Raven's Pen

Writing, Reading, and Ruminating

Month: April 2016

Friendly Reminder

Remember to back up your work! The goblins are usually pretty polite, but you never know!


Camp NaNoWriMo Update

April is more than half over.

That means that there are eleven days until Camp NaNoWriMo ends. Eleven.

As an overview so far:

I have 62,ooo words out of my minimum goal of 50,000.

Practically no plot, besides a few basic themes and maybe two or three scenes planned out.

Multiple characters that I didn’t expect to exist (I’m looking at you Mugil, and Ermine, and who knows who else).


And the biggest one of all: absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

All in all, it’s going pretty well. But the book is nowhere near over, and I still haven’t gotten to the scenes that are really going to torment my characters.

Adding everything together, this is a probably a pretty good representation of the week right now:

Things are moving along though, so it’s hard to complain too much.

Because it’s late, I’m going to save everything else for a post for tomorrow.

Until then…

Questions Inside Questions

Sleep? What’s that? Is it like an old record or something?

I don’t have anything against old records; frankly, I think the newest pop music really sucks. But that’s an entirely different topic.

Today’s topic is- oh look there’s an old pirate with a cutlass and an eye patch! Get back to the blog and finish your post for gods’ sake! Oh right, okay…

NaNoWriMo + not as much sleep as usual (see the aforementioned) = coffee/sugar + unproductively + something like the feeling of standing at the very edge of an existential crisis (only lasted for a moment) = a dangerous situation.

You know how I’ve mentioned that reading is always a good thing to do? I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. More about that later…

You might have noticed that a lot of my most recent posts have far more questions than answers. Why is this? Well, I usually have more questions than answers, and I’ve actually been at a loss for a way to organize most of the things that I have to say on this blog.

The posts I come up with seem just fine in my head, but getting them onto this electronic paper hasn’t exactly functioned the way I plan. Am I just tired right now? Probably. Actually, turn that into a definitively.

I’m not the only one, my NaNoWriMo novel’s MC hasn’t exactly been getting a good amount of sleep each night either. While I’m starting to catch up on sleep, she isn’t. Let’s see, she’s got a combination of: giant headaches, a fear of being discovered and executed, magic returning to her world, threat of marriage, muddling friend/servant among other things. It isn’t exactly conducive to a good night’s sleep is it? Not to mention the voice in her head. And her story has barely started…

Ignoring the whole concept of sleep in this post (real or fictional), let’s get back to the question of questions. It sounds a bit like a mind bender doesn’t it? Actually, it might be.

Why are humans so interested in questions without answers? I’m not talking about atoms or mico-cells, I’m talking about the things that might never be understood. Things like how to define a word without using words; whether or not anything can actually exist; whether thought is possible; whether destiny exists in any one of its forms ect.

I like questions without any answers, I always have. I few years ago, I realized that there is an entire ancient field dedicated to this sort of thing: it’s called philosophy.

Go ahead and laugh; I did.

Let me just say that I am not a philosophy major; I know practically nothing, but I like to think (or I like to think that I like to think). And I like to think that that might possibly count for something. Sorry for the twisted English language there.

So, why do people always have questions? I guess curiosity is what makes the world go round as it is said. What does a child do when they do not recognize something? They ask a question, and then they explore their answers. Whether that child is a kitten, a foal, a lamb, or a human, questions are a first reaction to a new situation.

But why are unanswerable questions so tempting? Is it because they are unanswerable? I think so.

A question is not a question unless its definition is unknown. The funny thing is that we rely on questions, and I think there is an appeal to things that cannot be answered, especially for people who are not STEM oriented.

Just think about all of the things that have sprung out of questions; beliefs for instance. I know, touchy subject. Why do beliefs exist, and why does religion exist? Could it be to give meaning to things that are undefined and answer questions that are unknown?

It might be a big generalization, but can you list a belief that has not sprung out of a question? I’m at a loss for one right now. Beliefs fill so much in this world, and I think it’s pretty shocking to look at life as see how many beliefs you have whether you know it or not.

Just think about an average person’s thought process as they are driving to work; how many things in our lives are ruled by superstition and belief? I would say probably more than a first glance will realize. Honestly, how can anyone truly know?

Which brings me to what I think is a umbrella question for at least a bit of philosophy: what the frick is anything at all?

Until next time…

Camp NaNoWriMo Update

The race is on…

The provisions and supplies have been sorted…

The maps have been laid out and the mountains have been acknowledged…

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun like all tales…

I started re-reading The Hobbit tonight, which may account for this post’s entrance. C’est la vie. (By the way, Tolkien was brilliant… absolutely brilliant.)

Ahem… back to NaNoWriMo. Today marks the end of the eighth day, so far, I have 32,613 out of 50,000 words (I’ve thought about raising my goal, but I still haven’t gotten around to it), slightly more of a plot than I started with, and only a smidgen more of an idea of what I’m doing.

Speaking of which, does anyone ever actually know what they’re doing?

That’s a post for another time though. Back to camp… I now have a synopsis! Here it is:

No one believed in magic two hundred years ago. There were occultists and theory-keepers, but they were a minority until a third republic rose, aided by an unexplained power. Now, magic is not only acknowledged, it is forbidden.

Leigh was born in the slums to a mother who was executed as a witch. Now she rides the routes of the nobles with her influential father, but she is not entirely human. She is one of the Mels; people who are born with metal in their bones. If being the daughter of a witch is not enough, Mels are considered second-class citizens, and she could easily be executed without a trial if her secret is discovered.

The future planned for her is filled with an arrange marriage, boring hours spent following the ‘ladies’ professions, and timeless days spent being told the things that she cannot do. But her heart is set on a life of freedom.

With cities cracking from the pressure of enthroned rulers, flaming politics, and questions of what society actually is: every moment of freedom could be her last. When a new threat reaches the city, she will have to save far more than just herself.

It could use a bit more editing, and I doubt it’ll fit the story once I’m done, but I think it’s a great please to start.

Until next time!

April Abound

April is here.

What do you mean it’s the third? Pff.

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun… the month of little sleep has begun. To be honest, my goal is far lower than usual this month, so maybe I will actually manage to have a sleep schedule like a normal, responsible person. (I doubt it.)

Anyway, a new month means a fresh quote. Here it is:

“There is something delicious about the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” ~ Beatrix Potter

Create a fairyland writers; taste the words like fresh berries.

(I just realized that I forgot to post a quote for the month of March: oops! It is now listed on the Quote of the Month page.)

Camp NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

Every year, someone starts a survival kit thread on NaNoWriMo. For those who do not know the term, a survival kit is a list of the things that you rely. Some people come up with extremely detailed lists, and others simply give a slight overview.

I find that making a survival kit helps me get into the right headspace for NaNoWriMo, it is also a great way to look at what you usually use. And reading other people’s survival kits is a ton of fun.

Mine is relatively basic:

  • Yuliy, my computer
  • Music (Pandora, YouTube, and my music stash)
  • Earbuds
  • Empty flashcards
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Plotting notebook
  • My writing rock
  • Old shoebox with random prompts and words inside
  • Flash drive
  • Touro backup drive
  • Hot chocolate/tea/mochas
  • Food (muffins, oranges, carrots/other vegetables ect.)
  • The internet
  • Books I really should be reading (I usually don’t read much for the first week or so of camp)
  • Four-legged friends
  • Determination

Like all things, my survival kit is subject to change; but I like having at least an idea of what it includes.

What is in your survival kit?

(Yes, it is past midnight. More about that later….)

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