Hey interwebs, it’s been a while. I’m still thinking about a purpose for this blog in the off season; when it’s not National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), that is. Right now it happens to be NaNoWriMo, so the blog is going to serve it’s primary function: to document my progress in the annual NaNoWriMo Challenge.
As is stands right now, my word count is 4385. The goal is 50K by the end of November. For me this translates into 50K before Thanksgiving which this year happens to be the 28th, and I expect that I will handily meet that goal. I’ll admit to quite a bit of trepidation ahead of the first day of the challenge because I spent a year running a 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and wound up not doing much writing over the course of 2013 other than my daily journal writing and some stuff for the game. This makes me “out of shape” in the writerly sense. I surprised myself yesterday by exceeding the daily minimum word count of 1667, and turning in a final tally of 2298 for the day. Today, on Day 2, I’ve already knocked out 2087 words and anticipate that I will work on the novel a bit more before calling it quits for the day. I guess all I really need to do is settle into a rhythm and the rest of the challenge will go just fine… and probably that’s exactly the best way to condemn a project to metamorphose into a serious pain in the ass.
I’m superstitious about my writing, so I don’t reveal many details while I’m working (just like I don’t shave or cut my hair during NaNoWriMo… seriously), but I can say this: I’m working on a throwback epic fantasy novel just like the ones I read when I was young and impressionable. Yes, it is derivative by design. Yes, it has an element of cheesiness by design. This is my love letter to the old school, licensed Dungeons & Dragons novels I devoured as an adolescent (Aside: I still read them). I’m excited about this project, and I’m thinking right now that I will use this setting for my home-grown D&D 5E campaign. Oh yeah: it takes place in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world… ’nuff said.
The challenges this year on my side are the same as always: family, job, holidays, obligations… you know, stuff and things. I’m up against all of the usual elements which constitute the current against which we swim in life. It’s awesome for me because it’s an excuse to get creative, hunker down and create some output, and help out a worthy cause along the way. Which brings me to the tin can in my hand: I’m soliciting sponsorship again this year to benefit The Office of Letters & Light, the parent organization of NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, and Camp NaNoWriMo. The money helps to support the OLL’s programs and to support creative writing curriculum worldwide. What does that mean? Put simply: it means the OLL promotes the use of imagination. Even if young people who participate in OLL programs don’t go on to become creative writers, they still have an awesome opportunity to use their imaginations which later on translates into the ability to solve problems creatively and to innovate. I write fantasy stories in which there’s a lot of magic, but real world magic comes from imagination and innovation. Folks who don’t have the ability to use creative approaches to problem solving wind up pitching a hissy fit and locking down the government costing the public billions of dollars and putting federal employees out of work just for shits and giggles. Sorry, couldn’t resist… bitch about it in the comments if you must.
Okay, bullshit aside: want to help? Go here and drop some coin; don’t be a stingy assbag. I’m offering up some “swag” as enticement for donating. My first donor got himself an original 5K word short story with him as the star in the genre of his choice. The next donor of any amount gets a custom poem on the subject of his/her choice. First person to donate $25 or more gets me to be their dungeon master for a four hour Basic Dungeons & Dragons game (for up to four players) — I’m talking “Red Box,” baby; and not the 4E red box either. I’ll do it in person for San Antonio residents, otherwise it will have to be over Skype or Google Hangouts. We’ll be rocking The Keep on the Borderlands, so you know it will be a hoot. I’ll come up with some more ideas as the month progresses. Support art, support creativity, and support crazy and unbridled noveling.