Daily Wordcount and Prompt

Daily Word Count:  2,710 words.

Daily Prompt (from Camp NaNo care package):

Dare of the Day

Your character has places to go and people to see; they need to get somewhere fast! Then, just as they’re ready to make a move, their travel plans are foiled. Whether missing a bus or train, dealing with a dead car battery, or combating an ornery dragon taxi service, how does your protagonist handle the stress of plans gone awry? — Shelby Gibbs

Gotta keep writing!


Of Lunatics and Asylums.

Whittingham Asylum 09 (Photo credit: nickcummins)]
My imagination while writing.

You know the quote:  “The lunatics have taken over the asylum!”  I hear it all the time in movies and TV, not to mention reading it in books.

For today’s post, let’s assume that my fictional characters are the lunatics, and the asylum is my mind.

Everyone on board?

Good.   Read more

Of Camp NaNo & Self-Evaluation

Yes, I know; long time, no posting.  On with it, then!

We’re in the second week of the April edition of Camp NaNoWriMo.  Huzzah!  On the bright side, I’m loving the “create your own wordcount” idea.  Especially since I’m doing a non-fiction travel memoir on my time spent overseas, it’s helped me not be so stressed out about reaching the 50K mark.  I myself halved it down the middle:  25K.  I did it in part because I know me, and I know how I tend to write – sporadically.

Though if I had someone holding a gun to my head, it probably would be easier...
Though having a psychopath holding me at gunpoint would make consistency less of a problem!

On the down side, writing about That Time is…daunting.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m just rambling on for no reason.  Then thoughts like “What’s the point in revisiting the past in such excruciating detail?” starts sneaking into my mind.

The point, Inner Critic, is to revisit where I was in reality so that it’s easier to sort out the fiction I was creating at the time.

Some of it was created long before my China days, but there was just so much that developed during that time for my fantasy world that it’s hard for me to figure out what was written when, and where I was when certain characters came into being.

In other words, if I ever have any hope of sorting out my fiction in a way that makes sense to other people, I have to sort myself out first!  And Camp NaNo is the best way I can think of to facilitate that.

What do you think?  Do you think sorting out yourself as an artist and/or writer is important for your fiction?  Or is it better to simply accept what you’ve created as-is?  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Creativity and Impatience

To [write] fiction or non-fiction; THAT is the question!
To [write] fiction or non-fiction; THAT is the question!

Camp NaNo approaches!  Just another week, and it will be here!

I have to admit, I’ve been second-guessing my topic a lot lately.  While I know the memoir needs to be written, there are quite a few Lovecraftian-like monsters dwelling in there that I don’t want to unearth!

But still, I’m going to at least attempt it.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Right. Read more

Stephen King Isn’t A Satanist


For as long as I can remember, Stephen King has been a part of my fictional world.

Not literally, of course; I do not personally know the man, nor have I spoken to him.  I’ve never been to a book signing of his.  The closest I’ve gotten to meeting him is a rather twitchy woman in an auto repair shop in Dixielad claiming to have known him once.  Intimately.  (Like I said…she was twitchy.)

Despite this, I feel like I might as well have known him personally, for as much as his fiction has been a part of my family’s library since long before I was born.  So, when I say I was somewhat raised around SK, I want you to understand my full meaning.

For a long time, SK’s material freaked me out, partially due to reactions from family, and partially because the man’s stories are often quite freaky.  It wasn’t until my late twenties that I decided to give his novels a real go, starting with The Dark Tower.

So.  Much.  Wasted.  Time.  I could have been reading him all along!  I could have started realizing that the craziest novel ideas are often the best, no matter how crappy I may think they are.

I could have realized, too, that just because a book has foul language in it occasionally doesn’t mean it should be avoided at all costs.  As a young Christian, this is what I believed:  Avoid it all, because it may cause you yourself to slip up, to say a word that may be displeasing to the Lord.

Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think God likes foul language any more than I do, but I *do* think there’s such a thing as taking things too far.  What SK’s books did for me, I couldn’t have found in a Christian book store.  And trust me, I tried.  Hard.

But the same rawness, the same delving into the darkest part of humanity to find that the light still exists, the same assurance that mere humans can still conquer evil….I couldn’t find that in Lifeway.

Is there foul language?  Of course!  But if I’m going to try and completely avoid foul language, I’d have to actively avoid all my family members.  And that’s simply not what Christ has called me to do.

Is there disturbing imagery?  Ohh, man, like you wouldn’t believe!  But, let’s be honest with ourselves:  The Bible itself has disturbing imagery.  (If you’ve never sat down and really visualized some of the more violent, disturbing things in the Bible, I highly recommend it.  Sit down, and really think about what happened during the ten plagues of Egypt.  Look up pictures of boils, or think about what a swarm of locusts would look and feel like.  It will completely change your perspective.)

But, along with all of that, there’s also the story of Good vs. Evil.  Of overcoming fear with courage.  Of standing up to that bully.  So on and so forth.

Will these books help you in your walk with Christ?  I honestly can’t answer that.  I *can* say that they haven’t turned me into a demon-worshiping Satanist yet…but they’ve definitely put the fear of evil in me, as well as a healthy appreciation for all things of the Light.

