November 27, 2007

and the winner is...

I hit the 50,000 word mark tonight, putting in an amazing 3K in an hour and fifteen minutes! My novel is far from done, but I'm an official winner of NaNoWrimMo 2007! Thanks for all your support and interest. Keep bugging me to finish, edit and then pursue publication.

November 22, 2007

being thankful and other stuff...

Happy Thanksgiving! I know, it is a bit late in the day, but it is never too late to give thanks. I'm thankful this year to be celebrating this holiday at home, on US soil and with friends who love and accept me.

My last Thanksgiving was spent in Namibia- and while we had an amazing meal and a great time being together, it wasn't the same as being surrounded by fellow believers who truly know the One to whom we are thankful.

So many thanks to Miss Pottenger, her mom and her aunt, for the amazing meal and to her whole family for letting me crash the party and join them. It was a wonderful day! And to end it up, I wrote 2,500 words to bring me to an even 40,000!

And now, on to something else entirely...

Recently, the teens on the forum I mentor on had a discussion about The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Those who know me know how much I love a good discussion about literature. In this case, there is a whole camp of Christians who are up in arms about how evil Pullman is and why no Christian should read the book (books, actually, it is the start of a trilogy) or see the movie. Miss Pottenger has posted a beautifully written response and I must echo her. While Pullman may be an atheist and he may have set out to "turn children against God", the fact remains that he is an amazing writer. And in my opinion, he fails miserably in "killing" God and turning people away from God.

One of the teens referred to Philippians 4:8 to answer the question of was this series worth reading, and her conclusion was no. I had a different take and this is what I posted:

God made Pullman and God gave Pullman the gift of storytelling and writing. To ignore this gift because Pullman doesn't believe in God would be to ignore something that God created. Granted, it isn't as lovely as it could be (if Pullman were to submit to God and let God manifest the gift to the fullest extent) but it still has some loveliness in it (and touches of truth and purity and nobility). I think that we, living in a fallen world, are sometimes so quick to toss out the entire package instead of seeing that there is something of God there. We often miss Him because we are so worried about getting our hands dirty.

I'm not saying that these books should be studied and meditated on- but I think that the good parts should be admired while we keep aware of the "negative" parts. Reading a good writer can improve your own writing. I read good writing because I want to learn how to do that. I also want to see how a world view can permeate a work, because that is what my world view should do. If I only read mediocre work (and sadly, much of Christian art is just that) then I will never be anything but mediocre. But if I can navigate the muddy waters, leaning on the Holy Spirit to guide me, and find the good and pure and noble wherever it may hide, then I may be able to use my gift more fully.

So- that is my two cents. I enjoyed the books, I am going to see the movie. I do understand that some people don't agree, and you don't have to. But, as Miss Pottenger said, if you haven't read the books, please refrain from drawing conclusions about the story. You can simply say "I have decided not to read/watch that, thank you." And if you want to talk about art and gifts and why I think this series is worth time to read, let me know! I'd be happy to have an educated, friendly and intelligent conversation with you about it.

November 18, 2007

odds and ends...

So, the last week of writing hasn't gone as well as the previous weeks. Well, the writing has gone fine, the story is still chugging along and I love it, but finding time to write and keeping up with the rest of life has gotten a bit more demanding all of the sudden.

I'm at 32,775 as of tonight- still ahead (the goal today was 30K) but my lead is slipping. I started a new job last week and had my first real shifts this weekend. Oh yeah, in case you missed it, I'm working at Bath&BodyWorks. I'm enjoying it and my managers seem to love me, I'm just not used to hours on my feet and talking so much (Hi, welcome to B&BW, who are you shopping for today? Let me tell you about our specials. Would you like a bag?" At least when I was on the phones I could have a drink handy. I had two sips of fluid in 3 hours. I was parched to say the least. But I love helping people find the right gift or item for themselves. So I can't complain much (my feet say otherwise, but they will get over it).

Anyway, I had my first day of not writing this week (Wednesday) because I was just drained and ready to curl up. So I did- and watched Bionic Woman and Life before going to bed. Tonight I wrote a measly 775- my lowest writing day so far (other than the 0 day of course). But tomorrow I'm scheduled to camp out at Panera so my Wrimos can pick up their tee shirts and I'll be there for 5 hours, so I should get a ton of words done. That is, if I remember to turn of the internet once in a while!

Interesting fact- on the NaNo site, I have 13 people listed as my buddies. I quit adding people when I saw that it would only show 9 people on the list. Well, tonight I decided to see who had ME listed as their buddy. There are 21. And get this- there are 3 people I don't know- I've never talked to them, never posted on the forums with them, have no earthly clue who they are. I have a few from my region who put me as their friend (probably because they keep getting emails from me saying "go go go! you can do it!") and then a handful of people I do know.

I find it amusing that people who don't know me want to be my friend. Must be my amazing word count or something!

Alright, signing off. Have a great week- and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 12, 2007

half way!!!

Everyone, please rise from your chairs and observe 30 seconds of happy dancing...

Thank you, you may sit down again.

What was that for? Well, I reached 25,000 words tonight. That is half-way to the goal. While my novel is no where near half-way done, I am half-way to the minimum goal, so that calls for major celebration. And it feels good. We aren't quite to the 15th, so I'm still ahead. This is a good thing because I trained at Bath & Body Works on Sunday and I'm hoping they are going to get me on the schedule ASAP. I need the hours. So, while I'm not busy working, I'm working on my novel.

