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Charlotte K Stewart

Writer, Reader, Knitter, Artist

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Writing – General

Writing up a Storm

I had a painfully slow start to nanowrimo. I was prepped, somewhat, and I expected to be able to write at midnight, for a few solid hours. Instead, I dozed off in the evening and wasn’t able to start writing until mid-afternoon of day one. I did manage the nano-prescribed 1667 minimum for day one and day two, which was nothing short of herculean when you add into that the fact that a family member woke up with unexpected blurred vision/near-blindness on day two. Talk about scary. Well… the good thing is with a sudden medication change, the vision seems to be a factor but not total blindness, so far. I am on call to support the family member, though. I had been already, which has worn me down quite a lot the past year. This is an added layer of stress and concern on what’s a non-stop difficult living and overall situation. It all complicates my own medical picture, too, mainly from the stress alone. It affects certain factors in my body and how my medication does or doesn’t work… it’s complicated and even my doctors are having trouble keeping me somewhat stable and out of the hospital.

Yet, I write on. I picked up many more words yesterday, day three. I pushed past the 15K mark! I take that as more than making up for the first day. And, with my total sitting just over 17K today, I am prepared in case I don’t get solid writing time the next few days. I know there will be days I get much less or much more than my personal goal of around 3K/day; I’m thankful I’ve written a lot of words this weekend. Tomorrow, I should be able to get a good amount in, too, barring something unforeseen. I know everything written isn’t my best, but I am comfortable with my story and I like my characters. That’s something, right?

 

Triple Play

This is my first page in a planning notebook for nanowrimo. It may or may not become a bullet journal, but it will serve as my hands-on, analog talisman between the digital writing sessions when I need to jot things down.

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Halloween aka Last Day of Preptober

Last day of October may be when most people are focused on dressing up, dressing their kids up, getting organized or playfully disorganized trick-or-treat/trunk-or-treat events, taking the work and family photos and putting them online on every social media channel, handing out goodies from their homes, playing spooky music, watching scary movies…

I don’t have a workplace, so no office contest, party, etc. No significant other, and no kids… so no costume couple or kid/family pics here. We usually barely get kids at our door, due to the events planned for this past weekend, and we live in an odd area, rural but not far from some towns with actual community gatherings. They have parties and the trunk-or-treating things at set times, and very few families go door-to-door anymore, especially in a dead-end or cul-de-sac community. We get candy to hand out just in case, but it’s rare we get more than three knocks on our door. More candy for us, when it’s said and done, usually. Which brings me to the next thing- preptober.

It’s THE LAST DAY BEFORE NANOWRIMO, aka NANOEVE! Are you ready? Are you nervous? Excited? Have you been planning? Or, planfully not planning? Whatever your jam is, I hope you are looking forward to November, full of great isolated but communal creativity exploding into the universe from notebooks, computers, smartphones, and scrap paper all over the globe. It’s kind of a neat thing, when you really stop to think about it. I don’t always have a few extra funds laying around this time of year, due to multiple important family birthdays in November (thanks to growing up in a snowy area, with lots of uh-huh going on in those early winter months, apparently!)… and of course, the holidays approaching. I don’t usually buy gifts and knit things to give for Christmas, but, as many of them now either have what they’ll use from me already or have moved to warmer climates where they simply don’t need hats, scarves, a pile of cozy blankets… it’s a little tougher for me financially, and I end up sending gifts or gift cards (less postage on those)… because of the changes and some important budgeting around it, I was able to free a small bit to make a once every few years type of donation to the cause of nanowrimo, specifically to fund one writing package for one student. I figured, I became inspired and interested in writing thanks to a few great teachers while I was in elementary school, and rejuvenated again my freshman year of high school. If I can help possibly stoke the creative flame of just one kid somewhere, that’s pretty great, really.

So, I don’t feel ready for nano this year. I have announced my novel. It has a title, a cover, and an obscure and not-quite-right blurb which I’ll update as the month goes on. I have gathered the troops – nano buddies, my local writing wrimo group– via nano site, facebook, and discord. I feel like life around me in general and specifically things like my not officially designated home writing spot (hard to explain, but… it’s a mess and is not really ideal or distraction-free) are anything but ready. I know what nano is like and that things are likely NOT to get super organized, relaxing, or better over the next month. I would *like* life to calm down and Mary Poppins itself into some semblance of order. I can dream, right?

