Getting Myself Prepped for NaNoWriMo

There are so many things to establish in the background to assure continuity in a book that hadn’t crossed my mind until I began this undertaking. It made me appreciate all the authors I’ve read in my lifetime. Wow!

I feel reasonably comfortable with my conflicts and my protagonist. I have several minor antagonists and one major one who will definitely make his handsome presence known. Putting pictures on my character trait list did help. I found looking at them and imagining how they would handle different complications enjoyable. Yesterday, I worked on my antagonist, oh he’s  handsome and dangerous. I looked at a lot of pictures of men before deciding I really like how Patrick Dempsey looked in all black, I could easily see him as my Thanatos.Thanatos1

Now, I’m working on an outline I’ll be comfortable working with over the next month. Who knew there would be so many different types– Snowflake, 3-point,  5-point, 8-points, traditional bullet point, Vogler’s, Campbell’s, pure summary, skeletal outlining, flashlight outlining, free writing, visual mapping, contextual prepping and of course all the different software for outlining. Yikes, it’s confusing.

I’ve been reading Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Some days I feel like I read more than I write because it’s all part of the process of fine tuning my craft. And naturally, everyone has a different take on successful writing techniques.

My setting was pretty easy I’ve created a fictional town in Maine called Bayhollow, the next town over is a college town called Stone Lake with a university called Kampden University. There’s an active military base about 10 miles away in a town called Deadzone. All of these locations are very near the Canadian border.

On WDC they have prep challenge which thus far has kept me to the task which I’m finding helpful because it’s all new to me. Also, there’s the lingering dread 50,000 words hovering too. I find comfort in seeing familiar names pledged to do NaNoWriMo. Misery does love company.

I was reading Theresa’s blog this morning and thinking about how I overcome writing challenges. My go to is my camera when nothing else works. There is something about looking through the portal of small space that makes my muse happy. My perspective is different and very targeted.

The other day while I was creating my setting I had been gathering all the logistics like population, restaurants, and businesses. (world building) I took a break and caught up on reading blogs. Yes, I’m guilty of reading and not always leaving comments. But in this instance, Theresa had drawn a fence on a white background with shading to give the impression of winter or even a sandy beach. I took it as winter in my mind and I saw my protagonist breaking down on a back road and trodding along this seemingly endless fence. The timing was perfect for my muse because it sparked another opportunity for frustration in what seems like mountains on her journey to better her life. Thank you Theresa.

Another way I open my mind to writing is cutting the newspaper into shreds, readable shreds. I grab random titles and move them around I create a poem or a line that fits perfectly in what I’m working on that may have never crossed my mind.

 

The first poem could easily be part of a conversation my protagonist has and the second could be a fearful moment added to the scene in the cemetery.  Muses work in interesting ways as Barber Adagio for Strings by the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the background.

I do enjoy having dark classical playing in the background. What can I say my muse is a bit twisted.

My compost bin enjoys all the snippets of paper when I’m done so everything has a purpose if you open yourself to the possibilities.

July flew by on me

Writing Course- Write a Novel in 10 weeks

I just completed the halfway point of the course. Our assignment for this week was the first page of our book. 250 words maximum with the one margin all the way around, 12pt font size and in Times Roman with a header of our title and our last name.  Except, I don’t have a name yet, so I wrote TITLE and then my last name. I always leave word in the setting it comes with and apparently that’s not publishing standards so I had to correct that and the font size. Nor do I ever pay attention to the margins or indentations because typically I write poetry.  It’s just more things to remember to do before I write.

With that said, I wrote my first page and received positive feedback and I’m proud of you from the instructor. I read it to my husband Vic and a good friend who both agreed I had curiosity aroused immediately and they were invested in the character.

Theresa, I have averaged 25 hours a week this month. I have a twelve-page character traits list, three-page ordinary world scene set-up. I have a strange outline going but right now I’m not really sure how much I’ll stick to it. Mairin, my character has a mind of her own and she keeps surprising me as I write.

And if that isn’t enough on  I’m participating in two different writing challenges for the month of August. One I am leading is a virtual blogging trip through all 13 countries in South America. I’ve created activities and planned our lodging and food for each country and the bloggers have to write from those prompts. It’s a fun way to learn about different parts of the world.

Then there is a challenge where we form teams,  we review like crazy other writers work, and do writing challenges in hopes of beating the other teams. There are battles where the two teams pledge to do so many reviews and the winner during the set time frame wins extra points. It’s called Game of Thrones, kind of a play off the show. My house is Florent, there is a fox on our banner. There are 13 total houses competing with 10 people on each team for the whole month of August. Last year, we got bumped out of the top three where we had been for 3 years.

Crocheting Project

IMG_0517

This is one of the jellyfish I’m working on for my eldest granddaughter’s new apartment in Santa Barbara. She loves the ocean so everything in her apartment is related.

AIRBNB

Thus far we’ve only had 2 days off this month of insanity. Thankfully, no more broken pipes like we began the month. A company came in and removed the rug, what a disaster that was. They set up drying equipment and treated the area for mold. There was no way with my allergies could I handle removing the rug, I had difficulty breathing down there with the cleaning I did do.

