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The Plan (NaNoWriMo Edition)

Today’s post would normally be about my goals for the month, but as it’s November, my goal is to participate in and maybe even win NaNoWriMo, as evidenced by my super cool badge here:

So, today I thought I might talk about how I plan to do that. If it can be considered a plan. It doesn’t feel much like a plan, but it is at least a little more than the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I was working with before, so maybe?

Anyway, this month’s theme is Pot Luck.

Meaning I didn’t have an idea for a singular story that could net me 50,000 words, so I decided to call upon my current slate of unfinished/unstarted WIPs in hopes that between all of them I can cobble together those elusive 50,000 words.

This puts me firmly in the NaNo Rebel category, but truth be told, I am a rebel in November more often than I’m not. (And somewhere, the support group of authority figures who had the displeasure of trying to tell me what to do just collectively scoffed and said, “Yeah. It’s not just November, you pain in the ass.”)

So here now, for your reading pleasure, are the WIPs on which I hope to be working this month:

Terrible Romance Sequel

As you may have guessed from the very clever name, this is supposed to be the next installment of the Terrible Romance Series. I started it last November during NaNoWriMo and didn’t finish it and didn’t look at it again until recently when I took it out of the drawer to take stock of its state, for lack of a better word.

Yeah…it turns out there really isn’t a plot. Or a beginning or an end. Or a romance between my main characters, but why is that important in a romance novel?

One of my goals for 2021 was to finish the first draft of this story, so I would like to see if I can maybe do that this month. It will require me to come up with an actual plot, though, (and probably some romance) so we’ll have to see how it goes.

—Adventures In Babysitting

This is the working title for a companion novella idea I had for my fantasy series, The Coileáin Chronicles. It doesn’t have very much in the way of a plot yet (why do none of my stories have plots?!?), so again, we’ll have to see how it goes.

Threnody

This is the title for the fourth book in The Coileáin Chronicles. You know, the one I really didn’t want to write? Yeah, well, it has a name now, and I’m super thrilled about it. And no, it doesn’t have a plot, but apparently, I just don’t work that way anymore.

At this point, I’m viewing this more as a thought exercise. I’m not sure what will happen, so I’m going to explore what can happen and see where that takes me. Who knows—maybe it’ll lead to a better ending for Full Circle.

—The Third One

This is the third intended installment of the Terrible Romance Series. Because OF COURSE there are three of them. It’s on the list mostly because I have some ideas for it, and it’s possible that working on the Terrible Romance Sequel could lead to additional ideas, and every idea I get down is more words toward that 50k. So it’s on the list.

How Many Angels

This is my attempt at literary fiction. It’s supposed to be a hybrid of Steel Magnolias and William Faulker’s As I Lay Dying but set in Maine. I started writing it back in high school (so, you know, back in the dark ages) and have been ignoring it since college. I’m curious if I can get past all of the extremely cringe-worthy crap I wrote back then (because OMG, it’s terrible) to see if there’s a worthwhile story buried in there somewhere. Because right now, I think the only thing maybe even a little salvageable here is the concept.

I don’t know how this month-long experiment will go. I admit I don’t have high hopes for a win. I just feel too unfocused for that. I don’t mind if I don’t get a win, though. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve lost, and it won’t be the last. Besides, though I admit I do enjoy winning, I don’t do this for the win. I do this thing for the challenge itself. I want to see what will happen…even if all that happens is me spending thirty days staring at a blinking cursor while ingesting an inhuman amount of sugar.

But who knows? Perhaps I shall surprise myself. The good thing about not having high hopes is that it’s a hell of a lot easier to meet and/or exceed those expectations. (And yeah, you’re probably going to look at the word count stats below and be all, “WTF are you talking about, you weirdo? It look like it’s going all right to me.” To which I have to say, “Yes, I am more than a weirdo, and I usually crush the word count in the first week. It doesn’t mean anything.”)

Perhaps one of these projects will catch fire (hopefully not literally, though…) and grab hold and inspire the hell out of me.

It could happen.

NaNoWriMo started on Monday, so I am now three days into the Pot Luck experiment. Here’s where things stand thus far:

CAMP STATS

Word count goal: 50,000

Where the WC should be: 5,001

Where the WC actually is: 7,648

WIP getting the most love: Adventures In Babysitting (7,081 words)

What will happen? Stay tuned to this channel for occasional updates. Unless I forget or go into some kind of sugar coma. If that happens, I’ll see y’all in December.

Stay safe and well, all.

Be Careful What You Eat

Today on My Pet Blog, we’re turning things over to awesome author Tyrean Martinson who’s here to talk about her new book, Nexus, as well as the role of food and beverage in fiction.

