NaNo Camp July, Friday 21st (2017)

NaNoWriMo

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: be kind to yourself, especially during something like NaNoWriMo. Did you remember to drink water? No? Take a few swallows. I need to do that right now myself. Did you rest well? If you’re caught up on your words, take a breather– you don’t have to sleep, but taking five or ten minutes away from the computer or journal you’re working with can do loads of wonders.

Not completing NaNo isn’t the end of the world. And NaNo isn’t over yet, anyway. Pace yourself, but don’t burn yourself out. Procrastinate when you have to. Take breathers. Remember to give your eyes a rest– reading, and by proxy writing, stresses the eyes.

And don’t forget: Every word you have written is a victory on its own, one word you didn’t have before.

–Natasha

NaNoGoal: 17,753/20,000

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News Update: 5/18/17

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything that wasn’t a review, I think. I’m sorry about that. Real life is… uh. Real life. Blurgh.

I swear I’m going to start writing again soon. I’m managing small little pieces, which isn’t much but still proves to be better than nothing. Mostly I’ve just been working (three jobs, and one of them outweighs the other in terms of physical stress) and relaxing, reading things and playing videogames. Watching movies. *motion* It does wonders for bringing in strange tidbits and thoughts. I have so many ideas for things to write, some of which actually belong to things I’ve already got started, but finding time is…

Well. I’m trying, is the thing.

On the outside of real life, I’m getting a tooth yanked next Tuesday, and I am prepared to suffer for the next month for it. Which means watching what I eat, being careful what I do, and trying to keep my core temperature down for the foreseeable future. It also means I’ll be sleeping a lot and trying not to accidentally OD on the painkillers. (Reference: Once was enough, it gave me amazing concepts for hallucinations and strange dreams, but also, once was enough.)

But all that means I’m going to have a little bit more sit down time to relax, at least in the early days, even if I’ll spend most of that sleeping. At least the trip up means that I’ll be able to scratch out a little bit of writing. Worldbuilding, at least. I’m trying to break down several fics and get them moving, and I’ve made progress but progress is slow. *eyes them*

At least it’s progress. And it’s more than I did in the first four months, so I’m okay with a little momentum to start. Momentum, after all, builds up.

Up and up and up.

Sidenote, did you know there is an I Love You Wall in Paris? I didn’t. It was a lovely thing to trip over doing research for something entirely different.

–Natasha

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News Update 2/4/17

GoFundMe – YouCaring

I’ve updated the fundraiser description(s) to help clarify some things, but since I’ve been quiet on the update front for a while, I’ve decided to come and tell people what’s up.

I got a job. I managed to get back in to my place of employment after some time off, and I’m making money again, but it’s not going to be enough to pay it off in time if they decide we have to pay it off by March. I just don’t make that much money, and even with the rest of us pulling it in, it’s not enough. I wish it were.

So I still need your help. Please, if you can donate, please do so. Even five dollars is a huge help, and could keep us from losing our home.

–Natasha

Just In Time: Christmas News

Christmas is less than a week away. Next week is the last week of the year– 2016 will be over. If I make it that far, all the way to December 31st, I will have made it to my goal: I will have done one thousand words every day for one year.

I don’t think I’ll put the same new year’s resolution for 2017, which doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do a resolution. But one thousand words was difficult, especially with the way this year went. I do have a new resolution in mind for 2017; I’m going to comb over my book and get it stamped with approval. My grandmother is interested in reading it– and I’m ready to move on to the next book. Which means I have to finish this climax first.

I’m going to try to do it before Christmas day (haha, good luck, self) since I know I’m going to end up incredibly distracted for the remaining week. New Year’s Cleaning, anybody?

Our New Years tradition is soda and coffee, and usually we buy some to just shove in the oven because that takes less time. This year, I think the current plan is to make it ourselves. I don’t know of any holidays that occur in January, aside from the Yearly Power Clean The House and lots of What Is That White Stuff On The Ground.

In February, we run from my mother’s birthday right into Lupercalia, and by chance halfway through Lupercalia occurs that Valentine’s Holiday people are so up in arms over. As a rule of thumb, I don’t participate in that one. A month from then is White Day, Valentine’s Day’s roommate’s celebration. I cannot remember what else is supposed to happen in March. Something important…

It doesn’t matter right now, and it wont until after New Years. But another important thing to cover in February is the Chinese New Year.

