, and plastered the little banner in the appropriate places, thinking that gave me some accountability requirements. I was pledging to do this thing, if only to try to jump-start my brain and give me something to focus on besides my physical pains and mental issues.

It’s getting to be more than it’s worth, and making me want to do a full-scale retreat. Not sure what to do about it.

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NoNoWriMo Anxiety

So, yesterday I signed up to play with the cool kids in NaNoWriMo. Today I’m panicking.

I have no idea what I’d write for it.

I know I don’t want to use one of my half-finished manuscripts that are strewn about my hard drive like fish carcasses along the shore when the tide goes out. I feel starting fresh is the “fair” and “correct” way to do it, and anything I’m currently working on or previously touched is “dirty” with poor mental states and the stench of abandonment.

So I sat there all day yesterday and most of today, wondering what sort of story I would want to write, and am drawing a blank. I tried leaving the word processor open and staring at it for a while. I tried doing other things, hoping inspiration would strike while I wasn’t thinking about it.

Nothing’s coming to me. I know it’s probably weird to be worried about it, since I’m not supposed to put pen to paper for 25 whole days, but…

That’s on top of the usual issues of “why bother writing at all,” my usual load of depression that says “why bother leaving the bed at all,” and the stress of finances and moving.

Perhaps I should reconsider. We’ll see.

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Gearing Up For Something

It’s October. That mneans it’s the season of the witch and all that. Which is nice, especially for someone who fancies himself a horror writer.

I have things to do for the month; I do intend to come back to Dr. Gale’s story, once I can think straight. I have to finish streaming Rise of InsanityBlack Yard is still being picked at. Plenty of Halloweenish stuff to do.

But my mind is already running a month ahead. NaNoWriMo is coming. I’ve heard of it often, and think I understand the basic idea, but have declined to participate. I think this year it’s time to do it. Or at least try. We’ll see how it goes.


If you’ve participated in previous NaNoWriMos, your advice, suggestions or input about the experience are very welcomed. If you’re participating this year and want to be buddies (which is a thing, I guess? I don’t know much about it yet, as I just created my profile) you can find me on there as Kaine Andrews.

We’ll see how it goes. I suspect it’ll crash and burn like most of my attempts at longer fiction since Woken – something always gets in the way – but it can’t hurt to try, right?

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