Posts Tagged ‘nanowrimo


Snippet: Chrysanthemum Graves

Despite my previous complaints, I am still slamming my head against the wall, hoping to get as much of Chrysanthemum Graves done as I can during the month, even if I don’t hit the 50k. We’re riding in not quite at the 5k mark right now. That may be sad, but it’s also more than I’ve managed to put on a manuscript in months… maybe years. So… progress?

I’ve also managed to post something here every day for 100 days in a row. That feels reasonably accomplished. I’m trying.

To celebrate, I thought I’d share a chunk of Chrysanthemum Graves. Let me know what you think. If you want to be buddies for NaNo, I’m listed as Kaine Andrews over there, too. Or you can stalk me on Twitter. And, usual shameless plug, if you like what I do and want to help me keep doing it, you can drop by my Patreon or drop a dime in the bucket for my surgery GoFundMe. Thanks, and enjoy!


The thirst came first. Desperate, gnawing, unbearable thirst. The entirety of existence was akin to the Mojave, with no respite in sight.
Sight. That was next. Darkness, brightening to white as though someone was toying with the options on a television remote. Then scaling back to a happy medium, where shapes and colors were recognizable, though all tinged with a blue-gray haze. Then, as though that invisible hand upon the remote was continuing to press buttons, the blue darkened to violet before brightening again to red. Everything looked as though it had been soaked in blood or seen through a rage-tainted lens.
This brought back the thirst. It was a physical thing, clawing and biting inside. For what remained unknown, but it had to be fed.
Hearing came after that. The rustling of something burrowing into the suede couch that sat directly ahead. The skittering of a spider somewhere in the wall, a violin melody of webs being spun and woven. The rush of water and hiss of air running through the pipes.
The water in the pipes stank, awakening the sense of smell. Nothing about it was appealing, even when propped against the monstrous thirst that threatened to consume everything. Cold, clear, filled with purifiers and minerals and small bits of the metal tubes through which it traveled. The taste of it was even worse, burrowing inside like a noxious worm seeking only to destroy and corrode everything it touched.
Recoiling in revulsion, the thirst caught wind of something else. A smell that matched the colors, that called to the thirst with a sweet song of relief. There. The other room.
As though the thought alone was sufficient, the bed appeared. A figure, sleeping. The smell was heavenly, ambrosia to the soul. Sweat, tinged with the salts and hormones of deep fear and deeper grief. Warm flesh, upon which hundreds of tiny hairs could be seen standing at attention. Beneath both, a glorious red smell, pushed outward with each of the figure’s sighing breaths. This is what the thirst wanted.
The figure’s throat, throbbing with the pulse that called those red rides and kept them flowing. This is what the thirst wanted most.
The thirst demanded it. Tangled itself around that fragile neck, tightening like a noose and lapping at the flesh like a timid but eager lover. Beads of blood seeped through the skin, and as the thirst drew them in the feeling was orgasmic.
The body thrashed, pulling away. The thirst, not sated but only growing, tried to tighten its grip. Whatever force animated it refused to obey. Weakness rippled through it, taste and hearing fading away, sight dimming.
The thirst cried out, still craving the life beneath it, but those words were echoes of echoes at best, unheard and useless.
Nothingness claimed it, and the thirst slept again. But this time, there were dreams… and they were red.


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NaNoWriMo Progress

From the title, you might think there’s actual progress to be seen.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Chrysanthemum Graves sits at around 3,700 words as of the last session, which is around 8,700 words short of where it should be to meet the goal of 50k in the month.

There’s a lot of reasons for that. I’ve been sicker than usual (strep throat), I’ve been moving and managed to pull almost every muscle on my right side from my waist to the neck, my mental health symptoms have been getting worse and the shrink can’t see me until the end of the month, I’ve been spending a lot of time arguing on the phone with assorted individuals relating to my medical care, my disability, and bill collectors who are getting rabid. But none of those are the real reason. I don’t sleep much for assorted reasons, so there’s about 20 usable hours in the day most of the time.

It’s motivation. Some of that is tied to the depression, of course, but mostly it’s just a sense of pointlessness to the whole thing. It’s what has been beating me back from trying to write for two years now, and every day it only seems to get worse. It’s a sense of “why write it down? I pretty much know how the story goes, and nobody else is likely to read it anyway. Lots of effort for no gain.” There’s the part that looks at garbage like Onision’s books and starts festering. Some folks would go “I can do better than that,” and set out to do it; I say “I have done better than that, multiple times, and nobody cared.” Meanwhile, Stones to Abbigale sits happily at 3.5 stars with 800 reviews (mostly only drug down by the hate-readers, from what I see.) I’m aware comparison is bad form and a quick route to self-defeating thought, but part of me can’t help it. (I suspect it’s the part that was told again and again that I wasn’t good enough and someone else was always better, or the part who was told his accomplishments meant nothing while others benefitted from them, claimed them as their own or were celebrated for hitting far less impressive milestones. Some scars don’t heal.) There’s the part that still remembers my mom saying “Nobody wants to read that crap,” despite not having read a word of what I had written, and chucking the sheets I’d printed into the trash. There’s the part that remembers a coworker who asked what my hobbies were; when I told them I write, their response was “Git gud.” That individual also writes; primarily gender-swapped and trans-centric Ms. Peregrine fan fiction that has never seen a spell-checker, let alone an editor or even a pass through Grammarly. It does very well on Wattpad, from what I’ve seen. (Certainly leagues better than anything I’ve posted there.)