And, in the end, isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do for Christians?

Question For The Reader:  What Stephen King books/movies have you read/seen?  Did you enjoy them?  Did they scare you?  Analyze that fear!

The Green Tea Percolation

green tea travel cup

Have you ever wanted to tell a story, but wasn’t sure how to go about it?  You knew you needed to share the experience, but the idea of publishing it as a book doesn’t seem like quite the right format?

For the past seven years, I’ve had a story in my heart that needed telling:  The story of what it’s like living and working on the other side of the world.  With that, I bring you a new blog, something of an experiment in both story-telling and online journaling.  Not to mention plenty of exotic food!

So follow the tea leaves, and get yourself some Green Tea To Go!


The NaNoWriMo Continuum

Well it seems it’s that time of year once again.  The time for creative people to try for something a little different.  A time when professional editors hide in their closets as the sound of millions of people typing furiously is heard all around the world.

It’s time….for National Novel Writing Month.  Or, as I like to call it, Hectic November.  (Last year, I started a separate blog to record all my goings-on in NaNoLand.  This year, I think I’ll just post about it here, since this is a writing blog!)

Last night, exactly at midnight, I refreshed my stats page on my NaNo profile.

The ticker went from “Event not started” to “0 out of 50,000 words completed”.

It was time to take to my keyboard.

I’m not ashamed to admit to you good folks that winning NaNo last year was a big deal to me!  I had tried and burned out a couple of times before, but I could never pin down exactly why.  It certainly wasn’t for lack of story or ability; I usually type like my fingers are on fire, and my characters are causing me constant anxiety about writing down their #@%&ing stories.

What’s more, I’d pretty much written as much as a NaNovel before, a long time ago.  It didn’t make any sense, and was terrible in every possible way…but it was there.  It existed.  So I knew, KNEW, I could win the challenge if I just sat down and committed myself.

Turns out I was right.  It wasn’t even that bad, my NaNovel from last November.  Jumbled, with POV’s and grammar issues hopping around like fleas on a mangy dog, but at least I now knew I could accomplish it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep going with it after that.  I blamed Christmas.

I’m hoping the same thing doesn’t happen this time.  Between Scribophile and my renewed sense that if I don’t get all of this out of my system and into readers’ hands I’ll slowly lose my grip on reality, and the availability of supportive and awesome folks both IRL and online, I’m hoping to actually punch this thing out and make something of this insanity that’s been building in my mind since I was 13 years old!!!   (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I started story-building around the same time I felt I had to quit playing with my She-Ra dolls and My Little Ponies.)

I’m a writer.  Not only that, but I’m that kind of writer…the kind that isn’t just satisfied with putting words on paper or in a Word document.  I’m the kind that has a zillion stories to tell, and has the same need to write them out and express herself as I do to eat breakfast in the morning.

Here’s to hoping I can, with the providence and grace of God, make something of the insanity.


Are YOU doing NaNoWriMo?  NaBloPoMo?  SheWriMo?  Or have you decided to sit it out this year?  

The NaNoWriMo Preparation

(This weekend, I was laid up with feminine ills whose description I shall spare you.  Please forgive me for lack of updates!)

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, will soon be upon us…and I find myself uncertain as to what to write!

The Awesome

First, let me tell you about the awesome that is NaNoWriMo!  If you have been following me for the past couple of years, you know all about my love for this challenge.

As much as I like story-writing, I have to admit that, more times than not, it’s hella-difficult to actually sit down and do the writing.  I could give plenty of excuses – video games, reading, Halloween – but the truth isn’t that simple.  The truth is, it’s sometimes just uber-hard to do the one thing you love most in the world.

But more on that later.  For now, all you need to know is the basics:  50,000 words in 30 days.

You read that right.

The challenge is to write a 50,000-word (or more!) novel within the month of November.  From midnight of the first to midnight of the last, it’s a crazy, fun, interesting, stressful challenge that I highly recommend!

For more details, you can see the site itself linked up above.  🙂

The Whinging

This time last year, I was full to BURSTING with creative energy and output!  I had just begun taking my much-needed medication again, was really getting into Halloween, and had the story I wanted to write rattling around in my head.

This year, I still have stories rattling around, perhaps more so now than before, but I find myself a little afraid.  It isn’t that I don’t think I CAN write – I won NaNo last year, and one of the Camp NaNos this past summer – it’s more that I don’t know WHAT to write.  Where in this gigantic, confusing storyline do I begin?  There’s so many places I could start!  Do I start at the very beginning, and go from there?  Or do I go to the last story – which is already planned out – and write THAT?

I just am so uncertain as to what to do.  It’s like I can see how it all fits together in general, but I’m somewhat afraid of actually bringing it about.

Why fear of success has to be a thing with me now is beyond me, but there it is.

CAN I write?  Yes!!

Can I write WELL?  I hope so!!

Can I write well enough to gain an awesome fan-base that will cheer me and my characters on in their endeavors, and who will wait with bated breath for every release of the next book?

I don’t know.

It’s a weird position to want something so badly, and yet be completely terrified of it coming true at the same time.  x_x;;;

Maybe I’ll just start with the first story, and see where it goes from there.