Monthly Archives: November 2016

Not a winner

The puppy lies sleeping. Yay for Blanket season!

The puppy lies sleeping. Yay for Blanket season!

Not of NaNoWriMo. Not this year anyway but I am writing and that is all that matters. I took a little break  earlier this year because I had a little crisis of ego – it happens and I’m not completely over it but that’s never stopped me for long before! The new story is plugging along so that’s good. I also have a book to review, a short story to finish, and a puppy to cuddle. Ok, so that last one isn’t a job but it is impossible to resist.

I’m listening to Cohen on loop and feeling a little maudlin but remembering that I’m not leaving the table or the game anytime soon so I’d probably ought to get my tush in gear and do something. And I don’t just mean make cool things for Christmas (though I plan to do some of that too!).

I hope you all are having a productive month.


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Filed under Life, Writing

And we’re back on – maybe

I might not finish it but I’m pretty sure this one isn’t a short story. I’ve finished a NaNoWriMo is less time than I have left – but I’m not going to be super upset if I don’t manage to get it finished in the official 30 days. I’m just glad to be working on something. If I don’t make it this year, I’m not going to worry about it or be upset with myself if I don’t manage 50,000 words in the next 18 days but I will be super proud of myself if I do.

I don’t even have a working title yet but I’m about 1000 words in and we’ll see where it goes. Sometime next year, I’ll get to polishing up Crow Queen. This week, I’ve got a comic and a book to review. Even if I don’t win Nano this year, I should have a new book by the end of the year. Whether it’s this one or a different one – I’m determined.

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Another Hero Lost

I was sixteen when I first heard Leonard Cohen. My mom had just died and I was a bitter, angry, broken girl (I am still those things some days). His words had no sugar coating, no false happy notes. His work was honest and imperfect and beautiful. His work has inspired my own time and time again. When I was in the darkest parts of my life, he, and the poets he led me to, were a solace of sorts. He showed me that poetry wasn’t just the dry imagery and metaphor we were taught in school, that music was poetry and poetry was music.  It is possible that his music was the first to feel like poetry to me but I don’t know if that was Cohen himself, my own maturation, or the low pit I was crawling out of.  I do know this: I am really tired of losing my idols.

Realistically, I do understand that it feels bigger because superstars weren’t really a thing before this great generation of artists.  At least now these people know that they have touched people, brought comfort or inspiration or joy when it was needed. I know it really isn’t anything about this year but after so many losses, it’s hard not to feel like this year is just determined to break hearts.


Like Bowie, it feels like he got a chance to say goodbye with his last album. I’m so tired of goodbye right now. Cohen was the poet I wanted, still want, to grow up to be.


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Filed under Life, Memories, music

Or not

Usually, by this time, my nanowrimo novel is well past half done and I’m not just excited about writing it but forget that there are things I really do need to do while I’m writing it. This year, it’s a bit more like drudgery. I like the images in my head, I even like the character, but this story is completely the wrong one or at least, how I’m going about it. Between that, the puppy, and making sure all my boys have clothes to wear and get fed, I don’t think I’m going to accomplish a win this year.

I’m not saying I won’t get a huge idea in the next day or two and bring it home, squeaking my way into a win by the skin of some poor character’s teeth, but it isn’t looking likely. I’m not giving up on this image in my head but I’m starting to think that maybe Crow Queen is a short story and nowhere near novel length. The beginning, yep. Solid. I just don’t think there’s anything past that.

If I manage to find the right story to write, I’ll get back to it but for this year, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

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Day Six

I’ve officially caught up and am where I’m supposed to be at the minimum to be successful. I’m hoping to get ahead soon because that last week of November is for decorating and making stuff. I have a few things on the christmas present horizon that are going to take some major time so I need to get this book draft finished as quickly as possible. It’s already doing a few things that I didn’t expect but the big bad isn’t scary yet. I’ve got to work on that. I know it takes a lot to spook me for read but it’s still my goal.

I hope those of you participating in NaNoWriMo are finding your pace and happy with your work! I’m getting back to Crow Queen and dreaming up some old gods, some monsters, or some super bads that could potentially even scare me.

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Day Five

Yesterday I fell behind and discovered that I’m not exactly digging the start point for Crow Queen. I’m not fixing it right now but I do figure I’ll probably cut out a lot of the first few days work. That’s really pretty normal for me though. I did manage more than the minimum for today but I’m still technically behind. I’m hoping to catch up tomorrow. But I need to do a good bit of thinking on the next step for my characters. Fortunately for me, that’s what I use sleep for! I’m at 8170 but my goal is to pass up 11k tomorrow if I can. Hopefully everyone will cooperate.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Sometimes People Suck

I wish I had not gone on Facebook instead of adding a few more words to Crow Queen. I wish I hadn’t been struck by my own stupid curiosity to see what made one of the writers I admire and respect so totally pissed off. Alas, I did. Now I’m going to share my pissed off, Jim Hines‘s pissed off, and some outside observer’s absolute idiocy. Because this woman who wrote this thing has NO CLUE about what she writes.

