____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With a Bang! Reviews



Wow!  This year has gone fast—And this Out With a Bang!  Read-a-Thon seems to be going by even faster!!!!

As the Read-a-Thon is coming to a close, I thought I’d share some reviews of my progress:

I started with Ink Exchange, the second book in Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series.  It was absolutely AMAZING!!!!!  I LOVED it and I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up!!!!!  I made it through most of the night, then picked it up as soon as I woke up.



Book #1
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
(#2 in Wicked Lovely series)
Page count:  325

Ink Exchange picks up where Wicked Lovely left off.  Now that Keenan has found his Summer Queen and they have defeated Beira and replaced her with a new Winter Queen, there is finally peace between the Seasonal Courts.  But not everything is so great for the other courts, particularly the Dark Court, which spent years feeding off the discord of Beira’s malevolent reign over the Winter Court.  It’s up to the king of the Dark Court, Irial, to find a way to feed his subjects.  His solution is an Ink Exchange, a tattoo made from his blood and tears, from his symbols, chosen by a mortal.  When Leslie walks into Rabbit’s tattoo shop, she’s looking for something to change her, a way to erase the bad things that have happened in her life and reclaim her body as her own.  When Leslie sees Irial’s symbol, she feels it call to her, and knows she has finally found her tattoo.  But Leslie has no idea what kind of changes her life is about to take.  As the tattoo begins to forge a link between Leslie and Irial, Leslie begins to be intertwined into the world of the Dark Court.  With Leslie, Irial finally has an outlet to feed on the despair and pain of mortals, but with his court so near to starvation, Irial can barely control his hunger.  He is a drug to Leslie, draining her of every painful emotion, and numbing her of feeling, until she barely cares or remembers anything.  In the end, Leslie has to make a choice of whether or not she can stand living without the pain, whether the numbness is worse, and whether or not she’s strong enough to leave Irial.


Melissa Marr really does a fantastic job of creating her fairy worlds, and really making them feel different and foreign.  It keeps surprising me how dark this series feels.  I’ve always had an image of cute Tinkerbelle-type fairies that flit and fly around with sparkles and glitter, and Marr’s world is such a contrast.  Her fey aren’t just humans imbued with magical powers; they have different needs and wants, different natures that make them what they are.  They are misshapen and hedonistic.  Marr really brings them to life as the essence of nature.  Winter is cold.  Summer is playful.  Dark is intoxicating.  At the beginning of Leslie’s and Irial’s relationship, I saw them as very separate; two worlds colliding.  But the more that Leslie interacted with Irial, the better I could imagine how a completely unknown and unseen universe could be interacting within our own world.  The hurt and pain that Leslie suffered aren’t fictional.  The addiction and the numbness that Leslie falls into are all too real in this world.  Her addiction has a name, Irial, but Irial could have just as easily been any other drug.  Ink Exchange was a really amazing book about people’s natures, succumbing and overcoming them, and sometimes just surviving.  I’m definitely adding the rest of this series to my TBR list!!!











Book #2
Wicked by Sara Shepard
Page count:  311

Book #3
Killer by Sara Shepard
(#6 in the Pretty Little Liars series)
Page count:  322














Book #4
Heartless by Sara Shepard
(#7 in the Pretty Little Liars series)
Page count:  66/275

I discovered The Pretty Little Liars series after falling in love with the television series this past summer.  The first three books follow pretty closely with the tv series.  The fourth book finally felt like there was some closure, like the characters and readers finally got some answers.  But with four more books sitting on my shelf, I knew it couldn’t be over.  And I was SO right!!!

The series revolves around four girls who used to be best friends, that is until Allison DiLaurentis disappeared, and Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily all went their separate ways.  Years later, when the girls start getting mysterious text messages from an unknown stalker, they think they might finally be close to finding out what really happened to Ali that night.  But instead of getting closer to the truth, the girls seem to stumble upon more and more secrets.  What was Ali hiding?  Is A really gone?  Is A really back?  What really happened to Ali???

With A threatening and blackmailing each of them, trusting each other may be the only way for the girls to find out what really happened and stop A once and for all.

I just have to say what a master Sara Shepard is as an author.  The books all read so seamlessly together that it’s difficult to pinpoint where one ends and the next begins.  And at the same time, each book is fully able to stand on its own, simultaneously leaving the reader satisfied with the ending, and burning with questions about what will happen next.

