Tag Archive for nanowrimo

Good Luck, NaNo People

It’s National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. While I hoped to participate this year and write Sick Day, other contractual obligations and the work on Lie with the Dead¬†are telling me “not so much, Mike.”

But it’s cool. Every month should be NaNoWriMo, especially when I already have work to do.

That said, good luck to all of the official participants. It’s a huge undertaking, and may you all find 50K words of bliss at month’s end. To supercharge your month’s keyboard time, I recommend you give Chuck Wending’s “The Inkslinger’s Invocation” a read. Heck, read it daily if you have to. It’s good stuff. Make you feel like a goddamn textual tyrannosaurus, just like me.

It’s that or spend your days with goofy YouTube videos like this one @Seriousfix sent me.

Your choice.

Me, I’m gonna pound some keys.

Rock on. \m/

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Disorganized & Discombobulated

I’ve always been an organized chaos kind of guy. My desk tends to be covered with paperwork, for example, both at work and at home. I also keep tools nearby, be it computer repair gadgets, note-taking and outlining tools, or photography gear. Most people look at it and see a mess, but to me I’ve got everything close at hand.

The problem with a “system” like that is the moment you fall behind, the piles get bigger and quickly overwhelm the rest of the office. Following the events of the past few months, I now have two offices overflowing with crap.

Disaster Area

This is where the bodies are hidden

The organized chaos then becomes an impediment to productivity. My home office then starts to feel like a burden rather than a blessing, and the day job starts to look overwhelming. It doesn’t help that the kids sometimes play in my home office, thus adding to the mess, and at work I just came off the busiest time of year, the start of the school year. Pretty soon I look around and don’t even know where to start, and I’m tempted to just turn on the television or open up Firefox and veg out.

I’ve finally had enough (again). Clean-up started in the home office yesterday and at work today. By the end of the week I hope to have an After picture that looks much nicer, and maybe a picture of the home office that doesn’t make me look like a total slob. Old books that didn’t sell at the garage sale will get packed away so the bookshelf will be neater. Old electronics — in both offices — will be hauled to recycling. All the old paperwork gets tossed, shredded, or burned, depending upon their content.

I’ve only made small dents so far, but it already feels a lot better. I kept telling myself I’d get to them after the major projects I’ve been concentrating on, I’d get to it when I have time. The problem with thinking like that is there’s always another major project. If it’s not rolling out computer images, it’s installing a lab or preparing for testing. If it’s not the Winter Kill sequel, it’ll be Sick Day or Chimaera. Time to end that backward thinking.

Any other writers out there in the same boat, it may be a good time to join me in the fall cleanup because National Novel Writing Month is a week away! I’ll be wrapping another book so I won’t be eligible this year, but best of luck to those of you participating. Start stacking the deck in your favor now.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

NaNoWriMoreThanLikely

Next month is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), and I’ve been conned persuaded to try it again.

The idea is to write 50,000 words of a new novel. No continuing something that’s already been done, no rewriting an older piece. Outlining ahead of time is okay. I’ve tried it a few times in the past, but November’s always been a rough month schedule-wise and I never managed to pull it off.

Things are a bit different this year, though. For starters, I’ve got several friends (including most of the folks attached to Evileye Books) who are going to take a crack at it, so there will be a little more competition and encouragement going around. I’m also coming into the high of Winter Kill‘s imminent release and I’m feeling the creative rush of preparing for my next projects, both for The Pack and for other works. Finally, it’s high time I brought another novel to market.

Powerless is… languishing. Maybe it’s been sitting in the brain too long, but I’ve had a tough time getting up the energy to get back to it. I’ve also lost all confidence that it’s any good, but I suspect that’s a subjective opinion. I’m not ready to call it dead, but given it’s not eligible for NaNoWriMo anyway, I’m going to move on for now.

I’ve got two candidates for NaNoWriMo: Wounded Gods and Sick Day.

Wounded Gods may sound familiar to long-time readers, as I first developed it as a comic. After kicking it around a while, I realized it could easily be a prose novel, and the only reason I pitched it as a comic in the first place is I was trying to continue off the launch of Werewolves: Call of the Wild. It’s set in the Vietnam War and focuses on the conflict between a couple of soldiers and includes a supernatural element.

Sick Day is an idea that hit me over the summer as I read a few crime/thriller novels. I bounced the idea off a friend who digs on that sort of thing, and he gave it two thumbs up. This would be a straight-up thriller, possibly in the vein of what I was doing with Muy Mal and including a hint of the supernatural. Hell, maybe I’ll even set it in Port Ransom.

The advantage of Wounded Gods is it’s already plotted. I wrote a first-issue script and outlined the remainder of the mini-series, so it wouldn’t be tough to start fresh with prose and cruise along. Sick Day is still little more than a general idea, but given the concept, it could be a lot of fun to write. Decisions, decisions…

I’ve got two weeks to figure it out, and maybe to take some more notes. I also have an OGN script to deliver and a book to proof. Best get crackin’.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Revisiting Goals

We’re just about halfway through the year, so I thought I’d revisit some of the goals I’d set for myself for this year.

