Count the Ways to Count the Story

With NaNo right around the corner–less than two weeks to go now–one of the key points that comes up again and again is, “How do I track my word count?”  It’s an important thing with NaNo, because you gotta run that 1,667 words a day count every day, or you’ll fall behind quickly.  The reality it, however, that when you write you usually have a need to know about how much you’re writing every day, and how big your story is becoming–or how many more words you need to write to turn a novelette into a novella.

Keeping track of your word count in easy in Scrivener, and there is a great deal of flexibility when it come to knowing the counts of scenes, chapters, parts, and even the whole novel. I do that to track my current novel, and I’ve used it with all my other works.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

The easiest way to keep track of your progress come from using your Project Targets.  This is done from the menu, using Project>Project Target, or by selecting Ctrl-,.  I show these all the time on my screen shots, and here is my current view.

I know, it feels like I'm bragging.

I know, it feels like I’m bragging.

Project Targets allow you to set the size of your story–the Manuscript Target–and how much you want to write while Scrivener is running–the Session Target.  Something to keep in mind here:  a session is the time that Scrivener is up and running.  If you bring the program up, type in 800 words, then close it and bring it up again later, the session bar resets:  it doesn’t track what you type in a day.

You can see that the pop-up window allows you to define your targets for both the full manuscript and how much you want to write.  Now, there is a bit of a cheat with the Manuscript Target:  notice the check box, “Documents Included in Compile Only”?  Yeah, that’s an important item.

Let’s first look at this screen, which is of one of my chapters in the recently concluded Part Seven:

I don't miss you, you monster.

I don’t miss you, you monster.

Over on the right you’ll see the column, “Include in Compile.”  Compile is the function that Scrivener uses to take all the stuff I have on the screen in front of me and turns it into a document of your choosing.  Such as–

I take all of Part Seven--

I take all of Part Seven–

Press the “Compile” button . . .

To 149 pages of awesome.

And turn it into 149 pages of awesome.

Whatever you have ticked off as “Include in Compile” will be converted into whatever you like by Scrivener.  It’s a great way to not only control what you print and create, but track your wordage.

But if you’ll notice, that’s a check box under your Manuscript Target.  With my story I have everything in Act Two–the part of my novel I’m currently developing–checked for Include in Compile, but everything in Act One is turned off.  Why?  Because I want to check my progress for Act Two only.  However, if I uncheck that box–

Now it really feels like bragging--

Now it really feels like bragging–

Everything in the manuscript–see the very top left of the Binder–is included.  And you can see how my progress bar jumped from the orange of Act Two–which is only about half way to the three hundred thousand total of the manuscript–to the bright green of “I’m almost to the end.”  Numbers and colors help you visualize where you are in the writing process.

You can see that even better when you are tracking the progress of your document.  Let’s look at the last scene I completed and check out the lower right hand corner of the screen.

Right down here.  See?

Right down here. See?

Click on that little dot and you’ll get another pop-up that allows you to set the total wordage for the document you’re working upon at the moment.

Three thousand seems like a good number.

Three thousand seems like a good number.

Hit Ok and you’ll see the following pop up at the bottom of your screen:

Look--new stuff!

Look–new stuff!

That first number–the 2,152–that number id always there–just look at the picture above.  Now you have your target number to the right of what you’ve written, and there is a progress bar next to the button, which is now red to indicate you haven’t reached your goal.  Once you do, that dot turns green:  trust me, it does.

This is also a great thing for keeping track of your progress if you’re bring up Scrivener and closing it several times during a day.  You can either keep everything in one document that you’re working on for the day, or adjust the target number as you go from document to document.  Easy Peasy.

Last of all, we can look at our Project Statistics, which you can find on the menu under Project>Project Statistics, or by selecting Ctrl-..  Scrivener will give you a snapshot of your identified manuscript–using your Compile and how you set up things under your Option tab–and what you may have selected in your Binder.  Here I’m identifying Act Two as the manuscript, and I’ve selected Part Eight.  So I bring up my stats, and . . .

