(aka, how not to do NaNoWriMo)
It’s been a while since I posted here. As you might have guessed, especially if you’ve been reading for more than a year, this means that NaNoWriMo went badly. The amount of time that I had to dedicate purely to writing during November meant that there was simply no time left over for a blog update.
So, to get it out of the way right now, I did win (which simply means that I reached the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days), but it was definitely an ungraceful win. (more…)
This week, we’re asking you to consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.
I wrote this yesterday, so… the dates and things are a bit off.
Last night I came to the point where I had to admit to myself that I was not going to win NaNoWriMo this year. This thought had been nagging at me since the beginning of November and it hugely bothered me. I have a perfect streak of three years in a row and I didn’t want to lose that. A week into NaNoWriMo this year, I could see that this was going to be the hardest NaNo struggle I’ve ever had.
Today it is exactly 15 years since I went to school for the very first time. I can always place this date very exactly because I started school on my grandmother’s 80th birthday. She would have been 95 today, but she is dead just over four years now. So this date, the 13th of January, isn’t really important to me because I went to school, or because of my grandmother’s birthday, for I didn’t actually have much contact or a connection with her. It is important to me because it marks the anniversary of me finding out I was different.
It’s been fifteen years that I’ve known I’m weird. When you’re six years old it is a terrible revelation knowing that you will never be normal. You will never fit in. You know, when you’re little you are not aware that other people’s lives are different from yours. It was only when I went to school for the first time that I found out that other people’s parents weren’t “old”. When I got to school for the first time I found out it was not normal to have parents who were already middle-aged and grey when you are only six years and two months. I wasn’t aware how weird it was to grow up without any influence from pop-culture, to hardly watch any TV at all and to not listen to modern music. But most of all, I didn’t know how big of an issue all of this would be to the other kids. (more…)
Sooo… It’s still the third week of NaNoWriMo. My little colourful calendar there in the sidebar is starting to look increasingly like a game of Tetris and I’m still winning the word count. I haven’t been behind yet, except for the second day where I was technically a few hundred words behind when midnight came, but I continued writing beyond midnight and by the end of day 3 I was all caught up again. So, this is the week of the 30,000’s. And the great and scary thing at the moment? My week-threes haven’t turned up yet. You know how I said that other people suffer during week 2, they hit a block, etc., but that I suffer during week 3, because that is usually when I run out of steam? I did run out of steam a bit in week one. Well, actually I started low on steam, but now I’m pretty
chilled chirpy. We’ll see what the rest of this week holds. I’m trying to study for English Lit and doing an assignment at the same time and it’s a bit stressful. I write English on Saturday (yes, Saturday, sometimes I hate my university) and I also have to hit 40,000 words that day. And the 3,000 word assignment is due next week. I just want to curl up on the couch and watch How to Train Your Dragon, but all of that will have to wait for December.
We’ll see. But that is not all that happened this week. I found a couple of things that are just yelling at me to hold on and keep writing and studying and creating. One of them was this tweet that appeared on my Twitter dashboard:
Jennifer Persinger (@jp0473) November 12, 2012
It came at the right time. I need to continue writing, even though the odds aren’t in my favour this week. Then… (more…)
Hey everyone! Just a quick update, because I don’t like leaving the blog hanging in the air.
A lot of stuff has been happening recently and today.
Today is my 21st birthday. I spent like a million hours texting today. That’s what I hate about birthdays: you have to reply “Thanks for the nice wishes” over and over and over again. It’s so annoying it could make a good cartoon, but I don’t have time to draw one. The good thing about all these birthday wishes is that friends you haven’t heard from in ages suddenly bob to the surface again. And that almost makes up for all the brainless texting.
^Doing yet again what my father refers to as “skulking”. He always insists that I lift my chin up in photos and I hate that posture because it looks so condescending.
And… speaking of being busy, today I also had my last class for my degree. Now it’s only the exams and then it’s all over. It’s pretty unreal and it feels as if three years couldn’t have flown past like that. So, understandably, everything was a bit crazy today. If you are inclined to metaphors, you could probably have something to say about the significance of having a 21st birthday on the day that classes are over. You could probably say something about one age ending and a new one beginning. Or you could just get on with it, because no-one cares.
But if only this was the only reason that I’m busy. I can deal with classes and revision. But NaNoWriMo is just something you can’t deal with. No matter how many times you do it and no matter how used you are to writing, it is going to spin out of control. In a way, that is all part of the fun and in a way, it is extremely stress-inducing.
As you can see, over there in the sidebar –>, I managed to break the 10K margin (yay, one fifth done!), but tonight I still need to reach 11,167. I have very little time left today to reach this. I was so sick last night that I couldn’t even reach 800 words for the day. That meant that I lost most of my 1,000 word head-start that I’d built up in week 1. Now I have to catch that up again. Darn it.