Take it away, Tyrean!

The Role of Food and Beverage can change with every situation in a fictional setting, just as it can in life. Characters may gain comfort from food. Characters may proclaim or take note of other character’s politics, class, and culture through food and beverage. In some novels, food and beverage take center stage as a plot point. This happens in two situations: when food is poisonous, or when food is necessary for survival.

In the case of food poisoning, either purposeful poisoning or accidental poisoning, food or beverage becomes a key ingredient to understanding the mystery or dilemma in a novel. The main character may poison someone else, be poisoned, or solve the mystery of a poisoning. The main character may suffer from a major food allergy which causes them to react as if they’ve been poisoned. One of my writing instructors years ago said that “Characters should only eat in a novel if the food is poisoned, otherwise it’s a waste of time.” While I believe food and beverage can be used to create a deeper understanding character or world-building, she did have a point. Food and beverage can be in a book for a purpose. If you’re reading or writing a mystery, it is possible the food has a nefarious purpose.

In many survival stories, food and beverage or food and water are key factors in the plot because the characters need them. In The Hunger Games, Katniss becomes a hunter to help her family survive and this ability helps her survive the games. In a pure survivalist novel like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the main character must hunt and find food so he doesn’t starve. Drinkable water is an issue in the old science fiction film Waterworld, in which the entire Earth is covered by ocean water. In the recent Netflix series, Away, the astronauts on the way to Mars struggle to have enough water to drink and to water their plants in a hydroponics lab. 

Food and water (beverages) are key elements for life and health and can be key elements in a plot. 

What books have you read with food and beverage as plot points?

For the other posts in this series of Food and Beverages in Fiction, please go to Chrys Fey’s Blog, or H.R. Sinclair’s Blog.

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana. Nexus: The Rayatana Book 2 is available all online, retail, and all ebook platforms.

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AUS | AMAZON CANADA

SMASHWORDS | APPLE | KOBO | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyrean Martinson is a word hunter. She forages for words both sweet and tart in the South Sound of Washington State. An eclectic writer, she writes speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, short scripts, devotions, writing books, song lyrics, and poetry. She has been a fencer (long ago), a kickboxer (for a short minute), and an action-movie fan. Tyrean is a life-long book lover, a Christ follower, and walker. Once upon a time, she was a Girl Scout who sang too loudly, and now she’s a podcaster and praise team member. Since childhood, her imagination has been swept away by fairy tales, science fiction, tales of overcoming the odds, and redemption arcs.

Find her online at:

Tyrean’s Writing Spot Blog | Tyrean’s Tales | Instagram

Twitter | Words Takes Flight

October Goals

It’s a new month, y’all, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of MY MONTHLY GOALS!

But before we get to the main event, let’s take a look at how I did with last month’s goals…

—Complete the first draft of Full Circle

Well…it’s…let’s just say I am done working on it. For now. Maybe forever. Probably not forever, but I don’t know. What I do know is that I wrote the worst ending in the history of endings (Congratulations, Game of Thrones, you’re off the hook!), which doesn’t really matter given that the whole damn book is pretty much held together by scotch tape and chewing gum. I’m not convinced any of it is anything worthwhile, but the manuscript is now sitting in the metaphorical drawer until at least January (maybe longer. We’ll see how it goes) and the storyboard went through the shredder, so…I’m done working on it.

But because I’m so unimpressed with…well, everything, these days, this is not something I’m choosing to celebrate.

—Figure out September’s marketing attempt and, you know, attempt it

I did this. I mean, these attempts all year have been the silliest, smallest things that could possibly be considered ‘marketing’ and ‘attempts’, so it’s not like I’m really achieving a whole hell of a lot here, but I did do a little something.

—Walk at least three miles every day

This, I did. Well, on average, anyway. I was short a couple of days for various reasons, but my daily average was 3.5 miles per day.

Thanks, puppies!

Now for October’s goals…

—Make a plan for NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and I am once again acting as my region’s ML (municipal liaison), so participating in the main event is part of the deal.

I don’t, however, have a solid plan of what I want to work on. Or any plan, really. The original plan from way back in January was to work on a brand new project because, in theory, both Full Circle and Terrible Romance Sequel would be finished and sitting in the drawer come November.

Which…didn’t happen.

So a new plan is in order. Because right now, this is my project:

—Walk at least three miles every day

Because, apparently, it’s good if one doesn’t just become part of one’s couch or one’s desk chair.

So that’s what I have going on this month. What are your goals? Are you also gearing up for NaNoWriMo? (If you’re looking for wrimo buddies, I can be found using the very clever user name of M.J. Fifield…)

Thanks for stopping by! Stay safe and well, all.

