Category Archives: NaNoWriMo 2008

Posts relating to National Novel Writing Month 2008

Just for fun

Just for fun, I’ve uploaded a PDF of the entire text of my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, Iron Horse Apocalypse. No giant squid, but there’s Cthulhu. To download it, click on the picture of the train:

The City of San Augustin

High level critiques are welcome! It may be full of anachronisms and cliches (not to mention a contradiction or two), but this novel was a blast to write, and I hope it’s just as fun to read.


Random Bits of Writing Updates

First of all, a shout out to the Bad Egg Blog (“Raising Chickens in Sacramento as an Act of Civil Disobedience”) for linking to my third Story of the Week, “Roosterville“. I’m glad to be a part of such a noble cause.

Second, NaNoWriMo is coming up, of course. Having finished the second part of The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster for my novelists’ group tomorrow night, I’m happy to put that aside so that I can concentrate on my NaNoWriMo project (and my stories of the week) throughout November. I’m practically bouncing with excitement. This past weekend I visited the Railroad Museum in Sacramento and got some good ideas for my novel (and realized that many of my ideas will only work as anachronisms, which I’m okay with).

Third, thanks to everyone who responded to my request for title suggestions. I got replies from fifteen different people, who gave me a total of 73 suggestions, both here and on my LiveJournal, which is pretty awesome. I’m starting to tabulate them and writing up my outline, and my plan is to use at least one title suggestion from each person who replied. Of course, for some of you I only know your screen name, so I’ll have to get a real name from you (or at least a name you’d like to use). I’ll be getting back to you.

And, of course, I’m still happy to take suggestions. For what it’s worth, the train itself on which the novel takes place is one of those named routes (like the Coast Starlight or the California Zephyr), and it’s called the City of San Augustin.

And on a final note, I bet you can guess why this picture amuses me:

Obviously, the cow’s attempt to try on new armor has failed.

I need a title for my novel

Once again, I need a title for my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m completely stumped, so I’m calling on my online friends to help me out.

The story, essentially, is this:

In the late 1800’s, a train on its way from Chicago to San Augustin, California is swarmed by otherwordly monsters. With the crew dead and the train careening faster and faster toward a monstrous and derailed doom, it’s up to a small group of determined individuals to save the train and all its passengers before it derails, releasing the monsters onto an unsuspecting and unprepared world.

I already have the main characters in mind. Some of them will be familiar names, ancestors of characters I have already written about. I’m planning adventure, intrigue, romance, and a host of Lovecraftian beasties ready to suck out souls and feast on the unfortunate living. It’s going to have more cliches than a George Lucas film, but I’m okay with that.

Anyway, I’m stumped for titles, both for the novel itself and the chapters within it, so I’m asking my online friends to help me out. Just to make it more exciting, if you give me a title I will happily kill you off in the manner of your choosing in the chapter titled with your suggestion. You can be a crew member, a passenger, a hapless bystander, whatever. Or you can have no preference and I’ll use my imagination. Don’t feel like you have to be confined to being eaten by a spawn of Cthulhu or slain by the wizard or something like that.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

NaNoWriMo Looms

…and, surprisingly, I have a story idea ahead of time that I think I really like. It’s not The Divergents, that madcap romance of jazz, punk, and higher mathematics that I’ve been pondering. For one thing, I haven’t been doing the research — into jazz, punk, or higher mathematics — that I really ought to in order to make the story work. My metaphors aren’t going to work, and so on.

So I’m going to go a different route. Back to the tried and true. Comic horror. Cthulhu. The Necronomicon. Horrific beings from beyond the stars. Trains. The old west. And some romance, just because I’ve never had the guts to write any sort of romance at all. But I’m excited about this one. I’m going to draw on the history of Sacramento, the Gold Rush, hopefully hang out at the Train Museum and possibly some of the Living History folks around here, even though Sacramento won’t be part of the story. It’ll be a town called San Augustin.

It is, all in all, the sort of story that, if they made a movie out of it, would star Bruce Campbell. And I’ve already got some cool scenes in mind, like the scene where the young professor is assassinated, and the scene where the young woman fights off hordes of byakhees (or nightgaunts, or something like that) with only a sword on the caboose, and the scene where the lawman crawls along the outside of the train to get to the engine, where the engineer has already been killed by the nameless horrors.

This is going to be awesome. 50,000 words of pure unadulterated Crawford Awesome.

Soon I will begin soliciting titles in my usual way. I’ll let you know.

In other NaNoWriMo-related news, I and my friend  will once again be co-ML’s in the Sacramento region, which seems to range from Fairfield to Placerville, with points north and south this year.