Tag Archives: nanowrimo

My November

Man, what a month.

 

To start with, there was Nanowrimo.  National Novel Writing Month.  Although I’m starting to wonder if it shouldn’t be called something like ‘InNaNoWriMo”, Because the project has gone global.  Ooh, There we go, “GloNaNoWriMo”.

 

Now, for those of you that are reading this and have no idea what Nanowrimo is, I will gladly point you towards their page, there are links over there –>.  But allow me to attempt to define it for you.  Nanowrimo, affection called Nano in short, is a month long torture session in the name of literacy.  The idea is that starting on Midnight November 1, through til Midnight November 30th, participants will write a 50,000 word novel.  Yes. 50,000 words.  Take a moment and pause here.  Think about it.  That’s a lot of words, yeah?  But how many?  I mean, some people will look at that and think to themselves, that can’t be all that much.  Allow me to put it into perspective for you a little bit.

 

Remember back in school, when you had to do those reports and write papers for classes?  Remember how the teachers would usually give an arbitrary length of pages, say 3-5.  Well, I just did a quick calculation and 4 pages of my novel this year is just about 2500 words.   Ok you math majors and thinkers out there, c’mon.  Yes.  So essentially what you’re doing when you participate in Nano is writing 20 4 page papers.    Want something more?  OK.  Remember back in 11th grade, doing that first research paper?  It had to be over 10 pages but no more than 13, remember?  My research paper was 11 pages.  The first 11 pages in my Nano novel comes in just over 6600 words.  So how long, in page length, is my novel this year? Well, in size 11 font, single spaced (which no report ever would be when getting turned in at school) my novel is 87 pages long.

 

Yes.  Eighty-seven.  Want to know something dramatic now?  I finished my writing on the 13th of November.  Take a few deep breaths, put your eyes back in your head.  Better?  Yes, I wrote 50,119 words in just under 2 weeks.  Now mind, I did not do much of anything else those two weeks.  I do not have a job, or school, or anything else really to take my focus away from writing.  But there you go.  Still think it can’t be done?  It can.

 

If you want to know more about this program, or the parent Non-Profit organization that runs it and other programs throughout the year, go check out http://www.nanowrimo.org  and you can find out all about the program, the Office of Letters and Light and more importantly their Your Writers Program.

 

Now, Nanowrimo was not the only race that I was going through this month.  I had something else happening as well.  Trying to get my visa application finished and into immigration before the end of the month.  And I am happy to report that it has been done!  The visa application for the next step in the process has been submitted to the Immigration new Zealand officials and now, we wait.  Four to six weeks we wait.

 

What else has happened this month?

 

Oh right!  E and I had our anniversary!  It’s been two years and life honestly couldn’t be better!  Two years.  Holy crap.  Time has flown on by.  We went out to dinner to a place we’ve been meaning to go (mongolian barbecue, nothing too fancy shmancy) and just spent the night in together.

 

We got invited to a wedding, which was absolutely fantastic!  Such a beautiful day, a gorgeous couple, and a perfect wedding. And a great day out with friends afterwards.

 

Oh, and Skyrim came out!  Heart this game so much.  So very very much.  Hehehe.

 

And one other thing…

 

Oh, right, Thanksgiving.

 

Now, as you might be aware there is no Thanksgiving down here in Kiwiland.  In fact Turkey is not one of the easier/cheaper to purchase meats.  And since we weren’t having a huge gathering of people, instead just the two of us, we went with a chicken.  One whole chicken.  Now, I did a few searches online and found some people suggesting butter under the skin of the chicken.  I had seen the cooks on Masterchef do this as well.  So if they’re doing this, and the cooks online are doing this, then why not, right?

 

So I took some butter, maybe 3-4 tablespoons worth, and softened it to room temperature.  I mixed into this butter herbs and spices (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and nutmeg) and then stuffed it into the chicken, just under the skin that covers and coats the breasts.  I then took another 3 tablespoons of butter and shoved them into the cavity of the chicken, along with fresh rosemary and marjoram.  And then, because I felt there was simply not enough calories, I shoved another tablespoon of butter under the skin again.  One tablespoom on each breast.  Then, your hands are coated in spiced herbed butter, and you rub them all over the outside of the chicken.  All over.  Coat it in the thick creamy yellow goop.  Then salt and pepper on the skin.  Then into the oven it went!

