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Posts tagged “nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo: Looking back on the past month

Update2

(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…)


NaNoWriMo: Am I getting slower with age?

Update1

Hi everyone, this post will be short one and more along the lines of an observation than a fully fledged post. I have to get back to writing. (more…)


Falling in love with writing again

Writing space

 

I started writing about ten years ago. It wasn’t very serious at first; it was just a coping method and a much healthier one than some others I’d tried. Then gradually things changed and I became much more serious about this writing thing. I started doing NaNoWriMo, jumped obsessively from story to story and became a great fan of freewriting. Then things gradually started to change again. (more…)


NaNoWriMo 2014 diary: Part 2 of 2

 

Diary part 2

This chronicles the final part of my NaNoWriMo journey for 2014. The previous entries saw me at Day 25, still desperately behind with a win only a vague possibility. What was the outcome of my writing quest?

(more…)


NaNoWriMo 2014 diary: Part 1 of 2

Diary part 1

Before NaNoWriMo started I decided to keep a diary for the month. Usually diaries or journalling aren’t my kind of thing but I thought it might be interesting to document my slow failure and descent into (even more) self-loathing. Like many other writers I have a melancholy personality which leads to great swings between burning passion and depressive moments.

So, I’m just going to leave this here. I didn’t rewrite it into nice sentences; I have other nice sentences to go write.
(more…)


I’m not going to win NaNoWriMo this year. And that’s okay too.

IMG_4629

Just a flower that grows outside my door. I guess it’s a weed, but who cares? It’s beautiful.

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.

(more…)


Writing about writing. It’s a little meta over here.

Hey guys!

I figured that I would talk about creative writing today. Remember how I told you last week I am now taking a creative writing class? Needless to say, things with my writing are about to become a lot more serious. (Yes, there is a shorter internet way to state this, but I shall continue to refuse to exchange my descriptive skills for extremely nondescript slang.) This is not me, alone in my room, typing away at my laptop anymore. Now I have to read my writing back to fellow students and writers and at the end of the year I get marks for my work. I have to get enough to pass, or I am in BIG trouble. There is no such thing as “no pressure” or “no judgement” for my writing anymore. Now, everything is pressure and everything gets judged. So let’s talk about writing, practice, planning and writer’s block.

(more…)


Writing

Soooo… Please excuse the ultra-descriptive title: I used up all of my words on NaNoWriMo.

Yesterday I said that I’ll talk more about my NaNoWriMo. Also, some people have asked me how I write. I have no idea why anyone would ask me, but I might as well reveal what I do during NaNoWriMo. If it can help anyone else, I’m happy!

Firstly, a few things about NaNoWriMo. I know that a lot of people criticize this endeavour. I know that a lot of people say that a good novel cannot be written in a month. And to those people I would say that you are absolutely right. A good novel can (probably) not be written in 30 days. However, this is not what NaNoWriMo is about. It is about sitting down and writing that first draft, while the experience of writing along with thousands of other like-minded people is your motivation to continue. NaNoWriMo gives you the freedom to write absolute crap and, believe me, a large part of my current novel is exactly that. (more…)


One for the history books

That’s my history book, not yours! 😛

I meant to post this yesterday, actually, but my stupid internet died.

Anyway, yesterday, the 29th of November, is a day to go down in my history book. Why? Here’s a bulleted list of reasons. Everyone likes bulleted lists, don’t they?

  • Yesterday I handed in one play review. As if going to the theatre and watching a play and then reviewing it was something I had time for this month. That wasn’t such a pain, it was more of a nuisance and a waste of time. I’m not a journalism or drama student, why do I get play reviews as assignments? So I went to the theatre alone last week, for the first time in my life. People gave me weird looks. They were probably wondering what a young girl (I look about 16, remember?) was doing there all alone. Maybe they thought I was waiting for a boyfriend who never pitched…
  • Yesterday I handed in one research essay. 3000 words. The longest one I’ve ever written. Possibly it was also the most painful one I’d ever had to write. I always struggle with research essays, not because I can’t write them (I generally do quite well in them), but because I am so attention deficient. And I don’t do well on computers with my attention deficiency. Seriously with the amount of time that I spent playing FreeCell, Spider Solitaire and Angry Birds instead of working this past week, I could have won NaNoWriMo in 20 days and finished three research papers. These days, I turn off my laptop’s Wi-Fi access when I’m trying to work, but unfortunately none of those three games need internet access. Anyway, I always struggle with the temptations and distractions when trying to work, but it has never been as bad as this past week. My motivation to do anything academic related has been 0% for a while now and trying to study for my last paper and finish that freakin’ essay in that state… I’ve used a few more choice words at it the last few days. (more…)

Things that should be published. Maybe.

