As has been requested (endlessly) EK's Star Log is returning to the internet. You can still read the original archive here... https://eelkat.wordpress.com
The reason you couldn't find it is because I set it to private un-index mode, meaning it no longer shows up in Google search results and can only be accessed by a direct link.
Meaning, if you didn't have the url for it, no amount of searching for it would tell you how to find it. Anyone who had the url could still access it though.
I had set it to private September 23, 2013, intending to move each page here to EelKat.com... however, November 14, 2013, after only moving about 30 pages, I was beaten up and left paralyzed for 5 months, then spent 18 months relearning to walk. I am still crippled and have limited mobility.
Below is one of the blog posts that originally appeared on EK's Star Log. The original articles are still online but no longer indexed in Google. Links to the original article, are included with this post, as is the original posting date. Clicking the links will take you to the original site, where you can see the old Space Dock 13 website still online. Space Dock 13 as it looked when hosted on WordPress from 2003 to 2013.
I get asked this so much, that in 2007 I finally wrote this:
Some times I do, some times I don’t. I wrote two novels last year, start with no plot or ideas at all.
In 2007 I had a huge detailed outline, but by sticking with the outline I finished NaNo with a meesly 75k, my lowest NaNo-ending yet. I think the outline slowed me down.
This year, nope, no outline, no plot, just a short story I wrote over 20 years ago and am rewriting into a novel instead.
I do however write the SAME characters over and over again as I write The Twighlight Manor series, and it was started in 1978 – so you could say I know my setting and character VERY well after 30 years of writing stories about them pretty much none stop
see the answer above – in other words, yes
nope – I never cut anything out
a thing that works for me (and I’m doing it this year as well) when it comes to getting out a lot of words fast is to just go with the flow and often that means to have a narrator that is not afraid of “breaking through the 4th wall”…in other words, if she doesn’t like some thing one of the characters is doing – she’s just stop narrating, march into the story and give the character hell, than leave the story, and refuse to type it any more, and next thing I know, I’m writing about the narrator’s personal life instead of writing my story! LOL!
another thing I do, is, again, breaking the 4th wall, is political rants….I use the same narrator (Miss Citten the EelKat – where my ID name comes from) in everything I write, and she gets really pissed off over certain topics, like animal rights activism, for example, she’s really big on that (she is a talking cat after all) – well, if the story is going along and a character hurts and animal WATCH OUT – the narrator jumps into the book and starts monologueing for 3 or 5 or more pages – this huge long political rant that has NOTHING to do with the story, right in the middle of the story!
(and yes, when they get published, I leave those parts in – it’s one of the “trademark weirdness factors” of The Twighlight Manor series – the fact that the stories get interrupted by a lunatic narrator every few pages.)
but by writing the series this way,, I get to pretty much write EVERYTHING that pops into my head – if I paid too much for gas today, I can have EelKat yelling at these guys from the 1600’s about raising gas prices she’s having to deal with in the 21st century and they haven’t a clue what she is talking about. LOL!
All they know is she is some weird cat from the future who pops into their lives a screams at them a heck of a lot. (gives the stories a sci-fi time travel slant too).
I don’t worry that it’s not a piece of my novel, because you know what? Now it is! I just MADE it a part of my novel. It’s my novel and I can put anything I want in it!
People ask me, but don’t you worry about lack of realism in your books, and I say: Honey, the narrator is a talking cat, the MC is a serial killer who NEVER gets caught, there’s a dead guy that refuses to stay buried and is walking around in his old house, there’s a merman living with humans and no one has noticed he’s not a human yet , there is a car that flys and talks, and all of this happens inside of a house that comes to life and EATS people – and I haven’t even started listing the 75 minor characters yet – and you want to know if I’m worried about lack of realism? Honey I threw realism out the window years ago.
In short – if it’s not fun, I don’t write it! I like to have fun with my writing, I don’t care if any one read it ior not, I don’t care if any one likes it or not – all I care about it that I ENJOY the actual ACT OF WRITING IT! I mean, heck, you read my stories and you feel like you just fell into a Salvador Dali painting, but boy do I ever have fun while I’m writing this stuff!
