News, Present and Future

Happy nearly-Friday, everyone! Unless it’s already Friday when you read this, in which case Happy Friday! Or if it’s another day or if you’re a time-traveler, in which case I invite you to stop making things so difficult for me. What should’ve been a simple greeting became something far more convoluted because of you. Especially you damn time-travelers.

With that out of the way, some news about Misadventures In Fiction and my current projects!

If you’ve been keeping up with this page at all lately, you’ll have noticed I’ve settled into a regular rotation of posts – Fantasy Fridays and Sci-Fi Saturdays. I have two serialized stories for each, which I’m alternating (Fantasy Fridays switches between A Puzzling, New World and Wanted Adventurers, while Sci-Fi Saturdays consists of Warpt Factor‘s triumphant return and Follow The Ashes). It’s been a wild ride keeping up with those self-imposed deadlines, but I love the stories I’m writing and they’ve gotten quite a bit of love especially in these dreary times. I have each of them outlined quite a bit ahead, and so thankfully there shouldn’t be a hiccup for some time.

I say for some time because time is a strange, broken construct in 2020, and before we know it November will be here (and here I am speaking such a time-leap into existence). I made the mistake of suggesting I may participate in NaNoWriMo this year and my wife, Steff, has thrown all of her support behind that very bad idea*. To balance my sanity and not burn myself out, I’m deciding well enough ahead of time that I will be on a hiatus from all other stories during that time. Sure, I may jot down some ideas here and there, but I don’t think it would be wise. Additionally, a wise friend from Twitter (Nisha) suggested such a hiatus and she’s one to juggle projects with ease while knowing a writer’s limits. So great minds think alike, but also if I don’t heed her advise she might kill me in a short story. Which isn’t a bad thing, really? I don’t know, I lost my train of thought since it’s very nearly midnight and I work in the morning.

*NaNoWriMo eats me alive each time I participate, but that’s partially because I let it and I’m too hard on myself for not meeting the word count each day. Yes, I’m finally admitting to those things.

Now, as you’re reading this you may also notice something else different. There aren’t ads currently! Huzzah, yeah? I opted to take advantage of WordPress’s sale and so the domain name is mine until next July now and I also have an ad-free site. Sure, it could use work in other areas, but this feels like a step in the right direction for someone who often…neglects his site entirely.

At any rate, those are the serials I’m working on, but there are short story ideas ready to get drafted so hopefully I can share good news about those in the semi-distant future.

For now? Take care, stay safe, wear your damn masks when going out, and be sure to pause and find magic in the world when you can. It’s still out there, still brilliant, and available to any who seek it. Until next time, fellow Misadventurers!

The 2014 NaNoWriMo decision is…

Tonight is surprisingly devoid of Halloween-related goodness. No scary movies until tomorrow, as Brianne has coursework to focus on. Trick-or-treating happened last night ’round these parts. I’m not feeling particularly motivated to dig out any scary video games or read any spooky stories. Oh, and I’m starting to feel sick but I think that’s mostly thanks to this awful warm-and-cold alternating weather (get your shit together, Mother Nature). I’ll chalk it up to the stars being in a funky alignment or some witch putting a particularly unimpressive hex on me and move on.

It’s NaNoWriMo Eve after all, and there are thousands upon thousands of writers all over who are currently full of anticipation and anxiety for the next thirty days of self-torment under the disguise of writing. After a fair bit of consideration, going back and forth on the topic, I’ve decided to not go for the crazy glory this year. If I’m not doing a great deal of writing already, I can only imagine how much additional stress and frustration this will produce.

Best of luck to everyone who does participate.

The question of NaNoWriMo revisited

I hesitate to admit this, but apparently it’s almost November already. I’m fairly certain it was mid-July just last week, but perhaps time has gotten away from me. At least I didn’t somehow miss Halloween. Yet.

