Tag Archive | nanowrimo

Ferrets!

So during last night’s desperate attempt to catch up with my NaNo word count, @kseniaanske decided it would be fun to do a ferret sprint.

As I love me some furry little critters, I couldn’t resist the challenge.

The first story is up on her blog. Go read it and stay tuned for the others (including mine!)

A gets full credit for this bit, because he suggested it!

Here’s mine now, just because the whole thing amuses the pants off me.  Enjoy!

****

Meg had been in school now for about three months. She felt like she was really getting the hang of this whole magic thing. Flying had been scary as hell, but thrilling all at the same time and once she’d gained a bit of confidence, Dana’d had to threaten her with no flying for a month to get her to land.

Today was her first lesson in conjuring. She’d been up most of the night with these grand ideas of floating sugar castles and whirling ice storms. Did she have any real idea what conjuring involved? Absolutely not.

Dana walked into the work room with a particularly smug look on her face. Prickles of worry started to gnaw away at Meg’s excitement. Sure, it had only been a few months, but she’d already learned to be wary of that look.

“So. Are you ready to learn conjuration?” Dana practically purred.

Aw hell. This was gonna be bad. But there was no way she was backing down now. So Meg nodded. How bad could it be, really?

“That’s the spirit. How familiar are you with ferrets?” Dana perched on a stool, looking not unlike a pixie bent on destruction.

“I know of them. Mom always said no, because they were ‘wily little creeps’ and there was no way she was letting them into her house. Something about chewing.”

“She’s not wrong. They’re from the weasel family and they also have scent glands, like skunks.”

“Okay, wily, chewy, stinky. Got it. So what do ferrets have to do with conjuration?” Meg’s impatience was growing. She was tired of talking. She wanted to do. Was this a glaring Achilles heel that Dana was going to exploit? You’re darn skippy it was.

Dana smiled a slow, toothy smile.

Meg paled, her freckles jumping off her face as it turned papery. Patience, she berated herself. How many times over the last few months had Dana nailed her for lacking patience? Her eyebrows had only just grown back from the last lesson.

“Conjuration isn’t too hard, dear. You’re really just bringing something to you from somewhere else. It works similarly to the fetching charm that you learned your first month here.”

That didn’t sound too bad…

“In this case though, you’re going to picture ferrets in your mind and will them into the cage on the table.” Dana demonstrated. “You see how easy it is?”

“Totally. I’ve got this.” Meg concentrated on the ferret in the cage. She closed her eyes and saw another appear right next to it. There was a soft pop, like a bubble. Meg smiled. Nailed it!

She opened her eyes and looked in triumph on the two ferrets in the cage.

Pop! Pop, pop, pop.

Ferrets started popping up all over the workroom. Furry, squirming bodies covered the floor and every available surface. They crawled over her lap, around her shoulders, nestling in her hair, and nuzzling her ears.

Oh gods. What had gone wrong?

Meg turned to Dana, only to see her teacher doubled over with tears streaming down her face. Also, curiously free of ferrets.

“Did I not mention that you have to be very specific about quantity and when to stop delivering the objects that you conjure? It must be an age thing. The memory is the first to go and all that.” Dana clung to the table, gasping for breath.

“Funny. Hysterical even. Are you done yet?” Meg was starting to panic. These things were multiplying like tribbles.

Dana gave one last whoop of laughter and waved the ferrets away.

Advertisements

NaNoWriMo WIP Snippet

As promised, here is a snippet of the WIP I’m writing for NaNoWriMo.

My usual disclaimer applies. This is a very rough draft. I’ll be overjoyed at any feedback or constructive criticism, just try to remember that constructive is the operative word here 😉

***

Meg settled Mr. Floppy on her bed against the pillow and looked around. It wasn’t quite home, but it would do. She’d made it as comfortable as she could, but it still seemed stark and impersonal somehow. She wished that it looked more like her room. Maybe then she wouldn’t feel so homesick.

Everyone had walked with her to the school’s entrance. It was actually an old boarded up storefront next to an antique store that no one ever went to. There’d been hugs and kisses and more than a few tears.

She’d gotten a few nifty presents from her friends. A journal she could write notes in that would appear in a matching journal that Kristen had. It was better than email, especially considering that her laptop wouldn’t function at the school.

Trey had, naturally, given her a completely inappropriate box of magical pranks. Candy to turn your teeth green, disappearing ink, stink bombs, and other things she was afraid to touch. Nevermind the fact that she’d have no one but herself and the mysterious teacher to use them on.

