Draft Zero, Life, OIBM, Writing



I had every intention to get in on the one-a-day thankful meme, but then it was mid-November and, well. But I firmly believe it’s never too late to be thankful, so I’ve compiled my list for Thanksgiving itself. 26 things because this year, Thanksgiving fell on the 26th.

26 Things I’m Thankful For:
(or: A Thanksgiving Thankstravaganza)

26) Tucson and it’s gloriously wonderful chaotic weather.
25) Our fuzzy furry crazy cats.
24) Gainful employment.
23) BPAL and other good scents.
22) Happy twinkle lights.
21) Standing desks.
20) My overall good health.
19) Deadlifts and squats and everything they’ve taught me about true strength.
18) The local Thanksgiving 5k.
17) The inspiration that comes during a good run.
16) Zombies, Run!
15) All the amazing musicians who keep making music and life.
14) All the amazing authors who keep writing.
13) Living during a time when we have access to such a variety and depth of great arts and music and books.
12) My agent.
11) Coffee.
10) The opportunities that I’ve worked for and stumbled across.
9) Writing and the purpose it has given my life.
8) The Internet.
7) This blogging community.
6) Being able to cross the world in a matter of hours.
5) Growing older and all the experiences and wisdom that comes along.
4) Financial stability.
3) Family – chosen and blood-related.
2) My friends.
1) My wife.


Here is my current progress on OIBM, a YA fantasy ruckus about magical girls, the apocalypse, and exactly whose fault it is:

Also known as: DONE.

Yes, I moved my wordcount target down. Yes, it needs about 20k more to be a viable novel. But this is draft zero, aka a very long and convoluted outline, and should come in way under my eventual goal.

Now I’m going to let it sit and ferment and work on something else. I have an older novel to tweak and rewrite in the meantime. I definitely need some time away from this one, because it is missing something crucial and being so close to it has blinded me to what that could be. Distance will give me the perspective I need to fix this beast – I hope.

This weekend, though, I’m going to read and cook and hang out with friends and family and get outside and read and maybe start brainstorming and read.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at chez Doore!

Draft Zero, OIBM, Writing

On Writing Mechanisms


A few years ago I made the Best Decision and shelled out money for the teeniest, lightest laptop I could find – an Inspiron Mini Netbook. Suddenly, my writing could go everywhere I went, and it did. I could take it on the plane, on the bus, walk with it to a coffee shop, bring it along on a hike – all without having to plan or think about it. It fits in my purse and goes wherever I go, so I could write at the drop of hat.

Unfortunately, about a year ago it started to stutter and slow. I tried 100 different things to fix it, but when it decided to start taking 10, 15+ min just to open a word document, I finally grew frustrated enough to install Linux. That worked for a while, but now the little netbook that could is dying on me again.

Which puts me in the market for a new netbook. In my researching the current netbook market, I’ve been amazed at the sheer number of tablets marketed to stand in for what was once an ultralight, ultraportable, and ultracheap item. For one, they’re not ultracheap. For another, you have to buy a keyboard separately. And for a third – who wants a touchscreen for writing?

It makes me wonder what people do use for writing. The ubiquitous but far less portable laptop? The increasingly ubiquitous tablet? Home computer? Work computer? Desktop? Iphone? Let me know. I’m very curious.


Here is my current progress on OIBM, a YA fantasy ruckus about magical girls, the apocalypse, and exactly whose fault it is:

Fun Recent Google Searches: The Emergency Broadcast System, which, by the way, was replaced by the Emergency Alert System in 1997. Did you notice? I didn’t notice. Thank you, Google.

Average Words Per Day This Week: Nope. Not gonna do it.

Number of boss fights: 1

OIBM, Work In Progress, Writing

Trudging Along


I’ll be writing so much more!
she said.

Having a job will give me focus again! she said.

I’ll have that 20k written within the week! she said.

Somebody has been overestimating herself again.

But hey – I may not have written much this weekend, but I finally got to go and participate in our city’s amazing Dia De Los Muertos procession. We were too late to reach the urn and put in our notes (mementos, wishes, notes about loved ones who have passed go in the urn to be burned at the end of the ceremony), but the whole experience was wonderingly cathartic.

