The chicken or the egg?

The title of today’s post comes from the age-old question: which came first? But, it’s not what came first that concerns me this time around, but what’s coming next. For me, it’s…NaNoWriMo 2014!

I know, I know: NaNoWriMo – or, National Novel Writing Month, that month-long free-write extravaganza, for those of you unfamiliar with that strange pseudo-acronym – isn’t really a test of my ability, as I’ve competed and “won” this not-competition five times, now. But, I just came off a few finished stories, and I want to give my brain a bit of a rest for a month. I still want to write, though, because I love the rush that comes with putting new ideas to paper. Since my proposed murder mystery/police procedural/love triangle story demands a more precise plot than my free-wheeling NaNo ways, I’ve decided to shelve ex-Detective-Sergeant Stenhall and the rest for a little while and instead write a yippee-kai-yay loosey-goosey continuation (of sorts) of my recently-completed Borderlands story. It focuses mostly on a group of original misfit characters that I’ve been itching to use for a long time, now, and even just my story prep has gotten me excited about writing this one.

So, for the next five weekly updates, I’ll likely be talking about word count and progress and stress-writing crap, as that’s usually what takes over my brain during NaNo. If you are participating this year, as well, why don’t you join me? Feel free to list your NaNoWriMo user ID in the comments section, here. I’m happy to have a friend in NaNo madness! My username is bonusparts.

For those of you not interested at all in my NaNo endeavors, I’ll leave you with this collage of photos from my recent trip to Japan, where I road lots of trains, ate lots of sushi, got sunburnt at my little nephews’ undoukai, visited the Suntory brewery factory, drank some great Japanese craft beer, and watched some little ninjas chase after a samurai at Toei Film Studios.

Japan2014What are your plans – writing or otherwise – for the rest of 2014?

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17 thoughts on “The chicken or the egg?

    • Thank you, Gabriela!

      It looks like I should write up a few to-publish posts about Japan to keep my readers happy. πŸ™‚ It’s a lovely place, and I loved seeing family, but it’s so good to be home, too.

      When I travel, I think a lot about your stories of traveling alone. I wish I could do that! Have an adventure for myself in another country. (I really want to spend some time in the West Country countryside!) But my husband’s a bit of a wet blanket about that. I think it’s awesome and awe-inspiring that you get to have those weeks for yourself and your own exploration. Convince my husband to let me do the same, please! πŸ˜€

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  1. I’m so glad you got to make that trip, I love to live vicariously through other people’s vacations.
    I wish you the best on nano, I’m planning to go back this year as well. My user name is neeeks, see you there!

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  2. I would love to hear more about your Japan trip when you have time! Like Neeks says, I think many of us like to enjoy other people’s trips vicariously.

    Good luck with NaNo! I would quite like to do it again, I’ve only done it once before. I don’t think this year though…although…I haven’t done any fiction writing for so long, maybe this might be the way to get me back into it. This is the first time I’ve actually considered doing it this year, right now while writing this comment! Eek, don’t know, could I?…

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    • Thanks, Vanessa. I had a lovely time in Japan. I always do, despite how stressful it can sometimes be dealing with conflicting schedules and interests. That’s why I want to do the next trip by myself: so I can indulge a bit for my own wants. πŸ˜€

      If you do decide to do NaNo, I will be with you all the way! But I also completely understand how you might not want the needless pressure of meeting wordcounts every day, especially after the big year you’ve had! Maybe a smaller, more realistic fiction goal of 1667 words per week would be a good start. πŸ™‚

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  3. I don’t have plans for doing NaNo this year. With all that is going on, it’s not in the cards. I wanted to do something similar to NaNo where I write every day in November, whether it’s journaling or crafting short stories or starting a blog I’ve been talking about over the past month.

    Alas, it’s not to be. (Well, not the blog any time soon.) I look forward to hearing about the progress of everyone participating in NaNo this year. Maybe I’ll have a story in which I can participate next year.

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    • Part of what I like about NaNo is that it makes me sit and down and write. Your personal goal is a great idea, George, especially if it keeps you writing realistically. Not everybody has the luxury (or craziness) to devote time to 1700 words per day. And, honestly, most of those 1700 words are terrible. But the writing’s the important thing.

      I think you’ll decide in your time and your own way about a blog or similar. Not everybody has to have one. In some ways, they’re kind of a pain. πŸ™‚ So long as you’re doing what you love, that’s important.

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      • I actually have a WordPress blog I forgot about. It’s called “G. R. Unfiltered.” It’s supposed to be a journal/short story blog. At the time, I didn’t have short stories to share. And then, life happened and I didn’t have a set time for blogging. So, I forgot about it; chalked it up as bad experience. But, ironically enough, while I was editing my WordPress subscriptions, I found my blog.
        You are right. I guess it really doesn’t matter if I have a blog or not. I just thought it as a way to show my work to people. So, I’m debating on whether or not to pick up where I left off. Have any thoughts?

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        • I think it’s got to be a personal decision. I keep my blog up because I don’t want to lose touch with the friends I’ve met through it. I barely write anything serious, anymore. Nothing anybody else cares about, anyway.

          You could always schedule a few weekly or bi-weekly posts ahead of time, and, if you decide writing a blog is something you enjoy doing, stick to it. Or, just post things now and again when you want feedback or just plain want to share them. Blog interaction does take time, though, and you have to decide if that time spent is valuable for you or not.

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  4. I won’t be doing NaNo again for a while. NaNo was wonderfully helpful for me for a few years, but I think I have outgrown its usefulness (for what I need, anyway). I have no problem starting a novel and wriitng 50,000 words under a freakish deadline. That appeals to my secretly competitive side. I need something different nowadays. Not quite sure what it is yet.

    Good luck to you, though. I can’t wait to read all about it!

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    • Yeah, I have that same feeling, Kate: NaNo isn’t a challenge for me. But, I do want to just be totally free for a month before I delve into the next serious project (which will probably be that detective story, if all else stays the same).

      I hope you do find your new balance soon. I miss reading your fiction!

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  5. Welcome back from Japan! I’d love to go back there someday, I miss the food, the beer and the people.

    No worries about the NaNo break this year, I’d say you’ve earned it, considering. This is going to be my first year really putting words to paper for it, as I’m gonna try something new. No more clamping down on structure, no more fretting on heavy editing until the end of the month. Today sparked an idea that needs to grow on paper, not just in my brain with the cobwebs. Caution to the wind!

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  6. Well, you already know I’m doing my own PerNoReMo during NaNoWriMo. πŸ˜‰ 50,000 words in 30 days is just a bit too daunting for me!

    And, of course, add me to the list of readers who would like to hear more about Japan! πŸ™‚

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    • I’ve gotten more than one request for Japan updates, so I think that’s how I’ll go for the next few weeks. I did get lots of pictures that I’m happy to share, too!

      Thanks, JM. Good luck with PerNoReMo!

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