Wictory!

Nov. 1st, 2012 12:14 am
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Well, a minor victory anyway. I got November's bills scheduled and my NaNoWriMo page set up and saved just at the stroke of Midnight. But hey, progress is progress.

Now I'm going to write a very few words, just enough so I can say I started, and drop into bed. The day job starts early.

But anyway, if you're doing NaNo, feel free to be one of my buddies for the month -- or just check it out! I'll doubtless put together a better mock-cover later, and add an excerpt, and...

But time is wasting. Onward! Time to start counting words
wyld_dandelyon: (Working in the dark)
I have always been dismayed that NaNoWriMo is in November. Even the best November is not the month I would choose, if the choosing were up to me, for this endeavor.

And this year's Windycon was absolutely fantastic, deserving of all of my attention (and getting it). Which meant no words. But I should have been able to catch up.

Unfortunately, the rest of November was...frustrating. Too many days at home with no heat, with time spent trying to get the boiler fixed and time spent with fingers too cold to type well. Too many days with My Angel too sick with a virus to even stay up and watch TV, so I couldn't rely on her even for stuff like laundry and dinner. Too many days when I was feeling under the weather and unable to focus. I kept sitting at the computer and falling asleep, not only during my usual most-creative time (after 10 pm) but in the early- and mid-evening too.

I console myself that I took care of my family and my health, my home and my job, and that those things have to come first, but I don't feel very consoled.

On the other hand, I find that I really think this is a novel worth finishing. I'm very pleased with what I wrote last year upon re-reading it, and I think I'll be just as pleased with what I've written so far this year when I come back to it. It's not perfect, but it's still a first draft, and (frustratingly) an incomplete first draft at that. First drafts are never perfect.

I also now have a notebook full of notes to help me keep track of the supporting characters and all the extras.

But I don't have the shiny finished first draft I wanted.

So this is my Pity Party. Stop by and brag about your successes, whine about your failures, or just share some virtual munchies! And feel free to bring your monkeys along.


And tomorrow I'll go back to filling blank screens with meaningful (and hopefully entertaining) pixels, if I have time in between efforts to find a more permanent solution to my heating woes. But if not tomorrow--soon!
wyld_dandelyon: (Working in the dark)
I have always been dismayed that NaNoWriMo is in November. Even the best November is not the month I would choose, if the choosing were up to me, for this endeavor.

And this year's Windycon was absolutely fantastic, deserving of all of my attention (and getting it). Which meant no words. But I should have been able to catch up.

Unfortunately, the rest of November was...frustrating. Too many days at home with no heat, with time spent trying to get the boiler fixed and time spent with fingers too cold to type well. Too many days with My Angel too sick with a virus to even stay up and watch TV, so I couldn't rely on her even for stuff like laundry and dinner. Too many days when I was feeling under the weather and unable to focus. I kept sitting at the computer and falling asleep, not only during my usual most-creative time (after 10 pm) but in the early- and mid-evening too.

I console myself that I took care of my family and my health, my home and my job, and that those things have to come first, but I don't feel very consoled.

On the other hand, I find that I really think this is a novel worth finishing. I'm very pleased with what I wrote last year upon re-reading it, and I think I'll be just as pleased with what I've written so far this year when I come back to it. It's not perfect, but it's still a first draft, and (frustratingly) an incomplete first draft at that. First drafts are never perfect.

I also now have a notebook full of notes to help me keep track of the supporting characters and all the extras.

But I don't have the shiny finished first draft I wanted.

So this is my Pity Party. Stop by and brag about your successes, whine about your failures, or just share some virtual munchies! And feel free to bring your monkeys along.


And tomorrow I'll go back to filling blank screens with meaningful (and hopefully entertaining) pixels, if I have time in between efforts to find a more permanent solution to my heating woes. But if not tomorrow--soon!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
But I knew that. I'm making progress, though. And it's great getting comments from people, though I'm keeping the chapters in locked posts in hopes of selling the completed novel the old fashioned way.

So, who will be at Windycon?




...I wonder if I can get any writing at all done at the con?
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
But I knew that. I'm making progress, though. And it's great getting comments from people, though I'm keeping the chapters in locked posts in hopes of selling the completed novel the old fashioned way.

So, who will be at Windycon?




...I wonder if I can get any writing at all done at the con?

