Thankful.

Oh hey guys, Thanksgiving is actually on one of my blog days, isn’t it?

I was a little distracted, because guess what?

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

 

Oh, yeah. This happened.

For the second year in a row, I finished my NaNovel on Thanksgiving.

I am feeling very, very thankful.

(I was planning on writing you all a nice, long post about gratitude, and leaving behind the things that are holding you back from living life to the full, but you know what? I’m kind of sick of writing today. Can you blame me? Sorry, folks, but it’s just not going to happen today. Maybe some other time.)

Beautiful Sounds.

Today, I have some music recommendations for you, because who doesn’t love discovering new music?

First off, my friends The Konzelman Brothers recently released a new EP, and it’s lovely. Check it out, and be sure to grab it on iTunes if you like it!

Second, if you’re looking for great music to write to, may I refer you to the magnificent David Garrett. He’s a world renowned violinist, who was known as a child prodigy and trained by Ida Haendel, Isaac Stern, and Itzhak Perlman. Those names are a big deal, if you’re not familiar with that world.

David Garrett does magnificent work, ranging from breathlessly beautiful classical pieces, to arrangements of Nirvana and AC / DC that can’t be described with any word but plain old cool.

Plus, he’s gorgeous. I mean, come on, weigh in here ladies. Check out this music video, where you get eight of him. What a grand idea.

Or this concert video from a few years back, featuring one of my favorites, November Rain.

Basically, he’s wonderful, and he has something for any mood.

In case you couldn’t tell, I have a massive crush on this guy. I have literally sat through hour long interviews in German just to watch him. I can speak like twenty words in German.

Okay, I can’t resist. Here’s one more video.

The Joy of “More Work To Do.”

I passed the 35,000 word mark today, which means that (deep breath) I have less than 15,000 words left to write. It’s a crazy thought.

What is even more crazy, for me, is that even as I write at this ridiculous, break-neck pace, I can see that I will have a lot more work to do after the month is over, adding in new scenes, filling out flat characters, and generally boosting the story up from a list of scenes into a narrative.

And I’m over the clouds about it.

Over the last year, I’ve found it so easy to become discouraged, to feel like I wasn’t growing as a writer at all, because all I had to mark my trail was lots and lots of crumpled sheets of paper. But now that I’m back where I started a year ago, in the middle of NaNoWriMo, I can see that I have come so far.

At this point last year, I was just struggling to figure out where my characters should go next, let alone what I was going to do with the draft once I was finished with it. Now, I can look my draft straight in the eye, and say, “I know exactly what I’m going to do with you next.”

That’s one of the most joyful feelings I have ever experienced.

Adventures in Meetings.

“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.”

–A.A. Milne, “Winnie the Pooh”

Today I took my Main Character on her first date, and my goodness was it ever fun to write. I was feeling butterflies, if I’m honest.

Sometimes I feel a bit cheesy for writing what is essentially a teen romance novel, since I’ve never been in a relationship, and I’ve only been on one semi-sorta-kinda accidental date, which I am NOT going to discuss.

But then I run across quotes like these, and I’m reminded of why we all love romance. It leads to adventures of many different kinds, whether it leads to true and lasting love, or ends in a flaming burst of crazed pyrotechnics.

And then I feel better about myself.

(Oh, and by the way, yes I’m totally aware that Winnie the Pooh is not romance. But the idea still applies, doesn’t it?)

Several Shout-Outs.

confetti

First off, shout-out to me for OFFICIALLY MAKING IT TO 25,000 WORDS!!!

That’s the halfway mark, people. And it happened right at the end of a sentence, which couldn’t have been more perfect. I had a goal of getting three days ahead of schedule, just in case I ended up needing to be a leader at a Young Life camp this weekend, so that was hugely motivating. Now it looks like I won’t be going, which is a relief, but it still feels good to have a word count cushion in case drought sets in at any point.

The way I racked up so many words in a short space of time was to employ the classic “Word-Sprint” technique. I set a timer for half an hour at a stretch, and raced myself to see how many words I could fit into that time, always trying to beat my personal best (914 words, so far). I don’t know if this would work for just anybody, but it certainly suits my competitive personality.

Secondly, it is ML Appreciation Day in NaNo land, so I would like to give a huge shout-out to the Municipal Liaisons for my area, wickedshelly and scoutlady13. You ladies are awesome for doing what you do. Thanks!

Current mood:

A Good Book.

mightyugly

This will be a short post.

Basically, this is a good book, and you should read it. It’s all about the battle for creativity against the demons that beset any creative person.

It’s also very much in the NaNoWriMo spirit, as she reccomends setting out to create something ugly in order to free yourself up.

I found it useful as an artist, and that is mainly who it is written for, but as I’ve pointed out often enough by now, art of any form has plenty of stuff in common, so it was encouraging to the writer side of me as well.

Now, back to the trenches. I’m determined to make it to 20,000 words today.

Five Days In…

Well, here we are, folks! Five days into NaNoWriMo, and still alive. I have a bit of personal horn-tooting to do… I made it to 10,000 words today.

That’s a good thing, as I just might have to give up three days in the middle of the month to take some teens to a weekend Young Life camp. The farther ahead I can get, the better. I’m trying not to stress about it, however, as I love my job as a Young Life leader, and if I can be a blessing to my kids that’s obviously way more important than making some artificial deadline. I keep telling myself that, anyway, and I mostly believe it.

Anyhow, the first couple of days were pretty rough going, due to the fact that I didn’t get nearly enough prep work done… However, I’ve been working on backstory and supporting characters and whatnot as I go, so it’s getting a lot more smooth. Yesterday I really felt like I was hitting my stride, in spite of the fact that I chose to frivle* most of the day away with two of my dear friends, Beth and Michaela, at the mall.

Or maybe I hit my stride because of it. I got up much, much earlier than I usually do, and started writing before my eyes were able to open all the way, and I managed to hammer out 500 words without even thinking about it. (If you know me at all, you know that that is pretty much unheard of. I think. It’s just what I do. I literally cannot turn off my brain, under normal circumstances.) It brought to mind the classic Ernest Hemingway quote, “Write drunk, edit sober.” I never expected to test the wisdom of that quote myself, since I’m a total prude and don’t drink, but I think writing half asleep probably has the same effect. I tested my theory this morning, and it worked again. 1,000 words before breakfast. Beat that, Red Queen.


Oh, in other news…

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

(By the way, I just have to say that you celebrate the darnedest things, British People.)

The Right Thing.

“Anything that gets words on the page is the Right Thing to Do.”

Diana Gabaldon, on learning how to write.

Well, here we are, three days into National Novel Writing Month. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t even think of this month as November any more… It’s just NaNo. Anyone else? No? Okay well maybe that’s just me then…)

This quote is majorly reassuring right now, as I am basically “pantsing” it this year. I’ve always felt uncomfortable working this way, since it’s not what I was taught. But when you’ve got a crazy amount of words to get down, and an absolutely ridiculous deadline to get it done in, careful mapping of every detail just isn’t an option.

Oh, and one last thing. Diana Gabaldon is the author of the Outlander series. Even a classics-obsessed nerd like me has heard of those. So if she says this is true, it’s true.