Posts

Showing posts from October, 2018

NaNoWriMo Eve

Image
It's NaNoWriMo Eve!

It's also some sort of free candy holiday today but that's not what's truly important.

In order to prepare my mind for NaNoWriMo, I've done my best to think about NaNoWriMo as little as possible for about the last thirty-six hours and it's been tough. I keep getting ideas in my head and I don't want to listen to those ideas and fixate on them. I want to go into this with a clear mind aside from my five written up ideas.

I'll be choosing my idea when I sit down tomorrow at the keyboard. I was going to outline and make more detailed notes but I decided that I just want to let whatever and whoever pops into my head guide me through the month. I know that might sound nuts especially because, if you know me in real life, you know I am hyper, super organized. Definitely a planner. And that's exactly why I want to do this with no plan whatsoever. I need a planning break.


That's not to say that I won't plan ahead a bit as I go al…

Shifting gears

Image
Two and just under one-half days left until NaNoWriMo begins and I am slowly switching gears, moving from the high speed of the last few months to a slower pace moving forward, a pace which I hope will help give me the energy I need to get some writing done in November.


After seeing AlienCG's recommendation, I am also going to go with OneNote this year for NaNoWriMo. The only difficulty I see with it is that there is no built-in word count but I can easily save in a Word doc at the end of each day and get my counts there. I used Google Docs in years passed but I really like the idea of writing outside of a browser window. I'm thinking it will be a bit less tempting to open another tab and get lost in YouTube or Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, I'm thinking I'm going to have to spend as little time as possible on it next month. It is a huge time suck and there is not going to be any time to waste. Even though I don't have as much on the calendar in November as I have s…

Having nothing to say

Image
A couple of days ago, I decided to go ahead and knock out episode 397 of the podcast which will drop to a device near you on November 2nd.

I tried three times to record a monologue for the episode and each one derailed in a brain fart.

I had nothing to say or, maybe more accurately, I had things to say but nothing to share. There was nothing that I was saying that felt interesting or entertaining or even necessary. I was about to give up when I had a different idea and that idea, with absolutely no words from me, ended up being episode 397.

Maybe the topic I was trying to talk about was too vague. Maybe I just hadn't had enough coffee yet.

It certainly makes me continue to question personal podcasting as a creative outlet. I'm happy with defined topics like we discuss on the Garbagecast Conversations. I enjoy talking about music on In Your Earholes.

But when it comes to an impromptu talk about myself, I think I'm about talked out!


The rumors of bossjock studio's death were somewhat exaggerated

Image
I've said many times that bossjock studio is/was my favorite podcasting app. It gave me the ability to record a podcast with tons of clips in real time with only the app and a USB microphone plugged into my iPad.

Yes. Real time. No editing here. WISIWYG (what I say is what you get).

And then, something went wrong. bossjock studio stopped being updated. Dropbox support went away. The app is a bit unstable in iOS 12 since it hasn't been updated in so long.

Then, word came from the Virtual Yooper that bossjock studio has disappeared from the app store. If you uninstall it, it is gone FOREVER. That's when I started looking for a suitable replacement app because I really don't want to have to buy a whole new setup with a mixer and a new mic and all that. I want to keep it simple.

And, I wanted to write about my disappointment over the end of bossjock studio here today. So I decided to do a little research and went out to the bossjock studio website and, guess what! It forwa…

Two NaNoWriMo resources that have been helpful for me

Image
First is a podcast. 

This year, NaNoWriMo and SheWrites have teamed up to create the Write-minded podcast and each episode has been full of great stuff about not just NaNoWriMo but creativity in general.

The website is here: http://podcast.shewrites.com/episodes/
The direct feed is here: http://podcast.shewrites.com/feed/
The NaNoWriMo page about the podcast is here: https://nanowrimo.org/podcast

Second is a book by NaNoWriMo Executive Director Grant Faulkner.

The title is Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo.

As I type out this post, it is just $1.99 for your Kindle on Amazon. Of all of the writing books I have read lately, this has been the one I have most enjoyed and I am taking reading it very slow so I can have it for my breaks at least in week one of NaNo (unless I just end up tearing through it before then which certainly might happen).


I have found that every little bit of information helps but too much information is information overload an…

Clearing the way for NaNoWriMo

Image
I spent time yesterday and today (so far) trying to rid myself of what could turn into distractions in November while I am focused on NaNoWriMo.