Actually, Hines sums it up better than I can. Read his response to a terrible woman who has no clue here. (and this way, I don’t have to link to the actual article! Bonus for me!)

I just want to add that I have children, one of whom is officially autistic and currently struggling to define what that is for himself. He comes home from school and tells me that autism isn’t an illness which tells me that someone at school is telling him that it is. He is working on finding stims that don’t scare the new puppy or make other kids stare. He is learning to speak and act neurotypical because he wants to. I’m of two minds on that – on one hand, he is awesome but on the other, like speaking French in Paris, speaking NT certainly will help him in life.

My situation is not terrible, in fact, my life is pretty freaking awesome. My kids are a large part of why that is. We learn to work around things, find different ways to get to the same place, and help my son navigate a world with people like this horrible woman in it. Maybe sometimes we have to take the longer or rockier path but who doesn’t sometimes?

I have been told, more than once, that my kid isn’t autistic enough for me to understand what other people go through. They’re sort of right, I guess. His autism presents in a manner that I can understand and even translate. I know how lucky we are for that. I also know that Carly Fleischmann found her own way. Naoki Higashida found his own way. Others find their own ways of communicating all the time. Different is not less. I think some people need to fall down off their very high rocking horse (because it isn’t a real horse when you aren’t actually personally involved in the situation).

Now I’m going to get back to the words I need to write today.

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Filed under Autism, Life, Parenting

Day Three

For those playing along at home, I’m still plugging along on Crow Queen, breaking through the 5k mark today to wrap at 5144 total. This is definitely my slowest start but it’s moving along and even if I’m currently in a dragging place because I’ve got to set the foundation down somewhere, I’m happy with it. Besides, that’s what rewrites are for – eliminating the drag and pumping up the interesting and, hopefully, throwing in a dash of scary because I would really like a little scary. We’ll see.

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Filed under WIP, Writing

Day Two

I managed to make it through day two and I’ve learned a few things. First, this story could actually be good and it might even end up actually being the genre I want it to be. Second, puppies are a lot of work and there’s a little part of me that might actually be a little glad we’re done having babies. Third, I am not just Queen of my Geekdom but Queen of the Suckers also.

Under Mama's desk is a good place to hide from the big dog and nap.

Under Mama’s desk is a good place to hide from the big dog and nap.

Mojo is adjusting to Alfred but he’s very pushy. Alfred wants to be touching me all the time and is very upset that I won’t just hold him. His answer is to use me to hide from Drooly McDroolerson. He gets some peace to sleep where he is also touching me.

As far as NaNoWriMo goes, today hasn’t been stellar, no record breakers here and probably not in this year’s future, but I’m getting there. I’m at the very least enjoying the journey. I did manage a few words past the minimum for the day but not by much. I’m really used to being a great deal farther along but, I’ll get there.

I’m not getting as much done around the house as I should be but that has as much to do with the not housebroken puppy as it does with the writing. Even when I do manage to get stuff done, I can’t do it by myself!

Overall though, I think everyone is adjusting. My cat, Cas, is less interested in the puppy than in his belly rubs and Alfred is still a little skittish about the whole idea but they’ll work it out. Interestingly enough, I have yet to hear Alfred bark. Mojo barks at people, buses, cars, anything he wants to yell at. Alfred as been very quiet thus far. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Time to do dishes is also time to warm up Mama's feet!

Time to do dishes is also time to warm up Mama’s feet!

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Filed under Animals, Writing

Alfred and NaNoWriMo

New Puppy in the Wagner House

New Puppy in the Wagner House

This year is my slowest start to a NaNoWriMo book in all the years I’ve been participating. But I have a really good reason. Today was the start of NaNo, yes, but in my house, it was also PuppyDay!

We’ve gone back and forth a few times since Champ died about when the right time was, what the right dog was, but I’m pretty sure we got it right. His name is Alfred. He and Mojo are getting along but there’s a great deal of drooling on the part of RedDog which is a little annoying but in a week or so it will settle out and Mojo won’t be so lonely anymore. I hope they become good friends.

We’ve had him for less than 4 hours and everyone is already smitten. Seriously, how can you not be? Look at that face! So far he likes my lap but I’m pretty sure that’s because I’ve got all the pudge so I’m softer and squishy. I’m a sucker for a baby – all babies – and this little guy already has us all wrapped around his paw.

I’m still going to win NaNoWriMo – The Crow Queen is at just over 1700 words today. It may take me a little longer than usual because I really don’t see many (if any) 8000 word days in my future with a new puppy in the house.

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Filed under Animals, Writing