Kai Rho

New Year, New Thoughts

Happy New Year!  Feliz Año Nuevo! Feliz Ano Novo!

I’ve been a busy spinner this month. First I gave my brain a break by putting the “Tin Man” (TM) project on the shelf for a month. Need to get it out of my daily thoughts so I came come back to it in February with fresh eyes.

So what will I be working on?

I am going back to my monstrous multi-volume story “Son of War” (SOW). I left it in state of chaos last Fall when I focused my writing efforts on my NaNoWriMo project instead. Recently I began tightening the outline more and straightening the derailed plots this month. The characters in that series are very opinionated and have led me down many interesting paths. However this year I’d like to finally nail down this wandering series and finish the first volume by the end of year. It’s a daunting task for this huge series since any decisions I make in any of the volumes will effect the others.

I plan to return to TM in February and make some serious decisions on what to keep and what to dump. There’s also room for a sequel or two  if I write it that way.  I also have plans to finish the first draft of TM by the end of this year. We’ll see.


Written Out in 2011

Before 2012 hits me like a freight train I’m taking a moment to look back upon 2011 with pride and a smile.  I guess you can say that 2011 is the year I “outed” myself as a writer. In years past I’ve always kept my writing private and only mentioned it to a few close friends. The main reason for my mild secrecy is the content of my stories.

I’ve never been one to hold back or police my thoughts or opinions. I say what I think and if people don’t like it, then tough shit. So I’m that way in my writing too.

But most people I know don’t really know me and all my quirks. They like to think that I’m normal, which I’m not and never claimed to be. If they were to read my stories they might get a different opinion of me and start to judge me.

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have the people closest to me, get to know the real me. But so many are stuck behind unrealistic expectations and can’t accept anything outside the normal. Some would even think that I must be broken and need to be fixed. So in order to avoid all of that, I’ve kept my writing in my drawer.

But is that fair or honest?

Why should I have to hide who and what I am just because it would make others uncomfortable? I came to the conclusion recently that I should be true to myself, and let the rest be damned if they can’t handle it. That is why I launched this new website and blog. It’s my attempt to let everyone know me, gradually.

I’m not hiding under a bushel anymore. I’m letting my light shine for all to see. If you don’t like the brightness of my light then avert your eyes.


Prepping for the Holidays

Santa's a writer tooAs crazy as November was with late night writing frenzies, I’m taking it slow in December. One of the nice NaNoWriMo prizes was 50% off the Scrivener software (from Literature and Latte).  It normally sells for $40, so the 50% discount made it much more affordable for this starving writer. Also I am fortune that this software, previously available only for the MAC, was just released for Windows, which means I can use it.  Double good news!!

I already went thru the tutorial, though I did try to plow thru it on my own at first, being the tech-geek that I am. The tutorial was VERY helpful and it explained a lot of the features of the program. Granted I probably forgot most of them after using it for 10 minutes, but the tutorial and users manual are always there for me to refer to when I need to.

Write now I am transferring my story into the Scrivener program before I continue writing. I am about 60% thru the transfer and then I still have @ 20% of the story to finish writing. Using this program will help me to move around scenes and chapters easily. After only a few weeks using Scrivener I can tell you that I’ll never go back to MS Word.

With the holidays around the corner and the workload at my job picking up, I don’t anticipate being able to do much writing this month. I do expect to finish transferring my story into Scrivener and planning out the remaining chapters a little more before the end of the year.

I hope to make 2012 the year of the finished novel!


Writing the write way!

piles of paper

Is there a right way and a wrong way to write? Most people have their own style or preference. Nowadays most writers use computers and word processing programs. But even they have come a long way. Having the right tools can help your story writing process, as I learned recently…

When I started writing my NaNoWriMo story this past November, I began with MS Word. I wrote a paragraph thinking out the beginning, middle and end of my story. Then I fleshed out each sentence and created a general outline with important plot points. And then I added to the outline, subsections and sub-subsections detailing where I wanted the story to go.

Of course I always kept in mind that my characters tended to hijack the plot early on so I wasn’t married to this preliminary outline. It was more like the dashed white lines on the highway. They keep you in your lane so you can get to your destination safely but they don’t prevent you from changing lanes if you wanted to.

By the time my outline was completely detailed and ready for the meat adding part (ie: dialog, narratives and actual complete sentences etc) I had a multipage 1-2k document. Unfortunately this is the part where MS Word started to piss me off big time!! As my document grew the auto-formatting gremlins would come out of the wood work and start tormenting me. Since I was still essentially in an outline form, Word would try to indent and add numbers or bullets to my entries. If I highlighted a line over here it thought I wanted to do the same elsewhere. No! Did I tell you to highlight that section? No, I didn’t. Bad MS Word, bad!

