A to Z 2016 : NANOWRIMO

A to Z 2016 : NANOWRIMO

Welcome to the 2016 A to Z Challenge on I, Jak! This year's theme is 2016 Highlights, where I will be blogging about things I have been looking forward to this year, whether people, places, or things. Some have already occurred, some are currently happening, and others are yet on the way.

Some topics may be a bit generic (occurring annually), while others will be specific to 2016, so come take a look!



Hello…? Is there anybody out there…?

*Slaps laptop… static continues*

Testing… 1… 2… 5…

*The static fades some, but there still remains frequent moments of clarity failure when it resumes its fevered pitch*

NOTE: I started writing this post in Dec 2013. It was meant to be written well before that, and has since undergone many changes in its development. Originally it was meant as a misleading, emotional post where I pretended to be seemingly fed up with blogging and saying my final goodbyes, but then I merely say goodbye to my hair (which I had just gotten cut at the time) and an old belt that broke (and eventually due to timing, my car). There was then a rough patch where I thought it would possibly represent the departure from a relationship. Eventually I did stop blogging, and cut myself off from a handful of relationships, so the tone went from playful to very personally emotional.

I had planned for this to be my final post for The Cryton Chronicles — in its current form — and in a way it may retain that denotation. At least in terms of personal blog posts. I plan to continue posting trailers and participate in blog hops, in the meantime. I will highlight where I picked this entry back up to complete it with a *** marking.

It’s been well over a month since I’ve last written anything. The day before Thanksgiving 2013, to be precise, though technically I was still working on my NaNo pieces around that time too. NaNoWriMo 2013 was a failure overall in my mind. Sure, people may say that since I actually wrote 15k words (or possibly 20k since I stopped updating towards the end) it was a success. In that, they wouldn’t be wrong. The writing of any words, especially in my case, is an achievement one shouldn’t scoff at. Though the more pretentious, holier-than-thou types may.

Fuck ‘em. Pricks.

It isn’t so much the word count (and definitely not the reaching of the 50k word count goal) that registers this past NaNo as a failure with me. More so, the breakdown of the original NaNo group, consisting of members I met in 2012 — which greatly helped in the encouragement of writing during the challenge. The odds are, had I not met all of those individuals and created friendships with them (which waxed and waned over the past year), I wouldn’t have come close to reaching my goal. Perhaps I would have skipped NaNo altogether, as I had in the years past.

I may have never began blogging or dabbling again in fiction writing, resulting in a block being allowed to continue it’s twelve year reign of terror, frustration, and depression. Despair. It’s hard to explain the feelings derived from undergoing an experience like writer’s block — an experience many claim is mythical and impossible. It wasn’t (isn’t) make-believe to me.

But NaNo 2012 did happen, said people were met and became loosely connected to my life from that day forward. I did reach 50k words. I did begin blogging. So far that burning urge to continually put words to page still exists, even if I haven’t written at a capacity I had planned for the past eight months. Chances Hopes are that it never completely fades, but to it hadn’t during the twelve year block, so it stands to reason it wouldn’t now.

Coming out of NaNo 2012 I felt more vibrant and empowered, a bit more confident in my writing, regardless of how wretched I thought my 50k were. The first few months into the new year were full of various meet ups and gatherings (some writing based, others not), which was a desire expressed by many of the NaNo group.

Then time passed, and as it passed, so too did the honeymoon phase. It may have been felt more on my end. As is natural in most social circles, couples inevitably drift and bond closer to other couples, while singles are left, more or less, out of the loop. Then couples get married and/or have children, bringing them even closer to those couples in similar life stages. Being a single male and all, I felt I identified less and less with others in the group. Feeling as though I had no real place among them, being inched out little by little. Whether real or imagined, it seemed the path taken and choices made by a handful of those within the group solidified that feeling.

Anyways, I feel myself getting off track, as I’m so oft to do…


NaNoWriMo 2013 was different. There were hardly any gatherings, and the majority that were made were canceled. There wasn’t much encouragement among friends. Sure, I could have attended write-ins and met an entirely new group of people, maybe creating similar friendships as I did back in 2012, but that’s not what I wanted. If I were to meet new friends, it would be while spending quality time with my original writing group.

