Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Report from Camp NaNoWriMo: on day 13 I completed the Challenge

Winner 2018 - Facebook CoverThe Camp NaNoWriMo program spans the thirty days of April and the thirty one days of July. And of course, these are extensions of the original NaNoWriMo which takes place in November. There are thirty days in each month.

I absolutely love this creative challenge. I think the organization is well developed, helpful and the mission to get people to write is worthy and I wish more people joined up. I do not believe in all nonprofit organizations. I do not freely give money or time to many nonprofits either. NaNoWriMo, however, I believe in fully, and whereas I do not have any time to donate to the organization, I did donate money each time I've participated. I think every writer who participates, it's a good idea to give a little back.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Report from Camp NaNoWriMo: the excerpt

Winner 2018
From "One of Those Smoking Couples"

The soda burned my nose a little. I took half the bottle in one swallow anyway. “I want to see the glass blowers,” Jill said.
I pulled the soda bottle away from the face. “The air feels good here,” I said. The clouds over the ocean were rolling in with the tide. We'd been on a beached tree for a few minutes. I had needed the air and I'd hoped the soda would help my hangover.
Jill put her hand into my jacket pocket and took my box of cigarettes. She put one to her lips and took the book of matches from the cellophane.
She struck one match after another and each one went out in the wind.
“Watch,” I said. I reached for the cigarette in her lips. She let it go. I could not bare the thought of smoking one yet, because of the hangover.
I put her cigarette in my lips. I took the matchbook. I held the book to her. “We got one chance,” I said.
She looked at the book of matches in my hand. “There's three matches left,” she said. Her face remained blank.
“In this wind, we got one chance. One chance and one half at best,” I said.
“Half a chance,” she said. “That's funny.”
I held tightly to the soda bottle in one and I had the matches in the other. I juggled a moment with these things and finally handed the bottle to Jill.
“Watch,” I said. “Take out two matches. Stagger them like. Strike. By the time the wind blows out the first one, the second will be lit and if you suck hard enough, you'll get the cigarette lit.”
Without much trouble, it worked the way I thought it would. I got half her cigarette lit.
“Wow,” she said.
“Oh, God, I regret that puff,” I said. “I'm so sick already.”
“I don't want to be one of those smoking couples,” she said.
“Gotcha,” I said. It had been two days since we'd gotten to Seaside. We had made the decision to start smoking two days back in a bar. We made a very informed democratic decision to start smoking cigarettes.
We'd chained them since. Already on our third pack.
“Smoking couple,” I said after I had thought about it.
“You've see those people and they're both smoking,” she said.
“I come from the Midwest,” I said. “But you know, if one smokes so does the other, right?”
She took a small dainty sip from my soda and handed it back to me. I took a sip too, but it made me feel suddenly very ill. I was in a fragile state. “I won't smoke today,” I said. “Fuck I'm sick.”
“You won't smoke today?” she asked.
“Good God no,” I said. I held true to my convictions until two o'clock.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Report from Camp NaNoWriMo: the Chill of the Morning

"In Search of Doughnut Jockeys"
"One of Those Smoking Couples"
"Dishes" "Social Suicide"
"Family Mandate"
"Sudden Chill"
"Nihilistic Debauch"
"The Chill of the Morning"
"Poisoned by Dreams"
"Lipstick and Shoes"
"Bus Rides"

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Report from Camp NaNoWriMo: My Prep

FullAs July approached, I started to collect all the notes and scrapes of stories that I have been meaning to write this year. It is no surprise that I had a good few to write. I mean, I try to write short stories that amount to something of substance every year. In a way, I will write enough short stories to fill a manuscript, complete and sovereign.

The real challenge, however, is how to write so many short stories in such a small period of time. I had never done that before.

When I write short stories, and I have written hundreds of them, I do so very very slowly. On average, I write one short story a month. I've been doing this for almost thirty years. That's a lot of short stories.

Even in prolific times, I have not really been able to write more than a story a week. So, this as a challenge would be difficult.

It was only difficult because it was something I had not done before.

So, I decided that I would write a short story a day until I finished the project.

I had parts of ideas, up to partially written scenes. It was just a matter of doing the right thing by each story.

My prep was simple, I made an outlandish demand on myself and I kept my pile of notebooks at my side. I decided I would work for about three hours a day. I figured three hours would be enough time to write a story ranging in word count from 2,500 to 4,000.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Report from Camp NaNoWriMo: What I did and what I did it for

I figured July is as good a month as any to write a bunch of stort stories. I mean, why not, right? I also knew that the Camp NaNoWriMo was coming in again in July. I had had a good experience with the April program, I thought I'd give it another go.

There were a couple of things I had to think about as July approached. I suppose the first was that I needed a project to work on, and the second, simply, I had to complete the project I had been working on before July began.

About a month lapsed between the completion of Admiral Fish and the Rainy Day Parade which was my April  NaNoWriMo project and when I begun my poetry project for the year. Admittedly, it took a lot longer for me to write the poetry project than I would care to think about. But as that manuscript was winding down, I started to think about the next thing.