Posted in Camp WriMo, NaNoWriMo, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Wet, wet, wet

A couple of days ago, I told you it finally had begun raining. That was next to nothing. Now, it really has begun raining. Except for the first couple of hours early this morning, it has been pouring down the entire day. It’s so welcome, it was really needed! But probably it’s yet not enough to turn that drought into a more normal state. So keep on raining for a while longer. Why not the entire week? To fill up the depot in the ground, that is supposed to be there.

I have spent the day on the sofa. A slight cold, mostly bothering my muscles, made me take the opportunity to do “nothing” today. Nothing but reading, writing and so on, that is. A little bit boring now when it’s early evening, but soon I’ll have dinner and then begin today’s session of writing to CampWriMo.

This is not my sofa, and this is not my dog since I have no dog. And I am not a dog, what that matter. But I like the image from Pixabay

So! Three days have gone with this task, and I’m doing well. Didn’t set the rib too high this time, and it seems that I have made the right choice. So far it has paid off! No stress, only an average of 700 words a day is needed, and with three day’s behind me I have now written 3105 words. There is something going on in the story that both surprises me and makes me curious of what will happen.

Maybe I should have my dinner now, so I can begin writing afterwards. 😉

Maybe something like this? No! I have no chickpea-pasta left. But I have some whole grain rice ready to eat. Yes! I eat the vegan way!
Posted in Fantasy, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

So I did!

Or rather – to be honest – I continue on the one I’m working on.

It’s so thrilling! What will happen in the story when I continue writing this afternoon? Me? I have absolutely no idea! But that’s the usual way I do it.

Yesterday some new people were entering the story. One thought the area he saw was “as huge as the big assembly hall in the monastery”!!!

What??? Who are those people? They seemed so extremely technically advanced! And that person  – a monk??? – what was that person doing up in the Orb? Spying? Disconnected from his (hers?) body and all… thanks to some electronic devices… including some kind of built-in videocamera… and then some malfunction occurred so he (she?) got disconnected from the staff below that was monitoring him (her?).

And the question now is – among other – is he alone up there?… in the orb… like halfways between the planet and the sun…

Why did I at first take it for granted that this character was a “he”, and thus a monk?

Exclamation mark… exclamation mark…

(Who knows… I might delete this part later. The main issue now, is to let the words flow without hesitation or regrets – and no editing. Not now!)

Posted in Camp WriMo, NaNoWriMo, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Finally it’s raining

And finally, I’m here again. Both good – but in different ways. The rain because we all need it. Nature needs it. And I’m good because I need to be. To be back in writing mood.

It’s been almost three months since my last post. Well! I’ve been busy, you know! I just didn’t think this involuntary pause would last for such a long time. But now – I decided, and I made this decision very clear, first of all to myself, but also to some other people in my environment. Now was the time for writing here again! Finally!

Not only because of CampNaNoWriMo – but I guess that task helps to put another “do it” upon me. So, I’ve started. Today, I have! Embrace me and say “Halleluja”!

I’ve experienced a couple of times now, that too many words per day stresses me too much. I don’t feel well while writing, and later I have to throw away so much garbage that I have written. So 50 000 words in July is totally out of the question! Also 24 000 feels a bit too much, but 18 000 too little. So in the end I settled for 21 000 words. That’s 700 per day. Better to reach that amount – and keep on writing more, than forcing myself to write 1000, 1200 or 1600 words per day –  and then have to throw most of them away in the garbage dump. If I even will continue writing! I failed in April, you know! Forced me too hard!

But today! I reached for 700 – and got 923. See! I told you so!

I decided to keep on working with “The Solar Eclipse”. Part three now. And it seems to be heading towards the end. One fraction after the other is gathering in the city, and the big battle is getting closer… and closer…

So! That’s it! I managed to write a blog post here as well. Should really be writing something for my Swedish blog  too, and to the one about Food and Health. Also in Swedish.