Jamie gave her a whistle. She’d thanked him, confused, and tucked it into her pocket.

He’d reached into her pocket and pulled it back out.

“Blow.”

Meg blinked.

“You know what I mean. Perv.”

So she’d blown the whistle. It was even weirder because it didn’t make any noise. “I think it’s broken, sweetie.”

“Not at all. It’s magic, goof. If you’re in trouble, blow the whistle. It lights up my bracelet,” he shoved said bracelet under her nose and sure enough, it was flashing red. “I can come rescue you and bring the calvary along with me,”

Wow. That was pretty neat. Also, totally like him to give her something to defend herself with.

“Gee, and here I was thinking you didn’t care.”

Meg had stalled as long as she could, but eventually all the goodbyes had been said and a last round of hugs given.

She’d stepped through the door and into the school.

It was incredible. Gold laced marble floors, warmly glowing chandeliers, dark rich wood. There were even tapestries hanging on the walls for crying out loud. Soft and rich, depicting all kinds of scenes that Meg had read about in fairy tales and never thought were actually based in truth.

She’d looked around, wondering if she was supposed to check in and where. It was so quiet that Meg felt like she was in a library and worried that she might be breathing too loud.

Meg’s bags had torn themselves from her grip and started floating off up the stairs. Bemused, she’d followed. Clearly being alone at school was far more literal than she’d thought it would be.

So now she was sitting in her room, missing her parents and familiar surroundings, trying not to cry. She refused to give in to such a childish thing as tears on her very first day. The tears started to leak out anyway. She needed a distraction, like now, or she’d be bawling like a baby.

She seized on her Dad’s demonstration of magic powers. Her room could look more like home. Thanking her Dad, Meg closed her eyes and concentrated. She didn’t want it to look just like home, that would only make things worse. But it needed to look more like her.

As she pictured things, the room around her transformed. The plain white walls, became papered in delicately swirled blues and greens, the loops and whorls resembling ocean waves. The bare wooden floor acquired a plush, blue carpet that felt silky and warm under her feet.

Next, a comfy green couch appeared in front of the fireplace with a low stone coffee table in front of it. Bookshelves grew into the wall next to the fireplace and a spacious desk settled itself under the window.

Much better. This was a room she could live in for the next year. Feeling happier, but a bit drained, Meg lay down and snuggled her bunny. A short nap wouldn’t hurt and she was sure that if she had to be somewhere, she’d be fetched.

Friday! Thank goodness!

It’s been a heck of a week, guys.

First with the falling and squishing my tender bits, and then with winning a writing contest (SQUEEE) it’s been busy.

First off I have to thank A for being my sounding board for my entry into Allie’s contest! He helped me tweak it and make it much more betterer.

Second of all. Holy poop, the 7th was our anniversary and I totally spaced. Mea culpa, darling.

So the rest of the week went a little like this…

Background: Last Friday a new driver crashed her car through the fence surrounding work’s property. It’s a wrought iron fence and she hit it pretty darn hard. Her gas tank exploded. Luckily, she walked away.

More background: When I started working here a little more than a year ago, I had a limited set of responsibilities and I was happy with that. A few months later, the girl filling in for the head admin and all that goodness got a new job and left me. So then I was doing her job, the jobs she was covering, and my job. I was basically four people or so. Then a few months ago, we FINALLY hired a new head admin. So I was down to about 2.l5 people while he took over the rest of it. Life was better again and less stressful. I wasn’t answering directly to the board of directors anymore and my stress levels returned to normal. At the beginning of October, the poor guy had a very serious medical problem. Largely due to stress.

So here I am. Back to being four people, answering to the president of the board of directors. And having migraines again. Joy.

Pres: I need you to do x, y, z, and this other long ass list of things that you already do anyway, but I have no clue, so I’m going to tell you to do it.

me: Okay, I’ll take care of it. I’m saying this because there’s no point in explaining to you that I’ve already done half of what you just listed because it’s MY JOB. Also, I need you to come into the office because I have papers that you need to sign.

Pres: Okay, I’ll be there Wednesday.

Wednesday comes and goes. I leave between 4 and 4:30 because I get to work between 7 and 7:30. She has been told this.

I’m driving home on Wednesday.

Pres: I’m here and you’re not.

me: I’m on my way home.

Pres: I realize that. I didn’t know you left early!

me: I told you that weeks ago.

Pres: well fine. I’ll see if I can come in tomorrow. In the meantime make sure you tell this other person who doesn’t handle any of your work everything you are doing cause I need to know it all.

me: Sure thing.

