Thursday, November 30, 2006

and Mate

Total Tally 50,216 words and 135 pages

I think the Keep is gone. Not sure. There was a tremendous burst of phosphorescent fire (maybe the golden fleas?) and then I stopped writing, just before the epilogue. There will be an epilogue for sure. I started to write it and said:

"No. I want to go home now." So I did. I think my muse understood.

My first NaNo and I think I did okay. I didn't obssess, I took breaks, but I didn't slack off either.
New Nick Cave album in March: the Grinderman :) Don't know about that moustache Nicks got though***CV

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

do gargoyles weep?

Current tally 47,823 words 130 pages (one day left)

Everyone is gathering inside the Keep as the maze is playing Mother May I and not following the rules! It's taking all the giant steps forward, and upward, it feels like. And there is a strange green flickering fire that has appeared in the West Ballroom.

At this point I'm giving up on knowing how it will end. I have approximately 2,200 more words left: I'll let the story tell me how it ends. I have such very clear images of two very differnt possibilities.
It's been a lot of fun to do this challenge. I started just for the fun of it and I don't think I would have been disappointed if I ended in the 20Ks now. But being this close. it seems silly to not reach the full out goal.****CV

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Check and....

Current Tally 45,802 words and 122pages (2 days left)

I was so depressed this morning and I couldn't figure out why. I finally realized it's beause the story is almost finished. I really like finding out each day what the characters are up to and after Thursday *sniff*

"But wait", I hear you say (after picking yourself off the floor from laughing about my becoming distraught at saying goodbye to fictional characters) "you can just write another story with the same characters." To which I reply: I think not.

See I'm pretty sure how it will end, I'm just working on getting to that point. And, well, it doesn't look too good. In fact, as Four would say:

Oh, that's just depressing. I want a cheerful story next time.
There is a positive side to what I anticipate. It's just the reader has to be able to see it.***CV

Monday, November 27, 2006


Current tally 44,292 words and 119 pages

It snowed today: lots. Then it melted. Tonight it should freeze.***CV

Sunday, November 26, 2006

there is a thing which lurks

Current Tally 42, 271 words and 114 pages

Something is in the maze. What it is we do not know. Really. Even I have no idea what it is. I don't think it's a good thing though. It's all kinds of nasty fungus colors. Spider and He are still stuck in the maze. Everyone else got out. Oh dear.
The Chess Queen, a feminist speculation on the origin of the queen piece in chess. Fun stories about famous historical queens. Not so sure I accept the author's conclusions though

Separtions by Massimo Bontempelli. Two magical realist tales about mothers and their childen who may or may not be their children. Oddly enough I feel like I'm watching a Japanese supernatural film as I read this book.
Next: House of the Seven Gables, ah Nathaniel :)***CV

Saturday, November 25, 2006

From the Stacks I

Current tally 40,211 words and 109 pages

Are you bored yet? Have a limerick.
there once was a lad named vlad
he did some things that were bad
one of which was
to inspire books like this* 'cause
when you finally met vlad you were glad
Which is true. I do wish Vlad had shown up far sooner than he did. He was interesting. Dude was a book collector (except for the sadistic blood sucking fiend habit) he was a bit of all right. Sharp dresser too. Oh well. I wait patiently for Sunshine II

From the Stacks: Book I
So *the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (704pp) There are lots of bits about travelling into different countries which were interesting and I enjoyed some of the secondary characters she created: Turgut, Stoichev (so cute I wanted him to be my granpa). The vampires were sad. I know in real life I would be terrified of the librarian but ... it's a book and I wasn't scared. Worse I had little to no sympathy for the main characters. I did like the bits of history that made up the investigation and I liked Stephen's tale: especially all the side notes about what part was from version A and what from version B. And I liked the parts that actually had Dracula in it, which was oh that last 50 pages or so.

If you want to read this book it's not bad: just long and slow. I would recommend borrowing it from the library. ***CV

Friday, November 24, 2006

Is there a plot in the house?

Current tally 35,309 words and 97 pages

Yes it takes me over 250 words to hopefully create a rope and save myself from the giant hole I was about to fall into. I still don't know if it will work. Critic I and Critic 2 are rather miffed with me and are demanding their money back. Then they remembered they were in the book for free and now want their time back. *sigh*
The Historian. Yeah. Around the 600's it picks up. A little. Not much. But there are only 100+ pps left so it should be done before I go to sleep.

Huh. Is it just me or is there something wrong with thinking that finishing a vampire story right before bed is okay?
I am currently being grateful for a challenging person in my life. It has taken me over two hours to see a positive aspect to a phone all I received this afternoon. One is better than none I suppose.****CV

Thursday, November 23, 2006

day break

Current Tally (see yesterday)

Yup. No writing today and it feels just fine :) I do not work well under consistent and unrelenting pressure, self imposed or other. I need my breaks.

