Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In which I do what I (almost) always do in November: I WRITE

I did my first NaNoWriMo in 2008.

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month, i.e.
write the first draft of your novel in a single month.

That year, for the first time in my life, I wrote an entire book.

I started at the beginning with a premise (A 100-mile endurance ride open only to teenagers on horseback.  The completion prize is a wish.) and I wrote almost every day. Two days from the end of the month, my characters were almost at the finish line and I still didn't know how to end the book...and then suddenly I did.

That feeling is better than drugs, y'all.

(I tried revising the book for publication earlier this year, but it's not done marinating yet.  I will work on it, though.  I promise!)

Finishing that book left me looking around for something else to write.  So, in December 2008 I started this blog.  Did I mention addictive drugs?

The next year I signed up for NaNoWriMo again.  I spent the entire month of November on a book that I hated.  I hated the characters, I hate the setting, I hated the whole thing.  On the last day of the month, I loaded all the characters into a Jeep and drove them off a cliff.

That felt pretty good.

In 2010, I returned to NaNoWriMo and wrote a series of short stories about a mostly-made up small town in the Swampland.  I called the town "Skookum," and I posted some of the stories on this blog.  Some of the stories were pretty good, and I've even returned to Skookum with a few more stories.  I think a couple of the stories are worth revising for publication eventually.  The collection isn't quite finished yet, but it's definitely on my list of stuff to work on in my copious spare time.

In 2011 I decided to spend the month writing heaps of articles for Endurance News magazine, but Troy (the editor) sent me a note that said, "I think you should write a whole book instead."


So I did.

In 2012 I was too busy doing major editing and re-writing on the manuscripts of Endurance 101 and the other book to write a novel.

But this year, I did it again.

Actually, I wrote two books, sorta.  The first is a book that is definitely headed for publication:

How to Love a Dog is a modern guide for people who are new to (or not yet very adept at) dog ownership.

The DogLove book attempts to balance out some of popular media's messages about loving dogs, and show people (because people aren't dumb and they aren't mean, but a lot of people just don't know) that their dog would rather have this:

Do you know how nasty this tennis ball smells?
Dogs just love that stuff.
or this

Nutritious dog food, not whatever is on sale cheapest at WalMart.

than this:
If there's money in your account after buying good food, good vet care
and some nice toys, by all means, purchase a cute outfit.

My co-author on the dog book is Patty, who is also my favorite small animal vet.

Patty said "I don't write."
I said, "You don't have to write.  You just have to tell me stories about people and dogs."
She said, "I've got stories."

And dang.  She sure does.

So, now that November is almost over, we've got a first draft of the "Dog Love" book ready to be revised in December.  That's a good feeling.

And then, just for fun, I wrote most of a novel:

Claus of Death 

Premise:  Santa Claus finds a dead body in the living room.  Okay: go.

I don't know if that one is any good.  It's got to marinate for at least 6 months.  But it was fun trying to figure out whodunnit.

BTW the reindeer really do know how to fly.

So now I've got projects enough to keep me busy for months.

How 'bout you?  Did you write?  Did you have any fun?  Leave your notes in the comments box!