Don’t Go Away Mad…

Last night was Santa Cruz NaNoWriMo’s annual TGIO party, “Thank God it’s Over.” It was an interesting evening full of hors d’ouerves (or as many people, but especially my dad call them, horse ovaries), rich muffins, cookies, and discussion of writing.

Lasting impressions:
People talk in memes (Overheard: references to Dr. Who, Twilight, Harry Potter, pirates, zombies, Star Trek, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, assorted vampires, etc.)
A lot of diversity in appearance and subject matter
Some of the best writers I’ve encountered are too young to vote
Oh, to be back in college creative writing classes…
People writing by the seat of their pants seemed to have the floor.
Writers have a lot of opinions, and that doesn’t even include discussion of their own work.

Quote of the night:
“I was running out of things to write, so **bam** lesbian sex scene.”

It was interesting to see what everybody wrote, and how people viewed their futures in writing and, more specifically, their future works. This event was run differently than I’ve encountered in the past. Namely, there was no gallery walk, and little explanation provided by any of the authors about their work. I think that was my fault, because I shared first and I think my lack of explanation may have set the tone. Last time, I went last, which meant that the parameters were well established by the time I chipped in my two pages.

One interesting aspect of the evening was that there was only one familiar face, other than my wife, who sat in as one of three non-participant guests. The one vet that I recognized, our co-ML, Claire, did an admirable job of facilitating it all last night, which is a hard thing to do with her two peers and a host of older people around her.  Try it.  When I was teaching, one of the hardest things was addressing parents on Back to School Night.  I think the busiest I’d ever seen a parent teacher night was at SCHS, with my American Lit Honors students’ parents.  They were so supportive that it actually felt easy by the end of it all.  Other nights were more sparsely attended with parents that were far less supportive.   The point, if I may careen back to it, is that taming handfuls of opinionated strangers is never easy, even when they’re on the same page.

The two other MLs kept the conversation moving.  Meanwhile, Miles, whose novels seemed to hinge between adventure, paranormal, and nature writing, helped broach topics that needed to be broached.  As a self-published author, he was able to provide us with insightthat many of the rest of us needed.  Ultimately, one of the most difficult things about this meeting was the variety of genres and the dissonance between writing styles, as it was sometimes hard to find common ground.  It was truly a motley crew of writers, which is something that I think any writer who has belonged to a writer’s group can understand.

Yesterday, my wife was more than patient with me, letting me exorcise some demons about my writing, and even helping me talk through character naming. As of now, there are still two principal characters who are lacking names, but the majority of my characters now have appelations to match who they are, what they do, and what they have done. Thanks, Kimi, for helping me blast through all of those names and my working drafts for the TGIO party.  After weeks of plugging out 1,667+ words per night, the day and a half leading up to the TGIO party was far more stressful for me.  I wish that I had that same patience, as I grew frustrated toward the end of the TGIO party and I opened my big yap around someone else who was in attendance.  I need to work on that.

This particular blog entry is more brain droppings than anything else, but there’s so much to cover from the past month. I am now nearly 60k through my novel, with an anticipated 120k remaining. This makes for a long novel, but it ultimately will be pared down a little, and I prefer long novels as it stands. The story of Zane Resnick and his merry men has begun, and there will be a great deal more plot as these characters become more established.  I’ve written very little since that last weekend of NaNoWriMo, but I will surely start up again soon.

As I recharge and recommit to my novel, I hope to get a few more entries in here.  Meanwhile, I wanted to thank you, dear readers, for your patience.  I hope that my next entry is a bit more insightful.

By the way, bonus points if you can figure out the bizarre logic behind the title to my post!

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