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.

Quotes about Conflict

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”~ William James
“The greatest conflicts are not between two people but between one person and himself.”~ Garth Brooks

Working on the back story

Mairin stood outside the courthouse clenching the divorce filing. She trembled and gasped for air. A stranger gawked at her as he passed slowly but said nothing. Get it together Mairin, you’ve been counting this down for five years. You’re almost there. “Take a picture it’ll last longer!” Mairin yelled at the nosey stranger.

Mairin took a deep inhale, straightened her shoulders and purposely strode to her car. I can do this. Initially, she was going to hang out the garage since the kindergarten run was canceled for the day she didn’t have to be back until 1:30 to do her afternoon run. She glanced at her watch and on a whim drove to the local college campus.  She gradually drove around a couple of times observing the students coming and going. They have no idea how lucky they are.

Stop hemming and hawing, go to the admissions office. Ask what is needed instead of being a voyeur.  Alright, alright I will.

Mairin checked her watch again, second guessing or looking for an excuse not to go but the clock didn’t help. She spoke to the receptionist who directed to an advisor.  A slew of questions later and more documents in her hand, she was now enrolled in college. Imagine that, I’m a college student. A 47-year-old clueless college student. What the hell have I done?

Geez, I still have two hours to kill before my next shift. Hmm, when did that tattoo place open? Mairin laughed at some of the designs in the window and strode away. She opened her car and slammed it shut again. Why the hell not? I’ve finally stepped up to the plate I might as well look like a college student. She waltzed her butt into the tat parlor and told the clerk she wanted a tattoo. The man asked if she wanted to look at any design in particular. Mairin shook her head. “Nope, today is the day I’m tossing the chains to the curb. I filed for divorce and I’m serving my soon- to- be ex myself this afternoon. I want a chain bracelet with a broken link around my ankle. Maybe with one daisy so it’s a bit more feminine but I want the tattoo to look like a busted chain. This is my bust out day!”

“I can do that. Have a seat, I’ll get you the waivers. I do have to ask, any contagious diseases?

“Yeah, insanity.  Other than that I’m harmless.”

“Okay, let’s do it.”

Does hope really exist?

Dedicated to a dear friend who walks with two spirits, a woman trapped inside of a man’s body, fearful that any moment his/her life will be diminished by ignorance in rural Maine. The issue is very real for her because people there are not open to change. They cling to their conservative and fanatical religious beliefs like the clan does their white sheets.

There was a brief glimmer of hope
it floated like a mist over a river
when humanity’s door briefly opened,
acknowledging the possibility of gender fluidity.
But like our fickle climate, hope vanished
and with it came a renewed surge
of hatred and entitlement. Deny or destroy
anyone that dares ask for equality.
Even the moon withheld his glowing face
as he/she contemplates the next course of action
in this vicious cycle called a transgendered life.
Darkness prevails!  The remaining shreds of hope
float away leaving only a trace of compassion
hardly noticeable in the grand scheme of things
when guns silence the masses and zealots
claim righteousness prevails.

I pray for sanity in this world.

Thirteen

Thirteen by Lyn Crain

Thirteen toads, lizards, and bats
Hear my spell unfold and obey
Into the smoke slither away
Rally all of your friends
The time we waited for is ours
Exhume the bodies of the dead
Exile has ended, we are free
Never a ghoul or goblin again

Thirteen witches in a circle
Hear my spell unfold and obey
In a flash fly to the four winds
Raise havoc on humankind
The time we waited for is ours
Exhilarating pleasures to be had
Evil glares no more
Never be a witch again

Thirteen vampires rise from your coffin
Hear my spell unfold and obey
Intrigue and conspiracy everywhere
Reconvene covenants from the past
The time we waited for is ours
Excitement and anticipation
Experience the daylight of your youth
Never be sentenced to darkness again

Thirteen spells set us free
Hear me now and obey
Illicit pleasures for us all
Raise havoc on civilization today
The time we waited for is ours
Each spell better than the last
Eternally from this Halloween night
Never be ignored again©

177 words, 32 lines

Prompt response

Write a story about your favorite candy. Be sure to create a basic plot and simple conflict!

 

m&m

“I don’t want to be M&M anymore, everyone has the same initials in my family. I want to be my own candy, you know unique like snickers or musketeers or even that brat peppermint patty. She’s always bragging about special she is.”

“Yeah, yeah. You’re always whining about something. Last year, you weren’t picked for the holiday bag and now this year it’s your name. I’m not going to listen to this for months again. M&M is short sweet, kind of like rap with its own beat.”

“Everyone recognizes Kanye West. He’s not just one of many in the same bag.”

“Well, then do something about it.”

I hopped off the counter and rolled myself out the door looking to find myself. There has got to be a name that suits me and isn’t like every other candy in the store. Watch out, I’m on a personal mission.

Insanity

 

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Yup, I’ve lost my mind.

October I’m doing the NaNo Prep challenge to get ready for November and NaNoWriMo and a minimum of 50,000 words. You’re probably thinking, writer’s write, so what’s the big deal. I’m a poet. I generally don’t write lengthy pieces. Brevity is my norm. Not anymore, I’m spreading my wings and then some. Wish me luck or join me in the insanity.

https://nanowrimo.org/dashboard

 

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Work in progress

Sleep alluded me again, so I wandered aimlessly around the streets of my hometown until I heard the wrought iron gate creak. The scraping groan startled me but like so many other times I entered the graveyard. That’s when I noticed the weeping willow swaying, but oddly, there was no wind. I studied random names as I strolled along the dew covered path. Why was a pair of brocade slippers lying beside a tipped wine glass and a briar pipe on a crumbled gravestone? I glanced up at the harvest moon gleaming boldly against the twinkling night sky.  If only the moon could talk. He might know why this one stone is broken when all of the surrounding ones aren’t.  I’m sure I would have noticed it before. I’ve been here many times because so many of my friends are buried in this cemetery. The closing years of our lives are like the end of a masquerade party when everyone tosses their masks aside and then gets laid here. A lone cricket chirped breaking the eerie silence. I knelt closer examining the lovely pattern on the slippers before uprighting the fragile wine glass. A fruity aroma wafted into the air. I spun around, but there was no one there.