In Wicked, Spencer is still reeling from having confessed to plagiarizing her award-winning paper—Her parents won’t talk to her, her teachers are suspicious, and she’s been kicked out of every club and activity she was in.  Spencer also just found out she was disinherited from her grandmother’s will and she might be adopted.  Now that Emily’s family is finally adjusting to her being gay, she might be in love with a boy.  Aria and her mother are finally mending their relationship, but it’s threatened again when her mother’s new boyfriend, Xavier, starts hitting on her.  Hanna’s mother took a job in Singapore, leaving her to live with her father, step-mother-to-be, and a step-sister who can do no wrong.  And on top of all that, Ian Thomas escapes just before he was about to go on trial for Ali’s murder.  Oh, and is A really back, or is it a copycat?

In Killer, Spencer may have found her biological mother, only to be scammed out of her college fund.  Emily finally has a boyfriend, and his mother might be a little unhinged.  Aria is dating Ali’s brother, Jason, but could he have had something to do with Ali’s disappearance?  Hanna is trying to out-maneuver her step-sister, Kate, which includes dating Aria’s younger brother, Mike.  The girls thought they saw Ian’s dead body, but now he’s IMing them—could he still be alive?  Could he be innocent???  Is Ian AWho is A?  Every time the girls seem to get closer to finding out the truth, something gets in their way; will they ever find out what really happened to Ali????

Heartless is just picking up where Killer left off.  The girls think they may have seen Ali—could she really be alive?  And if Ali’s alive, who’s body did they find???


Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this series?!?!!?  I am picking up clues everywhere, but I am absolutely horrible at solving who-dunnits, I suspect everyone; everyone seems to be suspicious and have motives.  And I never believe somebody is dead until there’s a body.  Even after seeing a couple bodies, it’s still hard to tell what’s real and what could have other explanations.  Something that I think is very interesting is how Sara Shepard deals with the theme of “who can you trust.”  As a reader, I instinctively want to trust the main characters, and I want them to trust each other, I want them to go to their parents and to the police for help, but the setting is such a den of secrets that as a reader I don’t even trust the girls, let alone blame them for not trusting anyone.  It’s a game that keeps changing, and I won’t believe it’s the end until I turn the final page.  This is one series that has definitely kept me on my toes!!!!

Total page count:  1024

Not a bad way to end the year!!!!


Special thanks to The Bookish Type and Book-Savvy for hosting the Out With a Bang!  Read-a-thon!!!!  I had lots of fun!!!!




Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!!!






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Out with a Bang! Day 3 Mini-Challenges

So, I haven't spent all day reading, because I decided to try two of the fun mini-challenges for the Out With a Bang!  Read-a-Thon hosted by The Bookish Type and Book-Savvy.

The first mini-challenge, hosted by Books, Sweets and Other Treats was to answer:


1) Out of all the books you read in 2010, which one would you like to see made into a movie? Why?

It's funny, because I think most of the books that I've been reading are going to be, or have been, turned into movies or tv shows, but I think I might go with The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale.  I could totally see it being a cute teen romance/comedy in the style of Easy A.

2) Pick a song that you feel represents the book as a whole.


I would pick Mika's Grace Kelly, because the main character of the book is named Grace Kelly, and the song lyrics ask "Why don't you like me?", while the book character is trying to figure out how to fit in and make people like her.


The second mini-challenge I did, hosted by Reading Teen, was to take 3 or more books from your shelves and try to make a sentence from them.

I had a lot of fun with this challenge and could have probably spent a lot longer playing around, but I stopped myself after two sentences:

Daddy Long-Legs, who get's the drumstick?  Jane and the damned Mr. Roberts burned the dark half.






My fair lady, let's elope on the beach.








Hope your having as much fun seeing 2010 out as I am!!!


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Out with a Bang! Mini-Challenge




As part of the Out With a Bang! Read-a-Thon, Loud Words &Sounds is hosting a Mini-Challenge:
Come up with three photos (you may use  image sites or your own) that pertain to the chapter or page you are currently reading in your book. And state why they are significant to this chapter or page!
I just finished reading my third book for the day, Killer, the 6th book in Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series and these images relate to Chapter 29.

A mysterious figure named "A" has been stalking the main characters via text messages.



Aria, one of the main characters stumbles upon a blue class ring, is it a clue about what really happened a few days earlier???


When it looks like the girls might be getting too close to the truth, someone is determined to keep them from getting too close.


