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Camp NaNo July – Week 3 Recap

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-PhotoAnother week down.

I’m having a hard time coming up with anything witty to say. The last few weeks have been tough mood-wise. The depression hasn’t let up. There are moments it’s not as bad, but for the most part, I just feel blah all of the time.

bipolarAnd because of that, not much is getting done. And I also don’t care which is the worst part. The depression lets me give up. It makes me want to give up because there doesn’t seem to be a point. So far, though, I’ve pushed through. I might not have written anything that qualifies for Camp, but I have written.

Writing: The goal was 100 words to a WIP from April or March. I added 548 words to “writer’s choice.” The rest of the week I worked on a personal project–a self-indulgent fanfic that no one else will ever read. That way I can let loose and not worry about all of the stuff in my head. I’ve managed to write 5k words for that so far. It’s not what I intended to write this month, but they’re words. D

Editing: The goal was 1 hour every day. I did none. I tried a couple times, but mostly just sat there re-reading stuff then staring at the screen with no idea what to do. No editing means no new stories being posted this week. Sad face. F

Yeah, this past week was a fail for Camp NaNo, but a mild success in that I managed to keep writing through the depression. It wasn’t what I intended to write, but it’s a huge thing for me. So, I guess I could grade on a curve and give myself a C.

Total words this week: 6,050 (only 548 towards Camp goals)
Total hours editing this week: 0

Next week will be better.

500words

Six Sentences on Sunday

sixsentences

~~ Each Sunday, post six sentences from a writing project —published, in progress, for your cat — whatever. ~~

From an AU fanfic I’ve been working on.

Clarke stood in the middle of the room glaring at him. “Is he going to watch?”

“He’s assisting me,” Octavia said calmly, slipping the dress from the hangar.

“He doesn’t seem to be doing much assisting. His dress-carrying skills are top-notch, though.”

Bellamy rolled his eyes, grinding his teeth to keep from saying something he’ll regret.

Camp NaNo July – Week 2 Recap

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

I almost considered not writing this post. Then I decided it might be a good way to highlight one of the difficult hurdles in my life. Depression.

hyperboleThe last couple weeks, it’s been getting worse. This is not good news, especially for my writing. When I’m depressed, I don’t want to do anything. Sometimes, I just stare at the wall, lost in my own dark, swirling thoughts. Usually I get on Facebook and read stupid articles and even stupider comment threads. Or play Candy Crush. Mindless things. The last thing I want to do is write. It’s like the depression squeezes off the flow of creativity in my brain.

And, as it often does with depression, not being able to write makes me more depressed. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. So far, I’ve managed to continue writing every day. I’ve written in my journal which doesn’t always help with my mood, and I’ve managed to add words to WIPs. Sometimes nothing more than twenty. But those are twenty words I didn’t have before.

Why am I saying all of this? No real reason. I just thought I’d mention what a struggle this past week was. I feel like I got nothing done, but looking over the stats, I’m surprised at the number of words I have. So maybe the failure is more in my head–the depression whispering sweet nothingness in my ear.

My goal was 100 words each day. According to my spreadsheet I have over 2,000 words not including today (since I haven’t written yet). Well, that’s impressive. Except only about 60 of them are editing words. That’s fine. The rest are words added to WIPs. I guess I get to give myself an A+ even though it doesn’t feel like I got anything done.

zoidbergsadface

Editing. This is where my failure shows. The goal is one hour each day. I believe my grand total for the week is about 47 minutes. Forty-seven of 420 minutes. F- – – Lack of editing means lack of posting things. Of course, someone might look at my blog and be like, “what are you talking about? There are two new stories posted this week.”

Ah, yes there are. Except they were both finished last week and only scheduled to post this week. Oh well.

I’m going to have to give myself a C- for the week (those extra minuses on the F really pulled things down).

The problem with depression is that is sucks up all of your energy, and for me, my creativity. On the other hand, it also lies to you and tells you that you suck at everything and are failing. My perception of last week was a lot more distorted than I expected. Either way, I still feel like I failed. Guess that means the depression is winning?

justkeepwritingBut on to next week which will hopefully be better. Here’s to those that keep trying despite the pain and exhaustion and despair.

Total words this week: 2,192 (not including today)
Total hours editing this week: <1

Stories posted:
Wash Away the Pain (The 100 (TV))
Unstoppable (The 100 (TV))

The 100 fic: Unstoppable

unstoppable

[Octavia]
Octavia doesn’t need anyone to tell her who she is–she already knows.
523 words | rating: PG-13


I am a warrior. I am powerful. I am unstoppable. They see a scared little girl. Hah! They aren’t going to live long enough to understand their mistake.