Act Two seems quite the page turner.

Act Two seems quite the page turner.

Just so you know, I have my pages set up on my Option tab as three hundred and fifty words per page, so that’s how Scrivener figures that my Act Two is 370 pages long once you figure in the page breaks for Act, Part, and Chapter headings.  Not quite A Dance With Dragons, but I’m getting there–with fewer deaths, too.

There you have it:  so many ways to watch your counts.  Now all you gotta do is write.

One Program to Bind it All

NaNoWriMo is three and a half weeks away, and for sure people are either in the process of getting ready, or wondering what the hell they should do for their project.  Many are wondering how they should write up their novel:  do it by hand?  On a typewriter?  Word?  Or are there other unexplored options for the budding writer?

There’s a metric ton of software out there, but I’ve written three NaNo novels and two Camp stories on one particular program:  Scrivener.  If you know me you’ll probably have heard me mention it once or twice.  Probably.

Scrivener was developed by Literature and Latte for Mac OS.  People raved about it enough that in 2011 a Windows version was developed, and while the two versions are not identical–the Mac version has a few more bells and whistles than the Windows version–both are more than capable of lending a writer a far better portal into their literary world.

Let’s get this out of the way:  Scrivener isn’t a simple word processing program.  There are probably a few programs that do a better job of letting someone put words into a computer.  Scrivener is a project management system.  It’s designed to allow for the development of a novel, to set it up as the writer sees fit, to allow them to keep track of research and access web pages from inside the program, and then compile your work in any format you desire.  It’s like a one-stop shop for novelists:  there’s no need to run around the Internet at the last minute searching for the perfect dragon’s name.

Assuming, of course, that you like to do research for you stories.  Otherwise you’ll still run out looking for that dragon’s name.

Let me use my own project, The Foundation Chronicles:  A For Advanced, to show off some of the abilities.  I use the novel because, at the moment, it’s up over a quarter of a million words, and if there is ever a story that I researched the hell out of, it’s this one.  Let’s look it over–

First up there’s the Binder.  This acts just as you’d image a physical binder would work:  you set up folders, assign tabs to them, and use it to organize your story so it makes sense.  Just like a physical binder you cna move things around, delete things, and add things that help make the story more manageable.  This is what it looks like closed:

Cute little thing, isn't it?

Cute little thing, isn’t it?

Here it doesn’t look like much.  I have my novel tab at the very top, my title page–that green thing that says The Foundation Chronicles–my copyright page, and my table of contents for Act One, though I don’t have it labeled here, but I showed you how to make one in this post.  The card saying “Measurements and Scaling” came from a suggestion from a friend that since I’m using the Metric system and Universal Time throughout the novel, I should tell people how each works.  That card was added on 3/30/2014, and last modified on 5/28/2014.  I know this because Scrivener tells me so.

Just like a physical binder I can open up my virtual one, and what do I see once that happens?

I got more story than I got display.

I got more story than I got display.

It’s easy to see my folder layout here:  I have the whole binder as my novel:  in the physical world that would be the hard binder itself.  Then I break it down to Acts, and within acts I have Parts, inside those I have Chapters, and each chapter is made up of two more more Scenes.  As you can also see, Scenes can be added to Scenes, which would make them Sub-scenes, I suppose.  The sub-scenes were added as I went along:  they all related to something going on in the main scene, so I decided to keep it all together rather than spread it down the binder.

Are there other ways to look at the binder?  Glad you wanted me to ask that question . .

In the body of Scrivener one can use three different methods of seeing their story and accessing those parts they want to write or edit.  First up, and the one I used to use all the time, is the Corkboard.  This presents your story in the same way as it would if you had everything written down on notecards and had them pinned to a corkboard at home.

Act One, nice and neat.

Act One, nice and neat.

You’ll only see what is highlighted.  If you want to see the detail beyond this, it’s just like Inception:  you must go deeper–

Down a level, still just as neat.

Down a level, still just as neat.

And deeper . . .

I could go deeper, but I didn't bring my totem.

