until NaNoWriMo 2012 ends!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

This year for Hallowe'en I decided to dress up as a camper at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp T-Shirt

November is almost upon us, and that can only mean one thing: It's time for Camp NaNoWriMo! Come join Princess Kendal (wonder dog) and me on this idyllic writers' retreat, right in the middle of your life.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Make sure you come prepared with all of the supplies you will need for camp:

Camp Supplies
Note the emergency survival kit I am displaying with my right thumb. This handy tool serves as both security blanket and emergency communications device. No camper should be without one! (Click on the photograph above to be transported to Flickr where you can view the image with notes explaining other important camp gear.)

Lost in Thought
There is little time for quiet contemplation during Camp. That is why I am taking this moment around my Hallowe'en bonfire to consult my camp handbook while I slowly cook plot ideas over the fire. Note the camp beverages perched on the edge of the fire pit.

Camp Sports

The favourite sport of Camp NaNoWriMo campers is, of course, writing!

The other Camp sport:
The Other Camp Sport
Drinking horrible, teeth-rotting syrup laced with copious quantities of taurine, ginseng and caffeine.

Camp battle cry:
Camp Battle Cry
When the going gets tough, the tough drink two-fisted.

For those less attuned to the great outdoors, there's always our luxury cabins:
Luxury Cabins
Luxury cabins come equipped with heat and electricity.

Here's to another great NaNo.
Best of luck to everyone!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NaNovelist Woes

My first YouTube video. (Please click through to YouTube to rate it and let me know what you think.)

The story of a girl, a dream, a challenge, a trauma, and light at the end of the tunnel. (A cautionary tale about a possible post-NaNo outcome.)

This video is my entry into a contest to win a spot in Holly Lisle's How to Revise Your Novel course. I'll be working on revising three manuscripts in the new year, so any tips I can pick up from this course should be timely indeed.

Video text written and performed by me. Fabulous graphics also by me (hand drawn with a mouse!) Music by Torley Wong (a human repository of watermelony goodness who has generously released much music and other fine creations under Creative Commons licenses.

At two minutes and thirty-six seconds (actually, 2:35 when I created it -- YouTube added a second somehow) this video was pretty much at the limit of what my poor old computer could process. Even at that, I had to greatly simplify the graphics from my initial concept. The original storyboard was more complex, but involved far too many key frames, causing my animation software to hang every time I attempted to export the file. Simplify, simplify, simplify -- and a conceptual re-write of the visuals to replace a whole whack of raster images with vector transformations -- and my software and I managed to cobble together the video you see here. Sort of a mash-up of visuals à la "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings" with narration at the speed of The West Wing dialogue.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

High Hopes for a Halcyon Hat Trick

The National Novel Writing Month web site is relaunched for 2009 (though I note it's overloaded as I write these words -- wouldn't be NaNo without a few good server crashes, would it?) and I'm reminded by Selestial's recent blog post that it's high time I updated Dragon Dreams with this year's NaNo plans. So here it is: the official "yep, we're doing this for a third time" post.

"Soaring sights of a sophomore scribe" is replaced with "High hopes for a Halcyon Hat Trick" (I'm feeling confident) and I've updated my NaNo profile with the working title of this year's effort.

When I first conceived of "Love on the Rocks" I thought it would be a < 2000 words short story. I worked on it for a couple of days last spring and quickly realized that, to tell the story I wanted, it would need to be much longer. Much, much longer. That's good news for a NaNo effort, but not so much for a story one is hoping to submit to a short story contest, so I shelved Love and got to work on a different story entirely.

I think that, during my realization that Love on the Rocks needs to be a novel-length work, I fleshed out a decent outline for the piece -- but as I've been working on completely different projects in the months since, it's a safe bet that I'll be revisiting those Love notes soon to see just what it is that I have. (I flew by the seat of my pants for my first NaNo and, while I enjoyed the experience, I'm not eager to do it that way again anytime soon.)

I've got a relatively clear schedule for November again this year, so am going for 100K words and a full novel draft. Looking forward to the ride.