A Peek at the Ferret Dictionary

We Ferrets have been recovering from NaNoWriMo – and preparing for/launching into the holiday season now upon us, as it is always a little bit of a surprise after the madness of NaNo fades back into the ‘real world’. . .

So have a bit of silliness from the Ferret Archivist. It’s been several years since I last shared anything from the Ferret Archives, and here are some more words spotlighted from the Ferret Dictionary.

15th century manuscript with original binding

Photo by Erwan Plougonven, used under CC BY-SA 4.0. (Resized. Otherwise unchanged.)

The Ferret Dictionary is a collection of words to refer to concepts or objects that simply don’t have a proper word – or did not before the Ferrets came along to fix things! Their most common source is typos (ones that are entertaining enough to make us think they need an explanation) and often more than one of us will come up with the same meaning for one as soon as we decide a particular word is deserving of it.

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Wrapping Up NaNoWriMo 2016 with the Ferrets!

It’s time for triumph! Right?

NaNoWriMo 2016 Winner's Banner - space-themed

Each of the Ferrets below launched herself into NaNo – with or without a plan, to be quite honest with you, and not all of those plans survived engagement with NaNoWriMo proper – and forged ahead, making progress on her chosen project (or projects).

We attended write-ins, we made ourselves laugh or cry – and that’s just at the process of writing, before we even get to the content – we developed some truly impressive NaNo-fingers and NaNo-brains leading to nifty new and creative typos. . .

Life forgot that there’s supposed to be an allowance for NaNo and threw obstacles in our paths, but we made it through anyway!

Let’s say goodbye to NaNoWriMo for this year with a last word from each of us about this year’s session and our works for it.

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NaNoWriMo Week Three! – Ferret Updates

We’re three weeks in and the Ferrets are fighting to catch up and fighting through the universe’s distractions and to be honest with you while I’m not the only Ferret who is dead tired this (Monday) evening, I am definitely a little frazzled.

Week three is traditionally the doldrums, when momentum slows and things began to tangle even if you had an outline, when the excited launch of week one fades and the word-high of week two gives way to the realisation that NaNoWriMo can be kind of tough, you guys, wait I only have how much time left?

It’s hit all of us Ferrets in different ways, but I don’t think any of us were quite ready to realise we were three weeks into NaNo already, whatever the state of our projects!

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NaNoWriMo Week Two! – Ferret Updates

Here we are again already? NaNo’s charging through quick!

This time I am not writing this at a write-in, around Box of Doom challenges, with most of the other Ferrets sitting around me typing furiously. (Instead, I’m curled sleepily in a pile of blankets trying to muster the awakeness to get some writing done before midnight, while most of the other Ferrets run a sprint – I’ll have to join in on the next one!)

Our next write-in is tomorrow (Tuesday), and while I can’t speak for everyone in the region, it seems like the Ferrets are all hoping it will let us catch up a little closer to where we should be wordcount-wise. It’s been a busy week since the last update, and several of us have had disruptive incidents – the universe always seems to forget to make allowances for the fact that NaNoWriMo happens in November.

Here’s to hopefully catching up, and hopefully a more even keel week three!
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NaNoWriMo Week One! – Ferret Updates

We’re a full week into NaNoWriMo now! I can hardly believe it. . .

So. Week one: we’re doing this NaNo thing! There are . . . words. All of the words! All of the words . . . are currently being used in our novels. We have rambled the leftovers here.

All of us have attended at least one local write-in, of which there have already been several. (In fact, Monday night as I type this up I am sitting in a line with Eris and Michelle, and Rebekah is busily at work behind me – we’re set up at a write-in right now!) There have been upheavals and upsets, busy days and borked outlines. . .

But we have all rallied and charged onwards, and week one is the time for the brightest optimism and freshest look at our stories! (Even if they aren’t entirely sure what they want to be yet.)

Total Goal: 50,000
Goal for End of Day Seven: 11,666

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Welcome to NaNoWriMo!

It’s NaNoWriMo time again!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner - space-themed

This wonderful event is what first brought the Ferrets together and we all have a fondness for the madness and magic of NaNoWriMo. (If you’ve never tried it before, but you’ve wondered about writing or felt you needed a kickstart at it, you might give it a try – could be just the thing to help you out! At least two of us signed up at the last minute our first year – Michelle and I, Serena – and still both enjoyed and won NaNoWriMo.)

We’ve talked about NaNo before, so I won’t cover old ground (too much) – besides, I have preparations for NaNo-ing with which I should be busying myself!

