NaNoWriMo Update #4


A pen and paper sketch of a creature from the story. Image by D. Buck

As many of my readers know, I’ve been participating in the summer version NaNoWriMo, known as Camp NaNoWriMo.  Well, we’re nearing the end of the month and this is only my fourth status update. Why, you may ask? The answer is simple: I’ve actually been writing at a decent pace!

Originally, my goal was to hit 60,000 words by the end of the month, effectively finishing the first draft of the novel. This goal didn’t last long; I realized after factoring in family, graduate studies, work and life into my schedule, I probably could only realistically do about half of that. So, I lowered my goal to 30,000.

Despite a strong start, an interesting (to me, at least) character and three completed chapters, I realized even 30K was a bit of a stretch for my word goal. Then, I lowered it to 12,000 words. I figured with my already busy schedule, I’d be able to accomplish that goal and complete the Camp.


The idea here was to stay committed for the entire month, rather than giving up entirely, as I have in past NaNoWriMo competitions. I’m proud to say that as of today – July 23, 2017 – I am at just over 11,000 words. I will hit my monthly goal and continue in November proper. Until then, I’ll continue to work on the story, refine it, edit it, have others read it and more.

I’m glad I’ve chosen to participate in this and keep steady. Now, I will continue to write away. If anyone is interested in checking out the story when it’s completed – to help with a proof of the first draft – drop me a line here and I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

Aside from the novel, there are some other exciting things happening that I’ll post about soon. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time!

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NaNoWriMo Progress Report # 3 – Writer’s Block Edition

Over the past week, I’ve written 11,150 words for my Camp NaNoWriMo Project. The characters are taking on a life of their own and some of the story is basically writing itself.

Now, I’m at a bit of a road block. After an exciting first few chapters, my entire plot is starting to go in directions I hadn’t planned for. Thankfully, I have an outline and a basic idea of where to head from here, but I’m having some difficulty finding the words to get there.

To combat this, I plan to try out one of the Word Sprints and to check out some of the exercises contained in the “care package” e-mails they send us daily.

I hope everyone else is having some luck with their stories and I’d love to know how some of you overcome writer’s block when it does happen.

NaNoWriMo Progress Report #2

Good morning and happy Independence Day to all! I thought I’d check in and share my progress on Camp NaNoWriMo.

The good news is, we’re off to a strong start. I completed a ten chapter outline prior to starting the project and have completed almost 10,000 words. I’ve been hit with sudden bursts of inspiration and the characters are going in vastly different directions than originally intended.

Now, for my biggest hurdle: keeping the plot going in a non-contrived way. I feel I can succeed here, but it’s going to be tough at a few spots. It’s been interesting so far and I’m hoping to complete a few chapters over the weekend. Wish me luck!

Now, if only I could find someone to do some kick-ass cover art for the project…


NaNoWriMo Progress Report #1

As I posted previously, I intend to enter this year’s NaNoWriMo. I decided to get started with their summer retreat and figured I would post a progress report. Here goes:

I began outlining my story. I have a primary protagonist and his personality is starting to fill out as I write about him. The story already took a tangent from its course to create a few interesting scenes. The outline has changed so many times that if I turned on the “tracking” feature in Word, it would crash the program.

So, I plan to outline in Word and do everything else in Scrivener, which is an inexpensive and awesome program for novelists. It allows the author to create character sketches, jot down ideas, export in epub format and more. It is, in a word, awesome.

I also signed up for the July version of NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo. I wonder how far I’ll get? I will be updating sporadically through the month as I move along the journey. We’ll see if I finish the darn thing this go-round!


Happy New Year! New Coffee!


Updated to correct typos.

It’s the second day of the year. I’m actually feeling pretty good about 2017. For me, 2016 was a time of change and quite dynamic. Yes, we lost some great musicians. The election was, unique to say the least.

I saw a picture posted on author John Scalzi’s Twitter page of a burning trashcan, labeled, “2016,” being hurled down a hill. A common sentiment for the past year is how awful it was. I highly recommend Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” series, by the way.

2016, when it really comes down to it, was just another year. A mix of happiness, achievement, setbacks and sorrow, within the framework of the death, politics, and the continuing slow collapse of society.

But why be cynical or pessimistic? It gets one nowhere, fast. One can’t complain, but if they did, who would listen?

For me, the year has some great highlights: I returned to school in order to finish my degree. I finally decided to pursue writing after years of avoidance.

I even have a few ideas for some radio shows/podcasts and other types of musical discoveries. I was on the radio on a local station. Broadcasting, whether you enjoy the format or otherwise, is a spectacular catharsis for the soul.

I started playing guitar again and had some great D & D games with friends.  I played very few video games and finished three Star Trek series. My relationship with my fiance is stronger than ever.

I’ve also recently rediscovered artists like R. Stevie Moore, Jonathan Richman, Jonathan Coulton, They Might be Giants and older Dr. Demento shows. These, in and of themselves should not be a surprise to anybody who knows me.  In the coming year, this blog will focus on some of the music I enjoy and will be the focal point for research in a book I plan on writing about what is traditionally called “outsider” music.

That’s what 2016 means to me. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. New beginnings and whatnot. In 2017 I intend to explore some of the albums and artists that I enjoy and to post my thoughts about their work here on this blog. In addition to that, I will be reading a novel a week with any kind of luck and will also be posting reviews, thoughts, etc. here and on good reads.

That’s it for today. Until next time, don’t forget to pour another cup of coffee and play yourself some music!