Now I’m going to go write at the speed of summer lightning. Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo: how are your novelling attempts going? How is NaNo treating you?
I’ll try to do a NaNoWriMo motivation post next week, with maybe a drawing or two.
I’m writing! I’m writing! Can you believe that?! When last have I written anything that was not non-fiction? Yes, indeed it was during NaNoWriMo, more than four months ago. That should be the new officially warning for Wrimos: You may be drained from all writing for four months after the challenge. *evil laugh* Just when you have completely recovered, it will be time for the next challenge! Hoho!
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling about the wonder of writing and get to the story. This started off as a story of hope and then did a 180 degree turn and went in the other direction. Then things got a bit political and I suspect it is laughing at things one should not laugh at. Please note: it is not speaking about any specific country. You can apply it wherever you like… or see it as completely fictional dystopia if that is the way you prefer it.
I’m rather unsure about this story. I’m not sure if it’s too fragmentary, too vague, too horrible. Opinions, please! That’s what the comment box is for!
I present to you… Burning.
It is a terrible thing when a country burns. All the people and creatures get scalded and that is not a nice thing to get, after all. Most of the plants die as well, except for those who learn to feed on the liquid raining from the sky. This liquid is no refreshment, for it is not old-fashioned water, but hot oil raining from the sky – and it does more than just make everything slippery. It feeds the fires burning in the earth and it banishes the water. Those two have an ancient feud, you know. In fact, both would have had massive chips on their shoulders if only they had chips. Or shoulders, for that matter.
Some of the people of the country fled before it all started. They were the most foresighted – or perhaps the most cowardly. Who knows? The foolishly heroic who remain behind roam the stricken countryside in packs. There are still a few areas where one can survive, where the wind-patterns turn away most of the oil-clouds. However, ferocious fights break out on the smallest patch of grass, over said patch of grass, of course. When it is done, not much grass is left. It is easy to start a fight in these days. Without society’s restraints, even a look can serve as catalyst. Luckily for the fights, there are not many looks: people prefer not to look at each other too much, no one being much of an oil painting what with all the oil, ash and smoke around.
What else is left in the country? In fact, what is there left for a burning country? There isn’t much feeling: neither mirth nor maudlin. Things just are, without any kind of descriptive adjective. People and creatures still draw breath and just about the most you can hope for is not getting burned today.
There is not much else to say about the burning country. Usually it is as silent as a mausoleum – which is more than a simile. Sometimes you can hear the laughter of hyenas echoing across the plains. But then, those things will mock anything before they tear it apart – alive.
PS. Random fun fact: This is my 50th blog post! Yay!
© 2012. Elana E. All rights reserved.
Well, hello everyone and welcome to 2012 with Cartoons and Creative Writing! Is this going to be the best year yet? Well, certainly, but it still would not be possible without you – the readers. So, this is a very appropriate time, I think, for a Thank You For Reading!
Further, on the topic of thank yous, I’d also like to thank those of you who downloaded my 2012 Discworld calendar. If you are a procrastinator like me and you haven’t downloaded it yet, but would still like to do so, you still have time! I’ll leave it up for download a while longer – probably until the end of January, at which point, I suspect, it will become a bit obsolete. To download, check for the widget in the sidebar, with the name “Cartoondramas downloads” and click the .PDF icon of the calendar.
I received my annual report for this blog this week. Actually, I’d like to ask, is this a new feature? I’ve been blogging with WordPress for longer than this blog is old, but I have never received an annual report before. Anyway, according to this report, by leaps-and-bounds-far the most popular search term that people have reached my blog in 2011 was “library cartoon”. Which was, incidentally, how I tagged the very first post that I ever posted on here. Well, well, well. That the first little post would turn out one of the most popular…
Fun fact: I got the idea and started this blog while procrastinating on studying for a test. That was at the end of May; thus, just over 7 months ago. And it is, probably, also the reason why procrastination is such a popular topic on this blog!
Aside fun fact: I failed that test mentioned in the previous fact. Semantics and I are just not friends.
Now… my dilemma is whether I should just continue on with this reminiscencing post on how this blog developed and so on, or whether I should show you a cartoon. On second thoughts, a bloggyversary would probably be a more appropriate place for the reminiscences and this-time-last-years. Bring on the cartoon!
Right. There has been a very specific reason for my silence as of late. There were very few cartoons and no creative writing. The fault lies, you see, with the Well of Creative Writing.
I once heard (I think it was on the NaNoWriMo forums) someone say that creative writing comes out of a well, and that this well needs to be constantly refilled, or it could run out, just like a regular well containing water.