And I should really do some homework! Like cleaning and such boring matter. Or I’ll stick that until really dark, vet and cold days? Nahhh… those days, such days, I’d rather prefer to read. Or something else that is cosy.

Posted in Fantasy, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

afterthoughts

After what? Thoughts? I’ve always thoughts in my head. So there must naturally be thoughts after thoughts as well.

Oh! I’m just kidding! Not the fact that I always seem to have thousands of thoughts in my head. I do! I have! I am one of those people. What I was kidding about, was the title. I don’t really mean anything with it. I just didn’t know what to come up with as a title. Do you always know what word or words to use?

The first word that entered my mind, was “aftermath”. But that would have been a little bit too… hm… too… something. Couldn’t make it fit into anything relevant. I haven’t experienced any “significant unpleasant event”. So, the word “afterthoughts” is better. After all, I do think! A lot.

Now! That isn’t funny any longer.

But what is a lot of fun, to me, is that I during the days between Christmas and New Year began to go to the library to work on my fantasy story! It seemed hopeless to work on it at home. I always began doing something else instead. Mostly watching a movie.

Well! Anything except writing, editing, whatever!!! I even did the dishes!

The good thing is, that I’ve kept on going to the library with my iPad, ever since, and thus have begun doing something useful with the story. Not every day, and not the entire days. But often enough and long enough to feel good about it.

If you remember, I had planned to translate the Solar Eclipse and Mz Eliza to Swedish. I’ve changed my mind. I’ll stick to it as it is, and keep on working on it in English. I realized it would be too tough to translate.

Just exchange words from English to Swedish, or sentences or even paragraphs, isn’t difficult per se! But writing isn’t only about words as words! It’s to use words to build images that pop up in the head of the reader. It’s showing, not telling! It’s making a story alive!

So, to my own big surprise, at was not easy at all to translate my novel to Swedish. Also to my own big surprise, I had – in English – already built a story in some kind of English manner. Oh, I don’t know how to explain this. But maybe if I say it like this: we all use expressions when we write, don’t we? Not all the time, not in every sentence, that would be way too much anyhow, but we do.

And I don’t mean expressions like “it’s raining cats and dogs”. (It isn’t raining men either… maybe pity it doesn’t? 😉 )

You who have English as your mother tongue, have probably never thought of this. Neither had I! Never, during all those years I have written in Swedish and Swedish only, I have thought of this. What I use to say once in a while, though, is that I paint with words! And of course, I’ve learned about “show, not tell”, “kill your darlings” and other advices that the teachers pour over us.

So when I experienced the difficulties in translating these English “paintings” into Swedish ones, I couldn’t find the Swedish words I needed to paint an image that resembled the English expression. The whole thing went wrong! This may sound very stupid, I realize that. And I’m not even sure if I’ve been able to explain it properly. If so, just skip reading this.

Anyhow! I put the Swedish trial aside, deleted it actually. Then I sorted among the files I had with these stories, deleted a couple so that I only had two left of each. One with the original, and one which I had decided to uses to:

  • one – read it all from the beginning to the end, and simultaneously do some editing
  • two – continue writing on the stories, now at first the one about Mz Eliza.

Why I have to read all of it thoroughly, is because I wrote so fast and mostly on pure intuition that I don’t remember what I wrote. No! I do not KNOW what I was writing! It was more as if someone else was using me as a middle-hand, and the text went past my brain without stopping and letting me learn about the characters and the story. And I need to know that, if I want to be able to continue.

There are parts that I’ve read afterward, that got me totally surprised. Did I really write that? When did I do that? I didn’t remember doing it!

Earlier, I have always remembered what I was writing. I knew the story, the characters, their looks, gestures, how they talked, walked. I knew the landscape, the season of the year, what year! Feelings, intentions. Everything!

And now I know very little! Especially what I wrote about Eliza during NaNo in November, and during CampWriMo in July when I wrote the second part of the Solar Eclipse.

Never, I thought this kind of dilemma could occur.
Never, I thought I could “show” as well in English as I can in Swedish. The issue might rather be some misuse of words (I mean, choosing a wrong one instead of a proper one), and lack of knowledge in English grammar…

But all will be okay. It always does, in one way or another.