We’ve met some fascinating people from around the world. We’ve hosted 3 different families from China, a father, and son from the UK,  two different German couples, a young man from India, a woman from Romania, a man from Italy, and right now a young woman from Bangladesh. And tomorrow we have a woman arriving from India and on Monday a man from Africa.

My scones are definitely a hit! Right now I have cinnamon chip scones and cookies I used to make my kids with Rice Krispies, oatmeal, and flour with shredded coconut. There called Ranger cookies. I always tweak them with different ingredients and these have chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.  If I get ambitious tomorrow I’ll post the recipe with a picture.

Garden 

I have peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers growing in containers on the lower level. Everything is growing very well in spite of the crazy weather we’ve had. I am amazed at how huge my cucumber plants are, guess they enjoyed all the rain, because they’re huge and covered with buds. I’ve picked three so far that were six inches long. I’ve picked about 20 cherry tomatoes and 2 huge green peppers and there are at least a dozen more almost ready for picking. The zucchini has been a bit slower but it does have buds finally. I did have lettuce but the dang squirrels dug it up. So to be safe I put bird netting on the rest of my planters.

Reading

I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to read all the blogs but after this intense writing course I will catch up.

I’m reading Octavia Butler’s book Parable of a Sower. “Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. When a fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into the world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.” I’m really enjoying the protagonist who is a self-assured young woman who instead of being defeated is taking life by the horns.

Real Life Writers and Critique Group

Now, this is definitely something new for me and the writing group as well, we’re going to an open mic in Philadelphia.  A bunch of us are going to present our work to a live audience. To be frankly honest, I’m scared shitless. I panic when I get on stage and there definitely is one there in the bar where this is going on.  Thank goodness I won’t be alone. Jordan, Dan, Marcus, are definitely doing presentations. The guys are so comfortable in their skin whereas I’m not. There are going to be about 10 of us going together to support each other. I wish Sara and Pam were in town, their part of our group but no longer live in this area. The ladies would rock at this. So right now it’s me and the guys.

By the way one of my poems was published in a local newspaper.

http://www.princetoninfo.com/index.php/component/us1archive/?d=current&Itemid=24

Imperfectly Perfect
People Saw It at The Time
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
Idealism
And
Horrific Brutality
Up-close and Unsettled
Inspired by What Lies Beneath
Purposely
Seduced and Betrayed
In a Galaxy, Far Far Away
We See
Belief is Potent
Every Angle
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
We Understand
The World
Doesn’t
Change
For Better
Or WorseLive

 

Enjoy!

 

Like It Is ©Lyn Crain

Tell Me A Story
About The
Monkey in Business

ah, The Thrill of Mass Intimacy
Collaborators
Resisters
Now Lovers
Conspiracy
Corruption
What No Murder
Of, Course I Have Questions
Leave Me with No Illusions
with Sideshow Glances
Simply All the Mortifications.

# NYTimes Titles and Subtitles

ah, is the only word added by me. Writer’s discretion.
It’s a whole new way of writing poetry that opens your mind in so many different ways.©

A Different Queen of the Night

A Different Queen of the Night

In the making

Where the

Lady

Lives

Unlike any other

A Singular Style

Steeped in many

Not really

Shattering clarity

Tough questions

Asking

Answering

Liberating

One another

Oddities to you

Healthy

Disaster?

Mortality

It’s All a Blur

In this World of Fantasy

Moonlight

Always a grind, never dull

Playing with titles #NY Times Friday and Saturday Weekend Arts 1/6-1/7, 2017

Imperfect Existence © Lyn Crain

dsc_0008

Imperfectly Perfect

People Saw It at The Time

Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired

Idealism

And

Horrific Brutality

Up-close and Unsettled

Inspired by What Lies Beneath

Purposely

Seduced and Betrayed

In a Galaxy, Far Far Away

We See

Belief is Potent

Every Angle

 Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired

We Understand

The World

Doesn’t

Change

For Better

Or Worse

 

Live

 

 

Titles and Subtitles from New York Times — December 2nd and December 3rd, 2016. There are no added words in this found poetry. I did make minute changes by separating lines to make what was said more potent.

#NYTimes #Found Poetry

What’s The Use of Regret?©Lyn Crain

It’s scary out there!

Me, myself and I

seeking a new direction.

I hear the fragile songs

of my bewildered youth.

What am I afraid of?

The Myth…

His love of the past

Will it come find me?

The borders of insanity

are so close.

I’m a mere weak girl,

shuddering and shivering

in this sea of uncertainty.

He renders me fearful

in this complex nightmare.

Where the wild things flee,

seeking answers in the book

of alleged illumination.

I need a safe place to go mad

with my monumental memories

until they compose themselves.

I’m a fragile human being,

I don’t want to wage war

but I can’t continue

fighting the hard times in paradise.

I’m tired of paying for solidarity

I can’t keep confronting

his darkness when

there are the varieties of anger.

The pages’ turn

but the story is always the same

in her storied land.

Until the cats come back

and turn the tables.

Whatever happens

They’ll blame me

so

what language does love speak?

If

It stands alone,

Unarmed,

black and dead.

It’s my last chance

to escape  this epic fail

What’s the use of regret?

Everything in Italics was taken from the New York Times headlines and subtitles. I moved them around until I created my poem.