Among us we Ferrets have two MLs (Municipal Liaisons; they are magic and coordinate events – and everything – for our region), a handwriter, a dual-project/double-goal writer, and a rebel poet. We’ve quite a range, and we’ll be checking in weekly here with updates on each of our projects! You can also follow each of our progress, save that of our lone poet, at our profiles on the NaNoWriMo site itself. Continue reading

The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – When Writing Hurts

The Writer's Pursuit of Health, When Writing Hurts, Serena Saint-Marceaux, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, health, writing, physical health, pain, dealing with pain

I could talk about how my writing and my emotional state (my mental health) form an interlocking and interdependent superstructure in my psyche, but. . . Well, I’ve already written that post. (Maybe from multiple angles.)

Instead today I’ll talk a little about the way my writing and my physical health interlock – which is not always such a positive foundation.

My physical health can be a tricky thing to quantify (but isn’t it that way for many people? health isn’t so straightforward as we might like, I think) from the easily-labelled (anaemia, RAD, hypotension and hypoglycaemia that when layered cause dizziness and fainting spells, old injuries, etc.) to the mysterious (trouble under direct summer sunlight, overly ‘stretchy’ tendons and slightly flexible bones, ‘migraines’ that black out my vision with no pain, systemic problems rooted in what could be an immune disorder, etc.). Sitting around for long periods is hard on even a healthy body! With one a little more banged up? Well. . . Continue reading

Outlining, or The Illusion Of Productivity (No wait! I actually have a plan!)

It’s back to school shopping and sale time, which is a very tempting time for writers and for any people who love the feeling of illusory productivity that one can find browsing amongst those items.

I happen to fall into both those categories, though I usually manage to restrain myself fairly well in the back to school sales. That is, mainly to things I actually need – or want – and will eventually use.

set of ten brightly-coloured Sharpie highlighters

My bright and shiny new highlighters!

I picked up a pack of highlighters recently. Note: I don’t really use highlighters. I needed a couple (in different colours) to highlight details more obviously in a proof I was submitting with some paperwork earlier this year and I had to search my house to find any. I finally did, then finally located some that worked in that assortment (one of which was mine, the other two ones my mother used) and got my project done.

It was the first time I’d used a highlighter in probably at least six years, possibly longer. So clearly picking up a pack of highlighters, however pretty – and these are pretty shiny – was the most productive purchase I could have made, right?

(Well, I have needed highlighters this year, several times, weird as that is, and using the mostly-dead ones has really not been that fun. So there’s a smidgen of justification.)

The other justification is . . . I am embarking on an outlining project.

I am embarking on an outlining project. A big one. You may recall, I don’t outline. I’m not very good at it, and it tends not to work out for the best for me as I write even if I struggle through creating one.
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The Off-Balancing Act: Words Tip the Scale

ff-balancing act, creative balance, healthy boundaries, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, writing, writers, advice for writers

We created the lovely banner with the picture Lazy Limbs by Michael via Flickr’s Creative Commons with the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. The image was slightly resized, and our text added. No other changes made.

I? Am terrible at balance. (No, really. I am incredibly bad at this in many areas of my life.)

As a writer who writes every day, you might assume that I have actually figured this balance thing out and have some tricks to share. (People certainly have before.) That . . . is unfortunately not the case. By a long shot.

In fact, writing may be just about the only thing I have to ‘balance’ on a regular basis that never falls by the wayside entirely. (Now balancing different projects and types of writing? . . .that’s another story.)

When I have serious things to handle and address in Real Life, I . . . often throw myself into writing all the more in spite – or to take refuge. I handle things that I absolutely have to . . . mostly. Sometimes not quite when I meant to.

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Diary Entry: When Writing is Needed and Life Says No

I had big plans for what would become this post. Multiple different big plans, in fact. And I didn’t even feel like I’d gone looking for them or digging to think of them! They simply came to me when I was idly thinking, or trying to make sense of something about my writing inside my own head. I had things I wanted to say and I was looking forward to talking about!

. . .and then March came through in earnest, and I wound up juggling far too many things that needed doing right now and – along with everything else I wanted to work on creatively – I simply didn’t have time. Or energy. Or anything left.

So instead, today I’ll share a page from my ‘diary’, because I am simply too wrung out and worn through to be witty or wise (or to play at them, at least).

When my mind is weighed down and filled with ‘junk’, I must create to save myself.

As I’ve talked about before, writing is a component of mental health for me – a deeply important one. Not only do I seem to process everything I go through or feel by way of my writing (whether as near-direct inspiration or so twisted even I don’t know how the one connects to the other) but I honestly feel horrendous when I don’t ‘have time to write’.

I do write every day (even when I don’t quite feel like it to begin with), which works beautifully for me although I don’t think it is universally applicable advice to do so. (I sometimes suggest other writers give it a try, because you never know, but no one method suits everyone; even more true of creative pursuits.) That terrible feeling I get, however, is not guilt for not making time to fulfil a goal. Continue reading