Monthly Archives: November 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 28

It feels a bit strange not to be posting an update today. So, I guess I will.

Today was the first day of the Words & Music  Conference, which is why I wanted to finish my words early. The conference has only just begun and already I have been blown away and inspired. First, by the readers at the Writers Alliance reading, who were all phenomenal. It was also the first time I’d read my work in a while and I was lucky enough to have two neighbors (and great friends!) in the audience. Then, the sneak previews of Rosary O’Neill’s “Marilyn/God” and John Biguenet’s “Mold” were just astounding, and truly moving. And it’s only the beginning of the conference!

I want to encourage everyone who is still laboring with their NaNoWriMo word counts. Keep going! I’m thinking about you and pulling for you. You’ve got this!

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 27

Was a bit sniffly last night, but powered through. But by the time I’d written my words for the day and went to bed, I was so sick I couldn’t sleep. So today has been pretty rough. Horribly sick, tired, lots of work to do and no words until just a short while ago, when I wrote 862 of them. This is why it pays to get ahead, though I wish I’d banked just a bit more before suffering the inevitable NaNo cold. I remain hopeful that I’ll be able to finish tomorrow anyway, and I’m still working tonight, so we’ll see how it goes.

Day 27 word count (so far): 862

Total word count (so far): 47,152.

10:03 p.m. Update:

So, I wrote my words during the 2-hour Dancing with the Stars finale, I must confess. Since I’m sick and can’t tango tonight, I wanted to enjoy the show live because my mom and I text when we’re both watching it. Not only am I thrilled that I got to see Melissa win (!), the multi-tasking seems to have focused me. I wrote 1,137 words during that two hour episode!

Day 27 word count (so far): 1,999

Total word count (so far): 48,289.

Y’all, I can’t believe this, but I only have 1,711 words left! I could possibly finish this tonight. I have two hours to try! Who wants to word war?

11:27 p.m. Update:

I finished! Just a little while ago, I crossed the 50,000 word finish line, then kept typing to finish the scene and also to make absolutely sure that I’d written 50K according to NaNo’s validating technology. I would hate to think I’d written 50K, only to have discovered I’d written 49,987 words. Anyway, by my count, I wrote 1,801 words in this final push:

Day 27 word count: 3,800

Total word count: 50,090.

Sure enough, the validating technology has me winning with 9 fewer words, but I’m okay with 50,081. Good luck to those of you still pushing for the 50K. You can do it! I know you can, absolutely.

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 26

I wrote 175 words after updating last night, just to get my Day 26 started. Today proper was spent on some freelance work, then I went over to tango with the Mandeville group and had an absolute blast. Didn’t get home until after 11 p.m. and got immediately to work, trying to cram those words in. “I can write at least 1,000 words in a half hour, I told myself.” And, I did! I got 1,061 words written. Still ahead, still on track to finish a few days early, with any luck. Hurrah!

Day 26 word count: 1,236

Total word count (so far): 46,290.

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 25

I got an early start on Day 25, starting right after I posted the last update yesterday. I wrote 625 words before I had to call it a night. No new words yet since I’ve been awake and going about my day, but that’s going to change shortly.

Day 25 word count: 625

Total word count (so far): 43,073.

7:43 p.m. Update:

Whoa! Today has been a crazy day. There is a lot going on, not the least of which was that abysmal Saints game. I know I shouldn’t have been watching. It was bad for my moral and my words. But, I still managed 1,279 new words. Which means today’s totals are now:

Day 25 word count (so far): 1,904

Total word count (so far): 44,352.

Gotta go tango.

11:59 p.m. Update:

Back from tango and just did a quick 30 minute sprint, managing 702 words. I am now over 45K! I only have 5,000 words left. I can do this! Just probably not tonight…

Day 25 word count:2,606

Total word count (so far): 45,054.

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 24

After my last update yesterday, I wrote another 379 words, then went to bed. Today, I wasn’t very good at keeping myself on lock down, because I volunteered for the library sales as usual. I’d forgotten about that when I said I was on lock down for the weekend. Well, and to be honest, I’ve been fairly distracted and excited today. There’s a lot going on and a lot coming up next week. Next week’s going to be insane! All the more reason to write right now. Considering how distracted and excited I am, I feel kinda impish, like I might wipe out all my characters and let the zombies get them. That’d be pretty fun to write and must be worth 10,000 words if I really draw out the gory details… Okay. Who am I kidding? I can’t kill all my characters. I care about them too much. I still haven’t killed that one character I was trying to kill off back on Day 12 and Day 9. Other people die, sure, but not that one Teflon character. All this to say, I haven’t written any more words yet today. But I will. I have two hours to bank some serious words. And maybe kill some characters.

Day 24 word count (so far): 379

Total word count (so far): 39,530.