And I guess that is the point I’m trying to make here: for me it’s not about the word count or having a plot that makes sense or writing something publishable – for me it’s all about having fun and doing something that I love to do. I mean if a part of the story comes along that I don’t want to write – I just don’t write it and write something I do want to write instead.
yep – see answer above
remember that story I mentioned was my first one in 1978, yep – same story
In 1978 I wrote and illustrated a 16 page easy reader children’s picture book titled “Friends Are Forever”. It was my first book. It was about a dog and a talking cat who became friends. It was simple and totally plotless and at that point very publishable. It could offend no one in it’s first form.
In 1983 I created The Twighlight Manor and rewrote that first story. The cat named Miss Citten the EelKat still remained, but now she was not seeking friends, now she was a cat from outer space sent to observe humans and send back reports of their lives to her home planet Diona. She wrote of a man named Lincoln who owned a haunted house called The Twighlight Manor. Slightly longer than the original this short story comic book ended at 36 illustrated pages.
In 1987 “Friends Are Forever” was rewritten again, adding more of the history of Sir Roderic Lincolndona Swanzen, his bizarre family that originated on a burning planet many galaxies from Earth, and the house they built in Old Orchard Beach, Maine: The Twighlight Manor. It was still a short story, now with less pictures and more words, it still was only about 16 pages long and it was still not offensive.
In 1991, my real life was turned upside down when I was the lone survivor of a mass murder that left my 5 best friends chopped up in a bloodbath all over my back yard. The next year or so was over run by police and reporters and lawyers and court dates, ending with the execution of the murderer, whom had been caught the same day as the murders. I stopped talking after the last court date. I became depressed and suicidal. In order to keep my own sanity, I started writing more than ever before. But something had changed.
With the deaths of my friends, the arrival of a new character came to my stories: a serial killer, one who killed people in a manner not too unlike the way I had watched my 5 friends die. To witness a death changes a person, to witness the murder of a loved one changes you more, but to witness 5 loved ones gutted, beheaded, and disemboweled left me emotional scarred for years and did not do nice things for my mind and I soon found difficult writing anything else. My stories soon became a far cry from the children’s stories they had started out as.
By 1993 the house that was the setting for all of my stories, had taking on a life of it’s own, it’s walls soaked with the blood of hundreds of souls, it absorbed hatred and anger and came to life as a flesh eating character of it’s own in the fourth and most famous edition of “Friends Are Forever: Volume I of The Twighlight Manor Series”. “Friends Are Forever” now had a new face and a new meaning – it was dedicated to my 5 friends in their memory, that the horror of the way they suffered and died, may never be lost or forgotten to the world. The 1993 edition of “Friends Are Forever: Volume 1 of The Twighlight Manor Series” was about to do more than change my life – it was going to change laws in the Mormon Church as well.
You see, I am a Mormon, and I wrote these books in church each Sunday. In between each of these revisions several 15 to 45 page short stories were written, each about the lives of each of the 75 other characters whom had inhabited The Twighlight Manor over a period of some 400 years. Each story seemed to be more graphic than the last one. Filled with graphic scenes of sex, rape, cannibalism, sadistic torture, and murder my set of short stories became known in the local congregations of the Mormon Church, as the M-Rated, boycotted, much hated and reviled “Twighlight Manor Series”.
“Friends Are Forever” was the straw that broke the camel’s back when a local Bishop got a hold of a copy and contacted the higher authorities of Salt Lake City, demanding my excommunication and calling me “The Great Apostate”, citing this tiny short story as “proof”. Banned by the Mormon Church in 1993, my only previously read by locals, set of short stories, suddenly became very famous, at least throughout the Mormon community. I soon started receiving a slew of hate letters demanding I cease and desist the writing of this “vile, immoral, detestable” series. The Twighlight Manor Boycott reared it’s ugly head and I found myself shunned and disfellowshipped with the threat to stop writing or be excommunicated over my head.
