Time to write, so it's time to go through the motions. Turn off the light, turn on the more subtle spot lights. Light some candles, get in that slightly pretentious mood that seems to work so well for writing.
I pick up the packs of incense I usually burn and think back to when I wrote a story that started with me burning incense, where I told about important memories to me. That was 4 relationships, 3 apartments and over 10 years ago.
Sierra tapped the shutter button and her phone made a 'click' sound.
"That's a really good one!" she said, and the group broke apart after taking turns looking at the resulting photograph. Then most of them simply drifted off to other parts of the party.
"Some cultures used to believe that photographs would steal a person's soul," Amiran said smiling.
"Did they? I thought that was just a condescending myth," Sierra responded with a smirk.
"Oh, it's not a myth," he said with a wide grin.
He leaned back on the bar and crossed his arms.
You know those days? The days where nothing seems to go right?
It all started simple - he knocked over a cup of coffee. Sadly, the coffee had spilled all over his laptop, which powered off rather quickly after that. It had not turned on again and the tech guy said it was probably a lost cause. Some of the coffee had also ended up in his lap, leaving a stain. Even though the day then seemed to calm down, he couldn't shake the feeling that this was going to be one of those days for the history books. And not in a good way.
He was completely right about that.
So where's that Fortnightly Story #4? Ehhhh, not coming. I had to update some pages on this here site and do other things, so it just didn't come to pass.
This is because, in 2 days, NaNoPrep starts again, and I'll be writing short stories for 20 days straight. I've upped the minimum word count per story to 400, since I hit that target consistently last year. Might as well up the challenge, I thought to myself, and then did so.
After that, I've got one day off and then November's here.
And as such, I'll be writing my third novel-length piece of crap in a row!
This means no Fortnightly Story for the remainder of October or for the entirety of November. And since the first Fortnightly would be the weekend one day after NaNoWriMo ends, I'll be skipping that one too.
So the next Fortnightly? That would be some time mid-December, between the 15th and the 18th.
But I'll be writing. Ohhhh I'll be writing.
Holding up the cardboard sign, she chuckled. Years ago, she'd left her shitty hometown in the exact same way. Somehow it felt fitting that she was hitchhiking back.
The reason for it was different, of course. 6 years had passed and her life had changed immensely. She'd left home to find a better life, force one if necessary, and had managed to do so. It had taken longer than she'd hoped for, but it had been worth it. She was living with her best friend in a nice apartment downtown, with a dog they ostensibly shared responsibility for but was mostly hers to clean up after. Kate meant well, but she was more of a cat person. She'd paid her way through college, even if it was just community college, but she was working in the field she studied for and she knew that that was something to be thankful for.
A car whizzed past and the cardboard sign fluttered. It had started to rain and she'd forgotten to bring a coat. She sighed and stepped a bit closer to the road.
Writing, for me, is a natural thing to do. I don't do it enough, however, and that's why I've started doing the Fortnightly Stories. I intend to do this all year through, mostly to stop myself from falling into a writing hole after NaNoWriMo like the past year (so far) and last year.
I've had submission windows for literary mags in my calendar for a year, and I've submitted nothing.
Yet over the past 2 years I've written 2 novels (quality notwithstanding) and at the point of writing this, about 46 stories.
So what happened?
Lang could hear their footsteps in the hallway, right above him. They hadn't noticed him, but all they had to do was look down and squint a little to do so. He was in the dark, underneath the metal grating the ship used for hallway floors.
"So you're on the late shift?" one of them asked.
"Yeah, but it's okay. I traded with Jefferson, he's going to take the Saturday," the other said.
"He doesn't want to be at the party?"
"I guess not. But it works for me," the other said, laughing.
They walked on, and Lang wanted to sigh in relief but stopped himself just in time.
I'd been working on Lorenzo longer than I'd care to admit. He's technically the 14th in his line, all previous experiments failing one way or another. They'd either never woken up (for various reasons) or they'd be flawed in such a way that the experiment was over before it'd really even started.
So Lorenzo the 14th was the one where all previous lessons learned came together, and I felt careful optimism as I powered him up.
I've been busy with a lot of things, including writing.
My NaNoWriMo has been over for nearly 3 months now, and I did finish the 50k words in time, but the story was far from done. I think at best it's at maybe 70% done story-wise. There's many things I don't like about the 'novel', but there's also good characters, good character backgrounds, situations, locations, and more. All in all, I think I wrote something that could possibly serve more as inspiration for more writing than as a book itself.
But, mentioning both NaNoWriMo and books, I have been re-reading last year's NaNoNovel, Verified, and looking into the feedback I got from people. So far I find myself agreeing with many points made, and I intend to start working on a proper first draft. Exciting, right?
I'm also looking into submitting at least 5 short stories to short story magazines this year. I won't be able to share those stories here until after they've either been rejected (posting the story here) or accepted (posting a link!), but that's also exciting!
And to make up for the complete silence, I have edited one of my favorite NaNoPrep '16 stories to make it much better. It deserved it.
Check out Crash-landed (v2) if you're interested!
The point of NaNoPrep was to Prep myself for NaNo. I did that in one major way - I wrote regularly for 20 days straight (sorta, but mostly!) and I wrote a lot.
But what I didn't really prepare was what I would write when NaNoWriMo actually started. Lesson for next year learned!
But when I really sat down to think about what I wanted to write about, the same things came up that I thought about most last year. The kind of sci-fi story I love is the ones about exploration, about mystery. And after about 6 minutes I had an idea, and it's one I'm very enthusiastic about!
The working title is "Lights Out", and what that means will remain "in the dark" while I work on this beast.
The official goal is 50,000 words. But I like challenging myself (as with NaNoPrep), and I'm aiming at 60,000. Anywhere in between is fine, but 60,000+ is epic.
That's 2000 words a day. I beat it today, at 2176, so that's a great start!
Wish me luck :D