10:41 p.m. Update:

I just banged out another 570 words. I thought it was worth updating because it got me over 40K. I have fewer than 10,000 words left! I can see the finish line. Now, going back to get more words in the good ol’ word bank.

Day 24 word count (so far): 949

Total word count (so far): 40,100.

11:46 p.m. Update:

So, I quickly wrote another 459 words, then word warred with Maurice for a half hour. I was in the middle of a scene when we started, a very emotional one, so the words just flew out of me. So, I ended up with 1,492 words at the end of the war. And since the war ended literally in the middle of a sentence, I continued writing and got another 397 before the scene was finished. So, since the last update an hour ago, I wrote 2,348 more words, bringing my totals to:

Day 24 word count: 3,297

Total word count (so far): 42,448.

I think that’s going to be it for Day 24, but I’ll probably keep writing even so and have an early start on Day 25.

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 23

As soon as I walked into the coffee shop, I saw the guy I wrote about on Day 12. He looked up, saw me settle into the table next to him and demanded, “How many words have you written?” I happily reported to him that I have a little over 35K, so I’m a bit behind, but still working diligently. He said, “Well, you still have a week left.” I sheepishly admitted, “Actually, I want to finish early, by next Tuesday.” So, he said, “Better get to work, then.” For a guy who didn’t seem to understand what I’m doing at first, he has definitely got it now. Before he left, he told me about a story in the Wall Street Journal about Margaret Atwood and Wattpad. He said he was going to make copies of it for a few writers he knows and sure enough, he returned a little while later with a copy for me. He may just be my NaNoWriMo angel this year.

I finished up the bragging on post I’ve been working on for a while, which I posted earlier. Handled some administrative matters. And then got to work on my words. I’m through the big action sequence I mentioned earlier, which wasn’t quite as climatic as I’d anticipated. The zombies don’t always jump out when you expect them to. But I have some good stuff coming up. I’m going to take a break for now, recharge my batteries and then write some more. I’m on lockdown this weekend, focusing entirely on hitting 50K as soon as possible.

Day 23 word count (so far): 1,257

Total word count (so far): 36,787.

10:40 p.m. Update

My break was dinner and the end of the LSU-Arkansas game, followed by two movies while I did a little bit of catching up with emails and other tasks. Then, I dove back into words. I just finished a pretty good session, carving out 1,725 words, and I’m still in the middle of a pretty big scene. So, this is a quick break to update, stretch, that good stuff, before I tackle the rest of it. I’m now officially caught up. And now, to get ahead…

Day 23 word count (so far): 2,982

Total word count (so far): 38,512.

11.:58 p.m. Update:

I’ve written only another 639 words, but I may have to call it a wrap for tonight, only a little bit ahead.

Day 23 word count (so far): 3,621

Total word count (so far): 39,151.


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Giving thanks for the brag

I am thankful that the people in my life are achieving success with the projects they are passionate about. And that goes for me, too. I am grateful and thrilled that the passions I have toiled at and for,when it seemed fruitless and silly, are now beginning to come to fruition. It just so happens that it’s Black Friday and I am providing you with a plethora of great gift suggestions. With no further ado, the brag…

Mary McMyne’s “Wolf Skin” will appear in the Los Angeles Review and “Old Woman Gothel” in Pedestal. You can read “Old Woman Gothel” online and also, hear Mary read it!

Daniel Morales has a story called “How to Fly First Class for Free” in the Expats Blog Writing Contest.

Jamey Hatley read from her novel at the fall installment of NOCCA’s Creative Writing Series, along with Brad Richard. The rather large room was crowded with an attentive audience, many of them students at NOCCA who are studying writing. Their response to Jamey and Brad was pretty awesome to witness.

Montana Miller’s Playing Dead: Mock Trauma and Folk Drama in High School Drunk Driving Tragedies has just been published. I first met Montana a few years ago when I interviewed her as background research for my novel and we became friends. In addition to being a professor in the Popular Culture Department at Bowling Green, she’s a professional flying trapeze artist, high diver and now, sky diver. I love this bit from her bio on Amazon: “she researches perceptions of risk and attitudes toward death, particularly among groups that are often stereotyped and misunderstood.” She was just in town at the American Folklore Society’s Annual Meeting, to give a paper called “Death and the Drop Zone: The Esoteric and Exoteric Folklore of Skydiving.”

Tad Bartlett has another great column up at Oxford American, called Food and Recovery: Reclaiming After the Storm.

Also over at OA, Kasimu Harris has lots of amazing new fashion columns up, featuring his stunning photos of fashionable New Orleanians, as well as his essays.

Christopher Shipman’s new chapbook I Carved  Your Name is available from Imaginary Friend Press.

Skip Horack’s story “The Cryptozoologist” is in the newest issue of Narrative Magazine.

