Doing my best to Camp

Camp Nano 2014 banner: Mesnard

I am participating in Camp once again.  Part of me wonders if I have a choice…and the other side tells me I need a deadline to be productive.  Despite how it looks, I am still pursuing my lofty (if not mysterious and farcical) Road to Glory campaign.

I have it easier this year than last.  I should have no excuse…once I finally get my notes down to “jump the gap” – as I have told people.  I have the end sketched fairly well, and I have most of the script written…but there is a small bit which still needs to be filled; to link both parts.

Taking the opportunity to procrastinate again post, I also slightly modified the sidebar.  Life has kept me busy enough not to even update my 2013 progress nor what I have in store for 2014.  Maybe I’ll  get to it as part of my Camp Nano victory lap…should I reach it.

On the bright side, much of my “spare” time went into a writing project.  I am on hiatus at the moment: which puts me at a seemingly-perfect point to continue my Script Frenzy tribute project from last year.

I’m Published (on Leanpub) part 2

Geenie first_proof

Number two of three novels in the have been [digitally] published now.

The first one was my unfinished, appropriate-for-all-ages story which I was working on for a couple of years.

This one?  It does have some similarities; such as being a Nano project in progress for years now.  It’s also unfinished, and has a female as a central figure…as Kindergarten Dropout.

Is there any difference?  The characters are adult, and so would the rating be.  At least a PG-13 rating if a movie…pushing for an R.  The story takes places in more than one state – and even out of the country in parts.

Plenty of intrigue, violence, mystery, death; and even some romance (what I keep getting told is in the story at least).

Of my paltry fanbase, this novel was read and commented on the most.  It also seems the one people most want to see completed.

Curious yet?  Take a look for yourself.  Free samples (as usual); of course.

I’m Published (on Leanpub)

KD first proofI’d rather talk about the tech than talk about me – but here are the nuts and bolts on the situation…

People know I write.  When asked if anything is available to read, usually I point them to my Figment profile for free stories.  I’m asked if I have anything published, and I talk about some unfinished novels, or projects to revise.

Three novels are in the pipeline for [digital] publishing.  One is the first draft of a complete story, and the other two haven’t been completed yet.  Why would I publish unfinished works?  It keeps with the motto of Leanpub: Publish early, publish often.

leanpubI discovered Leanpub this year as a sponsor for Camp Nanowrimo.  I realized they were also a sponsor for Nano 2012, but for whatever reason I did not explore it.

What stands out most publishing through Leanpub is an opportunity to have an unfinished work available for purchase; which can not only provide valuable feedback, but the opportunity to provide free updates to readers.  Leanpub also has great free services to make works ready for publishing – not only converting your text to be available for Kindle or iPad, but a pdf which can be used to make a print version.

The royalties are simple to understand (you keep 90% minus fifty cents per copy).  Another cool perk is a Nano category in their bookstore.

All three projects currently on my profile are Nano works I mentioned at various times on this blog.  They all have free previews, and variable pricing for any who hate paying retail. I have a new email address for taking feedback and critiques, and also to respond.

Leanpub is a simple (and free) way to start publishing, but much elaboration upon a book’s design or layout is possible…if the writer wishes.

The video below is a little geeky and cutesy at the same time; explaining the site better in ten minutes than I can in a thousand words.

Literary Road to Glory: 2013

Mesnard’s “Glory Road” progress:

Year 2 dorm room

Lat year I had delusions of ambition.  Not only did I make a whole slew of writing goals, but I wanted to formulate a system where I could fail and still succeed: so I wouldn’t fall into the trappings of a majority who make resolutions for a new year.  Thus, I adopted this Road to Glory point system and progress meter…heavily stolen inspired by the PSP game NCAA Football 2010.

My version entailed a month-by-month roadmap: with secondary goals to help bolster any months which I faltered; or rather, my endeavors proved too ambitious.  To top it off, I made a more long-term (and secretive) goal which I gave myself a decade to accomplish.

What’s my secret agenda?  That’s still a pinky swear with Palpatine shrouded with secrecy.  Life would be boring without secrets, don’t you think?

