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

The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – Writing and Working Out

The Writer's Pursuit of Health, Writing and Working Out, Michelle Pierce, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, health, writing, exercise

About four years ago, I came to the conclusion that I really, really needed to start exercising. I’m a web developer, so I sit in front of a computer all day. And then I like to write, so I sit in front of my computer all night. I knew it wasn’t healthy for me to be stationary all day, I knew I wasn’t eating as well as I should’ve, and so finally I hit the moment that was “I have to do something about this.”

It wasn’t like something big or horrible happened. It was just the slow realization that if I continued as I was, in a few years, I wouldn’t be very happy with how I looked or how I felt, and my risks for a number of diseases that run in my family would skyrocket. And the longer it took me to get started on a healthier lifestyle, the harder it would be for me to stick with it when I finally got there.

For years I’d had a goal like “lose 10 pounds” or whatever as one of my New Year’s resolutions, and for years, I’d never hit it. That year, I switched it up to “work out at LEAST 3 days a week.” I figured I would see if I could stick to a 3-day-a-week plan, and if so, I’d bump it up to 5 days for the next year. Even if I didn’t lose any weight, at least I would be building the habit of being active on a regular basis, and that could only be good, right?

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The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – New Series Starting August 30th!

health, writing, writers, healthy lifestyle, becoming healthy

Writing is not easy on us – either mentally, or physically.

Depending on the type of content we write, it can mess with our mood and put us in a strange sort of head space where our characters are more real than anything else – and that’s not always a good thing. The act of writing can also inadvertently dig things up from our past, things we didn’t realize still needed to be dealt with, if we even knew about it at all.

And those hours we spend staring at an artificially lit computer screen, hunched over a keyboard, pounding away until our fingers and wrists ache. And our heads ache. Because we weren’t made to stare at a computer screen only inches away from our face all. day. long.

But we do.

And we forget to eat. Or we get so busy with a story that we simply decide not to eat because it’s always “I just need to get this last thought onto paper.” And that thought grows and grows and grows… and suddenly it’s been five hours.

This isn’t even taking actual illness – chronic or acute – into consideration, because we writers think we’re immortal because of our words. Sadly, our bodies don’t work that way, either.

And so we need to counter the abuse we put our bodies and minds through.

That’s what “The Writer’s Pursuit of Health” is going to tackle, starting next week. Stay tuned!

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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