NaNoWriMo

Nov. 7th, 2010 12:15 pm
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
OK, so I've gone and created a filter to share at least some of my NaNoWriMo story this year with people. I included everyone who voted in my poll and I think I included everyone who's donated toward my writing in the last year or so.[Poll #1641739]The first chapter, at present, uses a cut tag, because I've had people complain when I don't use them, but not when I do.  However, I don't like the things, they slow down my reading.  And none of the people who complained when I forgot to cut tag flash fiction are in this group.

Oh, yeah, I plan to use the tag windycity for posts to this group, so if you miss a chapter they should be easy to find.

See you around!

NaNoWriMo

Nov. 7th, 2010 12:15 pm
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
OK, so I've gone and created a filter to share at least some of my NaNoWriMo story this year with people. I included everyone who voted in my poll and I think I included everyone who's donated toward my writing in the last year or so.[Poll #1641739]The first chapter, at present, uses a cut tag, because I've had people complain when I don't use them, but not when I do.  However, I don't like the things, they slow down my reading.  And none of the people who complained when I forgot to cut tag flash fiction are in this group.

Oh, yeah, I plan to use the tag windycity for posts to this group, so if you miss a chapter they should be easy to find.

See you around!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I turn around, and it's Friday already!

So, my NaNoWriMo story is set in an alternate Chicago where people ride horses, bicycles, or surreys, and get power from windmills.

What local color would you suggest ought to be there?

Or, if you prefer, tell me what cool devices might exist in a world with no fossil fuels or computers! 

They do have electricity (though no grid), and  plastics (or something similar) are grown from the byproducts of bacteria. 
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I turn around, and it's Friday already!

So, my NaNoWriMo story is set in an alternate Chicago where people ride horses, bicycles, or surreys, and get power from windmills.

What local color would you suggest ought to be there?

Or, if you prefer, tell me what cool devices might exist in a world with no fossil fuels or computers! 

They do have electricity (though no grid), and  plastics (or something similar) are grown from the byproducts of bacteria. 
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I sacrificed most of my lunch hour to NaNoWriMo, was really pleased with what I'd written, went to save, and the computer turned itself off. It was on the little fan stand. It should not have overheated and shut down. Eventually, after working the whole afternoon and driving home, I found I hadn't lost everything--the autorecover had saved at about 150 words in. I lost probably twice that. Better than losing all of it, of course, but it's still frustrating!

So, after discovering what I'd lost, we went off to vote. There was almost nowhere to park! Very unusually, our polling place was busy. There was a line at the "register and vote today" table. Heck--there WAS a "register and vote today" table. I'm sure it's been there before, but even during presidential elections, I don't remember seeing anyone using it, much less a crowd of people. My Angel was 177, and I was 178, which doesn't sound high, unless you realize this is a precinct where in primaries they don't always make it into double-digits.

So now I get to worry about the election results. And all too soon, I fear, about the results of the election results.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I sacrificed most of my lunch hour to NaNoWriMo, was really pleased with what I'd written, went to save, and the computer turned itself off. It was on the little fan stand. It should not have overheated and shut down. Eventually, after working the whole afternoon and driving home, I found I hadn't lost everything--the autorecover had saved at about 150 words in. I lost probably twice that. Better than losing all of it, of course, but it's still frustrating!

So, after discovering what I'd lost, we went off to vote. There was almost nowhere to park! Very unusually, our polling place was busy. There was a line at the "register and vote today" table. Heck--there WAS a "register and vote today" table. I'm sure it's been there before, but even during presidential elections, I don't remember seeing anyone using it, much less a crowd of people. My Angel was 177, and I was 178, which doesn't sound high, unless you realize this is a precinct where in primaries they don't always make it into double-digits.

So now I get to worry about the election results. And all too soon, I fear, about the results of the election results.

Weigh in!

Oct. 28th, 2010 10:40 pm
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
So, not a lot of you weighed in, sharing your thoughts about what you'd like to see me write for NaNoWriMo.  I know it's my decision, of course, and I won't even promise that I'll go with the top vote, even if there is one. 

But reading people's votes and comments are helping me think about my options.

And besides, it beats the heck out of thinking about how much it's going to cost me to have heat this winter!

So I'd love it if you'd hop over to the poll and vote.  You can answer the top question only once, but you can click on as many boxes as you want for the second.  Or just comment.

My friend [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion is going to share her Nano writings in locked posts.  So as a further incentive, anyone who votes (and has an LJ account), as well as anyone who has sponsored me in the past or the present, will get to read along as I write.  So let me know if you want in on this filter!

Weigh in!

