katstales: (NaNo-Damsel in Distress)
I was planning to post links to the writing prompts from the No Plot? No Problem! kit but hadn't had the chance to go hunting for them till now. Unfortunately, I have discovered that I began with card #5 and some days I posted multiple prompts and others only the one. So to make it easier on myself for next year, I'm going to to post them all directly instead of linking. They will be in groups of seven which I intend to post once a week.
Here are the first seven: )

And there you have 'em, seven prompts for each day of the start of NaNoWriMo. Hope you find them helpful--no matter if you are struggling or not! :)

katstales: (pocky)
Can you believe it? November is over today. What a wild, exhilarating ride it's been, too!

So without further ado, here are the final two writing prompts from the kit. (Link posted after the prompts.)

Landing The Craft--This card begins by relating the experience Baty once had while traveling on a plane. He was watching out the window as the ground below seemed to pass by in slow motion. Then a plane passed underneath them going in the opposite direction and it took a moment for him to realize that he was traveling at the same speed as the other aircraft and how easy it was to lose track of the speed. It goes on to encourage you to scroll back and take a look at what you've written over the past 28 days, realizing that you wrote all of that and at a "speed that would make professional writers queasy." It then says that the clunking noise you will hear at the end of todays session is is the sound of your landing gear coming down. "You're almost home, writer."

Returning to Earth--"One of the hardest parts of writing a 30-day novel is knowing what to do with yourself after it ends." It goes on to mention how both men and women can suffer from postpartum depression after having a baby, and how you shouldn't be surprised if you experience a bit of "the blues" once you have put the finishing touches on your book. His advice:"Make the transition from intense creative period back to normal life easier by tackling a few of those nonessential things you've been putting on hold this past month. Go grocery shopping. Call people back. Make appointments. But still, no dishwashing. Please. Let's not get crazy."

Once again, these prompts have all come from No Plot? No Problem! The Kit! which is available on the NaNoWriMo.org website shop.

And there you have it. The end. Finished. All tied up in a neat little bow. Just in time for the holidays even. ::grins::

If you don't hear from me for a few days, don't worry. (Or send me a text message--the link is on my user info page) They're predicting some pretty dicey weather for Thurs & Fri, including ice. And with the kind of luck we've had lately in the electricity department, weeeelllll...I'm expecting the worst. ::nods:: Then if we don't get it, I can be very pleasantly surprised, which beats being unpleasantly surprised if it does get as bad as they're saying. (Um, I'm rambling now, aren't I? I think this probably a good time to shut up and go to bed now. ::giggles::)

Oh, anyone else who is supposed to be getting this ::sarcasm on:: *wonderful* ::end sarcasm:: weather in the next few days--stay safe and stay warm!! (And that safe part goes for everyone, regardless of their current weather temps.)

katstales: (pocky)
Sorry these are late again. Yesterday was more fun with intermittent power outages, so I didn't even bother trying to post them. But first, as promised, the Saga of the Ignoramus Utility Workers Continues.

I don't think I mentioned it, but the night before Thanksgiving, we started having issues with our lights flickering again. So we call the management company on Monday (they were closed all weekend and a call to the emergency number was met with a "call us back if goes out completely" response). MC says that we need to call the power company directly, as the electrician says the guy from Ameren didn't do a thorough job when they were supposed to have fixed it last time. So we call Ameren. They say their guy fixed the problem on the pole by the transformer, so it's something in the building. So we call the MC back. They call the electrician. Once we finally got past damn near the whole day of finger-pointing (electrician says it's the thing on the pole, Ameren says it's in the building, electrician insists no, it's the thingy by the transformer, Ameren *finally* relents and sends a truck out to fix it. At nearly 7:30 that evening, which had to cost a bundle of OT for them, which I'm assuming AT&T will also get the bill for since their guy caused the problem in the first damn place. But that's not my problem, thankfully. If the forecast weren't for the forecast calling for rain all day Tues, I'm sure they would have waited and we would have had another night of Dancing With Lights to endure.