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:

It came at the right time. I need to continue writing, even though the odds aren’t in my favour this week. Then… (more…)


A NaNoWriMo scenario [cartoon]

Hi! If I’m writing this, it means I survived my first exam today! And guess what that means? I should be studying for my next one on Friday, but I have a minute now and this means cartoons! And what else would it be about than what is constantly on my mind at the moment: National Novel Writing Month? So, here’s my version of Nanotoons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, this really happens. 😛

Here’s a tip: don’t ever name a character Vivienne if you’re going to be typing her name in a hurry. It’s the hardest name ever to type. It’s like, left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand, left hand, double right hand, left hand. Bam. But now I’ve made that mistake and I’ve got to live with it. 😉

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go write. I have 20,371 words so far and I need to hit 21,667 in one hour from now. I really don’t want to go. I’m aching all over and the last thing I want to do right now is exert myself further. It isn’t just that my arm aches from writing the exam (Though it would have been cool if the roughly 3,000 words [I’m deadly serious] I wrote in the exam today counted for NaNo. It’d give me such a boost! :P), I also thought it would be a great idea to do a workout this morning because I hadn’t slept nearly enough last night and I thought it would wake my brain up. I haven’t done a proper workout since high school, under the death stare of the PE teacher… Well, it did wake my brain up. Unfortunately it also woke my muscles up. I didn’t even know you had muscles along the sides of your ribcage. Well, that’s where it mainly aches right now. You guys can tell I dropped biology as fast as I possibly could in high school and did history instead, can’t you? I’m clueless about anatomy. 😉

I’ve put in almost 14 hours of writing so far. For the first time, I’m keeping a log book of my NaNo and it’s very interesting. I’ve also been able to monitor that my morale hasn’t been very good so far this month:

I was so sick on the 6th, with a headache that I could hardly see, let alone type. I managed 779 words though. 🙂 I need to fill in today’s. It’s probably about a five.

 

Okay. Ouch. Now I’m really going. Because…

 

 

I’ve leave you with the wise words of the wonderful Nanny Ogg:

“You ain’t going to lose, are you?”

— Terry Pratchett

 


21 today

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.

Obligatory birthday pic.

^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.


Panic

Hi everyone! Guess what I want to shout right now?

This was a really lame cartoon, I’m sorry. I wanted to add more panels and reactions and things, but then my internet just died last night when I was composing this post. I think it must have hit the bandwidth limit. Oopsie. That’s embarrassing. Too many vlogbrothers videos, maybe? That’s another thing I do when procrastinating, and it’s kind of addicting. This is why this post is even later than usual. I’m in the university library right now, using stupid, slow Internet Explorer to write this. Ugh.

I had to get it published before NaNoWriMo starts, because I also have to add that I don’t know how regular updates will be between exams and novel-writing and everything else I complained about above. I’ll try to update on my writing and I have a few cartoons that I can upload, so we’ll just have to see how far I get. Anyway, if you want to laugh at my failure to write, the NaNo widgets have made a reappearance in my sidebar –> right underneath the follow icons. It’ll update with my word count, if you’re interested. Now I can just hope my internet makes a reappearance tomorrow.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I made myself a word count calendar this year and I’m uploading it to the internet if anyone else wants to use it. Feel free to download it, save it as your wallpaper, print it or share it with your friends! Just don’t remove my watermark, or distribute it as your own.

Details:
Featuring: a Lord of the Rings themed NaNoWriMo calendar. (I took the opportunity to compare NaNo to an epic journey, Frodo’s to be specific.)
Size: 1920 x 1080 (HD)
Click here to download it.

Enjoy!

Now, for the random stuff (yes, this post is long, consider it making up for future lack of posting): when I started this cartoon, I  thought of this book cover:

Don’t panic! That’s advice I could do with remembering! That’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for those who can’t tell.

And then… as I took this picture, I though “How many things are there sticking out about my head?! Seriously…” So then I made this (I was bored):

Okay, that is probably quite enough. I’m going to look for a novel plot now. Find me on Tumblr for more NaNo related stuff, or check the sidebar widget and good luck to everyone else participating!

Happy Hallowe’en! :[


On Writing – Stephen King (book review)

Click to view on Goodreads

I can hardly call myself a fan of Stephen King. I read one of his books once and I wasn’t mightily impressed. I’m sure he’s a good writer, but his chosen genre just isn’t for me. If anyone call tell me which of his books aren’t gory or horror-y, I’d like to try them out. Anyway, I spotted this book on my uni library’s new books exhibition. I think it was mostly the cover that drew my attention (and the urge to procrastinate some research I had to do). So I started flipping through it and it looked really interesting. It is called a “memoir”, but King not only talks about his life, but also about writing. He talks about how he started writing, how he writes now and he gives some tips to write well.

I decided I really wanted to read this book, but I couldn’t have it because it was still on the library’s exhibition and they get a bit miffed if you want to decrease the amount of books they can display. So, I waited. And waited. And waited some more until the library finally stopped showing it off and put it one the normal shelves. I read it in three days during odd moments. It was that captivating.