Recently, Summer Wood gave a phenomenal reading from her book Raising Wrecker at the gorgeous Garden District Books. The novel has just been released in paperback, so check it out. As well as these pictures from the event, which I’ve borrowed from Ross Peter Nelson.

Emily Choate’s gorgeous story “Thunder Sometimes, Never Bells” will be published in The Florida Review.

While going to The Florida Review site to get the above link, I saw that Randolph Thomas won their Editor’s Award Competition in Fiction for his story, “Dispensations.” His story will appear in the Winter 2012 issue.

Two Fictions by James Claffey will be hosted at FWRICTION: REVIEW until November 28th, so go check them out. James is one of the most prolific publishers I know. “We Sunk My Mother’s Mother” is over at Necessary Fiction. His story “Spreading from the False Fly” is available in the Real issue of Pure Slush. Anyway, if you really want to keep up with everything James is doing, you have to go here: James

Helen Krieger recently traveled to Amsterdam, where Flood Streets was screened at the Film By the Sea Festival. The movie just screened in Portland and Seattle and will be available on DVD November 27th. You can put it in your Netflix queue now.

Maurice Ruffin’s short story “Pie Man” has been published in the current issue of The South Carolina Review. Maurice will be reading his work, along with Niyi Osundare, Carolyn Hembree, Geoff Munsterman, Nasimiyu, and Michael Allen Zell at the Staple Goods Collective/Gallery on Sunday, December 2nd at 2 p.m.

But, before that, Maurice will also be reading at the Words & Music Writers Alliance reading at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28th, one of the first events of the conference. The event takes place in the Black Box Room on the 2nd Floor of the US Mint and will also feature Terri Shrum Stoor, Sara Paul, Matt Robinson, J.Ed. Marston, Tad Bartlett and yours truly. I will be reading a short version of my winning essay, “Tango Face,” which is about learning to tango, of course, but also describes the experience of sitting for a portrait by the artist Gersin, who I interviewed earlier this year.  I’ll include the portrait below, since it’s not online (it is in the print version of the magazine).

This post has been in the works a long time! It’s impossible to keep up with ALL of the achievements and events of my talented friends, but I do my best. I hope you’ll consider checking out the work of all of these folks and attending the upcoming readings!

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 21 + Day 22

Day 21

Only 605 words today, despite my best intentions, bringing my total word count (so far) to: 32,942.

Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ve written a few words today so far. Must get going, to celebrate the holiday with a meal and fabulous company, as I hope you’re all doing. I need many more words, as I’m behind again, so I’ll be working on that after I eat.

Day 22 word count (so far): 804

Total word count (so far): 33,746.

11:04 p.m. Update:

I got back from a Tastes of the Season special menu at Chez Jamey and pushed through, trying to catch up on my words. I ended up writing 1,784 more words. I was struggling to keep my eyes open, so I saved and backed up my story file. After updating the NaNoWriMo counter and starting to update this post, I fell asleep before I could press “Update,” so I’m hitting it now.

Day 22 total word count: 2,588

Total word count (so far): 35,530.


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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 20

Today was the Day of Roadblocks! Spent most of the day doing freelance work, then my shower exploded and I had to deal with that and then I went to tango. Mostly because I needed to dance! And also, to see some folks who are in town.

I got home just in time to write 237 words, so that I could keep up my streak of writing some words every day this week. Don’t worry, I’m going to try to get some more written before I pass out.

Day 20 word count: 237

Total word count (so far): 32,337.


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NaNoWriMo 2012 Day 18 + Day 19

Day 18

Annnnnd I was back to being sick yesterday, so I had a slow start to my day. My big reward was a viewing of Wreck It Ralph with some friends. It was very funny and extremely clever and we all enjoyed it. After I came home from my big reward, I was worn out and ready to go to bed. Between being sick for the last few days and it getting dark at like 3 p.m. lately, I have just been exhausted. But, I forced myself to sit and write. I told myself that I just had to write some words. I’ve written some words every day this month and I didn’t want to break my record. I haven’t always made my daily goal, but I’ve written at least a few hundred words every day. So, that’s all I had to do, I told myself. 3,000 words later, I had caught up and even gotten a little ahead. I don’t know where it came from. I think I was delirious. But yes, I have gone back to make sure that I didn’t just write “All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl” over and over again. The words actually make sense and they’re not half bad.

Day 18 total word count: 3,000

Total word count (so far): 30,110.

Day 19

No words yet so far. And the coffee shop closes in an hour, so I better get going. Let’s see how I do…

9:24 p.m. Update:

The coffee shop is closing up in 5 minutes, so I have to make this quick. I was able to write 1,900 words just now, keeping just slightly ahead. Best thing is that I have a big action sequence coming up, so I should be able to really rack up the words tomorrow.

Day 19 word count: 1,900

Total word count (so far): 32,100

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