I will charge forth, words blazing, hoping to not only slay my word count goals, but to actually find my way back to my writing routine. It’s suffered greatly this calendar year, as I have, and *we* need a reboot. That’s truly what nano is for me this year… a personal overhaul, of sorts.

Less than 12 hours to kickoff. Ready, set… almost ready… one more trip to get water, snacks, another round of  Words With Friends…

If I don’t see you at midnight, or for the next 30 days, have a successful nanowrimo, fellow writers. You can DO it!

 

Nanowrimo is near

At the stroke of midnight, around 36 hours from now, it will begin… one month of writing boldly, rapidly, steadily, bravely. It is always daunting in some ways and comforting and predictable in others. Each day, the goal of 1,667 words makes the overall 50,000 words for the thirty days seem reasonable and attainable. Until the blank page glares back at me and my mind goes blank. Or, I realize at 11pm at night that I haven’t put down a hundred words on a given November day. I’ll try to push myself while also being kind to myself, because life is hard. Yes, nano is supposed to be productive, and it’s also supposed to be FUN.

Someone please remind me of that last part after we’re about 12 days in.

Nanowrimo 2018

I wasn’t sure about committing to this November’s National Novel Writing Month (nano). I have so much going on. I’ll get into that another day.

Last year I signed up and didn’t actively try to “win;” I had too much going on and didn’t feel like spending energy on one more thing. No matter how much I liked the idea of the story I’d wanted to write. December hit and I felt like a failure.

This year, I’m caving to peer pressure, at least somewhat. The writing group I’ve been most active in this year has members fired up about nano. And, I do feel connected to both the nano process and my writing group.

I logged in, created my novel project, and even designed a book cover. To my surprise, my bestie (who hadn’t done nano before, that I know of, but who is a member of my writing group)- joined and set up her novel project, too! We even worked together on a cover design for it.

Whether or not I win (of course, this year I’ll try!), it’s going to be more fun to do than it will be “work.” At least, that’s the plan.

NaNoWriMo Update

My writing has been great, even if other things have been less than wonderful. I’ve grown my nano project to more than halfway, today reaching a little more than 30,000 words. My main non-nano piece has grown, too. I’ve published a few chapters since the last time I posted here. This is good for me, even if I feel like I barely make it from day to day the past month or so.

This next week is unbearable for me, and I want to write about why, but I can’t do it.

I am always a wreck in November. I grieve. I laugh. I bawl. I might not come around here too much until we’re into December, other than to let you know when I reach the 50,000 word goal of nano. Forgive me if I hide. It’s what I have to do.

 

NaNoWriMo is Coming

November starts in two days. I am – and am not – ready for this year’s nano. I have other big projects that start on the same day. My health has been lower than the usual, fairly low, holding pattern I exist within. I have multiple goals for the next month, and zero energy.

I trashed the project I had hoped to do for this year’s nano. Maybe not actually “trashed,” but stuck it inside a box, in the back of the file cabinet inside my mind. I may use the lead female character for a future project, or change her around and give her the spotlight down the road. But, not this November.

I am taking the day off. I will write later tonight, because I write every day. I am counting this post as writing, and I will get some things down on my WIP tonight. However, my brain is overloaded, and today my body is screaming at me.

 

Some rest is needed before I face the next month and work on plodding through the rest of the prep work for those, tomorrow.

I also have a big appointment on Thursday, which has me stressed out. I will do what I need to do between now and then, and I hope after that is in my rear-view, I might have less trepidation about the next few months. That will be a refreshing sensation (I say, after going through this several times already).

I’m off to watch my NASCAR race. There less than a handful left in my favorite series with my favorite driver in the field.

Ciao. Happy Sunday.

 

Movie Night

Still not feeling great. I’ve managed to write a lot of words this week, though, which feels great. I’m going to watch a movie this evening. Longer post next time, but even taking time or mental energy to post has seemed like too much the past few days. People around me who seem to suck the energy from me when I start to feel a smidge better don’t make it easier.

I think I’ll go see The Accountant. It looks decent.