Convinced that I was what he called “a demon possessed schizophrenic” the Bishop who started the boycott, called the state mental health institute one Sunday. I don’t know what he told them, maybe he read them scenes from “Friends Are Forever” saying they were actual events I was doing in Church, but what ever he said, a team of doctors arrived at the Church in less than an hour, ready to drag me away in a straight jacket. I don’t know what they expected to find, but I do know that the last thing they expected was to see a 16 year old child sitting quietly in Sunday School class, writing in a note book. Where was the dangerous criminal they were suppossed to take away? Alone in his office, with just me, the Bishop, and the administrative officer of the assylum, the Bishop railed on his tale of how demons had taken over my mind and were telling me to write these vile stories. The doctor asked me what I wrote and why. I told him about the murder of my friends 2 years prior and that it was the scenes of their deaths that I wrote and rewrote again and again. The doctor told the Bishop there was nothing wrong with me that finding new friends would not cure, he than told the Bishop that he needed to see a psychitrist about his belief in demons, and the men left the church angry that the Bishop had wasted their time.
This event was not the last of this Bishop’s vendetta again “Friends Are Forever”. Fans of the Twighlight Manor Boycott, all Mormons, gathered up nearly every copy of the 1993 edition of “Friends Are Forever” and burned it in a bonfire on my front lawn, making it one of the world’s rarest and most obscure books ever to be written. Only one single copy of this book, the 1993 edition of Friends Are Forever, is known to survive today.
While I’ve written more than 30 stories for The Twighlight Manor Series, the gruesome story “Friends Are Forever”, remains the pulsating life blood from which all of the rest of the series builds upon. Most of the series are modern tales set in the house during the 20th century. Friends Are Forever, was not, it was set in the 1660’s, it is the prequel to the rest of the series. The history of the house, it’s curse, and the madman behind the terror of the Twighlight Manor. Set in the 1660’s when the house was still the new honeymoon of of a pair of secret lovers, Friends Are Forever is the background story of how the Manor went from the home of hopes and dreams to the house of blood and sin. And yet, due to religious hysteria, this book remained banned, burned, and obscured from the public eye, while the rest of the books in the series, lived on.
As many of my fans know, the hate crimes started by that Bishop so many years ago, did not stop, and still go on to this day, in 2006 the hate crime escalated to the arson that left me homeless, (see http://www.squidoo.com/OnBeingHomeless2 ), while in 2010 the worst of the boycotters of my books, the woman known as “my stalker” stole my car and cut it in half (see http://www.squidoo.com/StolenCar for more info). What started as book burnings in 1993 has in essence destroyed my life, cost me my family, my friends, my pets, my car, and my home.
The Twighlight Manor Series, is now long out of print, and largely forgotten to every one outside of the Mormon Church. Today there are many who look at these hate crimes and ask: Why? What did you do to make them hate you so? What did you write that was so terrible as to offend these people into such hatred? The answer: In 1993 I wrote a book called “Friends Are Forever”, a book that was read by a Mormon Bishop and several local members of the Mormon Church. A book that sent shock waves through the congregation and sent members to demand my excommunication. A book that they gathered up and burned. A book that few outside the Mormon Church have ever seen. A book that today, no longer exists, except for the few surviving, but badly burned pages locked in a safe. A book that people starting asking: Can you rewrite it?
While I continued writing other books for the series, the controversy and violent hate crimes at the hands of local Mormons, behind “Friends Are Forever” kept me from rewriting it.
The series went out of print in 1993 after being given a hefty ban by the LDS/Mormon Church which followed several book burnings which had gathered up nearly every single copy every published, making the series today extremly obscure and among the world’s rarest books.
The series is also a sadistic comedy, which makes light of rape, murder, and serial killers. It was created as a politically incorrect way to tell the US government to shape up or ship out.
