Now it’s November…

I’d meant to get this up yesterday, but life intervened, turning the day to family things, but that fits with what I meant to write anyway, so I am going to consider that a point of illustration. Anyway, it’s November now, and I am not Na-No-ing. Old news, and for those wishing I’d shut up about that already, I will, in a bit. Which is to say, probably December, because there’s no denying NaNo is everywhere. I’ve done it, I’ve won it, I’ve lost it, I’ve gone a few rounds with it, lost a few books to it, and have some interesting scars to show for the battle, but, in the end, there is one thing that NaNo gave me that I will always treasure. It gave me the knowledge that I am enough; the way I work is enough. I don’t need to conform to somebody else’s process or beat myself up for not doing so. As a writer, this is what I do every day (the writing, not the beating up, though that, too, some days. A lot of days. Working on that.) so a special month dedicated to it? Good for some, but I’m working on some things over here, so not for me at present.

This week, I’m looking at three things. First is Her Last First Kiss, which is hopping around between bullet points and research topics as the puzzle pieces come together. This is what I do, dive headfirst into the primordial ooze of a story and splash around until order forms, and then have a blast organizing the whole deal. It’s going to be rough, it’s going to give me fits, but, in the end, I can do what I do, and there will be a rough draft. Then I get to smooth is out and make it pretty. I can do this. I have done this. I am doing this now and will do this again with the next book and the next book and the next, repeat until dead.

Second is the novella with Collaborator Melva. This is our beach ball that we are passing back and forth, no pressure, just fun. We each get to play to our own strengths in this one, draw from each other’s, and stretch enough to make it a reachable challenge.

Third is my postapocalyptic medieval, Ravenwood, which may get retitled (and probably billed as medieval, never mind that the Plague does count as an apocalypse, but probably more on that later.) A call for submission has come up, and I do have a completed ms sitting right there in my flash drive, so a good once-over and off it shall go. I won’t be devastated if John and Aline come riding back my way, but if they do find a new home, I will be thrilled.

For the first time in a long time, I feel on firm ground where writing is concerned. This has come as the result of a LOT of writing. Some good things, some bad things, more free writing notebooks than I would care to count, filled with whinges about how hard writing is and things I wish I’d done and things I wish I hadn’t done. It comes from a ton of reading: the year I devoured every Barbara Samuel (and psuedonyms) I could find; my big fat YA summer-that-stretches-into-autumn (David Levithan, may I have your book babies, please and thank you?) and my current foray into 90s historicals and  one dead laptop (well, really two, counting the one RLRH inherited) and one new one and recapping TV shows. It’s working on the next incarnation of From Fan Fiction to Fantastic Fiction (coming in 2016, because this fall got crazy) and, by dint of that, taking a closer look at why I love what I love and how I can use those elements in my own work, and picking others’ brains and trusting myself and diving into piles of stationery and notebooks and picking up old habits that worked in the past but I gave up somewhere along the way because of “supposed to’s” and “should” and and and and and…well.

Fall has always been the time of year when I get my super powers back. I feel more energized with the shorter days, when the world gets tucked in for the night, nice and early. When hot chocolate and cider flow, and Thanksgiving is soon to be upon us, and there are sweaters and boot socks and colorful leaves, and a crisp snap to the air. It’s time for curling up with a good book (or ten) under an afghan, with cup of tea at hand, and, since I am me, a notebook (or ten) on the other hand, because I have to multitask even when reading. It’s November. I’m back. I got this.

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