In which Kris organizes…something probably.

Hello Friends!

Tina and I have decided to spare your delicate ears this week and just do a regular, written post. It’s like we’re back in the stone age!

We’ve been hard at work this month with our November writing shenanigans, as I know you all are as well. How’s everything going so far? I’m definitely behind, personally. I believe I’m sitting around exactly 50% of the suggested word count for the month as a matter of fact. It’s FINE, it’s all fine everything is fine. I’m sure one or two of you are getting a bit behind too, right? That’s alright, I know you can push yourself to do great things, even if they happen in December or January. Remember, those word counts are just suggestions, the spirit is in the writing itself!

I’ve made some pretty good progress on my first draft I started coughcough last year coughcough. After restructuring my outline a bit (mentally of course, never write anything down. It distracts from the now,) I’m thinking I may follow Tina’s lead here and cut the whole into a few smaller segments. When I first started the story, I wrote a brief outline that’s served me pretty well – but I’m also more of a discovery writer most of the time. That means you sorta just write and discover the story along the way. I managed to get passed that bump that slowed me down earlier this year, so I’m tentatively optimistic I can blast through this bad boy at least by the end of the year. Only 500 more revisions to go!

Let’s not get distracted from what I originally came here to write about though.

While we were taking some downtime from our hectic, future-authorly lives, my dear wife proposed to me. An idea that we keep ourselves some bullet journals. Now I know what you’re thinking. I know! Me too! But no, it’s not like a diary you shoot at.

A bullet journal is basically a daily planner and a journal, scheduler, calendar and a sketch pad in the same notebook as far as I can tell. Which is fantastic, you guys know I love multitasking. I carry like 4 notebooks at all times, this whole ‘single-notebook’ business seems way cooler if it works. I started writing in it 24 hours ago (probably closer to 40 when you’re all flocking to read this as soon as it drops,) and I can say I’ve probably filled up about ten pages already. Also, I’ve organized a hundred things, started planning Thanksgiving, and obviously drew a picture of a buff cow.

Okay the cow picture was there a while ago and I forgot all about this notebook, but I found it again and it made me laugh so I’m keeping it. Maybe I can make it the featured picture for the post, it won me a drawing challenge against Nik some months ago.

I ran across the info about these actually independently of Tina, I just never gave it a thought until she demanded it. I first found the info, and later referenced the same info, by watching a lot of “How to ADHD,” which is a delightful channel on YouTube I’ve been getting a lot of great information from. I’ll toss a link to the video I came back to when I was making the journal last night in case any of you are interested in organizing your wild lives, or just want to watch some fabulous adult ADHD videos yourselves. The basic idea is that you A) Number all the pages, B) Write an index, and C) Use the journal. It’s a great tool and I know some of you will put it to great use,

 

 

Good luck to everyone getting ready to prepare for Thanksgiving next week, and I wish you all merry…weekend!

A tale of two tales

Hello Internets – Kris here,

Tina and I had a bit of a longer chat this week discussing the upcoming month of writing our butts off as well as a quick 20 minute project we did for funsies. Our project was to write for 10 minutes to get a story setup, and then trade and finish the others’ for the next 10 minutes. It’s good practice, and a bit silly – highly recommended if you have anyone nearby who’s fun and likes to use their imaginations!

I’ll go ahead and post the stories below the blogcast in their mostly un-edited forms (to better illustrate differences in writing styles) for your perusal; leave us a comment if you have any topics or story starters of your own and we’ll be happy to take ’em for a ride! Fair warning, the stories are super short on account of being written in 20 minutes by two people, and also have a bit of a potty mouth in case any impressionable eyes are wandering nearby.

 

Story 1

“God damn it!”

Jessica was so pissed. These damn curbs had been built purposefully just to piss her off and she was THIS close to stomping one into dust.

Bzzz.

“Oh!”

The problem of course was the interviewer at the other end of this email chain wasn’t going to wait for her to rent out a bulldozer or something. She drafted up a quick reply and bolted across the street to catch the light.