 

Let me tell you, this chicken was the most scrumptious, delicious, juicy chicken.  Even the leftovers 2 days later were still moist and juicy and so flavorful.  I had to do some serious work at the gym, but let me tell you, so worth it.   So very very worth it.

 

Now, I’ve seen other posters with their posts of ‘what I’m Thankful for’ all month.  And I’ve been trying to figure out the answerto that question all month long.  I really have.  And It’s hard to really come up with anything that warrants a post.  Because to be honest, the best answer I can give is, “I am thankful for my life.”  And I am.  I am thankful for everything I’ve been through to get to this point.  I am thankful for the hardships, the heartaches, the ups and downs, everything.  I am in such a good place right now, in such a happy spot and blissful state of being that there is little else that I want, need, or crave.  This is my life, and I am happy.  So for all of that, I am thankful.

 

 

So, quite a month, eh?  So what’s happening next month for me?  Well, the first sunday in December I have a race!  That’s right, a 6k walk/run through the city.  Should be fun!  It’s my first time doing anything like this ever ever, so who knows what will happen.  But I do know that I will enjoy myself thoroughly.  Hannukah starts on the 20th this year, and then Christmas to follow.  And on top of all of that, I should be hearing back about my visa application by the end of the year and then, finding a job.

 

Hope everything is well with you and yours!  Have a great holiday season, I’m sure I’ll be back at some point!

Insomnia

So here I am. 1am on tuesday morning.  And I’m still awake.

 

What could possibly be bothering me?

 

My Nanowrimo is done (unofficially and more about that later), my FBI paperwork came back clean and healthy (like there was really any doubt), I have a game plan for where and when and how to go through and finish up this visa application (ugh tediousness).  There really is nothing overly heavy weighing on my mind.

 

Except.

 

Well, I’m still unemployed. Which granted at this point is planned until after I get my new visa and then I can look for things that are not ‘temporary’ or ‘contract’ but I can actually get full time work.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am ok with being unemployed.    And I still have no idea what it is I would like to do.  Call centers, retail, go back to school?  Maybe a bit of this and a bit of that?  But all of that requires some soul searching.  And I just am not good at soul searching.  Especially if it involves any form of meditation.  My brain just refuses to slow down.

 

Also, I am thinking about the whole ‘what next’ part of my writing.  I have no done my 6th Nanowrimo. I have now hit my 6th mark of 50,000 words in so many years.  My world and my plot are coming together better now than they ever have before.  So what next?  Do I move on? do I try to finish up? Do I gather all of my previous writing and notes and details on this subject and scour them for details, information, bits and pieces and then put that all into notes on Scrivener (awesome program btw), and actually honestly attempt to write this book?  Or books?  Do I have the willpower to sit through, sift through, all of my writing over the years, trash what is crap and keep what is good, build on the rest and actually come out ahead with a story that maybe somebody somewhere will want to read?   Do I have this willpower?

 

Do I have the willpower to keep up with the weight loss?  I can tell that I’m losing weight because my pants are slowly starting to come off around my waist.  But my hips are still the same size they were, so no real loss there.  Also means no new pants.  Just have to keep fiddling with the old pants.  Can I really keep up with this? Can I lose enough weight so that when I head back to the States next year to visit, mom and I can go shopping for new clothes for me and I can actually maybe not wear the ‘fat girl clothes’?  How much willpower do I really have stored up?

 

And is it even willpower that I need? Perhaps what I really need is ambition.  I don’t really seem to have any of that.  Ambition.  It’s a funny word.  In some cases it is a strong, positive, encouraging term. In others it’s dirty, nasty, unkind.  And it seems to be difficult to balance the two levels perfectly.  What is a good level of ambition? And how do I get there?  Now that I think about it, Ambition seems to be the core of most of my problems.  Yeah, I know, First world problems and all that.