That set me thinking… never mind all the other analogies and connections with wells that I could come up with… I thought of this story that I read as a kid. It was, amongst other things, an explanation of where snow came from. It made a fascinating story for someone like me who has never seen a snowfall and thus it stuck with me. It went something like this:
At the very bottom of a deep well in the ground lived an old woman. She employed a young girl as maid. This girl had at some stage fallen down the well, but this is besides the point, at the moment. The girl had to shake out all the mattresses and pillows in the house every day, until the feathers flew about her head. Obviously she didn’t like the job and thought it unnecessary to do it everyday. Then she refused to do it. After a while, the old woman showed her how the people of the earth were complaining, because no snow was falling and they wanted snow. Thus, the snow was made at the bottom of this well, by shaking out feather mattresses. I don’t know how the story explained how snow came from up in the air, but was made at the bottom of a well…
The point is, if snow was made at the bottom of a well, designed to go upwards, then what would it look like if inspiration was also manufactured at the bottom of a well that had to be refilled all the time? Well, I have no idea, but I do know what it must look like at the bottom of my well:
Definitely a strike. That is why my well is not getting filled up!
The NaNoWriMo pipe definitely drained it during November and sucked it dry beyond the reach of other writings, but it is now January and I am still so uninspired… I actually have two ideas at the moment, but I am mostly just looking at them. I have so many half-drawn cartoons, but I don’t know how to make them funny so that I can finish them. Someone help me tell those inspiration workers to get up and go back to work, please!
Bingo! I am uninspired to make a post, so I just made one about being uninspired to make one! And now I’m just rambling… I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. When I did my 750 words’ journaling today, I started off about Angry Birds, ended up on a rant about Disney princesses, and had an afterthought about when did I become so cynical. So that is rather wide apart.
Now, I’m breaking my own New Year’s Resolutions (or as I refer to them: New Year’s Revolutions) already, which is no surprise, by staying up half the night again. I really don’t want to go through another year like I went through 2011. The most sleep I got a night was 5 hours… Only now in the holidays when I am getting rested, I am realising that I went through life with a permanent haze of tiredness behind my eyes and that I got so used to it that I didn’t notice it anymore. I really want to try a healthier sleeping, exercising and eating lifestyle this year. I can’t live so haphazardly.
Speaking of which? Have you made your New Year’s Revolutions yet?
Tell me in the comments!
Hoping to become more inspired and less rambling,
That’s right! I won NaNoWriMo 2011!
I was finished with my 50,000 words with 20 minutes of my 30 days still to go. Last time I did it I finished with half an hour to spare. You cannot say I am not stable in my WriMo habits! Last time I won, lying in bed in a holiday resort, with only a small bed lamp, a clock on the microwave and my exercise book and pencil to accompany me. Oh, and my father’s snores for background music.
It feels… awesome.
Ha! I beat last time’s word count with 16 words – epic huh?
I really also don’t have one single word left in me for this novel. It is also now finished. I was really just rambling to fill up words because there was really nothing left to say.
Do you know I’ve never actually finished before? That’s right: I. Have. Never. Finished a Novel. Before. But I just did!
Oh, I have started hundreds of things, but I have never finished a whole novel. Even last time I ended up being so long-winded that I finished my 50,000 words but being only a quarter through the story. Though I did repeat a lot in that thing. Every time I didn’t know what to say next I had the people repeat the same ancient legend to each other. I should finish it someday – I like that story!
Anyway, here is what my stats for the months looked like:
Please ignore it on those two occasions where it says I did not write for the day. I wrote every day. I was just twice too late to update my new word count before midnight so then it ended up looking as though I did not write one day and then wrote heaps the second.
I find it especially amusing where it says “At this rate you will finish on December 1, 2011”. I very nearly did, having validated my novel with 10 minutes to spare! Phew! I was quite nervous there that it would not go through – I had heard the site can get pretty laggy on the last day and I was scared it would crash, but it was just as fast as always for me. I guess it is because I am ahead of the USA (where the most WriMos are) in time zone, so the lag hasn’t started yet!
Anyway, this is what I look like at the moment:
I also earned my NaNo badge in 750words.com today. I decided to go for both at the same time, because I might as well paste my novel in there as a sort of back-up! Yay!
Anyway, it is now very early in the morning of the first day of December. November is over – can you believe it?! I even passed my final French exam excellently well (for me) through all this novelling going on. And now… with all this over, this new novelist will be off to bed. Yes, I am that boring.
I’ll try and be back tomorrow in my old capacity (as a cartoonist and creative writer and not a WriMo) and try not to brag about my victory too much. Sorry, I know all this nagging is annoying.
There are quite a few things I have to say!