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Camp NaNo April – Day 27 recap

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

Today’s story is brought to you by tvtropes.org. Okay, maybe not exactly, but as I was trying to think of an angle for the story, I remembered the site, and that made me think of all the cliched tropes I like to read. What better trope for the prompt, “remember,” than amnesia?

I’ve only written the first scene, and I’m already having way too much fun with this story. I’ve never done amnesia fic before, but I’ve read some. I also remembered a show I saw on Discovery Channel many years ago about a woman that got amnesia but only forgot the last twenty years of her life. In her mind, she was twenty-three with one baby, not in her forties with grown children. It was really interesting. Put all of that in a blender and you get this…

Day 27: remember

Bellamy’s day was going pretty well he thought. His mom had some extra rations for him before his guard exam, Octavia left him alone for three full hours to study, and he knew he was going to ace the tests. He had to because it was the only way he was going to keep Octavia safe.

His day got even better after the exam. He did better than he’d hoped, and Aimee Mason asked him out. Him. She always had a thing for the guards. It was probably the best day of his life.

But then things get cloudy. Something must have happened because he wakes up to a pain splitting his skull open. He has no idea where he is or what is going on. The last thing he remembers is the exam. And Aimee. And then… nothing. Only pain and confusion.

There are other people with him, but he doesn’t dare open his eyes. He’s sure they’ll just pop right out of his head. Probably right after his brain liquefies and dribbles out of his ears. He can tell at least one of the voices belongs to a doctor, but she’s not making any sense.

Animals? Woods? Grounders? He knows the words, but she might as well be speaking a foreign language for all Bellamy can understand. He must have hit his head pretty hard.

He has no idea what’s going on, but he knows it’s bad. He wants his mom, but he’s too afraid to bring attention to her. This is like his worst nightmare. How could his perfect day fall apart so quickly. And why can’t he remember what happened?

The End.

That’s about as far as I got in my actual writing. He’s about ten seconds away from finding out he’s lost his memories from the last five years. This is going to be so much fun to write.

Bonus:

“Bellamy, I need you to open your eyes so I can check you out, okay? You have to tell me what happened so I can help you.”

He didn’t know what happened. Why can’t they understand that? Who were these people anyway?

“Let me try.” The other voice sounded younger–maybe his age. She leaned closer and brushed his hair away from his forehead. His entire body trembled at her touch. He had no idea why, but it distracted him from the atomic bomb going off in his head. Slowly, she slid her hands over his, curling her fingers around his palms.

“Bellamy,” she said, her voice soft and calm. “Can you move your hands? You don’t have to open your eyes, okay? Just move your hands, so we can check you out.”

He frowned. He didn’t want to move. His head hurt so much. But when her fingers tightened, he let her pull his hands from his face.

Other recaps:
Day 1 – survive
Day 2 – redo
Day 3 – sunshine
Day 4 – fear
Day 5 – inside
Day 6 – share  FINISHED!
Day 7 – annoy
Day 8 – guard
Day 9 – Heaven
Day 10 – blood 
Day 11 – promise
Day 12 – discover
Day 13 – together
Day 14 – try
Day 15 – experiment
Day 16 – illusive
Day 17 – phone
Day 18 – trust
Day 19 – threat 
Day 20 – breath
Day 21 – fall
Day 22 – mind
Day 23 – writer’s choice
Day 24 – mistake
Day 25 – collide
Day 26 – life

FINISHED STORIES!!!
Handle with Care – share (day 6)

 

Camp NaNo April – Day 26 recap

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-PhotoI don’t think I have anything interesting or snarky to say today, so I’ll jut get right to the recap.

Day 26: life

Ten years ago, they sealed the doors to the underground bunker they thought they would be calling home for five years. They weren’t prepared for the extended stay. At the five-year mark, twelve people treated with the Nightblood therapy went to the surface. Ten came back. Barely.

Since then, they’ve occasionally sent people out to test the radiation levels. After ten years, they’re hoping this mission will give them the good news that the Earth is survivable again. Because they’re not really sure how long they can stay underground before the entire population loses its collective minds.