One Last Book Birthday

Today, we’re celebrating Second Nature‘s book birthday.

Sure, if you want to get all technical about it, its actual birthday was last week, but I was too busy forgetting about it to post then, so I’m doing it today instead.

Second Nature is the second book in my fantasy series, The Coileáin Chronicles. It took a long, long time (because of course it did) to figure out how this particular tale was supposed to come together, but thanks to my village of super supportive people, it did finally make it out into the world.

I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped me make this project into a reality, and everyone who has taken the time and made the effort to read this monster novel. You know who you are (I hope), and I love you all.

Possibly Interesting Fun Facts About This Book

—One of my high school BFFs named it back when we were actually in high school because, apparently, he had a much better idea of what this book/series was supposed to be long before I did. (Why is it the author is always the last to know?)

—I went through four red pens and three blue highlighters during the seemingly never-ending editing process.

—This book contains my favorite (thus far) reference to the greatest song ever written…ABBA’s Dancing Queen (If you didn’t know, I write at least one reference to this song into every book I write). You can find it in Chapter Five.

—An early draft of this book contained one of my all-time favorite typos. See if you can spot it…

(Note: she was supposed to make someTHING to eat. Not someone.)

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I am offering up a little bit of swag, for anyone interested. Pictured below are the bookmarks/postcards for my three published (Quick question: How do I have three published novels?) novels.

It’s the kind of thing I would hand out at book events, if I had any on my schedule (which I do not, for multiple reasons). And now they can be yours for the low, low price of…absolutely nothing.

If you’re interested in having a set of these hard-to-find items for your very own, send me an email (mjfifield at gmail) or a DM on the social media site of your choice (you know, provided I have an account on that site, of course) and I will mail them out to you. (US and Canada, only, please. I can’t afford any other international shipping.)

Thanks for stopping by today! I promise this will be the very last book birthday post for 2021…

Stay safe & well, all!

Back On the Goal Train

It’s the start of a new month, which means it’s time for another exciting installment of…my monthly goals!

As it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts (June, to be exact. I just checked), I’m going to forego the previous month’s recap and jump right in to my goals for the month of September. Which maybe kind of sort of possibly just slightly bear a complete and total resemblance to the ones I set in June, but I’m sure that’s just some kind of weird coincidence and definitely not a sign of how little I’ve actually done this year.

Anyway. On to the goals!

—Complete the first draft of Full Circle

Yeah. I’m still working on it. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I just can’t shake the (perhaps wishful thinking) feeling that I’m thisclose to the end. I chipped away at it here and there last month and ended up adding just over 6000 words to the FrankenWIP edition of the manuscript…and still didn’t get to the end.

Maybe this month will be different?

Here’s why I think it may be different (or possibly different): If my current plan turns out to be remotely accurate (Hey—it could happen), I am a paltry two incomplete scenes and one yet-to-be-started scene away from finishing the FrankenWIP. And the one yet-to-be-started scene is only yet-to-be-started because I can’t decide if it should be the end of this book or the start of the next book (you know…the one I really don’t want to write). Which kind of makes it feel like a Free Space. If I write it now, great. I can cut it in the second draft if I ultimately decide it shouldn’t be there. If I don’t write it now, it can be added to the second draft if I ultimately decide it needs to be there. So all I really need to do to be done with this manuscript is finish those two incomplete scenes.

Which makes this goal seems completely doable, but again…I am still me.

Which is why it may not be different at all.

—Figure out September’s marketing attempt and, you know, attempt it

I don’t know what it’s going to be yet (besides, you know, silly and unsuccessful…) but Second Nature does have a book birthday coming up later this month, so I should probably—I don’t know—acknowledge it somehow.

I am just so good at this.

(Narrator: She was, in fact, not good at this.)

I feel as though I should attempt something else as well, but the truth is that just acknowledging a book birthday will be a huge challenge for me, so maybe I should just leave it at that.

—Walk at least three miles every day

I’ve been slacking on this goal of late. Scrappy Doo hurt his leg last month in some complete freak accident. It wasn’t anything major (he jumped out of a chair and landed the absolute wrong way on his leg), but he’s still recovering so we’ve been limiting how far he gets to walk each day, and apparently I am now too lazy to walk without him.

It’s cool, though. We were getting too chummy with our neighbors anyway. (Seriously. Because of these dogs, I now know many of my neighbors’ names and things about them. Ugh.)

And on that super friendly note, I’m outta here. Because apparently that damn WIP really won’t write itself.

Ugh.

What are your goals this month?

As always, thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and well, all.