 

But really.  I never had many ambitions as a kid, or even as a young adult.  To be happy and to be loved for who I was were about the only things I was ever determined to secure for myself.  And, well, now I have those.  And I’m lost.  I have no real ambitions.  Dreams, sure I have those aplenty, but ambitions?  To be a writer who can tell her stories and have people want to read them.  That could be one.  That’s about as close to an ambition as I have.  But I am still very unsure of how to necessarily achieve that goal.

 

I’ll have to do some more thinking on this.  I’ll get back to you.

 

But for now, It’s almost 130.  My mint tea is just warm enough to drink while still being hot enough to be soothing to the rather unhappy stomach that I have now (i think it doesn’t like peanut butter anymore), and I’m hoping that a few minutes of window shopping for a new menorah is going to be enough to settle my brain and calm my whatever it is that’s keeping me awake.

 

So good night, good morning, and have a pleasant day.

Some Thoughts

it’s been a while hasn’t it. yes, yes it has. So what have I been up to? Well I’ve been working on my novel for nanowrimo of course.

Last night i hit 35,000 words written in this years novel, and I’m hoping to be finished by this weekend with the full 50k.

If you’re not sure about nanowrimo, or what it is, or what the big deal is, there are links over there —> to help guide you along the way to enlightenment.

Other than sitting and writing an overage of about 5,000 words a day, nothing much has really been happening. I am at a standstill until I can get my visa paperwork turned in and find out my next status. Then, i can move on from there. I’m not sure to what, but I will find something.

Some other thoughts:

It’s been two years since he said that he loved me. It’s been two years since he stumbled to recover after that slip up. it’s been two years since he said it again, with more confidence. It’s been two years since I said it back. It’s been two years since that night of giggling and crying. It’s been two years since we realized what the other meant. It’s been two years.

And every day, in every way, I thank everything that I can think of, God, Fate, Lady Luck, Destiny, and Donald Duck. every day I think everything with every part of me that I found you, and that you chose me.

It wasn’t supposed to happen, I shouldn’t have fallen in love. It wasn’t supposed to happen, I was going to be myself for a while. But you came along with your funny face, your not so funny jokes, and your oh so brilliant brain and swept me from my feet. I tried to resist, but the pull of fate has been just too much.

I am blessed, I am lucky, and I know that I am loved.

So thank you, my heart, for two years of happiness. For two years of joy, frustration, and two years of love. Thank you for everything you are, and everything you have helped me to be. For two years of us, and looking forward to many many more.

I love you.

The Plan

So, tomorrow, well midnight tonight, starts nanowrimo down here in this corner of the world. Just about 12 hours from now and the month of tap tap tapping on my keyboard commences.

So what am I doing on this day of freedom before the literary slave drive in my mind kicks into overgear and I can’t stop the creativity from flowing out even though I want to?

I’ll probably be spending as little time on my computer as possible. Saving up the wrists and things.

I’ll be lamenting the fact that I can’t order tea from the englishteastore.com and so be unable to enjoy that which has become my noveling obsession. Their “Buckingham Palace Garden Party” tea blend. Oh what an addictive tea. Earl Grey and Jasmine. I have not quite found anything close to it down here, and that is saddening for me. But I shall endeavor to move forward without the elixir of creativity!

I won’t be doing anything for Halloween, as I just won’t. And for the first time, I won’t be starting to write exactly at midnight. I’ve gotten too old to stay up that late. So my day tomorrow will start with a healthy breakfast of Cheerios (if E leaves me any), a big mug of Twining’s New Zealand Breakfast Tea (very tasty!), and my keyboard. And a blank piece of electronic paper.

And from that magic brew, I shall create another piece of the puzzle that is Ahlterra, and one day use these pieces to form and create a world and a story that will captivate the minds and hearts of millions of fans!

Or, just get it out of my head finally.

To those of you having Halloween, Have fun! Enjoy! And to Those of us getting ready to write….

Heads down, fingers moving, we can do this.

Donation Station

Not as much fun as Shining Time Station, but just as important!

Nanowrimo is here! And it’s time for me to start begging for money. I know I know, I don’t usually do this, but The Office of Letters and Light (OLL) is a fantastic organization that has been spending the last lots of years doing good things for writing education across the US.