Stupid tequila, stupid brad. Stupid alarm! The best shot of her entire career was flushing itself down the proverbial toilet. Jessica cursed and muttered to herself as she shouldered aside both young and old, man and woman. She remembered a shortcut behind the shoe warehouse and ducked under the gate, hoping to God it wasn’t locked at the other end.

It was locked.

“Oh hell! I wish it was last night again!” Caution to the wind, she flew like a bat out of hell, flailing out of control as she slipped on yet another storm drain.

“AAARGH!”

She hurled her purse across the parking lot into the shadowed alcove of the-

Shadowy alcove?

Her heart skipped a beat. It was mid day seconds ago, why was it night?

“What in the hell?”

“You really shouldn’t throw your things into dark holes.” Brad chirped from behind her.

“Jessica spun on her heel to see Brad wearing the same attire as last night. The street behind him also showed a flurry of activity only known to the city during what Brad called “party time.”

“I-I was just…” She trailed off looking down to see not the smart dress suit she had fallen asleep on and wrinkled to hell, but her cute gold shimmer dress and heels.

“Girl, get your bag!” Brad looked around. “Some creep is gonna try and mug us if you don’t hurry and I love this watch!”

“Jessica turned and went to pick up her purse when she noticed her good luck charm had fallen out. She retrieved the shiny silver token that had been given to her by her father, shortly before he was killed by a freak lightning strike that night. He had told her it was a faeries token, stolen or given by the fae to her way back Grandmother in Ireland. It made it across the ocean and survived the Titanic with her grandmother.

[End]

For bonus points, see if you can tell where the story swapped hands! Tina and I are horrendously opposite as storytellers so it should be pretty easy.

Story 2

 

The vampires didn’t just appear overnight. It wasn’t like a newly formed species that came from space. Some of them had been here for much longer than any living being had a right to exist.

Then again, when you live that long are you really alive?

Some of the myths that were quickly dashed when they came out was that you had to die to become one. Really, it didn’t take a death to change you. Just a pact and some sort of magic ritual. Oh, and magic was real.

My name is Sonny and I’m a plumber. Yeah, yeah. Like Mario. However, in this new world of vampires, my job is to plumb people. Rather crude, but I set up some vamps with willing humans and discard or remove defective or broken ones. I am human, however, my payment is in extended life without the thirst for blood. I’m not faster or strong, just 30 for a couple hundred years longer than others. Some of the nerds started calling humans like me Elves, based on old fantasy lore.

Well if they could hear what I hear, they would clamor to become a plumber too.

A couple of the big ones started talking the other day about some trick they had in mind. Sounded like a big operation, whole cities turned to feeding ground. Humans penned like cattle. You know the drill. One of ’em was talkin’ about how the plumbers were gonna be kept in separate apartments from now on for safety; you know, some of the young ones get overzealous when they start sucking that stuff.

Well I might be selfish, rich, and young, but I ain’t stupid. I know that fella with big ears heard me in that hallway so I set out to record this message in case they come for me. It’ll ship out to every country in the world if I don’t reset the calendar each week.

Why a week? Well listen, sometimes when I’m out gettin’ the stink eye from those normies, I just wanna snap, you know. It’s been over a hundred years since I got laid over here! Still, I can’t wish everyone dead. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness was never rich, even if the broads are clamoring for magic nowadays.

So you’re probably wondering why this letter is in your fine hands. Well my friend, I am dead or dying I can only assume, since the timer seems to have expired. You can bet your Betty-who’s that they’ve read the message by now and probably the addressees as well. I’d estimate you probably have about two hours from the sent stamp to copy this and get the hell away from there.

Remember: New York, Boston, London and Berlin may be first, but the whole damn world is about to get drained if you ain’t quick.

[End]

Waiting for the fall

So often my life has been full of great chances or experiences followed by huge falls. I often tell people that I don’t have a fear of heights, just a fear of falling, because I know how much it hurts when you land.