I could go deeper, but I didn’t bring my totem.

Inside the cards at the chapter level is the story proper, what you’re actually writing–

See?  I wasn't lying.

See? I wasn’t lying.

Corkboards within Corkeboards–is there an easier way to see this?  Sure:  you go into Outline Mode:

Again, more story than I've got display.

Again, more story than I’ve got display.

These days I use Outline all the time, because you can tell the program what information you want to see for each section of your story–and as you can see I like to watch a lot of things.  And what does all this mean?

I’ll tell you in the next post installment.  Promise.

Never Say Never Say Never Again

As you may have guessed, I’m riffing on a James Bond movie title.  And why am I doing this?  Because once again I’ve been saying there’s something I’m not going to do, but in the end I turn around and–well, it seems like I’m doing said not doing thing.

Allow me to explain.

NaNo is coming up.  If you write, and you spend any amount of time on the Internet, you know this, because about now is where everyone who writer–well, everyone who isn’t pretty much making a living off their writing, that is–begins talking about what they’re going to do during NaNoWriMo 2014.  It’s what all the cool kids do, doncha know?

You can tell she's a writer simply by the strategically placed bowl of fruit . . .

You can tell she’s a writer preping for NaNo simply by the strategically placed bowl of fruit . . .

Now, I’ve participated in three NaNoWriMos and two Camp NaNos, and I’ve had fun.  More or less.  See, NaNo is a huge lark for some people:  you get down and write, and when it’s over you file away the story and move on to something else.  For some people it’s a struggle, like pushing a huge stone up a hill, only you don’t know what kind of stone, and you’re not sure of the name of the hill, so you’re having to stop and ask questions of others along the way.

And for some, you get to the end of the month with this huge document in front of you, and you think, “You know, maybe I should edit and publish this sucker . . .”

I’ve done this last one once, and I plan on doing it again . . . once I get this monster of a Last NaNoWriMo story out of the way.

Yes, I see you.  Stop that gloating, right now!

Yes, I see you. Stop that gloating right now!

As I’ve said before, I’ve not given NaNo any thought because I’ve always writing anyway.  Of late it seems like I’m taking a night off here and there, but I’m keeping it going.  Slow but steady as they say.

Then, the other night, a friend asks if there’s anyone going to do NaNo this year, because her son wants to do it, and she’s thinking about doing it, and oh, man, it’s like dangling a big carrot in front of me, because when someone says, “Hey, anyone wanna WRITE?” I kinda want to join in the fun.  Also, she was the one who kinda sorta got me to do Camp this year, and even though I lowballed by total (I only did twenty thousand words), it still gave me a goal to shoot towards.

And since I find it hard to say “No” to this person . . .

Yeah, I’m probably going to do NaNo.  But what am I writing?  The same novel I started for last year’s NaNo.

Now hold up there, ’cause don’t start in with the “But you can’t do that!” because it’s already been done:  Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was written over the course to two NaNos, so if she can do it, so can I.  The way I see it, I can set a goal of sixty or sixty-five thousand words–as I did last time–and do what I can to take a good bite out of Act Three of the novel.  I’m hoping to be almost finished with Act Two by the end of November, so using NaNo to write out close to seventy thousand words–if that is even possible–would go a long ways towards finishing the project.

And since I’ve already planed and plotted everything, it’s just down to the writing, isn’t it?

Oh, wicked NaNo and the friends I have who like to dangle literary carrots before my eyes.  I keep trying to walk away–

You keep pulling me back.

Millennium

Here is it, the one and only, my 1000th post.  After nearly three straight years of coming here to share, with my audience and followers, my almost-innermost thoughts, I have reached a most impressive goal.

"It's all darkness and misery, leading to a lonely, pointless death."

“What is the point?  In the end it’s all darkness and misery, leading to a lonely, pointless death.”

Thanks, Frank.  I knew I could count on you to bring the good times to the party.

At least there are others who feel differently . . .

"I already knew your inner thoughts and secrets--your passwords were easy to break, even with the childish encryption you used."

