Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Month: July 2015

Cutting Before It’s Done

I have something important to say:

It’s okay to cut an active project and rewrite.

While it’s much preferable for the story to be complete before doing this, I understand how, sometimes, the story stops working. When this happens to me, I can go on for a while, forcing scenes out, but I always hit a point where I must take a step back and ask myself, “Am I writing the correct story?”

If the answer is “no,” I cut from the point where I feel the story stopped meeting my expectations. This is usually a scene that I feel good about, and almost as often is the last scene I actually enjoyed writing.

Part of the reason why I push on is because I generally have a nice bit of outline built up and I really don’t want to rework it at all. I don’t want to do all that work. I don’t wan to scrap any of it, no matter how far off the plot I know the thing diverges.

However, I eventually reach a point where I avoid the story, which is rather difficult if my creative mind is focused on it (the other reason why I force out scenes that don’t fit). I’m dissatisfied with the story for some reason, and most of the time it’s because I feel like I’m not “capturing” the essence of the scenes I feel are necessary for making the story the best it can be.

The scenes meander. They don’t do multiple jobs—rarely do even one job. They’re fluff. They’re distractions from the heart of the story.

I did this with Brotherhood A: Stirrings-needs-a-better-title. I wrote beyond the point where I felt uncomfortable with the project and stopped. Avoided it for a few days. When I went back and looked at it, I saw the wordcount was already close to what I expected the book to have—and I was maybe two-thirds done with the outline, when I needed to be much closer to the final card. Sick, I didn’t look at it again for a few more days, then I came back and read through it looking for the best place to cut it. When I found that spot, I lopped off the bloated, meandering writing and pasted it into its own file.

After that, I felt much better.

See, I had gotten blocked. I couldn’t write any more on it because of my deep dissatisfaction with what I already had. Granted, it helped me figure out a great deal of the middle, so when I cut and redid the outline, I had a much better idea of what I wanted, but it didn’t fit. And I don’t consider that writing I’d done as wasted. No writing is ever wasted. This bloat served to identify thin bits of plotting and characterization, which I then filled in with the new outline and writing.

I know the going “rule” is that something should be written all the way through before rewriting commences. However, my creative mind has never worked this way. Back in the 90’s, when I was doing most of my learning, the majority of that learning consisted of me getting blocked because I disliked my writing for some reason. At first, I tried to push through, but that didn’t work. Then I simply abandoned the projects, because I couldn’t see how to get them out of the pits I’d written into them and written them into. Toward the end of the 90’s, I figured out that I needed to rewrite those projects, and I started finishing things.

Yes, I’d come across the “finish first, then rewrite/edit” rule by then, but it clearly did not work for me, so I had to try something else. Cutting at the last good point in the project and rewriting, even if the story isn’t already complete, is what works for me.

So if you’re struggling to complete works because what you have no longer matches the vision in your head or outlined, go ahead and consider cutting an in-progress project. It may not work. However, it could, so it’s perfectly fine to try. Don’t let anyone tell you that’s the wrong way to write, because in writing, as in so much in life, there is no “one true way.” Part of writing is learning what works for you, so even something like this should be tried if you can’t get the story to go any other way.

Because I’m Introverted

I’m an introverted person. A lot of in-person social activity wears me out, even if it’s with friends. This is true for introverts across the board. For me, sometimes I may come away from socializing with friends with energy, but, generally speaking, if I have a lot of in-person social time, even with friends, I’m worn out.

This past weekend was a busy one for me, every socially intensive. On Saturday I had to get together with the GM who runs the Vampires: The Masquerade game I play to create a new character, then had square dancing that evening. The square dancing was for our club’s ABC dance, where we have people who don’t know how to dance come in and learn the calls (formations/moves/steps) they’ll be dancing throughout the evening. This means it wasn’t just my regular square dance friends, but also people I don’t habitually associate with, so it was socially draining. I came home Saturday night feeling worn out socially. It took me a couple hours to recover before I could go to bed, since my mind was way too active for me to go to sleep right away.

Then, on Sunday, I had church in the morning. I went early, which was an hour walk (the trains weren’t running yet) to a class regarding the recent Episcopal General Convetion, which was held locally this year. After that was service, followed by coffee hour. I was so tired from not sleeping well the night before that when I got home, I promptly took a nap. Then, Sunday evening I had to go to my square dance club’s board meeting, and that was about three hours of socialization.

