Tag Archives: HandH

Moody Monday: What I learned from my last NaNoWriMo about Writing

I’m still finding notes from earlier story and novel projects, and think it is a good idea to review lessons learned from drafting and editing my previous two practice novels, before I start drafting my next WiP, which I think (or hope) that I’m nearly finished planning.

My second practice novel, started on Wattpad,  was easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website before I set up my own spreadsheet.  It taught me several things about managing Depression (actually PTSD -> anger->depression…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp, if you live farther from the equator than the 35th parallel…).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This helped me feel like less of a waste of oxygen while I can looked for a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth,  the actual writing lessons:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.  (Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
Writing 7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and I, a planner, felt annoyed trying to write stream-of-consciousness just because I had 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better, I learned, to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and

Writing 8.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

modified from original 2015 post,

some Action Items in support of literacy and writing that you can take right now:

1.) Download some advice on novel writing, maybe from two different websites,

2.) Read about NaNoWriMo,

3.) Share your thoughts on the value of each person writing a book, perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a novel that references a classic book, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Other ideas welcome on how to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail, starting with improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19

ShiraDest

 September 2020, High Holidays of 5781, 12020 HE

Reasons to keep a journal…

particularly if you marry when under duressif you marry when under duress or suicidality: 

Never trust someone, even if you have known him for seven years, who tells you that “All I want is your trust,” and “I will be your doctor” in response to your plea for help with ptsd and nightmares, when you are ill and have no income.

first

 

FirstShakeJY16Nov
First time spouse shook me

Second:

2ndShake1Feb2016
second time spouse shook me, even more violently

short story of December: encouragement pls?

update during Covid-19: Hubris and Hemlock is now up for beta reviews on Wattpad, and also I think on my GoodReads profile, if you are a member there…

I was amazed by Stephen King’s memoir on writing, but am having trouble taking his advice. It’s not easy, getting into my short story for December while I let my NaNoWriMo2015 practice novel Rough Draft rest for 6 weeks (ala Stephen King: On Writing).

So I hope you all, dear readers, will help hold me to account:  This Week I want to finish planning the 10k words in large: Setting, Conflict(s?), Master Scenes and Protagonist character-building.

1st question:  is a short story long enough to have both external and internal conflict??

2nd q:  do people bother classifying the genre for a short story?

 

Public Service Announcement (mostly for American citizens of voting age living in the USA at the moment)  from my GoodReads book in (reading) progress:

“Call, write, and visit your government officials and educators and share your insights. Let them know there are better answers. Stand up and tell them it is time to invest in the lives of poor and abandoned children.
Work in your community to reach out and help Invisible Children live among us as productive and healthy citizens.
Visit our website:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org
Use our ongoing web dialogue to post
your interests and findings:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org/weblog
Share …   Most importantly, be active and concerned for the abused and neglected children in your community.”

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People and PhD ( PhDresearch journal )students who share notes,

(like author Trice, JrROTC friend Tammy, loyal friend Elaine, loyal activist friend Felice, and an allied Librarian)
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
3rd of December, 12015 HE

(later addition: )
(this one was published in Concrete Wolf but the magazine is now defunct…)

“Lost in a Rose”

smooth hand touches silk
on the curved red petal
hibiscus scented nectar
within conical perdition


this one got good comments in the poetry workshop, but needs polishing…
…originally written wed. 21 june 2000

A scream shatters the still night
shrill peal, reverberating off the hills
look at me it cries
react
remove this agony
the sword under which I labor
to see and not be heard
warn and watch chaos befall
strike in defense yet named a traitor
ever teh thorn in your side
I am the gadfly of Athens,
reborn…
(edited 29 march 2001, but where???)


a favorite horse riding poem I wrote in 2002 has been lost, originally entitled ‘Steed’
later retitled ‘Motorcycle Mare’
sent to two magazines and posted on LJ but all seem lost now… oh well…
-hair flowing in the whipping wind
pressing forward together
flowing ever faster
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
8 March, 12016 HE

Your fundamental problem is that you do not really believe that you deserve to have good things happen to you. if you marry when under duress

Publication: “Lost in a Rose”, Concrete Wolf Poetry Quarterly
Issue Number 2

And because abused children become abused adults. FinancialAbuse

What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira

Does this Climactic Chapter Work?

Dear Readers,

This is my 2nd draft of Hubris and Hemlock, a very short novel (40k words or 150 pages), which is Women’s Fiction, so: 1. Relationships are Key, and 2. The Heroine saves Herself.  But my question, before I go to polishing the prose, is: Does the plot hold your interest?    Especially Chapter 17, the climactic chapter.

I plan to post the last chapter shortly, but it is just a wrap-up, so if chapter 17 doesn’t work, neither will chapter 18.

Thank you for any feedback,

 

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 March, 12016 HE

review of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence by Judith Lewis Herman

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political TerrorTrauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Lewis Herman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, for me, was a horrible read. Horribly accurate. Yet hopeful as well.

Horrible to see that I am not so different after all -I see myself in every comment she makes on adults who survived long-term trauma as children.
Horrible to see that my experience is not so different.
Yet hopeful to see that there are ways of solving the problem, living ‘normally’ -just that ignoring it is not one of those ways.
Most irritating.
Especially after burn-out has twice stopped me from working enough to distract myself from my distracting memories.

She mentions The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma in her 2015 epilogue, and that book seems to recommend both movement and writing -both of which helped me until I had to get back to sitting in a chair looking for a job all day long.

I seem to be stuck in Stage 2, and worst of all, I read over and over again that either in writing or in talking therapy, I must now stop “living in my head” and move back into my body. I have always found it easier to forget to eat then to bother about my body. Work has always been a useful form of escape, until now. Ok, not so much -once I get to about the intermediate level of just about anything, it seems no longer to hold my interest, and I find myself assaulted by unwanted memories that refuse to go back into their Blankety-Blank-Blank!!! boxes.
Irritatingly enough, this is the first place I have seen such a thing predicted.
She even has the gall to predict and counter my ‘unique’ perspective on my right to choose when to die, and how. Apparently this too is normal for folks like me. Huh. So much for being misunderstood. I guess she has us pegged, finally, Thank the non-existent God!! Finally someone actually documents what we go through, and tells us it is a normal response to a hideous start in life. Ok, now, on to how to fix the problem: start with saftey (years of martial arts did help some), get a good therapist, talk, write, and move your body. And remember that faking functionality will not work forever.

Later update:  NaNoWriMo 2015 novel  Hubris and Hemlock came out of this…

Peace,
Shira
27.10.12015 HE

View all my reviews

– irresponsible landlords exploit the vulnerable, leaving them prey to false allies

Another reason we need a Universal Basic Income is that when one is desperately trying to use one’s savings to write and publish, and has rented an expensive apartment using one’s Life Savings as collateral, telling the management up front about smoke allergies and PTSD with need for quiet, then when the management refuses to respond to multiple documented noise and smoke issues in the apartment, that is effectively
renting an unlivable apartment
which is unethical:

exploitative landlords

So that they then get exploited by unscrupulous or simply narcissistic “allies” offering solutions that they use to abuse the vulnerable even further.

If you explain the problem, ask for help to find therapy and work, and then you are told “I will be your doctor,” and “All I want is your trust,” never believe them.
You may learn the hard way, in three miserable abused years.

And later write a NaNoWriMo novel if you marry when under duress about it.