Nov 25, 2015

NaNoWriMo - update 3

Well hello there, glad you're still here :-)
I'm still here, too. Talk about a coincidence.

Yeah, yeah, I'm feeling silly.

Here's another update on my NaNo project.
Due to work and other events, I've had a few really slow days (sometimes only managing a few hundred words), but the good news is that I have been writing every single day for the last 3 weeks!

So, days 12 & 13 were slow, 12 because of work, 13 because of the soccer game between Belgium and Italy. It was a friendly match, but that doesn't make a difference.
I shouldn't even have been able to watch it, since I had tickets to a classical concert by Andre Rieu that same night (bought them as a present for my mom's 70th b-day), but she didn't feel like going. I know she has a thing about crowds and being indoors with a lot of noise, but I thought she would've enjoyed going to the concert. I guess not!
Anyways, I was home for the soccer match, which we won 3-1 against a world class opponent.
Right after the game, we heard the news about the Paris attacks. Shit hit the fan in no time (but I've already written a blog post about that, so I'm not going to dwell on that now)

Day 14: with everything going on and shopping needing to be done, I didn't get to write as much as I would've wanted to (especially on a Saturday) and only managed 700 words or so.

Day 15: Sunday was a much better day writing-wise. A lot of stuff was going on all around us, but I managed to pull back from that and plunge myself into my alternate world. Added over 2.500 words.

Between day 15 and 20, I only added about 2.000 words in all. Not much writing going on. On Tuesday, I was planning on going to the soccer game against Spain, but that was cancelled the night before. Too dangerous. Despite that cancellation, I didn't get to write much.
On Friday, I went to the cinema for the Mockingjay marathon (both movies back-to-back). Upon leaving the cinema, we encountered massive police and security forces at the subway/bus station. I was wondering what the heck was going on, but didn't find out until the next day. The only words I squeezed in on Friday, were those written before bed that very early morning (I hate going to bed early and am never in bed before 1 am)

Day 21: Again, not a good day for a Saturday, more shopping, more lockdown consequences, more fear all around. Only managed 700 words.

Day 22: Now that was a good day!! The best so far I think, with a grand total of over 3.500 words added.

Day 23: Brussels is in lockdown, my workplace is shut down along with everything else. We are invited to either take the day off or go to a local branch to work from there. My son's school is closed as well (though not in Brussels). I took advantage of being home all day and added another 2.500 words.

Day 24: It has just ended (just after midnight now) and I have totalled 1.700 words today.

I am nibbling my way to my target and even though I'm not sure I will make it, I am thrilled to be writing again. Let's hope we can keep this going and I can finally get back to all those projects that are waiting for me.

Good luck to all you fellow NaNoWriMo's!!

Bye for now.

Nov 21, 2015

Threat level 4

Jeez, what a weekend this has been and it's not even over yet!! Yesterday, I went to the movies with my son for a "Mockingjay marathon", planning on seeing both parts back-to-back. On the way home from work, my subway was stopped twice for nearly 10 minutes each time, making me worry about getting there in time. I did make it and I even had to wait for my son to join me (he was late coming home from school as well and still had to have dinner). We took the subway for just one stop to get to the cinema, but they were making an announcement just as we entered the station, both lines 2 and 6 (the one we were taking) were delayed. Thankfully, a metro rolled into the station just as the announcement was being made. It departed 2 minutes later, so we were at the cinema well in time for the movie. When we got in, we received a "Mockingjay care package" consisting of a poster (the 4 movie posters side by side), a voucher for a free Red Bull, a discount voucher on candy and a Mockingjay armband. Part I was awesome (we'd seen it before) and even though my neighbor tried to be a bitch (shushing me and poking me in the arm because I said something to my son), we had a good time. During the break, I went to the loo and grabbed our Red Bulls. Part II started out very promising, but 20 minutes into it, my Red Bull got to me negatively. I pushed back as much as I dared, but then figured I had better go because I would never get to the end of the movie. I missed about 5 minutes (duh), but got back in time for the action. Again, very promising, but wow boy, was I disappointed!!! Really not a worthy ending!! And soooooo damn short!!! Not even 90 minutes!!

We left the cinema and headed for our bus stop, seeing a bunch of police and security vans had gathered there. The cops were in full gear with assault rifles and a dog on standby. One of the lady officers watched us coming towards the bus stop and I simply said "good evening", to which she replied with the same. A bunch of cops standing together don't intimidate me and as long as they're not trying to stop me from going where I'm headed, I don't have to worry about going there. Since "there" was a bus stop, I really don't see why I should be worried.
Anyways, we got home around midnight and pretty much headed straight for bed (it had been a long day).

