And done!

At a total of 58,737 words, Ghosts of Pikes Peak is finally finished!

YAAAAY! *Happy dance!*

Is it perfect? No. Do I care? Absolutely not! Having the first draft done just feels so very good. Tonight’s writing was all the epilogue. It delved into some real philosophical parts at times, but ended up on a high note which is how I prefer to end my novels. (Omg I can say novels now. With an s!)

I looked over my blog posts and realized that I started writing this piece on April 5th, or at least that’s when I first blogged about it. I hadn’t expected it to balloon up into a full length novel then, and my maximum expected length was around 10k. I guess that got thrown out the window. 😛 Took me two months to churn out the first draft, and compared to my (much more dense) Secrets of Leekston piece which has been a WIP for over a year, that’s not half bad!

I had other stuff I was planning on blogging about, like Amazon’s request for proof that I owned the rights to publish Clawbinder which was kind of weird. I have links all over that piece about where it was originally published (also where it still is listed), and describes when that happened, but I guess I have to reaffirm that for them? I don’t know, but I’ll go into that mess later.

I also wanted to talk about how I’ve been ritualistically checking Zharmae’s Twitter page to see if I placed in their contest. They’re supposed to be announcing the top five winners later on tonight and they’ve been doing a countdown of their top 27 pieces. I haven’t seen my name yet which could be good or bad. Probably a bad idea to be checking so much if I don’t get in, but oh well! Right now, I’m just tickled to have another finished draft on my table!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 58,737
New words written: 2,445

Progress in Story: Finished! Isn’t that all that’s needed? 🙂

Total Words for 2012: 71,260

Two actors were playing their audience

Went to the zoo today, and took a ton of videos and pictures. Here’s one of my favorites!

White peacocks are so beautiful. Seeing one showing off his feathers like that is a real treat! I remember going as a kid to the zoo, and how the peacocks would just wander all over the zoo grounds. I’m sure it was dangerous for them, so I’m glad that they don’t allow that sort of thing anymore, but I still miss it. It was always amazing to come around the corner and see one doing a beautiful display like this.

Had a great time being the DM last night, even though one of my monsters ended up being a friend of the party. Long story short, they now have a half-human, half-machine “scarecrow” to keep them company. Even though touching him causes a person to go into fits of screaming and terror, they still like him. I guess you could say I have a pretty unique party to work with. 😉 He’s pretty awesome, so I certainly wasn’t going to prevent it from happening. Some of the most fun games come from just allowing stuff to happen like this, and I love that sort of thing.

Today’s writing updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 56,292
New words written: 3,381

Progress in Story: So I admit, I did a little bit of extra writing last night after I made my blog post. 😉 Epic battle has finally been resolved, though it is rather bittersweet in the end. Now its just finishing up, which really isn’t as easy as it sounds! I found this site to be pretty darn awesome for inspiration too.

Mythical Creatures List – I love how it shows where the myth came from, what kind of landscape they’re typically found in, and what part of the world they originated. This is just perfect for my needs. Sure, browsing through the site is fun, but doing a site search with Google makes this a requirement in my future fantasy research.

Total Words for 2012: 68,815

He would have spat on his shoes

Day two of Camp NaNo and I’m still above water! Sure, I was afraid I’d dip under a few times, but so far it’s going well.

This morning was quite busy. Took two terrified cats to the vet for their shots and a bath. I learned a lesson while we were wrangling cats too. When two kitties are locked in a bathroom, and you walk up to the door carrying two open cat carriers in your hands, it’s probably best if you don’t frighten them. Especially don’t open the door making loud noises while pushing the bags through. Poor Watson, being the big kitty that he is, tried to back up really fast, then jumped up into the tub. By the time I walked in he was straining his neck up over the edge with big, frightened eyes. I felt so bad! I’d intended just to scare them away from the door so that they wouldn’t run away, not frighten the hell out of them.

So yeah, I terrified them then took them to the vet. I rock. 😛

Ran lots of errands this morning in addition to getting my word count in. I’m a little more hesitant about tomorrow since I’ll be going with friends to the Atlanta Zoo. It’s going to be great seeing them, and getting to hang out with them before they leave town in a few months, but life does seem to be conspiring against my writing plans. Next week I’ll be taking off two extra days from work just to get some breathing time now that our major website has gone live.  Turns out that will also be the next Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend. Ugh, I’m pretty sure I’ll be falling behind those days. Oh well, if you don’t live a little, what the heck are you going to write about? Maybe I’ll get some inspiration from the Zoo tomorrow. Hmm…

Tex_maam mentioned how she really liked some of the western resources I’d found, and I remembered that I never did put up this one. It’s a fellow WordPress blog that I started following, The Cabinet Card Gallery,  where they post up pictures of folks who did these types of portraits and put up a small blurb about who they were. There is no About page that I could find regarding where they find these cards or where they find the information, so I can’t tell you any more information than that, but I did find the photos and information to be very inspiring. If I had to put a time stamp on Ghosts I would say its in the mid-1800s, and a bunch of these photos come from mid-1800s to early 1900s. Fanny Davenport was the lady that really got my attention. I think she showed up on a search I did for something completely different, but then I got drawn into the site. I was pleased to see that there were so many actresses working in that time period since Mary works as one. Anyway, I needed that validation just to keep my head straight. The site even has a section for actresses, which is pretty darn cool.

