Here we go again…

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Time for the yearly ‘I’m still alive and planning something more ridiculous than ever!’ post!

I’m still alive!

I’m planning something more ridiculous than ever!

This year, I plan to write 50,000 words. In Swedish. Wish me luck!

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Three days in…

And I’m already behind. This due to a few things:

Slow start

Every wrimo worth hir salt knows that day one is The Day. You’re pumped up after all that October planning* and you shoot out the gate the second it hits midnight and hit 2K in about three minutes. Well, at around midnight on November the 1st I was… doing my hair. Then, after finishing my hair (which took a good three hours!), I went straight to sleep. Then, in the morning** I went to meet my friend for lunch before she went back home to Germany. So, not much writing there. I met up with a fellow wrimo who happened to be in the city for a conference in the evening, and we did get some writing done… but we also got a lot of chatting done. So, I ended Day One with a paltry 1035 words.

Lazy continuation/ Awesome serial sydrome

I then basically forgot about my own writing when I accidentally stumbled across my tab for The Zombie Knight, and only got a few words down on Day Two. Just… don’t click that link. Don’t do it.

Rewrite

I’m not writing the thing that I thought I would write during October. Instead, I’m rewriting Spoils of War, and I have no shame admitting that I’m feeling pretty precious about it. I cocked it up once already, don’t want to do so again.

Keyboard issues

Probably about a month ago, I got some oil on my laptop. I switched it off and tried to drain the oil out, but oil isn’t water. In one way, this is good because it means my laptop didn’t fry. But otherwise, it’s bad. How on earth will I ever get this oil out? It doesn’t evaporate! The functioning seemed fine at first, but now certain keys near the area where the oil fell are sticky and uncooperative. Which makes typing a royal pain. Even typing up this post has taken far longer than it should. I know that a NaNo is an inherently imperfect and typo ridden thing. But lets face it: a visit from the typo fairy is one thing, a complete lack of ‘o’s (and the occasional disappearance of ‘h’s, ‘l’s, ‘n’s and full stops) is quite another.

I’ll still carry on, just at a considerably slower rate than usual…

*Something I didn’t do this year…
**Okay, it was the afternoon. I slept late because I’d been doing my hair for three hours the night before, so sue me!

And I’m back!

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Writing has gone slowly, so posts here have been less than existent. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

But, how fortuitous that the date I happen to wander my way back to the fold is the very same date as I started this blog, four years ago.

Happy birthday, Elenia! Kaffee und kuchen für alles!*

So, while we sit and munch on our goodies, let me tell you a little about this year’s Nano…

I have spent the past few weeks confused and unsure, not even knowing if I would take part. I haven’t checked the forums since the reboot, I hadn’t the foggiest what I would write. I didn’t want to continue work on one of my wips, as I get too attached to them to recklessly add in another 1667 words every day for a month and besides, keeping track of totals would be too complicated.

And then it came to me…

Well, sort of.

Remember a few of my excited conlanging posts? Those efforts were not made out of the simple joy of conning a lang: they were attached to a story. And I thought ‘why not write this story for Nano?’

It will be difficult, I think. At this point, I don’t have much plot. I’m also not sure the story has more than 20-25,000 words in it, in which case I’ll fall back on plan B and rewrite a story I started ages ago which needs some major thought.

In light of that… why not plot out two novels for this November?

Well, it wouldn’t be a NaNo if I were doing the sensible thing, would it?

*My German hasn’t progressed much since then…

How to cheat at updates

Once again has that rather awkward thing where I make great resolutions and then fail to keep them happened.

In my defense, I haven’t really done anything more on Spoils of War, or any of my other serious WIPs since the last post. Actually, all I have done is write a few thousand words of a story I have so many misgivings about that I titled it ‘Ray Maybe’. Oh, and I translated a few thousand less of those words into fairly poor Swedish, because how else am I to get better, right?

Johannes Punkt, who I have linked before but am to lazy to link again, helped me with corrections and will help me again if I have my nefarious way. Johannes is much better at writing than I am, so I recommend you all go look at my last post so you can find his writing and enjoy it. Quick, quick! Otherwise you’ll have to read my angstnovel translated into Swedish –

En kulspetspenna, en Staedtler triplus fineliner och en anteckningsbok.

Jag lade sakerna på kassan och rotade i väskan efter min plånbok.

”Din slips är fin.”

Jag tittade på kassören. Han stod och scannade koden på den sista varan, tittade på datorskärmen, men det fanns ingen annan i affären utom oss.