This morning, my mom called me out of bed around 10, asking me if I'd heard the news. Obviously not, since I wasn't up yet. The city of Brussels has been under high alert since last night (that's why those cops were there). The whole of the metro and pre-metro network was shut down, events were cancelled and people were advised not to go to "busy" places such as shopping malls or areas. So much for getting some shopping done in Brussels. Half an hour later, she calls me back, asking if I want to "take advantage" of her neighbor's car since she was taking my mom shopping. I accepted (much easier by car) and we headed out. When we got to the mall, it was closed. We then crossed the parking lot and headed to the supermarket. One of the entrances was locked and everybody had to go in on the other side. There, we were "greeted" by security personnel who asked to check our bags/purses. Even my mom's purse which is just big enough to have her wallet and her cell phone in it. The guard's response "even a little bag like that can hold a lot of things". Seriously?? Saying that to a 70-year old who is out shopping with her daughter and grandchild?? Asshole!!! And they weren't even "checking" everyone!!! Bigger asshole!!!

We went on about our business and got our shopping done. By the time we left (2 pm), they were "filtering" people out through a single door and not letting anybody in any longer. Really???
I usually don't even set out before 2 pm, so I would've found all doors closed if I hadn't gone with my mom's neighbor.

Nothing but a bunch of assholes and scaredy cats, that's what they are!!

And all that because of what??
Because of ONE idiot who might've been seen in Brussels. But then again, he was reported in 3 different cities over the past week, and three days ago, he was possibly in Paris (the raid on Tuesday) and spotted in Germany.

The only thing I have to say to all those assholes who are trying to scare the shit out of everyone:


I will live my life and if it's my time to go, it's my time to go, but I will not hide in the dark and hope for things to get better. If we don't do anything about it, it will never get better, it will only get worse. And honestly, it's bad enough as it is already.

Make love, not war.

Nov 12, 2015

NaNoWriMo - another update.

Hello guys!

How is everyone today??

Here's another update on my NaNoWriMo project.

Since I decided to skip ahead from the troublesome part, things have gone much better. My daily wordcount is up and so is my average. I did have 2 more slow days on Monday and Tuesday because I was back at work after a week. Mother Nature also decided to leave me my monthly present on Sunday, so I was pretty much a wreck on Monday. If you're a woman, you probably know what I mean.

So, day 8 was a success. Skipping ahead really was a breakthrough and I added a big chunk that day, despite Mother Nature's untimely gift. Over 2.000 words written that day. I believe they call that victory.

Day 9 was okay overall I guess. I did write some after midnight, so that went to Monday's wordcount. I added about 1.300 words.

Day 10, Tuesday, was really bad. Since I hadn't written on Monday evening, there had been no update after midnight. I was worried about it and I kept telling myself I would have to update my count before midnight if I wanted a chance at getting all the badges. And I want them. Seriously! Thankfully, I wrote some during my lunch break at work, mailed it to myself and .... updated my wordcount on the spot. It was a good call because I didn't get any writing done at all that night. I stranded at a mere 520 words, but I got them in. That's another victory for me. Still winning the fight.

Day 11, Wednesday. We had the day off, like most people and I took advantage of it, pouring out another 2.500 words. It simply happened. No problem writing now that I've moved on to the central part of the story. I'll still have to go back to write the missing section, but those are worries for later.

Let's hope I can get a little more writing in the next few days, then it's the weekend again.

Whoop whoop!!!

Nov 8, 2015

Update on NaNoWriMo.

Nothing fancy, just a quick update.

First off: I'm still writing!!
And I've been writing every single day!!

That alone is a victory worth celebrating.
A victory over my writing lethargy (can't call it anything else, really).

Sure, I've had a hard time. I wasn't used to it anymore. Sitting at my desk for so long and hammering away at my keyboard. I've had my distractions (Facebook mainly) and I've had my troubles (migraine, you suck!!) which caused me to fall behind on the target word count.

On day 3, I was really close, just a few dozen words away from the target.

On day 4, migraine struck, keeping me home from work, but away from my computer screen as well. I only managed a few hundred words and that's only because I forced myself to write at least *something*. I wanted an updated word count and I really didn't want to skip a day. I didn't. I didn't write much, but I wrote.
Another victory.

Day 5 was a small day as well, again a few hundred words only, again because I forced myself to get at least *some* writing done. Another updated word count. Another small victory.

Day 6 was better, the headaches less intense and the writing more focused.

Day 7 saw me getting back into it, but glaring at the receding target line. I was only about halfway where I should've been. The fact my story wasn't letting me write it as smoothly as I should be writing, didn't really help. I struggled mainly because the beginning of the story wasn't really planned. I had a "vague idea" of how things would happen. The main section was much more detailed in my mind, but I had a hard time getting there.

Day 8 (today): Breakthrough!
With a little advice from my friends over at FWG, I decided to skip the "hard" part and get cracking on the main section. In just a few hours, I added over 1500 words. The best part? This day is far from being over.

I'm gonna hit the hay for a few hours of sleep and then I'm gonna get back to it.
Hopefully I will get my wordcount up to where it needs to be (+/- 4k left to go). If I can achieve that goal, I can achieve anything.

Bye for now!!!

Nov 1, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, despite everything that *didn't* happen the last year or so (writingwise I mean), I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I never thought I'd ever be able to write 50.000 words in just one month, given the fact I have a fulltime job and a single mom, but to hell with it. The least I can do is try it, right?