Head meeting steering wheel in 5… 4… 3…

At work the next day, getting reports of what happened when Pres was there and I wasn’t.

Staffer 1: She said that she will decide what the staff party is for Christmas and that we shouldn’t be trying to make suggestions.

me: Umm. Oh. Okay then.

Staffer 2: She told me to get rid of the part-time people and bring on only full time staff now.

me: WHAAAAAAT?!?!

Staffer 2: Yeah. So whichever ones can’t move to full time, I have to fire.

Enter migraine. Oh how I’ve missed you blinding pain and nausea. Really, it’s been too long. We should do this more often. Says me, only NEVER.

There just aren’t enough words for how big a mistake the whole concept of that order is. I was totally stunned. Still am. Also, my eyeballs are trying to jump out of my head.

On brighter notes not dealing with crazed bosses who are clearly off their meds…

  • Another non-profit wants to partner with us for Christmas stuff, so it looks like we’ll be able to make that special for a bunch of families and kids. Yay!
  • Fizzygrrl GOT AN AGENT!! (While this really should have it’s own post, I am in pain, so she’s getting bolded mention here.) I couldn’t be more thrilled for her. It’s all kinds of awesome. Everyone go say: Conga-rats!!
  • I’m a bit beind on my NaNo word count and I haven’t posted ANYTHING yet, my apologies. I will catch up this weekend and see if there’s a snippet or six that are good enough to postify for your reading pleasure!
  • It’s past time to start my Christmas present knitting/crocheting. EEP!
  • If all goes well this weekend, next week will bring us reviews of – American Horror Story: Asylum (which is pretty awesome), Dishonored (in which I “just watch” A play), and hopefully a book!!

Feel free to share any migraine inducing work stories to help cheer me up, lol!

 

21 More Days Til NaNoWriMo

It’s coming, folks. Like a freight train. It’s unavoidable!

Well, okay, it really is avoidable. You don’t have to participate. But darn it, it’s just FUN.

Naturally, I’m talking about that November insanity inducing awesomeness, NaNoWriMo.

I’m busily working on my WIP, hoping to slay a huge chunk of it next month. I may not hit the 50k goal, but whatever number I reach, I’ll be  that much closer to the end of my novel. Thus it = win.

We were chatting on the Writer’s Huddle (membership is open for like two more days if you’re interested) about the rules. Many of us view them more as guidelines, than rules. *slaps on an eyepatch* Arrrrr!

I say, don’t get stressed about it. While it’s a GREAT exercise for helping to build writing stamina and discipline (remember, 21 days is all it takes to make a habit), it shouldn’t make you dread writing. That totally defeats the purpose.

With that in mind, I’m sure that any of you out there who are planning to participate are just as intent on preparing yourselves as I am.

So here are some of the resources that I’m using.

How to Write Faster – This is designed for blogs, but it totally applies to anything else!

2,000 to 10,000 Words a Day – I am so not there yet, but I aim to be someday. Also, Rachel has expanded all of her techniques into a short book that is available on Amazon. It is on my list of MUST HAVES.

Holly Lisle – Pretty much anything this woman teaches about writing is pure gold for me. Your mileage may vary.

Daydreaming – Surprisingly effective!

Brandon Sanderson’s Lectures – I have much love for this site. It ranks with cupcakes.

Becca Weston – totally nails it in this post!

Scrivener – It is amazing. Quite possibly the best money I’ve spent on software (this includes games!).

Do you have favourite NaNo prep tools? Share them in the comments.

Also, check back. I’ll be posting my progress through the entire month of November. If you want me to cheer you on, just let me know!

31 days til NaNoWriMo

October 1st.

Fall has officially… fallen? This is my favourite time of year. Autumn, leaves, weather change (cause good gods do I hate me some summer heat), Halloween, the onset of winter, and NaNoWriMo.

I’ve actively participated really just last year. I signed up to participate a couple of years ago and stuff just got in the way. That sucked, but last year I pushed things aside and demanded writing time to work on this. It helped a TON. I got to just around 30k ish words.

This year, I’m going to hit 50k.

It’s going to happen.

Here’s my plan:

  1. Steal underwear
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

Hmm. That doesn’t sound quite right. I think that’s the wrong plan.

  1. Finish NaNoWriMo
  2. Write a totally awesome book
  3. Get published!

There we go! Sure there are details missing, but it’s going to happen goshdarnit.

And just to keep me honest, I’ll be posting my progress just like I did last year. If it sucks, just tell me in the comments and I’ll use your feedback for editing time 😉