NaNoWriMo 2019
Did someone say NaNoWriMo?

It’s that time again! Autumn shifts the color palette in many parts of the country, and Orange is the new Yellow as October dawns. You know what that means…

We have survived another trip around the sun. This blog turned a year old at some point last month, but more importantly, October means that National Novel Writing Month is at hand.

I have to confess to a degree of ambivalence this year. There is no wrong way to participate in NaNoWriMo. Some people use it to write something entirely new (the original premise of the 1999 event, and a “rule” for more than a decade). Others use it to continue or finish a work already in progress. Some dive into the online forums with gusto, while others steer clear.

Me? (Get ready for a healthy dose of irony!) I participate as fully as I can in the in-person social activities. You may disbelieve, if you like, but I really like engaging with the people… most of the time. From time to time you get your Real Writers™ who look down their noses at genre writers and those with no aspirations to publish. But mostly, the people who do NaNoWriMo are in it to have a good time and maybe lose their minds with a massive goal and a fixed deadline to reach it.

So what’s that ambivalence? Well, on the one hand, see above. Ready to dive head-first into a new novel I have no real plans for just now, just a premise. Psychic guy, dead woman, and their attempt to solve her murder together. The only “rule” of the world I have in mind at the moment is that the dead do not have a memory of how they died. So she won’t be able to describe her killer to him… she has no idea. (Trying not to be so graphically violent in my writing this year — we’ll see how that goes.)

On the other hand… well, I guess it comes down to change. I do not like change. This year sees a major site redesign, and so far it’s… we’ll call it “challenging” to navigate. Much of the site seems to be broken, in fact. In my profile, you will see over 1.1 million words written. You are also supposed to see how many times I have participated in the event. Sometimes it says 1. Sometimes it has the correct number of 14. Yes, that one’s minor, but it’s consistently inconsistent. It also means if I visit someone else’s profile I can’t be sure if the numbers the site is showing me are correct.

Plus, both of my region’s municipal liaisons have stepped down, and the person taking their place does not seem capable of handling the responsibilities. She has said a number of times that she has specific anxieties that will prevent her from doing her duties. Why would she sign up for a “job” (volunteer as it is) she’s not capable of doing? Then again, without her, we would be without one, so I guess I can’t complain TOO much. We’ll see how she does before I really go off on a tear.

With all that said, however, bring it on! I have my premise, and as a “pantser” (someone who wings it and writes whatever comes into the cranial void) that’s all I need. Well, that and for the calendar to flip over to November so I can start.

Meanwhile, there is a thing I’m thinking about doing, but I will have to have it ready prior to November to be able to make it happen. Knowing my propensity for the lazy, it is best not to go into more detail than that, just in case it falls through. Again.


(You know… since I’m not actually writing at the moment.)

Minor progress. I have made it through Orange Book. I have changed things in the prologue. I recall how boring this part of the process was for Seeing Red, and I am procrastinating at an alarming rate. I had intended to have this book out into the world before September (the anniversary of Seeing Red’s official publication), but here we are in October.

I’m thinking this won’t actually happen until January. At the earliest.


Gateway 2019 was a rousing success, in spite of a distinct lack of Pathfinder at the con. As I said in the last entry, I wanted to play the adventure path with my game group rather than in an Organized Play setting.

My friend from work joined me at the con for the weekend, which was a real treat. We played a bunch of game shows together. That same company who brought Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune After Dark to OrcCon were back. This time we played Press Your Luck, Match Game (though we did not make it “on stage” for that one), Now You See It, and Dealer’s Choice.

We also joined the Steve Jackson Games folks for some “player’s choice” games in their repertoire. Among them were Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice, and Port Royal.

My gaming friend who organizes the Thursday night thing was there, and he put on a seminar about “blinging your games” on a budget. I went to it to support him, but I can tell you that none of the things he talked about are in my wheelhouse. At best I can condense games by using off-brand zipper bags. It was interesting, though. He gave some really good advice for people who can do those things.

The last thing to talk about at Gateway was that my work friend and I actually got to play with the Dized app. This is an app I backed on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, by a company who wants to toss the rule books out and teach games while you play. In most cases, that’s not possible, because someone at the table (often me) has to learn the rules first. With the Dized app’s tutorials, you can open the box and start playing.

At the moment there are only three tutorials live in the early access. They will be releasing the tutorial tools to game creators in the next few months, and then we expect to see an uptick in tutorials. But my friend and I checked Kingdomino out of the Game Library at the con. I loaded up my app, and we followed along while Dized taught us all we needed to know about the game to get going. There was even a score-keeping feature at the end of the game’s tutorial!

If I hadn’t already been sold on the need for this app (which I was), I would have been right then and there. I did not even LOOK at the rules, but I know how to play.

As far as general gaming stuff, the monthly game day has not quite been what I want, because one of our number keeps having life things happening. So no Pathfinder there, though the rest of us did play a random scenario in Pathfinder Core just to tide us over.

Our next Game Day is scheduled for the end of October. I don’t know if I will survive that long.

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