Writing and Recuperating

I managed to write every day, somehow, the past few, for a little while, though I can’t say the quality has been up to my usual level. Today was the first in about a week I didn’t want to delete every single thing I came up with. Making progress on the chapter. I think I can finish it tomorrow. I’m going to the library, as long as my head and my stomach stay leveled out.

Found out a bunch of big, wild stuff that’s going on in one of my friends’ worlds. It is information I can’t share publicly. It’s a lot. I wish I could visit and do anything tangible to help. Mind is swirling tonight.

Tomorrow, in addition to getting my chapter finished and spending time at the library, I’m setting up my project that will have its own post. Stay tuned.

I Hate Being Sick

My post’s title says it all, for today and in general. I’m a bit too sick to write anything here, actually.

Many thoughts are swirling around my head, and I want to get them out before I pass out again.
Tomorrow, I hope I finish the chapter I’d wanted to get done today. And, I have a project that I want to honor with its own post. Not tonight.

I’m going to curl up with some knitting and a Lifetime movie, and I’ll do better tomorrow.

Up and at ’em

I was awake and out of the house early for me, again. It’s especially unusual on a Saturday. Last night, I spent hours not sleeping, sick. I didn’t dare go to sleep, but, after eight hours of acute suffering, my body gave in and made me close my eyes, with the light on. My phone wasn’t plugged in, the volume wasn’t on (no alarm would go off, and I wouldn’t get my wake-up call); I had a freaky dream and was shocked awake when someone walked into my room, shouting for me to wake up after an hour and a half of strange sleep.

Somehow, I plowed through a massive stack of paperwork, stuff that’s critical to my daily life and sustenance. BIG pile. It was time-consuming, and had a deadline. That’s completed, copied and mailed off. I mailed a card to someone special, sent a birthday package to one of my sisters, and did a few other quick errands. I was back at the house by Noon.

The morning was productive. That was all, until a few minutes ago. I will get some writing done, and then I hope to read before I give in and go to sleep at a somewhat reasonable hour tonight.

Tomorrow, I hope I can knock out a higher word count, although it isn’t about that, for me. It’s more about completing the actual chapter I’m on, at the moment.

 

Everyone has different goals. Mine change all the time. Tomorrow, I would like to finish drafting my chapter and, hopefully, edit it to being worthy of publishing it in the forum I use for that venture.

Library Day

I’ve been slacking with this blog the past few days. I’ve been under the weather, to put it mildly. I keep a lot of the day-to-day of my illnesses and conditions private, but they weigh on me. They make getting through migraines or other things that much more stressful and difficult. There are times I can wear my mask and keep going. There are other days, or weeks, when it all becomes too much.

Today, I’m at the library. I feel awful, physically. But, I needed a change of scenery and a different spot to sit for a while. It’s a tough day for me, a highly emotional one. Five years ago today, my best friend at the time, died. She was my very first college roommate. She became one of my best friends in life in the twenty years we knew each other. Time does not make it easier, or less painful, to lose someone close. I was the last friend to see her, the night before her last day in this life. I wish I had known. I wish I could have helped change her decision. I know, I’ve heard it all… that it wasn’t my fault, that she would have died either the same time and/or the same method, at some point, anyway. Those thoughts or words do little to actually comfort a hurting heart.

It’s bad when you go to some sort of group for survivors of suicide, and you don’t even feel welcome, or you don’t fit in. The people go to the group because they long for support and community, in some sense. Everyone shares that commonality, of knowing someone, or being related to someone, who died by suicide. But, the place I went was odder, still; they treated me like I wasn’t connected enough to the person I’d lost. I hadn’t lost a daughter, a sister, a mother, a spouse. NO. I lost my best friend. And, so, I lost the group I thought could help. They made me feel worse.

Now, I’m going to try to write for a while and not think about my dead friend. I have a few great friends who are alive. This isn’t about them. People don’t get replaced. You don’t move one aside and feel the same things for another. Each one gets their own love or place in your life and in your heart. My one friend’s place, her reserved spot, remains open and empty.

That’s all I can write about it now. Back over to my WIP fanfic; I need to get another chapter done ASAP; people are reeling after I posted the last one. I left them hanging on a critical piece of information. I’m getting questions about it, which is great. It means they’re hooked! YES! They care about the characters and the story. They love it almost as much as I do, which feels great.

 

I need to feed the hungry wolves again soon, before they move on to another source. 😉

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