Goal 1: Cut 20 more pounds by October 1st.

So far not so good, but I’ve still got all summer to run. The knee is feeling better, so I may give it a shot next week after we get through this week’s karate review and the extra practice I’ve been putting in to prepare for it. I actually ran home in the rain today with a loaded backpack and didn’t feel any knee pain, so with luck the track won’t give me any more trouble than that.

Goal 2: Make Nikyu in Shuri-ryu Karate-do by Halloween.

That’s 2nd degree brown belt for those unaware, and I can say so far so good on this one. I had a setback during the previous review because I made some mistakes the first night and missed the second night due to a family incident. This week I was able to finish the process and I should receive the first of three stripes required to hit Nikyu on Thursday. If I bust my ass practicing this summer, I can still make it.

Goal 3: Complete 25 themed photos by December 31st.

Uh oh. Unless I make them all karate-themed, I’m in big trouble. Between the writing in general, the setback with the graphic novel, work, family, and of course karate, I haven’t made time to surf Flickr groups or read the snazzy photography book I bought, much less take the camera out and about. Maybe a karate theme is just that simple a solution, with portraits and pics like my Karate Moleskine (below).

Taken with my old camera, but I still dig it

Taken with my old camera, but I still dig it

I’m glad I revisited these goals now, as there’s still plenty of time for all three if I put in the effort. But that’s the whole point of goals, isn’t it? If I can still get the immediate writing commitments completed, I can also participate in National Novel Writing Month this year as I hoped. It’ll take some effort, but it’s not impossible.

Too bad I don’t have a Staples easy button.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Year to Come

Was there any doubt that writing would be a huge focus this year? Didn’t think so.

I solidified a relationship with a new publisher in ’08, and our goal is to do a mix of comics and prose work. It’s still too early to announce specific projects, but I’ve written most of the script for the first graphic novel and have the outline for the first novella ready to go. We have two properties we want to develop with the prospect of a third on the horizon. I’m itching to tell you more, but I really need to get some work in the can before either the publisher or I will be confident enough to make anything public.

Last month a small press publisher contacted me about a novel. I promised to send him what I’ve written of Powerless after I clean it up, which will be this week. It will also be pitched to Otherworld Verlag, my German publisher. Wish me luck.

The Top Secret Book is back on the path to publication, so I need to finish the novella that will go along with it. The publisher had asked that I not announce the publication or publisher, which worked in our favor when certain delays appeared. We’re going to have to stick to that policy until we have a release date.

My next goal, of course, is to get to the point I can actually announce these damn things. After that, the goal is to actually have something to sell at conventions this year. Otherwise 2010 will be the year I finally start reevaluating this whole writing thing. A secondary writing goal for 2009 will be to participate in NaNoWriMo in November. A lot more than previous deadlines and commitments affect that, so I’ll have to take another look at my schedule as Fall rolls around.

On the personal side, I have the luxury of being a little more specific. We’ve been talking about the difference between dreams and goals (not to mention resolutions and goals) in karate class, and that difference includes deadlines. Dreams and resolutions don’t count for much unless you have a plan and a firm deadline, and since I can’t really apply deadlines to publishers and contracts, I may as well slap them on my personal goals:

1) Cut another 20 lbs by October 1st. To accomplish this, I’m going to continue my karate training and I will start running again this Spring. Yes, I could probably run when it’s colder, but it’s tough to say I actually like running yet so if I’m out there and miserable, chances are that goal will be toast.

2) Make Nikyu in Shuri-ryu by Halloween. This is 2nd-degree brown belt. My original goal was to make Ikkyu, or 1st-degree brown belt, by Christmas, but there may not actually be time to do so, even if I nail every review between now and then. As such, Nikyu becomes a good goal and affords some realistic flexibility. We have review next week, and if I pass I’ll be up for Sankyu, or 3rd-degree brown belt, at the end of February.

3) Complete 25 themed photos by December 31st. The 52 Weeks Flickr group project was fun, but I felt self-portraits were a little restrictive and I had a tough time keeping up. This month I’m going to find a new Flickr group to join, one with a rotating or more flexible theme, and make sure I take at least 2 pictures a month.

Finally, I’ll close with a dream: I want a bigger motorcycle. Eve is great, but she’s a bit small. This dream will solely be dictated by financial capability, so this may or may not happen and thus is not a goal. I’ll be keeping an eye on the classifieds, but I haven’t ruled out a new Shadow or V Star.

Let’s get the party started.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

NaNoWriMo

Since I’ve been asked:

No, I won’t be participating this year. I’d be an idiot to try it.

Maybe next year.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Question of the Month

Two people have asked me if I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. My answer went something like this:

AAAHH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, deep breath. Seriously.

AAAHH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Um, no.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.