Guys! I’m so excited! No, I haven’t caught up to my Dad. (Yet!) But I’ve got a writing momentum that I haven’t had in months, and that I can’t remember having outside of NaNoWriMo. Which isn’t to say that everything I’m writing is gold– because I’m not a superhero. Or Ray Bradbury, which is basically the same thing. In fact, it’s kind of terrible– in a distinctly rough draft-ish sort of way. Which is great! Because that’s what this is.
Because you can’t edit it if it’s not on the page first. And for the first time in way too long, I’m okay with that.
Quick check-in post: I’m still woefully behind– roughly 3000 words to my dad’s over 300 miles, but my pride is happy to stubbornly insist that a good part of that was some scheduled busyness this last week. The days I’ve had a chance to write have been getting progressively more productive, so I’m not at all about to give up. Check back in next week to see how the madness continues!
My friends, I think I’ve made a tactical mistake. I mentioned last week that I’ve challenged my Dad to a race of sorts, with each hundred words that I write on Tanner and Miranda being equivalent to each mile he rides on his bike. The mistake is that I forgot to remember the fact that my dad is at least as competitive as I am, and that he also really wants to see this story finished.
If my calculations are correct, our standings are as follows: Miles ridden: 164 Words written: 1533
… hoo boy. It’s a good thing it’s been getting easier to write more words!
First, the bad news. My final wordcount for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019 came in at about 3000 words… so, nowhere near my ambitious goal of 75,000. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed, in myself if nothing else, since I know I can write at that pace, I just didn’t this month. However! If that’s it for the bad news (and it is!) I don’t have much to complain about.
As for the good news, there’s a couple pieces! First, my final wordcount came in at about 3000 words, I wrote almost every day, and I kept working on it all month long. Compared to my other attempts at Camp NaNoWriMo, that’s a resounding victory, and it’s absolutely a step in the right direction. The second has to do with the fact that I may have found another way to help motivate myself. It’s come to my attention that I’m actually a fairly competitive person. Gasp. That being said, when I find ways to harness that competitiveness, things tend to go pretty well. To that end, I’ve made a deal with my dad that for every mile he rides his bike during the month of August, I’ll write a hundred words. As my father is an avid bicyclist, the next thirty one days could prove very interesting. Check back in next Wednesday to see how I’ve fared the first week!
Another quick update this week– mostly to announce that I’m going to be switching my usual update day to Wednesdays. With my current work schedule my “weekend” falls on Tuesday/Wednesday, which, in addition to leaving me perpetually confused as to which day of the week it actually is, leaves the timing of the Friday updates a little awkward. Plus! It means the first update on the new schedule will be on July 31, which will let me give you a final update on my Camp NaNo results!
It’s so nice to feel like the bones of a story are decently solid. Most of what I’ve been doing so far this month is “editing”/fleshing out some sections that I’d already done some scribblings on, and the result has been very encouraging, if still moving slower than I’d like it to be, ideally. I’m proud of a couple turns of phrase in particular, actually, so by way of showing off, I’m including a quick excerpt below. Those of you who have been following me for a while might recognize this as very similar to the beginning of The Verdant Wildlife, which is because I’m in the process of completely reworking it so that it can take its place as the first story in the upcoming novel.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the promised snippet.
Our client had arranged to meet up with us at a small mining outpost near the drone’s last known coordinates and had offered to transport us out there on one of her company’s atmo-sprinters. It was a welcome gesture that cut our travel time down to a fraction of what it would have been otherwise. I spent the half-hour ride alternately teasing my brother and staring out the window as semi-developed plains gave way to wild cliffs and canyons.
Even before the sprinter’s pilot started edging the craft down between a couple of jagged cliffs, there was little doubt in my mind that our destination was less a spur of civilization than a small collection of humans trying to do without it. In Coville, I’d gotten the impression that the occasional showdown at high noon was a distinct possibility. Looking down at the approaching outpost, I would have been more surprised to find that such confrontations didn’t happen there with some regularity.
I leaned towards my brother. “I thought you said we weren’t going to get shot at. This looks like the sort of place that gets us shot at.”
“What, the mining camp?” He looked out his own window. “Good thing we won’t be spending much time there.”
I scowled. Now that our hike was more imminent, I found myself less excited about the prospect of tramping around the wilds of a new planet than I had been the day before. And given that I hadn’t been all that enthusiastic about it in the first place, that was saying something.
Tanner winked at me. “It’ll be fun. Like those trips we took growing up.”
I grunted, non-committal. “I hadn’t spent the last eight months crossing the galaxy when we hiked the Sierras.”
“We won’t be moving too fast. There’s a ton of nooks and crannies out here, and that drone could have crashed in any of them. You’ll be fine.” The look on his face was the same one he’d worn when he’d suckered me into exploring an old “haunted” warehouse with him. At night. About three weeks after I’d pranked him in front of all his buddies. But bringing that up wasn’t going to do me any good.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You just managed to make me feel better and worse at the same time.”
He winked. “I aim to please.”
Lucky for him and despite my complaining, I did still enjoy a good hike, if not under these exact circumstances. Not that I’d be caught dead admitting that to him just now.
Not much to report, so far, save that I am definitely running behind for Camp, but I’m optimistic! Reaching my 75K word goal will be a… challenge. But I like a good challenge– and I have a couple of days coming up that I plan to use for writing and pretty much nothing else. Check back next week to see how it goes!
In the meantime, anyone else doing Camp this July? How are your projects doing? How are you doing?
It’s July, also known in some circles as one of two Camp NaNoWriMo events. Personally, I’ve always had great success in November, with all its official 30-days-50,000-words madness, but every time I’ve attempted to do a smaller project (or at least one with less ambitious goals) for one of the Camps, I forget that I’m participating half a week in and don’t make much progress at all. So this month, I’m trying something different.
Based on the theory that it doesn’t go well for me because it’s too small a goal, I went the other way and am going to attempt 75,000 words in the month of July. On Tanner and Miranda, of course.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Best case scenario? I finally finish that draft I’ve been poking with a stick since last November!
This is going to completely out me as a small town girl, but the sheer size and the huge number of people who live in LA is… overwhelming. Amazing, too. And humbling. There’s around four million people in the city itself. There’s more than ten million in LA county. And there’s a few million more in Orange County right next door. That’s around seventeen million people, each with their own lives, their own families, their own friends, their own joys, their own sorrows.
And this huge number of people is just a fraction of the population of the whole United States (327,000,000). And that’s just a fraction of the roughly seven billion human beings who inhabit the whole planet.
That’s a lot of neighbors to love. That’s a lot of people who would be affected by anyone trying to make the world a better place. And that’s overwhelming too. But we’re not responsible for the whole world on our own– that burden is on bigger shoulders. We’re “just” responsible for our own actions and the way we treat others*. It’s what God does with that that’s going to change the world.
* Even typing that out, I realize that that’s a distinctly Western/individualistic view. I think it’s true as far as it goes, but there’s more to it that I haven’t figured out how to articulate.
I forgot to check my wordcount before I left the house– so if you happen to be curious, check back later tonight.
Not much to report on this week– save that I’m finally getting back into the habit of writing every day. It’s lovely! Slow, of course, and my brain and my fingers feel so very rusty, but the creakiness is getting knocked loose and, if all keeps going well, it shouldn’t be long before I’m back to my old pace.
In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy even a few dozen words each day!
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount: 5093 Weekly Wordcount: 438