Posted in Around & About, Fantasy, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Writer’s block? Or not?

I might repeat myself a bit here. Or maybe I just need to let go of something. But… For a couple of days now, it has been really hard to write. And I have no idea, how I have managed to write as much as I have, for NaNoWroMo. Yesterday I was saved by the bell when I found some notes I had done earlier, which made me get going. But I had rather not written at all.

During the day I had been cleaning my apartment, and also moved my sofa to another spot in the room. Well! HA! ”Spot” and ”Moved”, are not exactly the right words for that. Area and Dragged, are better. The sofa is big and heavy.

As the evening got closer, I was watching ”Gotham” on Netflix, and at the same time, I was knitting a pair of mittens for my daughter. I’m going there for the upcoming weekend, and I want them to be finished so I can give them to her, along with a scarf and a cap, all of them knitted in the same yarn, warm and wholly. I also had in mind to knit a cap for the grandson. I finished the mittens and began with the cap, so now I just hope I’ll finish that one as well on Thursday at the latest.

What all this bla-bla is the replacement for, is a confession that I at that time, had forgotten all about writing! Then suddenly I realized it was already 8 PM, and OOOPS! I have to write at least something! Please! At least a couple of hundred words!

My mind was blank. Totally empty and black. I stared at Scrivener’s pale yellow background. It stared back at me. Nothing here. Nothing there. Nothing anywhere. I sought it here. I sought it there. I sought it everywhere. Oh, that elusive Pimpernel…

No, I didn’t! Seek everywhere. But I looked among those notes and mini-drafts I have in a file. It helped! I wrote! But probably the lousiest text I have ever written. Don’t think I can keep any of it.
But I wrote!

No! I didn’t. I heaped loads of words upon each other! That’s what I did! And I don’t even have a clue what I’ve written! So to speak.

Adding words to words that way isn’t my normal way of writing. As long as it goes, it might go very well. After all, in total, I have written a lot of good stuff as well. But now when I begin to feel stressed about having to perform, to achieve, to produce! To add a lot of words just to get a huge amount of words during a fixed timeline – it’s about becoming a disaster! At least if I had wanted to create a draft to a novel.

Before the Burn-out, I wrote a lot. I wrote daily. But I never felt the need to perform a certain amount of words every day. I don’t complain now, it’s just facts! And I knew what I signed up for. 50.000 words in 30 days.

Why I did it? I have said it before – I wanted to train myself to write daily, again. To write a lot, again. And I didn’t commit to writing a draft to a novel, not necessarily. So also blogposts count, here and on my Swedish blog. Mails can be counted in, I just don’t write many mails. Text messages can be counted in if I consider it writing and not just a short something to someone. And of course personal dairy notes, which can be quite wordy.

Looking upon it that way, I have done very well. Beyond 40.000 words now (yesterday) for the NaNoWriMo. And for myself.

So why am I complaining about this! Because I realize I am! Do I have any actual reason to complain? Actually – no. In the beginning, I had no idea for a fantasy novel. I thought I wouldn’t write any fiction at all! And yet – I have written quite a lot, to later be included in a Fantasy Novel. Almost two-thirds of those 40.000+ words are scenes to be incorporated.

And the funny thing is – odd-funny not haha-funny – I realize I’m building a world, where all my fantasy writings and its characters this year can be gathered together. Not necessarily that all those people are going to meet, to connect, or counteract – but they live in the same world.

Thinking about it like that, I don’t have to feel miserable just because I cannot write for a couple of days – and still, I write!
I just need a day off, or two. Or to allow me to sometimes just write one puny scene. Maybe only 758 words or so.

What this NaNoWriMo has shown me so far, is that I’m capable of so much more. Who on earth thought I would write 3283 words in just a few hours! I didn’t. But! I can! I’m able to write even a lot more than that.