In it’s original format there were no actual novels, only a long running series of short stories that were published via fringe magazines and propaganda newsletters. Fans of the series have been emailing me for years, requesting the series be brought back in print again, and many keep asking me to write a new “novelized version” of the series, so that the whole thing came be read all in one book. And so, that’s what I’m doing – taking all of those stories (what little remains of the burnt up surviving copies that is) and rewriting it as an all new, longer, updated, revised, much expanded novel length edition with it’s original miss-spellings and all.
Requests for the republication of this book, have been among my fans most asked question: When we we see this book in print again? Along with the other question: Can you write as a novel length edition of it next time?
To date there is only one actual novel in the Twighlight Manor series, and that is the unpublished “Love-Lust-Madness” which remains unpublished, do to the extreme nature of the violent child rape scenes in the book, (children aged 4 to 8, raped by their grandfather – this is the story of Etiole’s childhood, and the often alluded to sexual abuse he and his brother Razz received at the hands of their grandfather Melaca and his twin brother Vielder)…this is also a very late story in the series, a flashback story told by a very elderly Razz and if published will be one of, if not the last, story in the series because it also includes the rather disturbing and violent death of the series’s main character Etiole Swanzen.
Other than Love-Love-Madness, the rest of the series has been written in short story format, with each story from 16 to 75 pages long, most averaging at 30 pages. They are published in magazines, newsletters, leaflets, fanzines, and chapbooks, and the series has yet to be released in actual book format.
In 1996, three years after the book burners left my books, original manuscripts, and artwork in ash, I wrote the outline for a much expand, revised, and bloodier than ever, full novel length edition of “Friend Are Forever”, but due to the hate crimes and vandalism and the murder of several of my pets, which followed the announcement of this book’s rebirth, I put the outliine aside to work on other less controversial projects. Over the years vandals 3 times desimated my home, with the worst attack being the fire of 2006. It was thought that the outline for the novel length edition of “Friends Are Forever” was lost in the blaze.
On October 24, 2010, four years after that fire, while going through my files, I came across that long lost 103 page outline, and now for NaNoWriMo 2010, I’m bringing to life once again, the infamous story of a 70 year old man obsessed with lust for a 14 year old girl, the psychotic doctor with a lust for blood, and the serial killing twin brothers who built a 500 room house that demands blood in it’s mortar. By December 2010 “Friends Are Forever: A History of The Twighlight Manor” shall live again, and the scene that got it banned: The Red Dragon Murders, with it’s beheaded, tortured, raped, disembowled bodies, will no longer be a single page, but span over the space on many chapters.
I write every day – I usually average 2k words a day and on days I have “off” I write between 7k to 12k, this is all year long – day after day, month after month, year after year – for more than 30 years now
So when NaNo comes along, this is just more of me doing what I do every day any ways.
I hit 55k on day three of NaNo08, and I was not alone. Several others got there as well. And now, as expected, have come the forum questions, the comments, the IM’s, the private messages, and the emails all asking the same thing: How can you write 50k in 3 days?
Some are actual questions from curious people wanting to know how to do the same, while others are accusations of cheating and demands of the actual 50k words being emailed to them so that they can see for themselves there are 50k words! OMG!
We’re All Different – some of the writers here are hobby writers, some are professionals, some have never written a thing before.
I’m a professional writer. I write anywhere from 2,000 – 12,000 words each and every single day, and have done so for the past 30 years. (Well, more like 3 or 4 days a week – not EVERY SINGLE DAY all year! LOL! I gotta take a break and let my hands rest some times!)
There are a lot of professional writers here on NaNo, and most of them hit 50k the first week.
Newbies need to look at the person behind the number, and realize that writing is like playing the piano. When you first start learning piano you are luckly if you can make it through Mary Had a Little Lamb in less than a week, but after you have played piano for years, you can play Mozart from heart in minutes.
In other words, people that write a lot, type fast. People new to writing type slower. Neither is any better than the other, because the professional writer, once upon a time was a newbie too, so they didn’t always type fast.
One more thought to consider, if writing a novel in 3 days is all that *IMPOSSIBLE* explain how it is that the idea for NaNoWriMo was inspired by International 3-Day Novel Contest which was founded in 1977 and has thousands of authors writing full novels in 3 days each and every year for well over 30 years now?!?