They sponsor NanoWrimo and Script Frenzy, and they do a Young Writer’s Program that goes into schools across the country, and across the globe, to help get kids interested in language and writing. This is a hugely important cause, being able to communicate your ideas through language is immensely important for people of all ages, and the younger we learn how to do that, the more successful in life we can become.

So please, donate to this cause, sponsor me through this link, and for every $50 that gets donated, I will add another 5k to my total wordgoal.

Make me write for it. Make me work. Help me make this world just that much more colorful with the sound of words.

http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?is_new=1&fcid=146401

Bouncing Thoughts

crap crap crap.

 

My sleep has been going back down the tubes again the last few nights.  Even last night, after an exhausting day of cleaning and then going to the gym, you would have thought that I could actually get some sleep.  Nope.

 

My brain just seems to be refusing to shut itself down.  But why? What could I possibly be thinking about that makes it so that I don’t sleep even when I should be exhausted?  Well there really has been a lot going on, some of which is quite daunting and will be the subject of a longer blog post as soon as I figure out how and what to write.

 

The one big thing though, has been Nanowrimo, and the fact that it’s two weeks away and I’m less prepared than ever before.  In fact, I am so much less prepared because I am now doubting what I want to write.  For the last 5 years I have basically used Nano and the month of November as a means to gather background information on my fantasy world, Ahlterra, together out of my brain.  Nano has been 5 years of 50,000 words of research documents for this world.  That’s 250,000 words of research for a world that is still not fully developed in order to tell a story that I haven’t even started to write yet.   So this year was going to be installment 6, a focus on another character, another background, another setting, and more information being pulled from the depths of my imagination in order to complete this bloody research so I can get on with actually crafting the real novel.

 

But then, the other day, in a fit of insanity that I was having about myself, my life, and my future as a worthwhile partner for the most awesome and fantastic man in the world, my handsome and loving partner made a suggestion that I start to write something of a life story.  Just as a thing.  I didn’t think anything of it then, i was too far deep into my period of self-hate and loathing.  But now, I can’t get this idea out of my head.

 

I even have a potentially working title! “Locating the Lightswitch: One Woman’s Journey Past Being Young and Stupid”.

 

that’s almost all that I have on it right now, but it would probably end up being a stylized look back on my life, and just when the ‘young and stupid’ phase started and when it started to end.  With little anecdotes and funny tales, and even trying to make tragedy a laughing matter.

 

I’m not sure how I would do it, what it would end up as, or if I could even get it to work at all.  But, but… it won’t go away!  My head is spinning with this idea.  I lay down last night, exhausted beyond belief and then suddenly, it’s there, bouncing in my head these thoughts and half-drunk ideas wandering in like stray cats and then chasing the cobwebs away.  And then suddenly, I’m awake again, the night is too hot, the blankets suffocating, and not even the relaxing harp music on the cd player, the oscillating fan, or the rain outside was enough to lull me back into a stupid state of slumber.  It’s only the knowing crush of being completely exhausted that finally pushes my head into the pillow and smothers me into sleep.

 

As you can tell, I’m already practicing my ‘creative’ use of the language.  I just don’t know what for yet.  Do I keep doing the research in my head?  Or do I turn out something completely different from anything I’ve ever written and try to turn it into something for real?  I think that until I get this question answered, my nights of sleep are going to be difficult and tenuous. Until I can no longer stay awake and my brain just collapses from exhaustion.

Nano

Oh. My. God. It’s Almost October! It’s Almost October! I’m not even close to being prepared for Nano! which granted starts in november, but what can you do? Can never start thinking about this too early!

ok, so I can, at times I freak myself out how early I think about it. But I was sitting in the cafe this morning (oh doesn’t that sound so metro of me?) enjoying my breakfast and my pot of Earl grey (forgot to ask them what brand they were using, it was delicious!) and suddenly, the brain started working.

Thank goodness i had a little notebook with me! My brain started answering questions about Ahlterra that I didn’t even know I was asking! And I wrote it all down! I have begun to think for November! Hooray!

now if I could just read my handwriting….