I just have to let go of that behavior to stress myself into any oveer achievement. Instead, keep the joy of creating a story, and don’t think the world will fall apart if there is a day once in a while when I rather want to read a book, watch a movie, knit a cardigan, sit in the sunshine a lovely day in May, bike to the sea-side – or do anything else but write.

I just have to make sure, most of my days are writing days.

I’ll be away from home for a couple of days only. I thought I’ll bring my laptop, but I will hardly be sitting for hours to write when I visit my daughter and her family. That would not only be rude. It would be awful to waste precious time with those I love, not totally being with them.

Maybe I should leave the laptop at home, after all. It weighs more than the iPad, and I’ll go by train. And will only be gone for four days.

Posted in Music, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

What a difference a day made

November. The first day of the month. NaNoWriMo-month.

In 30 days, I hope to have reached 50 000 words. I have no specific plan to what I shall write, but I had an idea to start with and so far, this first day, it went very well.

I have also decided that all I’m writing, shall be added to this NaNo-plan – that actually isn’t a plan at all – since my first goal, what I aim for the most, is to write every day, and as much as possible.

If the idea I started with today will turn into either a story of its own, or can be added to my fantasy novel about the Solar Eclipse and the Magic City, it will be wonderful.

If it leads to the fact that I also after November 2019 will continue writing daily – it’s not only a 50 000 word winning! It will be a much bigger price than just 30 days of hard work will render.

Posted in Fantasy, Movies & TV-series, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Stage fright

When watching all those movies and TV-series, when reading all those books, when pondering all that I have written so far – is it beyond my reach, to write a whole novel?

Maybe I’m a bit morbid or something right now, for some reason, but there are all those thoughts rambling around in my head.

Do I doubt myself, my ability to write?

Not per se! I can write, I don’t doubt that. I know grammar – and I specifically mean the Swedish now – and I know how to spell. I can show instead of tell, and I’m really good at writing dialogues. I can “use” the language to build images for the reader, make them feel they are there, in the middle of the story…

But can I build an entire novel?

I can write short stories! And I do it well. Short stories are easy to write. Few persons. One scenery. One event. No other persons stories or actions. Not too long. I only have to focus on what actually happens, and make it live.

But can I build an entire novel?

I have always loved to watch movies and series, but lately, I’ve been indulging myself a lot in those worlds. I see the plots, always have, and how intriguing they are built by the author. Yes! I admit! They kind of scare me off, a bit.

Maybe I am, a bit morbid? Or maybe just a bit nervous about entering the NaNo in a couple of days. Not that I have anything to be nervous about, not really. I’m entering the task with open eyes! I don’t have a specific idea. I have no plot, not even an idea for a story.

My main concern is just to write… every day… for thirty days. Not adding any other expectations at all. And then – it will be, what it will be.

Still, I can’t help thinking – am I able to write a novel, an intriguing story with several characters, scenes and semi-plots that will mix and interact – or counteract – with the main story. Would I be able to make it catching, interesting, exciting – funny? Enjoying? To make it a whole story with ups and downs, with cliffhangers as well as smoothly ongoing parts. To make the characters into living beings, not ending up as flat paper-dolls?

At this very moment – I don’t know. But I realize I might only be seeing the matter in black and grey colours. Maybe there will be a story after all. And if I may wish for, and even pray for – something new that will continue my fantasy story with the work-name “The Solar Eclipse”. And “The mechanical Man”.

Maybe this Mz Eliza Elderberry that suddenly popped into my head a short time ago, will show up there, somehow, in that magical city surrounded by high mountain tops and a large, seemingly dead, desert.
And a weird solar eclipse.

I fear November, but I’m also looking forward to it.

Posted in Fantasy, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

It seems to work – in the cloud

Some of the scenes in my manuscript had to shift location. Trading places with other scenes. Mostly among those I wrote during April. In a movie one can jump between scenes quite frequently, if one wants and needs. Thanks to the fact it’s all visual. No doubt where the watcher have come and what character/s will be there.