November means NaNoWriMo, which I’ve brought up relatively recently(ish). It’s that special kind of self-inflicted torture writers endure/enjoy for one full month, attempting to produce a 50k word novel before November wraps up. This is only appropriate as The Thanksgiving Food Coma usually spells doom for writers who have failed to maintain a moderate to intense level of daily writing discipline throughout the month. Nothing about NaNoWriMo is easy, from balancing writing against other obligations to fighting against the madness-inducing 50k final word count.

This begs the following question: why in the Hell am I thinking about throwing all caution (and reasonable thought) to the wind and giving it yet another go? It would be in the shadow of the ass-kicking, brain-draining Hundred Days of Blogging (which is so close to being over but still so far away). The holiday shopping season will be upon us too soon, and I still happen to work in a retail setting that is going to get absolutely stampeded. There’s also the small matter of my birthday happening at some point next month, which I imagine will involve plenty of its own distractions as well. I’m still considering it, though. Not a damn clue why. Brianne posed a reasonable question in response to me voicing my interest in tackling NaNoWriMo: “Do you want to torture yourself?”

Perhaps? On one hand, it could be a good way to really kick-start my currently-unnamed novel project. On the other hand, I know too well that working under pressure usually doesn’t make for my best creative moments (although, to be fair, it’s hit or miss because sometimes it lends to me producing my best work). I think the answer will have to wait until November. Around midnight, November 1st. We’ll see where this ends up from there and then.

NaNoWriMo’s here.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for those of us who aren’t particularly fond of acronyms (Hi, my name is Phil and I take issue with abbreviating shit down to silly little phrases), has arrived like it does every year.  I mean, November does show up around the same time, generally speaking, and it’s not only marked by the turning of a calendar page.  As a mildly unrelated side-note, calendars in question should be on November, not December, and so I’ve got to very politely, but very directly, ask you all to shut the hell up with your Christmas cheer and wait one more month.  Much appreciated.  Moving on.

There’s that deep, unshakable feeling of dread everyone who has ever participated in NaNoWriMo feels as it approaches.  It should be noted, by the way, that it’s already almost November 3rd, and I’ve made slightly less progress on this year’s NaNoWriMo than I have on working out my income tax-related business.  I wish I were joking.  However, have I lost hope?  Slightly.  Will I let that be the slaying of my writery-dragon-beast-nonfunctional-metaphor?  No, absolutely not.  I will use that as fuel to kick ass, take names, and write what I assume will be really slap-dash fiction in the name of testing myself and seeing just how close to the edge of madness I can get without falling in (short answer: I’ve already been there and back; got the t-shirt, had souvenir photos taken, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone).

Here is my challenge to fellow writers: if you’ve never, ever tried National Novel Writing Month, give it a try.  Go for it.  I’m not saying hit the 50,000 word mark, as I’m well aware that life is full of unexpected impediments that leave us swearing and cleaning up messes and swearing some more (my life can, at times, be one long series of should-be bleeped expletives).  See where it takes you.  Maybe you’ll end up with something you look at and think, “Man, with the right editing this could be pretty neat.”

People who have been through NaNoWriMo before: join me in returning to it!  If you got to 25k words last time, go for 30k.  Or 40k.  Or maybe even the whole 50k.  Just give it another go, really, because misery loves company, writing loves company, and the two can be oddly synonymous with one another at times (except when there is bourbon involved in writing, in which case the only things suffering are grammar, spelling, and Microsoft Word’s spellcheck feature).

To those of you who started on time and are well into their National Novel Writing Month experience, I wish you the best of luck (with a side of “I hate you” because I totally should be where you all are at but I am instead sitting at the starting line with my metaphorical thumbs up my metaphorical nose).  To those of you who are in the same spot as me: let’s do this!  Updates will occur as possible, and I’m totally going to hit at least 35k this year because of reasons.

Edit, because I am le dumb: click here to visit the NaNoWriMo site for all the shiny information and encouragement you’ll need to get started.