NaNoWriMo, here I come!

X-Files fanfic cover in progressI mentioned in one of my last posts that I’m participating in NaNoWriMo in November, and I may be setting myself up for failure. Next month is ridiculous, schedule-wise, with each of us traveling for a week, and with Thanksgiving, and my tendency to edit as I write, I have no idea how I’ll reach the requisite 1,700 words per day. But hey, you never know.

Until a few months ago, the longest paper I’d ever written just barely crested 10,000 words, and it was a college essay for Canadian Studies about Pierre Trudeau; a fascinating guy in his own right, but not a particularly fascinating paper. I was known to drop college courses if the syllabus required any papers greater than 10,000 words, and I purposely chose a major that didn’t require writing a traditional thesis.

I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that interests me enough to hold my intrigue for 50,000 words, so the idea of writing a novel for fun seemed like an annoying way to spend my free time.

That said, I used to write all the time; poetry and short stories, plus blogging (before they called it blogging), but never anything longer than a few thousand words. That would require an attention span.

Speaking of things that do hold my attention, a few months ago I started re-watching The X-Files and reading the new X-Files Season 10 comics, and that got me thinking about the epic story arcs that show generated (and all the resulting loose ends). 2013 marks the series’ 20th anniversary (oh, hey, I feel old) so I’ve had this show on the brain, and I started thinking about a story.

I’ve written XF fanfic before, and hopefully it will never see the light of day, because I spent most of the stories thinking up excuses for the characters to fall into bed together. (In my defense, the sexual frustration in the first seven seasons is almost unbearable, even now, watching the show as an adult.) After a few nights of mulling over one particular plot idea, I got the crazy idea in my head to start writing fanfic again, this time with a storyline that doesn’t read like soft-core porn. I wanted to stay true to the original series and the characters, and follow up with the William story arc.

That fic is currently sitting at over 60,000 words. It still needs editing and beta reading and more editing, and I feel like I’ll be plucking away at it forever. But I did it, and now my life list is happy.

Write a novel(-length piece of fan fiction) — check!

I’ve outlined my ideas for the sequel, which I intend to be my NaNoWriMo project. Again, I tend to edit as I write, which is not great for speed, so I’m going to try to curb the urge to tweak every last word. I’ll try to write scenes as they come to me, rather than writing from beginning to end, then piece them together after the fact.

In any case, I’m happy to have a project to work on that’s different from my usual fare. If you’re writing this year, please be my friend on NaNoWriMo! I’m going to need all the motivation I can get.

crazy summer

What a crazy summer! When we do things here at casa de Moore, we do them big and we do them all at once. No screwing around.

Tim just picked up a fantastic job with Automattic, the company best known for WordPress and related deliciousness. It’s an amazing opportunity and we’re both a little in shock about the whole thing, in a good way. Tim loves the work he’s doing there, and so far he describes everyone he’s met as “the nicest people ever.” I’m so proud of him! And now whenever I have blog issues I have an official Automattician on hand to help. Win-win. 😉

Ellie started pre-school a couple weeks ago, and that transition is going well. The change of scenery hasn’t slowed her down. If anything, she’s on the go more than ever. I’m not sure what this “energy crisis” is everyone talks about, because energy sure isn’t a problem in our house, at least not for Ellie. Tim affectionately refers to her as “our little warlock”; we’re convinced she’s using some kind of Drain Life spell against us.

And then we’re waiting on baby #2 to make her grand entrance sometime in late August, which means I’m attempting to get all that work stuff and business stuff wrapped up. I would be perfectly happy if she decided to make her appearance earlier rather than later because truth be told, I am very tired of this pregnancy nonsense. Originally I said I’d try to soak up every last moment because there are no plans for more babies… this being our last, I wanted to be more sentimental about it. But right now I am overly hot, tired and uncomfortable and very much looking forward to meeting this kid.

Whose bright idea was it to have a late summer baby, anyway?

(Whenever I ask this question, Tim just glares at me and reminds me of all that whining I did back in October when I was convinced it would take us years to get pregnant again. Hah. Ahahahahaha. Baby fever makes me not so bright.)

I haven’t done much in the way of photos or illustration this summer, which is unfortunate (but not surprising.) Give me a few months postpartum and I’m sure that will change. Actually, I’m kind of bored with my current desktop background, so maybe that’s the motivation I need to doodle something today…

*chirp chirp*

new website design at calobee doodles!It’s been a bit quiet around here. I’ve been working on a new website for Calobee Doodles and that’s taken up much of my limited free time and concentration. Before Ellie, I could sit down and crank out a layout like this in a day, but now I have to do everything in 15-minute spurts. Ellie has much more important business to attend to, like singing infinite rounds of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and ensuring that every square inch of our living room floor is covered with Duplos at all times.