No dice.

Needless to say, by the end of NaNo 2013 I felt pretty much on my own. This lead me to follow through the process of making that my reality.

It can be really hard to differentiate intuitive feelings from worries and fears stemming from assumptions rooted in insecurities. Sometimes incredibly hard, and I’ve expressed some of my close calls in the past — of disconnecting from loved ones and the world at large — when I wrote more frequently about my personal experiences; when I wasn’t strictly posting trailers or for blog hops.

But I felt I was following my intuition and went through the process of disconnecting from almost the entire NaNo 2012 group, deleting over half of my Facebook contacts (though, oddly I left everyone on my GChat. To be fair, I rarely use it), and deciding to take a hiatus from blogging. Slowly some people have resurfaced in my life, but it’s been on a case by case basis.

During my hiatus, I focused my time elsewhere, but if I had to be honest, never budgeting it optimally. Time management is an area I lack in, unfortunately.

I eventually found my way back to blogging via the A to Z Challenge this year, as some of you know, but already find myself behind as usual; a factor contributing to my hiatus. While I may be back for the blog hops, I feel my time here will be brief. This doesn’t necessarily mean I will be done with blogging and/or writing, but that it may not be done here. Time will tell, but I will likely give more information about this departure at the appropriate moment; when more certain of my plans.

So, this is essentially my “goodbye” post. To my hair, belt, my car, friends — old and new (online and irl) — but thankfully not my current relationship. Though, admittedly, as readers begin to connect who is who, feeling I have the freedom to discuss various aspects of my relationship(s), whether positive or negative, becomes much narrower.

In case it’s never been said enough, I just want to thank each and every one of you that has ever taken the time to stop by and read my ramblings here at The Cryton Chronicles! You all are awesome, and if I happen to make an attempt at pastures that may not exactly be greener, but newer, I will be sure to let you know.

I pinky swear.

I will end this entry with a brief poem I wrote during NaNo 2013:

Remember, remember
The 9th of November
Thinking themselves sly
They cast forth that fateful die

Regardless of thoughts or deliberation
Soon the time will be at hand
For all to bear witness in anticipation
Exactly how that die shall land

Have you ever had moments where you wanted to completely disconnect from the people in your life and/or the world? If so, have you ever stopped yourself from following through with it? How? How did you re-associate with those you disconnected from, if at all? Have you ever wanted to move somewhere and attempt to completely restart your life? Have you ever transitioned to a new blog or website host? If so, what were/have been the pros and cons?

A to Z 2014 : RECAP

(An A to Z 2014 Challenge Entry)

Today I’d just like to go over some of the posts I’ve made during the 2014 A to Z Challenge. Whether missing them, or new to the blog, feel free to check them out at your leisure. If feeling even more generous, I won’t hold it against you if you decide to “like” or “+1” any and/or all of them. No judgements here… If feeling chatty, you are always welcome to strike up a comment or three, whether here or on the original post.

So, here are my personal picks among recent entries:

ABSENCE - It’s always good to have a return intro.

CREATIVE COMMONS & FORBIDDEN ALCHEMY - Two entries focusing on creative hand-crafting projects I’m involved in.

MOMENTS - A brief, light-hearted look highlighting exactly what the title says.

NANOWRIMO - A small sampling of unedited fiction pieces from past NaNoWriMo events.

Are there any posts during this A to Z Challenge that you care to share and/or highlight? Leave them below in the comments. Any important posts in general that I may not have had the chance to read/comment on yet?

A to Z 2014 : NANOWRIMO

(An A to Z 2014 Challenge Entry)

I have spoken about NaNoWriMo many times in the past. NaNoWriMo 2012 was full of very important, emotional moments and essentially launched me back into writing again. I reached the 50k word goal, began blogging, and in the process met many new people. It was incredibly successful.