What more is there to say?
Just get your thumb out of your ass and start writing.

Plain and simple.

And guess what! I actually got it going.
I kept myself "busy" playing some Call of Duty until midnight, then started up the computer and actually did get some writing done. Not that I did a whole hell of a lot of writing, but those first 200 words are all that matters.

Actually, those first 5 words were the ones that mattered.

They put an end to a very longlasting lack of writing "juice". Aside from a short story I whipped up just about a year ago for the FWG Anthology (which I didn't even finish and ended up pulling out of the anthology due to a lack of interest), I hadn't written anything. Proof enough is right here on my blog. I hadn't posted anything since February until I took a leap of faith and asked one of my English speaking colleagues to beta my novel. I still needed to finish the edit I had been sitting on for over a year, but having asked, I knew I couldn't make him wait forever. That same night, I finished the edit and posted on my blog. A double victory.

My mind has been working overtime on stories lately (which is always a good sign), but I needed something to get me started on actually *writing* them. November 1st did the trick.

I will try to keep the updates coming, but for now, let me get back to my alien invasion .... lol.

For those of you who are joining me: Have a Fabulous NaNo!!!

Bye for now!!

Oct 21, 2015

Finally ... an update on my first novel

So, what can I say?
I've been soooooo absent lately and I don't even know why. I haven't written anything in nearly a year and I sure didn't work on my novel. Well ... until last night, that is.

I wasn't sure if I made the right choice in asking a co-worker to beta read, but apparently I did. I pulled myself up and out of that bottomless pit I had tumbled in and finished editing the final chapter and epilogue.

It's a bit scary to think I'm sending this to someone who can rub my failure in my face on a daily basis, but I don't think he will, he's too much of a gentleman for that :p

Either way, I have now finished the final draft and am hopeful for (maybe) and end-of-year release date. I'll have to make up my mind about the back cover blurb and see if the person who agreed to do my cover is still game, and then I'll be ready to rumble. Unless I get a chuckload of comments that force me to do a complete re-write .....

I'd better not think of that possibility or I won't close an eye.
Better to keep the focus on the good news: I finally went back to it and managed to finish the edit that had been going on for such a long time. Now, all I can do is send it on, cross my fingers and hope for a positive response.

For now, I'm heading to bed.

Night all!!

Feb 2, 2015

Coming right up.

Yup!That's about how close I am to my first novel!

I'm editing the final chapter now and the cover is coming along real nicely, so I'm guessing it's a matter of weeks now.


Something else that's coming right up, is another anthology I'm part of. Then again, my submission for it, is what's coming right up. I wrote a first rough draft a few months ago, on a surge of inspiration, then left it untouched for weeks at length, but did a first revision of it last night. Made some minor changes and I think it's just about as ready as I'll ever get it.

Some of the other authors who will be published in that same anthology, were pretty lyrical about my first draft already, calling it much more than just a draft. I guess I haven't lost my "touch" :o)
It's only slightly longer than a flash fic (approximately 1.400 words), but I don't think it needs much more. Everything is said and done, and aside from giving it a little more color to "buff" it up, there isn't much I can add to it. Sometimes perfection just comes a knockin'.

Estimates are for a March release date, so keep your eyes on this blog as I will be promoting the anthology as soon as it's out. It's another Fiction Writer's Group project and it will go by the name of "Anything Goes II". It's a mix of 20-odd stories where literally "anything goes". If you're not sure what you're looking for, but you know you want a good read, that's where I'd put my money. Lots of different stories (haven't read them all at this point, but those that I have, are very promising) from a diversity of authors, just waiting to take you away from your daily drab and drop you into wonders unknown.

Will keep you all apprised!!

Cheers for now.

Jan 28, 2015

The Final Stretch - an update on that novel I'm writing

Hey folks!!

I realize it's been ages since I last blogged.
Actually, it's been ages since I last wrote something altogether.

I haven't been feeling all that good lately and with the energy gauge dipping below zero, it's not easy to get things done. It's a lot easier to just sit around playing stupid games instead of trying to force your butt in gear and get busy.

I'm not feeling all that much better per say, but I have found the courage to get back to editing my story. I have finished editing 9 chapters and am currently struggling my way through chapter 10. It's a big one and I've been thinking about chopping it up to make two shorter ones. Also, it contains a lot of action and since I want these scenes to feel as real and as intense as possible, it's taking some time to get them just right.

After this, I have two more chapters and a short epilogue to edit and then it's off to get formatted (won a free format a while ago, so now I'm gonna "cash in" on that). My cover is also coming along nicely and I'll have to get busy on the back cover blurb as well. I posted the 2 versions I had a while back, but I think it's gonna take some serious looking at before I've got the catchy, teasing blurb I'll need. I have to get it right, it's the billboard for my novel, so I want people to look at it and go "Hmm, I'd like to read this!"

It's looking good so far, so I really hope I can keep this momentum going and get it done within the next few weeks. I might be looking at a Valentine's release.

Keep an eye on this place for further updates.

Bye for now!!