So those are my entries--I don't think I gave too much away...besides, I've still got two more books to go before I finish the series!!! ;)

The Out With a Bang!  Read-a Thon is hosted by The Bookish Type and Book Savvy!!!  Forget your New Year's parties, this is definitely my favorite way to end the year and ring a new one!!!!!




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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out with a Bang!

I’d like to say that I got up bright and early this morning, but honestly, it was so early that it was still dark out.  My intention was to be productive, work on some blog entries, etc…  Oh, and to turn on the heat, because as mild as these California winters are, two blankets really weren't doing it for me last night.

So I turned on the heat and microwaved some nachos for breakfast.  Then I flipped through about three-hundred channels while I was eating, and flipped through a second time, just to make sure that there really wasn’t anything good on.  I finished my nachos and scooched over to my laptop, started going through emails, when I finally discovered the best way to be productive.

Apparently, The Bookish Type and Book-Savvy combined their book super-book-blog powers to host a marathon reading session for your 2010 TBR list!




What a fantastic idea!!!!!  And even more fantastic, because I realized that even though I’m a bit late in joining the party, I already finished one book this morning before I even got out of bed!!!!

So, now that I’m going to be super-productive today, I’m grabbing a pile of books and heading back to my warm, snuggly bed and mountain of pillows.

Best.  Day.  Ever.







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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is on its way!!!!

Christmas is on its way!!!!

And I am a super- Christmas-freak!!!!!  Especially when it comes to Christmas music, so I thought I would share some of my favorites!!!!

First off I LOVE anything and everything Bing Crosby!

a little background…

Bing Crosby is kind of how I got so obsessed with ChristmasI mean, I always LOVED Christmas!—Presents, shiny, sparkly decorations, tinsel, candy, vacation—And everybody’s happier and smilierGrinches aside, who wouldn’t love that?!?!?!?!  But aside from Christmas my passions have always been books and movies—All movies, classics, blockbusters, new and old, I watch EVERYTHING!!!!  Before the whole commercial-thing, AMC and I used to be BFFs.  And that’s how I fell in love with Bing Crosby—It was love at first movie, first sight, first sound, first song, and every one after.

I’ll admit that Bing wasn’t your classic Cary Grant or Gary Cooper or Rock Hudson or Paul Newman or James Garner type of chiseled good-looking movie star that would pick up a girl at the end of the movie and whisk her off her feet.  But I’m certainly not alone in my crush, because Bing was a pretty big star in his time, doing movies with lots of other biggies of the time—Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Bob Hope, and Fred Astaire.  Not peanuts.  I’m just saying.  But Bing was the kind of guy that would look at a girl and make her swoon.  And when he sang to her, she’d melt into a puddle of jello.

So anyway, we fell in love.  Except that happened to die about two years before I was born.  So I had to console myself with watching every movie that he ever made—Or at least every one that I’ve been able to get my hands on.  And like all of the multi-talented actor-singers of the present, Bing had all the markets cornered.  So I snatched up every cd I could find.  Um, except, Bing happens to be the most well-known for his Christmas-music—the ultimate classic Christmas carol—Irving Berlin’s White Christmas?  Yeah, that’s Bing Crosby.

So for years, the only Bing Crosby music I could find was Christmas music.  But I bought everything I could find, because I just LOVED couldn’t get enough of that deep, rich, mellow velvet voice of his:

Christmas with Bing Crosby
Christmas with Bing Crosby* (no, it’s not a duplicate, it really is a completely separate album, with different songs)
Bing Crosby Christmas
Bing Crosby White Christmas
Bing Crosby Christmas Album
Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics
Bing Crosby Merry Christmas
Bing Crosby That Christmas Feeling
Sharing the Holidays with Bing Crosby

Yeah.  I know you thought I was joking.

But the kicker is that not only are there more, but I generally don’t buy them anymore, because the ones that I tend to find these days are usually just different combinations of all the songs I already have…not to say that there aren’t still a couple out there yet who may not have made it into my collection yet.