NaNoWriMo 2013, however, was not.

It barely scratched the surface of what the previous year had delivered in terms of positive experiences. It was almost the opposite. Perhaps after having such an amazing first run in 2012 I had my expectation bar set too high? I feel it was the lack of people involved. This past NaNoWriMo barely anyone I had met the year before engaged in many gatherings together to write. When they did, it didn’t involve me (save for one). I felt these connections were the heart of NaNo for me. Without that, it was pointless.

Maybe if I had completed my first NaNo as a solo act, it would have been a lot easier for me. That just wasn’t the case, and so the lack of those connection greatly affected me. My ability to write, to want to participate, to give a damn. Sure, I still wrote (between 12-15k words I believe), but the entirety of the event was lackluster. The excitement was gone.

Most of my pieces haven’t been touched since, which is a shame. I hear this is pretty common. I don’t want to become part of this statistic. I would rather return to writing, editing, and finishing my projects. I decided to revisit some of the atrocious works, and thought I would share one from each NaNoWriMo I participated in. Each in their original, unedited form.

NaNoWriMo 2012

This first year I attempted to tackle a story that has been in my head for over ten years. I hadn’t written in over twelve. I remember becoming so frustrated with how shitty my writing was, and how all of the characters sounded alike. Eventually, things began to smooth out and characters stood out on their own from one another.

The specific piece (Fantasy/Adventure/Horror) I’m sharing is brief and from the perspective of one of the main characters in the novel. I feel it gives good insight into their state of mind, at that time, and hints at their storyline and the world they are involved in. I already have a fairly good idea of how this will be edited. Whether or not it will ever be used in the finalized version remains unknown.
That is all I feel at any given moment, on any given day. There is nothing out there in the world for me, with the exception of death. Continually hunted, continually misunderstood. This world is coming to an awakening it cannot even begin to comprehend. They are out there. Not only in the night, but also among us in the daylight. Camouflaged. Hiding within the skin of the living. Using them as hosts to partake in their ploys and whims.
There is a bigger picture. I’ve made mistakes thinking I understood it all. It runs deeper than I imagined, deeper than I could have ever dreamed. How long have they walked the world, manipulating it, controlling every aspect of our lives? Centuries? Since the First Dawn? Birthed with the fall of Heaven’s Star?
Who currently in power is not who they seem? Their grip on our destiny is too tight. We can choose to live as we want, but any opposition to their ideal is crushed. Eliminated. Hunted down and destroyed. That is what I am now viewed as. An opposition to their ideal. A threat.
My own warnings to the people I fought to save, falling on deaf ears. The masses blind to their own herding. Those remotely aware sit on still tongues.
Instead I am repaid with fear and ignorance.
I don’t seek recognition; fame. I’ve already paid my way in blood to show where my loyalties stand in this world. The sacrifices, all for naught.
Mankind has abandoned me. Demonkind hunt me. The dead haunt me.
There is no place to call home anymore, yet I keep going. Why do I continue on? What point is there to this all? Do I fear death so much? No, it isn’t that. These scars upon my my hand and chest are forever proof that not even death will embrace me.
A constant limbo.
There is an end, though. It is there somewhere off in the distance. A pinprick of hope. I can sense it. Feel it in the very center of my core, of my being. Some link connecting me to the realm of obliteration. I name it The Great Emptiness, because I know once it consumes me that is all that will remain. It just has to make its way to me. So I wait, and move. Patient. Silent. My day with death will come again soon enough. This time I will not fight it.
It is all I pray for.
All I know.

NaNoWriMo 2013

I honestly thought I would continue on my NaNo 2012 story, especially because it holds great importance to me. Instead, I went in a (almost) completely different direction, with a more modern story. There are supernatural elements involved, and it may tie in with another WiP, meaning a Post-Apocalyptic setting. The idea for this story came to me randomly about two weeks before November, so I decided to use it as my focus for NaNo.