When writing one has to be a bit more cautious. It can be vary confusing to the reader if there are too many jumps and too short texts each time. It’s not forbidden! But as anything else when writing, you have to have a purpose for what you do, you must know what you are doing, and you must do it well. Stephen King does it. And does it well.

So therefore I had to make some changes to the whereabouts of some of the scenes. Put some together to a unit, and others to another unit. Further on in the story, I need do makes some “jumps”, but at that time the reader should know the characters and as such, there are less risk for confusions.

The next I did, was to copy the entire text to a Pages file. Why, since I work with Scrivener? Because with Pages I can work on any of my units. I can sit at the balcony with the iPad, work on the manuscript, and later on continue indoors on the MacBook. Yes! I can write on the Mac at the balcony as well! I have done that a lot. It’s just that the screen gets darker outside, and it mirrors everything. I see mostly myself and/or a sun-lit wall behind me.

Then I do this and I do that, and in the end I copy the ready-edited text back into its place in Scrivener – and have a back-up already made in Pages.

So the week that now have past, I’ve been doing this, and it feels good! I work until I feel empty or begin to be tired of words, dressing the novel-skeleton with “flesh”: images, fragrances, colours, life – I would say. Particularly the very first scene, the one that started this adventure, is now a place not merely an empty stage. That was okay, but now there are life and meaning to it.

Oh yes! I so much want a 27 inch iMac again!
Posted in The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Safety first

I’m fine! Thank you for asking!
My wheels are rolling and my shadow is dancing.
Just kidding. I don’t wear wheels… not even high heels…
And I’ve cut off the hair bun…

It’s warm like h… today. Hot flashes have gotten quite another meaning for the time being. Like amid July. Like we had last year for several months. Thank goodness that summer didn’t repeat itself this year. This heatwave began yesterday, it is today, and will supposedly remain two or three days more. It’s nice! I like it, and I try to ignore the more or less constant sweating. Also really nice the summer didn’t turn into autumn already. It almost seemed like that for a while…

Have lately kept myself busy with working on The Solar Eclipse Part one – mainly from CampWriMo April 2019 – and Part two – from CampWriMo July 2019 – to make those two first drafts into one second draft. And that’s done now. Just a brief overhaul, really. Mostly I had to read the whole thing through, to see what I have written so far. And part two was better than I thought it would be! GOOD!!!
On the whole, though, I deleted some and added some. But just minor changes so far. There will be more. Trust me!

Now I have saved the Scrivener file with its safety-copy and the sync-files on iCloud. I have also manually made a copy/paste to a Pages file. I’m well into both belt and suspenders as you see, and then an extra belt… and have thoroughly dated the files as well.

I should probably search for my small and handy USB-stick… I bought a new one not that long ago…

So! Now it’s time for the next phase. I just created a new Scrivener project, added the Eclipse 1 & 2, and the story about the Mechanical Man between them. Andrew becomes a member of the adventures in Part two, so I need a bit about him, who he is, where he comes from, what his skills are and how he got them. I won’t use all of that story though. Just enough to present Andrew.

What’s about to happen now, is to move some scenes to other places, gather what is supposed to go together, and then I have to write more action scenes. AND! I still have the ending of the story unwritten.

Gotta get going…

Posted in Fantasy, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Working

I am working on my novel now. It took some days before I managed to begin, but now I have been sitting with it for the last five days.

It feels good! Though one get tired doing it. Word-tired! Have to do something totally different to relax. Like taking a walk, or a bike ride.

Can’t say cleaning and doing the dishes quite appeal to me… 😉

I will probably not be here quite as often for a while now, but I will pop in and see what you are doing. Would also love if Diana comes back with the Speculative fiction prompt next month.
After all – that was what started this adventure with my novel. Though I have lots of work to do on it before finishing. Haven’t even written all that is needed yet. Need an ending, and some more “highs” along the road. And deepen it. And it must be more exciting scenes. Scary and awful!

What I have now is a skeleton, only partially dressed.
But I have tremendous fun while dressing it.