Feeling Pins and Needles (book 4)
#NANOWRIMO2020 (and some other stuff)
AMBER LOVE 16-NOV-2020 My work is supported by monthly backers at my tip jar on Patreon.com/amberunmasked. If you have enjoyed any of my books, it would be helpful to me if you could leave a five-star review at Amazon; anything three-stars or less tanks the average. Also, pick up a digital copy of Insider Art at Gumroad for only $10. It’s 270 pages of comics, crafts, and short essays. Lots and lots of cats! And those cats have now been featured on Insider Art fabric at Spoonflower.
After a few days with low word counts due to the election and a job, I was not sure I would be able to make up the word count, but I did. It took three days, I think to get back on the official target. After being glued to MSNBC and Twitter for a few days, I was able to find some respite in The Mentalist and rewatching stand-up comedians I’ve seen already (John Mulaney if you’re curious). The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny so Gus, Oliver, and I spent as much time as possible outside too.
Which brings us to today, Wednesday (Nov 11). It rained overnight. The ground and roof looked wet. The fog was pretty low. The cats were good on the balcony when I woke up but they are not getting walks today. They’ll be so upset.Â However, it gave this incredible window of time to write today.
I don’t know what was wrong with me, but Tuesday night I fell asleep at 8pm. I hadn’t taken anything and to be honest, I usually choose from a selection of allergy, anxiety, or pain medication. Last night, I didn’t take anything and only got up to go to the bathroom (which was far too frequent). I kept having weird, but not scary, dreams. With the foggy morning, the sun didn’t launch me out of bed. I forced myself.
This week marks the arrival of my new Verilux “happy light” which is supposed to help with seasonal affective disorder. I can only describe the thin rectangular lamp on its lowest setting as having Gotham City’s bat-signal in my bedroom. I had it on for 10 minutes on Tuesday around 4:45 as it was starting to get dark.
Shockingly, words are getting done in a timely fashion and for that, I can thank the rainy, gloomy weather because it means no outside time with the cats. Time that gets put into writing while I’m still within my window of productivity.
My skin is covered in bug bites which I have shredded like a honey badger so I’m constantly uncomfortable no matter what I’m wearing. This is not fun. I’ve primarily been the softest things I own: a hand-me-down Star Wars shirt (thanks, babe!) and pajama bottoms.
I’m not sure if it was a mistake, but I had a specific question about race that I wanted to ask people. Several questions surrounding one situation really. I posted to the official NaNoWriMo Forums and was not surprised that the first two immediate respondents “sounded” extremely white. The third was finally someone asking me prudent questions about the characters and that provided a clearer picture for me to bring back to my plot and move my characters in a certain direction.
It’s about the Black Lives Matter movement, a biracial young woman, and the white cop that her mother was dating. I was curious if it would be disrespectful or even traumatic for a woman of color to have a white LEO that close to her life while she lives and navigates a world with her own colorism/racism and having a black father. It seemed like asking for help since I’m a white woman with a white family was the way to go. Even though I got one person’s quality feedback, I may still send an email to the yoga teacher I know who actually leads seminars on racism. I will offer to pay for her time since it’s part of her job and not a random Twitter question. I was not in the mood for the forum pushback of “well cops can be black too ya know!” Like, duh, I know. But that’s not my character. I’m asking other alleged writers about the development of these character here who have been in three books already.
Sunday, it was going to rain and I was in a medication fog, but I had to eventually roll my ass out of bed at 8:30 and get to work on the story. It took two hours and listening to Gus whine the whole time, but I got to the minimum on-target word count for the midway point, 25k words.
Mental Check In:
I’ve been struggling to read! I hate when my brain is like this. I have a bunch of comic scripts that I download weeks ago and never looked at. I am presently reading a Vera Stanhope book by Ann Cleeves which, if you know shows based on her books should be gripping. Reading has simply sucked. My eyes go all over the place. I don’t remember fuck all of the sentence at the beginning of a paragraph by the time I get to the end of it.