Needless to say, after two days of super social activity in a row, I needed a break. It wouldn’t have been so wearying yesterday except I’m still getting to know the other parishioners in the church I go to, so that only increases the stress of socialization.

I think, if I was out among people more regularly, such days wouldn’t tire me out so much. That’s one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to getting into school. I may make only superficial (school-hours) friends, but I’ll be socializing more regularly with people in person. I’ve found that, for me, the more I socialize regularly, the better I’m able to handle it overall.

It also helps if I’m attending some other activity with my socialization, usually. For instance, the square dancing. I got involved in that for two reasons: 1) so I could be more physically active; and 2) so I could socialize with people in-person more. The activity gives me something to focus on, and a topic to discuss, which helps me connect with people.

In situations where I’m required to be social without a set topic or event to discuss, I’m more uncomfortable, because going just to be social makes it more stressful on me; I get scared easier, experience more anxiety, and generally curl up in myself more if I’m expected to be social for no reason—and that’s why I generally don’t spend the entire hour at social hour after any church service. I’m required to be just social, and that wears me out because I see people in groups of friendship and I don’t know how to politely interject my own words or approach people who are already chatting with each other. I’m more willing to try if I know someone in the group of people, but I don’t know that many people at the Episcopal church yet, so it’s hard to know where I fit in, and I’m so not naturally a gregarious person with enough confidence to just start talking.

I’m much more conscious nowadays about how I’m behaving, too. I used to cling to people I knew better in social situations, and I know that probably aggravated most of those I clung to. This was not literal clinging, but I tended to pop up in their company more than once over the course of social time, simply because I was far more comfortable with that particular person than I was with anyone else. These days, I try not to do that too much. I usually try to have something specific to say to the person I know, and if I don’t, I stay to listen for a bit, and if I find nothing to say within a minute or two, I wander off. I may return at a later point, but only if I’ve thought of something to say, and I depart after the discussion seems to be over. By no means do I follow them around.

And, even with friends, if I’m in person, I prefer to hang out one-on-one with them. Sunday, I spent about 30-40 minutes hanging out with Sara before the club’s board meeting, and I quite enjoyed it. I also enjoy my grocery shopping days, ’cause I get to hang out with Ross for about an hour or two after I’m done. After such visits as that (especially if there isn’t a group meeting following), I typically feel energized and refreshed, but that’s usually only following one-on-one social periods. And it has to be someone I like and get along with under “normal” (group) circumstances and feel comfortable with for me to feel energized and refreshed following such meetings, because it is quite possible for me to feel drained and exhausted after a one-on-one session with someone I’m not comfortable with.

Basically, for the past several years, I’ve been picking and choosing my social involvements, and doing my best to gradually increase them. I know by how I’ve reacted to what I’ve done recently that I’m ready to get out and do more, but I’m at a loss as to what to get involved with outside of school or work, so I’m really looking forward to going to community college next year.

One Writer, Various Mindsets

As all writers do, I also go through various mindsets with regards to my writing as time passes by. Often, like other writers’ mindsets, these are simply typical doubts and fears that all writers have about their writing. Other times, these mindsets are driven by my mental illness.

Most of the time, I have confidence in my writing, regardless of what I’m writing. Even when I’m at my worst emotionally, or hating what I write, I feel that it’s good, strong, worthy of being shared. It is in this mindset I frequently write on—and read through—my projects, and it is this mindset which enables me to say any day where I wrote was a good day, even if it was the worst day I could have possibly had in every other way.

Then there are the writing downswing days. This year, I’ve had a lot of them, but they haven’t driven me up the wall like they usually do. Most of the time, I’ve been able to be creative in some way, particularly with my stories, during these downswings. These downswings are often driven by my bipolar disorder, so I try to go with the flow and when I can’t get the writing aspect of my life to work because of one, I turn to reading or other forms of entertainment.

And, like all authors, I go through periods where I feel like my writing sucks. I can’t bear to look at anything to read, never mind write on, because at this time I see myself as a hack—that my skills are lacking, that my story is lackluster, and that my execution needs work. While this may be true in some ways, once I’m over this mood and look over my work, I find that I was, mostly, wrong. However, whenever I go through a period of “my writing sucks,” it better enables me to see my writing objectively, particularly things I’ve worked on recently, than I normally do, so I suffer through it without much complaint because I know it’s opening my mind to seeing and finding—and correcting the problems.

