Sunday, 13 January 2008

I wrote words!

Today was a good day. I finished up the latest chapter, bringing today's count up to 1052 words and making the week's total nearly 5K, fairly evenly split between my WIP and various fanfic projects. Not brilliant, maybe, but better than I've been doing. And better than I'll do this week, since we're going away again.

I declare it a good week's work.

Friday, 11 January 2008

First Friday Snippet

This is a brief excerpt from somewhere near the beginning of my current WIP. I've only looked back over it once to check for grammar and spelling, so it will no doubt go through various forms before I'm happy with it. I don't think it really needs much introduction, so I'll just plunge in.


Liulfra threw the carcass aside and trotted further on through the woods, ears alert and nostrils flared. Her hunger and bloodlust were sated for now; it was time to seek out a new companion. She paused and sat back on her haunches, wondering what direction would be best.

She had very little knowledge of this area; until now, she had never travelled more than a day's travel away from the camp. She had been moving in this direction for three nights, sleeping during the day, relishing the opportunity to indulge her wolfish side. She still felt it strange that in a place where shapeshifters were the only inhabitants it was considered rude to wear a non-human shape in public, and she loved the feeling of release from such constraints.

It was so strange to be free of them. She had known nothing else all her life, and she found it difficult not to keep referring back to the camp in her mind; her journey had taken her only through forest so far, and she had not yet met a single human. She had, however, come across a pack of wolves, who had viewed her suspiciously at first but nonetheless welcomed her fairly swiftly into their midst. They had allowed her to spend the previous day in their den with them, although she was asked to stay in the main cavern rather than enter their own sleeping quarters. Wolves, as she had discovered before, were rather keen on their customs and stood firmly on tradition; only family members were permitted to pass the main halls of their homes. There had been a younger wolf, just ready to find a mate, who had viewed her with interest. It had been rather difficult not to respond, but she knew that if she did they would expect her to stay, and if she then proceeded on she would find other packs less welcoming in future. So she had rebuffed his cautious advances; but ultimately it only served to heighten her need for another companion.

It was now late the next evening, and Liulfra was beginning to feel a need for her human form. Although she was capable of remaining a wolf for much longer - indefinitely really - she preferred not to; too long and she began to wish to stay that way, almost forgetting that it was not her true shape. She glanced up at the night sky. The moon was high above the trees - a slim silver crescent. It would be new moon in just a couple of days, and she hoped she would be able to make the change sooner rather than later; although she was capable of doing so at any time, it would drain her strength more to do so at new moon that at any other time. During the week of the full moon she would be at her strongest, but she did not want to wait that long.

Shaking her fur, she stood again and continued along the slightly worn route she had chosen to follow, assuming that the chances of coming across human habitation would be higher on a route that seemed not exclusively for the use of animals. She moved quickly and quietly, relying mainly on her senses of smell and hearing. She stopped suddenly, raised her head and listened intently.

Voices. Human voices.

She had to stop herself from giving a yelp of excitement; instead, she moved quickly but cautiously in the direction of the noise, her paws treading softly on the worn ground, barely making a sound. As she spotted the group ahead, she moved off the path and dropped to her belly, moving soundlessly behind the cover of the shrubs that shrouded it.

Liulfra was very much aware that she had never actually seen a group of normal humans, but even so she was fairly certain that this particular selection was far from ordinary. In fact, they weren't even all human; the group seemed to include a surprisingly small lilac-coloured dragon, only a little taller than she was herself in wolf form, and perhaps twice as long. It would still be a challenge to fight - she licked her lips at the thought - but nothing like she had imagined a dragon to be. And she'd read enough books to know that they were supposed to be a bit more formidable than this one was, purple or not.

There were two women with the dragon - one probably a little bit younger than Liulfra, one rather older, perhaps around thirty-five - who she dismissed immediately, although she was interested to note that one of them seemed to be riding a flying horse; but there was also a young man. Probably about thirty. Rather pretty; not usually to her taste at all, but perhaps he'd be worth it. There were small lanterns on the backs of the horses - she wasn't sure how they worked, but they certainly didn't look like flame. She shrugged off her curiosity, and began to focus her mind to begin the change, but instead found herself listening to the group's discussion.


Wednesday, 9 January 2008


I have had a very 'meh' sort of day today. Firstly, we've been in between projects work-wise for the last couple of days, meaning that there wasn't anything specific to work on. Always a few stupid jobs to do of course, but they tend not to help when I'm feeling 'meh'. (Incidentally, 'meh' is a very useful word. I take it to mean listless, uncaring and altogether rather pathetic, but I suppose it's open to interpretation.)

When I have a day like this, I tend to try and do other things. Play silly games, look at some funny pictures and so on, do some re-reading on writing stuff in the hope that inspiration will hit me. Anything but actual work, much to hubby's disgust. Anyway. I re-read the last chapter of my NaNo and managed to scrape a couple of paragraphs together, then got pointedly called back to work. Didn't do much though. Spent most of today playing ChainFactor and repeatedly checking my email to see if my fanfic beta had got back to me. (She hasn't, but that's okay. I did after all take approximately two and a half weeks longer to send it through than I told her I would.)

I did manage to get a bit more done this evening though, which means that for the first time since mid-December I put in some decent time on my NaNo. Well, I say decent. 827 words to be precise. It's hardly what you'd call a lot, but it's better than it was. And now I've written a bit more, carrying on isn't quite so daunting. When you stop for a while - even just a couple of weeks - the momentum dies rather rapidly. With other things it's sometimes taken me months, even years to carry on once I've taken a break from writing something. So actually, this is a good thing.

It's also good (I think) that we now have a project to actually work on. It gives me some sort of focus. Unfortunately it's a rather broad and general kind of project, since the actual specifications are impossible and the idea is for us to just put together something that does the job. It's not fun, to be honest, but hey. Hopefully I can manage to get some hours in on it. At least it's something to do.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

New year, new records...

I decided that the only way I'll keep any of my goals this year is to actually keep a record of how I do, so today I created a new spreadsheet for just that. It's very basic at the moment - weight, exercise and word count. But it means that I can tell you that I wrote another present fic and some more of the fanfic I was working on today, with a total of 1307 words for the day. Which isn't too bad considering how little I got done over Christmas. I was away from home for nearly two weeks and although I managed a few rough drafts of present fics I haven't even looked at my NaNo since I last wrote here.

My goals, incidentally, are fairly basic.

1. Finish my NaNo.
2. Write at least five days a week. I'm realistic enough to know that I'm unlikely to be able to do it every day at this point. It doesn't matter what I'm writing - just write.
3. Do NaNoWriMo 2008.
4. Read some craft books. Just because.
5. Cook from scratch more often. I enjoy it when I do, and the food is always better that way.
6. Exercise. Hubby and I got an EyeToy game for the PS2 for Christmas, and it's fantastic. It's sort of like the Nintendo Wii, except that it's a lot cheaper and you don't have to hold on to anything. The game we've got includes bowling, volleyball, assault courses and various other less active things, and it's a great way to get just a bit more exercise.
7. Work a decent number of hours a day. Since hubby and I work from home, I tend to get sidetracked quite easily, which he finds very frustrating. It means things get done much more slowly than they should do and it annoys me as well. I rather wish I could turn off the internet while I'm working, but since we're a media and IT company it's very rare that I don't need to use the internet!
8. Eat. More. Fruit. And. Veg.

I think that's about it really. They're not particularly stringent - I know that if I set a specific goal I tend to flounder about and generally won't meet it. I'm just aiming for improvement, that's all.