In the first part of this book, King talks about his own life. He starts at his childhood (And what a crazy childhood! Seriously, if you want to read about insane childhoods, read this!) and works his way all the way up to the present. He also writes about how he wrote his first short story, about all the rejection slips he got and how he finally got published in a magazine.

In second part, he gives out some writing tips. He shows why he hates adverbs and proceeds to give some examples of other authors’ work that he finds good. He also shows copies of some of his own first drafts, with all the changes and crossings out, so that you can get some idea of how much gets changed in the revision process.

I think this is a great book, because King speaks about his life and writing so naturally (argh, an adverb!). He does use profanity, he is scatological, but it comes across so natural – it is so clearly just the way he talks normally – that it doesn’t distract. I consider myself pretty unshockable on the language front – I’m a language student after all, so I’ve seen it used in all extreme forms – but the all I have seen is often done so incompetently by authors who seem to be trying too hard to sound bad-ass. It is not so with King: he is in his natural environment.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested in reading about an author’s journey to being published. Perhaps it is because I hope it will give me some clue as to what the heck I should do.

So, in terms of giving me what it promised (interesting biography, interesting commenting on writing, and useful tips) this book succeeded completely. I hereby rate it:

I recommend it to anyone who likes autobiographies or writing. Especially recommended if you like both!

I know that I picked up a few tips for my writing during NaNoWriMo (Yes, I have made my decision. I’m doing it this year. More below.), the most valuable of which was probably the question “Who do you write for?” Who is your ideal reader? You know this person well, right? So, write what you know they’ll love. You know what will make them laugh and what will make them continue reading. Put all these things in and then you will have their perfect book. When it’s of acceptable quality, show it to them. By their reaction, you will know what is good and what you need to change. In them, you will have the perfect soundboard and fan.
For King, this ideal reader is his wife, Tabitha. Well, I know who my ideal reader is. I think I’ve always known…

On Writing by Stephen King is a wonderful book and I wish I had a copy of my own.

***

So… about NaNoWriMo… After much, much agonising I decided to participate. What am I writing?

I know I’ll regret it if I don’t participate. But the thing is, I don’t compete if I can’t win. (In it to win it! as we always say) I’m not going to enter knowing that I won’t finish anyway. I will finish it. I don’t give in. I did it under the same circumstances last year. But you see, last year I went into it blind. I made a split second decision just days before it started. Before I could second-guess myself, the madness had already started. Now, I know exactly what I am getting myself in for. I know the mental pain that NaNo causes. I know how bad week 3 is going to be (for most people week 2 is apparently the worst, but week 3 is my death). I know how hard it is going to be to study for final exams while writing 1667 words in an hour every day. I write exams right until the very end of November this year, so there is no reprieve for me.

On the other hand, I have some advantages that not all NaNo-ers have. I am extremely writing fit – I’ve written 750 words every day for more than 600 days in a row now. I can do those 750 words easily in 15 minutes – I can do it in 10 if I have to, but that means no capitalisation and lots of typos. I am also a language student, which not only means that I have the world’s finest literature in my mind, ready to draw upon for inspiration, but that I have developed awesome (not really) note-taking skills over three years of English and also basically my own shorthand. Those lecturers don’t hang around for you to figure out how to spell Houyhnhnm (hate that word).
Well, actually I just meant to say I can write very fast. 😛

So, there are my advantages to NaNoWriMo. But I haven’t mentioned the most important one yet: if it wasn’t for NaNo pushing me, I would never have had 1 and a half novels to my name. I need this extra motivation to start writing again… So, who’s joining me for this ultimate challenge?


Random vlog

In which I talk for 7 and a half minutes about nerdy obsessions, hobbits, NaNoWriMo, get distracted by absolutely everything flying past and look everywhere except at the camera.

I know I sound weird to most of the world. Sorry if it’s annoying! Also, I seemed to have developed an allergy to breathing lately, so my nose is all stuffy and… yeah.

Why does my voice sound so weird?

I look like a school kid doing a speech.

Just look at the camera, will you?

Bad quality, ergh. Glare. Ergh. Why does it lag there. Hate lag…

Why am I doing this?

Why am I such a boring conversationalist?! I only ever use one tone of voice!

 

Doubts and random pointless videos aside, there’ll be a new cartoon on Monday!


Writing soundtrack

Welcome to the first post where I am not going to draw anything or share a short story with you, but rather write about how I write. Remember I said I wanted to start sharing more of this, something which I only got a taste of during NaNoWriMo?

 

This post was inspired by something that I read over on Bethie’s HASH. She is busy with a writing challenge on different questions (Check it out, it’s really interesting if you are a writer!). The one that matters now was the one about writing and music with the question:

Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

 

I was obviously all hugely excited by this post and eventually Bethie convinced me to make one too. So now I’m doing it. And probably blaming it on her as well.