No one I know celebrates it. New years and different variations thereof are things that interest me, and I collect information about them much like I collect decks of cards and stray things. So much of other cultural holidays can give you insight into their worlds, and ever little bit can count, if you know how to pay attention.

I celebrate the Lunar New Year. Probably not the way the Chinese do, or other cultures if they also celebrate the Lunar New Years. I don’t do it by anything major, exactly. I try be outside to see the full moon of February, and barring that I try to watch it from my window, because let’s face it: the coldest month of the year is February, and it’s not like I’m watching shooting stars here. I really just like… to look at the moon.

So another New Years resolution is to see every new and full moon for 2017. I’ll start in January, I think, partly to help me track it and partly because it’s technically 2017, and I’ll go until I see the cycle over in February 2018. The calculated odds of me managing to pull this resolution off is slim to none, but I’ll try it. Can’t hurt to try?

Pick yourself a few resolutions. See if you can make it. Make a couple resolutions– a couple big, a couple small, so you don’t feel too bad if you have to give one or two of them up. But try. You’ll be pleasantly content when you pull one off.

–Natasha

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And Another Writer Tag

Pulling this tag posted by Amanda, because it’s important to ask yourself questions as a writer and give honest answers. You never know how much about yourself you can learn just by trying to figure out how answer someone’s question! So here’s ten of them.

Q: What do you eat or drink while writing?
A: Whatever I can get my hands on, honestly, provided I manage to remember that it’s there. I have this nasty habit of falling into tunnel vision, writing or not writing, and forgetting that the rest of the world is a thing that actually exists, so I won’t do those silly little optional* things like eating, or drinking, or sleeping.

Q: What do you listen to while writing?
A: Break-up or love songs, or something with heavy drums to get my heart beating. I can write almost anything to a love song (I cannot drive to a love song) and heavy drum beats in rapid succession get the heart moving, providing cells with oxygen and therefor the body with energy.

Q: What is your biggest distraction while you’re writing?
A: Other people. Cats. Food, when I remember it exists. Reading.

Q: What is the worst thing that has happened to you while writing?
A: In November 2015, I lost about… two thousand words when my laptop randomly decided it needed to not function. I hadn’t saved them up yet, since I was in the middle of writing them when it happened, and it was an absolute tragedy. I spent the following day getting my computer to function again. The aut0-save feature managed to salvage about two hundred of them, but it still had me out of sorts and paranoid for the following week.

Q: What is the best thing that has ever happened to you while writing?
A: In my first official NaNo back in 2011, I walloped out my a very own (and very bad) novel that may never see the light of day ever. It wasn’t all bad, but I didn’t have enough content to make a solid book out of it, or enough of a plot. But I loved it, and I loved the characters. I’ve since decided to rip it apart and deconstruct it, rebirth the people and the plot-line in another vein, but I had so much fun while working on it, it’s not even funny.

And that’s the best part. I realized how much fun I have while writing. More-over, and perhaps more important, I realized I’m writing for me.

Q: Who do you communicate with while you’re writing?
A: I am very bad at multitasking writing and communication, especially verbally. I’ll be mid-sentence in my work and finish it up while talking with someone, and I’ll look down and find I’ve written every word I have spoken since I started. Oops?

But beyond that, I have a very select group of friends who can prod me while I’m writing that get a valid response, provided it comes in written format so I can stare at it and try to puzzle out what we’re talking about. I do not shift gears easily, alas.

Q: What is your secret to success and your biggest writing flaw?
A: My secret to success is probably that I’m doing what I love, and I’m loving what I do. I like to write, and I write what catches my interest. My biggest flaw is that I’m all over the place. I have at least a dozen books in progress, which does not even go to mention how many fanfictions I’ve got running at any given moment.

Q: What is your inspiration? What makes you productive?
A: Other writers. It took me a long time to figure out other writers were people, but when I did, boy did that ever help. I realized if they could do it, as long as I applied myself– as anyone applies themselves– then I could make something out of all the stories in my head.