Oct. 28th, 2010 10:40 pm
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
So, not a lot of you weighed in, sharing your thoughts about what you'd like to see me write for NaNoWriMo.  I know it's my decision, of course, and I won't even promise that I'll go with the top vote, even if there is one. 

But reading people's votes and comments are helping me think about my options.

And besides, it beats the heck out of thinking about how much it's going to cost me to have heat this winter!

So I'd love it if you'd hop over to the poll and vote.  You can answer the top question only once, but you can click on as many boxes as you want for the second.  Or just comment.

My friend [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion is going to share her Nano writings in locked posts.  So as a further incentive, anyone who votes (and has an LJ account), as well as anyone who has sponsored me in the past or the present, will get to read along as I write.  So let me know if you want in on this filter!
wyld_dandelyon: (great wizard by djinni)
This year I made a firm decision to do NaNoWriMo, but waffled back and forth about which novel to write. My original thought had been to finish Shifter, the murder mystery set in the Fireborn universe, but I read a number of things that made me think something with more of a steampunk feel might be more likely to sell. And I had a character in a world that mixed magic and tech, a world that intrigued me, that I wanted to explore. Similarly, the character intrigued me, he seemed larger than life in some ways and was obviously flawed in others, but perhaps not in the same ways that the first guy who I wrote about who knew him thought. So I did a bit of worldbuilding, came up with the beginnings of a plot, and started writing.

Partway in, I realized I needed a second viewpoint character, and spent a day doing almost nothing but thinking about who I needed her to be, her attitudes and skills and character.

I also kept running into spots where I needed a clearer idea of the world and how it differs from our own, or things that I had to research.

I spent a lot of my time on this book doing things other than typing words; things that made keeping up with the word count more stressful than I expected. I expect once I have the worldbuilding completed, I’ll have to do a pass through the story just to check that kind of detail, and to add things, though some things I added when going back to check information I’d written early in the book.

I learned some things about how to manage my time for writing; and I learned that the time I’ve been spending on writing since last year's NaNoWriMo has made a difference in both my ability to do this kind of sustained sprint and to do other writing while working on a novel. Last year I worked on no other stories while I was writing the first draft of Mirri's Walkabout. This year, I didn’t stop other writing during November, though it slowed down.

I learned that for me, making a commitment to other people, even to something that's basically a social fiction (NaNoWriMo isn’t exactly a contest, and I didn’t “win” anything but words on the virtual page), that having companions of some sort, even distant ones, makes a very real difference to me. This was no surprise to me; there’s other things (exercise, music practice) that I’m far more likely to do if I’m doing them with someone.

By the way, the comments I get on my fiction also work this way, helping to keep me inspired to write. So if you want to see more from me, take a moment to comment. Even a smiley-face with no words reminds me that I’m not alone, that my efforts make at least a tiny difference to someone besides myself.

But back to NaNoWriMo.

This project, more than any other, highlighted how important the writing time that’s spent on other stuff is. Research, from factual data—when were different things invented, or what an angry skunk sounds like, or how a manually-powered dumb waiter works—to more speculative things. If there’s no oil, how do people heat their houses? If people need to move to energy-efficient homes a century or more ago, what technologies were available or easily discoverable? Characterization—what type of character traits would both be compatible with the characters I can already have and different enough to provide some contrast? Stuff that’s hard to research, that you need to talk with people—how much smoke does something like a molotov cocktail or similar device make? How about using alcohol to burn an old wood door? How much air does either one of those things use up? Pacing. Holistic stuff--if the antagonist’s motive is such and so, how would that show up early in the story, before he or she takes more direct action?

And it taught me how important down time is to writing, time not spent typing words and also time not spent actively thinking about writing.

And that’s the scary part of this subject, to me. If it were only a matter of planting my rear end in the chair and typing fast, I could do 25,000 words in an 8 hour day (figured at 60 words a minute; I’ve tested at over 80.) But it’s not. It’s all this other stuff, and especially the thinking, the dreaming, and the refilling of the creative well.

There’s lots of things I understand about writing, but this one is a mystery:

How do you time-manage thinking and dreaming?
wyld_dandelyon: (great wizard by djinni)
This year I made a firm decision to do NaNoWriMo, but waffled back and forth about which novel to write. My original thought had been to finish Shifter, the murder mystery set in the Fireborn universe, but I read a number of things that made me think something with more of a steampunk feel might be more likely to sell. And I had a character in a world that mixed magic and tech, a world that intrigued me, that I wanted to explore. Similarly, the character intrigued me, he seemed larger than life in some ways and was obviously flawed in others, but perhaps not in the same ways that the first guy who I wrote about who knew him thought. So I did a bit of worldbuilding, came up with the beginnings of a plot, and started writing.