Right now, I’m going through a highly creative phase. Within the past six weeks, I’ve started developing two new worlds and getting plot point ideas down for stories set on them. These two new worlds each got their own magic system. I’ve also been writing on TPOM3; not as often as I’d like, but I’ve been making progress. My creative phases like this tend to cycle like my bipolar, and this creative phase has come at about the same time that depressive cycle has hit; as a result, writing is just about the only thing I’m working on these days.

Then there are fallow periods. This is where writing doesn’t interest me at all. When I get up in the morning during these phases, I have plans for other things I’d like to do. Reading, watching movies, going out (even if alone), tending to housework which generally goes neglected when I’m focused on writing. These don’t happen very often, maybe once or twice a year, if that, but when they do, writing actually bores me.

So those are some of the various phases I go through with my writing. Some strike me more often than others (like those pesky downswings), but I’ve learned to work with them for the most part. Another writer may not go through these exact same phases, and others may have quite different cycles they go through with their writing; no two writers are exactly a like.

My Trans Nature vs. Mom

I’m as open about being trans in real life as I am about it online. While I don’t throw the information out there on first or second meeting someone, generally speaking, unless the topic comes up, I’m also quite direct about it when I do tell someone. All my friends, both local and online, know I’m trans, and they accept me despite (or perhaps because of) that.

The one person who has refused to accept it is my mother. Way back two or three years ago, when I first realized I was trans and that it was pointless—and too painful—to hide from it any more, I told Mom. Well, I sort of broached the subject of me being trans as if I needed her permission to deal with it, and we ended our phone call on it with me stating, “Well, I need to deal with this, and I’m going to.”

It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, to be honest. While back then I wasn’t quite ready to abandon my need for Mom’s permission in part of my life, I did recognize that I couldn’t let her reaction to my confession of being transgender dictate to me how to live my life. This, I think, is the point at which I first, subconsciously, realized I didn’t need Mom to give me permission, that my life was mine to live how I wished, and that giving her all the control I’d given her over it was detrimental to my mental health.

I have not tried to tell Mom I’m trans again since. It is a fight I have no wish to engage in at this time. Like my decision to go to school, my decision what to do with my trans body is mine alone to make, and I can’t let Mom tell me what to do with it or my gender dysphoria.

I’m not so much avoiding telling her as I’m choosing when to bring her back into the loop on it. If I get far enough to take Hormone Replacement Therapy, she’s going to realize it at some point regardless of whether I tell her or not. My current plan is to have my breasts removed, then change my name, and about that time start HRT. At some point near the time I change my name, I’ll tell Mom again that I’m trans.

She may never accept it. This is something I must consider and deal with in therapy. Mom may be angry with me, another reaction I must prepare for. I don’t think she’ll disown or shun me, though. She may not understand or accept what I’ve done and will be doing, but I think she’ll eventually try her best to deal with it, even if she hates it. And, considering she tends to look at the negative, she may view it as the death of her daughter and miss the fact that I’m finally the person I was meant to be—and happy with myself at last.

However she chooses to react, I’ve decided is on her. I can’t let myself get bogged down in it, and I won’t. This is my life, and I’m going to live it how I see fit, whether she likes it or not.

Writing While Exhausted

A lot of writers have fears their writing will be adversely affected under certain conditions. Now, I’ve never written while drunk or high (I neither drink to excess nor do illegal drugs), but do, with some unfortunate regularity, write while exhausted. There are two different kinds of exhaustion days for me. Those when I’ve gotten only a few hours of fitful sleep, and those when I haven’t slept at all the night before. Overall, the ones where I haven’t slept at all the night before are better for me creatively. Often after nights when I’ve had little—and fitful—sleep, it’s harder for me to grasp ideas, and I don’t even want to think about the messes I create in my projects when I do try to write. I generally avoid writing after nights where I’ve had little sleep, but I’m quite happy to write—when my creative mind cooperates—on days following nights when I haven’t slept at all. The main reason for this is because if my creative mind cooperates, I can still produce good-quality scenes, especially if I have an outline to work from.

Technical quality may suffer a bit, though, from all the typos I tend to make due to fingers getting tangled on the keys—the worst period of this is usually about the 23rd hour and may last anywhere from two to three hours. After that, I’m not quite so bad, but I still have more typos than average. I wrote two scenes on one project today, which I’ll comb for obvious typos tomorrow and then reread at a later date for typos I didn’t immediately notice, but this is just standard practice after I complete writing a scene. I also am much more likely to punctuate questions with periods than I am when I’ve been well-rested, but those instances are generally easily spotted on initial read-through even when I’m exhausted.