So there I am watching Prison Break, and it's almost to the end (and of course, it was their "fall finale" and wont' be back until Jan 22). There's like ten minutes left and it's really getting good. So of course, at this point there is a "plink" and the lights all go out. And stay out. But the guys are back there working and I'm praying that they'll get it back really, really fast. (Yeah, yeah, I know, but it was the damn finale!) So I wait. And wait. I go grab the lantern and click it on. Still waiting. There is knock on the door. Neighbor next to us saw the lantern light and comes by to check if we have power. Nope, I say. He's not happy that they didn't warn us, as his wife didn't get the computer shut down before the outage. So while we're standing there talking, it comes back on. Yes!! I'm thinking I might actually have a shot at catching the very, very end of the show. I grab the remote and turn tv & cable box back on. Box comes back on and seems to take forever to reset, but finally does. And what does the clock say? 8:01. ::headdesks:: So I have no idea what the hell happened and I won't find out until the end of next freakin' JANUARY. But at least they now have supposedly fixed the problem with our electricity. Again. Or so they say... ::eye-roll to beat all eye-rolls::

So despite Ameren's best attempt to thwart us, here are the prompts for you:

A Moveable Feast--Card #27 begins by informing me that there is apparently a sport called ultramarathoning. (BTW, the spelling errors are not mine--that's how they appear on the card.) So ultramarathoning. Seems these guys run a **hundred or more** miles at a stretch. (Dude, this does not seem like it would be good for the body...) Anyway, the "sport's king is Dean Karnazes" according to the card. After a brief bio, it goes on to say that Dean is able to run over 200 miles without stopping, and sometimes on his training runs he uses his cell phone to order pizza and cheesecake to be delivered to him while he's running. Which he then consumes while he's still running. The lesson for novelists: "You can maintain focus and speed while wolfing down an oversized dessert item. Get on that cell phone, writer. Your cheesecake is long overdue."

Side-note: And here's me thinking I was doing pretty good to walk my piddly little 3-4 miles a day...

Gilding The Invisible--This card starts out by telling us why architects tend to omit much decoration on tall building's facades. Seems most people don't notice anything higher than ten feet up. And apparently, this is also why the big warehouse stores like Sam's Club and Costco don't bother to finish their ceilings. The card then goes on to instruct us to "remember the law of the invisible ceilings" if you become concerned that you've left something "ruinously ugly" in your book. The reader will be so caught up in the story that they won't even notice them.

I'm going to try to post the last two tomorrow, but I have quite a bit to do and might not be able to get to them until late again. Plus, our last write-in is tomorrow. ::wails:: Thankfully, there is going to be talk of forming a group and continuing to meet at the TGIO party on Saturday. ::crossing fingers, toes, & assorted other appendages::

To those still working to finish by Thursday, you go-go-go!! You can do it!!

katstales: (Default)
Sorry this didn't get up earlier, but hubs decided to go shopping and I tagged along to snag the new Chris Daughtry CD (which is awesome, btw!). Then we came back and took the dog for a nice long walk since it's just an absolutely beautiful day. :)

So without further ado, here are the ones I missed, plus today.

The Placebo Effect--This card talks about Hippocrates and one of his lesser-known tips to doctors. He advises that sometimes the best way to help a patient is to do nothing. This ties this into novel writing with the card advising that if you begin to see some aspect of your story as a potential "book-killer," ignore it for the time being. "The solution will come in time."

Re-Breaking the Routine--This one begins by pointing out the obvious: we've all changed our daily routines and altered normal schedules as much as possible to create more time for writing--and how as a result our characters have come to expect us to visit them at certain times. "Your mission for the next two days: sneak-attack." It challenges you to change those habits you've formed by changing the time you write. If you have been writing early, change to late night. If you've been going late night, then change to afternoons. Use the potential of the change to "catch your book off-guard and inject energy into your story."

Musical Muse--A recent study on music and exercise had some strange results. They found the people who listened to music while they worked out temporarily increased their verbal fluency compared to those who worked out in silence. The card challenges you to swing by the music store (or download site) and pick out a couple of discs that might "give you a shot of that increased verbosity" by matching your choices to the mood of the chapter.

Focus Ahead--In this one, CB related the story of an experience he had years ago while driving. His rearview mirror unexpectedly fell into this lap. He went and got the kit to glue it back on, but a curious thing happened before he put it back up. He says he got used to the expanded view with out the mirror blocking the windshield and found himself "savoring the forward-focused feel of driving without looking behind me all the time." He acknowledges that, yes, it was a dangerous thing to do--but it was also very exciting. The mirror was eventually replace, but he challenges us to "pull the literary equivalent of a rearview mirror-removal. The finish line is just 10 days ahead. Stomp that foot down on the accelerator and don't look back."