“I already knew your inner thoughts and secrets–your passwords were easy to break, even with the encryption.  You are a sad, foolish girl.”

Ray of sunshine you are, Lisbeth.  Don’t you have a large Swedish corporation to take down?

What started me down this strange path?  Well, to be honest, writing.  Not writing a blog, however.  No, not at all.  When I first started this sucker I was going in fits and starts, and my postings were uneven.  I had nothing to say, I just posted things here and wondered if anyone would read them.  And frankly, I gave very few shits if anyone did.

What started me working hard on the blog was when I was writing my novella Kuntilanak.  I wanted to get into the habit of writing, and it wasn’t just enough to work on the story, because I was afraid I would–as I had done many times before–just give up somewhere along the line.

Then came the brilliant idea:  what if I talked about writing my story by writing on my blog?  It’s simple:  I work on the story in the morning, do a little editing in the afternoon, and at some point in between I’d set up a post detailing my writing exploits.  Not exactly the greatest idea in the world, but it kept me writing my story–and it’s kept me writing my blog.

And how much have I kept writing.  I went back and looked, and found that the last day I didn’t post an entry was 24 March, 2012, a couple of months short of two years ago.  However, there were two posts on 23 March because of something that kept me from posting on the 24th.  So it’s not really a missed day, just a day where I posted the day before.  The last day where nothing was written:  8 September, 2011.  Which, if you’re following the details of current work in progress, is the actual day Kerry is shocked so badly by the Queen of Sorcery, Helena Lovecraft, that he ends up spending the night in the hospital.

Coincidence?  You tell me.

So much has changed since that summer of 2011.  Since then I’ve been through three jobs, and I’ve moved for two of them.  I still suffer from depression, but not nearly as much as back in 2010 and 2011.  I cry more, but that’s because I feel more, I’m not cut off from my emotions any longer.  I finally came to grips with my gender dysphoria, began seeing a therapist and came out, and now spend a reasonable portion of my life as female (as opposed to Life in Technicolor, but you can blame Coldplay for that).

Most of all I write.  I write stories, and I write on my blog.  I’ve sold one story and self-published two.  My sales are crap, but I’m keeping at it.  2014 is the year I start sending more things out, because I’ve got a slush pile and a half waiting, and it’s time to move that monster.  Talk is cheap, and I got bills to pay.

Yesterday and today I looked over my posts and my stats, and decided to list my ten biggest posts in the history of this blog.  We  aren’t talking huge numbers here, and with the exception of one time when I was sort of damned with faint praise by someone who said, “You only get about forty hits a day?  I thought you were huge.  I get more than that,” I’m happy with my few thousand followers who literally come from everywhere on the planet.

Behold my Global Empire!

Behold my Global Empire!

Since I’ve always wanted to do this, allow me to offer up my own top ten.

 

Top Ten Posts of All Time:

10. If I Go the Plane Way, 8 November, 2013.  140 views.

This was about a set of scenes I was working one during the last NaNo, and how I used Scrivener to layer additional scenes under existing scenes.

 

9.   The End Beginning Again, 5 January, 2014.  144 views.

This was about my idea file, and how something I’d thought about using for an old story in the file was considered for a much later story I wanted to write.  This is the only post from 2014 to make my top ten.

 

8.   Time Tunneling, 16 October, 2013.  148 views.

In the run-up to NaNoWriMo 2013 I went into a lot of detail about how I set up my novel, and some of the things I was doing with time lines.  This was the third of my “October Three” where I had fantastic hits for three posts in a row.  Just as I did layers of scenes, this showed how to do layers of timelines within timelines.

 

7.   You Are Now Leaving Silent Hill, 22 September, 2013.  167 views.

My first “Daily Excursion” post after arriving in Harrisburg, PA.  I ran up to Centralia, PA–which was once used as inspiration for the art direction of the movie Silent Hill–walked around, got pictures, and lived to tell the tale.

