It’s November. For those of you who’ve known me for a while know that I started off my novel-writing career by completing NaNoWriMo (national novel-writing month) two years in a row… over a decade ago. Every year since then, I’ve teetered on the will-she/won’t she fence, trying to decide whether I have the time and energy to repeat that process.
This year, I have other plans. I am honoring one of my few “friendships based on virtue” with spending time co-writing a novel. We’re starting chapter five already. It’s a completely new process for me–and strangely freeing. It’s even greased my mental wheels enough that the sharp-eyed among you might have noticed my word count on book three has crossed 1K.
Given that our shared genre falls within the full span of Scifi/Fantasy, it’s not uncommon for either of us to take research and real places or events and twist them through our own filter. So it annoys me when I read something that tells me all the reasons my brain is malfunctioning when I get vibes about particular times or places. Yet that research adds grist to my mill, too, since it would be an excellent explanation for why paranormal beings in our fiction are able to successfully obscure themselves from humanity.
Of course, time as a construct has its own issues. Which could be a different explanation for the ways our brains convince us of the extra dimensions around us. And today, naturally, is the end of the current year’s “Savings” time. I’ve railed about that stupidity enough over the years, and there was a glimmer of hope this year that the US legislative branch might settle into one time zone year round, but the House hasn’t taken up their side of the work. And now we’re in the midst of election theater, so the window is narrowing, and seems less and less likely. In the meantime, I also ran across an article about optimizing work time by minimizing distractions, and planning for deep focus periods.
Which has an interesting parallel in the land of fiction writing: Unless you carve out and defend your writing blocks from such enticing Internet distractions as research holes, social media posts, and daily news distractions, you’ll never write word 1. I’ve stumbled onto an interesting brain hack for myself that helps me avoid those pitfalls: playing “focus music” (often with binaural beats) on a browser tab set to YouTube helps me keep the words flowing.
Hubs and I have also finally gotten into enough of a rhythm with our lives in our new place that we’ve started catching up with our old shows. And added the new one of the Great British Bake-Off – which is as addictive and entertaining as the many who recommended it to us had promised. It’s not as taxing to watch as a series where we have to recollect plotlines we’ve half forgotten in the intervening months. And I discovered the “down-home” feel of the show is supported by an artist who is responsible for the custom renderings of the cooks’ food. An unanticipated benefit to watching has been to learn a new cooking technique or two. Then I ran across this article, that describes the proper way to brown meat.
So I’m busy and productive with writing so far this November, just not on NaNoWriMo. I’ll keep you posted with my progress.