It’s been a weird couple of days, my friends. Thursday night was Halloween, but many local towns canceled Trick-or-Treating due to a massive front that was passing through. It brought torrential rain and EXTREMELY high winds to our area. The winds lasted all night. I know this, because the winds kept me up all night.

So I’m trying to fall asleep, and the winds are howling, and the house is creaking and shaking with every gust. I get up and go downstairs, figuring I’d wait until it died down. A half hour later, the power went out. Briefly, but long enough I decided I couldn’t play on the computer. I decided to watch television. At midnight, internet went out (and stayed out for the next twelve hours).

I tried going back to bed, but now there was a new sound with the winds and groaning of an old house under siege. A loud banging by our bedroom window.  Which, okay, its Halloween, and I admit I was bit spooked because it sounded like someone pounding to be let in. I opened the shutters and saw a large piece of siding was half ripped away from our home and slamming against the wall. Fun times. No sleep for me.

Back downstairs. I went outside, but it was too dark to see anything helpful. I ended up watching a DVD and trying to doze on the couch. It was a long, dark, stressful night and I was exhausted on Friday. I even took a two-hour nap in the AM after I called into work and told them I was taking a sick day. The damage to the home turned out to be less of a problem than I thought. One piece of siding, still attached, had unhooked at the sides and bottom from the next panel down. I fixed it as best I could on one side, but I still need to get the other side attached, and for that I need a ladder I don’t have.

Friday was the first day of NaNoWriMo. A large group of Viable Paradise folks have buddied up, and I decided I’d use it as a way to motivate me to finish the first draft of The Green and the Steel. Friday was HARD. . . so tired, so very, very tired. But I managed to get past the goal for the first day and even wrote extra. Setting the work up by scenes and outlining what I thought might be left has helped, I can jump around to different parts to keep the writing flowing. I’ll tie it all together during the 1st round of edits.

Mid-morning I got a message about my story Rabbit being posted on Daily Science Fiction. I’d sold it to them back in August, and had been waiting to hear when they planned to publish it. Needless to say, I’m very pleased even without the heads up in advance. It was a great piece of news on an otherwise “meh” kind of day. This was also the sale that landed me my SFWA associate membership and I’m glad its out in the world. A dark little story, but one I’d never dreamed would sell when I wrote it.

Speaking of NaNo: it’s what got me back into writing after many years of staying away from it. I’m a fan of the idea, though 30 days is a precious short period to write 50,000 words for folks who have full time jobs and families to deal with. I’ve done it three times starting in 2012, and technically I’ve won twice, although that second novel still had some plot gaps in it and I haven’t revisited (but I will one day). Still, if you think you can do it, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Go into it with an eye towards finding out things that work for you as a writer and building a writing habit. Don’t worry about winning. Make it fun, and you’ll make writing fun.

On to the monthly stats. . .

Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes/Professional Activities:

I attended a one day workshop by Donald Maas called “The Emotional Craft of Fiction.” Very good stuff, I recommend taking his workshops. He’s an excellent speaker, and I got some nice tips on how to make the emotions of a character come through the writing.

I’ve applied to attend a January/February online Odyssey Workshop with Beyond Ceaseless Skies editor-in-chief Scott H. Andrews. Fingers crossed I get in.

Finished:

Nothing finished this month.

WIP:

I managed 40,000 words on the novel in October. More than my main goal, less than my stretch goal. I slowed down late in the month as I planned for NaNo, wanting to make sure I had enough left to get close to that 50,000 word mark, and to plot out more scenes I might want to include.

Outstanding:

6 short stories outstanding as of November 1st. Longest lead time is 137 days. Nothing shortlisted or on hold.

Submissions:

2 submissions made last month.

Rejections:

6 rejections received in October.

Acceptances:

1 non-fiction essay sold in October (more about that soon I hope)

Goals for November:

Continue WIP. Go past 50,000 words for a NaNoWriMo “win” and completion of the 1st draft.

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