I know I’m a petty bitch.  Even the Grammarly plugin is giving me a frowny face. I just seem to be lacking the knowledge of how not to be.

Hopefully some of the rest of you writers out there are doing better, both in the great NaNoWriMo race to 50k and in general.

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Already Over?

So, according to the standard, I should have somewhere around or just shy of 5k words written on Chrysanthemum Graves.

Yeah, that’s not happening. I’m at about 2,400. So… yeah. Somehow being at less than half of target only three days in does not give me hope, especially when there are people already claiming to have their full 50k done. Cool trick.

We’ll see. I’m going to try to keep at it, assuming I survive the plague that continues to ail me (I will never eat at Red Robin again, I assure you), but don’t know if I’ll come anywhere close to hitting the goal, let alone finishing the story.

Hope the rest of you folks are having better luck out there, whether your projects are part of NaNoWriMo or not. Good luck, folks.


It’s On!

NaNoWriMo has officially started, and apparently, I’m officially participating. If you want to be my buddy, I’m listed as Kaine Andrews on there, too. If not, that’s okay.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to drop around 1,667 words per day to hit the 50k target for the month. I don’t think I’m going to manage that today. Still feel like crap, suffering from strep, food poisoning and at least three pulled muscles. But I did manage about 1,400 words, which is… something, at least.

Anyone else out there on the NaNoWriMo train? How goes it so far? Tell us about your project below, if you like!NaNoWriMo


It’s almost time…

NaNoWriMo 2019 is almost upon us. In just 13 hours, the keys will begin clicking here on the Pacific, as people commit to the mad dash to 50k words in merely a month.


I still don’t know if I’m going to do it or not. I want to try; since my meltdown last week, I feel a little better. Or did, until I finally finished moving. My back and shoulders are completely destroyed and my asthma will barely let me breathe… though that’s nothing new. There’s a nebulizer next to my computer. I can deal with that.

But then I had dinner last night. That was a mistake. Red Robin here in Albany is apparently the goddamn devil. I had an A1 Peppercorn Burger (hold the onion straws), and the lady of the house had a Whiskey River (with veggie patty.)

We have been on a rotating schedule in the restroom since arriving home last night, things coming from both ends. It isn’t helping our muscular exhaustion or the headaches we both have from moving. It doesn’t seem ready to stop. I don’t know how well I can picture lurking above my keyboard at 12:01 AM to begin the first word rush, which I had actually intended to do as late as 5 PM yesterday.

Given my temperament, if I miss the starting gun, I’m liable to just throw in the towel. It’s not a healthy attitude, but I know myself, and I know how I am sometimes.

But for those who are participating for certain, and those already going (it’s November 1st already in a great many places), I wish you luck. May the words flow easily.

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Desk Job

It was not easy, and I’m fairly certain my kneecap is in the wrong place and my spine is terribly misaligned, but my desk (and thus my computer) are now where they are supposed to be. It was an exciting adventure.

I will most likely be updating my “View from the Desk” video in the near future because for some reason I enjoy thinking people might admire this space and one day say “Did you know? This is where the magic was born!” Not that they would, but it’s fun to imagine.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to attend a NaNoWriMo meeting. I am terrified. I don’t know whether I’m going to go or not. Depression, anxiety, pain, and strep throat say no. Logic and the desire to be free of those (at least the ones I can be; the strep still has 8 days of antibiotics to clear) say I not only should go, but that I must go.

We’ll see who wins tomorrow afternoon. Or if my spine has popped back into place.

Until next time, folks.

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Chrysanthemum Graves

Being unable to hold it in anymore, I scribbled the first few paragraphs of my NaNoWriMo project. I thought I’d share. Let me know what you think!


“What the fuck are you doing? Where the hell are your shoes?”

The voice came from somewhere further inside the house, the heavy walls and their tapestries deadening it, killing any echoes and making it hard to tell where it had come from. Still, Danny knew it well enough. Calm, despite the words it chose. Deep, rumbling like a subterranean landslide. Faint traces of an accent, but one that was almost impossible to define.

“Taking care of the floor, man! Isn’t that some shit you’re into? Don’t wanna track all over the place.”

Danny’s voice was shrill, nasal, almost the human equivalent of nails on chalkboard. He hated the sound of it himself, and would complain about it to anyone who even vaguely touched the subject, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. Puberty and its mysterious ways had been unkind to him in that regard.

The owner of the other voice had appeared at the end of the hall leading from the entryway. Contrary to his irritation at Danny’s lack of footwear, he was barefoot. A pair of gray sweats were the only clothing he wore. His chest was bare, shiny with sweat. Danny assumed the other man had been in the middle of one of his routines when he’d heard the bell.

“I like to keep my floor clean, yeah. That’s why I don’t want your nasty feet dragging on it. I mean, couldn’t you at least wear some socks? Go put your shoes back on. Then meet me in the kitchen.”

The man turned to his left, slipping through a beaded curtain that blended so well into the wall that it would have been invisible if you didn’t know to look for it. He was silent as he did so, and despite the rattling Danny knew he’d provoke by walking through it, the beads barely moved, as though they refused to defy the master of the house.

“Uh… right. Whatever you say, Ichi.”

His voice shook more than usual, and Danny cursed himself for it. Ichiro had never done anything to make him feel the pulse of fear that always quaked through him in the other man’s presence. Nothing to him, anyway. But Danny still always had to wonder if one day that would change.

He slunk back up the two short steps that separated the main room from the entrance, slipping his feet into the battered sneakers that had last been replaced sometime during Obama’s first term, before moving to follow Ichiro through the curtain.

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