#3DNC Journal

Please don’t read this. If you do, you will think we are all 7 years old.

 

3DNC 2015

Friday, 4th September

 

7pm    Sorina & Betsy arrive at the Coffee Pot

Welcome back to the lush mossy carpet & vaulted ceiling of leaves! Welcome back to the brook singing to itself, to the fire that leaps up in greeting. Welcome back to the work & the madness, the music & the silence, the fellowship & the competition. ~SH

 

7:?? Je suis le monde. ~SH

 

7:??pm

Q: How do you know when your bagel is done toasting?

A: When it bursts into flame. ~SH

 

8:32pm

The bugs are murdering me this year. ~BG

 

9:08pm

“Nothing is wrong with a little cleavage.” (Sorina) The camera promptly focuses on my chest. ~BG

 

9:10pm

It was a bright and shiny day. ~SH

 

9:10pm

“I don’t suppose you’d be the best person to ask for death metal quotes?” (Sorina) ~BG

 

9:28pm

Sorina has checked off one square out of 585 on her novel-planning spreadsheet. ~BG

 

9:30pm

“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single box in the spreadsheet.” (Sorina) ~BG

 

9:52pm

“Let’s listen to the Jupiter Symphony after Angry Birds. Never thought I’d say those words!” (Sorina) ~BG

 

Saturday, 5th September

6:36am

Woke up. ~BG

 

6:37am

Me too. ~SH

 

9:58am

Oh, come on, characters; it’s too early in the morning to be using such profanity. ~SH

 

11:47am

Went on a walk up the powerline, bathed in the creek, put up the screen house, and are now eating lunch and getting back to writing. ~BG

 

12:10pm

“Don’t say that! That’s really dirty!”(Sorina to a character) ~BG

 

12:20pm

Not enough verbs. ~SH

 

12:21pm

“Last year, Marian & I were talking about donuts and men…” (said Betsy) ~SH

 

1:30pm

Finished Chapter one! ~SH

 

1:51pm

Heard from Nadine that my Mom is in the hospital again. ~SH

 

5:20pm

Mom is home. They didn’t find anything wrong. ~SH

 

5:24pm

Finally finished one page of my spreadsheet – 39 out of 585 little boxes. 7,845 words. 42 pages. Not bad, I guess. Today’s goal: 10,000 words, 3 chapters. ~SH

 

5:31pm

Scrivener random name generator – almost as much fun as the Benedict Cumberbatch parody name generator. ~SH

 

5:30pm

Started a stir-fry for dinner. ~BG

 

5:57pm

“Hyphens are my favorite endangered species.” (Sorina) ~BG

 

6:02pm

We complain about characters getting off-topic. ~BG

Sorina complemented me on my biceps. ~BG

 

6:49pm

About getting bitten by mosquitos:

“Maybe you are getting sweeter.” (Sorina)

“If only to reduce bugbites, I would not want to be any sweeter.” (Betsy)

 

7:00pm

Marian arrives! ~BG

 

7:15pm

Marian’s Awkward Existence Part 2 ~MB

 

7:23pm

Marian’s Awkward Existence Part 1 ~MB

 

7:25pm

“I want more flames.” (Sorina) ~BG

8:15pm

Finished chapter 2. 9,323 words. 43 of 585 squares. ~SH

 

8:48pm

*Marian grasps the air in frustration*

Sorina: “What?”

Me: “I had a word…” *it comes back* “got it!”

Sorina: “What was it?”

Me: “Snort.” ~MB

 

9:07pm

“Is Sorina tap-dancing on the porch?” ~MB

 

10:13pm

“Because everything’s better with sex.” ~BG

 

10:14pm

“Ok. Hamlet.” (Marian) ~BG

 

10:50pm

Marian applauds ~BG

 

11:36pm

Bedtime for all ~BG
11,110 words today. ~SH

 

Sunday, 6th September

7:47am

Everyone up! ~BG

 

8:08am

Non-sequitur? We try to figure out how it’s spelled. ~MB

 

10:15ish am

Went for a walk to the waterfall. Discovered a dead frog and an old lady. One was pleasant. One was not. ~MB

 

2:30ish pm

Sharon arrived! ~SH

 

4:00pm

Sorina, Marian, and Betsy go for a swim in the Deep Hole. ~BG

 

5:50pm

“My characters are doing horrible, creepy, unexpected things!” (Sorina)

“Fry them.” (Betsy)

“I will kill them soon” (Sorina) ~SH

 

7:14pm

Marian finishes reading Piccalilli & Sharon declares that illustration is a different skill set. ~SG

 

7:15pm

Marian is a heathen in the morning. ~SG

 

7:17pm

According to Sharon, Avatar has “See-a-jor-oujie” Weaver in it. ~MB

 

7:23pm

Marian: You can’t live up to everyone’s standards.