I find that this has slowly been changing for me. As I work on bettering myself for me, I have found that I take great pride in my ups and lessons in my downs. No longer do I fear the fall because it will hurt. I understand that falls happen and that if I breath and use my tools I can learn from them and grow in a new or better way next time. So, Let’s talk about what I am pumped about doing.

So far I have lost over 10lbs. Which is amazing for me. Not just a loose it and gain it back like normal but a good month or two of being down in my weight. Or as my handsome husband likes to say, “Making new lows and lowering our highs.” He is right. When I stopped looking at it as a loose or you lose, I started noticing that yes sometimes I go up, but I have been rocketing down so even as I gain a little here or there, they are my new high which is still much lower then my old high. With that I have been pushing on. Focusing on my body and what I eat. Pushing myself to do more and move as much as I can without hurting myself.

Another thing I have going is my business. I started a new company called Mochi Photography. I had an idea a year and a half ago to have a booth where cosplayers or families could come and take pictures during their convention. I am also selling plushies and other crafty things I make in my spare time. I am now working on my sales pitch to get into daycare centers and other children rich areas where I can take pictures for them.

My other ongoing project is school! I am now in my second year of school to get my business degree. I am proud to say that my grades are awesome, my work is…. in by the due date, and I have really enjoyed the classes so far. I am so proud of myself for having stuck to my schooling and keeping up with it regardless of how I am feeling that week. I keep reminding myself that I started this school at the same time as Nik to keep me accountable. If he can do it so can I!

And one of my greatest ongoing joys is that Nik is doing so great in school. He is even leading the pack in the emergency drills and keeping focused on his work without a teacher or helper around to help. This is a big change from last year at the end of the year and a huge relief to my anxiety!

With all that said, I still have one more thing I am picking up in the next two months or so. I will be doing NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. I am going to focus down and split up my current novel work into a few novellas. So my project in November will be writing every day, and a deadline to finish the first draft of my Novella by the end of November.

So much to do, I am feeling a little tired just talking about it. Guess I should take a nap really quick before getting back to my homework, Mochi plushie making for this weekend, and taking care of Nik…… Nahhhhh I got this!

Nanoprogresso

Kris here,

Tina was great enough to take care of the blog last week, which was great of her to do. Thanks Tina, for all your…erm…hilarious, jokes.

The last couple of days we’ve been making sure to take an hour or two each day to hit the ~2000 word count thing for some fancy book club she’s joined called nanowritingalotmo or something. You guys probably haven’t heard of it but I think it’ll be big in a few years.

I know Tina flashed my first act bubble in the blog last week, which is how I’ve been outlining my acts recently. I like to just cobble together a cohesive plan and then flesh it out while actually writing most of the time. It’s working out great during this adventure. Maybe too great. I’m on my second bubble out of 20 or so for the first 1/3 of the novel and I’ve hit that first 10k mark. Tina was so excited, “Kris isn’t it exhilarating!”

And you might think so, but holy cow doesn’t that mean I’ll be editing words out of this sucker for my son’s 18th birthday?

I kid of course, writing is a great exercise in creativity for us, and it’s great to be able to share that with my wife. All I can think of about last year is how she kept persevering and writing everyday, making sure to keep up a steady progress for her story while simultaneously asking me thousands of questions and wanting my opinion on her progress. Well now the tables have turned! She already did this and that makes her the expert, and that means I get to ask her to read every other paragraph I hammer out. HA!

One thing I have to be getting wrong is this chapter breakdown BS though. If you check out online, lots of people are out like “heck yeah I just busted out chapter woo woo” to which I can only be mystified. I definitely plan to write chapters, but man isn’t it a bit early to chapter breakdown on your first draft? I guess I’m probably just less experienced than say an actual author, or people used to writing giant stories who can kind of structure as they move along.

Well you’ll have to excuse me, I’m not counting the blog toward my daily word count and these spiders aren’t going to bring themselves to life. Happy writing everyone!