Partway in, I realized I needed a second viewpoint character, and spent a day doing almost nothing but thinking about who I needed her to be, her attitudes and skills and character.

I also kept running into spots where I needed a clearer idea of the world and how it differs from our own, or things that I had to research.

I spent a lot of my time on this book doing things other than typing words; things that made keeping up with the word count more stressful than I expected. I expect once I have the worldbuilding completed, I’ll have to do a pass through the story just to check that kind of detail, and to add things, though some things I added when going back to check information I’d written early in the book.

I learned some things about how to manage my time for writing; and I learned that the time I’ve been spending on writing since last year's NaNoWriMo has made a difference in both my ability to do this kind of sustained sprint and to do other writing while working on a novel. Last year I worked on no other stories while I was writing the first draft of Mirri's Walkabout. This year, I didn’t stop other writing during November, though it slowed down.

I learned that for me, making a commitment to other people, even to something that's basically a social fiction (NaNoWriMo isn’t exactly a contest, and I didn’t “win” anything but words on the virtual page), that having companions of some sort, even distant ones, makes a very real difference to me. This was no surprise to me; there’s other things (exercise, music practice) that I’m far more likely to do if I’m doing them with someone.

By the way, the comments I get on my fiction also work this way, helping to keep me inspired to write. So if you want to see more from me, take a moment to comment. Even a smiley-face with no words reminds me that I’m not alone, that my efforts make at least a tiny difference to someone besides myself.

But back to NaNoWriMo.

This project, more than any other, highlighted how important the writing time that’s spent on other stuff is. Research, from factual data—when were different things invented, or what an angry skunk sounds like, or how a manually-powered dumb waiter works—to more speculative things. If there’s no oil, how do people heat their houses? If people need to move to energy-efficient homes a century or more ago, what technologies were available or easily discoverable? Characterization—what type of character traits would both be compatible with the characters I can already have and different enough to provide some contrast? Stuff that’s hard to research, that you need to talk with people—how much smoke does something like a molotov cocktail or similar device make? How about using alcohol to burn an old wood door? How much air does either one of those things use up? Pacing. Holistic stuff--if the antagonist’s motive is such and so, how would that show up early in the story, before he or she takes more direct action?

And it taught me how important down time is to writing, time not spent typing words and also time not spent actively thinking about writing.

And that’s the scary part of this subject, to me. If it were only a matter of planting my rear end in the chair and typing fast, I could do 25,000 words in an 8 hour day (figured at 60 words a minute; I’ve tested at over 80.) But it’s not. It’s all this other stuff, and especially the thinking, the dreaming, and the refilling of the creative well.

There’s lots of things I understand about writing, but this one is a mystery:

How do you time-manage thinking and dreaming?
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I first heard about NaNoWriMo last year, and thought about trying it, even though the thought of trying to do it during November was daunting. Any other month would be better for me. About a week in, I decided to give it a try, as an experiment, and logged in to the website, set myself up, and started writing.

Knowing that I had started late, I decided on a theme and story line that I thought would be pretty natural for me, a story of a girl entering a witches’ school, and undergoing the initial entrance test to awaken her magic. Or not—kids who don’t pass the test don’t enter the school. The overall plan was simple—present the girl with an initiation-type experience and then an adventure—together, a series of challenges that (hopefully) awakens her talent and prepares her for learning magic, and eventually for adulthood. The detailed plan was to draw cards to provide me with vivid images of the people and situations she would encounter, so I didn’t have to plan ahead for what happens next. Though, as with any outline, I reserved the right to decide something else would make a better story.

Having started late, I knew I needed to do about 2000 words a day, and was managing a little more than that. Then I hit Windycon and holiday planning and winterizing the house and, well, life. With Thanksgiving coming up, I decided not to make finishing a priority. I never even loaded my word count.

But still, as an experiment, I think it was worthwhile. I did learn that I could consistently write that many words in a day, every day, if I made it a priority. Even if I didn’t have a detailed roadmap. Even while working full time.

I also got much more comfortable with improvisational writing--given a vivid enough prompt and a viewpoint character I liked, I could pick up the baton and run with it, and consistently get results that I was pleased with.

And I learned how much faster I could write if I kept a story in the forefront of my mind, so I didn’t need to go back and reread to get all the details about the world and the plot and the characters back into the forefront of my mind. Not that that was a surprise, but doing provides a different level of knowledge.

