Thursday, November 15, 2012

What NaNoWriMo Means To Me

Okay, before I start I'd like to apologize for not keeping up with the awesome NaNoWriMo meme that I was doing. It was just a little too much for me over the last few days and I am so sorry. I hate not finishing things, but as my family and friends would be eager to tell you - I'm good at not finishing.

If you read the title and came here from twitter you may actually know what this post is going to be about, but I shall explain anyway.

@NaNoWriMo posed the question - What does NaNoWriMo mean to you? - with the hash tag #WhatNaNoMeansToMe.

NaNoWriMo means something different to everyone, but when it came time for me to answer the question I couldn't find a short enough answer. It has meant so many things to me over the years. Even now, it means more than just one thing to me.

We'll have to go back, way back, for you to understand exactly what NaNo means to me. I hope you don't mind a back story in this case. And I'm sorry about the length of this post as well.

What NaNoWriMo Means to Me - Before NaNo

When I was a teenager all I did was write. I would glue myself to the computer and typed up stories. My parents were very encouraging of this hobby, but they also wanted me to be realistic about my dreams. Writing was great and I should definitely do that, but maybe move towards journalism or at least, get a good education and a good job just in case.

I wrote my way through high school and when I wasn't writing, I was reading. I mean, I was a pure academic taking all the science, law geography, English and math, but I always found the time to write.

College came and crushed me after that. I stopped writing. I never even realized it. I was so wrapped up in essays and studying that I just didn't write. I was doing what my parents had told me I had to do, I was looking for a real career. Something to support me for the rest of my life. And I failed.

I ended up just working and growing more and more despondent. Who was I? What was I going to do with my life? Why was it all so hard? Although I had enjoyed my job to begin with it was slowly sucking the life out of me. I needed to do something, anything to change things up. So, after much thought, I decided to follow my best friend to Alberta.

I didn't start writing again, not right away. I still had a lot of things to figure out. I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but at least I had changed something and that was a huge move. It was a good move because it allowed me to grow.

I moved to Alberta in 2006, but I didn't start NaNo until 2008.

On October 28 2008, after much encouragement from a writing forum I was a member of at the time. I finally decided to stop just thinking about writing again and just write something. I had been dabbling a little before that, but mostly I talked about and I never really did it.

What NaNoWriMo Means to Me - Years of NaNo

NaNo 2008 really opened my eyes. For me this was the year that I remembered what I loved to do the most. I didn't just love thinking about stories and planning. I loved to write. I missed writing. It was like finding myself all over again. How could I have ever stopped writing? I hadn't stopped reading, so why stop writing?

There is nothing so incredible as finding yourself in something you love. It didn't matter if I was good or bad at writing. I never even finished that novel although I did get my 50K. It was a truly new beginning for me. I finally knew what I wanted to do and I cursed myself for those wasted years.

NaNo in 2008 meant life to me. It meant healing. It meant a brand new beginning and rediscovering my first true love in life.

NaNo 2009 was the year I discovered the forums and the social aspect of NaNoWriMo. Once again I passed the 50K mark, but the novel was unfinished. I wanted to write something funny, but I ended up with some hard science fiction instead! I like to humour myself in thinking that my writing had improved this year.

In 2009, I was still discovering myself as a writer. It was all about expanding my horizons and learning. NaNoWriMo was the best deadline I had ever faced. Learning was definitely what it was all about this year.

2010 was a crazy year. Those who know my NaNo history may know this as the year I wrote a full length novel in under 30 days. About 120K words by November 28th when I decided I was done writing. I had hit 'The End'.

I came to realize and not just dream that maybe I really could be a writer. What I had written in a month was decent. It had some good bones and a few great lines. I was starting to reach out more in the social aspect and I got to grow as a writer. NaNoWriMo was fun to me, it was a great way to meet other writers. I may have been entertaining thoughts of becoming a so-called serious writer, but for me this year was really about the core truth of NaNoWriMo - which surprisingly isn't really the writing itself.

It doesn't matter if you write 500 words or 400K words in the month. NaNoWriMo is about pushing your limits, opening up your horizons and, most importantly, having fun while you do it. It's about the fun kind of scary and the delightful deadline. What you write or how much you write doesn't really matter.

2011 was just me settling into the truth of NaNoWriMo. It was my chance to try something new and revel in the social aspect. 2011 was the late nights, gallons of tea and just letting myself "run whooping through the valleys of my imagination". (Yeah, I have that NaNo sticker on my laptop!)

