NaNoWriMo Day 5 Recap: That Feeling When…

This is my first year writing directly into scrivener; previous years have left me embracing the austere familiarity of Word for my writing needs. There, all my words were collected into a vaguely linear (ideally) jumble, and one simple counter at the bottom of the screen tracked whether I was on target or not.

It wasn’t robust.

It wasn’t customizable.

I never managed to fuck it up.

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NaNoWriMo: Day 1 Recap

Between the Philadelphia NaNo group’s midnight online writing kickoff and a lovely in person gathering at a local coffee shop Sunday afternoon, I closed out my first day of NaNo with a respectable 5,200 words. You might be hearing that, running some quick mental math, and realizing that I’m already past the Day 3 goal of 5,000 words. It sounds really impressive, but most of what I’ve written is meatless fluff and I’ve got a few no-writing days at the end of my month so I’ve got to get ahead early on.

Anyway, here’s a working sketch of one of my main characters, Ben. He’s come up before, but this is my first time exploring his formative years, the factors that shape him into the man he becomes. It’s been challenging to approach him as a fifteen year old boy after a few years of knowing him as a man in his forties. Teenagers are complicated!

This is a character creation questionnaire I’ve been tweaking and using for a couple years now; I can’t recall where I found the original but I like the way it makes me think of my critters.

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NaNoWriMo: Character Creation Mode

It’s November first. NaNoWriMo is upon us and I have a working idea (unless I scrap it at today’s write-in, like I did last year). When Brian got home from work at 7am I dragged myself out of bed for the world’s earliest brunch (at that hour it’s just breakfast, don’t try to trick me) on the condition that he let me blather about my ideas and shoot holes in them for me.

He’s exceptional at shooting holes in ideas. I should rent him out to others for a fee.

This time he just side-eyed at me and went, “It sounds like you’re giving your favorite character all the best gear. He gets all the ancient relics! Everyone else gets… I don’t know… pointy sticks.”

What do you mean he can't just be 10s across the board?

What do you mean he can’t just be 10s across the board?

I don’t think there’s anything at all unreasonable about a teenage assassin in love with creature comforts like drinking and gambling, at a Victorian-esque boys’ boarding school, caught in a web of spying and duplicity and deceit! He has weaknesses–he’s rebellious, has a major problem with authority, is arrogant and a bit selfish and a clever manipulator. He also thinks he’s smarter than he is, and gets too deep into a plot beyond his reckoning.



Let’s face it–the only way this character could be cooler would be to be female (note to self). 

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The Seven Year Itch



One week remains until the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, and all of my gadgets are trying to explode. Apps are mysteriously disappearing from my phone. My laptop is irritable about basically everything. In what seems to be a grand conspiracy that others in panicked stages of NaNo prep will corroborate, only sweet, welcoming Netflix is working properly. Am I doomed to fail at planning this year?

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Feigning Diligence

It’s October and here I am, excuses in hand and apologies for months of neglect. I’ve been busy in other things–in addition to my photography (NSFW), I’ve also launched an Etsy shop called Saint Drusilla.

Guess how many hours of CW teen dramas this took me!

Guess how many hours of CW teen dramas this took me!

It’s mostly knitted goods right now, but I’ve been busily adding to my stock, drafting patterns, making things, shopping for notions, photographing products, and working up compelling ad copy. If you’ve ever seen me around town/at some kind of NaNoWriMo write-in or party and wondered about my comically oversized scarves and accessories, chances are I made them.

Me, pretending I can wear anything light colored without ruining it (did I mention these are washable)

Me, pretending I can wear anything light colored without ruining it (did I mention these are washable)

These look so professional until you learn i cut them out individually with scissors.

These look so professional until you learn i cut them out individually with scissors.

So I’m juggling a season of halloween portraits, handcrafting, general life stuff, and now NaNo prep! As a result my thoughts are really scattered, and some days I throw my hands in the air and decide to make bread instead (spoiler: it’s an excuse to run the oven and hang in the warmest room of the house).

But onto writerly crafts and NaNo prep.

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Kunt Fu: The Legend Continues, A Sequel to Bringing Unsexy Back

Within mere hours of posting Bringing Unsexy Back, my mailbox was inundated with people offering words of comfort about how it was only a matter of time before I “get my groove back.” Fresh on the heels of my realization that I’m prone to unintentional rudeness, I made every reasonable effort to be polite to these well-meaning dudes, several of whom mistook my humor as lamentation.

The following night I was shooting a show. I got into a conversation with some of the other bands on the bill and handed out business cards for my photography (featuring megababe Scarlett Storm). One guy looks down at the picture and goes, “Is this you?”

Left: My babealicious business card. Right: Actually me.

Left: My babealicious business card. Right: Actually me.

I get that at some point all tattooed girls with dyed hair look the same but really? I’ve got 8″ and 80 pounds on Scarlett. I could wear her around town like Master Blaster (in fact I’m gonna suggest that to her).


You’re probably expecting a non sequitur, but my own father has been tripped up by the above scenario as well (at least the model in my previous business card had *ahem* similar proportions to me, and was before my more visible tattoos). I awarded myself congratulatory points and a PBR pounder for scything through a man’s flirtation attempts with an uncomfortable anecdote about the paterfamilias.

Another guy struck up a conversation about hockey, only to spot Brian nearby and blanch with alarm. “Are you with him?”

Can we not talk about hockey anymore if I am? Because the Devils had an ugly year and I have a lot of feelings.

At another concert while paying my bar tab, some dad-type sidles (yes, sidles) up beside me and announces, “You did good out there.” I was confused because I hadn’t done anything but stand around being one of ten women at a Mudhoney show in this, the year of our lord 2015. At my visible confusion he added, “I was watching you from the balcony. You did good.”

Swallowing my bile at the notion of being watched (note to men: try “I saw you,” because it sounds much less frightening than “I was watching you.” You’re not Sting.), I managed, “At what?”

Annoyed that I didn’t immediately moisten at his obvious and magnanimous compliment, he sneers (yes, sneers), “Whatever. This ain’t my first rodeo.” I am still confused by the entire exchange.

Then there was that time at the local Starbucks, where one of the nice young baristas with whom I share friendly conversation goes, “I haven’t seen you in awhile.”

With Bond-esque sesnsual savvy, I replied, “Oh I’ve been here, you just haven’t seen me!”

Make my coffee please, gentleman, that I might return to the bushes outside where I apparently spend all my time creeper lurking. Observe my sexual tour de force.

And a stranger call me sexy on tumblr–finally, an opportunity to comically shut down men from the comfort of my own home via the internet! My bitch face refuses to rest, folks, whether you can see it or not.

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