December is Quiet Online

Norwegian style hat, mitts, and scarf I made for my MIL.

Norwegian style hat, mitts, and scarf I made for my MIL. The scarf is reversable.

At least for me, since I’m spending so much time preparing for Yule. I’ve been knitting almost non-stop since December rolled in. In November it was lots of writing and knitting, now it’s knitting and thinking. I am definitely going to get back to writing when things have died down and my Yule gifts are finished as this story desperately wants to be put down on paper. DESPERATELY. I think on it often, seeing what needs to change in order to make things fit, but knowing that as I write it, I will not go back to edit until it is done.

So this is a rather rambly post, please forgive me for that! I have been quite tired as of late. But I am excited for Yule, I have some things planned out this year for Mother’s Night, the Solstice, and then there’s the family Christmas dinner on the 26th, and New Year, and then another Christmas dinner with the Man’s family on the 3rd. I am thinking there are daily things to be observed during the 12 days of Yule. Nothing super ostentatious, but I am happy for it nonetheless. I am also happy for our first Yule season back with family, though I am missing my Vancouver chosen family and think of them often lately.

I suppose this is a catching you up with where I am at kind of post. Yep.

There is also something that is on the horizon for the next year that I am excited, scared, but really delighted about in a few different ways, that could come to pass for me. You will know when it is time, for now, it’s for me to let happen in its own time, that is if it does happen. I’m so vague. Good Gods, I should have just stopped this post before I started.

So as far as my Yuletide plans, there is some apple-cider jelly to be made, a gingerbread house and cookies, and some Scottish shortbread. Then I believe for New Year’s day, I will be making us some duck. Yum. I miss duck. But it truly is a treat. And right now, it’s knitting, mostly. So I shall get back to that and bid you à les dieux.

Late: Week 4 of NaNoWriMo

Yes, yes, I know, this is over a week late. I had a NaNo hangover! Also other Things have popped up, giving me much to think upon. Good Things, I think, but Things nonetheless.

Here is my excerpt for the last week of NaNo, yes, a week late.

I waited a few minutes, then got myself up, walking to the east where the sun had grown closer to the water. I walked fast, almost stomping. I needed to feel this anger in my body, I needed that thumping, akin to fighting. I sorely wished I had my weapons with me, that I could spar with someone. When it built up to bursting, I yelled out, my voice carried over the slightly rolling hills of the meadow.

Everything just boiled over in me, taking my entire being over, and soon the tears came again, of hurt, but more of the rage at all that had happened. I was so angry that my brother wasn’t strong enough to repel this being that inhabited him. I was angry that he took my father’s life and kept my mother captive, threatening her with torture. I was livid that this thing used him to enslave thousands of people, not only their bodies, but their spirits. And I was most angry that it made my brother commit such a perversion of our relationship, that it had ruined so much love we had had between us.
I surrendered to my anger’s will, to my sadness and despair. I surrendered to the fear I had of seeing him again. In time, as the sun was close to setting, I just accepted that Eberhard was no longer my brother, that my brother was lost to me. I accepted that I had my duty to perform, that it was needed, that while there were likely others who could see into their own cities and people controlled by this thing, I was connected to my city, connected to my brother’s body through blood. I couldn’t refuse my task when so many depended on us defeating this thing, I couldn’t hinder our chance at victory.

Picking Up Steam for NaNoWriMo

I am readily admitting I have had quite a few days of feeling like my story was crap, that my writing was crap (and I’m going to say that some of it is, that’s why we edit). Right now, though, I know that the story just needs to get on the page, the many, many pages. I am now only roughly 550 words behind, which I am very confident will not be an issue. If I only go for what the daily word count requirements just to hit the 50,000, that 550 words can spread out over the last 5 days with not even a second thought.

A big thing I know will be going into the rewrite is the more sensual writing that was happening more when I first began NaNoWriMo. It came easier when my head wasn’t so bogged down by this huge story that has landed in my lap. Like I said, right now is just for getting it down. It’s very much on the more basic side, the kind of he said and she said dialogues, and not enough detail of what I see in my mind’s eye. Also, once NaNo ends, I will still have over half the story left to write, so I am far from done, but I am still very excited about it. I found an app that I have been using this month, and will continue to do so, that allows me to track my writing word counts and set goals for specific dates. Since December is going to be busy time, I am aiming to get it all written by the end of January at the latest. Then perhaps I will be taking some time off from it, and then it’s time to edit.