(This is going to be long.)

Writing and music

 

Certainly I listen to music whilst I write. What would I be without the music I write to? That was a tad overdramatic perhaps, but it makes my point. I need music whilst I write – it is very seldom that I would write in silence.

I am also not the only one who feels this way, and neither am I the only one that begins to hear stories in music. One of my favourite authors, Diana Wynne Jones, said,

The Magicians of Caprona was odder than most, because I heard a piece of music and thought, ‘That ought to have words,’ and the story came into my head as I thought it.

 

I tend to pick what I listen to by need and theme, rather than any other reason. And I’ll admit it: I don’t like conventional, modern music. There will be the occasional pop song that I like and also the occasional rock number. But in general, I don’t like having to listen to those things. What I do like, is soundtracks. I’m crazy about the things actually. I believe that soundtrack-music plays such a large role in any theatre experience (it builds everything from emotion to tension) that it should get more recognition than it does. The only part of the Academy Awards that I am really interested in is the Oscar for Best Soundtrack. I remember being furious at the judges’ choice last year.

Thus, this means that the title of this post has a double meaning: not only does the music serve as a soundtrack to my writing, the music is also a soundtrack in its own right. And yes, before someone points this out to me in the comments, I do know that the correct term for the music to a film is “score”. I just don’t like that word. It’s not descriptive.

 

Though soundtracks do make up the majority of what I listen to at any time, not just when I’m writing, I do listen to other things as well. I like a bit of instrumental metal sometimes and also some folk (don’t judge). Also, I like to listen to trailer music, which is even more of a niche market than soundtracks. It is similar to soundtracks in that it is used in films (mostly only their trailers, hence the name) and commercials to create a mood, but different that they do not come in a series that, as a whole, tell an entire story. Trailer music is like a snippet out of a bigger story and I like it, because I can fill in the rest with my writing.

I listen a lot to the Lord of the Rings soundtracks (my favourite), How to Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter (especially the final soundtrack), the Tangled soundtrack and The Three Musketeers soundtrack.

 

Now… on to the specifics!

*

The first time that I actually started connecting certain tracks with writing and actually made a point of noticing that I did this, was during the first time that I did NaNoWriMo. That was when I set myself the challenge to do it at another time of year, because I could not make it in November: thus June/July 2010. The novel that I wrote during this time (and still have not finished) was dramatic, overly dramatic, satirical and verbose. I’ll tell you more about it someday, when it makes more sense to me.

Anyway, it was also during this time that I found an album by Two Steps From Hell, a production company that specializes in trailer music, Illumina. Then I went on and listened to it a lot.

Therefore there will always be a couple Illumina tracks that I will forever associate with writing:

Could’ve been…

I love you forever

 

The good news is… that that was not all that I listened to. There was one certain track that I used to write a death scene. What was it? Oh yes:

Remember When… This one is by Future World Music, another trailer music company. Future World Music actually became quite important to me during this time of my writing, because their track Dreamscapes and Wishes actually became the theme song to my novel.

But enough about this novel. There are quite a few more tracks that I associate with it, most notably Believe and Ashes of War, but let’s move on.

*

During one of my other novelling adventures, which I named Arcana for the lack of better ideas, I never realised how much I based the ending of my story off one of the songs that I listen to so much: Send Me a Song, by Celtic Woman. I believe it is sung by Lisa Kelly.

Without telling you the entire plot (which I still have not written the middle of), it was roughly a story about music and the awkward relationship between a girl and her boy friend (emphatically two words). There was lots of music and he broke the law. For which he was banished. So yes, if you listen to the lyrics of that song, you’ll hear another story very much like it. I only realised what I did much later! Smile with tongue out

*

My latest escapade into the world of music and writing was, of course, during NaNoWriMo 2011. This was certainly the story that was most influenced by music, of any of those that I had written. You see, I got my idea for the plot when listening to Now and Then by Blackmore’s Night. When I heard the lyrics, especially the bit that said “I’ll heal in time”, I knew I was going to write a cross between historical novel and science fiction, telling the story of a girl going time-travelling to make sense of the death of her husband. Snapshots of Time was born.

Whilst I was writing this novel, I listened to whatever was on hand and had a fast beat. I would do anything that could make me type faster, because I only had an hour each day to write, and I was trying to do 1,800 words every time. It was a challenge. I went through quite a lot of the Harry Potter soundtracks in that time. It kept me going. I have the complete collection, 1-8. I listened obsessively to Weasley Stomp, because it was the fastest track from it that I could find.

 

When things were a little calmer in NaNo land, I turned to Tuck Everlasting. I have never even watched this show, but the soundtrack reminds me of open fields and buttercups. Why buttercups I don’t know, because I’ve only ever seen a few in my life. I wouldn’t know why I have an association with the things!