My sentence structure gets neither more convoluted nor more choppy. It remains pretty much unchanged, though if I’m writing a project that requires more complicated sentences (as certain projects on one of my “defunct” worlds does), I may end up with nonsense as I forget by the end what I intended to say at the beginning. This is always complicated if I’m using a conlang (as those projects on that “defunct” world do), because I not only have to remember the beginning of the sentence, but also the spelling of the constructed word as well as its meaning. To be quite frank, there is no way I’d want to work on those projects on that world right now as long as I’ve been away from them. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve immersed myself in that world, and, because of the conlang, the pov, and the sentence structure I require for it (it’s as close to literary as I ever bring any of my speculative fiction in terms of style—with regards to plot, my stuff always has one, no matter how straightforward it may be), I need to be highly focused on those projects and drown myself in the world and the story.

And, the things I used to think would go wildly out-of-hand if I wrote while exhausted, are plot and scene ideas. Actually, they used to get pretty wild and illogical—but that was because all my ideas were pretty wild and illogical. As I’ve grown as a writer and come to recognize reasonable ideas and grown in my ability to make them follow one upon another logically, I’ve found this largely unchanged by exhaustion as well. Generally speaking, the vast majority of the ideas I come up with that I think are brilliant prove to be just as brilliant, sometimes with some amendments, after I’ve had a night of good rest. Most of my amendments are extrapolations on the ideas, as my exhaustion ideas may seed/feed one or more plot threads at once, so I can reasonably say that, on occasion, my exhaustion ideas are even more brilliant than average.

Even with that, I try not to go into exhaustion hours if I can help it. I much prefer to be on a regular sleep schedule, and generally employ exhaustion days only when I’m unable to fix a broken sleep schedule any other way. And, no, I wouldn’t suggest anybody else employing this tactic to try and tap into the subconscious in an effort to improve ideas on purpose. Even with as good as some of my ideas while exhausted can be, it’s stressful to be up over 24 hours, and I’d say, about two thirds of the time I’m up past 24 hours, my initiative fizzles out at about the 24 hour mark and only gets worse from there, to the point where I give up on writing and decide on reading or, occasionally, I end up staring blankly at my computer screen wondering what I was going to do next with the machine.

Reading Habits

All writers who want to grow and improve in their skill should read. Many of the writers I know do, and those are the ones whose skill improves. I also read. But, with me, it fluctuates.

I go through cycles with my reading. While I enjoy doing it, my interests change. Not necessarily in what I read genre-wise, because I read widely, but in what I read project-wise.

Most of the time, especially when I’ve been in writing downswings this year, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading a variety of books written by other authors. Right now, I’ve got one I’m reading for edit notes for one of my friends in progress; there’s a fantasy book I’m rereading for pleasure; I’m also reading a book about the Bible (its origin and history); and I’m reading a steampunk fantasy that I checked out from the library. However, for the past week, or so, I haven’t touched any of these projects much (and I really must read a number of chapters o the book I’m going through for edit notes).

Recently—just the past week or so—I’ve been reading my own projects. This is in part because I’m really wanting to read something I’ve got in prework stages. Most of the reason why I’m going through all my own projects, though, is because I’m wanting a break from all the “extroverted” reading I’ve been doing.

I go through periods like this every so often. It’s a method which allows my creative mind to stew on things for my own projects, but it’s mostly a reaction to being too extroverted in my reading habits. This is something that developed as I recovered from being wrongly-medicated under the misdiagnosis of schizophrenia. I used to be almost-all extroverted in my reading, going through literally six to eight books a month, depending upon length. This was before the Navy and my breakdown. I checked out tons of books from the local library system, bought even more books, and, when I wasn’t writing, read to my heart’s content.

These days, my heart is content with quite a bit less such reading. I finish maybe two to three books by other people a month, frequently rereading things for various reasons—not just for pleasure, in other words. Often I’ll reread something to study how an author handled a particular scene or technical issue in their work to try and emulate in my own writing; most often, I’m looking for how an author handled character emotions.

But lately I’ve been reading more for pleasure. More books that are new to me, in genres outside of my current favorites. I’m rediscovering a love for mysteries, for one. The book about the Bible is one I’ve had for years and read way back when I first became Catholic; I’ve forgotten most of what it had to say, though, so I wanted to refresh my memory because if I stay with the Episcopal church, I plan on getting the version of the Bible it uses and reading through it so I’m familiar with the reasoning they’ve put into the Bible. I need to finish the steampunk mystery I checked out from the library before, I think, the 28th, because that’s when it must go back—I don’t have any more renewals on it.

