Friday, June 10, 2016

One Hundred Days...Ten Days In...Part I

Hello friends!

Here's what I've been up to lately:

Last November I participated in National Novel Writing Month where the goal during the month is to write a complete novel consisting of at least 50,000 words. There are various ways to go about accomplishing the task—such as writing the words “very tough to do” about 12,500 times.  Or “Am I crazy for attempting this during the Holidays?” about 4500 times could probably work too.

Some may have chosen that path, but not me—I chose a simpler plan: I divided 50K words by 30 (days in November) and came up with a more manageable (I thought) number of 1667.

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it is apt to be called is a big deal. There are national groups, state groups, county groups, city groups and the group that I belonged to was called the Teal Deers or something like that. They meet regularly at the local Starbucks and talk about who knows what. I’ve never been to an actual meeting (although I have thought about showing up once to see if I’m missing something) and I can’t remember how I got on their mailing list. It's on my long list of things I should probably check out.

In late October for the last five years, I have received a letter that begins: "Dear Teal Deers, It’s time once to prepare yourself for another failure. You will NOT write 50k words in 30 days. It is freaking impossible." (At least that’s what happened to me the past five years.)

The first time I attempted NaNoWriMo was in 2011 and I wrote about 15K words. It was nowhere near a complete novel and fell far short of the daunting 50K finish line.

But still.

But still, I had the inkling for a story and I put the beginning chapters on paper. That was part one of the trilogy that I am currently working on. It took me another four+ plus years to finish the manuscript and I’ve lost track of the revisions. At some point I have to say, ”It’s finished” and move on to the next project. One of the toughest decisions was deciding how many books to write. As a writer new to writing novels, I don’t know if that is good or bad. I know the story line is there and it’s never far from my mind. If I’m not writing on the books, then I am thinking about the plot and characters in my head.

If we’re friends on Facebook or on Twitter (If not, then why aren’t we?) you’ve probably heard me mention “To The Middle and Back” or one of the characters, “Eleanor Ann” and throw out a bit of dialogue in case anyone might want to know what I’m up to. It’s fun when I receive comments and likes and helps me to keep myself moving forward and putting words on the page.

Last July, I started on book two in this trilogy and made significant progress on the beginning chapters of the book. After a late night of surfing the Web, I landed upon a site in China by someone that has the same name of someone I knew—interesting, I thought, so I clicked on a link on the page—it wasn’t the person I knew and by noon the next day my laptop was fried. It was infected by the Crypto virus and my data was being held for ransom by some unknown douche bags halfway across the world. 

I know the next question you’re going to ask is “What about your backup?”

Thanks for asking, but it seems I was the douche bag because I wasn’t current on my backup plan. I lost everything. Luckily, I was smart enough to have a paper copy of the first manuscript and had even emailed it to myself and a few of my family members just to be on the safe side. I wasn’t so lucky with my other documents which included the beginning chapters of “Return to the Middle” and a few other projects I was working on. 

A minor setback and after a few days of beating myself up about not having a proper backup system in place I got back to work. (I also had a few choice words for the folks that sent me the virus but temper tantrums aren’t nearly as much fun unless the folks that you’re pissed off at can actually see that you’re ticked off so I got over it fairly quickly.)

Check back for part two in a few days...


sonokate said...

G, thanks for the warning about back up. I actually work out of a separate hard drive (or whatever you call it) - but that's it. If that thing ever gets screwed up for any reason, I'm toast. I'll think about what else to do. Cloud?

Anyway,I'm sorry for your experience and the loss of those words. They're hard to come by. No two ways about it. You are an inspiration and I can't wait to read your trilogy! Best wishes, my friend!

Gianetta said...

Thanks, Kate!



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