2012, this year is closer to a 2010 year for me without the dreams of grandeur. Now, it's all about the writing for me, the meeting of other writers. I've relaxed into NaNo and I ask nothing of it other than to just be. NaNo is my home now. It is the place where the magic happens and guilt monkeys live. They are the keeper of inner editor and an unreasonable amount of amazing people all gathered in a single place.

And that is what NaNoWriMo means to me. All of that and so much more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Six

Day 6: Realizing what’s at stake scene

“He’ll save her,” Father Brannigan released his grip on Michel’s arm. “If he doesn’t, we will have bigger things to worry about.”

“You’ve read something?” Iain’s face seemed to crumble, his anger vanishing.

“I’ve read many things, Iain, but it takes a lot of time to interpret what I’ve read. As for anything pertaining to the current events, it’s been a lot more muddled than usual and Mal’ach was entirely unhelpful…as usual.”

“What are you talking about?” Michel had enough of being in the dark on this conversation. All he wanted to do was rescue Paige at any cost, but there was a lot more at stake than that from the sounds of things.

“The same thing we always talk about, the end of the world. It’s kind of our specialty.” Iain sighed. “It gets a little boring after a while, always saving this place from Hell on Earth.”

“Hell on Earth?” Michel wasn’t too sure he was quite understood what Iain was talking about.

“You know the end days and all? That is Hell on Earth; that will one day happen when there are no more guardians left to guard the portals or one of us fails at our job. If one of us fails, we all fail.”
“Portals?” Michel had once known the bible well, but obviously not as well as he had thought. Then again, it’s easy to forget things over a few hundred years.

“We’re wasting time,” Father Brannigan cut Iain off before he could say anything else. “Time passes faster in Hell; a minute here is an eternity there. Do you want her to suffer needlessly?”

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Five

I have really got to stop writing these at the end of my day when I am dead tired. You know I only realized today, that I gave away the scene for Day 10 already? Sheesh. I suck.

I can barely even type right now. I am just so exhausted. So I will keep this one shirt and sweet.

Day 5: Defeat of villain scene

"With God, all thing are possible!" Michel screamed it as loud as he could, not caring at all if every last demon in Hell heard him. It didn't matter if this was the end of him now because without her, nothing mattered anymore. He had lost his first love, he would not lose Paige as well.

"Faithless words, they have no meaning. You need faith to back it up." Satan sneered as he stood in front of Paige's unconscious body.

"Maybe once upon a time I had lost my faith. I spent my time clinging to the past, but no longer." Michel reached for the small golden pendant that hung around his neck and ripped it off. "I need no tokens to remind me of my sins and I will always have my memories if I find myself missing what has passed. I've put it behind me and I shall not carry those burdens with me any longer."


"Maybe, but actions speak louder. If can forgive me than I can forgive myself - and with God all things are possible. You are nothing but the whisperer of lies. You have no power over me anymore, not even here." Michel strode forward toward Paige and he tried not to feel the prideful as Satan had no choice, but to step aside and let him. He gathered her in his arms and headed in a random direction. He didn't know how to get out of Hell, but at least he had achieved the most important thing. He had rescued Paige.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Four

Wow. You have NO idea how hard this was to write tonight. I just spent the last little bit writing a VERY emotionally intense scene between my two main characters that has just drained me. Actually, let me give you an idea....I'll show you part of a sentence of what I just wrote.

Paige pressed herself against him and kissed him again, allowing everything she felt to be present in that moment. Her fear, her passion, even her confusion; it was all there. His arms wrapped around her body and pulled her even tighter to him.

Yeah, you get the idea. Not my usual fair. In fact, I didn't even want to write this scene, but it had to happen. It took me forever to get these words out of my mind and on to the screen. *whew* and now, today's writing is so far removed from such a scene that I'm not sure I can do it justice.

Of course, let's not mention that I really do not have anyone that counts as a side kick anywhere in any story that has ever taken place in this world so I am going to have to create a scene from scratch. I guess this is very true to this meme.

Day 4: Death of side kick Scene

Placing the contact in her pocket, she tried hard to control her anger. Taking a deep breath she glanced evenly at Jean-Alain, her lips pursed. She watched as he began to quiver slightly.

"How in any way would you think that this was an acceptle compromise? I asked you to find me servants and this is what I get?"