Though my output was abysmal a few months (and then some), writing in December rather than enjoying Nanowrimo burnout was what finally helped me amass enough points to pull off a Road 2012 victory.

Since things seemed to go so well, I decided to definitely do it all over again for 2013.  Raising the stakes higher, I even altered my long-range goal (which is the second progress bar at the top of this post) to drive myself a tad harder.

What’s in store for me this year?  Hit the jump to get the month-by-month breakdown.

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Literary Road to Glory: 2012 Recap

The dorm room is packed and cleaned; which brings my foray into literary ambition to a close…at least for this year.  I didn’t plan to give up after a single year of making resolutions.  The big question is how I fared.

Before I cap things off, here’s a look at the cryptic “score sheet” I scrawled out to help become my roadmap. [click to enlarge]

2012 goal sheet (top)

2012 goal sheet (bottom)

How cryptic was it?  I tried to decode it on at least three occasions.  The sheet of notebook paper made a lot of sense at the time, but I made alterations as the months rolled by…a bit because the unexpected cropped up, but mostly to make things more challenging for myself.

After the jump is my 2012 progress report.

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Nanowrimo 2012 recap

2012 Nano bannerThe 2012 OLL season came to a close now National Novel Writing Month has ended.  I did more than the goal; as quantity was concerned.  My novel is insanely long, but for the moment I sort of like it that way.

Proper tone; cadence; length; narration are all things I can figure out later when I work on a real draft.  My chapters aren’t traditional at this point either, but I like that for the moment as well.

On the bright side, I can safely say the story is past the halfway point.  After this current section gets finished up…there are maybe four major things before the ending.  Rather, four or five locations, then the big ending.  Sorry to all who want to read this while waiting for that Transformers reboot: no explosions at the end of this book.  Maybe a faint trace of saltwater, but the lead doesn’t end up having a day at the beach.

Then again, there is this…

No, nope – never a part of my plan.  I didn’t plan on her leaving Scottsdale in the story.  Then again, anything can happen when writing a novel in the Nanoverse.

Back on topic: here’s an auto-generated chart from the Nano site; showing my daily progress in November:

Nano 2012 end stats

So close to sixty thousand, I know.  Maybe next year?  That giant bump in my stats was thanks to our Day of Writing Safe and Warm, which is our region’s version of the Night of Writing Dangerously event held in San Francisco.  Ours may not be as swanky, but sure can be a game-changer for a Wrimo’s word count.

My favorite way to keep track of November is with this widget:


This has been my word barometer for a few years now; and this season it was on display in this blog’s sidebar.  The colors can range from red to green, as I recall.  A green box means the daily word count was reached.  All the other colors represent a word count below par, so to speak.

My personal hope was to write two thousand words a day.  Now my plan is to make up the combined difference of all those non-green days with a newer December goal.  This means 2013 will be the time to see if I’ll avenge those orange and yellow boxes.

When I verified my win, I decided to make my forum signature a little easier to see.  Here’s what it became:


In case you’re wondering, all the black print and handwriting were lifted from the project I was writing for November.

Since I’m sharing images, here is something I received at the TGIO [Thank Goodness It’s Over] party for our region:


One of these days I’ll open the pack up, but I haven’t had a special enough use yet.

That about wraps up why November is a tough month to keep my attention.  Now maybe one of these days I’ll finally finish one of these novels.  April and July are the Camp Nano sessions for 2013.  Maybe then?  Oh, wishful thinking…

Related links:

NaNoWriMo: 50k Reached!

2012Winner-180x180With around an hour left in the day, I hit 50,000 words on the twenty-first of November.  My personal goal was to hit the mark before Thanksgiving, so I guess I cut it close.

Still more to go.  It’s like this novel won’t ever have a final chapter…even though I have some of the broad strokes for the end in my mind.  I’m doing my best to make it a payoff worthy of all the words which precede it, but I’m taking it a step at a time.

This is still draft zero.  Nano is very run-and-gun for me.  It causes a lot of word padding, dynamic shifts, and tangents.  I don’t even consider these first drafts anymore.  Often the speed and creative process causes a major shift in story or tone.

If none of that scared you off, a great deal of this draft can be found here.