Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: November is Here!

It’s here, it’s here! November is herrrrre!

I’m not quite sure how November got here, because I was really enjoying October, but I have embraced this new month with open arms.

I have had my first taste of the Harney and Sons holiday tea that Barnes and Noble serves each year, and I’ll be getting my hands on a red Starbucks holiday cup before too long. I am gleefully giving in to the onslaught of holiday music–my playlist of jazzy Christmas tunes and choral music is all queued up and ready to go.

My sister and my grandfather are visiting for Thanksgiving, and my parents have agreed to get a real Christmas tree next month instead of the artificial one we’ve been using for the last few years.

This is all really, really good stuff, folks.

Better yet, I am hitting NaNoWriMo hard and taking no prisoners, except for my inner editor, who is currently drugged and hanging out in a shed somewhere. I’ll release her on December 1st but not one day sooner.

Here’s how the last week went:

Day Job: Lots of work in the archive, lots of notes, lots of thinking. I feel like the pieces of this dissertation are slowly being nudged into place, and it feels good not to rush the process. Spending at least 2 afternoons a week in the archive keeps me accountable, because it means I can’t allow myself to slack off for days and weeks at a time, and it also keeps the information fresh in my mind.

Writing: My October goal was to reach 75k on my fantasy novel by October 31st, before NaNo stole all my energy. I made it to a little over 68k–a bit short of the original goal, but 8k more than I had when this round began.

As I mentioned above, I’m hitting NaNoWriMo hard this year. One thing I’ve learned from past experiences is that I always sputter out mid-month, whether or not I’ve plotted obsessively or decided to pants my way through, and I’m sure the same thing is going to happen to me this time around. My current word count is 8,668, which gives me a couple days’ worth of padding. It’ll come in handy soon enough, because I am going to run out of plot very, very soon, and I’ll need to take a couple of days to sit and brainstorm.

For fun, here’s an excerpt from what I’ve written so far. This is (will hopefully be?) a steampunk/fantasy hybrid, set in the fictional kingdom of Vorewin. This snippet introduces Helena Grey, one of the country’s first female scientists. It is, of course, super rough, but I wanted to share. 😀

Some days, Helena Grey wished that being a trailblazer wasn’t so bloody difficult. Despite what she may have believed in her naive and prosaic youth, there was little glory in becoming a pioneer. Few people trusted pioneers and innovators, and even fewer trusted women who dared to stray from the well-trod path of marriage and motherhood. If she had been wise, Helena would have followed her mother’s advice and done just that: married a local boy, popped out four children in three years, and spent the rest of her days in matronly modesty. It might not have been joy divine, but it would have saved her countless tears and endless heartache.

As it was, she possessed the stalwart stubbornness of her father’s people, and an appalling lack of common sense. At least, that’s what her mother always said. “Disgustingly smart, and without a whit of common sense to go along with it!” were her exact words. Despite Helena’s vociferous protests, she was privately inclined to agree.

Especially on a day like today. If Helena had done as she had been told, she would be warm and snug near the hearth, darning socks or some other such rubbish. She would be safe. Protected. Predictable. Bored, most likely, but was to be expected.

Regardless, she would most definitely not resemble a human icicle, all stiff and frozen and blue, her fingers worn to the bone and her toes threatening to fall off her feet completely. She wouldn’t be bundled in seven layers of wool and cotton and fur. She most definitely wouldn’t be covered in grease, and she certainly wouldn’t be clad in men’s trousers.

Alas, all of these things were true, but as the assistant researcher in the great Dr. James Alexander’s royal laboratory, it was her job to get down and dirty with field tests…

Exercise: My mom, who is my walking buddy, has been a little under the weather, so we only walked 3 days last week. But I have dramatically cut back on all my snacks, and I’m trying to limit portion sizes too. Hopefully we’ll get back to our normal routine next week.

Social Media: I’ve had a fair amount of Facebook and Twitter action, but I haven’t really been at my desk too much in the last week. Once I feel like my NaNo project is under control, I’ll be able to get back to blogging, etc. I have a couple of guest posts that I’ve agreed to do this month, so that will force me back into gear.

Self-care: I’ve had lots of time to myself over the last few days, but I’ve spent most of it furiously writing. My body seems to think it’s in the middle of finals week; I’ve been staying up till the wee hours of the morning to write, waking up around 7 or 8, and starting up again. It definitely isn’t a sustainable way to spend the rest of the month, so I’m really going to focus on setting some boundaries for my writing time.

-oOo-

Is anyone else as excited to see November as I am? Any exciting plans for the new month? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to wave hello to the other ROWers checking in for the week.

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12 Comments

  1. You’re really knocking the NaNo word count out. Great job! And keep that inner editor drugged. Best thing for it. 🙂 I’m not as ahead as you on the word count, but keeping up. Great luck the rest of the month!
    Fallon recently posted..Photo Friday: Happy HalloweenMy Profile

  2. Gratz on your productivity! I enjoyed your excerpt – you’ve created a fun, likable character I’m already rooting for!

    I set my daily goals for NaNo a little differently than the standard 1667/day – I write 1500 words, four weeknights, and 3k each on Saturday and Sunday. This lets me take one weeknight off, because I invariably have one where there’s just too much other stuff going on and I have no time to write at all. I’m sitting at 7,800 right now – about halfway through today’s 3k. So far, so good! Keep up the good work!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..ROW80: Four Days InMy Profile

    • Whoo-hoo, thanks so much for the feedback on Helena, Jen! I’ve realized that she reminds me of all my “overly-educated,” over-achiever friends (and myself a little bit). Glad to see she’s coming across well.

      I LOVE the way you’ve set up your weekly word count goals–makes so much sense. Good luck with the writing!

  3. Nice excerpt, and really great work on the word count so far! Maybe you should start brainstorming now on what comes next in the plot, so you don’t lose days at it. Sounds like work, etc is going well, too. Best of luck with the coming weeks, Lena!

    • Thanks, J.R.! And yeah, I’ve been trying to give some thought to next steps in the story, but I think I’ll probably end up needing a couple of non-writing days to get it done, that way I don’t get too distracted. 😛

      Hope your week is going well!

  4. You had an impressive October word count! Good luck with the dissertation and NaNo. And I thought I was busy. 🙂
    Diana Beebe recently posted..Vote, Because You CanMy Profile

    • Thank you, Diana! I have to say I’m pretty lucky–juggling the dissertation and NaNo are a little easier right now because I don’t also have teaching and whatnot to handle.

      Have a wonderful week!

  5. excited its nov because its nano and i’m back in a writing mode – otherwise I’m not so keen on the appraoch of winter:( esp. after no summer to speak of. You did so well last month keep it up and def. interested in your scientist -all the best this week and hope your mum feels better soon.
    alberta recently posted..I almost missed nano!My Profile

  6. You’re rocking the ROW, Lena! Awesome!
    Keep that up!
    Juliana Haygert recently posted..#ROW80 check-in 11/04My Profile

  7. I love reading what other writers are working on, it’s great that you posted an excerpt! Good luck with NaNoWriMo!
    EM Castellan recently posted..ROW80 Check-In 5 : Claire Legrand on How To Come To Terms With Your WritingMy Profile

  8. Sounds like you’re doing great! Really intriguing snip – I can’t wait to see what goes on in the laboratory.
    Ooh, holiday tea! I’ll have to find some blends up here (no B&N in Canada).
    deniz recently posted..A New Sherlock Holmes Collection!, YA Competition, Minimising to 100 ThingsMy Profile

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