"I tried my best. He is clever." Jean-Alain began to shake even harder.

"Clever is good, but I am very dissappointed in you. Do you know what happens when I am disappointed?"

The blood drained from his face and she watched his body twitch as if he wanted to run, but he knew there was no where he could hide. He was now shaking so hard that his teeth chattered and he could not speak. She smiled. It was not a nice smile it was a hungry smile.

"Yes, you know. Your services shall no longer be required." She reached her hand out and stuck it deep into his chest and pulled out a black and quivering lump. Jean-Alain stared at it for a few seconds, wondering what it was before he collapsed to the ground.

The small black thing pulsed in her hand and she laughed. "To Hell we go where you belong and maybe, if he turns out to be worthy, I just might take it a little easier on you."

Okay, a little anti-climatic. Sorry, best I can do.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Three

There are no weddings that will be taking place during this novel, but I thought perhaps you would like to catch a small glimpse of Michel and Jacqueline's simple wedding. Maybe it could be a dream....ah, but I doubt it.

Oh and sorry about being so late in posting this (10 minutes to midnight! sheesh). I spent the day out with a friend and I was so focused on upping my word count that I almost forgot. I whipped this out in 30 minutes. And I'm really tired.

I hope it's not too horrid to read!

Day 3: Wedding scene

He stood with his father by his side trying not to show the world how nervous he actually was. The doors opened to the small chapel, the light was nearly blinding, but he could see her outline. As she stepped into the shadowed alcove he caught his breath.

She stood still for a moment, the light catching on the stones and making it look as though she was the sun herself. She stepped forward as the doors began to close, the illusion broken. Michel found it hard to breathe still for he still found her stunning.

She was dressed in velvet the winter river trimmed in lace and her dark hair had been combed until shone even in the dark church interior. She joined him underneath the carre and smiled shyly. As the priest spoke they exchanged glances that spoke volumes.

As they walked out beneath the arch of flowers and over the laurel leaves scattered on the path, she reached out and touched the back of his hand. Michel felt sure that this was heaven. He must surely have died for there was no possible way his heart could hold this much joy with bursting.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Two

As a very surprising coincidence, today is writing a flashback scene just as I am writing one of two flashback chapters that are mini stories within my stories. So, I guess today is easily going to be a part of my word count.

Unfortunately, I am VERY pressed for time today, so you're getting the little flashback that I wrote yesterday. I know, not true to the challenge. Sorry!

Day 2:Flashback Scene

Annoyed, he crushed the unfinished cigarette in his fist and closed his eyes. It was different images that followed him into his sleep. His past haunted him constantly when he let his mind wander on its own. He’d see their dying faces, he’d see the face of Mother Mary, at whose feet he had prayed and fasted for many days.

And all of that would burn in his mind, the flames eating at the images, warping them into nightmares that he could not look away from. This was his past and even as he fell asleep he could feel the tears roll down his cheeks.

His body relaxed and he was blessed with images of a sweeter time. A better time than all he had experienced since. He could remember her, her long dark hair being blown in the breeze, laughing and running through recently harvested wheat field.

Michel watched her, transfixed, just a young man of only sixteen years, but a man all the same. She was the daughter of their neighbour. A freehold landowner like his own father. It would be a good match, his family had said and he had no objections. Jacqueline was perfection itself.

“Michel! Michel!” She was close enough now for him to hear her. Her voice echoed in his mind like the sweetest song. “My father just told me the news. We are to be married at noon tomorrow. Is that not wonderful?”

And that is all you get! There is a lot more to this one, but I wanted to leave it a good note and not to where this flashback ends up taking us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day One

So I have decided to write these so that they fit into my current NaNo novel since I never did finish plotting it, but I will not count any of this as a part of my NaNo word count unless it makes it into the actually novel draft.

That is my decision and I *shall* stick to it.

If you would like to take part in this awesome meme you can find everything that you need to know right here.

Day 1: Ending Scene

Michel knelt in front of the altar, steam rising from his back in the cool air of the church. This was the right place for him to be for an altar was intended as a place of sacrifice in his day and he was here to make a true sacrifice.

He bowed his head low and prayed to a God that he had only just begun to believe in once again. A God that he was learning to trust – even if the path he was now on was not the one he had wanted. He gave what was left of his tattered soul and used up body. He vowed to stay until his debt had been repaid.

He was stuck upon the Earth, for how long he could not know. A servant again, but this time to a much better master.