What I also wanted to share is that Loki has finally come along in the story, though there were very brief appearances in the first third of the novel. How could he not be in the story when his brother is a main character? I’m enjoying writing him, his interactions with my lady main character, and am looking forward to writing his interactions with Odin.
What’s also interesting is that I am writing beyond the point that I had pre-planned, so I am just allowing things to come to me as they come. Of course the overarching plot is always in mind.

So I leave you at that, dear gentle reader. An excerpt will arrive at the end of this week. And to my fellow Wrimos, whether you will reach the goal or not, you still rock! You got some words out, and that’s what matters <3

Week Three of NaNoWriMo

Well, it seems this week went better than last, though I’m not really sure anymore. It’s all a mushy blur in my mind now. There’s no coherency except in the writing. And that is fine with me! The people who I speak to everyday know by now not to expect me to be incredibly eloquent anymore, I often forget what words to use. MY BRAINS IS MUSH :P But a happy mush :)

One last point, last night, I finally realized that I was only a third of the way through this novel’s story arc. It was a weird heaviness, but also added some kindling to the fire. While I am aiming for the 50,000 words for November, the entirety of this story is more likely going to be around 100,000 words, probably longer, depending on where the next two thirds of the story take me.

We walked our way out, down the long ramp and out the wide gates that were half closed. The sky was still so very dark, but it seemed like no drop of rain had come down yet. We wouldn’t go far anyhow, as I was completely clueless as to the lay of this land. Once past the fences, Gilli decided we needed a gallop, and we ran, the winds carrying our hair wildly. I let her run this way and that, not really guiding her at all. She stopped to look off into the distance over here, then ran over there to eat at some flowers. It was so nice to be out and doing something physical, and now that I had more time to look, I did.

There seemed to be a half ring of mountains, of which, we were riding in the middle of. Though from my balcony I could see only cloud at all times, from here, I could see the land now, and despite the dark clouds above, it was a green land, lush, I could see a small village much further down the slope of this meadow, and farmland surrounding the houses made tiny with distance. It reminded me of home.

I looked away before tears welled up in me. Gilli was now more interested in eating the flowers than running around. I let her know I was getting off, and jumped down. She stayed close, and I walked around, stretching my own legs. Then I began thinking, it felt like the first time in a while that I had had the time to do such a thing. I traced all the threads of events that had happened in the last few weeks, then searched for their beginnings before then. I knew it wasn’t possible for me to know the entirety of this thing, but I felt like something was missing, something I should already know.

I didn’t realize how lost in thought I had become until someone appeared before me. I yelped as I almost ran into him, his hands coming up to steady me, wrapping around my forearms.

“Are you alright?” he asked with an amused smile. I couldn’t help smiling as I caught my breath.

“Where did you come from?” I was exasperated, though couldn’t refute my focus had not exactly been on the world around me.

“From the village. I’m glad to see you out with Gilli. I’m also glad she seems to stay close by when you’ve lost all attention to the world around you,” his smile turned into a smirk.

“In the Witch-Tower”, by Alfgeir Starkhendr

Miaërowyn:

No words.

Originally posted on Freya: The Gold Thread:

In the Witch-Tower

Well I know Thee, Wandering One

Wending where Thou wilt

Yet when Thou goest by My gate

Gladly I will guide Thee hither

No grinning girl will I send out

To greet Thee, but I Myself

Will bring Thee the brimming brew

Sweet mead to moisten Thy mouth

And a kiss sweeter still for Thy soul

Come beneath My mighty boughs

Grimnir, come within My gardh

Greatly giving Thy three gifts—

Runes and Redes and Roaring Ale

So eager am I under Mine eaves

To welcome Thee warmly

Wide-armed and willing

Let Me lead through leafy bowers

Bring Thy steps to stony stair

Rising to My twisted tower

Tarry not amid My trees, but

Free from fetters, fearless follow

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Christmas is a cannibal!

Miaërowyn:

I cannot agree more with Jo! We went to the local big box store last night, and the dancing Santa, those terrible meaningless Secret Santa type gifts were shoved in your face, along with the entire store pushing it’s Christmas crack. I tried as best I could to drown out the music playing on the speakers. It is not Yuletide yet, it is not time to think about this. And people wonder why I don’t enjoy shopping.

