Saturday, November 27, 2010

NaNoWriMo: approaching the finish line

With less than a week left of this novel writing challenge in a month, I am almost on target with my word count at 44,000. To my surprise, I am finding the last 6,000 words to be much harder than I expected. I am out of story. I desperately need to research! My characters have changed on me, to the point that I don't know who they are anymore. My plot has taken some surprising twists, morphing into a story that I hadn't planned. I'm ready to take a breath, and let this story rest for a bit, but I still have 6,000 more words to fathom from the great unknown.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNoWriMo: a midway report

November is National Novel Writing Month, and in a moment of blind optimism only two days before kick-off, I decided to take the challenge. Now I have to write 50,000 words this month!

Why sign on? Because..

1. It's a way to kick one of my novel ideas out of my head (I have 9 full-blown ideas that I seriously want to write, sooner rather than later--see my July post on "Starting a Novel--part 1"). I had no idea in July that I would end up doing this.

2. It's fun. I get to tell myself a story, while each day I don't know exactly where the story is going to take me, or who's going to show up in it.

3. It's hard.

"The book is stupid," Critical Voice whines in my head.

"Shut up, just type." I don't have time to listen to CV because I have too many words to type.

Choosing a hard writerly challenge always helps me grow as a writer.

So far I have 22,000 words, not quite half-way to my goal. So, can I get all the way to 50,000 words in just 15 more days? Beats me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Crawlers" Is Here!

I just received my contributor's copy of Infradead, a trade paperback anthology that contains my novella "Crawlers." This anthology deals with human extinction, and here's what the cover copy says:

Does the world end with a whimper or a bang?
2012: the Maya calendar expires
2029: an asteroid takes aim at the Earth
Or . . .
Could a mistake during time travel destroy contemporary human civilization?
How would Satan tempt the last woman on Earth?
Will robots replace humans?
Have the gods played a practical joke?
Could the next step in evolution change our species?
Did someone lose a bet?
The stories in this book are about the "or."

"Crawlers" is about changing our species. The story starts with stealing wildflower seeds from an ecologically devastated Rocky Mountains and progresses through colonization of Mars, where experiments should help restore Earth's ecology. And then, things go terribly wrong...

Infradead is available from Sam's Dot Publishing for $12.00, and you can find it here:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Favorite Reading: October

China Lake, by Meg Gardiner.

A thriller about a lawyer-turned-writer in Santa Barbara, California who has to save her nephew from fanatics acting under the guise of religious extremism.

My mystery book group read this, and I loved it because it's full of action, fun, and surprises--just what a thriller should have!

I also enjoy short stories, and one that stood out for me was "Uncle Moon in Raintree Hills," by Fred Chappell, in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Sept/Oct, 2010. I loved the way this story evokes the vivid imagination of childhood along with the smells of autumn in the countryside, all rolled up with just enough creep factor.