When my novel turned sadder, I also had my go-to tracks. Schindler’s List of course remains one of the ultimate tracks, and then there were also things like Hymn to the Fallen, out of Saving Private Ryan.

 

I should really stop now with this post. It has gotten completely out of control! I won’t even get started on favourite composers!

 

I hope everyone who read this far enjoyed it in its pictureless-state. You’d better. You’ve no idea how long it took me to write this thing! Winking smile

Sig2


NaNoWriMo: One for the bucket list

That’s right! I won NaNoWriMo 2011!

 

Winner_120_200_white

 

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! Winking smile 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.

50156 words

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! Open-mouthed smile

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:

National Novel Writing Month

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! Smile

badge.nano

 

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!

 

Cheers!


NaNoWriMo: week 3 is the hardest

Hi. I do NaNoWriMo. I’m behind again on my word count. I’m losing momentum, and I got Week Three blues rather badly. Writer’s block is when your invisible friends won’t talk to you, right? Yes, that is what is happening right now. But now we’re into Week Four, going down the homestretch and the end is in sight. Am I supposed to be more cheerful now? I’ll try. I experienced the same thing last time. Weeks 1 and 3 are the worse. In 1, because you are wondering “why am I doing this?” and “what am I actually going to do if I’m doing this for reals?” And in 3, simply because you are starting to run out of steam and the end seems too far.

The other thing is, I would like you, my dear reader, to vote in my poll, down below. Please scroll down – it’ll only take a minute and hardly any of your brain power! Smile

I’ll really appreciate it! Thank you! Red heart

The weather right now is not helping at all. It’s supposed to be baking – it’s November, it’s summer, but instead I froze under a blanket all day. Two days ago, you could not breathe for humidity, but then last night the heavens opened and the little stream not 200m from our house completely burst its banks and took everything that it could reach (no people at least, apparently) along with it, including rather large boulders. Likely it wants them to bash people over the head with. Anyway, I hate weather like this, because it just wants to make me sulk in bed all day, but I still have more than 13,000 words to go for that novel, I have a 1000-word assignment to do for Friday (it looks like a lot right now, that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about isn’t helping) and I write my last exam for the year also on Friday morning. Then I’m done with Second Year! I just have to pass French… somehow… Smile with tongue out

Righto! I can do this, can’t I? Most things are salvageable in NaNoWriMo. My motto for last time (which went much worse than this time round) was:

NaNo motto

It is still relevant. I’m far too stubborn and proud to lose. Because then I would have to admit failure.

Okie-dokie, seeing that I have already run out of both things to say and time, how does an excerpt sound?

After the important passengers had disembarked, this man also starting moving towards the gangplank. Abrielle fell in behind him, deciding to follow him a little way to perhaps learn a little more of his story. They stood at the top of the gangplank, waiting for some of the sweating sailors to finish manhandling a heavy sea chest down the gangplank. Then the man walked down the gangplank, cradling his bundle, Abrielle walking in his steps. Once on the quay, the man turned around and around on the spot, apparently looking for someone.

He scanned the heads of the crowd and stretched his neck, trying to see farther. But still he did not find who or what he was looking for. He turned around again, but still nothing. Within moments, he was surrounded by the merchants chanting about their wares. He shook his head at all of them, but as some of them gave up and left, more came up and took their place. Quite a lot of them walked right through Abrielle, apparently not even feeling it in the press of the other crowds.

The sun was westering, and in the golden evening light, most of the merchants gave up on the strange man and left him alone. He still stood on the quay. The sun etched his profile in dark lines. He simply stood looking at the people. Then, with a visible sigh and sagging of the shoulders, he gave up with his fruitless scanning of the crowds. He set off towards the distant houses, beyond the stalls, walking slowly, dejectedly. Abrielle watched him go, not following him any more.

Then she started wondering about this man’s story. Who had he been waiting for? Why had that person never come? What could have happened? Had there simply been a misunderstanding, with months on the sea separating them and leading to a confusion of dates and times? Or had something more serious happened? Death? Illness? Rejection?

Around her, parrots screeched and merchants were still shouting about their wares. There was even a man who was blowing on a flute to a snake that was swaying on the lower part of its body, but it all became background buzz to Abrielle. Suddenly, all she could think of was the unfinished story of this man. This man who had come home after a long journey on the sea, clutching a precious bundle all wrapped up in cloth, but the person who had promised to be here when he landed did not appear. She wondered whether his story would still have a happy ending, or whether only sad news awaited him. But now she would never know.

© All rights reserved. ElanaE. 2011.

*~*

A Poll

So, this is something that has been on my mind for a while… I have actually contemplated this before starting up this blog. I want to make origami tutorials. Yes, right, I write how-to articles on in over on wikiHow, but not every tool that I want to use to do this is allowed / possible to code over there. And some of the stuff I am not sure about the copyright. I have asked there before, but no-one could give me a definite answer and I don’t want to break laws on a site with strong copyright rules and a reputation like wikiHow.