Q: What is one thing that you do or that other writers do that is super annoying?
A: I am very, very flighty, and easily distracted. I don’t know why. It frustrates me. As to other people, I’m not sure. Writers are, by their nature, some of the least social and most secretive people on the planet, zealously guarding their work. Some of it’s so secret I imagine that you’d have an easier time getting your hands on the NASA launch protocols than you would figuring out bad writing quirks.

Q: Are you willing to share something you’ve written?
A: I write a ton of things, and I’ve been more or less consistent posting them all on my Ao3— but if you want something I haven’t yet let the rest of the world see, I can absolutely share a small snippit of a WIP.

<Snippit from my Modern Assassin’s Creed AU>

“That’s a nasty bruise.. You’re Mentor William’s son, aren’t you?”

“His name’s Desmond,” Sasson offered from the other side of the room, but Fadila was sitting up, like she meant to get up despite Sasson’s protests.

Bruise? Does he need ice?

Altair hummed. “No.. well, it can’t hurt. This looks really fresh. It’s not even done darkening yet.

It wasn’t there when he got here,” Altair put in at last, prompting the novices to look over at him. He was twelve, and he wouldn’t shrink from their attentions.

Are you sure, Altair?” He nodded, which only made the other look even more troubled. “Sasson–?

I’ll go get the ice.” Sasson was already heading back for the door when Altair looked over at him, trying to figure out what the teenagers were doing. It was just a bruise, they bruised all the time. But somehow Altair was sure it was not just a bruise after all, or he felt it wasn’t. If it was just a training bruise, he wouldn’t have opened his mouth. The novices wouldn’t have sounded concerned about it if it were just a training mark. “Fadila–?

I’ll stay here, go on. Altair can look after me while you’re gone.” Sasson frowned at her, but he opened the door and vanished beyond it anyway.

 


And there we are. Ten more answers about me. Some of which you knew already from previous questions, and some of which are possibly new. At least one of which contains a ficlet! What joy is this?

–Natasha

*Eating, drinking and sleeping are not actually optional.

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The Playlist Book Tag!

So I nabbed this tag from The Immortal Readers, because I can and you shouldn’t put things on the internet if you don’t want other people to see them. Also because it looked interesting and I just had to give it a whirl!

Unfortunately– and here’s the thing– I don’t read as much as I’d like, and so I can’t make a super long post on this tag. So I’ll do five!

Wait, what do you mean, what’s the tag? Oh. Well! I’m going to put my playlist on shuffle and choose a book that the song reminds me of. Because I can. And because that’s the tag. So! First one’s first, yeah?

Walk on Water – Dio
James Rollins’ Deep Fathom: It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this book– I unfortunately don’t have a hard-copy of it yet, but nobody said audio books don’t count.

Deep Fathom is about a former Navy SEAL who has to save the world– from itself… and the sun.. and the US Military, of course. One of the key focuses of this book is human nature and, well, antique architecture and how the two can coexist or not. The main hero, Jack Kirkland, spends a lot of his time in this book getting one-upped by the opposition, while trying desperately to figure out what’s going on and save his crew; they’re close enough to be his family, after all.

Saving the rest of the world is important, I guess, especially since you have to save them from their own hubris.

Dreams of Candlelight – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Ann Salerno’s Rain of Flowers: One scene that still sticks out of this book in my head is really sweet. The main character doesn’t necessarily find herself an absolute heartthrob– she finds a man who captures her heart, and who understands her. And to prove he understands her, what does he do?

If you said flowers and wine, you’re wrong. He gets them a getaway in rural Japan, reliving– for just a little while– the antiquated, historic world that they both love and both of them were born in the wrong era for.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Amy Winehouse
James Rollins’ Altar of Eden
: Yeah, some more James Rollins. I’m not sorry. I love this author, he’s good!

Altar of Eden is the Veterinary story everybody needs to read. Partly because it’s about evolutionary science and partly because it’s amazing, plus it contains a saber-toothed jaguar cub, and everyone needs one of those! This book has some radical ups and downs for the cast as they spend a bunch of the book trying to unravel mysteries, part of the book running from smugglers, and another part of it trying to unbreak a small part of the world. It’s one of those books where I think… almost all the good guys come out of alive?