I took a lot of time to look through my to-do list for items I could complete now so they would not linger into next month. The biggest of these tasks was getting my benefits setup for 2019. The smallest involved sending some emails.

I cleared out files filled with stuff I previously thought needed to be kept but apparently had no use. I tossed calendars I was gung-ho about the using at the start of the year but had ignored pretty much ever since.

I went through files on my laptop and deleted everything I didn't need and organized files I might need in the future but have no need for right now. Out of sight, out of mind.

I removed miscellaneous items from the desk in the home office and the little desk my personal laptop sits on. Less tchotchke stuff sitting around, less to look at, think about, and dust.

And, yeah, I even dusted and I ha…

Preptober pitfalls

Image
This is the year I'm going to prepare for NaNoWriMo ahead of time.

That's what I told myself at the end of September.

Then I came upon someone on YouTube that said their prep began in December of last year and they've written a twenty-plus page outline, biographies of each character, charts, etc. etc. etc.

Then I started reading some books I found for my Kindle and discovered a lot of the same. There are many people who seem to have entire careers set up around writing about writing but have done very little writing about anything other than writing. It seems odd following guidelines on how to structure a novel from someone who has never written an even semi-successful novel.

The books and information from many websites that I read suggests an overwhelming amount of preparation. It's more than overwhelming. It's daunting. Discouraging. No wonder so many people start NaNo and fail with all that the writing gurus say we must to in order to be successful!

A few of the…

It's not about WHERE we write

Image
As NaNoWriMo approaches, I have been doing the best I can to keep my mind off of deciding what I am going to write (maybe that will happen next week?) so I find myself diving into other NaNo-related topics. One that keep popping up is where I am going to do the bulk of my writing.

In previous years, most of my writing has happened at home (right where I am writing these words right now) but for the last month or so I've been thinking about how I can get a bit more mobile. What will be my primary writing device? What bag will I use (I love bags!)? What notebook do I have that will fit into said bag along with said device? Where all can I venture out to?


But yesterday, sitting out on the deck reading one last book to prepare my mind for the month ahead, I had one of those epiphany things! Spending time deciding where to write and getting to these places is time I could be actually writing. It's all a big 'ol distraction. I can stay right here in town if I need to escape the …

The wave of calm

Image
I don't want to get on here and say I have a totally new attitude about life or anything but there has been a wave of calm in my life lately leading to at least a slightly more aware attitude that seems to be taking me into new directions.

OK, so we can play some Patti LaBelle, let's say I have a New Attitude!

We should take any opportunity we can to play some Patti.

I don't know. I think realizing I needed to throw the brakes on the podcast at the end of August was a huge step for me. Not quitting in frustration. Adapting.

It took me a bit longer to figure out how this blogging thing fits into my life but I feel like I'm in a good place here now also and I think NaNoWriMo is going to be another big step because I feel like I'm going to do it differently than I have in the past.

In fact, I feel like I'm doing a lot of things differently than I have in the past.

I'm not saying that I don't get frustrated from time to time and that things are always going…

What vacation?

I was on vacation this last Monday through Thursday. You would have never have known it if you had followed me around. I was insanely busy. There was not one day, not one waking hour, without something that needed to be done. I'm actually thankful to be at work today so I can take a break from my vacation.

Remember the excellent movie "What About Bob?"

Dr. Catherine Tomsky: Relax, Leo. Dr. Leo Marvin: I'm relaxed! Dr. Catherine Tomsky: Take a vacation. Dr. Leo Marvin: I'M ON VACATION!
That's about what it was like.

And I see NaNoWriMo looming in just over two weeks and I wonder how on Earth I will have enough free time to do it.

I did finish a book I was reading this week and I am not going to start another one. That will save me some time.

And, marching season ends on the last Saturday of the month so I won't be gone all day on Saturdays once November rolls around.

Time will slowly free up.

It's just hectic right now. Mighty hectic.

A lesson learned from stepping back a bit from podcasting

Once I stopped the weekly podcast, I realized that the nice gift of not having to analyze my daily life in order to pull out the "good parts" to share. By the "good parts," I mean the entertaining or opinionated little snippets from an otherwise average, mundane life.

This is why in podcasting weekly and mainly about my own life, I felt the need to present the exaggerated parts of myself and got quite frustrated when my days were routine and not productive for material.

