"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And There was Great Joy and Rejoicing (and a lot of sleep)

Yup! That's right! I did it! All the way, right until the last day, but well before midnight :D

I have a grand total of


words and a full rough draft. Of course there are GAPING plot holes and a number of things that have to change completely because I discovered things (like the fairy godmother's role) as I went along.

But I have a story arc and I discovered SO many things about this story that wouldn't have happened the same way if I hadn't had to just push through and keep writing. A lot of good things.

You bloggy and Twitter people are totally what kept me going.

A random conversation on Twitter led me to a MAJOR plot change, that turned into the catalyst for the climax of the story. Gnomes FTW!

I would like to give a giant thanks to Lindsey aka Dangerous with a Pen and Darby Karchut for being what felt like my own personal cheerleaders. You two commented on pretty much every random post I threw up over this crazy month and I do believe that it is time to reveal the NaNo cheerleader costume, Lindsey *wink wink* Thank you so much for believing that I could do it!

That goes for all of you *group hug!*

I also started playing with Wordle. Mostly now as a treat to myself for having finished. Here are some of my favorites to share with you.

 Um, yes, my main characters are Layla, Tavares and Erandell. How did you guess?

 I like how this one kind of looks like a tree!

And that's a wrap! Now I put my novel aside for a few weeks so I can do real life stuff and survive the end of the semester. At least, that's the plan. I have a feeling it's going to keep whispering at me until I play with it :D

Congrats to all of you that finished! And to all of you that attempted! I didn't even come close last year, but I felt so proud of the work I did, knowing it was more than I would have written without NaNo!
See you in December!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flash Fiction Challenge

As if I wasn't already doing enough, I decided to join in Regan Leigh's flash fiction challenge. We got a prompt at midnight and had 90 minutes to write and post something. I worked my toe off in NaNo today - nearly catching up - almost to 42,000 - and it was really invigorating to write something that was totally outside of my novel.

The prompt was: DETOUR

So I just started writing and this is what happened - un-edited and done in about 75 minutes. Enjoy! And run over HERE to check out the other people that joined in on the challenge so you can read what they've written!

Update: I removed this for a couple of reasons, so if you happen to be stopping by a post this far back, well, go check out the other entries!

Friday, November 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update and stuff

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! Hope yours was as nice as mine was :) We had our family and then one of my brother's friends hung out with us too. We ate too much turkey and pie as always. Played Apples to Apples and my brothers cheated SHAMELESSLY. It came down to the last point and Joe had been playing random songs on YouTube, so he dropped down his card on Dave's turn and then changed the song that was playing. When Dave flipped over all of the cards, one of them was "Canada." Well, the song that Joe started playing was "O Canada" by Five Iron Frenzy.

Ha! Subtle hints....

Needless to say Dave miraculously chose the right card :)

I got a bunch of reading done for school and then even managed to squeeze in some NaNoWriMo writing.

I'm up to 36,664 words

So I'm still 6,670 words behind, but I want to go remedy some of that deficit right now!

Oh, yeah. And I also changed my background (again) as I'm sure you noticed. I was annoyed by the other one, because I couldn't get the quote at the top to show. And it was rather dark. This one is more cheery :D And I like the dandelions!

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Prelude: Yup. I changed my background again. I still don't know if I like it, but the orange was starting to get on my nerves. I like the green, but it's not quite the right green, so don't be surprised if it changes again. Maybe I'll go Christmas in December :D


Here's what I really wanted to talk about.

This is my first year in grad school and I have the amazing opportunity of being a Teaching Assistant in the English Department. The blessing of this particular program is that we are actually teaching freshmen composition. We meet with an advisor weekly, are offered as much help and support as we need, but when 8:00 on Monday morning rolls around, I am the one walking into the classroom, teaching about transitions and MLA format and how to cite sources. I am the one giving the quizzes and grading the papers and fielding the questions.

It can be absolutely terrifying.

I've been through some interesting experiences this semester. I've had to deal with students challenging me over their grade, had to give someone an F, had to have that dreaded talk when a student plagiarizes. I've had a girl cry in my office, had people challenge me in the classroom. I've had the kids that are in class, but aren't actually present. And it's been draining to say the least.

But then. Oh, then....