How we Outline

Howdy ya’ll Tina here again! You know what that means. I am just sooo much cooler than Kris. I get to say that because I can. HA!

So because thinking up a blog post on the fly is OH so much fun, I am proud to present you with, Our outlines for NaNoWriMo! This is my second year doing it, but I am kinda cheating because I don’t want to start a brand new novel, I am going to do 50,000 more words on the novel I worked on last year! And this will be Kristopher’s first year doing it so he is a fresh new little baby into the whole NaNo world. He is aiming for weekly goals and as he says, isn’t wholly aiming for 50,000 so much as for writing every week on a story.  So, I thought I would share with you some of the brain farts and dumps that we do when we were getting ready to get started!

Let’s start with me first since Kris still hasn’t sent me his pictures yet.

Binder
I have a Binder for Each of my Projects
Acts
Each Manuscript has it broken down into Acts
Blocks
Which is then broken down into 3 blocks
Scenes
Further broken down into 3 scenes

So, When I break it down like this I find it much easier to focus myself on what I am writing at that moment. I make notes on each scene as to what I plan to do within that scene and expand it with my beautiful words. Taking in those tiny little strings of thought and turning them into big fat bottomed thoughts of filled goodness. I push to have about 500-1000 words per scene but tend to end up with more.

So in that image you can see my ideas for each Scene on that Block. Then I included pictures of the word count for each of them to show you that I tend to go a bit more heavy handed in words. I enjoy adding detail, and I can always cut it out later if I need to.  Here are some extra pictures from my project I thought you might like to see.

Project Statistics
Here are some stats from my projects
Full break down
And here is just a full view of more of my acts.

Now, Kris does things a little more wonky….

Now I apologize for the blurriness and crazy tones in the pictures, that was my fault. However, you can see, Kris likes to lay out a bubble plot where he has lines that connect in various ways. How did he say it again? *shuffling papers around, flinging post-it notes here and there* AH! here it is, “double lines are plot progression, single lines or connected bubbles are relevant or progressing ideas”.

There you have it. He included several pictures of his more detailed outlines where he has it more neatly laid out but I thought the bubbles were the cooler part of that whole process.  He has pushed himself so far and I am so proud of him. I have really enjoyed getting to brainstorm with him about ideas for both of our stories since they both take place in the same world. He is even going to have one of my main plot points show up in his book for like a few seconds. *girly sequel* How romantic is that! Well, Until next time Keyboard Couple readers!

 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Place!

 

*Groovy bat symbol spiny sound*

NaNoWriMo – Huh?

Howdy Lovely people! Tina here!

Sorry I am like super late getting a post out to you all. I have been in the down and outs with some pains and visits to the hospital but I am kicking butt and taking names now.

Starting with getting ready for Nanowrimo.

What? Podcast you say? Ohhh…uh well you see, we don’t quite have the funding to go full podcast mode on our site. So that is just something we will have to wait on and maybe look at making it a youtube video podcast or something. We are still thinking about it.

Anywhodal, I wanted to make our first podcast about Nanowrimo, which is short for National Novel writing month. Which is every November where writers pledge to write 50,000 words on a manuscript or just in general. So I guess technically our blogs can count too!

I took part last year and hit my goal of 50,000 words on my very first novel which was then put in a holding pattern as I hem and hawed over it. I have been working on it on and off around the year but now I am going to add 50,000 more words to the story. I have already outlined the next half and have talked Kris into working on it with me. He is reluctantly going to attempt to do some kind of writing.

So, because I have done NaNoWriMo before and won, I was looking around for some print outs to add to my binder of crap I need to do everyday. However, I saw a huge lack of 2017 printable things. So, I offer up to you all my super simple, black and white, no frills no fuss no muss NaNoWriMo printable for 2017 for Free! I hope you can find use for them and that they help you on your own journey too!

Link for Printable here.

(It is a Google Doc link so you can download it in whatever format floats your boat!)

Also, you can sign up to take part and track your words in NaNoWriMo at their website here.

Good luck everyone and I will talk to you all soon!