Fact of the matter is, writing a novel in 3 days (a novel being described as 75k to 140k words) is not unheard of and is actually a pretty common thing for professional authors to do. That’s why you always hear about “Three Day Writing Retreats” and “Weekend Writing Retreats” – authors, take a weekend off, escape from friends and family, go to a reclusive retreat group/house/camp and write a novel in a single weekend. And we do it all the time, years after years, sometimes multiple times a year. Than the author goes home and spends months revising that first draft, but fact is, they wrote the first draft in 2 to 3 days, and they wrote far above and beyond NaNoWriMo’s skimpy 50k requirement. So next time you hear a WriMoer say they hit 50k in the first week – remember – they are not alone, this sort of thing happens all year long.
Challenge Yourself – that is important – it doesn’t matter if others are reaching 50k and you finished at 10k it doesn’t matter that others are reaching 700k and you only reached 200k – all that matters is that you go for a goal that YOU can reach. There are people that reach much bigger goals than me, and I see them and I go – wow – I wish I could do that, I mean I really, really, really WANT to hit the 999,999 word goal, but I know that I am just not able to reach that kind of a goal, I’m a slow typer at only 33wpm and I type with one hand – there is no way that a one handed 33wpm typer can reach a million words in 30 days. I know my limits, and I don’t try to go beyond them.
Well, here’s another thing about this – I’ve done NaNoWriMo so many times now that 50k also wasn’t really a challenge for me any more! When November rolls around now I look at it and go: “Ho hum, 50k, been there done that – I need a bigger challenge now.” I know I can do 50k in 30 days. I’ve done it several times. I also knew I could reach 150k because I did it during one year already. So this time, for 2008, I decided to give myself a challenge – could I reach 200k in 30 days? That meant I would have to write not 1,667 words per day but instead 6,667 word per day! On day one I wrote 12,000 words and I knew from that moment on, 200k was well within my reach.
So, here’s the thing – 50k was no longer a challenge. I needed a challenge. I gave myself a challenge. And in the end, I wrote 5 NaNoNovels in 30 days instead of one NaNoNovel in 30 days. I also learned something by the end of NaNo 2008 – I’m never again going to try to juggle 5 novels at once! I only finished one of them, the other 4 ended up a scattered mess of non-connected chapters, and after 30 days of 7k to 12k words per day my hands HURT!
I learned a lesson last year – I can do it if I push myself, but my quality of write goes right down the toilet. My goal in everything I write, is always to publish it when I get done. Last year, I had written 5 books, but only one was salvageable and went on to seeking publication. The other 4, I now look at as a waste of my time. They were good ideas, but handled badly because I put reaching word count over writing a novel. I don’t want to repeat that again.
The lesson here: Challenge yourself! NaNoWriMo is all about giving yourself a challenge. If this is your first time, than the 50k is a big challenge. After you’ve done it a few years, you may want to try to up the challenge and shoot for a higher word count. The important thing is that you set goals for yourself – goals that you feel you can meet. But don’t hurt yourself doing it!
So, yeah think about what you are doing BEFORE you start. Know ahead of time that those of us who have done and/or are planning to do again, the huge word counts for NaNoWriMo DID NOT start writing yesterday! We have been writing for years! We write daily or near daily! Most of us are already writing 50k a month anyways, and us NaNo to challenge ourselves to bigger word counts than is normal for us. But doing these big goals is NOT for everyone, so don’t do it unless you have had a lot of practice writing a lot of words on a daily basis for several years! 50k is A LOT for someone who is not used to writing, so don’t push yourself past it unless you are physically able to. You don’t want to end up in the hospital or even lose your ability to write at all! Please consider your health when taking on a big word count!