Bellamy and Clarke are leading the expedition. That is if Abby will ever let them leave. Her maternal worrying has grown out of control over the years since her stroke. There’s only so much of it they can stand. Kane, though, manages to distract Abby long enough for them to make their escape.

The surface is nothing like they left it–nothing like when they landed. Nothing the grounders remember. It’s barren and haunted. If they’re lucky, they’ll find signs of life this time. Little bits of grass pushing through the cracked ground. Maybe a bird. A bug. Anything will do.

Bellamy isn’t looking forward to this mission. As much as he hates the bunker, seeing the wasteland on the surface makes him ill. On top of that, Roan has invited himself along. He refuses to admit his title of “king” means nothing after all of these years. Bellamy isn’t in the mood to butt heads with him.

Then there’s Clarke. Who isn’t exactly talking to him at the moment. Which is fine because he doesn’t want to talk to her either. He’s not sure when their friendship fell apart or why. Sometimes, he’s not even sure he cares. Between the potential radiation sickness, Roan’s moaning, and dealing with Clarke, his day is looking bleaker and bleaker.

The End.

Sorry, most of what I wrote was world building and Abby babying Bellamy. And it might not sound like it, but it’s totally a love story. Bellamy and Clarke will always find their way back to each other somehow.

Bonus:

Abby gave him one of those looks that always make him feel like a little boy. “Be careful. Okay? I know your tolerance to the radiation is high, but you can still have symptoms. If you start to feel sick come straight back. Any symptom–upset stomach, itchy skin that could mean lesions, dizziness.

“I know,” Bellamy said, checking his pack again.

“Abby,” Kane said, pulling her away, “quit mothering the boy to death.”

Bellamy shot him a thankful look.

“I just want to make sure he’s going to be okay.”

Kane sighed. “He knows what he’s doing. And Clarke will be with him. What could possibly go wrong?”

A few feet away, Clarke snorted. Bellamy ignored her then snapped his bag closed, tossing it over his shoulder. “I’ll be fine, Abby; I promise. I’ll watch for symptoms and check my readings-” he tapped the radiation monitor clipped to his jacket “-and I won’t eat any strange plants or animals.”

“Don’t eat anything!”

He smiled. She hadn’t been the same since her stroke a few years ago, but underneath she was still Dr. Griffin. “I promise I won’t eat anything. If I try, I’m sure Clarke will smack some sense into me or something.”

Clarke snorted again.

Abby pressed her hand to his cheek. “You’re a good boy.”

Other recaps:
Day 1 – survive
Day 2 – redo
Day 3 – sunshine
Day 4 – fear
Day 5 – inside
Day 6 – share  FINISHED!
Day 7 – annoy
Day 8 – guard
Day 9 – Heaven
Day 10 – blood 
Day 11 – promise
Day 12 – discover
Day 13 – together
Day 14 – try
Day 15 – experiment
Day 16 – illusive
Day 17 – phone
Day 18 – trust
Day 19 – threat 
Day 20 – breath
Day 21 – fall
Day 22 – mind
Day 23 – writer’s choice
Day 24 – mistake
Day 25 – collide

FINISHED STORIES!!!
Handle with Care – share (day 6)

 

Tools of the Trade: Habitica

In the past, I’ve often made promises to myself to do certain activities consistently. Like write every day. Go for walks. Make my bed. I usually follow through for a couple of weeks then give up for lack of motivation. It wasn’t like anyone was checking to make sure I did these things.

If you have a problem like this and need a good kick in the but to do chores, homework, or anything else, then habitica.com might be the place to look for motivation. I had never heard of this site until last month when I noticed it being recommended over and over on the 4thewords forums. People swore by it. So, I looked it up.

habitica6This site is exactly what I needed to organize everything I need to do and to get me to do them. Habitica is set up like a role-playing game, but it’s more involved than 4thewords. You start by picking an avatar. That’s me over there.

After that you set up tasks and habits you want to accomplish during a day or week.

habitica2

In my case, I set up “dailies” for all of my writing goals (on the right). These are things that have to be done every day or you health will be negatively affected. I set up my habits to give me “bonus points” for things like going over my word count goal for the day. Or getting by ass out of the chair to fill my own cup instead of having the kids do it. These are called “habits” on the site. There are also “tasks” that you can set up–sort of long term goals or other things that need to be done eventually. These can be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals. I use tasks to manage chores I need to do, breaking each one down to tiny components.

