Write Night 2018

So. I’ve been thinking. Always danger, I know. Usually, when I think I have a good idea I take a couple Advil and go lay down for a nap, and by the time I wake up the idea doesn’t seem as good anymore.

Whether it’s because I thought of this idea while I was meditating, or perhaps I didn’t follow my usual advice and take that Advil and a nap, I’ve sorta dedicated myself to this idea of Write Night 2018.

Write Night 2018, Saturday, June 3rd-Sunday June 4th. What this means is an all-nighter. An all night writing marathon. 7pm to 7am. Of course, breaks are a good idea. Food is also needed, and lots and lots of coffee.

Why do this? Well, if you must know (and of course you must, you’re here reading this to find out), it’s because of a few reasons.

  1. I start a ton of pieces I don’t finish and then skip around from one to another trying to figure out which one to finish. Write Night is a moment to finish. That’s what Write night is all about. Get as many pieces, as many drafts done, as you can. This might just mean finishing those last 6000 words on that novel you’ve been avoiding (that’s not me) or wrapping up the plot thread of your first volume graphic novel (that’s me) and maybe finish revision a couple short stories (also me). The point is, NaNoWriMo exists for people to write 50,000 words in one month. Write Night is the other part of that. It’s all about wrapping something up.
  2. I just haven’t had much dedicated writing time as of late. June 3rd-4th is my first weekend when I don’t have to get up and go teach high schoolers on Monday. I want to celebrate with a huge writing marathon!
  3. Maybe some people will take notice. Probably not the first time around, but this is something I’d like to do every June. 1 night a year. Write Night. I will be live streaming myself–maybe on Twitch or something. It will probably be a pretty boring stream, but that’s not the point. It will be 12 hours (more or less) of writing time. Maybe other people will join in some day. Maybe not. But this should be fun, and difficult. And I love both of those things.
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5/25/15 The Golden Sea

The tall grass rustled in the wind. The golden stocks sweeping clean the horses flanks as the line progressed as one. The tinkling of metal mesh armor, the creak of the leather straps upon their boots. The procession bobbed rhythmically with the gait of their steeds; they move as if each man was within a small boat, and the high golden grass, the sea at sunset. The ground was uneven and the tread of the horses was slow. The sun was growing low in the west casting long shadows that flickered on the moving grass.

Each man clasped a sword at his side, some had a crossbow slung about his back. There was no sound but the  men and the wind.

 

XXX

 

They knew this ground well. They knew it because they were part of it. They had ran the field a  thousand times in day and another thousand during the pitch of night. They had ran it with their pounding feet and within their dreams. They knew this land, it was theirs and always would be.

The dark men ran in single file, lithe and sure of foot. They carried small bows and crooked knives,  roughly cut from obsidian. Their skin was dark, their eyes keen. They peered through the lessening light with a pure perception of what nature held.

The man in the lead raised a hand to shoulder height and they all crouched as one, quickly and without sound. He sniffed the air, nostrils flaring like a galloped horse; a floating seed caught in the breeze wafted by. The tribal man reached out a hand and deftly caught it. He held it to his nose, his eyes.

“There are men, and horses,” he said in his own language.

“Where?” said another with black paint smeared upon his cheeks in vertical columns.

The leader did not answer the the question directly. Instead he looked at his younger companion, his commonly rash protege. “Let Muniek tell us what she may see,” he said.

The man with the marked face produced a small deer skin pack that had been strapped to his back. Loosening the ties, a birds head poked out from the opening—eyes covered with flaps of leather. The leader of the group drew the falcon out gently, careful not to hurt the bird in any way. It bristled at his touch, wings stretching, flexing, its love of flying about to be realized. The man who held it lifted off the leather flaps about the bird’s eyes. He then slowly raised it to the sky above. It took to the air without hesitation. Up it flew, high into the sky.

“They will know that we are close,” said the man with the painted face.

 

XXX


A woman, not far from the golden field, moaned in pain, her stomach bloated with child. The matron of the tribe stroked her dark hair methodically, whispering gentle encouragements in her ear. A third woman entered through the leather flap in the tent and knelt at the mother’s splayed legs. She carried a wooden basin filled with cool water from the spring nearby and several rags that the matron used to dab the sweat from the labored Sedinda’s forehead. She pushed—the moment of birth nearing.

11/2/14

In honor of NanoWrimo:

 

Let us write. Let us be right. Let us writer in the mornings and each day when we come home. Let us plan our days around writing. Let us spend the hours we should spend every day of our lives on the idea of plot, the concept of character, the tightening of tension.

For this month let’s turn off our iphones. Lets close facebook, google+, and Twitter. Football season will still be there when you return. For this month lets pretend we are Hemingway, or Conrad, or Hawthorne–anyone who wrote such books of astonishing brilliance. Though things have changed in the lives of writers we still face the same dilemmas of craft. We still juggle the plot and characters. It is no matter whether we struggle with these ideas on a screen with a keyboard rather than pen and pencil, snicker-snacking typewriters. The struggles of craft remain.

Let us write first thing in the morning. The last thing during the day. Let us write as though it is our full time jobs and we are getting paid. Putting in the time is all you need. Set a schedule, leave the bars to those who can not see the end. For it is only 1 month out of the year that this event you can attend. But that isn’t quite right? There is something off with that logic, mainly the fact that the event is you and without you there is no event. So what’s to stop you writing every day. Everyday 1,600 words? One doesn’t need NanoWrimo to get you there. You only need discipline.

Let us gather in the IHops of the worlds. Let us hide away in dens. Let us slouch over our keyboards and listen to the snack-snack-snack of the keys. Let the sun meander along its arc. Let the moon do as well. Let the stars come out, let the wind blow, let the temperature plummet to cold below. Gather blankets. Light a candle. Let the stars wink overhead. Let clouds roll in and rain begin to fall. Lay your head down and set your alarm. Tomorrow you go to work. You’re novel is calling.

 

I completed NanoWrimo in 2011 and 2012. Both stories were quite rubbish, but only because I was a very new writer. The most helpful thing NanoWrimo did for me was to show me what good writing habits look like. Making time to write everyday–even if just for 15 minutes is what makes writers great in the end–and what makes a person a writer at all. I’m going to post a NanoWrimo guide I wrote last year in the hopes that it will inspire and be helpful to those participating this year. An important thing to remember when you are thinking, “This story is horrible,” is this: you can fix anything, but you can’t fix nothing.

 

again:

 

You can fix anything, but you can’t fix nothing.

 

Those are words I heard from a writer named Flip Kobler, and I believe them to be absolutely correct. To me, finding that something that can be fixed is what NanoWrimo is all about.