The funny story of this week is, last night, I was toying with the idea of adding a character. I realized it would make the "conversion" scene, where my four main characters accept their charge to go on this apparently meaningless journey, strong if I had a fifth who refused. So at the write-in, I told MangyCat and ihatepeas (Dianna and Sarah) that I was going to add this character in in December. But when I got home and sat down to write, I realized that not only does this character refuse this charge, they would go on to become a major antagonist (the bad guy, for those of you who haven't taken a lit class in this decade!). But that meant I had to add this character NOW. SO after a rushed call to Mangy at 10:50 pm, I fleshed this guy out enough to put him in the story and managed to write 1,650 words in 45 minutes! And I think I knew somewhere in my mind I needed this character because he has been so easy to write.

So, here's to the next 25K and beyond!!

November 9, 2007

what do you feed your muse?

Personally, mine enjoys a diet of Mt. Dew, Gobstoppers and soft pretzels. But maybe that is just MY muse...

Well, the first week of NaNo has come and gone. After eight days of writing, I have a nice and comfy 17,250 words written. For those of you who have asked, that is about 26 and 1/2 pages, single spaced, 12 point Times New Roman. That may not sound like that much, but when you put that into proper formatting, it comes out to 54 pages (and that is without chapter breaks). Of course, a typed page and a page in a book don't have a lot in common, but that's okay. It gives you a sense of what I've been up to.

Despite the flurry of words I find myself dodging these days, there are few things I've neglected. Except maybe the dishes- I hate doing dishes and any excuse is a good one to get out of dishes. Other than that, I've kept up with life as normal. I am very much enjoying my new responsibilities at church (I am the Thursday receptionist) and I may be starting a retail job shortly.

And to keep you all entertained, here is a short poem I wrote in honor of NaNo. I wanted another post point on CleanPlace (because 109 is such an awkward number) and because the form is so much fun to write. This is a triolet, one of my favorite types of poems to write. Please enjoy and leave me a comment so I know who is lurking!

A NaNo Triolet

With words aflutter in my brain-
I'm having trouble sleeping.
The rest of life goes down the drain,
with words aflutter in my brain-
Please close the door, I’ve gone insane-
With my characters I'm weeping!
With words aflutter in my brain-
I'm having trouble sleeping!

November 5, 2007

insanity loves company...

We had our first official write-in for Colorado Springs yesterday. I was a bit nervous because so far, no one had responded to the unofficial ones that I did and I wasn't sure there would be anyone besides my two friends, Dianna and Sarah, in attendance. I knew Dianna and Sarah would be there because I was picking both of them up :).

So we got to Pikes Perk (downtown) and found three people already there! And over the next few minutes, another few trickled in. And then two came a bit later. In all, we had 13 of us there! After the 2005 joke of having no one show for most write-ins that I planned- I was thrilled! We all wrote like crazy and I think no one left with less than 1000 words. Most of us gained 2000+. It was great.

I ended the write in with 9,515 words- an uneven total for me, but I thought I might write a bit more at home. I didn't. I was tired and then we had to deal with the art for our shirts (which I learned we couldn't use the name of the event because it is service marked) and time just slipped away. That's okay. I was only going to try for 485 words to make an even 10K.

This is the farthest ahead I've ever been (day 4 goal is 6,668) and I'm enjoying it. Granted, because I've been writing almost all year I'm accustomed to writing, so I needed no warm up.

Alright, I'm off to take out the trash and maybe get ready to leave the house, go to Panera and write! Happy Monday!

November 3, 2007

the words keep whirling...

Well, day three of NaNo07 is here and I have yet to write a single word on my story. Not to fear, it is only 5:30 and I have hours left. In fact, I haven't written anything before 6 pm on the two previous days. Yesterday I headed over to Panera and got a lovely 3,000 words written before they closed. I think the free bagel, cream cheese and soda helped greatly towards that goal. I'm going again tonight, but sadly, I won't get any freebies...

So I'm over the 5,000 word mark and my goal is to continue with at least 2,000 a day. That way, when I hit a day that is so busy I just can't find a spare hour, I won't have to worry.

My other news of the day is that I had a job interview with Bath & BodyWorks. Went well, I think, and then I came home and did the survey phone thing they require. As long as I didn't bomb that and my reference is kind to me, I will probably have a job there. The pay is lower than I hoped but the environment is nice and you do get a discount... so I could handle it!

Okay, I'm off to Panera now. Leave a comment- I know you are out there!

November 1, 2007

and I'm off... a great start, that is! After rising early and heading into the office (yep, it figures that November 1 would be a Thursday and I would be working!), and then working all day, going to dinner with some friend (Shelly and kids) and then heading back to church to collate the magazine, I finally got to come home and write. I didn't start until 9:25. With only one break of about 10 minutes, I managed to pound out a whopping 2,250 words. Considering the daily total needed is 1,667, I think I did pretty well.

I know I can write a lot and do it fast. But, unlike many Wrimos, I am actually trying to write something with a bit of value and worthy of being polished and published. So I'm not just writing drivel here! Not that it is overly amazing prose, but it is decent. The same quality I would write any other month of the year. I'm just writing more of it this month.

Well, I think I've earned an Oreo or two and a glass of milk as my reward. Then it is off to bed. After all, tomorrow is another day and more words are waiting to be written!!