And, of course, any kind of high-intensity sprint builds up whatever type of muscles you're exercising.

One of these days, I plan to go back and finish Mirri’s Walkabout. I got poor Mirri through the initial part of the test, where she obtained the tools she would need in a series of encounters with teachers from the school (and they were not at all what she expected) and now she's stuck out on her own, tasked with finding her way back to the school. She's timid and insecure, but still, she deserves better than that.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I first heard about NaNoWriMo last year, and thought about trying it, even though the thought of trying to do it during November was daunting. Any other month would be better for me. About a week in, I decided to give it a try, as an experiment, and logged in to the website, set myself up, and started writing.

Knowing that I had started late, I decided on a theme and story line that I thought would be pretty natural for me, a story of a girl entering a witches’ school, and undergoing the initial entrance test to awaken her magic. Or not—kids who don’t pass the test don’t enter the school. The overall plan was simple—present the girl with an initiation-type experience and then an adventure—together, a series of challenges that (hopefully) awakens her talent and prepares her for learning magic, and eventually for adulthood. The detailed plan was to draw cards to provide me with vivid images of the people and situations she would encounter, so I didn’t have to plan ahead for what happens next. Though, as with any outline, I reserved the right to decide something else would make a better story.

Having started late, I knew I needed to do about 2000 words a day, and was managing a little more than that. Then I hit Windycon and holiday planning and winterizing the house and, well, life. With Thanksgiving coming up, I decided not to make finishing a priority. I never even loaded my word count.

But still, as an experiment, I think it was worthwhile. I did learn that I could consistently write that many words in a day, every day, if I made it a priority. Even if I didn’t have a detailed roadmap. Even while working full time.

I also got much more comfortable with improvisational writing--given a vivid enough prompt and a viewpoint character I liked, I could pick up the baton and run with it, and consistently get results that I was pleased with.

And I learned how much faster I could write if I kept a story in the forefront of my mind, so I didn’t need to go back and reread to get all the details about the world and the plot and the characters back into the forefront of my mind. Not that that was a surprise, but doing provides a different level of knowledge.

And, of course, any kind of high-intensity sprint builds up whatever type of muscles you're exercising.

One of these days, I plan to go back and finish Mirri’s Walkabout. I got poor Mirri through the initial part of the test, where she obtained the tools she would need in a series of encounters with teachers from the school (and they were not at all what she expected) and now she's stuck out on her own, tasked with finding her way back to the school. She's timid and insecure, but still, she deserves better than that.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Well, I did it. The rough draft of Clockwork Dragon isn't finished; there's some holes that need filling (with little red notes in the text so I don't forger) and some research to do still, and the climax and denouement to write, and maybe a prologue too, since I'm starting to think that the very short prologue is really the start of a different story--but I have more than 50,000 words that I'm happy with, as first drafts go. And I did it all in November. It feels good.

I wasn't about to follow the conventional NaNo advice that "all first drafts are crap, so all that matters is typing as fast as you can". So if I hadn't "won", I wouldn't be crying. But it feels good that I did reach this goal, and with enough time to spare that I didn't have to worry about weird inconsistencies, like the NaNo website changing the date on me at 11 p.m. instead of midnight, and the NaNo website counting my text at more than 300 fewer words than my word processor counted.

Some days I spent more time on Google than on writing new words. Or asking people things. Trying to imagine clearly how stuff I've never done looks and feels, trying to gauge what a character would find when locked in a long-abandoned spot, to try to use to escape, and reasonable outcomes for those attempts--and whether some of the attempts might prove more lethal than the plot calls for (and what to do about that).

Other times I leapt forward, skipping whole chapters when I wasn't sure what needs to happen for the plot to move forward, and going to crisis points, critical events that I knew had to happen. I found that less uncomfortable than I thought it would be.

And I reached the goal, even after deciding to go with the hardest of three potential projects. So it feels good!

Next, I think I'll spend a little time filling in the holes in the worldbuilding, and go through and make sure that the chapters are in the correct order for the timeline issues that getting the chapters actually written revealed. I'm not going to stop writing new words, but I think they'll flow better with some of this other stuff resolved.

And, of course, I want to catch up on other writing projects. The snakeskin story is my first goal; I also promised to do a 12-drummers story which is due in early December. And I want to finish the sparkly sea-serpent story too. And then there's that story I decided really was a narrative first draft of a short story, rather than a piece of flash fiction. And Fireborn, I can't forget that!