I had the student tell me that my class was their favorite. Read the paper that blew me away with how much the girl had improved. Had a student thank me for helping them understand a concept. Had invigorating discussion. Watched so many students move forward, deepen in their ability to express themselves, understand that writing isn't just for English majors.

Today I had the chance to go to a musical where one of my students had the lead role. Sitting in the audience I was just struck by what an absolute honor it is to have a chance to make a difference in these kids' lives.

And you know, that feeling is totally worth every single frustration.

Being a teacher is awesome.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 15-17

I haven't been avoiding you because I haven't been writing. I've actually been avoiding you because I HAVE been writing. Night continues to be pretty much the only time that I can fit my NaNoWriMo time in and usually by the time I write as much as I can, my eyes are crossing and my brain has ceased to function and if I came over here to update you would probably get sentences like:

Tuesday Layla gnomed a magic chimney wing and kiwi up the secret asparagus cook.

So you can see why I haven't posted. But I wanted to let you know that it's going.

I passed the half way mark, which completely shocked me. I almost caught up (only 800 words away) and then I flamed out again (stupid research paper). I've introduced the villain, though he hasn't really done anything yet... that we know of. And am now in the middle of a gnome invasion, which is adding a lot of tension, hero development and word count. So all good things.

Quick look at my standings and then I'm off to tap out 100 words or so before my brain falls out.

OH! I also discovered that I can actually TYPE IN MY SLEEP! Isn't that amazing?! The only thing is, that everything I write, though it is real words, makes no sense whatsoever. I was also too out of it to realize that those words needed to be saved for posterity so I could show you all how ridiculous my subconscious is and I deleted the sections before saving and closing - most of which I think I did in my sleep too.


I am at: 27,968
Should be: 30,006
2,038 words behind


That is pretty cool people. Pretty. Cool.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 14

Great day today, even though a cold decided to move in and settle in my nasal passages.


Recap so I can sleep :)

Words today: 3,961 WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Words Total: 23,120
Word Goal: 23,338
Words Behind: 218 SWEET MUFFINS!!!!!!

And I would totally make those up right now, but I need to be healthy for the rest of the month! So sleep is calling!

Thanks for being here and cheering me on! It means more than you will ever know so hugs and kisses to you all! (the chocolate ones of course) :D

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 12 & 13

I didn't update yesterday, not because I didn't write, but because my eyes were literally burning and I just saved and slept.

This novel is most probably the WORST thing I have ever written in my entire life. There is way too much telling. The characters are wandering around aimlessly, I have new characters bursting in in very strange places and ways. But it is ridiculously fun to write. Will anything come out of it? Maybe, maybe not. As they're rambling I'm getting to know their stories and their personalities and after November is over, maybe next month, maybe next year, maybe a couple of years from now, I really think I'll come back and see if I can make something decent out of it. For now I'm just enjoying the flow of consciousness thing that's happening and the delight of actually being writing again.

Quick recap:

Words today: 1973
Words total: 19159
Word goal: 21671
Words behind: 2512

Really not as bad as it should be considering everything else I have going on. Tomorrow is another day, as they say! Yeah NaNo!

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 11

Happy 11/11 and I hope you had a great Veterans' Day. I would like to take a moment and thank all of those who have served and are serving their country in the armed forces. You have a special place in my heart and I am extremely grateful for all of you that have and continue to put your lives on the line so that we can enjoy the great freedoms we have.
Special remembrance to my grandfather and a dear gentleman from our church, both who have passed away. Also thoughts to my brother-in-law, his brother and many other people that I know who serve in many different ways.

Is that enough space? I feel almost flippant talking about word count after that.

But things are looking up in my WiP! I only had about an hour, but I managed to get some juices flowing again. woo hoo!

Quick stats -
Goal: 18337
Mine: 16035
Behind: 2302
Words TODAY: 2112 *happy dance*

How's everyone else holding up? Need chocolate? Caffeine? Plot bunnies?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 10

1/3 of the way through the month already, but not quite 1/3 of the way through my word count.

Just hit 13,923 words. I should be at 16,570 to be on track, but this week has been a killer for lack of writing time and motivation.

In more EXCITING news! I figured out a giant PLOT HOLE! So that should help to move things along. I just need an extra hour or so...

Anyone have a spare time-turner I can borrow?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 9

Productive day, just not NaNo wise. Oh well, a good day will catch me up :)

hit 13,098 words

1,078 for today. Almost 2000 words behind the "goal" but another day of writing = another day of win!