Octavia dives into the battle, sword swinging. She takes out the first grounder with a foot to the knee. He collapses in a heap, eyes wide with shock before she slits his throat with the knife in her other hand. Hot blood sprays her face, but she does nothing to wipe it away.

I am a warrior.

She spins at the sound of someone approaching, catching the next grounder off guard with a sword to his gut. She makes sure to keep eye contact as he goes down.

Let him know my power.

She takes out two more with slashes to their chests and abdomens. Her arms are growing weary already, but the battle rages on. She will not falter. She drops to her knees as another grounder charges her. She slams her shoulder into him and flips him. She misses with her knife, allowing the much larger man to roll to his feet. He laughs.

They think I’m weak because I’m small. Because I’m a girl. Because I’m Skaikru.

She fakes a little jab with the knife to test his reflexes. He smacks her sword away with his own, a smug look on his face. When he lunges, she’s ready. She does a spin move as she drops, taking his leg out from under him. He stumbles, landing awkwardly on one knee but doesn’t go down completely. Not a problem for Octavia. She easily hops to her feet and kicks him in the backside. He falls face first onto the ground.

What they don’t know is that I’m not Skaikru. And I’m not a grounder. I’m Octavia-fucking-Blake. And they are the ones who should be afraid.

The grounder turns with a growl and runs at her full speed. Octavia takes a lancing blow to her side but manages to dart away. Before the grounder can recover, she drives her sword deep into his back. She’s done playing games. She kicks the dead man free of her sword, swinging it to dislodge his blood then looks for her next target.

She’s not alone in this battle. The staccato pops of gunfire mix with clanking swords. The grunts and screams echo in the valley. Indra isn’t far away, her blade moving so fast, it’s hard to track. Clarke is holding her own with a knife—Miller covering her. And somewhere, Bellamy is picking off anyone he can that gets too close to them.

She ignores all of that as the next grounder moves in. He stops in front of her, head cocked. Octavia swings her sword again then stands in the ready position. “Bring it, asshole.”

I am powerful.

The grounder charges at the same time Octavia runs at him. At the last second, she drops into a slide. Right between his legs. He looks around in surprise and spins just in time to get a knife to his chest.

She turns her face to the sky and howls. “I am a warrior!”

And I am unstoppable.

Advice from the Professionals

doctorsadrainThis past week has been less than stellar for me. I had a string or crappy things happen. Nothing big. I had to grill in the 100 degree heat then sliced my finger open while making dinner. Someone ate my burger I was saving and my son took my water bottle so I couldn’t go on a walk. Then I accidentally deleted half of the notes I was writing for an idea and I screwed up putting the screen protector on my daughter’s new iPhone.

Individually, these are all stupid reasons to be upset, but together, coupled with my depression, they started crushing me. Losing all of the notes was the most crippling blow. It derailed my writing completely. Sure, I’ve still written every day, but my heart hasn’t been in it at all.

So, I was happy to see this pop up on my Facebook wall from author Kristen Simmons:

Fact: I am not the best writer out there. I struggle, sometimes daily, to put together the right words and breathe life to the stories I see in my mind. I work, and sometimes, even now, it isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I love it. Fact: it doesn’t matter if you’re the best, or the most natural writer out there. What matters is perseverance, and hope, and a willingness to learn. The road to where I am today is paved with failure. … But I learned from each book that didn’t make it, and if you’re struggling, I want to remind you not to give up. If you are a writer, write. You’ve got this.

carryonwritingIt was exactly what I needed to hear. It even brought tears to my eyes because it felt like someone finally understood. My family sure doesn’t get it.

This week–actually the last two weeks–have been crap, but next week will be better. I won’t give up because it got too hard or seemed pointless. I’m going to get up in the morning with a fresh outlook and find those elusive words. Even if I only write 100 words, those are still 100 words I didn’t have before. It’s a win.

Sometimes you just need a reminder.

Don’t worry. “You’ve got this.”

pushthrough

The 100 fic: Wash Away the Pain

blood

Clarke has too much blood on her hands, but Bellamy is there to help wash it away.
1272 words | rating: PG-13


Clarke staggers through the trees towards the rush of water she hears in the distance. Her right hand presses against a growing pain in her side. Her left hangs limply, knife dangling from her fingertips. The noise of the river drowns out the echoing screams of death in her head.

She falls to her knees on the bank, retching until the bile erases the bitter taste of copper that stings the back of her throat.

So much blood.

