WRITING JOURNAL NOVEMBER 2017

WEEK FOUR

NOV 20-26

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November 20 Monday:

I honestly expected to be too groggy from taking allergy medicine last night. Gus wouldn’t let me stay in bed no matter how much I wanted to. He also didn’t accept that the cars and roofs were dusted in snow and frost making our walk postponed. He loves his walks so much, but I’m trying to get him down to one walk in the middle of the day when it’s warmer.

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36K WORDS

Despite many Gus interruptions, I managed to do my regular Monday work (making Patreon posts, scheduling tweets, etc.) and got my NaNoWriMo words done by 11AM. I wanted walk Gus as soon as I finished my words, but I can feel the onset of my period cramps. The pain is small, but the fatigue is growing and starting to wipe me out. He got his hour outside after I reached my word target. Fortunately, it was my perfect kind of weather by this point; 50 and sunny with blue skies.

In Bear Roots, I’ve reached a critical point where the protagonist has betrayed her friends. It was hard to sort out how she could do such a thing, but I have to keep reminding myself, she’s not perfect. She’s going to fuck things up from time to time. This happens to be one of those times.

November 21 Tuesday:

I got up at 6:30 when Gus came to whine at me. I’m not sure why he does this other than “because he can.” He had already been fed. They overeat, both of them. They know they can bother a human every three hours and get some kind of food or treat. Anyway, instead of getting dressed that early to take Gus out like I did in the warmer weather, I did some yoga instead.

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76% COMPLETED

I started writing a little after 9AM. Had my coffee ready. Fortunately did not have a lot of messages requiring attention. Once I got rolling, I was working at a decent pace, intermittently drifting away to see news like No, Aretha Franklin Did Not Die Today.

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My protagonist took this chapter to go in search of a magical herb which she is unable to harvest herself since it’s out of season. Just like in my Farrah Wethers Mysteries, I ended up creating a “magical negro” trope character. In fact, because I fell in love with this character Chinue immediately, I made her the sister to Star Turner who is in the Farrah Wethers series. Here’s the thing: I know I’m doing this and I definitely do not mean to be insulting to anyone. With Star, I had the opportunity to take her from a character with a brief appearance to one with more visibility. I don’t think I’ll have that chance in Bear Roots for Chinue, but who knows if there will ever be more to Bear Roots after this particular story is told.

November 22 Wednesday:

As I said on Twitter and Instagram, it was a rough day. I was having nightmares half the night; couldn’t breathe because of my sinuses; and tried hard not to take a sedative. The problem then was that by not taking one in the middle of the night and waiting until I couldn’t stand the dreams any longer, it was nearly time to get up. I was sluggish and useless most of the day.

The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency has a new case! Here are the highlights. The case file will be written up properly for the website. Gus detected a murder with the Super Smeller. First it led him to a field mouse around a tree. He was hoping to turn the mouse into a CI. No deal. We kept walking along the scent trail. Came across the murder of a little field mouse in the driveway. Gus checked it out then proceeded to reenact the actual murder. Case resolution to come after we look into this further. RIP Mouse. 🎥📷🔍👃🐈🐾🐾🐾🐀🌳🐁😱 #ohgus #catsofinstagram #cats #blackmagicguster #blackcatsofinstagram #blackcats #catdetectives #catadventures #noircats #winchesternabudetectiveagency #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #mysterywriters #crimewriter #writingwithcats #murderandmayhem

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Gus did get a decent walk. I was getting nowhere with words so I took him out. We had fun and even opened a new case for The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency.

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I was hoping that I’d break 40k words today, but I’m 500 shy. No big deal. I’m wiped out and it’s a damn miracle I reached minimum. Mind you — it took ALL DAY. I’m typing this after 3PM.

November 23 THANKSGIVING:

A total bust. I managed to type around 500 words, but that was all. Gus wanted a walk and as long as the weather was decent, I didn’t want him to keep crying at me when both of us could be getting exercise and fresh air. We did have a good time even though it kept me from writing.

I was dead on my feet anyway. I had to take benadryl the night before so I was in a hungover-dopey-daze until that wore off. I tried to nap before we had to get in the car and road trip down the shore. We didn’t get home until really late and I all I could barely muster strength to do was brush my teeth and go right to bed.

November 24 Friday:

Did 30 minutes of yoga and was interrupted multiple times. Finally gave up. Tried to write and was interrupted a bunch more. Gus wanted a walk but the lawn was being mowed so I tried to take him to the park for a hike. That was a disaster! He loves going there so much, but there were so many humans! He was terrified and having a miserable time. I ended up sticking him in my sweatshirt like a kangaroo baby and hiking us back to the car.

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I realized that when we’ve gone to the parks before it’s been on weekends, but ass o’clock early in the morning when few people would even be out. I guess I learned a lesson.

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Got back to typing and after another batch of interruptions, I was finally able to buckle in and concentrate. The entire chapter I worked on today was about the protagonist’s girlfriend poking around as a journalist and trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not. I wrote for five and a half hours overall and broke 44k words. Not my all-time record but it is Top 3. In 2014, I wrote 4,462 words in one day; in 2015, I wrote 3,535 words in one day. Today was 3,934. Yes, I’ve been tempted to keep at to break 4k, but since I reached a healthy milestone in the cumulative word count, that’s good enough.

November 25 Saturday:

I’m approaching the climax of the story for NaNoWriMo. This is point in Bear Roots where Ursula, the protagonist, is fucking up every relationship in her life. I guess it was aligned with my day being fucked up that my protagonist would have a shitty day too. I can’t even remember when I showered.

Once Gus stopped crying and I got my headphones on to block out the demolition next door, I was able to cruise through my scene. It’s a significant point for the protagonist. At the end of it, she knows she has to make a huge change in her life.

At this steady pace, I should be at 50k words by Tuesday. I don’t want to rush the story so I don’t think 50k will be the end of it. I’d still be fine if it was another novella like Misty Murder; I can see that novellas have made a comeback and readers like them.

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November 26 Sunday:

I had to buckle down and write in the morning because my reward would be seeing Thor: Ragnarok (It was fabulous and recovered from the terrible writing and directing of Dark World). Thankfully, I had a lot of help around the house for chores too because otherwise, this place would still be gross and I would probably still be unshowered.

I like having things to do but I hate feeling “too busy” because then I feel overwhelmed and anxious. Is anyone else like that? I am also a big fan of making my weekly To Do List. There are things I keep forgetting to put on it though as winter approaches (like taking the faeries out of the yard).

I managed to add a fill-in scene for my characters. I’ve wavered on what to do with the protag’s romantic life. I had already outlined it, but after seeing for myself the importance level of the secondary characters pull a switcheroo, I think I have to ditch one of the plans. However, I managed to get the daily words in and reached 47k so I should be “at goal” in a couple of days.

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MISC:

I released the third Yoga for Writers post about aspects of yoga life that don’t have to do with postures/asanas. It focuses on non-harming, cleanliness, community service, and self discipline.

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