Rummaging Through Bookmarks

Remember when bookmarks were something slipped between two paper pages? I have a bookmarks folder for names in the world, and another one of cool things rummaged while writing, often on the way to something else. This is one of them

The Black Book of Carmarthen, digitized by The National Library of Wales (which is where I saw it), “A collection of Welsh poetry compiled by one scribe during the mid-13th century, and containing verse composed at various times during the period between the eighth and thirteenth centuries. The volume includes triads (p. 27), religious and vaticinatory poetry, eulogies, elegies and numerous poems relating to the Myrddin Legend.”

Rummaging Through Bookmarks

Almost the end of November

Did you wonder where I was? Yup, November brings NaNoWriMo. I knew there were some days at the beginning of the month that no writing or at least little writing would be possible – a wedding and some other things but I wasn’t prepared for the struggle of what would happen next. I had no idea. Which is why, frankly, no writing to get to the end of this story had been happening.

But now, when I could be working on it, even house chores seemed more appealing. I tried new tacks such as hand-writing notes to myself about things that might happen next. I wrote a sketch of a big thing that I knew, or hoped, was going to happen. I dabbled quite briefly with a different idea I had, thinking it was a short story and putting it back in the drawer when it seemed much larger.

I had a few big word count days and a whole lot of low word count days. Which adds up to a half-NaNo but which did indeed bring me almost to the very end.

Here I will say that despite the help that hand writing notes (fountain pen and tiny softcover Moleskines, how writerly, eh?) the power of digital tools is immense. November first, at our local launch party, a big storm came up just before I was packing it in. There was a tiny power blip. My BBEdit screen, non-responsive. I ended up screenshotting it just to save the few inches of paragraphs that were visible, a tiny bit of what I’d done. Came home and finally had to shut down the computer. I chose re-open windows of programs that were open, not holding out any hope for the unsaved document. But there, BBEdit (because it doesn’t suck) opened, opening two other windows and the unsaved document in its entirety.

I so love the Barebones Software guys that when I discovered there was a paid upgrade available that night, I gladly plopped my money down for it and sent them a big thank you.

I also love that as I worked on what a character was reacting to and feeling, I could cut and paste the whole ending-to-date into a new document and change it over into something that seemed better, more coherent and tweak it, free from the rest of what had been written. It finally got added back, replacing the old not-quite-right part. Yeah cut and paste!

So here we are at the end of November, and there’s a new pile of words for this book. I’m good with it.

Almost the end of November

From the Quote Box, Just in Time for NaNoWriMo

There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. — Kenneth Blanchard

November First

You know what that means, friends…

Whereas, as I read recently, in October your social media is filled with the wonderful Inktober art your friends are making daily, in November your friends go radio silent for NaNoWriMo, surfacing only once in awhile to gnash their teeth and wish they were dead.

Here’s to lots of words and not too much conflict between the call of paint and brushes and the pressure of the bar graph. I mean come on – I got new brushes today!

Tuesday This and That and the Other and Words

Today was my day off and I’m sure I could have found a lot of useful things to do, but oh well. I got some coffee and then I found a place to sit and sat and wrote for a long time. I piled up a lot of words. I was pooped at the end but I got a lot of story told.

Then I came home, and having gotten a new postcard, I sat down to add it to my little pile of postcards and to put a tick by the senders name. I’m not all weepy about getting or not getting cards but it’s always nice to get one and being that I check off my own cards as I send them out I just do the same for the incoming cards. Anyway here are the cards in the pile at the moment:

Monday at work, while waiting for someone to show up for a class, my coworker handed me an iPad Pro and said here, draw something. So I did.

This was the sky I saw tonight.

And finally (see what happens when you spend too much time stringing words together?) awhile ago I bought two of these fine Palamino Blackwing pencil sharpeners. They’re designed to put a looooong point on the working bit of the pencil. The bit that’s known as “the lead”. The second one I bought the nice young woman at the art supply store told me, very excitedly, about how the inside held two more blades. Now I don’t really know where I’d easily get more blades but I’ll worry about that when the time comes and I have to start replacing blades.

However, when emptying the trimmings of my fine pencils (I sharpened all my drawing pencils from HB to 6B the other night) tonight I noticed this message inside. I don’t think it wants me to stop sharpening my pencils… but now I might have to do a little more research.

Back to Work

There’s always a little pause after NaNoWriMo during which the desire to keep writing (even not at that pace) is overwhelmed by fatigue and the rushing stress that is December and the holidays. Some of that fatigue was also being sick which turned out to be a stealth sinus infection.

But now – a brand new year!

In the past few days I’ve done some writing and some painting so we’re on track for a good year. So far the temperatures are definitely not conducive to anything like plein air work but I’m going to try and convince myself that car-sketching is a thing.

First I sat down and did four small quickies.

Yesterday I treated myself to a “Paint-along” with my via-Patreon-tutor, Alan Owen. These often don’t go as planned because as he’s filming he gets to turn off the camera and let things dry. I often miss the skip and keep painting and then have to either go back later or figure out how to fix what’s going on. Still a good learn. To me, his trees don’t look like my trees. Around here most of the trees are bare and so the tree line is a brown/grey with a lot of pines mixed in. (Sorry for the iffy screenshot but it is enough to show the trees. Also many brit trees have their trunks covered in thick vines, which he also shows here.)

Here’s the photo I took while it was all still a bit damp.

And then another when quite dry.

Day 29, NaNoWriMo – What’s That I Hear?

Yes folks it was the NaNoWriMo crew applauding and cheering on my superpowers of writing and telling me I’m their hero because:

I’m ripping open my winner shirt as we speak. I like all of them although my particular favorite is the venn diagram: 50000 words, 30 days, 0 excuses. Words to live by folks. Words to live by.

Anyway, I was just part way through the part that almost crushed me with it’s abyss-ness earlier in the month. I ended up blipping over it and hurtling towards the big wedding. The abyss looks smaller but needs more fill and there’s still one wedding to go before everyone starts their happily ever after.

In the meantime I promised myself some wine and some sleep.

PS the anticipation tonight while I tried to beat the clock at the library was intense!