I love the idea of a special time every year set aside specifically to honor the dead, whether they’re your long-passed ancestors or a more recent grief. There are so many cultures that do something like Dia De Los Muertos, but we don’t have anything close in the US. We think by pretending death doesn’t exist, we can make it go away. Instead, we just shuttle all those grieving to the shadows and tell them to come back when they feel better. :/


Here is my current progress on OIBM, a YA fantasy ruckus about magical girls, the apocalypse, and exactly whose fault it is:

Fun Recent Google Searches: Polyphemus, the cyclops from the Odyssey

Average Words Per Day This Week: 632 (oof)

Number of impenetrable underground bunkers: 1

OIBM, Work In Progress, Writing

November, November


It’s NaNoWriMo season! In years past, this month would have found me stocked up on candy corn and bursting with plot. Alas, PCOS means I really shouldn’t be eating pure sugar and the events of the last two months have conspired to drag out the draft zero process of this WIP. Instead of candy corn and plot, I have kale and 20k words to go – which, we can work with.

I may not be doing NaNo as it was intended, but by golly, that draft will be finished this month, rain or shine, job or no job –

Speaking of which, I will again enjoy full employment as of tomorrow. Hoorah! Aside from the joy of a regular paycheck and learning something new, I’m also looking forward to having a set schedule again. These past few months of (f)unemployment have been necessary in showing that, surprise surprise, I don’t manage huge gobs of free time very well. I write much better in the corners and edges of life, not right front and center. I write much more when I have a job than when I don’t, which isn’t that surprising.

So on top of having less free time, I’m looking forward to writing more. 20k will be easy peasy. I’m going to harness NaNo’s energy to get that done asap, and then lock this draft away and turn to another story that has been scratching at my thoughts: rewriting City of Wraithes into something much more exciting and awesome.

Here is my current progress on OIBM, a YA fantasy ruckus about magical girls, the apocalypse, and exactly whose fault it is:

Fun Recent Google Searches: How to do a fireman’s carry. Looks easy! I doubt it actually is – now I just need to trick a friend into letting me try it on them…

Average Words Per Day This Week: Ugh, not even gonna look this time.

Number of sinkholes introduced to the story: 1

Draft Zero, OIBM, Writing

Just Keep Swimming

The benefit of consistently writing for so many years is that you really get to know your process. Which means knowing what works for you, but also knowing where you struggle.

I’ve come to accept over the years that 1/3rd of the way through a first draft is always where I start losing momentum. The story is starting to come together and I can finally see the shape of the end and am excited to get there – but I still have to stitch together the rest of the plot. I’m an unapologetic pantser and what gets me writing and through (most of) the first draft is needing to know what’s gonna happen. The absolute fastest way for me to kill a fledgling story is to try to plot it before writing.

Of course, 1/3rd to 1/2th the way in, I know pretty much what’s going to happen. And that’s when it becomes work: sitting down and getting those words out every single day.

The only way out is through, so here we go. Nose to grindstone (which always seems like such a terribly painful idea). Writing every day. Get it out, get it written, and get excited again.

Best way to get through this rough bit is to hold myself publicly accountable. So without further do, here is my current progress on OIBM, a YA fantasy ruckus about magical girls, the apocalypse, and exactly whose fault it is:

Fun Recent Google Searches: Exactly how long someone can be unconscious after being knocked out before brain damage is an issue. Answer: not long.

Average Words Per Day This Week: 1700

Numbers of Bears Introduced in Story So Far: 0

Draft Zero, OIBM


DITL September 6th

I just spent the last two weeks completely useless and out of it. It started with a flu, only to quickly devolve into walking pneumonia. It’s hard to be productive with a fever, so I acquiesced to the sofa and too much Netflix.

A brief round of antibiotics was enough to clear it up. All hail antibiotics. Being able to just take a pill and actually feel better the next day really underscored how screwed we all are if/when every major bacterial disease becomes resistant. If I were a writer of futuristic dystopians…

But I’m not. At least, not right now. Right now I’m just trying to finish the draft zero of a little YA story about magical girls and the end of the world. Right now I’m trying to reconcile the fact that two weeks sick and not writing means I won’t meet my self-imposed deadline of finishing this by October 1st. Right now I’m trying to shuffle my expectations and accept the fact that those two weeks are gone, gone, gone, snatched away by illness, and that’s okay.

So. September. Not so much. But October? Yes. We can do this.

My little YA story is at 26,000 words. I expect draft zero will be done around 75,000 words. That’s just shy of 50,000 words in a month. Oh yes, I can do this.

Good bye pneumonia. Hello October.