It’s everywhere—staining her clothes, caking her hair, dripping from her eyelashes. She stares at her hands—sticky with red—until they blur behind a curtain of tears. She thrusts her hands into the freezing water, scrubbing her skin raw, but the red isn’t going away.
Her chest seizes up as another sob wracks her.

It’s not my blood.

“Clarke?”

She’s not sure if she’s relieved or terrified that it’s Bellamy that followed her. She goes back to scrubbing the blood from her hands. Bellamy squats next to her, pulling her hands from the water to hold between his. He gently tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and wipes a line of blood trickling from her temple.

“What do I do?” she whispers. “I can’t get it off.”

He looks down at her hands. “They’re clean, Clarke.”

She doesn’t believe him, but she’s afraid to look again. He watches her a moment longer then stands up, pulling her up with him. “Come on.”

He unties his boots, kicking them to the side. He tosses his jacket to the side and peels out of his t-shirt. Clarke swallows, squeezing her eyes shut. She doesn’t want to think about how perfect he looks without a shirt on or how he does have a smattering of freckles across his shoulders. It’s both adorable and sexy. And completely inappropriate.

Bellamy leans over and dips his shirt in the water then starts wiping her face. He’s gentle, starting at the top and working his way down. Despite the cold, she feels the heat rolling off of his bare skin.

“Do you trust me?” he asks, voice barely above a whisper.

With my life, she wants to tell him, but the words catch in her throat. Instead she nods. Without saying another word, he carefully pulls off her shoes and socks. The rocks dig into her blistered feet, but she doesn’t complain.

He bites his lip—his eyes catching hers. He holds her gaze as he carefully removes her jacket. His fingers trail down her arms, sending a shiver up her spine.

He grips the hem of her shirt. “Still with me?”

She nods again, closing her eyes as he lifts the shirt off of her. She’s not sure she can look at him now. He casually undoes her pants, and she steps out of them, shivering. But he’s not done. She hears the zipper of his pants—the fabric pooling at his feet. He grips her hand tightly and guides her into the river.

The water is like a thousand tiny daggers hitting her all at once. She gasps and nearly sucks in a lungful of water. Bellamy wraps his arms around her waist—their chests pressed together—to keep her from sinking.

Bellamy carefully leans her head back and washes her hair, threading his fingers through the knots. Then he wipes her cheeks with his thumbs. His hands glide down her arms, pulling her hands between them. He rubs at her finger nails until the dark stains are gone.

When she looks up at him, his face is blurred behind tears. She blinks them away. He gives her that shy, sad smile he reserves just for her. She knows the emotions behind it. The way she keeps breaking his heart. The way he just accepts it. Because that’s who he is. She loves him for that.

She swallows down the lump. She might be in love with him.

Before she can think better of it, she reaches up and wipes a smudge of dirt from his temple. He doesn’t take his eyes off of her as she returns his favor—cleaning his face and hair. Even when she’s done, she can’t stop running her fingers through his curls. He wraps his arms around her, pulling her closer until their bodies are completely flush. His nose brushes hers, and she lets out a little sigh.

“Clarke,” he says, voice rough. He pushes her hair from her face, letting his fingers skim her chilled cheeks. Everywhere he touches heats up. He leans in closer until their lips are barely touching. But something stops him. He pulls back ever so slightly, and she thinks she might die from the anticipation. He clears his throat. “Clarke, we-”

“Please,” she whispers. “Can we just forget about everything else. Just this once. Can it be just you and me. No Ark, no Earth, no grounders, no war.”

“No Lexa?”

She shakes her head. “Lexa’s gone.”

“Clarke, I don’t want you to forget her.”

“I’m not. But-” She runs her fingers over his lips. They’re chapped but soft. “I’m afraid I’m going to lose my chance.”

He chuckles softly. “With me?” He waits for her to look up. “Never, Clarke. I’ll be here when you’re ready. Whenever that is.” He slips his fingers into her hair and pulls her face closer, planting soft kisses on her forehead. “I’ll wait as long as it takes. I love you, Clarke.”

Every molecule in her body hums alive at his words. She wraps her arms around him, burying her face in his neck. He doesn’t question her breakdown; he just holds her tighter. When she finally gets control, she pulls back just far enough to see his face. The sun is setting behind him, casting him in shadows, but his eyes are wide, tracking her movements. She places a hand on either side of his face. The blood is finally gone—her skin shining white in the waning sun.