As always, the cards and the kit can be found here:
No Plot? No Problem! The Kit!

So there you have it. All caught up again. Wonder how long it will last this time? LOL! ::grins::

katstales: (Default)
I'd planned to do these this afternoon, but then hubs came home from work early because the co-worker he rides with had a death in the family. And, well, things pretty much did a nosedive from there. Any my laundry still hasn't been done either. But thankfully tomorrow is another day, yes? ::grins::

So now, without further delay since hubby has now been shown which square to check to get purple font (He's extremely colorblind--leads to some rather...strange occurrences on occasion. *g*), here are the prompts for the past couple of days.

The Squint--This card begins by explaining how painters sometimes use "The Squint" to seek the proper light and dark tones in their work. It explains that this "requires you to stand back from the work in progress and, well, squint." The blurring is supposed to allow you to see if you're capturing the basic structure of what you're painting without being distracted by surface textures and other superficial things. It goes on to say that the same tool works well on NaNo writing. You're encouraged to "remember to use a mental Squint as you write, creating in broad strokes without getting sucked into the creative standstill of fretting over the fine print. All the mastery details can be filled in later, once you better understand the arc of your story."

Fair Days Ahead--This card is short, but sweet. It likens week one to a crisp autumn and week two to a brittle winter, and then goes on to compare weeks three and four to the kinds of gorgeous spring and summers that people pay California rents to enjoy. "Good things are coming on the wind, my friend. You'll begin feeling them this week."

Dress The Part--This card starts by explaining that the Billboard Liberation Front is a group of pranksters who "monkey with high-profile billboards posted around the San Fransisco Bay Area." The Front makes complicated changes to the billboard displays, using text and colors identical to the ads they are altering. These changes are often made in broad daylight, yet the group is rarely caught because the members wear the same bright orange vests and workmen's clothing that the legitimate crews wear. The lesson here is that you can get away with almost anything if you dress the part. "Today, try putting together your own novelist ensemble and see what wonders it works for your writing mood."

The cards and the kit can be found here:
No Plot? No Problem! The Kit!

Just to let you know, I may not be posting the prompts again for a couple of days. I just got an email from our local NaNo Municipal Liaison that was chock-full of challenges and Dares. There will be prizes involved, to be awarded Sunday an the write-in. Soooo... ::grins::

katstales: (Default)
I figured that since I was procrastinating on my 2700 words that I need today, I may as do something halfway useful. :D We'll do two of these today, which will get us all caught up...for now. ::grins::

Complain, Curse, Crumple--The card starts by going into a claim by an EMT friend of his regarding people choking in restaurants. The EMT says that the real danger isn't the choking, it's the restrooms. Why? Because the moment someone begins to choke, they immediately use the last of their dwindling supply of oxygen to attempt to politely flee to the restroom--where there is less likelihood of anyone being around to do the Heimlich on them. It then goes on to say that the worst thing you can do if you begin to have difficulty with your novel is to suffer in silence. "Complain in great detail to your support team and anyone else who will listen." It goes on to encourage you to "curse your characters and their mothers. Crumple this card and hurl it in the trash." Don't keep the frustration bottled up. "You'll be surprised how much clearer your writing vision is after a good venting." (I think this is one of my favorites so far...come on, how can you NOT like something that encourages to you whump it??? ::giggles::)

Bathe Your Imagination--This card begins by discussing some of the weird places that writers inspiration--and yes, that includes the shower, which is apparently one of Ray Bradbury's favorites. (Gotta put this quote in...sorry. ::grins::) ""Your body is totally relaxed and your mind is totally relaxed," says Ray Bradbury of his trips to the steamy plot chamber, "then the little explosions, the little revelations come."" (::cough, cough:: Erm, yes, thanks for that little image, Ray. Soooo did not need that right now...)

The card then goes on to encourage you to spend some of your day finding and basking in the situations and/or places where your mind is most relaxed and prone to wander (examples are taking a walk, riding a bike, standing in line) and then reveling in the literary results.

The cards and the kit they come in can be found here:
No Plot? No Problem! The Kit!

Okay, now we're all caught up (...for now ::giggles::), so I'll be going back to posting one prompt each day as they were meant to be used.

I hope.

::grins:: (Can you tell I only got about four hours sleep last night?? I am so getting too old for that kind of nonsense!)


katstales: (Default)

May 2009



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