Today’s writing updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 52,911
New words written: 2,353

Progress in Story: One on one battle time followed by a very bad realization. Looks like our group just got sucker-punched. Had a fabulous time describing the bad guy too.

Total Words for 2012: 65,434

Deadly is the word you’re looking for

A gunfire goes off and the racers start down the track, kicking up dirt at their heels. Let the writing begin!

I love NaNoWriMo. It’s one of the things that got me inspired to write and helped me gain confidence in my ability to tell stories. I won my first one back in November 2010, and again with Camp NaNo in August of last year. This year I’m hoping to compete in both versions of Camp NaNo, the one in June and the one in August. I was hoping to pick up my Secrets in Leekston novel again and work on it, but apparently Ghosts of Pikes Peak will need to be finished first. I refuse to have two big works in progress sitting around, cluttering up my subconscious. One storyline is tough enough to figure out without having to deal with two at once.

Today was busy. Went to work, had lunch with my sister where we shared writing ideas, then hung out with family and friends this evening. I came in second in Canasta, which isn’t bad since I’ve won the past two games we’ve played. (Gloating? Not me!) Tomorrow I’ll be the DM in the final piece of my three-part series which will require some interesting roleplaying. A villain will be revealed, which is ironic since I’m at the same place in Ghosts as well. I guess the stars are aligning for my bad guys.

My sister told me something interesting today that I hadn’t quite realized. She told me that Rennick sounded like a bad guy who is doing good things, which is ironic because I never really thought of him as a bad guy. He’s a sleazy, womanizing card shark, and of course a killer, but in the Old West I’m not sure if that really constitutes a bad guy or if he’s just a regular person. I don’t know, morals were kind of screwy then. Either way I like him. I knew I would when I dreamed him up to be Colton’s partner, kind of the opposite to his cool demeanor. It takes a jerk like him to really get a reaction out of a man who is as hardened and infuriatingly controlled as Colton tries to be. It’s going to be weird when I finish this piece and have to switch over to the much more serious themes being dealt with in Secrets. Not that Ghosts doesn’t deal with serious issues, but they’re just in a different league. Colton and Rennick are dealing with a skirmish you might say, while Suzie, Fred, and Terry are working to prevent an all-out war. Different stakes are involved either way.

I got my Camp word count in today, but only barely. I always recall the phrase of having to squeeze water out of a stone. That’s what it feels like sometimes. I write for days on a wonderful pace, easily hitting 2,000 words a day without any trouble until I have a real deadline. Then it’s tough. I guess it’s just the knowledge of having a required word count that apparently freaks me out. You wouldn’t think it could, but it does. I’d better get my butt in gear to keep up at the right pace!

The story also hit 50k today, so I guess it’s really getting to be novel length now. Bumped up my anticipated word count to 60k because I really don’t think it’ll be any more than that, but again we’ll see.

Here is today’s writing:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 50,558
New words written: 2,557

Progress in Story: Major battles begin, and the trio moves into position. Regardless of the feelings that are being left unsaid (both good and bad), they’ll have to try and stay focused on the goal and find a way to work together. The creature though still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Total Words for 2012: 63,081

One hell of a shot

A quick update and a few bits of inspiring music to leave behind. Our group is still moving closer to their enemy, though they’ve already had to deal with more craziness than they expected to find on this trip. Most of it came from their own issues.

Here are a few videos I wanted to leave in place of my normal wordiness. This song came up on my iPod again on my drive in to work, and it always makes me want to write werewolf fiction again. Especially Suzie’s series. E Nomine is a German band with German & Latin lyrics. This song is always great even if it is a bit older.

This song I discovered on the drive home. Trent Reznor has been putting a bunch of his music up for free online lately, and I believe this was one of his free albums. This song, “Head Down” is from his album The Slip, which is a free download. He has a whole Ghosts compilation that is all instrumental and quite inspiring for horror writing as well. I love how Trent’s been giving away so much free music lately for his fans. 🙂

Anyway, on to today’s word count!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 48,001
New words written: 2,534

Progress in Story: Rennick makes a new “friend”, and Colton starts an argument.

Total Words for 2012: 60,524

Snippet:

“Mary is fortunately a much better shot than you are.”

Colton frowned. She was smiling at him, that cocky, annoying smile she wore like a badge lately. “Sorry about that,” he muttered as he adjusted his hat. “Even I have to admit that was one hell of a shot.”

“I know,” she cocked her head at him. “I’m just glad you finally admitted it.”