So. The Point.

In this upcoming holiday, I’m continuing to live the dream (first NaNoWriMo and now origami) and I am going to start with origami tutorials. But I want to know from you should I create a new blog and do it there, or should I just make a separate page and category for them over here?
Naturally, wherever I end up doing it, I will link to the new tutorials in my regular posts and cartoons (soon, I promise) over here.

Will the extra, off-topic stuff make this blog too chaotic? Will a new blog leave my poor tutorials lost in cyberspace?

What do YOU think?

Vote here! It’s easy: just click Start a separate blog, or Keep it all together.
(And if you don’t vote, then I’m just gonna do what I want, and you’re not allowed to complain later. Right? This is democracy.)



*~*

I made this. It’s generally applicable to girls, I guess. I don’t much know what goes on in guys’ heads when they watch these kind of ads.

Shaving

Now I’ll be off. Enough procrastinating for one day! (Yeah, right. Famous last words!)

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Both images come from Chibird @ Tumblr. Check it out – her stuff is awesome!

I’m hovering between stages 4 and 5, right now, by the way.


NaNoWriMo: halfway

You can see my progress over there in the sidebar! ——>
Yep, I finally got a word count widget! Smile

 

Ah… it’s halfway. Now it is only downhill from here. Je dois être folle…

Anyway, I wrote myself back into the game. I fell behind after my English exam, on which evening I was too drained to reach my word count. Which left me about 400 words behind, when I had been 600 ahead from the first day. It didn’t look too bad at that stage. I could easily catch up the next day, right? Many other people are thousands of words behind. Last time, that was me… It didn’t happen. Lots of unexpected stuff happened instead the next morning, which meant I lost ground with about 200 more words. After that, I was able to keep up, but I couldn’t catch up. The backlog remained ahead of me. But now it’s gone! Buried under the onslaught of religion!

 

I feel I should clarify that last sentence. My novel is not a religious novel. What genre it really is, is a question that has been puzzling me for some time now. It is definitely very far removed from my usual satirical fantasy, but not 100% exempt, I should say. At the NaNoWriMo site, I classified it as Historical Fiction, but it does not really fit there either. It is not about a certain period in history, nor many periods either. It is more a collection of glances at historical happenings, but it is not so much about the history, but the feelings of my main character as she experiences it. Then there is the element of portals and time-travel, which places it in the field of Science Fiction. And there is quite a lot of time-travelling. Every time I get bored of a particular scene, in fact. Then, lastly, the religious element. I prefer not to pertinently call it Christianity. Don’t get me wrong, I am and remain a Christian. But I want my novel to be more universal than that, therefore I do not want to name and pin it down. I would prefer to think of it as a Spiritual element in the novel.

So, there it is! What do you think? Which genre fits this thing the best?

 

~*~

 

Stuff I learned this time round:

  • The internest is your enemy.
  • As is Angry Birds and other people’s blogs.
  • I really shouldn’t read Harrypotterconfessions: it never stops at just one page. That probably means I should avoid Pinterest as well…
  • Oh, and just make that social networks in general.

  • writeordie.com is your friend. Especially if you’re like me and you need some incentive to start writing and stop procrastinating. Correction: make that hit over the head with a hammer before you start writing. Not a real hammer of course – an internet writing hammer. I don’t think I’d be able to write anything much after anyone had really wacked me one.
    It’s amazing how I can suddenly write with Dr Wicked blowing down my neck.

  • It is not easy to write exams and NaNo at the same time. Yes, yes, it is physically possible for me to type 1667 words in an hour. That is what I said at the beginning of the month. So that is all I’d need to take off from studying, right? Yeah.
    Sure, it is physically possible. But mentally? No, not usually. And how about procrastination-I-have-a-heap-of-blog-comments-and-emails-also-to-answer-in-that-hour wise? Nuh-uh. Not at all possible. Which means I waste hours in front of the computer, make everyone in the house mad, by just staring at the screen or by looking at fashion blogs and downloading new stuff, when I could have been studying.
    Just an hour? Yeah, sure.

  • Practise beforehand really helps. As you should know by now if you’re a stalker follower, I write daily on 750words.com. Which means, obviously, that I write 750 words every day of my life. I’ve written 250,000 words on there. Okay, since this month, a lot of that’s my novel… (I’m hitting 300 days in a row tomorrow!!! Open-mouthed smile Remember when I posted on how excited I was to get 200 days in row? No, probably not. But it feels so long ago!) Best habit I ever started. Yes, sure, most of it is private journaling and rambling, and story-writing takes up only 1% of my words over there. But the point is that you practise writing and typing. 750words has taught me that I can write 750 words in 15 minutes if I really type and ignore typos and punctuation. And most caps.
    Because writing is like running a marathon, you need to get fit beforehand. So, I am so used to writing 750 words by now, that writing that much of my novel is easy and fast every day. After that, it goes downhill at bit. I start getting like a runner who is out of breath and with a stitch in the side. However, at least I can write half my word count for the day easily, because I’m fit for that portion. And a good beginning is halfway to a win, right?