Habits, dailies and tasks earn you “experience” or affect your “health” (and later your “mana”).

habitica1

Gaining experience (the yellow line) allows your character to advance through the game. You also earn silver and gold–digital currency to buy things like armor and weapons which affect how much experience and gold you might earn or how much a missed daily will damage you. You will also randomly receive pets and food as rewards for completing any kind of task.

habitica5

There are a lot of different pets you can get. This is just the tip of the iceberg. They don’t actually do anything to your stats, but they’re cute and can be added to your avatar picture. If you feed the pets with the food you get, they grow into “mounts” that you can ride in the picture. It’s all just for fun.

habitica4Besides these things that you can do individually, you can also join guilds and parties. Guilds are just groups for people with similar interests. They offer a way to chat, get support, and participate in challenges to keep you accountable. Parties are more personalized, started by players who invite friends. They also have chats and challenges, but they can also go on quests. Quests can be about defeating a monster where completing tasks does damage. If you don’t complete your dailies, everyone in the party loses health. Talk about motivation. No one wants their friends mad at them for killing their digital character. My party consists of me and my eleven-year-old daughter. We’re currently on the hunt for eggs.

Put together, habitica offers a lot of ways to get you focused and on task. My productivity has really increased since I started using it. In fact, I’m writing this post because it’s one of the things on my task list which has turned red–meaning it’s old and needs to be done.

I highly recommend this site if you need a little extra motivation to write every day or get chores done.

Hilarious Spam Messages

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Tools of the Trade: White Noise

If you’re like me, you probably get distracted easily. So anything that helps me concentrate on my writing is a treasure. Last time I talked about 4thewords.com–a writing game that allows you to fight monsters with your words. My productivity has probably quadrupled since I started using the site. I’m on a 104 day streak!

Today, I’m going to offer up another tool that helps me. And that’s white noise. My hearing is… let’s just say it doesn’t like me much. When I need to hear–as in talking to someone or watching TV–I have a lot of trouble. Voices and sounds jumble together, making it frustrating to carry on a conversation. I’ve had to put the closed captioning on the TV or I miss a lot of the dialogue. But when I need the quiet, my ears seem to pick up every noise. And that’s a distraction. I run a fan 24/7 to help drown out the noise of five kids in the house, but that isn’t always enough.

Last week, I discovered white noise websites. Specifically, ones that make rain sounds. I had no idea what I was missing in my life. Rain is a white noise just like the fan. The only difference is the pitch changes some, and it sounds more natural. Add some thunder in, and I’m back in the Midwest in the midst of a storm.

I miss thunderstorms.

I highly suggest checking out one of the many sites out there.

The one I’m using right this second is noisli.com. It has several different sound options besides rain, such as streams, waves, and even a coffee house. You can mix and match the different sounds and adjust their volumes. So if you want to be in the middle of a thunderstorm, you can. If you want to be in the forest, listening to a babbling brook, you can. You can listen to a gentle rain at the coffee shop. Or sit around a campfire. Just find the right combination that works for you.

There are others.

mynoise.net has a slider system, like an equalizer on a stereo, that allows you to adjust each frequency of the rain and thunder. It also has presets for different settings like rain on a tent or distant thunder.

rain.today is another site I use. It lets you choose a few different rain/thunder options to adjust the sound. There are also white noise options like a television or other static.

rainymood.com has a simple on/off setting, but there are apps for Android and Apple.

ambient-mixer.com has nature sounds in a lot of settings. Like a tropical rain forest or a forest at night. That’s just in the nature section. There are other collections that can put you in the mood to write any setting. Their fantasy settings are especially popular.

There are a lot of other white noise and rain maker sites out there. rain.today lists several at the bottom of the page to look into.

I highly recommend one of these, or if you’re the kind of person that only seems to focus in a busy coffee shop, there are tons of those kind of sites out there as well. I’m sure you can find just the right combination of white noise to blot out the real world and let you concentrate on what is important: torturing your characters writing.