 

6.   Preparatory School, 14 October, 2013.  207 views.

The first of my “October Three” post, where I show the lay out of what was to be my NaNo 2013  novel, and that is still my current work in progress.

 

5.   Playthings in the Hands of the Arbiters of Decency, 27 February, 2012.  231 views.

This is the only one of my rants that made the top ten.  It was about how PayPal was getting crappy about being used to pay for what it saw as smut, and how it arbitrarily decided to impose rules that screwed over a lot of writers.  Things are much better now, unless you write monster smut . . .

 

4.   Dancing with Demons, 4 November, 2011.  272 views.

The oldest of my top tens, this one puzzles me.  I was four days into my first NaNoWriMo, hard at work on Her Demonic Majesty, and I threw this one up pretty fast.  And for some reasons it has pulled in nearly three hundred hits.  Must be the demons . . .

 

3.   Done Ready, 21 October, 2013.  312 views.

A quick discussion about how I was ready to start NaNo 2013.  I say in this post that I’d finish the first book of The Foundation Chronicles by 31 December.  I think I meant I’d finished my drugs then.

 

2.   Timelines and the Aeon, 15 October, 2013.  644 views.

The middle of my “October Three”, and the biggest by far.  This is where Aeon Timeline ended up on my computer and I told everyone about it.  Apparently a lot of people liked that.

 

1.   Penultimate Daydream, 2 May, 2012.  645 views.

And this is another puzzle.  Why?  Because nothing much is said here.  Well, actually, there is, but it doesn’t make that much sense.  I was sleep deprived, I hated my job, I was almost hallucinating.  It was the day before I turned 55, and the incident I speak off while dining, I did think someone I knew was dining with me.  And then they weren’t, and it killed me.  I’ve always wondered if there was some kind of bot that drove the numbers up.  Not that it maters today.

 

Honorable Mentions:

The Rough Guide to My Alternate Chicago, 12 December, 2011.  120 views.

This was the first post where I really got into talking about the wonders of editing, and though most writers hate it, about this time was when I was starting to love it.  And so I have to post my love.

 

Hail, Scrivener!, 31 July, 2011.  128 views.

The oldest of my posts with more than one hundred views, this is where I started talking about Scrivener, and how much it was helping my writing and my story telling.  What was nice about this post was there was a comment from the Scrivener people, saying they enjoyed the kind words I had for their product.  That was when it first hit me:  there are people out there actually reading this stuff!

 

In looking over some of my old posts I saw likes from people who no longer blog, who have vanished from the face of the Internet, who I wonder about.  Blogging isn’t something you stick with day in and out for years.  I’m probably one of the strange examples, getting up every morning and cranking out my five hundred words, or more, before starting out my day.  And if any of you who used to blog, who I used to see every day, are still out there following me–hey, I miss you guys.  Hope your life is treating you well, because we all need that.

What comes next?  No more special posts for a while, that’s for sure.  If I do another, it’ll come when I reach my 2,500th post, which over four years away.  And that begs the question:

When will I stop blogging?

Because everything comes to an end, doesn’t it?  In four years I’ll be sixty-one, and I can’t say if I’ll still show up here, blogging every day, or if I’ll still continue churning out stories that no one reads.  Or if I’ll even be alive, cause the next eleven hour run back to Northwest Indiana could see me flying off the side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike at high speed into a valley, all the time regretting nothing.

Or perhaps I will have reached my dream of being a full-time writer, and I can be like Chuck and blog to all the word slaves out there (the penmonkeys are his), giving them encouragement and telling them why they shouldn’t stop, because look at me, I made it.

I won’t be quitting any time soon.  I can’t.  I still feel as if I have something to say.  But should it become time to move on and find my wide awake dreams elsewhere, I’ll fall back on this quote–something I heard over Christmas, and something that speaks to me of what can be the finality of change:

 

“Times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s ok, that’s good, as long as you keep moving, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.”  The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.

I’m not quite as good at The Doctor, but I do remember so much of who I’ve been these last three years.  I remember the people I’ve known, those who’ve been a pain in my ass, and those whose friendship and help I have cherished through the years.