Originally posted on Strip Me Back To The Bone:

For those of you not in the know: my day job is in retail. Now, thank the gods this is not a mall or department store retail job. Despite that, we do a brisk business for Christmas, and our merchandise planning reflects that. I know that the retail season is months ahead of the actual calender year, and to a point that makes sense, right? You don’t want your shopping options to only expand come mid-December, not with the way we all have to budget and plan and save, and stuff. (I mean, it would be one thing if these dates were fixed, right, because then there’d be the whole year to consider what was coming, but since they’re not . . . oh, wait.) Now, I know it seems like every year it gets worse and worse – though this year, I think at least at the place I…

View original 643 more words

Week Two of NaNoWriMo

Welp, this week was a lot harder. I’m now only under a thousand words over the daily goal. The difficulty seemed to ease up over the past two days. Le sigh. It was a slog, I tell you, a slog. I blame part of it on hormones (which usually make me unfocused around my moon time), and an icky stomach ache over the later part of the week (which I believe to be a wheat intolerance issue which has just sort of popped up to say hello… kind of like when a couple years ago, I was suddenly allergic to bananas. FML, I  WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, FRENCH BREAD!!!). Now I’ve begun excluding wheat things (I realized this comes right before baking season too….) and will check in about a month if wheat is going to keep being a jerk to my tummy.

Despite a kind of crappy week in a few areas, I have made good progress on my Yule gift knitting! Except now the store I got my yarn from doesn’t currently have the specific colour of yarn I need to finish one of my items. Yep, this is just not a great week for me, I have angered Someone, perhaps, or it could just be a time of things not going so well. Oh well, c’est la vie, non?

So I am posting a little excerpt, smaller than last week’s. This week has definitely brought me to the point where I was like “What the hell am I doing with these characters? Where the hell is this story going?” yeah, I lost sight a bit. Probably another thing to add to the list of reasons why my word count died. But I shall not dwell on it! I have big plans for this story!

Without further ado….

I stepped up to them, solemnly, and spoke before the closed gates.

“I wish to speak with my ancestors, the blood of my blood. I seek one who knows the spellsongs to protect, to keep evil from harming. With your permission, Hel, I wish to enter,” my voice rang out, echoing back to me in a distorted manner, as though many echos, or many people, repeated what I had said at arhythmic intervals. I stood before the gates a few moments until my voice’s echos turned into whispers then silence.

The large metal gates creaked open before me, not so much for need of oil, but the sheer weight of them rubbing against their hinges. I stepped through, and entered Hel’s realm. It seemed changed somehow, though I could not detect why I felt that way. I entered the gardens, a long pathway running from the gate to a massive hall in the distance. It seemed the same since last I had come.

The same twilight blanketed this land, the same hush and peace could be felt. The plants that grew here seemed healthy, blooms could be seen wherever the eye fell. The mounds were undisturbed, the lanterns that revealed small patches of the gardens glowed their dim greenish light. Yet something was different. Something was wrong.

That Is All

Though today was a rougher day of writing (took me too many hours to admit to get to my final count of 1899), I just wanted to share this song. It kinda sums up what my writing brought me. Yes. Assume there will be yummy sexiness in my novel, I’m very, very much a proponent for sexuality being sacred, being very much tied to ecstasy and those delicious mind-opening circumstances that happen when things get a little crazy, and of course, sexy.

I reiterate, Odin is in this story, how could it not get a little sexy?

 

Also, thank you, LA for introducing me to the Civil Wars <3

 

Week One Finished NaNoWriMo

It’s been one week of NaNoWriMo so far, and I have been on a role! After having successfully completing last year’s run, I already know I can write a lot, there is enough inspiration in me to spew forth All. The. Words. Why I chose the word “spew”, I do not know. Let’s move on.

I always do this to myself, but I have forgotten how much writing (among other creative endeavours) speaks to my soul. It may take a while for me to get into a scene, but when I hit the groove, I am basically going into a trance. And since this story of mine involves the Gods, I am also listening and feeling whatever direction they want me to go in. It’s been such an amazing exploration for me so far, letting this story unfold, letting things develop and present themselves in my writing.

I’m really enjoying describing sensual experience, the way my MC observes and experiences the world and people around her. This is especially true when she straddles the worlds. The one thing I’m still struggling a bit with is the characters, writing them complexly without making them contrary. Each day, I have ideas about all the potential paths the story could travel if my characters were “this way”, or what if they were a little more “like this”.  It’s only been yesterday and today that I’ve kinda begun to accept a more solid personality for them. I’m not worried about it not meshing with the earlier stuff I wrote though, that’s what editing and rewriting is for! Plus, keeping track of what I write every day in a plot map.