Brothers – Dean Brody
Robert A Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars: This is a tricky one, because this song reminds me more of fanfiction than it does books proper, or more songs. But I’m not doing fanfic recs in this tag, or saying here, have some more music. So. Books.

Why Podkayne? I listened to this song and let my thoughts take me where I will, and I got a lot of Poddy and her brother out of it, I’m going to be honest. You don’t see a lot of their interactions in the book, but you can tell they love each other, in their own ways. They love each other so that when something happens to one, the other feels it on a visceral level– as you see in the later chapters of the books. Just as the brothers in Dean Brody’s song.

Kiss Me – Avril Lavigne
Alydia Rackham’s The Paradox Initiative
: On the list of songs I own but don’t think I’ve ever actually listened to… but the book, however, I have read, and it’s absolutely amazing.

But what’s it about? The Paradox Initiative follows Kestrel Evans as she attempts to help Jack Wolfe find the renowned scientist William Jakiv, and maybe accidentally fall in love along the way.

So there you have it. Five songs, five books, all of which you should go read. I think I might redo this eventually again, maybe in about a year. It was pretty fun! You should give it a go yourself, if you’re feeling up for it.

–Natasha

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

 I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Amanda over on her blog, for which I am super grateful. I know I don’t get a lot of traffic, but it’s nice to know someone’s out there thinking of me.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

Well, it is of course an award for bloggers from other bloggers. It is a beautiful way to share all the amazing things other bloggers do and write about. To recognize their efforts in inspiring others to do what they love.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers and add their links.
  4. Notify the bloggers you included.
  5. Keep the rules in your post.

 

Now, onto the eleven questions asked of me!

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A: The easier question is probably what didn’t I want to be when I was small. The smaller I was, the more I wanted to be; nothing ever quite really fit. The thing that did stick was I wanted to be a mom. I knew that from the earliest I can remember. One of my other longest-running things was to be a doctor. I haven’t mastered either of those yet.

I was always creating stories, according to my mother. But I didn’t know doing that for a living, writing for a living, was even an option until I was nearly grown. I suppose that doesn’t count.

Q: If you could spend a day in any novel, what would it be?

A: Oh boy. That’s a tick, isn’t it? There are a lot of novel worlds I’d love to see with my own eyes, but unfortunately due to my reading list, lots of people die in those worlds. Any of the young adult series’ by Rick Riordan would be a good place to go, except lots of people die because most of those books revolve around war and epic quests, both of which.. people die often in. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is also a good realm to invest, except, again: War. Anything by James Rollins is great and I’d love to die into it.. but.. well. There’s significantly less war, but still a lot of death and mayhem. I wouldn’t last long.

..is ‘none’ an option I can pick?

Q: If you were forced to listen to one song for the rest of your life, which song would you choose?

A: Do you realize you just kind of swing in asking the absolute hardest questions? Is this deliberate?

..if I had to pick just one.. I think I’d have to pick Wipe Out by the Ventures. You can say it’s old, and okay, yeah, it is. But it’s also a classic, and there is nothing in the world more energizing and uplifting to me than this song. The drums and general tempo of this song keep your heart pumping and you motivated to move too, and the best part is that this song is literally written to be repeated forever.

My mom used to date a rockin’ drummer who could pull this thing off quite a while, and she could virtually outlast him during dancing. Certainly she could outlast everybody else.

Q: If you could choose any of the novels that you’ve written/any story you’ve written/anything you have plotted to be your debut published piece, what would it be?

A: It’s already plotted. Unfortunately I wont tell you about it, because the manuscript isn’t done and if I get to talking about the story I will literally spill you ten hours of information including all the spoilers, but suffice to say I’m in the lull before the storm. I gotta slough through this unfortunate sticky spot I’m in, but it wont be long now.

Q: What are you afraid of?

A: Falling, flying, dying, drowning, drowning in salt water, being afraid, failure, lack of money…

Q: Who do you look up to in your life?

A: My mother, a handful of miscellaneous people I know in real life who heavily inspire me, dozens of artists and athletes, soldiers of all walks of life and cultures.. lots and lots of dead people from history.

