Whoooooo Aaaaarrrre Yoooouuuu?

CheshireCat

(Yes, Cheshire cat is Horrifying but I had to credit the quote, my title. And this one was less frightening than the others.)

Sit down.
You heard me, sit.
I’ve got startling news for you, and you’re going to wish you were sitting if you don’t.

Okay, now take a deep breath.
No, deeper than that.
Come on, suck that oxygen in, cuz you’re going to need it for your brain to take in what I’m about to say.
Now take two more.
Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin.
Oooooooouuuuuut.
Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin.
Oooooooouuuuuut.

YOU are a writer.
Oh yeah, that’s right. I’ll say it again in a little different way.
You ARE a writer.
Once more.
You are a WRITER.

Are you with me so far?
I know the doubt. I’ve had it too. It comes about, slinking in when you’re not looking, like the neighbor cat. It curls up on the rug in front of your mental fireplace and you think “How cute.” Then when you’re not looking it scratches the furniture, shreds your certainty. Darn neighbor cat.

Okay, You and I, writers.
You know what convinced me?
A quote that I can’t find. I looked. I found some other, wonderful and inspiring quotes but not the one I was looking for. Ah, the internet Rabbit Hole and the difficulty of modern research. LOL

Take this one instead

. Real Writer

Got it? Do you see what I’m saying now?

You are a writer. ūüėÄ Now WRITE! (or edit if that’s what you’re doing for CampNaNoWrimo.)

Remember, if you are doing CampNaNoWriMo.org this April, nanomail Pacifika and ask for an invitation to our local SpokaNano cabin. See you all at the lake.

Wait, where’d that idea go?

idea

“Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.”

Do your ideas badger you in the most inconvenient places and then disappear as soon as you are ready to write them down? Yeah, mine too. ¬†Don’t worry though, another will show up shortly. ¬†Just remember to grab that one and wrangle it onto the page.

Where is your story going?

motion

“Above, below, all around are the movements of the elements. But the motion of virtue is in none of these; it is something more divine, and advancing by a way hardly observed it goes happily on its road.”

Trust your story.

We all live…

universe

“Either it is a well arranged universe or a chaos huddled together; but still a universe.”

Substitute “novel” with “universe” and you start to see the picture. ¬†What are you doing here? Get back to your universe novel!

We Week Two, do you?

“Shuffle, duffle, muzzle, muff. Fista, wista, mista-cuff. We are men of groans and howls, mystic men who eat boiled owls”.

Bartholomew and the Ooblek by Dr. Seuss

So say the king’s magicians of themselves. They create all manner of havoc when the king asks. Why did he ask? ¬†He was bored with the normal. Bored and needing some inspiration, something new. Just like you in Week Two!

What’s Week Two you ask? It is a miserable time of NaNo. Worse than the Editing Doldrums of December. ¬†(I just trademarked that.) ¬†Your characters flee and hide in corners, refusing to talk to you. Your plot points vanish into thin air. And worst of all – you start thinking that mountain of dirty laundry and dust piles and crusty dishes look enticing! What’s a writer to do??

There are a few thing to snap you out of it and break that rubber band of recurring disaster.

  • First¬†– take it to the threads! Everyone suffers this malady at some point in their NaNo career. Reach out and create a thread if there is isn’t one; if there is, read through it for fabulous ideas on how to make your novel behave and get your mojo back.
  • Second¬†– take a break! Give yourself permission to take a day off and do something fun. Go see a movie, read a book, get a massage, go mall walking. ¬†Replenish your flagging energy so it’s raring to go when you sit back down at the keyboard.
  • Third¬†– if you haven’t already, attend a write-in in person. Being there in person is important to your weary writer brain. Enthusiasm is contagious and where better to find it than at a write-in! Join in the word wars even if you are simply typing “I know nothing.” over and over. Getting those fingers moving will eventually wake up your sleepy muse and she’ll look at your repetitive sentence in horror and give you something better to write.

Whatever you choose, remember the lesson from Bartholomew. Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it!

Missed a few of our ML reports? You can catch up on all our Seuss-ish fun on the Spokane Regional NaNo threads:  Here!

What Did I Get Myself Into?

a+

Back in school, a dear friend referred to Underwater Basket Weaving as an¬†“easy A” class. She made it sound so simple. But when I signed up for Underwater Basket Weaving it turned out to be much more difficult than promised.

I was so excited at the prospect of combining two things I loved, being in water and the decorative interlacing and interplay of reeds and wicker. I gathered my supplies:¬†reeds of various sizes, goggles and snorkel, clippers for trimming the reeds and assorted other necessary items and found my way to my first class. Initially, there was nothing to it. We sat on the deck of the pool and learned¬†some of the techniques we would need for keeping the shape of our basket. Then we practiced breathing with the snorkel. That was a strange experience. The noise the air made as it rushed through the snorkel was distracting and disorienting to me. But, I thought, it must get easier. This is an “easy A” class after all.

I was badly mistaken. We entered the water with our underwater gear and our weaving necessities and began.

word monster

I step in now to say, My friend was a big liar! There was nothing simple or easy about “Underwater Basket Weaving”! It was nearly impossible to keep the warp under control and the weave compact and the noise of my breath in my snorkel was so loud underwater that it really freaked me out so I took it off! Let me tell you. Static apnea is way harder too. I was literally and figuratively WAY over my head.

chapter 1

Now, as your Camp Advisor, I see that you have signed up for something similar to “Underwater Basket Weaving.” NaNoing looks like an “easy A” at first, too. You have your plot idea and that’s the hard part right? Writing is just stringing words together and you’ve done that since you were a little kid.

So, you jumped into this endeavor with both feet, excited and filled with the promise of that “easy A”. But now you’ve hit the second week. This is where the task starts to really get daunting. Your characters have stopped talking to you and each other, you’ve discovered that there’s more to a plot that just the idea, the house has never been cleaner because somehow washing those walls is suddenly more appealing than sitting at your computer.

snorkel weaving

I’ll share with you what I learned in “Underwater Basket Weaving”. Stay calm and keep going. Yes, it’s difficult and at the moment it feels impossible, but it’s not. You’re at the part of the basket where you are moving from forming the base to forming the walls. Just keep at it. In a few rows and in a few days it will suddenly become so easy. The story will suddenly take on a life of its own and it will barely need you. Just come up for air on occasion and then get back to it. Keep at the task, round the corner of the basket, change your goal if need be (you can until the 25th), get past the difficult part of writing and you’ll be just fine.

Underwater Basket Weaving is no easy task and neither is writing, but what Worthy Goal ever is?

~ Pacifika

basket weaving badge

Write-In Worries?

Are you worried about going to a Write-In? ¬†Afraid the people you meet will be a little wild and crazy, not serious about writing? ¬†Not sure you want to join this strange and, to be honest, slightly overzealous group? ¬†Don’t worry. ¬†We’re nothing like the characters in Errol Elumir’s NaNoToons. At least, not this year’s set.

Day 11

See? ¬†We are positively¬†normal compared to them. ¬†Victoria excepted of course (the curly red head). ¬†Sure we have folks who enjoy visiting and some who use the time to just get out of the house. ¬†But we also have seriously competitive writers who can’t wait to do the next word war and hike their word count that little bit more. We even have writers using pencils and paper instead of a computer.

You don’t have to do word wars. You don’t have to log in to Chatzy and you don’t even have to talk! ¬†We’d love it if you did, but this is¬†your NaNoWriMo. ¬†We simply want to help you write (and win!).

Take a break and read through Errol’s comics, then come out and join us. ¬†You might be glad you did!