This Is the Best Day Ever!

bestday.jpg

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s been a good day.

First, I had an all-time record number of words. 16,236 words to be exact. Of course, I haven’t slept in almost 36 hours. But 16k!

Second, 100 day streak! Yeah, baby.

Third, I finally got my dream minivan!

van_041117

 

I’ve wanted a Town & Country for years. I figured some day I’d settle for a late model Dodge Grand Caravan which is the “poor” man’s version of the T&C. Well, after the truck broke down, my husband had no choice but to buy a new vehicle to get everyone home.

They told me they were getting me a “Susan,” which is what we named the rental we got years ago. I was excited, although anxious about new car payments after just buying a house. But what are ya going to do?

They finally get home, and I’m shocked to not just see my Town & Country, but the thing is flippin’ fully loaded. DVD player, Sirius (which isn’t hooked up), leather seats, imitation wood trim, all sorts of fancy buttons and dials.

Now I really, really don’t want to know what he paid for this or how we’re going to afford the monthly bills. Yikes.

I’m not sure what year the T&C is, but it is, by far, the nicest, most expensive vehicle I’ve ever owned. I get to drive it tomorrow. Squee! The kids want to call it “Destiny,” since it was apparently our destiny to break down there and buy her. I’m secretly going to call her “Felicity.”

Oh, and fourth, my family finally made it home from their adventure. Three days late. But that’s not important because minivan!

I’m kidding. I missed them, and was getting worried. I just didn’t miss the noise and mess. They’ve been home four and a half hours, and already I’m exhausted.

Happy Rex Manning Day!

rexmanningday

Damn the man. Save the Empire!

April Goals

Recap from March:

Reading: Actually read two books.
Writing: Continued my streak (now 90 days), haven’t missed a day of my #writeastory story, wrote every single day in my writing journal and in my new prompt journal which means I also filled a few prompts from my prompt book. That’s 4 out of 6.
Finishing/Editing: I finished and edited two fanfics to post. I also got really close to finishing the second draft of that novella-length fanfic. (1.5 out of 4)
Posting: Posted two stories! (1 out of 2)


April Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least one book per week to keep on track for my Goodreads challenge.

Writing:

  • write every day in my writing journal
  • write every day from a list of prompts for Camp NaNoWriMo
  • maintain my streak
  • keep up with #writeastory

Finishing/Editing:

  • Finish at least one Camp NaNo story a week.

Posting:

  • Post as many stories as I can finish for Camp NaNo. Or at least two.

March Goals

Goals for the month of March.

Reading:

Um, actually read a book. Hopefully more than one.

Writing:

  • Continue my streak.
  • Finish writing a story that’s just for me, although I’m really liking the tone if it, so I may possibly perhaps tidy it up and post it. At least part of it.
  • Write several more of these self-indulgent stories
  • Continue my #writeastory (although prompts haven’t been released)
  • Fill a couple prompts in my prompt book
  • Write every day in my new writing journal (mostly just rambling and venting about my writing)

Editing/Finishing:

  • Finish 2nd draft revisions for the novella-length The 100 fanfic I’ve been working on
  • Start 3rd draft revisions for above novella
  • Start taking notes for revising “Unbreak My Heart” (another The 100 novella)
  • Finish and edit at least one more shorter story from my WIP folder

Posting:

  • Start posting early chapters of above novella (one a week)
  • Post at least one short story

February Round-up

Here is a round up of all things reading and writing.

Reading:

Apparently I read nothing in February. Not sure how that happened. I know I tried to finish two books before they had to go back to the library, but became violently ill, so never got around to it.

Writing:

35,900 words for February. Streak now at 59 days!

feb2017wordchartAdded sentences every day to my #writeastory project. It still makes no sense, but whatever.

Editing/Finishing:

Finished and edited two The 100 fanfics that had been sitting around since last summer. But the biggest news is I decided to tackle one of my longer fics. I wrote the last few chapters while revising the beginning. It’s really coming along at around 36k words

Posting:

Follow You Down (The 100 (TV))
Every Time We Say Goodbye (The 100 (TV))

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