Generally, I step away from my computer, tuck myself on my sofa, and read with my legs stretched out on the seat, pillows propping my knees and the book/device I’m reading from on my lap. I do this because I spend way too much time at my computer each day, and it’s a nice break. I put my headphones on, situate, if I wish, my home and cell phones nearby—a rarity for me because I generally ignore them when I’m reading (or actively putting words down)—and get lost in whatever book I’m reading.

I have learned not to put my own completed books on my ereader, though. If given an opportunity, I will read those instead of new books, so I don’t add them any more, not even for edit passes. This is another reason why I physically move away from the computer. Sometimes I read, usually from my ereader, while sitting at my desk, but not often. Generally, me at my desk is for online social time, writing, or reading my own works—mostly writing and socializing, to be honest.

One thing I never do is read in my bed here at home. It interferes with my sleep. I may do it if I’m stuck at the hospital overnight, but I’m usually so exhausted by whatever I’ve undergone there (typically some sort of surgical procedure), reading doesn’t affect me too much. But at home, my bedroom is mainly for sleeping, and I do little besides sleep at night, nap during the day, and spend a few odd moments dressing/undressing before/after bed and showers there. My bedroom is a sanctuary from the stresses of the real world, including reading, which, while not usually stressful, is definitely something I don’t want to associate with my bedroom.

Tea

I’m posting this on my Writing Topic day because, though I drink tea most of the time, I most enjoy having a cup or tumbler full of tea while writing. This goes for winter or summer, though I prepare it differently for the most part depending upon the season. In winter, I typically prepare it by the cup, with two teabags, plenty of sweetener, and milk if it’s chai or a little additional, cold, water if it’s an herbal/green tea (to bring it down to a sippable temperature ’cause I’m impatient that way).

In the summer, preparation is a little different. I have three 2.6qt pitchers. Yes, they’re small, but I have a stunted fridge (a standard-sized one won’t fit in the fridge space), so I need them to be small. In one, I usually have some sort of powder drink mix made up (I have a weakness for Kool Aid in the summer). One pitcher I usually keep in reserve in case I come across another beverage I have to make myself. The third pitcher holds tea concentrate.

Preparation:

1. Get 8-10 teabags of whatever tea you want to make (I try to make opening individually-wrapped bags fun and entertaining without much success).

2. Using a 2C liquid measuring cup, fill to 1-1/2C with water, either boiling, or heat it in the microwave. (I cook the water without the teabags because pouring boiling water over or cooking the bags with the water causes a lot more “dust” to come out of the bags than I tend to get by dunking the bags after the water’s cooked.)

3. Steep teabags for approximately 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you want it. (I tend to leave the bags in for longer than 10 mins, ’cause I love strong teas.)

4. Remove bags (there should be about 1C tea concentrate base left), and add 1C cold water before pouring into pitcher (the cold water at this stage is especially important if the pitcher is made of plastic, as mine are; if the water’s still very hot, it can warp the pitcher).

5. After pouring base mix into pitcher, add 1 dry-measure C or equivalent measure of sweetener of choice; stir until dissolved (if preferred, sugar/sweetener can be added by serving or left out altogether).

6. Add 3C cold water and put into fridge to chill concentrate further.

To serve:

1. Pour 8-12oz of tea concentrate into mug or cup (I have a clear, closed-top tumbler with 8oz measurements on the side, but any drinking vessel will do); if sugar/sweetener hasn’t been added to concentrate already, and it is desired, add desired amount now.

2a. If black tea, and milk is desired, add milk to taste.

2b. If herbal or you prefer not to have milk in your black tea, add cold water to taste.

3. Ice optional in either version (I don’t usually use ice).

My Mixed State

I don’t know what others with bipolar disorder go through. To be honest, though, I’ve always been of a mind that I’d far rather have Mixed-State Bipolar Disorder, then Bipolar I or II. It seems to me to be a kind of hell to go through distinct cycles from high to low. Yes, I know there are periods of relative stability between the cycles for some with Bipolar I and II, but after watching, from a distance, what my friend Bryce went through with his cyclic bipolar disorder, I decided I was happy with the version I have.

I think I’ve mentioned that I cycle, too, but it’s usually both hitting me in different ways at the same time. Or rather, it’s probably more accurate to say they each effect different aspects of my life when I cycle. They don’t always cycle up at the same time, but, generally, when one hits, the other does as well within a few days.