And I remember those who have left their mark on me in such a way that it will never be erased.

A thousand down, and still more to come.  Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

There are stories to be written, you know.

The Tunnel at the End of the Tunnel

Today is Snowmaggdon in The Burg.  People are freaking out because we are expecting one to three inches of the white stuff.  Um . . . yeah.  I’m from Chicago.  One to three inches of snow is otherwise known as “Tuesday” back home.  Let me know when it gets serious.

Back at my school, where they also laugh at one to three inches of snow because it’s New England and you’re right on the Atlantic Ocean, and that’s still flip-flop weather, I’m out of The Chunnel and into a smaller tunnel leading to Flight School.  My kids got tired of amateur insults and one of my characters finally had to lay some Cymraeg on the girl in question, and admitted to Annie that he’d just cursed, telling her in English what he’d said.  Gasp!  Eleven year olds cursing.  Yeah, it happens.  Just wait until one of my instructors loses it, which does happen later in the story.  It’s a thing of beauty.  It’s also a good thing this is a private school . . .

Walking home from work I positively, pretty much sorta, figured that I’ll need to split the story up into three sections.  Yeah, a lot going on for one year of school, but it is what it is.  As much, if parts of the story are shorter, then I can just cut it in half, or if it ends up under two hundred thousand words, then I just keep it as one.  Maybe.  This is one of those things I’m keeping in my head as I go along, and that I can change at any time because Scrivener makes it easy.  Just plug and play, people.  It’s that simple.

I was surprised, however, that I managed a little more than eleven hundred words last night.  I wasn’t feeling the story that much, but somehow in a forty minutes period I laid down almost seven hundred words, so inspiration must have come at me from somewhere.  It is strange how that happens, but at the same time it’s good when it does.

Speaking of inspiration, I have things to give away!  No, really, I do.

See, I won NaNoWriMo again, and I have all these goodies that I don’t need because, well, I either don’t need them or I already have to software.  Like, I have discount codes for Scrivener and Aeon Timeline, and I won’t use them because I already have both, and it’s Use It or Lose It time for those babies.

Instead, I’m going to give those away.  Actually, I have codes for the following:

Get Two Free Books from CreateSpace (Must have NaNo account)
50% off on Scrivener writing software for Mac OS X and Windows
50% off Storyist for Mac for NaNoWriMo winners
Save 40% on Aeon Timeline to Plan Your Next Draft or Next Novel
Book Country congratulates winners with 30% off an eBook publishing package, special placement, and double your marketing value with free BookStubs
50% off Spark Anthology
BiblioCrunch Gives 50% off Author Concierge Service for NaNoWriMo winners ($120 value)

There.  I’m giving it all away.  I don’t need it, so if you want it, it’s yours.

However . . .

I’m not standing in the middle of the street givin’ away money.  Here’s what you do.

Go into the comments and leave a message telling me what you’d like, but also telling me what your next story is going to be.  Tell me in . . . lets make it simple:  seventy-five words or more.  Yeah, go for it.  Oh, and leave your email address–though if you’re on Facebook you can look up sweet little Cassidy and PM that to me.

I’ll read the comments, and based on what I think will be the best use of whatever you want, then you’ll get.

Simple, right?

Just like walking through a tunnel–

Eventually you come out the other side.

 

Mileage and Meadows

Here I am, back in my second home, back in The Burg.  Good trip, eight and a half hours on the road, and catching the last rays of the sun as I topped Sideling Hill, just about where I figured it would happen.  Had a lot of fun roaring down the winding stretch of the Penn Turnpike from the East Portal of the Allegheny Tunnel to well on the other side of Bedford, where most people are like, “Oh, this is kind of scary, better keep it between 55 and 60,” and I’m like, “I’ve driven the ten percent downgrade on The Green Hell at 110, outta the way, proles.”