As much as I had planned in October, a lot of the plot has changed. The main plot points are still firmly in place, but the story itself has gotten so much darker than I originally planned it to be, but hey, Odin is one of the main characters, how could it not get dark and dangerous? Not to mention Who else will be popping in.
I’m definitely not regretting planning out as much as I did, it allowed me to begin exploring early ideas sooner, and for a few weeks before beginning. But it definitely seems like I need to sit down to write to see what’s actually going to happen.

Welp, I said I’d maybe post excerpts, and here is the first one! If you like it, let me know! If you think it’s a big pile of poop, also let me know! ;)

She was dressed as shieldmaiden now, a terror to see. Her hair seemed to flow as if in water around her, creating a copper glow as the sun shone through each strand behind her. Her eyes were furious, and their gaze bore into my very being.

It was as if every human part of me was being stripped away, my hopes, my fears, my loves, my memories. Each piece revealing the bones of me, the bones of her. I couldn’t have screamed if I had wanted to, she had taken my voice, my eyes, my ears. In a moment that lasted but seconds, and an eternity. I was before her, not seeing her or any of this world, just knowing it, viscerally. All of my flesh burnt to ashes, but I could feel those ashes coming back to me, reconstituting, rebuilding. My flesh clean, pure.

When I was whole once more, I stood before her, the rage in her steeled, she pulled out a short blade, sharp, and slid the point from the base of her palm to the tip of her middle finger. She took my right hand and did the same. She then grasped my hand with her own, and then I felt her moving through me as I moved through her. A flash of what must have been my ancestors so very long ago, being with these Gods, laughing with them, fighting alongside them, calling them kin.

I saw their marriages, their lovemaking, their children. Their blood flowed together, for generations. Both sides strengthened by the bonds, humans connected to all that was beyond their world in Midgard, to see that though their life was short on that plain, they would be reborn again and again, their spirit immortal. The Gods able to enjoy each day as it came, viewing their long lives with the eyes of a mortal being’s, allowing themselves to not become indifferent and stagnant.

Inspiration

So the first two days of writing for NaNoWriMo are over (actually, I could still want to write later, though I don’t want to burn myself out). Today is also a “longer” day, cuz of daylight savings, you know. Anyway, it’s been pretty great. I have written just about 5000 words today alone (I also wanted to catch up since I didn’t meet yesterday’s goal since we had a family thing).

I love the beginning of things, I am a good starter of projects. My problem is when I’m just over half way through and things seem to dry up and become a slog for me. The well can’t always be full, and that’s fine. And sometimes we also need breaks, which is also fine. But I do know my patterns, that’s for sure, they have become increasingly clear over the last few years, especially as my memory has gone to crap. Ah well… I always endeavour to do better, and am not too harsh on myself if I take longer than I would like.

But back to happy writing things, I am really enjoying writing this. I still have to get a better hold of who my main characters are, who I want them to be and how they need to interact with each other, but the other details are coming through nicely. Some new developments have already come about, deeper plot roots, and some not so nice things that will eventually happen.

Needless to say, I feel inspired, and happy to be finally writing the damned story, FINALLY! After all my planning. Perhaps next time (I may do my own “write a novel in a month” periodically, or at least one other time during the year), I will only start planning one month ahead, instead of two.

I’m also not letting myself get caught on things I know don’t sound like I really want them to, and I just keep plugging. It’s a first draft. It’s going to suck in places, probably the better part of it! Especially seeing as I am not usually a teller of my own stories.

The one thing that has made me a little apprehensive is that I am writing about Gods, the main character must work with Them in order to save Midgard and the livelihoods of all beings of the 9 worlds. No she’s not the sole savior, there are others who are like her (I don’t like the sole savior thing). But back to my apprehension, the character of Odin in my story is so far quite different from what I feel most people see him as, but I do know there will be some shifts from time to time to the “Odin” most know and fear. Alas, I’m just going from what it seems He wants to be seen in this, as a character, and as an aspect of Who He can be. Let’s face it, He can be Anyone He wants, He has but to put on the mask.

There will of course be many travels to quite a few of the 9 worlds, magick, and I already know if I enjoy this story enough, it will move beyond the Norse pantheon. This has been quite a different experience from last year’s, and I’m excited to see how well it goes. I want to know this story, all the details I haven’t glimpsed yet.