Went to a two hour class today (Oh how I miss these long classes). It's the kind of class where you feel like you're cooling down but you're not. Very nice.

Then I was headed towards a write-in at Powell's, but after browsing the aisles (Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom and Separations by Massimo Bontempelli) I decided to see if any cafes in my neighborhood were open at all. Found one: five minutes before it closed. Came on home and continued reading the Historian. I'm over halfway through.

I think one of the bits of the book that bothers me is that the vampires are cardboard. They are scary, they have long teeth, they do not like crucifixes. And? So I am enjoying the tour of eastern europe. Perhaps Josef will up the excitement, or not.

Interesting that as I was browsing the aisle looking for the End of Mr. Y I saw a new edition of Dracula with a very Nosferatu inspired cover.

'Course what better way to spend a national holiday then reading a vampire book and sipping tea? ;)***CV

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Current tally 35, 050 words and 96 pages

Let's talk about something else shall we?

The Historian. Right. I remember reading Dracula. Not the stellar experience. It was all right but not great. Perhaps my expecations were too high. I had seen all the Hammer films, I had seen both Nosferatus; so I had this sense that Dracula must be a GREAT GOTHIC work.

What I read was a ... ummmm ... work. It was a travelogue and it was quiet and the monster was not what he appeared in the films. I suppose one could argue that this is exactly why one should read the book then see the movie. Hard to do when the Dracula myth is so huge culturally.

So the Historian. Deja vu? Considering it is attributing much of its premise to the existence of Drakulya: I'm still waiting to develop some sympathy for the characters. I am enjoying the "book" and "research" descriptions. *shrug* I couldn't get into the Name of the Rose either.

I will finish the story. It's not offensive it's just not riviting. And this may be one reason why I never got into vampire stories. (Sunshine and Twilight excepted :) They seldom realise their potential***CV

I am only up to page 250. It may pick up***CV

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Honore si vous plaiz

Well in came a sailor, he had mermaids tattooed on his arms,
Followed by the man with wing nut ears who'd been waitin' in the car;
Robin Moore sensed trouble he'd seen it comin' from afar
And Betty Coltrane gasped underneath the table.
Nick Cave

Current Tally: 33, 528 words and 92 pages (1 day behind schedule)

A little over 2K words today which is not too bad considering that I only worked on it for an hour and a half. I can feel the edges of the wall though. I think I need to describe the setting more as there has been a lot of action and conversation.

It may be that the scene I wanted to work on a few days ago is ready to appear.

All I know is that I've asked Msr. Balzac to take over the next few thousand words with one, possibly two, of his expositions. He has plenty of coffee, a desk littered with hand inked notes, and is suitably attired in his dressing gown and slippers:

Monsieur, appres vous***CV

Monday, November 20, 2006

falada meet charlie

"What's your pleasure," asked the barman, he had a face like boiled meat.
"There's a girl named Betty Coltrane that I have come to see."
"Well I ain't seen that girl 'round here for more than a week."
And Betty Coltrane she hid beneath the table.
Nick Cave

Current Tally: 31, 511 words and 88 pages

At least I'm getting Nick Cave lyrics down. Oddly enough I write more when I listen to his CDs than when I don't. Opposites breed creativity?

The plot she is a draggin'. Perhaps it's because I've reahed past the middle of the word count and that means it's time to start balancing the story, as in figure out how to have a proper ending? Of course proper doesn't neccessarily mean happy. One of my characters commented that not all stories have a proper-typical or expected, ending.

I look at my count and notice that I wrote nearly 3,200 words today (in 3hours); but oh getting those words out.

I need to do the same tomorrow to be caught up.

Nine more days.***CV

Sunday, November 19, 2006

oblique wardrobes

There was a thickset man with frog-eyes who was standin'at the door,
And a little old bald man with wingnut ears was waitin' in a car.
When Robin Moore passed the frog-eyed man as he walked into the bar
Betty Coltrane she jumped under her table...
Nick Cave

Current tally 28,338 words and 78 pages

There is some movement but not what I expected. Spider and Crystobell have entered the Maze which means Two and Three are terrified that Crystobell is going to tell on them ('cause he can see them pretending to be doorways).

'Course Crystobell may be too busy wondering what is up with those curly slippers?

No knitting. Some reading. The Historian is good so far. ****CV

Saturday, November 18, 2006

which lady?