Every year there are members who try to reach 100k, 200k, 300k, 500k, or even more in 30 days. Some of them can and do, do it, but remember – these people are very often professional writers with years of practice. If you are not a professional writer or do not have the practice – DO NOT ATTEMPT the huge word count goals! This can not be over stated! There are people who have pushed themselves too far doing NaNoWriMo and ended up with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and in some cases needed surgery to be able to use their hands again. I too have had surgery (on my right hand) as a result of too much writing. Sadly as an artist, this had a terrible affect on my ability to continue my formerly life-like drawings, forcing me to change my art style. (This was many years before NaNoWriMo btw – I had surgery at age 17 because of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome- I always did write more than was good for me.)
Here’s another thought to chew on: You DON’T HAVE to write 50,000 words! Well, to get the winning banners and certificates for your web sites and such, you have to write the 50,000 words and submit them through the word count validation bot, but it’s no big deal if you just don’t want to write 50,000 words.
If your personal goal is just to write 5,000 words in 30 days, well shoot, what’s stopping you from going for it? Each year on the NaNoForums there is a section called “The NaNo Rebels”. This section is for writers doing less than 50k, more than 50k, writing non-fiction, and even doing “a picture = a 1,000 words” 50 page picture books! These are the NaNoers who set their own goals and challenge themselves to goals specially built just for them. So if you want to enter the NaNo challenge but the 50k word count just isn’t for you – know that you are not alone and that there are thousands of others just like you, who proudly call themselves “The NaNo Rebels”. You are in good company.
people who know me (family, friends, online buddies, coworkers) know that NaNoWriMo is THE single most important thing in my life (or at least they think it is)
I plan my entire year around November – not planning what I’m going to write, no –
I take November off – COMPLETELY – no work, no school, no doctor appointments, other than Write-Ins no social life – zip, nadda, nothing – anything that gets scheduled during November I either reschedule or cancel. (and that is the secret to my high word counts – I am writing STEADY 8 to 10 hours a day at MINIMUM).
I told my adult ed teacher – I have to cancel my November classes, can I make them up in December, she says, “well, ok, but why?”, I say, because It’s National Novel Writing Month and I enter the contest every year and I have to 200,000 words in 30 days or less. She had never heard of it before, but looked it up and decided, it was a good “excuse” for missing a whole month of classes, and agreed to let me double up my classes during December.
Last September my boyfriend started asking me: “It’s almost November, I suppose I won’t be seeing you for a whole month AGAIN right? You are doing that contest thing again aren’t you?” – he knows – this is the 7th November he’s seen me do this, he expects me to go all “crazy hermit writing a novel” every time NaNoWriMo sets in. =P
But what is it with me and this contest? Uhm…I just love writing. I have ALWAYS loved writing. When I was like 2 years old, I’d grab a pen and write all over EVERYTHING – walls, tables, books, blankets, cloths, floors, my toenails, and as soon as I learned how to actually form words rather than scribbles I set out to writing actual words on everything in the house. Than I learned how to read and suddenly everything just clicked in my brain and I realized – writing words = books. Than I stopped writing on everything else and stuck with notebooks and 30 years later I’m STILL writing.
But here’s where NaNoWriMo comes in: Writing is my entire life – everything I do evolves around it right? Thing is, no one – and I mean NO ONE – I know writes. I have 264 members in my family (uhm – we’re Mormons – kind of self explanatory) and not a one of them has any interest in writing. None of my friends write. No one I work with writes. No at my church writes. So, and I’m pretty much by myself when it comes to writing. I write every day all year long, year after year, ALONE!
Than in 2004 I found NaNoWriMo and it was like – O..M…G…! THOUSANDS of people JUST LIKE ME!!!!! YAY! I hit the forums and started yakking away, and all of a sudden I wasn’t alone any more – now I have other people who just like me – LOVE TO WRITE! and love to TALK about writing! It was like I had died and gone to heaven!
And so, that’s why I love NaNoWriMo – I have met (both online and in person) so many great people through NaNoWriMo – people who I can identify with, people who share the same (some times crazy) hopes, goals, and dreams about writing. I just love the chance I get to interact with so many other people who love writing as much as I do. My love for NaNoWriMo is all about my fellow WriMos and just how great it is to not be alone when it comes to writing any more.
I love all you people so much – you are all amazing!