I want to organize my thoughts, what I've learned from NaNo so far, but for now--

Wheeeeeeee!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Well, I did it. The rough draft of Clockwork Dragon isn't finished; there's some holes that need filling (with little red notes in the text so I don't forger) and some research to do still, and the climax and denouement to write, and maybe a prologue too, since I'm starting to think that the very short prologue is really the start of a different story--but I have more than 50,000 words that I'm happy with, as first drafts go. And I did it all in November. It feels good.

I wasn't about to follow the conventional NaNo advice that "all first drafts are crap, so all that matters is typing as fast as you can". So if I hadn't "won", I wouldn't be crying. But it feels good that I did reach this goal, and with enough time to spare that I didn't have to worry about weird inconsistencies, like the NaNo website changing the date on me at 11 p.m. instead of midnight, and the NaNo website counting my text at more than 300 fewer words than my word processor counted.

Some days I spent more time on Google than on writing new words. Or asking people things. Trying to imagine clearly how stuff I've never done looks and feels, trying to gauge what a character would find when locked in a long-abandoned spot, to try to use to escape, and reasonable outcomes for those attempts--and whether some of the attempts might prove more lethal than the plot calls for (and what to do about that).

Other times I leapt forward, skipping whole chapters when I wasn't sure what needs to happen for the plot to move forward, and going to crisis points, critical events that I knew had to happen. I found that less uncomfortable than I thought it would be.

And I reached the goal, even after deciding to go with the hardest of three potential projects. So it feels good!

Next, I think I'll spend a little time filling in the holes in the worldbuilding, and go through and make sure that the chapters are in the correct order for the timeline issues that getting the chapters actually written revealed. I'm not going to stop writing new words, but I think they'll flow better with some of this other stuff resolved.

And, of course, I want to catch up on other writing projects. The snakeskin story is my first goal; I also promised to do a 12-drummers story which is due in early December. And I want to finish the sparkly sea-serpent story too. And then there's that story I decided really was a narrative first draft of a short story, rather than a piece of flash fiction. And Fireborn, I can't forget that!

I want to organize my thoughts, what I've learned from NaNo so far, but for now--

Wheeeeeeee!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
The NaNoWriMo website has a number of fun things going for it. Part of it is just stuff to keep you excited and on-track, like different types of word-count widgets. Part of it is social networking-type stuff. I'm not sure which one the "Novel Info" page is, but it has a spot to upload a mock cover.

Now this is not the cover I imagine for the finished work (for that I've been imagining one of the main characters actually working on a clockwork dragon), but for something thrown together in a short amount of time I'm reasonably pleased.

Attribution:  The dragons in this photo are sculptures by the talented Butch Honeck.  I expect I'll see him at Windycon; I should print a copy of this mock cover for him, EDIT:  website!  http://www.honecksculptures.com/ .

There's also a "novel synopsis" spot, which I took to mean "back cover blurb":

Bartholomew has been hired to investigate whether the playboy, metalsmith, clockwork artist, and wizard who calls himself Michelangelo Da Vinci is an appropriate suitor for a rich man's great grand-daughter, Emma. Da Vinci is a study in paradoxes, sensitive and socially clueless, rich, handsome, and popular, but seemingly lacking a past. Why do the vampires seem drawn to him? And what about the pale apparitions that are being seen around the city? Are they ghosts? Angels? Could they be an artist's muse? Or are they perhaps a modern wil-o-the-wisp, luring creative people to commit suicide?

In the meantime, Emma is intelligent and headstrong, and despite her enrollment in a genteel university's literature program and her musical skills, she puts a great deal more energy into studying vampires and other odd creatures and phenomena than to her formal studies. Her interest in jazz led her to Chicago's new speakeasies, where she first met Michelangelo. With his best friend having inexplicably abandoned him, she is perfectly poised to get to know him, and perhaps his mysterious past, better.

On the website, there's also a bit of novel excerpt, edited both to rub some of the first-draft-itis off and because out of context it was lacking some necessary antecedents.

I'm going to try to paste one of the silly graphs here, but if it doesn't work, my word count, for those who care, is currently 13627.  Actually, if the widget works the way I expect, for those of you who read this after I update my word count on their website, the widget will update.  I think.  We'll see!

<img src="http://www.nanowrimo.org/NanowrimoUtils/NanowrimoGraph/447085.png" />

So, writers, what have you been doing?  NaNo?  Something else?  How's it going?

And everybody else, what creative pursuits have you been doing?  Gardening?  Redecorating?  Food?  How's that been going?

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June 2017

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