25 November 2012

The Final Week

Yesterday I ditched writing because of:
a) Work
b) Finally getting to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower
c) The chance to play Cards Against Humanity
d) All of the Above

The answer is ''d."

Because of those three reasons, and the Black Friday that was the day before, I fell a tiny bit behind when I had previously been about a day ahead. So today I cleared my calendar for today and planned for some major words to be written and despite having gone to bed much later than the current typical, I was still up at 5:30 a.m. By 9:00 a.m. I'd written nearly 3,000 new words.

I took a break and finally finished reading Days of Blood and Starlight (brilliant!). I did some laundry and rewarded myself by watching an episode of Alias on Netflix (hello Sark!). Then I settled in for another writing session and 2,000 more words arrived.

By this point in the afternoon the sun was shining and I took that as my cue to get outside for a long walk. And walk I did, listening to some Neko Case and watching the birds fly through the blue sky. It was perfect and exactly what my day had been needing.

I'm nearing the finale of this fiction and am pretty sure I can see how Henry's story is going to wrap up. After my walk I came home to have a drink and write at least 1,000 more words for the day. Which I did. This has been my most prolific writing day of NaNoWriMo 2012!

This book is very different from anything else I've attempted before and yet I think at it's heart it is also very much like everything else I've written. It's not so different in that it wouldn't be recognized as mine. I have a much better sense now about what this story is about than I did at the beginning and there are some definite things I need to change for some continuity purposes and also because I made some wiser choices regarding the plot and the characters.

I definitely don't have the same passion for this project as I have for my other work-in-progress. I've been thinking a lot about why and I wonder if it's simply because I have yet to put the other project to bed.

So it haunts me and calls me back. I have truly missed Holden and Jezebel and their world.

The time away has been essential for us. And maybe once I've had some time away from this work (I have no idea at all what I'd title this novel if held at gunpoint...thank goodness people don't hold writers at gunpoint demanding novel titles!) I'll have a greater passion for seeing it through the entire editing process from roughest draft to polished manuscript.

Right now, there are only five more days in November and I have a clear end in sight for this story. It may change in a month, in a year, in ten years, but I have a goal I'm working towards and right now that's all that matters.

I'm also still in denial that December will join us by the end of the week...even though my Doctor Who Christmas ornaments have arrived.

For several blocks pieces of this paperback could be found on my afternoon walk.

22 November 2012


Despite the difficulties that life has thrown my way, the hardships, the tears, the pain, the unhappiness, I am grateful and I am thankful.

I try to live every day of my life this way, not simply one week or one day of every year. But this is a national day of being Thankful and it's a good time to think back on this past year as well as the years that have passed, to remember and to share the great many reasons that I am lucky, that I am hopeful, that I am blessed.

I am thankful for beautiful sunrises and friends to share them with. I am thankful for crunchy leaves and comfortable, cute shoes. I am thankful for a hot cup of coffee and cream and the friends who make such beautiful vessels for the drink. I am thankful for the lamp that sits beside my reading/writing chair in the library and the friend who hauled it nearly 2,000 miles from Minnesota, through Canada, so that I could have it back in Oregon with me. I am thankful for the grandparents, who have both now passed, who bought that lamp at an auction for me in the first place so I could have a light to read by in my freshman dorm. I am thankful to live in a world where I am surrounded by books and creativity, where I get to meet other writers who inspire me and challenge me. I am thankful for the ocean, the way it roars, the way it mesmerizes, the secrets it tells me. I am thankful for the feeling of sand between my toes and pedicures. I am thankful for little brothers who have grown up into such interesting and thoughtful men who never forget to be awesome. I am thankful for Doctor Who and David Tennant. I am thankful for Zelda, with her brown eyes and sweet heart. I am thankful for long walks and swing sets. I am thankful for cozy blankets and lazy afternoons. I am thankful for a car that never gives me trouble and takes me on road trips to visit old friends. I am thankful for the Nerdist Podcast and the many ways it inspires and makes me laugh and think. I am thankful for a husband who lets me be who I am and loves me unconditionally. I am thankful that he is also quite handsome and rather smart. I am thankful for all the assorted technology in my life that lets me write, take photos, be entertained, and allows me to communicate with loved ones near and far. I am thankful for Legos and the interesting and beautiful things I can create with them. I am thankful for music and all those songs that hit me right in the gut. I am thankful for NaNoWriMo and the way it got my writing life reinvigorated, how it showed me that I could write a hundred pages (or 400 pages...). I am thankful for having enough food to eat and that I have the luxury of eating out when I want to.

I am truly thankful I have all these things to be thankful for and that I could spend the entire day writing down even more things to be thankful for.

And if you're out shopping tomorrow, be thankful for the person who's helping you because they probably didn't get to relax as much as they wanted to or spend as much time as they wanted to with their family. Remember it's not their fault if something is sold out or not available or that you had to wait in a line longer than you wanted to.

18 November 2012

Life on Day 18

This weekend has been the last deep breath before the holidays officially begin. It's been a time to catch up on sleep, catch up with friends, catch up on my word count. I wasn't kidding earlier when I said that if this NaNoWriMo didn't kill me it was going to make me feel like I could do anything. If I can finish a novel in November of 2012, I will never have another excuse for not writing.

And here I am, ready to round the corner into 30,000 words. I have new characters that I'm really starting to care about. (Confession: there was a point last week where I missed my old characters so much I actually thought about cheating and writing another scene just for them...it's been harder to let them go than I ever would have thought.)

There have been more days when I've wanted to do anything else, days that I have been so tired the last thing I've wanted to do is sit down with my laptop and make my brain work some more. But I've done it and words have come out and a story is being shaped and the truth is, the writing does make me happier.

Today I will meet lovely friends for breakfast. Later I will write while the laundry is laundered. I will take a nap if I feel it. I will read a book because I want to. I am currently reading Laini Taylor's Days of Blood and Starlight because she is a brilliant writer and because she'll be doing an author visit at my friend's school and an event at my store next week...and if there's one book I get to read this November, this one's going to be it.

11 November 2012

A Full Heart and a Full Bar

This past week was my birthday.

It was also one of the craziest weeks ever.

No really, ever.

I will save you the sordid details of all the things that went right, and also what went terribly wrong. I will tell you that I got paid a lovely compliment (or two) by someone rather important in my working world and that I finished my birthday evening (after I'd already gone to bed), by responding to a burglar alarm at work.

With all the things that happened this week, the good and the bad, I am astonished to wake up this morning and find my word count is exactly where it needs to be. Because of the chaos, I have taken two of the first ten days off of NaNoWriMo. I usually allow myself three per month, though I've never actually used all three.

When I've had the time to write, the words have been coming and for that I have been grateful. Last night I had a great two hour writing window in which I highly amused myself by coming up with what (I think) is a rather witty, clever scene with some hilarious dialogue. I was so grateful my husband was home so I could talk to someone about it! Those moments in writing are always my favorite, those ones where you slowly build up to something that absolutely works for the scene/character.

Last night a few friends came over to celebrate birthdayness and play Cards Against Humanity (which has to be the best, most awful game...seriously, there were so many tears of laughter my abs hurt today!). They brought with them generous birthday gifts, including an army of bottles to restock my bar.  The evening of laughter, food, drink, and the best company, was the perfect way to relax after the last several weeks. I'm grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.

And I'm really looking forward to playing Cards Against Humanity again.

04 November 2012

The 4th Day of NaNoWriMo 2012

I just wanted to check in and let you know how things are going.

In all honesty, the hardest part has been finding the time to write. After a super long day at work yesterday I decided to take the night off, go out to dinner with my husband, take care of the grocery shopping and a few other work-related projects so that Sunday I could have a more restful and productive day off.

It has been all kinds of wonderful. I needed to write 3,000 words just to catch up. I managed 4,000 which means I'm now a tiny bit ahead of the game.

This should be my last under-staffed week at work and thanks to a very kind, generous, and supportive soul, it's not going to be nearly as bad as it could have been.

I am enjoying every minute I've spent writing and have found that it has decreased the stress from my life instead of adding to it.

So glad I decided to "Do It Anyway." Henry is proving to be an excellent protagonist and I think the trouble he gets himself into is going to be fun for me to write about.
That kind of Sunday. Tater Tot Hotdish and red wine.

01 November 2012

Day 1, NaNoWriMo 2012

I really do think I must be crazy to be doing what I'm doing. It's the only explanation for why I've been up since 3:50 am and why I'm hunkered down in my NaNoWriMo writing space in my library fortress armed with a cup of fresh brewed french press, a sliced Honey Crisp apple, a candle, an iPod, a MacBook, and my imagination. Even Zelda, best black dog in the world, thinks it's too early to get up (even for breakfast).

Sometimes the writer's life is a lonely life.

I had the foresight to know this was going to be my most challenging NaNoWriMo to date, but even I didn't predict how challenging it was going to be due to my most insane work situation. There is relief in sight if I can make it through another week.

In the past I've done NaNoWriMo posts on a nearly daily basis. It helps me get the words rolling. I'm not committing myself to anything beyond getting 50,000 new words down. I'll definitely do updates, I'm just uncertain yet how consistent they'll be.

I suppose I'll need to sleep at some point...

Happy 2012 NaNoWriMo!