Sharon: I can’t even live up to my own. ~MB

 

8:07pm

Bandaged vs. Brandished ~BG

Sharon asked what’s the word for waving a sword around. “Brandished,” we said, & after the brandishing comes the bandaging. ~SH

 

8:13pm

“Cats and Commas” is an alliteration ~SG

Marian is wearing a shirt that says: “Let’s eat kitty. Let’s eat, kitty. Punctuation saves cats.” My two favorite things: Cats & commas. ~SH

 

8:48pm

Lobster ~BG

Betsy is going to boil her feet like Lobsters. Sorina tells a story about her relative not being able to cook a lobster because her son was attached to it. We discuss the reason why lobsters must be boiled alive — because they’re poisonous otherwise. ~BG

“It he tries to kill me even after he’s dead, then I don’t care if it’s a horrible death!” (Betsy) ~SH

 

8:51pm

Sharon hushes us for the first time ~BG

 

9pm

Sharon tells us something sappy she & Robbie do: “That’s about as sappy as we get. We’ve gotten more sappy as we get more married.” ~SH

 

9:30pm

I wrote 20,000 words! ~SH

 

9:55pm

20,000 words! ~BG

 

10:09pm

1st Draft of Love’s Labor’s Happily Ever After finished. ~SG

 

10:15pm

“I would be offended if you didn’t come if I didn’t invite you.” (Sharon to Betsy in regards to her play reading) ~SH

 

22:30pm

Conversation about Old Testament rape laws ~SG

 

22:45pm

The door’s name is Carina – Marian’s dubbing. ~SG

 

Monday, 7th September

 

8:05am

“We’re here to write, not look pretty.” (Sharon) ~BG

 

10:06am

Sorina and I return from a lovely walk and finally get to work. ~SG

I had a dream last night that I met Benedict Cumberbatch at the Underground. We had such a lovely conversation about his performance of Hamlet that he invited me out for tea so we could continue the chat. ~SH

 

1ish pm

I’ve always thought that groundhogs end rather abruptly. ~SH

 

1:30pm

Finished Demae’s book! 24,800 words. ~BG

 

2:50pm

Finished reading K. M. Weildman’s book on novel structure. Gearing up to put all my parts into an outline and check them for what I’ve learned. ~SG

 

3ish pm

Marian: “I apologize for my crass language, sullen disposition, & for making you cancel Ekphrasis.”

 

5:23pm

27,005 words ~SH

 

5:52pm

Sewing is not about fashion. Seamstresses know how to put a garment together. Fashion is about knowing how to put an outfit together.” ~MB

 

5:58pm

“Okay, let’s go bathe so we don’t be stinky anymore.” (Sharon) ~MB

 

Not Quite a Novel: Sørina’s #3DNC Report

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The Coffee Pot.

The three-day novel contest is over again for this year. We survived, happily, with deeper friendships and great work accomplished. I at least am amazed that we have managed to make this dream come true three years in a row in the face of enormous obstacles. And, as is usual for me, the work is barely beginning. Here are the stats of what was accomplished, a narrative of the weekend, and a plan for what to do next. 

8 Ekphrasians participated in some permutation or other of this intensive writing retreat, composing well over 100,000 words collectively! These words were written in community, alone, in the woods, in a cabin, at a retreat center, at home, in various states of euphoria, inspiration, or drudgery.

IMG_2594* I began a new novel, a murder mystery. I wrote 27,005 words, but only got about 15% of the way into the plot. The story takes place over a 20-hour period, and I only got my characters through the first three hours. They kept doing things that weren’t in my notes!
 * Sharon wrote an entire play. It is called Love’s Labours Happily Ever After, and it blends fairy-tale characters with Shakespearean plot lines from Love’s Labour’s LostMidsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and As you Like it. She completed a full draft at 17,000 words. She also worked through a book about structuring fiction and wrote her outline for her next book!
* Betsy
roughed out the entire plot of her novel, Demae’s Story, writing what she calls the skeleton of the story at 24,000 words.
* Steph is the only one who paid the fee and entered the contest for real. She wrote most of the story she had planned.
* Jeff spent the time working on a play called “Hail Mary.”
* Andrew worked on a novella and wrote about 18,000 words.
* Marian wrote a complete children’s story, called “Piccalilli.” (Which I love, by the way). She wrote a journal, did lots of homework, practiced her lines for two roles she’s got in upcoming plays, and edited some of Aakroveil, the novel she completed earlier this year.
* Devon planned to spend the weekend editing her personal narrative.
If this year goes like previous years, most of us should have complete manuscripts by Christmas, then spend any number of months or years revising, revising, revising. (I also plan to start The Four Senses, my 2013 #3DNC production, over again from scratch. Sigh).

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The situation room, with a map of my cemetery setting.

Unfortunately, most of us had a very interrupted weekend. I traveled up to Massachusetts on Monday to be with my mother, who had unexpected heart surgery. I did get home late on Thursday, and Betsy and I made it up to the cabin on Friday evening, but we didn’t really start working until Saturday morning. Marian got cast in two plays and had rehearsals until late Saturday afternoon, so she arrived Saturday evening. Sharon got cast in one play, is directing another, and had both a funeral and a wedding to attend on Saturday. So she and Betsy worked at home on Friday, then Sharon joined us on Sunday. We all left by 7 on Monday evening. Next year, we all want to join the official contest, get up there earlier, start right at midnight on Friday, end at midnight on Monday, and leave on Tuesday. I plan to develop a plot for a novella that can be completed within 30,000 words.

But what a beautiful time it was! The Coffee Pot, the cabin owned by Betsy’s family, where we have the retreat, is an idyllic location. We enjoyed it thoroughly. We didn’t push ourselves, sleeping eight hours a night, going for long walks, swimming (and washing) in the creek, having hour-long intense conversations. Sure, we could have written more words if we hadn’t taken those mental-and-physical-health breaks. But I think we are happier people for those times. And now we have all those words there, ready for the adding and editing. Stay tuned for selections and for posts by the other Ekphrasians!

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