  • I’m not giving up yet. I’m far too stubborn for that. And I like my story. Even though I have run out of plot a few times now. The one time that happened, I just threw a rotting corpse in there. Well, it worked. It gave my story new life (no pun, or other silly innuendo intended). But I did give myself nightmares later that night. Correction: make it that morning. Well done, me. [Yes, I did just steal The Bloggess’s line.]

 

Anyhow, I write two exams tomorrow, so I should skedaddle now.

 

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↑↑ Even though I don’t even halfway agree with the people who made this thing, they still deserve credit for making it, so go look at them if you’re a NaNoWriMo-hater too. Maybe you’ll find a friend. Smile with tongue out I could write a whole blog post on why I disagree with them, but instead I’ll just give a link. And another comic that reminded me of it (and made me read Pinterest again…).

12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo

I agree with every word in that article. NaNoWriMo gives me the freedom and the excuse to escape from the agonizing of my inner editor and just write. Editing comes later. Because if I don’t stop agonizing, then I will never finish anything. I won’t have time, if all my thoughts are occupied by the difference between “who” and “whom”.

 

Have you noticed? I’m so lame today, I’m posting other people’s pictures instead of my own. I think it is the first time ever!

 

Now I really am off!

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It’s my birthday and I’m a Versatile Blogger

… apparently.

(The Versatile Blogger, that is, not my birthday. I know when my birthday is, thank’ee ver’much!)

 

Anyhow, I’m 20 today! I’m so glad. I’ve been ready to be out of my teens for so long!

Obligatory (slightly blurry, mostly horrible) birthday pic:

IMG_3296-1

 

Look! I’m wearing my origami earrings! I made and designed them myself and then wrote a how-to on wikiHow to share it with others. You can read it, and see them more clearly here: How to Make Origami Earrings. Oh, and that’s my Eine Kleine Nachtmusik printed T-shirt. I bought it a long while ago in Saltzburg, in Mozart’s birthplace house. Then for years I never wore it, but recently, I wear it just about every week. And I twisted up my très Coco Chanel outfit with flowers. Much less boring, hein? Smile with tongue out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other news is that the Idiotphotographer has passed on the Versatile Blogger award to me. Thank you very much! It came as a huge surprise, because at first I thought “But I’m not versatile! I just go along!” But then I though that I do post on lots of different topics and styles, so perhaps I am eligible. You can just look at my tag cloud to see the random, diverse stuff I ramble about! Okay… thank you, I accept and I appreciate it very much!

So, now I am apparently supposed to share 7 random things about myself. (Why is it always so hard to think of anything to say when someone says… “So… tell me about yourself.”?)

Here goes:

1.) I’m the only child of parents who had me when they were already middle-aged. No, I’m not spoiled. Well, I don’t think so anyway. My parents did not do nearly as spoiling as many people I knew did to their kids. Being this long-awaited only baby is just more pressure on you to perform. Well… I did get loads more attention and time that most kids who had to share got… Winking smile Wow, this fact turned into a long preach!

2.) My best friend and I share a birthday. I know. It’s weird. Happy birthday, friend! Open-mouthed smile *big hug*

3.) I can and do write with both hands. I’ve never tried at the same time before, though. I mostly write left these days (it just feels more “right” [no pun intended]), but then today was one of my odd days and I wrote my entire three-essay exam right-handed.

4.) I don’t Facebook, and I stubbornly refuse to succumb to it!

5.) I have a huge fear of dogs. It’s almost like a phobia. People are constantly telling me it is silly, but I simply can’t help it. I know it is silly myself, but if I see a dog I go ice-cold all over and I just want to run and hide. The dog doesn’t even need to bark and look aggressive, I go bonkers anyway. Ha! I’m a cat person! Smile with tongue out

6.) I play RuneScape. Yeah, I’m a girl nerd.

7.) I once had to kick a soccer (football to those of you who use weird terms…) ball for PE in school. Well, I aimed and kicked at it, but then tripped over the ball and fell. That was entertaining my class for the rest of the day I can tell you! That’s how clumsy I am. I fall up stairs and down stairs and also over my own feet while standing still…

 

Now, the passing on of the baton…

Why is this so difficult? Apparently I am supposed to nominate up to 15 people. But I only read about 15 blogs, and… not all of those qualify as versatile in my book. Or they have had this award like several times before… Hmm…

Well, I’ll know what I can do. I’ve seen other people send out a call for nominations, because they simply have not enough people to nominate. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll nominate those that I want to now, and then if anyone wants to nominate someone else as well, leave it in the comments down below and I’ll consider adding them!