And if I tried to use the Outline View to control how much of this big bulky document I could see at one time, it would crap out on me and turn every section into the same level and thereby defeating its own purpose. It was more than this ADD-enhanced story teller could handle. Aye aye aye!!!!!!

Then the clouds parted, light streamed down from the heavens and a chorus sang in harmony “Scrivener“. Yeup, I was saved. I found the way. The write way to write. More on my Scrivener experience on a later post.


NaNoWriMo Success!

Today I reached the 50k word target for the NaNoWriMo competition! This was my first year participating and I honestly didn’t think I had the time to dedicate to this highly intense writing tournament. But in the end I’m glad I did. I met other writers from the area and picked up some tips and techniques that have helped my writing improve.

Unfortunately, my story isn’t completed, even with 50k worth of meat on the bones. I will make my own personal goal of adding another 25k in December (at a more relaxed pace) and hopefully that should get me closer to finishing the first draft. Several other WriMos have mentioned publishing their work after they’re done writing and I have to admit to being charmed by the idea. But FIRST I have to finish the story before I can make any plans. So tonight I’ll go to bed at a more civilized hour and starting tomorrow I will start my trek toward the 75k total word count on my story “Tin Man”.


NaNoWriMo: It’s the 12th and I’m up to 16,829

That means I’m about 4k behind the pace. At this rate I won’t hit 50k until the first week in December. The culprit was my busy social schedule last weekend which kept me away from the computer. However I have made progress…

First my story has a new title “Tin Man”, but I might change it again before I’m done. The characters are all fleshed out although, truthfully, I did that last month (shhh….).

I have the outline completely done and I started adding meat to the bones. I have some dialog too but I’m not sure how much of it I’ll keep at this point. Adding dialog increases my word count but I don’t think the story is ready for that level of detail just yet.

Still it is some how liberating to let the characters speak freely without confining them to my outline. They tend to surprise me at times and I like that. But I have to be careful since my characters have been known to hijack the story and leave me out in cold.

Gotta stay on track. I’m hoping to get up to 21,571 by end of the day Sunday but that will be difficult since this weekend is another busy one. Maybe I can sacrifice sleep, it’s over rated anyway. Yeah, I can sleep next month.


NaNoWriMo 2011

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo this year … the National Novel Writing Month. Looking forward to crunching the keyboard at warp speed to hit that 50k mark. This is a fun event, a challenge really. This year I have a few friends also participating. If you’ve never done it check it out http://www.nanowrimo.org/. May the writing begin!


Movie: Dream House

I saw the movie “Dream House” today with friends, a suspense/thriller with Daniel Craig & Rachel Weisz.

*** spoilers *** It was an interesting story with a “chicken-or-egg” theme. My friends and I were debating whether Peter wrote the story first and the movie was just him living the story… Or if he wrote the story after experiencing the events in the movie.

*** spoilers *** It’s a good movie that keeps you guessing all the way til the end. Some parts I found predictable. Before Wil went to talk to the shrink at the nut house, I had figured out that Wil & Peter were the same person. But I like how they handled the wife and daughters. I thought they were live people the whole time, especially since they had apparently different names. It was worth the $11 for the ticket.


Launch all Vipers!

It was a dark and stormy night … no wait, the weather  net would have prevented the storm. Try again.

It was a dark and clear night … no, that won’t work either since we have a big moon in orbit reflecting the sun’s rays. One more time.

It was a bright and clear DAY… Hah! Take that!

Actually it IS really dark outside and it is night.  I am without a doubt a night creature.  I do my best thinking at night. I suppose that is why I hardly sleep … or perhaps I am a vampire … nope not a chance.  I also talk to myself a lot, gets lots of good ideas that way.  I can also take credit since one of me came up with it, so technically it’s not stealing. Besides I can buy myself flowers and feel better about it in the morning. 🙂

Well anywho … this is my first blog and my first post on my first blog.  I can’t write much here since I am also simultaneously … wow long word … working on a story on another window.  For reference it is currently called “Stoic” – title always subject to change. It is a story about a girl and her droid … no it’s not like that!

Since I doubt that anyone will read this post for a while, “Stoic” will probably be done by then. Check out my website for the full story coming sometime soon, I hope.

Going back to my story spinning now.


step into my parlor