“The body is in here.”
Brock took the cue and stepped past the door threshold. The bedroom was simple. Unmade bed, sheets thrown every which way. An oak dresser, some drawers opened halfway. Clothes strewn across the span of floor space available. There wasn’t much room, it was a smaller efficiency apartment.
Laying on the floor between the bed and doorway was a young male who appeared to be in his mid-twenties. He was half-dressed, body twisted slightly with an arm reaching towards the door as though beckoning for the strength to leave his mundane apartment, to die somewhere more worthy, and less embarrassing. More like begging. Definitely begging.
Brock took notice of a man fingering some random possessions on the dresser with a gloved hand. Detective Harris. “Detective Harris.” The man turned and locked eyes with him. Cold and devoid of humor, which matched his expression. He thought the brown in them would soften his gaze ever so slightly, but didn’t. He figured their past interaction may dictate some of the disposition.
“Why so glum, Harris? I thought you’d be thrilled to see me, it’s been so long.”
He didn’t catch Harris’s scoff, but he was certain it was there. “Not long enough, Lorraine. It could never be long enough.”
Brock continued, as though not hearing him. “Been almost a full two years, hasn’t it? Since the attempted Jack the Ripper copycat made his spree along the dock district? What a miserable sap that guy was. Feels like it was yesterday.”
Detective Harris’s gaze shifted to a third individual in the room. “Speaking of which. Imagine my enthusiasm when your pet project barged onto the scene with her ever charming greater-than-thou attitude. Could shrivel a viagra-induced hard-on in a heartbeat.”
A soft, sultry voice pulled both of their attention. “That’s to say I gave you a heartbeat before I knocked you flat on your ass, not caring which direction your prick lands, but secretly hoping down.”
Brock’s partner stood over the body, examining it with her hair dangling down in front of her as she partly bent over to get a better look. She tucked back a portion of her hair behind her right ear and gave him a glance. Those innocent-looking soft, blue eyes. He knew better.
“What do you think, Sasha?”
She flashed him a devious smile. There it was. “What I think is that this is one handsome guy. I’d give him a ride for his money.”
He could sense her anticipation in drawing out a reaction from him. He didn’t give her the satisfaction. He scanned the room some more and replied casually, “I have no doubt. He sure lived a less than glamorous life. I have my concerns about his ability to afford you.”
“True that… perhaps he would have deserved a freebee?”
“Would have?” he heard her give an exasperated sigh. “We are here, because of you, Sasha.” Brock attempted to avoid allowing his slight irritation to bleed into his words. “He’s still here, isn’t he? I need to know we aren’t wasting our time.”
“Right.” Sasha patted the dead man on his bare chest and straightened out. He caught her rolling her eyes at him. “Because we have so many more important things that demand our immediate attention.” He watched her take a step back to better survey the scene. “I definitely could feel the pull of this one as the process was taking place. Considering the distance, I was pretty sure this one was strong enough during Cross Over, almost instantly, whether in control or not. But,” she put her arm up to her forehead, feigning confusing, and finished with a valley-girl impression, “but like, now I’m like, not really sure, like, you know?”
“Yeah, yeah, he’s here. Jesus, just try to relax once in a while.”
“When I have time.” Brock ignored his partner’s disdainful mockery. “Speaking of time, time to leave, Mr. Harris. You know I’m not much for audiences.” He didn’t bother looking over at the detective.
“I’ll be outside.”
After the room was cleared, Brock asked, “Where?” Sasha gave a quick gesture, signifying the back corner of the ceiling. “Right, makes sense.” With a casual gait, he approached the body. Hmm, Sasha wasn’t being facetious. The young man was indeed healthy — aside from the dead factor. He definitely took care of himself, at least from outward appearances. Looks could always be deceiving. “Victim’s name?”
“Jordan Schopp.”
“And how aware is he?”
“Aware enough.”
“Alright then.” Brock gave the corpse one last look-over and took a step back. “Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?”
Sasha moved back and positioned herself in front of the door. “The floor is all yours, Boss.”
Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, how many and how were your experiences? Have you ever completed a Work in Progress (WiP)? Have you ever completely abandoned a WiP? How do you re-engage a project you’ve been away from for a long period of time?


