Well, “that happens in November,” you say. But one of my strongest impetuses to get start writing again, and to starting this iteration of the “dan blog,” was my being in National Novel Writing Month this past November. And, so, as part of returning to the writing life, I am going to occasionally update Overland Passages on my fiction writing progress.
Get on with the story, Dan! I have participated in NaNoWriMo four times and am 2-2. Only once was a crash and burn though, but really 2-2 only means nothing if they just sit around and do nothing. But the future is the key. So here are my NaNoWriMo entries in order from oldest to latest:
Landing. Two sisters take their demented father for a last visit back to the long lost family ranch. Along the way they run into a cyclist who is just slowly pedaling into the future.
Nano Reno. A picaresque in the style of Cervantes’s El colloquio de los perros, in which a small dog a la Coco is launched on a picaresque journey that brings her to Reno.
The Ballad of Ray Gone. Ray Gone is living a quiet life, stealth camping in the Carson Range and watching the jets go by, when a backpack of money and a pistol fall in his lap and things start to get hairy.
Where I Am. A man decides to begin walking through a landscape that is entwined in him.
So what happened above. Well, with Landing, the idea was from a dream, and I am very unsure that I treated dealing with a demented parent the way I would want to write it. But it has material for sure, and my first project needs to be to get back to reading it again. Nano Reno, this could have been a winner, but I had a file problem that took the wind out of its sales (and it’s still missing text). But I will always love this story. The title is unfortunate though, trying to make a play on NaNoWriMo is a not a good idea, but I love this story (and I have to say I like its “cover” the best). I don’t know if anyone else would, but that doesn’t matter because I do. On The Ballad of Ray Gone, things were going OK until he got down into town where he was supposed to meet the noir femme fatale, but she was so flat and stilted that the whole thing fell apart. And on Where I Am, never really got a title, but I really enjoyed writing it and I feel that when I do get back to it, at the very least it will have some material. But overall, I don’t know, it’s just too soon.
So I’m gonna read Landing and I’m gonna go back to Currently-Untitled-Formerly-Nano-Reno. To sweeten the pot a bit for my readers, here’s an excerpt from Landing: a_brother_comes_home. I made the PDF when I was just learning InDesign, so that’s why it looks as “official” as it does, it really is just a draft. If you read it and want to make comments, I would love that (well, most likely). Please leave them in the comments section.
So if these are just drafts, that I haven’t even mostly read, why do they have covers, you ask. Well, NaNoWriMo says that your chances of winning go way up if you make a cover, and I enjoy designing them, so that’s where they come from. They were all designed on my iPhone with a program called Typic.