What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Or, The Absentee Blogger

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

#NaNoWriMo is upon us. I haven’t blogged since June. Why do I think I can do this?

For those who are unaware, November is National Novel Writing Month. All over the land (the whole globe now, really) people will be sitting in front of their keyboards staring at blank screens, shutting themselves in rooms, ignoring their families, or pacing their living rooms searching for the next great turn of phrase or plot twist that will propel them from writer’s block to manic writing frenzy. Most of them have never written anything approaching a novel before.

For the record, I have. Nearly twenty years ago, I had approximately 200 pages of a novel that were saved on my computer. And only on my computer. That computer was stolen. And that’s all I want to say about that. It’s still kind of painful to think about. Needless to say, I haven’t made that mistake a second time.

Since its inception in 1999, NaNoWriMo has evolved into an international non-profit organization. Those who participate are not left alone, in the cold, in the dark, to stumble through a 50,000 word marathon. There are tips and guidance along the way, online resources you can tap into, and ways to measure your progress that include unlocking badges and achievements as you march steadily towards your 50,000 word goal and your 11:59 p.m. November 30 deadline. It makes it far less intimidating and far more doable.

So, here I am. On the verge of officially registering. When it appears to every Lemonade Stand regular (are there any of you left after so long?) that I have been unable to piece together 500 words in nearly 5 months. Well, I’VE BEEN BUSY. No, seriously. I’ve been pretty busy. The consulting gig is really starting to take off. I have signed three new clients over the summer, and also have taken on two more volunteer positions.

Photo by FlirtyPix.

Photo by FlirtyPix.

I was super excited to be involved with Girls of the Con as they celebrated their 5th anniversary with a huge party at Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta during Dragon Con. We jumped from that straight into a community partnership with Synchronicity Theatre as they staged their production in the rolling world premier of Lasso of Truth by Carson Kreitzer. It portrays the true (and very kinky) story of Wonder Woman’s creator Dr. William Moulton Marston, his wife, and their lover. If you aren’t familiar with Marston and the Amazon Princess’s origins, you need to read this article and then buy The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore.

In addition to Girls of the Con, I’m building out a WordPress theme for a self-help blogger and Clinical Psychologist-to-be, as well as assisting the Clan Macneil Association of America with some aspects of their new site. In keeping with the Scottish heritage theme, I am continuing on as the Georgia Branch Deputy Commissioner of the Clan Gunn Society of North America, and will soon assume the responsibilities of Website Chair for the St. Andrew’s Society of Atlanta.

Please support your local non-profit arts coalition!

Please support your local non-profit arts coalition!

The Geek stuff continues (naturally) as I am still the Director of Development and Social Media for The Artifice Club. The Executive Director and I were recently interviewed. In the spring of 2015, we will begin a massive undertaking – reimagining, redesigning, and rebuilding the website from the ground up. It will be an entirely new concept, unique in the Steampunk community, and much needed. It is also extremely ambitious and might just be a game-changer. We’re all pretty excited about that.

After two years of resistance, the Track Director finally wore me down and I have accepted the position of Communications Manager for the Alternate History Track at Dragon Con. For those keeping score at home, that is the largest fan Track at the largest fan convention in the world. And I’ll be in charge of the social media and communications logistics. I’m an introvert. A BIG one. This should be interesting.

And now for something completely different – I am also a newly-minted sports blogger. Over the past few years I have become a pretty big fan of Mixed Martial Arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. So naturally, as a blogger, I like to read blogs about the things I love. There are some good MMA blogs out there, MMAWeekly and SB Nation’s MMAFighter being my favorites. Bloody Elbow, also hosted by SB Nation, is pretty good. But they all lack a strong female advocate voice.

There are female MMA writers, and sometimes they write things I like. But I often get the impression they don’t really like what they’re writing about and think they would probably be happier immersed in a different sport. Maybe one less bloody. Anyway, I pitched a series of articles to Medium’s The Cauldron and was accepted as an author. My first article should publish soon, and of course I’ll post a link to that here.

I may have left a few things out and there will certainly be more coming my way soon. I have at least three other clients on the radar, and I am still getting calls and e-mails from recruiters. So, in the midst of all of this, yeah – LET’S WRITE A NOVEL!

Photo by Bob Condotta.

Photo by Bob Condotta.

An idea has been kicking around in my head for a while. I need to get it out. This month is as good as any. It’s about a blogger (duh), it takes place in the Pacific Northwest (because of course it does), and there are murders. The blogger doesn’t get murdered, but all of the victims look like her. She is often stalked and harassed (because she’s a woman on the Internet with an opinion, naturally), and one night has a close call with – possibly – the murderer. She suddenly has a very real interest in solving the case. So she does. Maybe. This could be a series. We’ll see how the first one goes.

There may or may not be supernatural elements to this. I honestly haven’t decided on that yet. Because of the setting, our protagonist being a slightly awkward nerdy female, and there being an element of romance, I am really trying to avoid anything close to Twilight fan fiction. Because I really hate Twilight and don’t want to be associated with it in any way.

So there you have it. You’re all caught up now on just what exactly I’ve been doing with my life for the past few months and what I might be doing for the next 30 days. NOW; to register on the NaNoWriMo site and get started… See you guys in December!

 

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