Slowly she leans forward, letting their lips touch softly. He doesn’t react at first, but she presses, knowing he just needs a sure confirmation. And then he groans. His arms tighten in a bear hug as he deepens the kiss. It’s like he can’t get enough. And damn, Clarke doesn’t want this to end. Some small part of her mind starts to compare this with her first kiss with Lexa, but she shoves it away—surprised at how easily she boxes up the memories. It’s been over a year; she has to move on eventually. And Bellamy’s been waiting this whole time.

When she pulls away again, his eyes are slightly unfocused but with a hint of fear like he thinks maybe she changed her mind. “Bellamy.”

He tenses, obviously waiting for it all to fall apart. Her heart aches for him. She did this to him. She left him over and over. Chose someone else at every turn. And he’s still here. At her side every day without question. Her lip trembles. And not from the cold. “I love you,” she whispers. And to erase any questions he might have, she adds, “I’m in love with you, Bellamy, and I have been for a long time.”

He sucks in a sharp breath, his body completely still. She meets his gaze as tears gather in the corners of his eyes. She tilts his face closer, kissing each tear away before returning to his lips.

“God, Clarke,” he moans into her mouth. “I love you so much.”

“I know. I’m sorry it took me so long to figure out what I wanted.”

He kisses her softly. “You’re worth the wait.”

She smiles against his lips. “So are you.”

Six Sentences on Sunday

sixsentences~~ Each Sunday, post six sentences from a writing project —published, in progress, for your cat — whatever. ~~

From a fanfic I’m editing:

Her lip is caught between her teeth again as she stares up at him. Water trickles down her neck and exposed shoulders. He forces his eyes to stay on her face. This is way too close. This was something he wanted to avoid. Her, him, a foot of space between them and that crazy heat that keeps building.

Camp NaNo July – Week 1 recap

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-PhotoWell, it’s been a week. Yeah, it surprised me, too. I’m not sure whether to call this one a win or loss.

On one hand, I posted three stories this week (none of them from April Camp), but on the other hand, I haven’t done much else. I finished editing one April story (“blood“), and I’ve been editing another (“inside“). I think I’m going to put it away for now because the words are all starting to blur together. I got a lot done, though.

Unfortunately, a lot of editing doesn’t always equal a lot of words. My goal was 100 words each day, and I managed to average 93/day. Sounds great except most days were under 100 words. I’ll give myself a C-.

I also missed my mark most days on hours editing. I’ve only done a full hour a couple times. I’ve come close a few other times, but I’m always interrupted. Or get distracted by shiny things (Tiny Tower = teh devilz). Despite that, I managed to get six hours of editing in over the course of seven days. So, I’ll give myself a B on that.

Averaging them together, I get a C+ for the week. Not bad, but could be better.

Total words this week: 653
Total hours editing this week: ~6

Stories posted:
Home Improvement (Stargate SG-1)
Rockets Red Glare (Red Vs. Blue)
Forty Days to Gone (The 100 (TV))

The 100 fic: Forty Days to Gone

40days

Bellamy contemplates the first forty days on the ground with Clarke.
462 words | rating: PG


Forty days. That’s all it’s been. It seems longer. A lifetime.

Only forty days?

Bellamy watches Clarke from the corner of his eye as they march back to Tondc for what feels like the hundredth time this week. She’s been quiet. Withdrawn since Finn’s death. Bellamy gets that. They were friends. She cared about Finn. Loved him, maybe. And she had to kill him. That takes a toll on anyone. And Clarke’s emotions run pretty near the surface.

Bellamy’s learning to hide his better. There’s too much to lose. His heart is one of those things. So he keeps a lid on his feelings. Keeps them close and himself distant. Or he tries. Sometimes Clarke makes it so damn hard. She brings out an overprotective instinct in him. He hates seeing her so withdrawn. Hates seeing her hurting.

He doesn’t know what to say, though. Nothing will make it better.

Forty days. At least he thinks it’s been forty days. He’s lost track. It could be thirty or sixty or a hundred. Who knows. It seems like forever. But forty days is a short while. He shouldn’t feel this way for her so soon. Shouldn’t want to be at her side always. Shouldn’t need her. His world doesn’t make sense without Clarke next to him.

It took forty days for him to fall for her.

No, that’s not true. He fell for her a long time ago. He’s not exactly sure when. Sometime between landing and killing Dax. He wouldn’t have fought back if Clarke hadn’t been there. But he couldn’t let her get hurt.

It took forty days for him to realize he fell for her.

That’s not true, either. He realized it right around the time they all almost died of the plague. He expected to worry about Octavia. He hadn’t expected the terror at the thought of Clarke getting sick. Of losing her.

It took forty days for him to admit to himself he fell for her.