So I used to listen to Christmas music year-round.  And I discovered that Bing Crosby or not, I enjoyed the songs, because they were happy, and sang about hope and magic and love and snow, and cuddling up close with the ones you love.  And that’s when I began adding other artists to my Christmas collection.  First it was cds with Bing and friends:

A Merry Christmas with Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Christmas with Bing and Frank
Christmas with the Stars (3 disc set)
NBC Sounds of the Season, Classic Holiday Songbook

And then it was anything I could get my hands on:

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer by Elmo & Patsy* (Before I went all Bing –crazy, this is probably the first Christmas album I had, thanks to my sis!)
Christmas with the Chipmunks* (another holiday classic from my childhood)
Holiday Music 2006, Glisten and Glow (Bath & Body Works—I’m serious, they do GOOD music collections!)
NBC Celebrity Christmas
Sleigh Full of Songs
Dr. Demento presents The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Elton John’s Christmas Party
Music for the Wholidays (featuring “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”)
My Little Pony:  A Very Minty Christmas
Strawberry Shortcake:  A Berry Merry Christmas Soundtrack
The Santa Clause 2 soundtrack
Love Actually soundtrack


So yeah, I know a thing or two about Christmas songs.




Merry Christmas!!!!





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Sunday, December 19, 2010

IMM(SWEET)16

Well, it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas.

Um, that is if I don’t look outside.  Because, here, in sunny rainy CA all seasons look alike.  The flowers are still blooming, the grass is still green, and one or two stragglers still have their Halloween lights up.

But inside is a whole other story!  I’ve decked the halls, the kitchen, the living room, the works—and because half of our Christmas decorations were misplaced when we moved last spring, I got to try out a pink and silver color scheme that’s been in my head for years.  And now that’s in the living room and on the tree, I must say, it looks FABULOUS!!!!!!  Aside from my gorgeous tree, I think my favoritist idea was taking all of our pictures and wall-hangings, wrapping them like presents (in sparkly silver paper), and re-hanging them.  Oh, and at the last second, I decided to substitute silver garland for white curling ribbon.  I know I shouldn’t gush, but it all turned out so fun and festive!  I love it!!!!

And while I will not be having a White Christmas this year, at least I can turn on my Christmas playlist and pretend it’s snowing while Bing Crosby sings all my favorites.  Sigh.  He has a voice just made for Christmas music; made to keep out the cold, made to keep you warm, perfect for snuggling in front of a crackling fireplace, or for sing along with while decorating and baking cookies…  Delicious.  ;)

Cookies are on today’s agenda.  I’ve been dreaming about them all week.  At this point, it isn’t even about eating them—I just want to frost things and put cinnamon eyes on them.  Ok, and I want to lick the frosting.

…But with Santa coming so soon, I’ve been trying to be good, and so I’ve been curbing my sweet tooth with some extra yummy morsels courtesy of Tera Lynn Childs.  My SWEET 16 IMM just happens to coincide with the release of Eye Candy’s 16th installment—Is that fate or what?!?!?!?!  I didn’t know if I could hold out for weekly installments, but I seriously fall in love with this story over and over again every week!

And for all of us who loved Forgive My Fins and are dying for the release of Fins Are Forever, Tera created a virtual advent calendar with new Fins teasers every day!!!!  Somebody sure knows how to get in the Christmas spirit!!!  :)


Next on my list of stocking stuffers…I won a *SIGNED* copy of Melissa Marr’s Ink Exchange from her post on the Supernatural Underground!!!!  This one has been on my TBR list ever since I read Wicked Lovely!!!!!  
Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Now, usually, I try not to post when I’ve won something, until I’ve got it in my hands and have a picture to show people…But this is too fantastic a Christmas present not to share!!!!—As soon as I got done jumping up and down from the excitement of the arrival of Wicked Lovely, I got one of the coolest emails EVER!!!!!

I usually have these crazy reactions to winning things—Mostly because I can’t believe I actually WON something!!!!!!  I can’t stop myself from jumping up and down and simultaneously find myself with a sudden case of jazz hands.  And this email was one of contest I entered that I NEVER thought I would win.  Until I did.

So WHAT is it?  Um, the COOLEST. THING. EVER.  I’m just saying.



Sacrifice Badge


Dakota Banks (also of the Supernatural Underground) had a contest to BE A CHARACTER in the next book of her MORTAL PATH series.  So, yeah, I’m not just going to be reading the book, but I’m going to get to be a little part of it too!!!!!  SERIOUSLY.  How fracking COOL is that?!?!?!!?!?

[insert a million THANK YOUs]

Oh, and there’s MORE.  Like that wouldn’t be cool enough?  I also get my choice of either a subscription to her Mortal Path SERIES (ALL OF THEM), and get to receive a *SIGNED* copy ON or BEFORE the release date.