”Tack” svarade jag, osäkert. Det lät som om jag ställde honom en fråga.

Han tittade på mig och log, ett charmigt leende och jag kände hur min egen mun helt av sig själv sken upp i ett leende till svar.

”Det blir 7000 kr.”

Jag kunde se hans rörelse medan jag fumlade med plånboken, och han lutade sig mot kassan när jag betalade.

”Även manschettknappar?”

Jag var inte mer förberedd för sin fråga den här gången, och jag tappade plånboken. Men han fortsatt som om ingenting hade hänt. ”Är det ett speciellt tillfälle?”

”Åh, nej, jag bara… det är ju… ja.”

Han bara såg på mig, såg på mig och hojade ett ögonbryn, men han log åt mig än när jag lämnade.

— Oh. Too late.

Spoils of War

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Can I get a Hallelujah chorus real quick? Because Hallelujah and glory be, I have started writing again!

Now, I haven’t written in a long time. Oh, I’ve ‘written’, sometimes I’ve even written a lot. But nothing noteworthy, and nothing I’ve felt particularly proud of. Nothing that satisfied that need deep within me to write something, any thing, to get words out there and tell the stories that have been pent up so long.

Okay, so I’m feeling a little lyrical.

I guess now isn’t really the time to say that I didn’t actually write anything?

But I plotted a LOT.

Yeah, you read that right. I plotted.

The plotting is for, as you astute things may have guessed, Spoils of War, the story I wrote for Nano a thousand and two years ago.  It needed heavy revisions and heavy finishing so I did the sensible thing and, after posting a few chapters up for the world to see and judge, dropped the thing like a hot brick.

But I decided today that I would park my little butt and give the thing the attention it so sorely needs, and I did just that.

The plotting is by no means complete. I figured the only way I could pull off this revision was by creating a chapter by chapter plan of what happens. This is partly because the pacing in the first version was way off, partly because… well, I ran completely out of steam last time I tried. I may yet run out of steam the next time I give it a go, but at least the tracks will be there for me to be towed along.

Anyway, I shall leave you with that rather over-exerted metaphor.

I’ve more plotting to do*

*which I probably will not do. Don’t want to use up all my enthusiasm in one go, right?

I have recently made some little, quiet resolutions to myself. One of them, inspired by Johannes Punkt (who has totally written a short for a zine which you should totally buy*), is to read the books that the people I love love. Doesn’t seem so complicated, once you get past the unnecessary confusing wording, right? But I don’t do it enough. I read the books I love. I read the books that I am recommended (sometimes). But I don’t ever read a book for the pure reason that someone I love has loved it. But I should. I guess more on that over on my personal blog, which is still limping along**. The other thing is to start doing something for all those languages I study for the pure joy of it. Again, this can all be shoved into the personal blog.

The other thing i to actually update at least a few of those countless blogs I create, keep for a while like christmas present pets and then abandon. And, as we all know, abandoning your christmas present pet is a bad thing to do. So I will try not to do it anymore***.

Basically, this is something I say all the time, but seeing as I have recently graduated (see: personal blog, see: ** ) ad have not yet found a real human job/continued deferring the real world through ever more Education, I figured I could spare a bit of time each week to updates and so on.

So. Update.

I guess I should say here that I’ve lost my mojo a bit in recent years – I’m putting the blame on that time I tried to novel in France. I’m not sure why, I don’t really know when, but it has happened. But I’m still writing, slowly, rarely.

I’m keeping to the pet projects that I probably mentioned in my previous post, and they are getting somewhere. Maybe posting here more often will mean they get somewhere further, quicker? Whether or not any of this writing will be made publicly available/thrust upon you remains to be seen. But it is happening, and I wanted you all to know this.

Thank you all for sticking with me this long, even if you decided that 400-something words was two much and jut skipped ahead to see if there was going to be a good punchline.

I’m sorry, there wasn’t.

See you soon. Definitely****.

*I get absolutely no profit from telling you this, aside from a few warm fuzzlies. And while these things are in high demand, they cannot be used to buy delicious and overpriced food, so you really don’t need to grudge giving me a few and checking those links out, right?
**The post in which there is more on that does not yet exist. This is a motivation.
***Did I… run too far with that metaphor?
****I sort of crossed my toes here just in case I don’t actually see you soon, sorry.

Do you ever get those years?

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You know, when you just forget, completely, to blog? No? Just me?

Well, I get those years a lot.

So, what have I done with myself since Monday the eleventh of November, 2013? The answer, if you want to know, is that I’m really not sure.

