November Update

I have not been posting this month. That’s because my mind is crammed with other things. Like writing–which is what we authors live for. When the characters are talking, the settings appearing, and the words flowing, we are in love. And that euphoria fuels us. If we don’t let ourselves get distracted by ordinary life.

At the end of October, I came home from the SiWC inspired, as always. It was almost NaNoWriMo ,which is a fancy short for National Novel Writing Month; the object of which is to focus on churning out 50,000 words in draft form over the grey rainy month of November. I decided to sign-up and give myself some focus, and at the same time, experiment with a free trial version of Scrivener.  If you haven’t heard of Scrivener, it’s writing software with an organizational focus. I’d heard about it on my FB group site and also at the SiWC, so I thought, why not? Give it a try.

To Render a Raven

To Render a Raven

I had  already drafted 45,000 words of To Render a Raven–Book 3 in the Hollystone Mysteries series–last spring. I left off writing at the end of June, then travelled in Ireland. The rest of summer and fall got away from me, and I decided it was time to get back to my first love: Estrada.

If you don’t know Estrada, a wonderful review of Book 2, To Sleep with Stones, just came out in this Toronto magazine: Blank Spaces Review

To Render a Raven picks up a year after To Sleep with Stones, and brings our flawed hero, Estrada, face-to-face with his worst nightmare: losing the people he loves. I can’t tell you much more than that, but if you’ve read Stones, you’ll know that at the end of the book, Estrada is shocked by some news.

So, here we are with one week left in November.

Have I written 50,000 words? No.

Do I think I will finish this draft in one week? No.

Have I decided to buy Scrivener? No.

It looks like smart software, but I found it was distracting me from the heart of what I wanted to do. Tell the story. So, I exported the file to Word and deleted all the Scrivener files from my computers. I no longer have individual scenes tacked up on a virtual corkboard or a neat list of character templates, but that’s just fine.

What I do have, at this moment, is almost 58,000 words in my draft, and a running outline with photos and scene titles, a lot of editing and revising completed, and a movie playing in my head. I know where I’m going.

The next time you hear the garbled cries of trickster ravens, ask yourself this: how do you render a raven?

November Yeats Challenge: Day Two

An homage to one of my loves, WB Yeats by Jane Dougherty.

Jane Dougherty Writes

Another darkly mysterious quote for the dark season. There may be a name for the form my poem has taken—8 8 8 4 8 8 8 4 8 8 8 8 4—but if there is I don’t know it. Feel free to use it, or a variant of it with a rhyme scheme perhaps.

I’m posting this one in the dverse open link night. I am dedicating this month to Yeats, a line every day, so look in and be inspired.

“… the dark folk who live in souls
Of passionate men, like bats in the dead trees;” —W.B. Yeats

They are there at break of day

They are there at the break of day,

As they were when the sun went down,

The paper whispered voices of

Our secrets dark.

In the stirred river-bottom mud,

As in the chill between the stars,

The airless catch in the throat, lie

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