Current Tally: 25, 135 words and 69 pages

I went to the cafe and refused to leave until I had 25K words. In the course of which I was asked by some college students to particpate in a project and read a quote while being filmed. It was a Thoreau quote BTW.
I changed fox to Cat. It makes so much more sense that way.
Oh it just occurred to me. I have been so busy making sure that all the characters get something to do that I've left poor rabbit out. Hmmmm.
Meanwhile everyone else is busy staring at nothing: heh. I made them all feel my writers block. They're all either watching each other, facing a literal blank wall, staring into a bottomless pool, or choosing between two identical doors in a maze Never fear. Two and Three are the doors keeping Mr. stuck in the rose Maze company. He's turning out to be quite smart after all.***CV

Friday, November 17, 2006

an eternity turns

Current tally: 21, 350 words, 58 pages

Is it possible to have too many potential plot points and so reach the state known as brain freeze? I'm trying not to become deeply mystical, but then , golly with Two and Three how could one possibly become even remotely serious?

One of the (many) NaNo dares is to pick a CD and incorporate all of its song titles into a chapter. With the way this story is coming along I'd have no trouble using all the Cocteau Twins titles and it would make perfect sense.

Maybe a new character called peppermint pig ;)***CV

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Current tally: 19,132 words and 53pages

And where did this Fox character come from? But maybe it's not a fox? Maybe its Coyote instead? I hope it's not Cat trying to upstage everyone else again. We shall see.

I think the minions may be feathered. Still working on verbal visuals.

I was browsing a shop today and found a set of cards that has all my characters on them, so far. Seriously, almost exactly as I've pictured them. So I bought the set.***CV

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

escher experience

Current Tally: 17,102

So Mr Rose Maze nearly got trapped into an Escher picture (the one with the staircases that go up and down and oblique and never ever stop). So he's having a bit of a lie down where he started from and is deciding which of the other three openings he's going to try next.

Meanwhile my MC has realized that the Rose Maze may actually be in the Keep proper and not some fancy garden outside of it.

I think my next goal is to actually describe what my characters look like. I did for some of them in the prewrite stage (Crystobell and Solitude) which I can't include in my word count. But I haven't made verbal portraits of Mistress, Cat, She, He, Critics 1 and 2, Minions One through Four, Charlie the dumb/waiter, the Librarian, or Spider. I've alluded to Fish and the Latin speaking white rabbit.

If I could do a page each that would bring me to about 57 pages, I have 48 so far.

I also think I have enough characters now. So accept for maybe the odd author tribute (Poe has come and gone) I'm going to see how this gang gets along***CV

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

maxima calamitas

Current Tally: 15,078 so if I do 10K tomorrow I will be caught up and ahead by 78 words.

Latest character is a librarian who was caught shredding some of the Keep's books by Mistress and is now busy gluing them back together. (Hey I'm just writing it and I do believe I mentioned surreal). Mr Stuck in the Rose Maze has just figured out what heavily embroidered robes are good for, unfortunately an invisible Cat has decided to visit him and be helpful. Fish is watching , and there is a latin speaking white tailed rabbit.

I don't think there are any more characters coming but since I haven't reached the half way point yet, there may still be more on the way***CV

Monday, November 13, 2006

oh lewis, merci

Current Tally; 13,072 or 9K words behind

There was a Parent Event tonight, so I snuck in a half hour of NaNoing before hand and added 700+ words.
You know what's scary? Realizing through ones own writing exactly how influential that first big chapter book from childhood can be. Mine was Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I look at what I'm writng and I am afeared :)

And my MC seems to be in serious trouble. Either that or Cat thinks he should be the MC***CV

Sunday, November 12, 2006

author amuck

Tally: 12,302

One of the characters was rather miffed that he hadn't had a turn on the pages for a while. (Why yes my characters have no notion of a fourth wall, why do you ask?) So I put him in very tall, very thick, very thorny rose maze. He is wearing very curly toed velvet slippers and dressed in heavily embroidered silk robes.

He seems worried.

I can't imagine why***CV

Saturday, November 11, 2006

free falling fun(?)

Inversion workshop today where I confront my fear of falling over backwards while attempting an unsupported pincamayurasana (AKA forearem balance). So it was 1,2,3 allyoop whap, fall flat on my back. Try again and again and again. Well at least I'm learning to fall right?
Current tally; 10,065

Latest news is that to be on schedule one should have 25K by the 15ht which means oh about 3,750 a day from tomorrow on.
One: Where’ve you been?
Two: What do you mean?
One: Where’ve you been?
Three: I don’t know what you mean
One: Where. Have. You. Been.
Two and Three: Oh
One: Well??
Two: Well if you would insist on contracting your words you must understand that one has trouble….
One: Oh come off it
Three: (sulkily) Oh very well. Just having a bit of fun.
One: So?
Two and Three looked at each other before bursting out as one: We’ve been down the Dumbwaiter!
Amazed One said: You mean its back?
Two and Three: Yes! Isn’t that fab?

One: Do you all remember the last time the dumb waiter appeared?

Two and Three considered the question, which was rather a challenge for them as they were such present living individuals. To have to think about something either in the past or future context rather placed a damper upon their fun loving natures. They thought it a bit unfriendly of One to ask it of them. But than that was One for you, always a stick in the mud. They might as well humor him.