Or…

A FULL MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE.

SERIOUSLY???  SERIOUSLY?!?!?!!??!  SERIOUSLY!!!!!!

Well, I can only say that it wasn’t an easy decision…  But in a manuscript critique is such a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing… :)

[THANK YOUs x Infinite)


I sincerely hope that all of you are having as magical a holiday season as I am!


Happy Holidays!!!!





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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

IT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE

I started out writing a very different post yesterday.

Before yesterday, if anyone asked where I was from, I would say Wisconsin, never bothering to mention the city, because before yesterday you wouldn’t have known where it was unless you lived there.

Yesterday, a young boy in Marinette, Wisconsin took a classroom of 23 students and one teacher hostage.

I wasn’t there and I don’t live there anymore, so I can’t speak to that.

From the reports I’ve read and talking with family and friends the unnamed boy took a Western Civ. class hostage during 6th hour.  The teacher told her 7th hour students there wasn’t any class and sent them to the library.  When school ended she was able to notify the principal, who contacted the police.  At one point, the boy released five students, possibly to go to the bathroom.  The police were outside the classroom door when they heard shots fired.  Police entered the room, and it sounds like the boy turned the weapon on himself when he saw the police approaching.  None of the reports indicate that the boy tried to harm anyone or fired his weapon on anyone besides himself.  He was taken to the hospital and his condition is currently unknown.  He has been reported to be a good kid, well liked, and never been in any kind of trouble before.  But yesterday he brought two guns to school.

One saving grace may be that just last year faculty and law enforcement took part in a training exercise involving a mock-shooter, and in this manner our small community was not completely unprepared to handle such a situation.  Teachers have always been my heroes, and now, more so.  Another stroke of luck may be that the incident didn’t take place until the end of the school day, that the situation was contained to one classroom, and that most of the school, unaware of the danger, was left to follow their natural evacuation patterns without causing chaos or panic.

I remember being in that classroom, with my own Western Civ. teacher, when we heard about Kip Kinkle, another 15 year old who brought guns into a school, an incident that ended so tragically different.  My teacher is no longer there, nor I, but I can still picture his desk off to the left side, in front of the chalk board,  a TV on a rolling cart in corner, and rows of desks facing the windows on the outside wall where the projection screen was pulled down.  Depending on the season, there was either snow or grass covering the field outside, and the creek, alternately frozen silent or babbling softly.  The ground floor rooms always seemed very make-shift to me.  While upstairs math and science classrooms were connected by cold, cinderblock walls, the downstairs walls seemed to be no more than thick cardboard, and not more than an inch, if that.  I don’t know what it would take to stop a bullet, but I can see so vividly, those three giant pieces of cardboard that so thinly protected the students on either side.  Sounds of history and English and French often intermingled.  I shudder, remembering that I once saw one of those very walls be blown down in the hallway on a hot and windy day, and quickly popped back into place as if it had never happened.  Back then, I was concerned that these walls would not protect us against a tornado, and just the same I imagine how those walls stood tall yesterday, separating one classroom from safety, and another from imminent danger.

The announcement of Kip Kinkle’s shooting spree came just a year before the tragedy in Columbine.  I stood there with my teacher, both of us wondering how such a thing could happen, what would motivate a child, or anyone, to do such a thing.  Neither of us had any answers, there weren’t any words to say.  It was unimaginable and foreign and far away.  It didn’t seem like a thing that could happen anywhere.  Now, it seems even less real that it could happen in the very same room where I stood a little over a decade ago.  Now it seems like something all too close.  And the reality is that it can happen anywhere, in the classroom where I sat, at the school I went to, a mile from the home I grew up in, and where my parents still live.  Some of my teachers are still there, some of my classmates now teach there, some of my classmates have joined the law enforcement that helped to control this situation and bring it to an end.  Many of my friends still live there.  Everyone knows someone who goes to school there or works at the school.  Everyone knows everyone.  If you didn’t know someone who was in that classroom yesterday, you know someone who could have been.

We don’t have any answers right now about why a young boy who had reportedly never been in trouble, was a good student, and well-liked would do such a thing.  Hopefully this boy will be ok and get the kind of help he needs.  I would like to reach out to anybody out there who feels desperate or alone and let you know that you aren’t alone and that there are people who can help you, no matter how desperate the situation may seem.  Please talk to someone; it’s ok to ask for help.