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 8


Not a good writing day, but I got a bunch of other stuff done. I'll have to catch up tomorrow :)

only 276 words and that was striking out a scene and rewriting it, so it was kind of a cheat, but words are words, right? right.

Thank you all so much for the cheerleading and the commiseration and the encouragement. If I finish this year, it will only be because of you guys amazing support! Go NaNoers!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 7

Didn't think I would make my daily word count, much less catch up, because of a family thing this afternoon. But I got in 700 words before church and then just went ripping along just now.

Falling asleep, but here's the quick stats:

Today: 2470
Total: 11744
Goal: 11669
Ahead: 75

Oh yeah, baby!


NaNoWriMo Update: Day 6

6th day of writing

3rd day of completing word goal

1st day of breaking 2,000

2nd day of word sprinting with Twitter friends. I am telling you, that seems to be the ONLY way I can get my juices flowing!

Today - 2539
Total - 9274
Should be at - 10002
Behind by - 728

Not bad at all :D Actually a whole lot better than I expected!

Tomorrow will be rough, since I'm visiting my sister, but I hope to squeak out a couple hundred somewhere in there.

and I have it on good authority* that Lindsey is going to send me a picture of her NaNo cheerleading costume if I hit 50,000 words this month. Isn't she generous ;)

*that would be my ridiculous brain moving after midnight and inventing facts that are in no way representative of reality.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 5

1684 words today bringing my total up to 6735. Woo Hoo! Still "behind", but I've written every single day for five days in a row. I honestly cannot remember the last time that happened, so definitely a WIN!

And thank you all for your kind comments over the last couple of days. I don't expect a comment every day, but I totally would dread coming in and saying I hadn't written anything, so you are definitely motivation for me!

To those of you also doing this NaNo journey, I wish you the best! To those of you who are considering doing it in the future, it's SO much fun! And to those of you who just like watching the rest of us go slightly insane in November, well, I hope you're entertained :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 4

Up to 5051 words! That's 1562 for today. Yippee :)

Today I was supposed to be writing this creepy, scary scene and my main female character, Layla, just wouldn't cooperate, but it made the scene so much better and the next scene an even bigger payoff. Besides, she's establishing her character now and it's a lot more interesting than the personality I had envisioned. This is going to be a fun ride!

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 3

So the day is technically over and I wrote 708 words, but I plan on doing a tad more writing before I sleep, so I guess that'll go toward tomorrow. This brings my total up to 3489 so far. Not too shabby, though I'm over 1000 words "behind". I knew yesterday and today were going to be tough and it'll still be easy to make that up.

On the school front, I did my last in-class presentation, so that's a lot off my mind. Now I just have the papers and the readings to worry about, but those are coming along too.

On the writing front NOT related to NaNo (wait, is there such a thing in November?) I got a chance to meet YA author Martin Wilson today. He came to our school to do a reading and he's just the nicest guy. A group of us from the English Department went out to dinner with him and it was a ton of fun. Well, one of the senior undergraduates was there and suddenly he stopped and asked if I had submitted something to the school's literary journal. I said yes and he said that my two short stories were the funniest things he'd read in a while.

Talk about an ego boost! I really needed that because I've hit that point in my NaNo novel where the scenes I'd written in my head are out and now I'm hitting the dreaded middle section where I have a tendency to drag things out and they get boring and then I get bored and then I want to run and scream and I begin to doubt my abilities. This comes at different points in the story, depending on the novel, but this time it came really early and a little compliment goes a LONG way. So yeah! for that.

And now I'm off to write a little more :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 2

1004 words today. Considering I wrote that in about 15 minutes, it's not too shabby. Not to my goal, but I had major research for a class presentation tomorrow, so I'm pretty happy.

That brings my grand word total up to 2781. I should be at 3334 to keep on track, but that's only 553 words off. Easy to make up.

Feeling pretty good.

And like I said, that's 2781 more words than I would have written without NaNo so SUCCESS!

And thank you all for your kind encouragement :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 1

So I did it!

1777 words! And the story has already developed a life of its own. It started in a different place than I intended and introduced a character in the first chapter that wasn't supposed to really come in until much later. Hmmm.... I'm liking it!

Now it's off to bed to rest up for another good day tomorrow :D