NaNoWriMo! Gezundheit!

I just dropped the first handful of change in the donation bucket; first: because I want everyone to know how seriously I take this whole NaNoWriMo thing, and second: because I wholeheartedly believe in the power of creative expression and the need to create opportunities for people to explore that expression.  Creativity and creative expression make the world a better place, and I’m all for that.  It feels good to do the right thing; I’m a softie that way, what can I say? I won’t discourage you from helping out, in fact I’m all about trying to get other people to pitch in… if you feel so inclined you can do so at my fundraising page, or at any other fundraising page for writers participating in NaNoWriMo who are using the fundraising option.  It honestly matters less to me if I meet my fundraising goal, so long as The Office of Letters and Light meets theirs, so donate where ever you can.

While I’m pandering for donations, there’s another worthy cause I’d like to bring to your attention: Worldbuilders is a charitable organization founded by Patrick Rothfuss, of whom I am a big fan… in case you hadn’t noticed from previous postings; and what they do is pretty freaking awesome.  Donations to Worldbuilders go to support Heifer International, and what Heifer International does with the money is this: they buy livestock for impoverished and underdeveloped communities; livestock that will provide people with some pretty basic things they need to survive and thrive.  You want to talk about good Karma?  This is it.  Worldbuilders host charitable auctions and sell things (like a nifty calendar I am so totally buying), the proceeds of which go in part to Heifer International.  Now, the link to Worldbuilders is still leading back to last year’s information, but now’s a good time to head over and familiarize yourself with the organization and prepare to do some heavy bidding on some of the most amazing Fantasy and Sci-Fi merch you could possibly imagine.  Okay, I’m going to stop begging for money now and move on to other things.

I’m about two thirds of the way done with what I’m calling “Chapter 0;” it’s a tone and context setting piece that’s a part of the book I’ll be writing for NaNoWriMo.  It will not, however, be in the actual book… you see it’s against the NaNoWriMo rules to start writing the novel ahead of time, and sure the rules are all rooted on the honor system, but that’s the best part of this challenge: doing it square is entirely on you; cheaters are dicks… and we don’t want to be one of those, now do we?  “Chapter 0” is how I get a handle on the novel; in the past I’ve used short stories written in the novel’s universe to the same effect: to establish certain things that will happen in the novel… you see, I’m horrible at outlining.  Outlining, the mere thought of having to do it, makes me flail like an infant with gas, so instead of outlining I put on the old fiction suit and take a jog in the novel’s reality.  I take the characters and move them around, have them interact with each other and with the setting, I use their voices and tap their thoughts — I do this to get comfortable with the task and then, come November 1, I burst out of the gate like a Berserker.  I should probably mention at this point that I do know where the novel will end, and where it will begin… it’s all that middle stuff that causes the fuss…

So what will become of Chapter 0?  Nothing, really… it will go in the file of “Unplaced Scenes,” I’ll refer back to it while I write the novel, and then it just sits in limbo for perpetuity.  The thought struck me that I could post it here for people to get a taste of what I’ll be creating for NaNoWriMo… but it will be so totally out of context because none of you will have read the first novel — it’s still being edited, and I still haven’t even decided if I’ll pursue publication with it.  Wow, that’s really a crap statement, because the work needs to be able to stand alone even if someone is jumping on from a point further down the river…  I don’t know… I’ll think it over.

I did hit upon some interesting advice from some guy named Kevin J. Anderson… I guess he’s written a few books, or something.  I’m being facetious… Kevin J. Anderson is one of the most prolific authors in contemporary Science Fiction and he’s pretty well known for his work on the Star Wars series of novels, as well as his novelization of the X-Files and a whole slew of other endeavors — including a book with Neil Peart, “The Professor,” drummer of the legendary rock band, Rush.  Long story, short: the man knows how to put together a book.  He’s offering up some advice to us NaNos over on his site… here’s the link: Linkey Link.  Solid advice all around, and definitely worth a look.

I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about this: Abaddon’s Gate!  Abaddon’s Gate is the third book on James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series; the series of Sci-Fi books I’ve been gobbling up lately… Leviathan Wakes (book 1) and Caliban’s War (book 2) are out and available now.  Abaddon’s Gate doesn’t come out until May 2013 (just in time for my birthday).  If you’ve not read these, treat yourself today… they’re worth every penny.  The other awesome thing (if you just looked at the nifty cover but didn’t read the post) is that James S. A. Corey will be writing a Han Solo book for the Star Wars franchise.  The news was confirmed at the New York Comic Con by Del Ray, who has the exclusive contract with Lucasfilm.  Man, I’m going to have to acquire a bigger book buying budget…

Okay guys, there will be a regular Friday posting next week (November 2), but on Friday, November 9th there will be no posting – I’ll be on a trip with my wife for our anniversary, so posting and writing will be out of the question for that weekend.  Everything goes cuckoo for 30 days due to NaNoWriMo, so I’m saying right now… I likely will be posting off schedule, and at times those posting might be incoherent, stream of consciousness, or incomprehensible in any language…  it’s just the effects of blog posting while writing for NaNoWriMo, no need to be alarmed… all will be well.   If you’re interested in watching me plummet from sanity, keep an eye on the blog or follow me on Twitter, grab a front seat and some popcorn, and watch the fireworks.  In the meantime, Happy Halloween… eat yourself sick on treats, and dodge all the tricks you can.

Cheers!

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