Two: Well as I recall….
Three: The last time the dumbwaiter appeared….(surprised) We couldn’t go down him at all!
Two: Not without….
Together: (Hilariously) Flattening him like a pancake!

Two and Three rolled around the floor in a cascade of hilarity while One looked on stone faced and Four began perusing her feet for fleas. After a few moments Two and Three lay gasping for breath and wiping the tears from each others eyes.

Two: Okay.
Three: So what’s your point?
One: (through clenched teeth) My point is, if the Dumb Waiter has reappeared as a dumbwaiter someone new must have entered the Keep.

Two and Three: Oh

And after deep and serious contemplation of the serious consequences of such information, Two and Three looked at each other again, shrugged their shoulders and turning to One said simultaneously,

Two and Three: And?

Sighing quietly to himself, One turned to Four and asked her if she remembered her friend the dumb waiter who had not been around for a while. At this question Four brightened and said,

“Oh Charlie? Yes of course I remember Charlie. S/he was such fun. Is s/he back? Can we go visit Charlie before seeing Mistress?” ****CV

Friday, November 10, 2006

tally ho

Current tally: 7,035 words. This means I should write 13K this weekend *chuckle* should, uhhuh right.

I joined the From the Stacks challenge 'cause I have two, count 'em 2, months to read five books. So doable. Not like that crazy 60+ in three months. My selection consists of:

The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
The Gift, Vladimir Nabokov
The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
Scarlet and Black, Stendhal
Cousin Pons, Balzac
Still rereading Sunshine, Such a fun, fun, story. Lessee, I'm at the part where Rae has invited Maude to stop by and have some Killer Zebras on the house. (Marie might know the part I mean.) 'Course this is right before the part where Rae goes seeking Con and, um, *disturbs* him. ***CV

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Purple prose? it's practically Tyhrrian :)

Two passing Wits

Three: Ho there! Bobby Watson innnit?
Two: What? Bobby what, Son?
Three: Not what son. Watson. Which Watson are you?
Two: Witch son?
Three: No. Which Watson, not witch son.
Two: Oh.
Three: So?
Two: Sew?
Three: Yes. So which Watson?
Two: Sew a witch, what, son?
Three: What?
Two: Right What should I sew the witch, son. I must say. I am surprised that you can tell that I’m a tailor.
Three: A Taylor?
Two: No a tailor.
Three: Oh a tal-er.
Two: No a tailor!
Three: A tail-er?
Three: Oh now that’s a good one
Two: You think so?
Three: Rather!
Two: Think Cat would like it?
Three: He might. Mistress wouldn’t that’s for sure
Two: You’re right there, but she doesn’t like much does she? It’s hard to tell with Cat though.
Three: Say, where is Cat?
Two: Dunno. Haven’t seen him in ages.
Three: Well that’s not good….
Two: Well it’s not bad….
Three: And if it’s not bad….
Two and Three: It’s a bit of alright!!

Laughing giddily Two and Three first cha-cha-ed then fandango-ed their way along the corridor and then, with a whirl and a toss that would make any top to toe double wide shouldered jitterbug daddio turn green with envy and fear, they disappeared, plummeting into the depths of the Keep’s dumbwaiter.
Tally:5,416 or a third of where I should be ;)***CV

Monday, November 06, 2006

down the dumbwaiter

The NaNo-ing proceeds apace. I had 2,451 words as of last night and tonight I have 4,029. (which is less than half of where I should be *shrug*). I find I write more when my characters tell each other stories. So far the most talkative ones have been Cat and Spider.

Spider knits by the way.

Three and Two are a couple of comedians from the Ionesco/Python school. Be afraid ;)

I just found all this really interesting information about Vincennes and the D'Coucy estate. Who knew such fascinating places existed? I want to go to France now.

I also picked up two books today: one of Remedios Varo's work and that other is A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman.

Inspiration don't you know :)***CV

Saturday, November 04, 2006

baba nam kevalam

So, if someone you knew, liked, and trusted offered to pay your entrance fee for a meditation seminar would you accept? What if you had 8,ooo words to write and the seminar occurred during your writing time?

So 1,202 words in 1.5 hours and the Cat has appeared. Poor Crystobell >:) ***CV

Friday, November 03, 2006


I should note for the record that my entry in NaNoWriMo is based upon a series of sketches I've already been writing. So I'm considering them to be my nonword count prologue. Which means even if I say it's part of my story it is not part of my word count for the month of November. (Yikes! 10K to write this weekend!)

I've recieved some feedback about the writing (voice, characters, style) and I want to put out a question to whoever is interested in responding. What is the difference between orthodox and unorthodox writing?

I've really never heard these terms before. I love learning new things :)***CV

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Castle-ing the Keep

Cast of characters, so far:

One, Two, Three and Four
Critic 1, Critic 2
the Fish