There had been little progress on the photography front until Saturday, when I met up with an interested modeling volunteer. The hardest part is finding people to pose for me, especially this time of year when the university has cleared out. But now we have a shoot tentatively scheduled for next Sunday, so I’m poring over my notes and trying to decide where to begin.

I think I’m going to try to go back to doing one shoot per month. When I originally set that goal a couple years ago, I produced a lot of work and felt really good about it, and it gave me plenty of time to prep for each shoot and still keep up with the rest of my crazy life.

And on that note, it’s back to the Duplo minefield!

shop business

numbers & fruits posterI am just now getting around to listing some of the new photos from last month in the Sixhours shop. I’ll be adding a few more sizes and variations in the coming days. Of course, you’re always welcome to convo me if you’d like a specific size!

And in Calobee Doodles news, I have a 16×20 poster of numbers & fruits that needs a home. It’s an extra from a shipping mix-up. It’s all boxed and ready to go, and I’ll even ship it for free! Head over to the shop to purchase if you’re interested.

my ego vs. mushy fruit

Etsy Front Page, 4/11/2010

It’s been a good week for business. This morning my shops were on the front page of Etsy, thanks to an excellent Maine treasury curated by atelierfrost. Prior to that, my “rescue” doodle was the Pick of the Week at Illustration Friday, one of my Firefox Personas is currently featured on the front page of the official Personas Web site, and to top it all off, I have a photo in the brand new Regretsy book.

Obviously I’m excited about the excellent press, but there’s nothing like a one-year-old to keep you grounded and living in the moment. Ellie doesn’t care about my self-perceived success, as long as I can still read “Hop on Pop” and sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” (both of which I’ve done, endlessly, this weekend). It’s hard to tend to an inflated ego when you’re scraping two-day-old banana off the floor, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve also been exhausted all week. Sometimes it seems like I can’t catch my breath with everything that needs to be done, and there’s always something new to add to the list. Thankfully, Tim and I managed to carve out a couple hours for a night out on Saturday. We decided to see Date Night with the idea we could use a few good laughs, and the movie totally delivered on that promise.  Steve Carrel and Tiny Fey have excellent on-screen chemistry.

We also hung out with Danielle, who got me off my ass when all I wanted to do was sit and stare at my computer until my brain melted and leaked out my ears.  Thanks to her, I had the excellent good fortune to try beer-battered asparagus (OMG so yummy) and lemon cake with pudding and berries. I am absolutely stuffed.

Tonight, I’m going to turn in early and try to catch up on sleep. Tomorrow starts another busy week!

IF and when

ellie n' meI’ve been participating in Illustration Friday over at the Calobee Doodles blog, and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s keeps me motivated to doodle at least one thing every week. Follow me there if you’re into that sort of thing!

We’re spending the weekend at my folks, but before we left, we tried to get some photos of Elspeth and I. Looking at her baby album now, you’d think she was motherless. But it was the end of a long day for all of us, Elspeth was restless and cranky and wanted nothing to do with this particular photo shoot. So here I am with my daughter, in the one picture that worked from a whole series of blurry, poorly lit and pouty (Elspeth, not me) photos. Many thanks to Tim for putting up with us!

well, at least they’re not two-headed

woodlandsI probably jinxed myself by writing my sick post so early in the season, but I spent the weekend sleeping and cuddling with my new friend, the toilet. The toilet isn’t all that cuddly, actually, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter. I think the bathtub is jealous of our new, special relationship, but I can’t say I’m all that thrilled about it. The toilet is kinda clingy and co-dependent, and I’ve seen far too much of him in the last two months.

And no, I’m not pregnant! I’m just unlucky enough to have the pleasure of two stomach viruses in two months. Yay, me. At least the toilet’s getting some action.

Before The Sick fell upon me yet again, I worked up this little woodlands doodle. I freely admit to tracing from a photograph the deer you see in the distance, because I got frustrated when my version looked like hunchback aliens with tentacles for legs. I was reminded why I don’t draw for real–like with pen and paper–because I suck at it! Yes, I’m an illustrator who’s totally dependent on Illustrator. There’s a reason I use the word “doodles” instead of “drawings” or “illustrations,” and Attack of the Killer Alien Deer from Outer Space is one of them. Frolic away, little woodsy creatures, knowing you’re safe from my poor non-existent hand-eye coordination!

free march desktop wallpaper

(Crosspost coming through!  Apologies if you’re seeing this twice.)

It’s that time again! I’ll admit this one isn’t particularly inspired, but March is not exactly an inspired month in Maine. It’s rainy. It’s gray. It’s not particularly warm when you factor in 40 mph winds. I’ll have something more exciting to offer come April, I’m sure. Until then, here you go: