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Sprinting my way through a marathon

NaNoWriMo is, once again, kicking my ass, and I am now 5,000 words behind where I should be. Cue tears of panic.

Then I recall that today is the first day of Fall Break, and besides work my only scheduled obligation is roaming through the house in my pajamas and fluffy slippers, munching on a lemon cream cheese tartelette and playing video games. Glorious. Time for a word sprint!

:: word sprint \pronouncation: effffff\: n. 1. an allocated period of time in which an individual attempts to make up a nauseating amount of words in NaNoWriMo by furiously hashing away at his/her keyboard like Shakespeare’s monkey. “Goodness, I’m so behind in my novel I better have a good word sprint tonight” 2. a mad mental dash to the writing goal finish line immediately followed by a stiff drink and/or period of comatose. “Boy I sure hope this word sprint comes with scotch.” 3. v. a cruel method of torture used by the ancient Greeks to punish young children that didn’t use proper grammar. “You’re going to word sprint today or it’s the end of your life as you know it!

Overall, a grand old time. However, there is a bit of an issue. Let us display the problem with a fitting image.

As exciting as it is to finish up a “novel” and gripe with fellow writing peers, it’s always a bit of an uncomfortable experience to spew out on paper what really goes on in your mind. Maybe it’s not a direct verbalization of your innermost thoughts, and it might not even be the darkest of desires and secrets.

But it’s you. Every word that is typed/jotted/scribbled/scratched out is something that comes from the dusty mess upstairs, and once you put two and two together it doesn’t always turn out pretty. Often times, it’s downright disturbing. By living vicariously through your characters in the world that you’ve created, at the end of the day there’s a whole lot of space in between the lines, and it’s all full of you.

And truthfully, it’s not all that flattering.

It’s like looking at those mirrors specifically designed to magnify your pores. Have you ever seen yourself in one of those? You think that your skin is creamy clear and baby butt soft, but one look at those concave mirrors has you running for the hills. Might as well scream Bloody Mary in the bathroom at night to bring out the deformed and twisted reflection you didn’t even know existed.

Of course it’s not all that bad. Writing brings out the whimsy in me that my not-five-year-old-self has forgotten. It allows me to twist and adjust parts of this world into something coherent and understandable, rather than overwhelming and jumbled. There are heroes and living myths and magic and triumphs for the good and honorable who beat down the evil doers and monsters.

Slightly jarring though, when the monster turns out to be part of you.

Ah well. C’est la vie. Time for a matcha latte and more sprinting!

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Writing, tea, and how to beat insomnia

Remember how way back when on my last post I talked about how busy I had become? Made excuses about not blogging because of how much stuff I do? Implied that the world around me would implode if I added anything else to my to-do list?

So I started NaNoWriMo again.

Only my second year taking on this daunting challenge, and I’m already behind. It makes me sort of glad the word count widget isn’t running yet, because then the whole internet could see just how much I’m not writing. I don’t know which one is more shameful: complaining about how busy one is and then adding more onto that pile, or voluntarily adding to the pile with things you end up not doing in the end.

All in a day's not-worked

But no! I refuse to sit down and be lazy! This novel will get written~! (And maybe even shared this time around. Who knows. I may find some bravery in me yet.)

If I schedule things correctly, I should be able to complete my grown-up-person obligations (school, work, teaching) and then somehow cram in enough time for the symptoms of my peter-pan-syndrome (dallying in novel writing and making rubber cement balls). Pumping myself full of caffeinated tea to fulfill this schedule can only bring positive consequences. And build character!

This brings me to a surprisingly obvious fact about insomnia I just learned: if you act busy enough to forget the fact you can’t sleep, it’s basically as if you tore down the walls that divide the week and have one huge 150 hour work day with an 18 hour sleep marathon at the end. You’ve ignored sleep for so long that it comes crawling back to you like a neglected spouse who just wants to cuddle.  That, my friends, is productivity.

It is also why I need to buy a new tea pot and restock my Earl Grey. Donations will be accepted with a mad grin.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Winner!

Just verified my 50,000+ words on NaNoWriMo and feeling a sense of accomplishment that should not be this bloated considering that I did not physically win anything. I did, however, get this spiffy image:

Isn’t that spiffy?

Funny thing is, my novel isn’t finished. At most I would say it’s 60% complete. So this accomplishment is even less valuable seeing as how nothing actually got finished except reaching some arbitrary number the rulers at The Office of Letters and Light (yeah, that’s really what it’s called) chose on some cold frosty morning.

And yet I feel just awesome about it. That’s right, awesome. Because ever since I was a kid I wanted to write a novel, and yet I only dabbled in temporary fanfiction and poetry because a novel was just so damn intimidating. Have you seen novels? They have hundreds of pages and thousands upon thousands of words! Who wouldn’t be afraid of trying to start that monster?

NaNoWriMo, with its utter lack of physical prizes, official acknowledgement, or publication, has done more for the writer in me than my numerous years as an amateur writer could ever have. I don’t know what it was that excited me so much. The pep talks? The write-ins (that I never went to)? The chance to meet other writers in the area? No, none of those really held much for me; I never took a liking to pep talks, social gatherings are a pain, and who wants to sit around with a bunch of strangers talking about their own books?`

Somehow, in some strange, magical fashion, the purpose of this month struck a chord in me without any external factors and drove me to furiously hash out word after word, page after page, until I reached that simple number. I look at the over 100 pages of writing I’ve accomplished and now a novel doesn’t feel so daunting. Hell, the first Harry Potter book was only 76,940 words. I am so almost there!

Sure, I have massive editing to do and probably need to cut out a few unnecessary characters and twist the plot around a little… but that’s for later. For now, I gloat in taking down a beast I thought I could never master. Cry uncle, ya blasted demon!

Not to mention I just stumbled upon the application FocusWriter: why fate has so cruelly shown me this wonderful word processor at the *end* of NaNoWriMo baffles me, but at least now I have an awesome application for my future novels. One of which I’ve… already started.. ^^;;

See you at next year’s NaNoWriMo! I will definitely be participating again in order to get my spiffy little winner icon.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Writing with cake

So… I haven’t been keeping up with my blog as much as usual. Only reason I remembered to post something today was because a friend of mine conveniently nagged reminded me that I have yet to update. And so, here I am!

But in my defense, this whole writing 50,000 words for a crappy novel in a month thing has really been sapping me dry of the time I usually spend being bored. Not that I’m complaining; NaNoWriMo is going fabulously craptacular, as predicted, and I shall carry on! New story ideas have popped into my head as well, so my handy dandy journal has been taking quite a beating from my also handy pen. (In handwriting that would make a third grader weep, no less) I’ve even gotten far above my daily word quota! I think that calls for a congratulatory pat on the back and a massive slice of cake.

Er. Maybe I should just stick with the pat on the back…

Speaking of cake, I’ve recently stumbled across a few sparkling jewels of cooking blogs. Yes, I said cooking blogs. Usually my interests gear me towards things that are less organic, or involve more robots or video games or politics or cars or martial arts or sleeping or legal stuff or anything that… isn’t… cooking. But alas! Thousands of years of domestication have not proved for naught! I quite literally sat for hours in my spinny chair scrolling through pictures of step by step recipes and the staggering end products. Ever been to foodporn.net? Do it. Do~ it~! But not on an empty stomach. You have been warned.

Drooling sensations aside, as I’ve mentioned before cooking really is an enjoyable art form. Well, maybe art would be pushing it. Mildly amusing hobby? Adults version of edible arts and crafts? An excuse to deal with food outside of a meal and not be considered a strange fetish?

You collect a ton of random ingredients, each with their own unique smells and tastes and textures, and blend them together with whisks or your hands or fire (FIRE!!) and you get something magically new and delicious. Especially when you bake things: some goopy nasty concoction goes in; awe inspiring (sometimes still goopy) aromatic dishes of EPIC come out. That’s right. Pure. EPIC. Can’t get much better than that.

Dish washing is also an unfortunate side effect of these tasty adventures, and were it not for my sheer laziness and lack of dish washing motivation I would surely cook more often. Cooking for 1 is usually difficult, but this is why we have friends! Right?

That’s when we get back to one of my favorite topics – robots. More specifically, dish washing robots.

The end of my (and my friends') waist lines as we know it.

 

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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NaNoWriMo!

Or the I’m-such-a-dork-and-tricked-myself-into-believing-I-can-accomplish-this-event (aka: National Novel Writing Month). Basically for the month of November I will be participating in this wonderful event where I furiously hash away a 50,000 word or longer NOVEL.

That’s right, a novel. The brainchild that every amateur writer wants to to achieve at least once in their lifetime, the tangible goal of all fanfiction authors and blogging maniacs. It won’t be bound or published or even printed, but the ridiculous word count and hearty pat on the back by ourselves and our NaNoWriMo community and regional celebrations will make the madness and caffeine rushes worth it. Or at least, that’s the hope.

Apparently if you do the math correctly (psh.. math) the standard participant should try to write about 1,667 words per day. Assuming that you celebrate Thanksgiving/Food Coma day, this should be a bit higher in the beginning to make up for the holiday as well as the unavoidable days of laziness and/or writer’s block.

Stealing the words directly from the site, “Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing.” And I intend to write a ton of crap, 50,000 words worth of crap, even. It will be craptacular. Let’s get started!

<Want to join? –>>>> http://www.nanowrimo.org>

UPDATE: Woohoo! Widget to keep track of my word count on the right –> awesome.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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