I’ve moved back to England from France. I’ve almost finished my degree. I’ve decided that I probably won’t be a writer.

Wait, what??

Yes, I know, I know. I have only wanted to be a writer since the day I first learnt to write. But I realised that, while being a writer would be great and amazing and everything I love, I  am seriously bad at finishing manuscripts, and also seriously at writing the kind of thing that I would actually pay money for.

Which is awkward.

Worry not, however, my abandoned followers. Just because my authorial inclinations have been killed by these rather awkward home truths, the fact that I won’t be a writer doesn’t mean that I won’t write. That would be like deciding I won’t breathe*.

So, as I still remain rather attached to my frankly fantastic lung functions, so I remain equally attached to my habit of sometimes fabricating completely true untruths. (And novelling in November. It looks so good, written like that, how could I not?)

(Did I mention that this was going to be a long post? Because it’s already pretty long and can only get longer.)

So, to catch you all up. I did participate in NaNoWriMo last year, despite my complete silence over here. I wrote [an amount of words that was rather pathetic], across two projects. Both were rewrites of old things which I lost two laptops ago**, one considerably better than the other. I have since written more of the second project, which I refer to as Mara Formae, and really it’s a shame I wasn’t here throughout October/November because it’s an absolute gem.

Two main characters living in (drumroll, please) alternate worlds!*** These lovelies, Oscar and Luzall, must (somehow) join together to stop the force of EVIL from getting his evil, weaslely hands on an extremely powerful weapon and conquering their worlds!**** :0

I have also continued a few older, lesser projects, and turned my wandering authorial eye to a couple of other, quite old projects, including my oldest project still running, which has been on and off for almost a decade now, probably.

See, I do have sticking power. Just not in the same way as other people.

Well. I’ve rambled on for quite long enough. Fingers crossed I haven’t rambled myself out!

See you next year!!*****

*Not exaggerating even a little bit.
**I also have a new laptop! Hence the update! Yay!!
***Another reason why I probably won’t become a writer. After the first book and a half, my readers will lose all sense of suprise and delight.
****To be honest, by the time I’ve written him in, the foE will probably turn out to be a fairly decent ruler and no one would mind that much. This always seems to be the way with my bad characters.
*****Okay, okay! I’ll try to make it sooner!

NaNo: Where did that week go? Or Days Three to Eleven

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So what happened, Elenia? You were writing words and updating your blog and then wham: only two days before you stop. What’s up with that?

Well, I’d been doing some major thinking, and I realised that The Slow War just really isn’t a November novel. I mean, I felt a lot like Flaubert while writing it, and we all know that Flaubert is the antithesis of a good WriMo.

That being said, I don’t think I’d ever finish this beast outside of a NaNo context. So I’ll save it to April and give myself a goal of 500 words a day. I know, it’s not much but considering I was barely averaging 300 it’s more than enough. It fits the story, too.

So that’s that.

‘Wait, what? Elenia are you… Giving up NaNo? But you’ve NEVER given up NaNo!’
Worry not, dear friends. For a while I thought I would, but the idea of not novelling in November is too foreign to my little mind. So I’ll be writing words, although I’ve still got no aims for the big 50K. I started on another fairy tale retelling last night and got a good 1,200 words in that one night so woohoo!

That being said, I’ve got still more words in my head, ready to be written down. So adieu, good friends, and good novelling speed to you all!

Nano: The Remains of the Day, or Day Two

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So, I finished day two with a less-than-impressive 1144 words.

My NaNo is a creature which finds its roots in a few aesthetic ideals, with the plot initially doing service as a mere tool – a sort of open-top car through which my lyrical pretensions would drive around and flaunt themselves. In fact, my very first stages of planning left little space for any sort of plot at all.

This has since changed, but the description, the word choice and the sentence structure all remain key to me. I received a comment on a (very short) extract that mentioned the sibilance, and so now I’m trying to add in more. Believe me, there is a reason. Even if I forget it, even if I never explain, even if it is neither good nor noticeable, there is a reason.

I fly back to France today, after a week in London. How are all of you doing?

NaNo: Day One and a bit

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So, my word count is all kinds of pitiful: I’m only at 751 words. I don’t particularly mind, though.

My NaNo this year is called The Slow War, and it’s – umm – slow. Again, I don’t really mind. I’m taking my time describing absolutely everything that I possibly can. It would be nice to have hit 1,500 by the end of the day, but I don’t know if that’s possible: I’m flying out tomorrow, and so I’m insanely busy.

How are the rest of you doing? Better than me, I hope! 😀