No one wants to hear a line by line analysis of my grocery list compared to a line by line analysis of the receipt showing what I actually bought versus what I went into the store to buy.

OK. Maybe there is a weirdo or two that would find that fascinating. I started to find it fascinating just writing that out but, of course, I am also a weirdo.

I know that people do enjoy the exaggerated, irregular parts of life such as stories from my Taco Bell days or the guy that spun around in the department st…

Split online personality

What is a split online personality?

This blog was once titled "Up In This Brain" but I wanted to use that name for the podcast in 2013. So, this site became "Up In This Blog" just on the basis of keeping it similar. It sounds a lot like this is the colonoscopy of blogging which as true as that might seem was not my intention.

Both sites have separate Twitters because, as I mentioned Wednesday, I got into my head that sharing everything in one place was sort of spammy. I don't know why I felt that way but I did. So I have two Twitters to maintain which seems dumber and dumber as I go along.

I've also had websites, blogs, Tumblrs, podcasts, etc. all under separate names. Sometimes the names have changed right in the middle of doing something. URL's have been bought and cancelled. It's all confusing.

I don't know why I did it. I think that I sometimes hide my creative projects in different places, maybe afraid to truly be who I am to everyone all a…

It’s so busy

After yesterday’s post, I was looking at Tumblr and, like Twitter, it’s just busy - non-stop streams of information assaulting your senses. It’s also a fantastic way to do no work at all. Just scroll through posts all day and avoid doing what you are researching to do.

All in and zero out.

I was thinking about the olden days when we didn’t have the constant stream of information, we had to purposely seek the information we needed. That typically meant a trip to the library or the bookstore or even taking classes. These were accessible things but not so accessible that the inflow of knowledge could lead us down endless rabbit holes and result in us wasting hours and hours.

I guess I am saying there must be a better way.

I guess I am admitting that I learned a bit more about how to outline a novel today but produced zero actual work.

I have figured out what is missing on Blogger

Image
Community.

Writing on Blogger is like yelling into a closed department store. There's plenty of those around. Go try it.

I have a Twitter for this site with a handful of followers and maybe one will see a post about an entry and come here. My tweet about the entry prior to this one had a whopping 4 engagements. 4! And, only 1 link click. 1!

I assume the rest of the visitors are bots or are lost, sent here by Google while looking for something else.

Sure, it's a lot my fault. I've quit blogging, resumed blogging, quit, resumed, changed the name of the site, etc. I think I've done all of that because it's so quiet here - creepy quiet.

Is it the lack of interaction that is frustrating? I don't know. I don't really need interaction. I am writing to write. I think it's the lack of possibility of interaction. I write something here and I know that most likely no one will see what I wrote even before I click on publish.

Blogging is certainly not what it once w…

Desperately seeking structure

Image
I am thinking about NaNoWriMo a whole month ahead this year. In fact, I thought about it during most of September also but I haven't done a bit of what I would call real preparation. All I have done is worry myself in the realization that I know zip about how to structure a 50,000 word story.

I've "won" once, way back in 2014 and I put that in quotes because the story that came out of that was 100% crap. OK, maybe 90% crap. 10% of it was acceptable.

I would like to go in this time with an idea (I have a basic one) and an outline (I am nowhere near even beginning that at the moment).

I need some structure!

I like structure - lists, index cards, something!

Without structure, I feel listless (no pun intended at first but then I went with it) and I think that's why my NaNoWriMo attempts start strong and then end up feeling like an out of control battery-operated scooter that is about to burst into flames.

So, I'm searching for some basic structure or outline that…

Getting out of the house for NaNoWriMo

Image
If I'm going to be successful at NaNoWriMo next month, I'm going to have to leave the house to write.

Part of it is there is no place in this house where I can hide from interruptions, mainly the three four-legged interruptions that constantly need things such as attention (usually involving tennis balls) or passage in and out of the house. Also, they each have different levels of sonic hearing which can cause barking outbursts at any random moment depending on who hears what.


The big problem is my never-ending, self-replicating to-do list. I just got up to fix toast and noticed two other things that need to be done this morning. Yesterday was a day of to-do's - one to-do leading to another and no time to slow down, just go, go, go.

That's not going to work when I've trying to type out hundreds of words of nonsense every day for a month. That's why I'll be in coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, parks - you name it - all through the month of November.

Dogs…