I made it home in good time, six hundred and thirty-five miles in about eight and a half hours.  I didn’t feel good most of the way, but that was just Indiana getting back at me for going on about how ghetto the east side of the state looks.  No, really:  some of the crappiest rest stops along the way.  It’s like having to stop at the late, not-so-great Cabrini Green for gas–and you can fuel up your car, too!

NaNo was behind me yesterday, but I finally sat down about nine PM and wrote a little over five hundred words.  Why?  Because I said I would, and I felt a lot more alive than I had last Friday when I made the trek back to NWI.  I was also having a cocktail, which seemed to put me in a mood to do something.  And while the brain wasn’t firing all on cylinders, I continued the scene and arrived at a point where another truth has been revealed.

I’ll finish up the scene I’m on today, move the next scene to another part of the book–I’ve moved this once already, but where I’ll put it makes more sense–and maybe even finish the chapter this afternoon.  Then I’m going to try something, because if I end up writing a couple of hundred thousand words, and then wait a few months before reading through it again, I’ll end up working on this story forever.  Give the sort of things you can do with Scrivener, I’m going to try an editing process that William Gibson uses, but putting a twist on it.  I thought about  this on the later stages of the trip last night, and if it works it’ll save me time getting the story finished.  It’s going to cut production for the next couple of weeks, but in the long run it should save me time writing and editing.

I’m finally ready to bring the classes onstage, and one of the first scenes is gonna take us to Flight School, where my little blond Jewish instructor–a former racer with the call sign Nightwitch–is going to show these kids how to fly a Class A PAV.  And none of his Madam Hooch “Up!’ shit, either.  No, she’s gonna show you how to fly the damn thing–and give you a cool call sign at the same time.  Which means everyone who flies at the school has a call sign, and you know that means I’ve figured them all out.

Yeah, I do that a lot.

 

Sixty in Thirty

Sometime last night, between eight-thirty and nine PM–about the time The Colony of Slippermen was playing from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway–I slipped past sixty thousand words.  I was a bit surprised I made it that far, but seeing as how I’ve been sitting in front of the computer pretty much non-stop since Wednesday, I was bound to get enough words in the computer to do that thing I do.

Really, though, I was out of the house for most of the afternoon, and getting back down in front of the system after a few hours of running about did wonders to recharge the creative batteries.  I’d finished up my conversation in The Witch House with my tween characters and, as she called herself, “Dark Mistress of All”–totally not ripping off Stormageddon, trust me–where she told the kids about some poison they would eventually learn how to make that will simulate the effects of radiation sickness, making my Queen of Sorcery a hell of a lot more bad-ass than any Defense of the Dark Arts instructor, they headed into the school tunnels, met a couple of other teachers, got lunch, and are now . . .

Well, they’re tired.  One of them is, at least.  Dude does not do any walking around, and he’d gonna have to get used to it.  But that was expected.  Take a city kid and tell them to start walking a kilometer or more to get to school, they’ll get worn out.  Happens all the time.

So, by my count, yesterday was the thirtieth day of writing–started October 30th, wrote until November 29th, took one day off–and the plan was to not only go over fifty thousand words, not only hit a goal of fifty-four thousand for NaNo, but to finish November with sixty thousand words.  The plan was met all along the way, and though I was only a few dozen words over my final goal, it’s there and done.  I did it.

Today is Travel Day.  I’ll do breakfast here soon, then I’ll finish getting the car loaded and hit the road, maybe about eight AM or so, for the long drive back to The Burg.  I have no hurry to get back, so if I make it about nine PM local, it’s all good, I can get in, unpack, set up my system, and maybe before I roll back off to bed, add a hundred or so words into the story.  Really, I can do it this time, I know it.

I also know that after I finish this current scene I’ll probably cut the next scene.  I would love to do it, but I’ve moved it once, and the more I think about it, the less I think it’s needed.  I keep running it about in my mind, and it’s a good scene, but it doesn’t add anything.  I can use it somewhere else, I know that for sure.  I’ll see.  This is one of those, “Should I do this?” moments that I can decide upon.

Though if I do this scene, I know it’ll show how one characters loves getting their way . . .