So this is the part where I geek out about how well this experiment of mine is going.
I jumped on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon so I could use the public shaming aspect as a motivator. Several of my improviser friends are writing actual novels, and did the customary public announcement:
“I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Ask me about it constantly so I feel obligated to keep writing.”
So I did the same.
I’m ahead on blog posts, and I have several more that only need a few touch-ups before they’re ready to post. The scripts were being neglected, as I’d finished the easier of my two planned arcs, and wasn’t feeling up to the task of the second. I need to add more characters, and I was really struggling to come up with characters with any sort of depth.
The Hideout runs a show called The Free Fringe where groups submit really ridiculous format ideas, then get a thirty minute time slot to try them out in front of an audience. Sometimes it’s amazing and turns into a new troupe. Sometimes it crashes and burns. This is why the show is free.
Last night’s Fringe was a NaNoWriMo special where a group of writers came in, talked about their work a little, read a scene, then a group of improvisers from the Austin Secrets cast would pick up the story and play a few scenes to help work out what comes next. I tossed my scripts into the mix, just to see what would happen. Given that I couldn’t really read a scene, and it would be very hard to explain the comic quickly, I didn’t expect much.
I should really stop underestimating my improviser friends.
I gave them a very open scenario, and they jumped in enthusiastically. Two happened to perfectly fill the roles of two characters I’d partially written, and two more gave me really excellent new characters to build on.
I walked out of the show with four pretty solid characters in my head, then I stayed up late brainstorming with the Boy, filling out those characters, building their world, and plotting their arcs. I feel like I have a few years worth of material here, if I stick to my one-a-week schedule.
I’m actually itching to start drawing, so I’ll probably hit the 30-script mark early and get a jump start on my buffer.
My comic is coming back! Yay!
It is with a good deal of regret that I mark the passing of another of my mother’s kalanchoes.
We had a good run. I managed not to kill it through two insanely hot and dry Central Texas summers (If only the fragile begonia had been so lucky!). Last spring I nursed it through a nasty infestation of mealybugs. Then a couple of weeks ago I went outside to water it, and the roots and base were totally rotted. I replanted the few leaves that had stayed green, but they soon turned grey as well.
It may be an actual blight issue, and not just over-watering, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on the rest. The one that I nearly killed a year ago is still plugging along.
Someday they may actually flower again so I can tell which plants I lost – they were all different colors and bloomed like crazy when they were living on Mom’s back porch. For now I’ll just file this away as another learning experience. My thumb isn’t nearly as brown as it used to be, but I still have a long way to go to green.
As happens far too frequently, this quest started with a perfectly innocent question from my friend Mike:
Why, Mike? What do you need?
“Knit a scarf that is at least 12 feet long and is being worn by 3 people at one time.”
For a scavenger hunt. A really big, ridiculous, awesome scavenger hunt.
12 feet with no gauge or width requirements? Easy peasy.
Two skeins of Red Heart (Cherry Red and Royal blue), one skein of Impeccable “Folklore” variegated, size 13 needles, a few feet of Premier Starbella “Fly a Kite” just for added whimsy, and a few hours later…
12+ feet of scarf
I will not be writing a novel this month.
November is National Novel-Writing Month. I briefly had thoughts of trying to write that thing that’s been knocking around my head for the last three years, but then I remembered that I’m very, very busy and have a to-do list that will take me a decade to complete.
So instead of writing 50,000 words in the spare time I don’t have, I’m going to knock a few things off my to-do list. I’ve been intending to resurrect the comic all year, and I’ve let the blog fall tragically behind. My knitting/comic friend Rachael – half of the creative team behind the brilliant Worsted for Wear – strongly recommended having a large buffer before publishing again, so I’ll be putting most of my efforts toward that. I also have at least five blog posts from the last year that are mostly written, but haven’t been edited and posted.
So this is my stated goal for NaNoWriMo:
30 days, 30 comic scripts
5 Fridays, 5 blog posts (back-dated to the time they were originally written)
If I’m very good and get all my homework done, I’ll try to get some preliminary sketching done as well, but let’s be reasonable.
I put this out into the world for my followers to keep me honest. There will be a new blog post tomorrow night. You are officially deputized to bother me if there is not.