*If you have a family member or friend you are concerned about, have considered suicide yourself, feel alone or hopeless, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.*


  • Call for yourself or someone you care about
  • Free and confidential
  • A network of more than 140 crisis centers nationwide
  • Available 24/7


My thoughts and prayers are with all those involved, along with their family and friends.





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Monday, November 22, 2010

NANOWRIMO and Everything I Did Wrong

Just a few short months ago, I heard about NaNoWriMo for the first time.  November is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, for those of you who don’t know.  And NaNo challenges authors, readers, writers, wannabees, and wannatries alike to attempt awesomeness and write 50,000 words (a modest novel length).  In one month.  November 1 to November 30.

It averages around 1,667 words a day.  Doable.  Definitely.  Heck, that’s only a couple of blog entries—And I do that pretty easy.

My November looked bright and clear.  I’d been getting flashes of brilliance and rages of inspiration lately.  This would be the perfect time to attempt one of my bucketlist dreams.  Just wake up, sit down, and write.

GO!

—Um, hold up.  Don’t go quite yet, it’s not November.

So, I’ve got all these ideas in my head, and I want to write them…but NaNoWriMo doesn’t start until November 1, and if I start writing something earlier, then it’s cheating, I can’t use it.

But should I stave off my creativity?  I’ve got a lot of ideas going on that I want to write.  I don’t want to be too ambitious—I can’t write them all in a month.  So, I should probably work on what I have now, and then start fresh, November 1.

Um, so I’ve got a couple of stories that I’ve started and am TOTALLY in LOVE with.  But now I can’t use them for NaNoWriMo.  Crap.  I need an idea for NaNoWriMo.  I need an idea, but I can’t work on it until November 1.

Ideas.  I have lots of ideas I’ve put on the shelf.  I’ll just dust one of those off.  Sweet.  I have an Idea.

October 31.  I’m signed up for NaNoWriMo and ready to go.  Let’s see what other people from my region are talking about.

Oh.  They’re asking each other what writing programs everyone is using.  I was just going to use Word, because I love Word, and that’s what I always use.  But they’re right, 50,000 words is pretty big.  Using Word by itself might get kind of hard to organize.  Hmmm… My group mentioned a couple of writing programs to try (for free).  I should check them out.  Wow.  These do make a lot of sense.  I should totally use one of these.

Cool, I downloaded a brand-new writing program.  I should really watch the demo, so I’ll know how to use it.

Hey, what else is my writing group talking about?—Oh, and outline?  I don’t usually outline—But I did outline for my last two ideas, that I’m super excited about.  The outline really helped me focus a lot.  It helped me organize where I wanted to put things, where things would fit best, and gave me a place to store important backgrounds and details that I want for my story, but I’m not sure where I’ll need them yet.

Well, NaNo starts tomorrow, I should get some sleep.  I’ll just do my outline in the morning.

YEA!!!!!!!!  NOVEMBER 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!  NANOWRIMO!!!!!!!!

Woke up bright and early.  Sun is shining.  Let’s write a novel!!!!

No blogging today—At least not until I get my word count.  No checking my daily blogs, either.  Novel first.

I really should have breakfast, though.  That way, I won’t have any excuses or interruptions.

Time to get started.  Still bright and early.  Let’s go!!!!  Um, but I think I will do a quick outline.

4 hours later.

Yea!!!!  I have an outline!!!!!  This is really good.  Let’s get started!!!!!!!

You know, if I don’t eat lunch now, I’ll just spend all my time thinking about lunch.  Even writer’s have to eat.  Right?

All set.  Ate Breakfast.  Did my outline.  Ate lunch.

BLANK.  WHITE.  PAGE.

Crap.  Why can’t I figure out how to change the background color on my new writing program!?!?!??!  I hate writing on a white background!!!!!—I haven’t seen my glasses in months and the white is really hard on my eyes.  I always write on black in word.

Maybe if I just change the text color, it’ll be ok.  Nope.  The text color doesn’t look as good on white; the white makes it look kind of faded.  That’s even worse.  I’m supposed to be writing a novel today, and here I am, wasting time on my background and text colors.  Linda and Bill are supposed to come over tonight; I’m not going to have any time to write later.  I just need to get started.  You know what?  I think it’ll be easier if I just get started in Word.  Then I can paste it into my outline on my writing program, so I can reorganize it later if I need to.