A lot of people inspire me, and you don’t have to have been a good person, or be a good person, to inspire someone. You can be a truly wretched human being and still inspire people. What an individual chooses to do with the inspiration you have birthed in them is just as important than what you did with the inspiration you yourself were handed, but the inspiration is less important than the actions it inspires.

Q: Why did you first come onto wordpress? What inspired you to start doing this whole blogging thing?

A: Okay so. I joined NaNoWriMo years ago, and I eventually joined the group on Facebook too, and at some point there was a blogger who posted ritually. Unfortunately I don’t know where her blog is or who she was, though I might have a link on ol’ Tortor that I’ll have to hunt down for Blue.

Now, this author who by chance happened to be a blogger posted ritually. Every day. She wrote her work and then she blogged, too. And she posted resources, she posted how she crafted characters, timelines, how she broke things down. How she figured out her maps, why she did maps, her research. It was amazing. It had the added bonus of having one place where she could find all her resources when she needed them, all the information she had teased the world with.

I wanted that for myself, mostly. Being somewhat more social happened… after the fact. I didn’t use the blog for a long time after I made it, though, but I did start teaching myself eventually that I needed to come on here and write. It helps. It’s productive to get things off my chest and onto paper, it’s productive to know there are people out there sympathetic to my plight as a writer, as a reader, as a human being.

Q: What is your favorite book (or, if you don’t read, television series) and why?

A: Amazonia by James Rollins.

I wont lie, every letter of James Rollins’ books are a work of art, and I love them all to death. But Amazonia is my favorite in part because it’s the first ‘adult’ book I read. It doesn’t gloss over danger, it doesn’t gloss over human interaction or instinct, it makes the characters real and three dimensional while still permitting an element of fantasy backed by theoretical science. I like fantasy books, I like scifi books; Amazonia was the first one to mesh the two neatly in a ‘current world’ setting, keeping me engaged and hanging on for the next portion.

There are certain elements of horror to it, of wonder and thrill, and there’s always that nook of danger. Half the people introduced die within their first twenty-four hours of the book. Some of the people you think will die, don’t. Some of the people you hold out desperate hope wont die, do.

And the villains get their just deserts.

Q: What are the most important qualities to you in friendship?

A: I can talk to you about anything. I can trust you with anything. You keep my words in confidence, or to a select few people if you need advice on how to help me. If I ever need help or an emotionally stabling influence, I can call you.

I’m always going to worry I’m not a good friend. I’m always going to worry I bother you, that I need you too much, that you don’t like me or that I’m clinging. That’s always going to happen, and no one will convince me otherwise.

But if you stick with me, I will love you forever.

Q: Do you drink coffee or tea?

A: Yes! Both, at varying degrees for varying reasons. Granted I drink coffee because it’s good for me, but..

Q: If you could change any event throughout history, what would it be? A: The burning of the Library of Alexandria. That was an absolute tragedy for the world and written history collectively, and human beings as a whole should be ashamed collectively for it’s destruction and that nowhere else in the world has any homages to it have sprung up to do the same thing. The closest things we have are seed vaults and pigment galleries, but nowhere is there a library that collects books and translates them into every known language, one place in the world that everyone knows if they go there, they can have in their fingers anything. Everything.

I mean, honestly. For some reason textbooks that are a hundred years old get burnt instead of preserved, when having hundred year old textbooks lets us look into the minds and cultures of people a hundred years ago. What is wrong with us?


I don’t know how to nominate eleven people. I’m not sure I know eleven people. But I know I have at least eleven blogs following my own, so any of you out there that want to give it a whirl, come and give it a whirl. The dark side has cookies!

Let me know if you do though, so I can come read your wonderful answers and also put you in this nomination section.


1: What inspires you to do what you do? A person, a place, a thing?

2: What one place in the world do you want to go, and why?

3: Favorite color? And they all count.

4: What’s something you absolutely love to see in things you read/watch/listen?

5: Last year, did you think you’d be where you are today?

6: Did/do you play games? If so, what’s your favorite?

7: How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

8: Quick, word association! What comes to mind when I say campfire?

9: There are trillions on trillions of stars in the sky; have you ever made a wish on one?

10: Who’s your favorite superhero/superherione?

11: Where is Carmen Sandiego?


Have fun! See you on the flip side!

–Natasha

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