Bethie, over at Hear a Snippet Here. She writes about anything from letters to fiction, and then she still manages to add ramblings on hairstyles and strange quirks. Winking smile Check her stuff out – one day she’ll be a famous author and then you’ll be glad you knew her in her blog days!

The Stressed Out Student over at Stressing Out College. I can always laugh at this blog – probably because all of it sounds so familiar to me. Yep, it’s versatile, ‘cause college is versatile.

 

Hmm… was that all? I could swear I thought of a third person that I wanted to include here… Well, I’ll update that in as well when I remember… if…

 

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NaNoWriMo update

… also included in the bargain, some Wrimo-tips! Open-mouthed smile

 

Hi everyone!

Status update: Writttteeeee… Braaaaaaaaaiiiinns!!!!!!!
Eating: There’s no time!
Drinking: Water.
Listening: “When We Were Young” ~ Take That. This has to be my new song-obsession. It is the single to the new Three Musketeers-movie. Seriously. Go and listen to this thing. If you have the same taste in music as me anyway. I’m singing aloud to it at the moment. Well, I’m air-singing, rocking it out. My parents would probably murder me if I sang aloud – especially this time of night! The lyrics just seem to mean so much to me. Perhaps it’s just the kind of mood I’m in…
Reading: What’s that?

My NaNoWriMo is going okay! I wrote over 2200 words on the first day… 1673 on the second, and on the third… 1776. Well, at least I’m still ahead, okay? So it’s going better than last time! I experienced the same last time: the first week is the worst. Once I hit 10,000, I’ll be getting into the swing of things. And now I’m over 5000, so I’m halfway okay! Smile with tongue out

 

Here is the synopsis I wrote for my profile on NaNoWriMo’s website. I would also post a word-count widget in the sidebar here, except that all the people over at the Office of Letters and Light decided not to release them yet. Bah! Sad smile

 

It is a kingdom outside of time. One day that never changes. People live out their lives in this perfect, balanced, stagnant environment.

When Abrielle’s husband is killed by a single rebel, she feels stifled in this society with all its faults. She decides to go out into Time and find her healing there — for she would never find it inside the kingdom.

She leaves the timeless environment and goes on a journey through Time. But what she thought would be a refreshing, healing experience leaves her cold. Where she thought she would find a better world, she finds a place filled with even more pain, more desolation, more faults than there ever were inside the timeless kingdom.

Finally Abrielle can understand why her people shut themselves off from the progression of Time.
But perhaps she will also learn to understand why she felt that she could not stay outside of it and what there is for her inside the progress of Time.

I also decided you may as well see the Jack o’ Lantern I drew for the start of a Hallowe’en cartoon and then abandoned for reasons of a NaNoWriMo-nature.

Jack o' Lantern1

Cute, huh? Winking smile

 

..

.

Also, I wish this was my manuscript!

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That would have been so cool, to have it done and dusted! Actually, ^that^ is a pic of my stack of background reading for my English lit exam on Monday. I’m using that stack right now to balance the laptop on.. It makes quite a good lap-desk. Anyway… I know by now that it is only the beginning of NaNoWriMo that looks so bad. At the moment, it looks so very daunting, but once I get into the swing of things… Yeah, I have experience in this by now! One year, but I guess that counts…

 

Anyhow, this probably makes me eligible to give some advice! So, if there are any first-time Wrimo’s reading this, here are some tips!

  • Plan! Okay, so some people are pantsers (me too!), but I’ve found it works better if you have at least just a bulleted list of stuff that you want to happen in your novel. If you don’t have any idea of what’s going for what, you may just get stuck at 10,000 words without a plot. Of course, if you are a planner, you may also want to plan everything out in detail!
  • Get your word count every day. Last time I did it, I missed the 1667 words on the very second day. So that meant from the very second day, I had to do catch up. And in my last week, I had to write over 2000 words every day to be able to finish on time. Not a good idea!
  • Actually, linking up to the previous bullet, try to get more than the word count, especially on the first few days. This may mean that you could either finish earlier, or it may save you on an inspiration-less day.
  • Try to find some system of rewards. Me, I paste my writing into my 750words.com as well. This is because I really want to be able to show off their NaNo-badge. Two birds with one stone!

I hope you have a great week (especially if you are a fellow Wrimo!) Smile with tongue out

 

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Video

A NaNoWriMo vlog

Heya!

I thought it would be faster to do a vlog than to type everything that I wanted to say. FYI: wrong! It took just as long, because I had to edit out all the bloopers. But anyway, here it is. I think it is the most boring video ever, as I’m super tired (dark circles *cough cough*) and basically don’t have energy to breathe, much less be an exciting presenter! And I’m a boring speaker under any circumstances!

I hope my voice/accent does not scare people off!

PS. Please tell me if the video is playing double. I thought I caught that and fixed it (stupid YouTube), but let me know if it is still happening!

Also, check out my new page, linked up there under the header: “My Bucket List”.