-NaNoWriMo Hiatus-
Main logo.
June was the last time I posted an Interlude, and this seems as fitting a place as any. Over the course of a year, I’ve written many blog posts and a smidgen of fiction. I have done more writing this past year than I have in the twelve previous. This was all thanks, in part, to NaNoWriMo — a nationally sponsored event that encourages writers, old and new, to take up arms together and face the challenge of writing 50k words (novel) over the course of 30 days every November. I gave thanks to this challenge many times, especially throughout my earlier posts, and I will forever be grateful.

Well, it's November and NaNoWriMo is upon us (me?) again...

NaNoWriMo was more than just a writing experience — though a major one it was — acting as an outlet for me to meet other individuals who loved to write, create, and share similar interests. Over time, I made some really great friends, the contact with which extended beyond November and hopefully are maintained on a lifetime basis. I understand sometimes these relationships are short-lived and sputter — some already have — but the overall experience of those people was (and is) a very real and very important one.

I thought this year I would be better prepared, and have repeat luck in the connections with new friends. I don’t see my original NaNo group nearly a much as in those first months after the challenge ended, but I know they are out there, and I’ll likely see them again during this year's events/write-ins. As it is, I’m at a different place [in life] than I was last year. Having no car is going to make traveling to events a lot harder. I’m not yet comfortable with public transportation, so I will have to rely on others for rides, which I dislike asking for. I will try, though.

I’ve already missed the Kick-Off event, though I had a ride, due to a mixture of other factors. The venue being the biggest. It was sad to miss out on meeting so many new people, but having to spend X amount of money to attend the event after having already spent an evening out with the Ladyfolk wasn’t very appealing to me. I’m a starving artist!

Logo/promo from days of yore...
There was the belief that I would have a sound writing plan for this year’s novel selection, but that plan never developed. I was left stressing over what exactly I would write. I still am, but at least I now have a gentle grasp on various options. In fact, I think I am straying from the standard “novel” goal and dabbling in multiple projects. These include Blog Entries, Movie Reviews, Short Stories, and even some Novel Projects. This is because NaNoWriMo has always been more about writing for me than it has been about finishing a novel.

If I can get the words to flow, I will be happy. Whether I hit the 50k mark again or not.

I’m hoping by focusing on writing Blog Entries I can finally get back to my “roots” so to speak, focusing on topics of a more personal nature. This was the original intent for The Cryton Chronicles, and while I understand things change, it’s an aspect that is important to me that I want to maintain. Some heart-pounding, mind-altering future blog titles include: “Every Day is Exactly the Same”, “Of Friends and Lovers”, “Buried by the Sound”, and the most notoriously avoided blog post — deftly escaping creation since the A to Z challenge — “The Wolf”. Aren’t you just amped up with excitement and anticipation?! I bet…
This years logo/promo... I can dig it.
So, tonight is the Count Down to Midnight event, and I’ve been internally struggling whether I should attend or not. If I should bother attending any write-ins this year, or if I should attempt to just focus doing it all from home. These are emotional insecurities influencing in a negative fashion, but sometimes I feel there is some stock to even those… or maybe that is what they want you to believe? I should probably give it a go, because I already skipped the Kick-Off, which I was originally excited for up until ten minutes prior.

Oh fickle emotions… Better buck up. As I said, November is here and once more into the fray we go…

A poem from The Grey.
This means my weekly entries may be put on hold, as I focus the majority of my attention towards those elusive 50k words. This includes the lovely 10 Things of Thankful blog hop. We will see what I can muster in the following weeks. It’s bound to get a bit neurotic. In the meantime my biggest worry will be whether to nap or not before Midnight chimes in the chaos.

Until NaNoWriMo concludes, I will do my best to keep this in the back of my mind:

I'll try... I'll try...
Have you heard of and/or participated in NaNoWriMo? Are you participating in the 2013 Challenge/Event? If so, and you use their site, feel free to friend me: Jak Cryton. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?