Yea!!!!  I’m finally writing!!!!  I’m writing my novel!!!!!  I’m writing!!!!!!

Email from my sister.  Bill can’t make it tonight.  Do we just want to go to Linda’s???—Well, that would be great, then I wouldn’t have to make my bed and I could spend more time writing.  Sure.  Let’s go to Linda’s.

Writing again!!!  Yea!!!

You know…As long as we’re going to Linda’s, I wonder if I could get an eye appointment while we’re in the area.  My eyes are totally not getting any better.  Even if I did find my glasses, the prescription is at least two years old.  And especially if I’m going to be writing like this all month, and spending this much time on the computer.  I really do need them.

Call eye doctor.  They DO have an appointment!!!!  It must be fate!!!!!

Look at the clock—Sister’s on her way home—Call sister, if we leave right away, can make appointment, pick out glasses, can be at Linda’s for dinner, and pick up new glasses on the way home.

I didn’t get much writing done today—But I did spend a lot of time on my outline, so that counts.  Plus, think how much I’ll get done with my new glasses!!!!

Doctor’s appointment took TWO FRACKING HOURS!?!?!??!!?  What the frak!?!?!?!?  No time to pick out glasses, have to get to Linda’s.  Won’t be able to come back until Friday.  Ok.  Will get glasses Friday.  I’ve made it this long.  I can wait until then.

Go to Linda’s.  Have dinner.  Play cards.

Get home.  It’s pretty late.  I should get to bed now, so that I can start fresh in the morning.

November 2.

NaNoWriMo Day 2.  Ok, let’s get going!!!!  A teensy bit behind, but it’s only day 2, and we have all month.  Let’s write a novel.

No blogging—At least until I get my word count.  No checking any blogs either.  No interruptions.

But first breakfast.

Yea!!!!!  I’m writing a novel!!!!!!!

I almost made my word count today.  Good job.  A little behind, but it’s only the second day.

November 3.

NaNoWriMo Day 3.

Wake up bright and early.  Wow.  That was a really good dream last night.  That would make a really good story!!!!  Frak!!!!  What should I DO?!?!!?  I’m already behind in my NaNo story, maybe I should write my new idea instead.  It’s only Day 3.

Frak—Friends are coming over tonight!!!!!!  We haven’t been social in months, why is sister making so many plans just when I want to write my novel!?!?!?!?

I’ve been writing my novel for two days, so I haven’t made my bed or done the dishes, and now I have to clean for company.  Plus I said I’d make lasagna.

Sigh.  Not what I planned.  I’m already behind and it’s only Day 3.  But I’ve got to work on other things first.  Then I’ll write.

November 4.

Day 4, practically a week behind.  No blogging or checking blogs until I get my word count.

And what about the great idea I dreamt about the night before—Since I’m already behind, should I write that instead???

I’m writing my novel.  I’m writing my novel.  I’m writing my novel.

Just keep plugging away.

Fall asleep dreaming about all the stories I’m NOT writing, and all the stories that would be just whipping along, if I were writing them instead of my current idea.

November 5.

Wake up bright and early!!!!!!  I’m getting new glasses today!!!!  THEN I can finally write a novel!!!!!!!

Crap.  I really don’t like any of these frames—Except for the sunglasses, and I REALLY need my regular glasses.

Well, I kind of like these frames.  So what kind of prices are we talking about???  OH.  THOSE kind of prices.  Hmmm…  I think I should think about it for a little bit.

November 6.

Wake up bright and early!!!!—Going on a wine-tasting tour!!!!!  I know I should be writing my novel.  But I can’t stay cooped up EVERY day.  I need to get out a little, too!  Plus, how often does an opportunity like this come along.  *JEOPARDY THEME SONG*  Um, let’s see, had a birthday last month.  Turned mumble, mumble.  And this is the first time I’ve ever gone wine tasting.  So, see; that is pretty rare.  Just go out, have a nice day.  I can write my novel tomorrow.

Besides, part of being a writer, is having new experiences to write about.

November 7.

Ok.  I checked out another glasses place.  And another.  They don’t do one-hour.  I think I’ll go with the first place.  I guess I like their glasses ok.  I REALLY need glasses.  I have to write my novel.

Go to the one-hour place.  Ok.  Ready to go.  Give me some glasses.  What do you mean, you don’t have my lenses in stock???  And it’s going to take 7-10 days to get the glasses that I don’t even like that much.  Forget you.  I’m not paying for the expensive glasses I don’t really like, when I can get the pair I REALLY love, with the kick-a$$ sunglasses, in the same amount of time, cheaper.

