Posted in Writing

IWSG—December odds and sods

The last Insecure Writer’s Support Group meeting of 2018 is today. The IWSG virtually meets the first Wednesday of each month, and gives participants a chance to share struggles, triumphs, quandaries, and fears.

I won my fifth official NaNo (eighth counting books I began in November and retroactively added, with honest wordcounts). As an overachiever, I always feel I could’ve done better, but I’m thrilled to finally have a six-figure wordcount in a NaNo month. This is much more representative of what I know I’m capable of, a far cry from the 65K embarrassment of 2016.

I officially listed my project as Volume II of A Dream Deferred, though I wasn’t quite done with Volume I when November began. The wordcount also includes the story I wrote for IWSG (which had 1,200 words taken out to keep it within the 6,000 upper limit, then had the space for 900 new words to be added in), as well as about a dozen blog posts and the journal entry I wrote for George Harrison’s 17th Jahrzeit (death anniversary).

Most of it ultimately came from Volume II of A Dream Deferred, however.

Part I ended up with 55 chapters and 484K. So far, Part II is at 99K. I fully recognize some of what I added during NaNo is space-filling garbage, clunky wording, etc. I immediately excised some of it after C&Ping it into my master file for my 2018 NaNo wordcount, but I left most to deal with during future edits.

I still do expect Part II will be somewhat shorter than Part I. I also finally settled on titles. Part I is Bright Light, and Part II is Black Rain. All the paired titles I had in mind related to the atomic bomb. This pair seemed the most like story titles, as opposed to, e.g., Hypocenter and Epicenter.

These are the Wordles for the first draft of Part I, and Part II so far:

To make sure I had November free for NaNo, I finished my final edits of the front and back matter of Journey Through a Dark Forest in October, tailored for each of the four volumes. As soon as NaNo ended, I set them up for pre-release and wrote summaries for each (expanding where needed from the ones on its info page under About My Russian Novels).

The covers are close to what I’d always envisioned, forests bathed in darkness, shadows, a sense of foreboding.



I had the unfortunate experience recently of getting an offer for a guest post for someone who turned out to be a member of the Woke Stasi. She no-platformed me after discovering I haven’t swilled down the Kool-Aid like she has.

I never heard back from her after trying to open a dialogue with these few talking points, proving yet again these people don’t want dialogue. They only want to scream their POV as loudly as possible until everyone capitulates or thanks Big Brother for stopping the beatings. Or perhaps she didn’t know how to respond with anything but cult-like catchphrases.

I wouldn’t have wanted to guest blog for anyone who demands ideological purity and 100% political agreement anyway, or who thinks valid criticism, honest questions, and different opinions are hatred, bigotry, literal violence, and opposition to basic human rights.

Has anyone ever no-platformed you from a guest post? How would you react if something like that happened? Did you do NaNo? What was this year’s experience like?


I started reading at three (my first book was Grimm's Fairy Tales, the uncensored adult version), started writing at four, started writing book-length things at eleven, and have been a writer ever since. I predominantly write historical fiction family sagas/series. I primarily write about young people, since I was a young person myself when I became a serious writer and didn't know how to write about adults as main characters. I only write in a contemporary setting if the books naturally go into the modern era over the course of the decades-long stories being told over many books. I've always been drawn to books, films, music, fashions, et al, from bygone eras, and have never really been too much into modern things. If something or someone has appeal for all time, it'll still be there to be discovered after the initial to-do has died down. For example, my second-favorite writer enjoyed a huge burst of popularity in the Sixties and Seventies, but he wrote his books from 1904-43, and his books still resonate today, even after he's no longer such a fad. Quality lasts for all time.

12 thoughts on “IWSG—December odds and sods

  1. Good job on NANO! Sorry about the no-platforming, but it might be better in the end. If someone can’t dialog with you about something, I wouldn’t really want to appear on their blog.


  2. Your word counts are amazing! Congrats on getting all that down.

    I’ve never been told not to guest blog, but then again, it’s not something I’ve done much of anyway. It’s too bad that person didn’t want to get into a reasonable debate. It would be good if more people were open to reading other viewpoints. Then they could agree or disagree based on something more than a knee-jerk reaction.


  3. Your word count is amazing. Congrats on winning NaNo. Re: the no-platforming. You’re better off. Best wishes for a great month.


  4. Wonderful Nano! Congrats!

    I tried but didn’t even get off the ground this year. November was not a good month for me, but December is looking up. And there’s always next year.

    Re: the texts,you were very rational and measured in your response. I’m surprised/not surprised she didn’t contact you again. Sad.


  5. Your winning word-count puts mine to shame. I barely scrape the 50-60k mark each time I do NaNoWriMo. Sorry to read about the no-platforming – I feel that you raised some valid and crucial points that need adult discussion, not silence.


  6. Congrats on your NaNo success! You seem quite prolific.

    As for the rescinded invite, it’s a tough climate we’re in right now. For so many years, a lot of good people said nothing when they heard racist or other discriminatory remarks, and now we’re all being urged to SAY SOMETHING. This can result in a hair-trigger approach. While I’m strongly for human rights in general, I took issues when a POC of color on a forum said that only POC should write about their issues–this was referring to the Standing Rock protests, where indigenous people were fighting against an oil pipeline on their land, and journalism in particular. To say only indigenous journalists could cover the story was narrow-minded, IMO, and would limit mainstream coverage, which would only strengthen the impression that non-indigenous people don’t care about indigenous issues, and limit understanding on both sides, particularly the non-indigenous. As a journalist, am I supposed to say no to any assignment unless it deals only with my race? I thought that was ridiculous, but I basically got called out for being a colonist and a bunch of other nasty things.

    On the other hand, there is so much bigotry and ugliness right now that it can be difficult to tell those who want a genuine dialogue from those who are just coming to scream “SJW!” and “Snowflake!” at you the second you offer a different opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts respectfully

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s