Preptober 2019, week 1

I’m trying to juggle a lot this month, but @rachelbatemanbooks preptober challenge has a lot of helpful prompts to get the wheels going for NaNoWriMo 2019.

I’m not a frequent Instagram poster — and don’t really want to flood my account — so I’m just going to post this here weekly and link it from other social media.

October 1: All about me

As a writer, most of my published work is poetry or soft journalism. Though, I particularly love long-form speculative fiction, especially dark fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.

A few years ago, I moved back to my hometown in central Washington state. It’s been interesting. People assume things about Washington — and yes, I will always rock a flannel — but I live on the side of the state where the climate and people are often hateful. It’s a different experience.

When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, playing music, gaming, or otherwise making things. I have a deep love for cheesy horror paperbacks, eldritch horror, and historical novels. I’m mostly playing ukulele, melodica, and bass these days. I play D&D and I’m working on my first homebrew Call of Cthulhu campaign based on a cursed AU my booknerd friends and I created around modern day hipster versions of Thoreau, Melville and Byron (the hell trio). I also enjoy drawing, painting, making gaming minis, sewing, and knitting.

October 2: Planner or Pantser?

It varies depending on the project.

I often do some research and start outlining before I start drafting, but end up tweaking outlines as I get to know the characters and plot.

My 2019 project is set around the turn of the century and required some digging into technical info about different items (guns, instruments, mining/farming equipment) and area history. So, it has been more research than usual, which I don’t hate.

October 3: Your genre

My 2019 project is historical horror/dark fantasy. This project is the sequel to an earlier historical horror NaNoWriMo project set in the American midwest in the 1880s.

The story picks up around the turn of the twentieth century. The two surviving characters have traveled west, ultimately landing in Washington state. I’m writing what is in essence a period western, but with heavy supernatural and mythological add-ins.

October 4: Why you write

I write because I cannot manage otherwise.

I can’t even count the times that I’ve been DONE with writing — with art, with music — because I suck and it’s embarrassing and nobody gives a shit.

I admittedly have a lot of problems filling this human suit, but writing is one of the few things that matters to me.

I can escape into fiction when I can’t stand reality or dump my feelings into poetry when my emotions become too big to hold. It’s mostly survival, but I do enjoy the craft.

October 5: Goals

My only goal at this point is to finish this draft before the new year.

I have another dark fantasy series I’d like to edit in early 2020 and I want to have this story wrapped up so none of its residual headmess is hanging around.

October 6: Biggest distractions

My biggest distractions at the moment are finishing up an edit/rewrite of another project and Inktober — I’m also about to spend five days driving to Nebraska to meet my brother on his way back from South Carolina.

Next month, it’s going to be a challenge to bank a lot of words the first week or two, because mid-month I’m going to Seattle and Portland to hang out with friends and see some shows. I bought a phone keyboard and will be using my phone/Google Docs instead of the old laptop/Scrivener combo while I’m out of town — so that’s going to be interesting.

October 7: Week one check-in

I started reading “Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything” for some fresh ideas regarding early 20th century medical treatments.

Unfortunately, the “nicotine” chapter had a little story about a squad of Englishmen who prowled the banks of the Thames and intubated the assholes of drowned folks in hopes of resuscitating them. Which led me to create a imaginary folk band called Jean Jean Nicotine and the Smoky Buttholes.

I then decided I had to write a Jean Jean Nicotine song for ukulele, bass, and melodica: “It’s only fuckin’ vulgar if they put their lips on you!”

I am tired.

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