Then I’ll write my novel.

Go back to the other glasses place.  Finally getting my glasses.  Now I can write my novel.

6-10 days later.

                No blogging or checking blogs until I meet my word count.

My new glasses are in!!!!!!!!  Yea!!!!!!!

WOW!!!!!!  The difference is AMAZING!!!!!  And these frames really bring out the green in my hazel eyes!!!!  Gorgeous!!!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!!!!

Things are so clear now!!!!!

November 18

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows starts tonight.  I LOVE Harry Potter.  I HAVE to go to the midnight show.

There are usually big lines for the midnight show, but we should be ok if we try to get there around 10ish.

I’ve got to have a Harry Potter movie marathon today.  That way I’ll be pumped and refreshed for the movie!!!  Plus, there’s no way my sister will remember what’s going on, unless she re-watches the movies.  And then I’ll spend the whole movie explaining what’s going on, instead of enjoying the movie.  And she’ll enjoy it better, too.

9:00 am.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

3 hours later.  New Plan.  Check playing times.  Ok.  Start watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  When sister gets home, switch to Goblet of Fire.  2 and 3 are fun, but not essential for her keeping up with the story.  It really starts to build and intertwine with 4, 5, and 6.  We’ll get done just in time to get to the theater and wait for two hours.

4:00 pm Goblet of Fire ends right on schedule.  Begin Order of the Phoenix.

7:00 pm Begin Half-Blood Prince.

9:43 leave for theater.

November 19

12:00 am after minor technical difficulties, begin Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1.  Fantastic is an understatement.

Sometime after 2:00 am, go to sleep.

Sleep in.  Sister has the day off.  And the rest of the weekend.  There’s no way I can get any writing done with her wandering around.  I get too distracted.

November 22

It seems less likely that I will make my 50,000 word deadline with a week left, and practically 50,000 words left to write.  Oops.

I haven’t done any blogging this month, because I wanted to concentrate on NaNo, and because I couldn’t concentrate, I just kept thinking about all the chapters I wanted to write, all the blogs I wanted to write, and all the blogs I wanted to check, but couldn’t because I haven’t met my word count.

…Meanwhile…I have met my word count, and superseded it FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS MONTH—or at least I would have, if I were actual working on my novel, and not writing a blog entry.


I know this month isn’t over yet, and I’m not quitting.  But I am thinking about extending my own personal deadline.  Part of me thinks I could make a mad dash for the finish line.  But another part of me, knows that I have plans for Thanksgiving.  So, I think the best thing to do at this point is regroup.  I can definitely see where I went astray.  I got distracted.  I got paranoid.  I started over-thinking things.

And while I may not have won this year, I think NaNo has taught me a lot.  I tried new things.  The new writing program is fun and cool, and I like it for some things.  But even with the new glasses, I still like writing in Word.  By the way, I know I spent a lot of time on the glasses, but especially now that I have them, I really know how much I’ve been needing them.  No matter when I got them, they would have taken the same amount of time.  And now that I have them, I’m getting a lot fewer headaches, and I can spend a lot more time on the computer without the screen blurring and the text bleeding.

I got distracted by the fancy tools—outlines and writing programs.  The tools that were meant to make the writing easier just ended up making it more complicated.  I didn’t need them where I was starting from.  And while I do actually like the outline and the writing program, I think they probably come in a lot more handy in the middle or toward the end of the writing—it probably would have been better for me to just write my 50,000 words and then bring it over to the writing program to better organize my work.

NaNo isn’t about being perfect, or being brilliant, or writing the next bestseller.  It’s about writing.  Period.  About showing yourself that you have what it takes.  But it took a month of procrastinating and excuses and trying to be perfect for me to learn it for myself.  Now I KNOW that I have what it takes.

It takes waking up in the morning, having breakfast, and writing.  I don’t have to ignore the rest of the world.  And I don’t have to over indulge either.  I do like deadlines and word counts—They give me a feeling of satisfaction.  I don’t need to beat myself up for not meeting this goal; I just need to reprioritize how I meet my future goals.

I didn’t get my 50,000, but I still feel like a winner.  Anyway, so, I’m back to my blogging, back to reading, and back to writing.

Best wishes to all my fellow NaNoWrimoers!!!!  See you all next year!!!!!





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