This has happened. I’ve been in a slight depressive phase for the past week or so. It hit near the end of last month and effected my writing. Even the new-shiny project my creative mind dropped into my conscious mind hasn’t driven me to distraction, when, normally, a new idea like this would. And now the mania’s hit.

It isn’t always easy for me to track or determine just what paths my mental illness has taken, even when I pay attention, and I’m very mindful of my mental state. It behooves me to be so. If I’m not, something will blindside me, and that just makes things worse.

The past couple nights, I haven’t been able to sleep. This is a rare effect of hypomania for me, and it’s been much more dramatic than it typically is. It is also not a good thing at all. In a way, I prefer to get the moody-bitchy-temperamental kind of manic swing, because I’m actually able to sleep, and it doesn’t feed into my depressive phase like the rare insomniac manic phase does.

That’s the biggest problem with this swing of mania. I have very good meds that usually put me to sleep within a couple hours of going to bed, but they haven’t been working for the past two-three nights. Because my mania keeps me awake. I go to bed when I’m yawning constantly and lay awake for hours because sleep does not arrive due to the mania.

As I said, this feeds into the depressive phase. Sleep happens to be a very good thing for my depressive phases. If I sleep, they don’t effect me as long, and they aren’t as severe as I’ve known them to get. After two nights of little sleep—and what I’ve gotten being broken and restless—I’m starting to want to hide from the world. Yesterday was okay, but today I’ve wished several times I could just go away. Commit myself to a mental ward somewhere and not have to deal with real life.

But even with that—and this is why I prefer my version of bipolar disorder to that of I or II—I’m still able to function. I wrote two scenes last night, exercised. Today, I got out and ran some errands I needed to run, paid some bills. I’m functional, even depressed, because of the mixed state of my bipolar disorder.

I’ll be honest here. Before I was medicated at all for my bipolar, I had lots of nonfunctional days, where I huddled in bed, or, at most, got up to putter around the house. But even then, I still had functional days. Typically, when I’m not medicated, if I get out, I do okay. It’s just that with medication, my functional days managed to far outnumber my nonfunctional days. Without medication, the mental state I’m in now would have sent me to bed aside from snacks and potty breaks for several days as I chased sleep and waited for the state to pass enough I could stand to see daylight again.

But, overall right now, I’m paying particular attention to my thoughts and feelings. I’m on the lookout for suicidal thoughts and will report them to a mental health professional promptly should they occur. If I don’t drop lower on the depressive trough than wanting to commit myself to a psych ward, I’ll be happy. But just in case I do drop lower, I’ll be ready with that funky little stress ball I got from my last Therapist (Dave), because it’s got a VA hotline number for me to call. I also have the same number on my cell phone, in case I’m out of the house and need to call, and on a card in my wallet in my purse, in case I’m out of the house without my cell phone and have some sort of breakdown.

Not What I Expected

I can’t say as my July Nano has gotten off to a very good start. LOL

Well, I did write a little over 1700 words on the first, but I forgot to enter them until the second. Since then, I’ve not written anything on my July Camp project. Yesterday, I just didn’t care about writing. Today, I want to write, so I’ll probably get something done before midnight.

On top of that, the outline for TPOM3 (my July CampNano project) is still not complete. I’ve decided to worry about it if I get to that point before I hit 25k, my wordcount goal for Camp.

And then we’re having issues with one our cabin members. She posted, on July 1st, that she’d written 100,697 words, which is pretty well impossible, unless she didn’t eat or sleep. A couple of us have called her on it, so now we’re just waiting for her to hit the site and see what we’ve said and if it has any other effect aside from this person defending her wordcount. She’s gone on to update her wordcount (on the second) to a over 101k, probabaly purely so her wordcount comes out over her 100k goal when she validates.

And, on top of all this, I’m fiddling with a newshiny project that may be a trilogy or may be longer. It’s set on a new world, with a new magical system, and I’m not doing too much with it because I’m considering saving it for next years Two-Year Novel Course on the site—if Zette does it again.

Yes, I’ve dropped out of three of the bloody courses so far, but I’m hoping something will go through. I know little enough about this project that it’s got a pretty open field for me to run in. All I know are some basics of the magic system, that it’s set on basically our world but with different names for places and countries and cities and such, and that it’s a world government. I have the beginning (written) and the ending of the first book, and some notions on the end of the series, too. I can’t really say much more about it ’cause it’s still so early in development, and I don’t want to do too much before the 2yn course starts up.

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