Also not true. He admitted it a while ago. That day she threw herself into his arms. That day he realized she’d survived the battle at the dropship. He knew it the moment he held her tight and never wanted to let go.

No, it took forty days for him to accept that he was in love with Clarke.

And there is no changing that. They’ve been through so much, and he’d follow her to Hell and back if she asked. This fight with Mt. Weather is looking pretty close to being Hell. God help him—he’s already gone.

Forty days is all it took for him to lose his mind. And walking next to her along the dusty road, contemplating their next war, he knows he wouldn’t change a thing.

Red Vs. Blue fic: Rockets Red Glare

If you have a cracked sense of humor and you’ve never watched the webshow, Red Vs. Blue, you are missing out on some ridiculous laughs. Their episodes are on YouTube, but the six-minute episodes are combined into two-hour seasons on Netflix–thirteen of them. It starts out slow, but later seasons actually work around some major story arcs. For something that started so silly, this show actually made me cry. The animation–created from the Halo games–improves drastically over the course of the series, so don’t let that turn you off. Just be aware that the language and many of the jokes are crude. The show is hilarious, though. I’ve watched through it two or three times already.


 

The one where the DVD collection is a mess and Caboose thinks it’s the 4th of July.
WARNING: language
639 words | rating: R


“No, no. Those go there and these go here,” shouted Church.

“But I thought we were going to put these there,” said Tucker.

Church growled. “Now why the hell would we do that?”

“I don’t know it just makes sense.”

“In what world does putting these over there make sense?”

Tucker shrugged, stepping out of the way as Caboose ran through the room. “Because they’re all red. And those are blue. And these are green.”

“WHAT? You organized them by color?”

“Yeah, of course.” Tucker looked up at Church. “Why? How do you organize them?”

Church fought the urge to throttle Tucker. “Oh, I don’t know—how about in alphabetical order!”

“Geesh, calm down, man. It’s just a stupid DVD collection for Christ’s sake.”

Tucker started sorting the DVDs again as Caboose ran past in the other direction. Church watched over his shoulder to make sure he did it right this time.

“F comes before G, dipshit.”

“Whatever,” Tucker muttered, and when Church turned to watch Caboose skip through the room, he tossed the copy of Four Weddings and a Funeral into the trash. “There,” he said a minute later.

Church checked the shelves. “Do you even know what alphabetical means?”

“Hey, fuck you. You know how hard it is to do anything with you breathing down my neck.”

“Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” yelled Caboose as he bounded back through the room with a sparkler in each hand.

“And what the fuck is with Caboose?”

Church started rearranging the DVDs. “I don’t know. I find it easier to just ignore him.”

“Yeah, but that’s when he gets in the most trouble.”

Church glanced at Tucker for a moment. “Good point.”

The two followed the sound of Caboose’s laugher to the roof of the base. Caboose had sparklers taped to every surface while he wrote his name in the air with the ones in his hands.

“Caboose,” Church shouted. “What are you doing?”

“It’s the Fourth of July!”

“No, it’s not,” said Tucker. “Actually, I think it’s November.”

Caboose danced around them as the sparklers petered out. “Oh, yeah. If it’s not the Fourth of July, then how come the Reds are having a fireworks display? Huh?”

“What?” Church and Tucker said at the same time.

As if on cue, there was a bang from the Red base across the canyon. Sparks flew into the sky.

“See, fireworks. That means it’s the Fourth of July.”

“All that means,” said Tucker, “is that you’re an idiot. They could be shooting fireworks off for any reason.”

“Uh-” said Church.

“It could be someone’s birthday. It could be someone’s anniversary. It could be they had extra gunpowder lying around-”

“Guys-”

“It could be they just like pretty, sparkly things like you, dumbass. Hell, it could mean the Cubs finally won the World Series after five hundred years. Who the fuck knows.”

Church backed away. “I don’t think those are fireworks.”

“What?” Tucker turned to look where Church was staring. “Oh shit, man. Run.”

Caboose squealed. “Look they’re shooting them our way so we can join in the fun. Happy Fourth of July to you too, Reds.”

“Caboose,” Church yelled, “those aren’t fireworks. They’re rockets.”

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,” sang Caboose, hand against his forehead in a salute.

“Caboose!”

Tucker leaped from the base, running for cover. Church dove at Caboose, tackling him over the side just as the rocket hit the roof. Chunks of concrete and red sparks rained down on them.

“So pretty,” cooed Caboose.

Church rolled onto his back, gasping for air. The sky was lit by the fire now consuming their base. It made the air waver, distorting the stars above. He let his head fall back with a long sigh. “You’re right, Caboose. It is pretty.”

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