Holy Procrastinator, Batman!

Okay, so to be fair, maybe procrastination doesn’t even begin to cover it. I haven’t posted in well over a year. That’s just… sad. Though really, it’s a reflection of my writing in general – I haven’t really written in about a year. I had decided to put my writing aside to finish my thesis, but the damn thing JUST. WON’T. DIE. So I’m done putting it before other (more important) things. Because, at this point, I need to make my writing a priority. I want to write. No, I NEED to write. It’s such an integral part of who I am, and I’ve been neglecting it for far too long. No more of that. I’ve recently printed out a novella I finished in 2012, and I’ve been meaning to get it edited. I did start (though barely) and plan on getting it done relatively soon. Afterwards, I’m going to self-publish it. It’s going to be sort of an experiment for me, a test run to see how it all works. It’s about 20,000 words long, sort of short for a novella, but way too long for a short story. Such a weird length is kind of ideally suited to self-publishing/e-publishing, so that works for me. Anyway, this is my statement of renewed commitment to my writing. Hell, to myself. Let’s do this.


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WFC – The Highlights

Well, considering that it’s NaNo and everything, I don’t really want to write posts that are too long… However, having taken a bunch of pictures at World Fantasy Convention, I can put some of those here in lieu of the massive recap post that I will have in early December, once the madness that is NaNoWriMo is over.

This is part of the lot of books I brought home. These ones are all signed. There are more, but I haven’t taken pics yet.

These are some of the non-signed books I got.

This is my favourite author picture ever… (With Patrick Rothfuss) Here’s the story:
Me: Can I get a picture?
Pat: Sure. I’ll just stare at you adoringly.
Me: *give him a “seriously?!” look*
Pat: And that’s EXACTLY how you’re going to look at me.
Steph: *Snaps a picture*

This is Holly Black, signing an autograph. I have a pic with her, but I haven’t asked Julia to send it to me yet.

This is Tanya Huff during an interview. It was super interesting! I also have a pic with her, but it’s on someone else’s camera.

This is Patricia Briggs. She is amazing and super nice. I saw her many times over the course of the convention. I have a pic with her on someone else’s computer, which I can’t wait to get.

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World Fantasy Convention

That’s right, I’m heading to WFC in a few short days. Roughly 36 hours, actually… I’m very excited about it. I’m looking forward to meeting more of the authors I like (as well as some that I’ve already met) and hearing their views on various topics. Though I doubt very much that I’ll actually blog while I’m there, I do plan on having a huge recap post afterwards. The blog is also going to get a huge makeover soon-ish (maybe not until December, considering that NaNoWriMo starts in 24 hours…) and I’ll be posting updates about my current projects and future plans. I know I’m terrible at posting regularly, but I will keep trying. Eventually, it’s gotta stick. Right?


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Okay, so slacking doesn’t begin to cover it…

No matter how hard I try, how good my intentions, I seem to always end up slacking on the whole blogging thing. I’ve tried to make a more reasonable/realistic posting schedule, I’ve tried making a list of future topics, I’ve tried making a freaking schedule with blogging pencilled in. Nothing seems to keep me on track. I figure that tells me something – I’m doing it wrong. Obviously what I’ve been doing isn’t working for me. Maybe I’m just too busy right now, too caught up in other things in my life. And that’s okay, as long as I don’t mind not blogging. So I’m going to try for a more carefree attitude. I don’t know when I’ll be blogging next, but I’m sure it’ll eventually happen. Maybe even this year. 🙂

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Two Books Down, Fifteen-ish to Go…

I am apparently reading at a much slower rate than I’m used to… That, coupled with the fact that I seem to be reading a ridiculous amount of books simultaneously, makes for a long time between reading updates on the blog. I’ve finished the two books I blogged about a few weeks back, but that’s all. I don’t usually write reviews because I prefer focusing my writing energy on more creative pursuits, but I will give my general impressions.

Jean Auel’s The Land of Painted Caves

I started this series when I was young – probably too young to read this kind of thing, actually. It is beyond a doubt one of my favourite series. This, the 6th and final book in the series, was different than the others. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s been so long since I read the others that I don’t really remember, or because my perception has changed in the years since the 5th book was released, but this one seems to focus a lot more on anthropological details. Story-wise, not that much actually happens in this book. It’s still a good read, and if you’ve read the others in the series, you’ll definitely want to read it to find out what happens to the characters, but it feels different. I realize how vague and unhelpful that is, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. And the ending is a little frustrating. I mean, I don’t know if it’s just me, but “and she wondered what that would mean for later generations” is too… open-ended for me.

Jasper Fforde’s One of our Thursdays is Missing

As I mentioned in the previous post about these books, this is also the 6th book of a series. It is also different than the others in the series, because this time, one of the written Thursdays is the main character. Unless you’ve read the previous book in the series, you will have no idea what I’m talking about. I think this is my favourite series of all time. If not, it is definitely in my top 3. Fforde’s silly sense of humour is perfect for a dork like me. I was not disappointed with this book. Although it was different from the other Thursday Next books, I loved it just as much. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love the quirky humour in these books. The fact that my Bachelors in English Literature is actually helpful at understanding some of the references is just a bonus. I definitely, wholeheartedly, recommend this series to book lovers who have a soft spot for the classics and a good sense of humour.

What I’ll be reading next:

I know I said before that I would be reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere next, but I will try to finish all the books I’m currently reading before starting a new one. When I’m finally done reading everything I have on the go now, I’ll definitely be picking this up. For now, I’ll be focusing on finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I don’t want to see the movie until I’ve read it all. And also, with NaNo coming up, my reading speed will likely decrease. (Didn’t think that was possible…)

Does anyone else have the habit of reading a million things at once?
S. 🙂

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Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

My co-ML (Julia) and I are really buckling down and getting everything ready for NaNo. All of our events have been planned and scheduled, our swag has been ordered, and our novels are being planned. Well, my novel is already planned, and I’m pretty sure Julia never outlines, but we’re thinking about our projects and getting in the right frame of mind. I am ridiculously excited about NaNo this year. I mean, I’m excited for NaNo EVERY year, but I feel particularly excited this time. I think it’s because of the fact that I’m working on last year’s project again.

I’ve never finished a novel draft yet. I keep getting bogged down somewhere in the middle and moving on to something else. Well, not this time! Last year, my 50000 words for NaNo made up about 2/3 of the story I wanted to tell. I have a really detailed scene-by-scene outline, and I wrote about 65% of them last year. So what does that mean for this November? Well, I plan on getting all my files together into one master document, and reading it from the beginning. Yes, I realize that gives me about 2 weeks to read it all, but that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t manage to finish in time. Anyways, as I’m reading, I will take notes on chapters that I think will need to be re-written. Once I’m done that, I’ll look over my crazy outline from last year, and change things that need to be changed. I stuck pretty closely to my outline, but a few details changed that might have an effect on later chapters. Then, if necessary/if I have time, I’ll re-outline the scenes that need to be re-written.

I don’t expect to need 50000 more words to finish this draft. That’s why I want to re-outline the crappy chapters. Once I’ve finished the draft, I’ll work on those. And then, if that still doesn’t bring me to my 50000 words, I’ll start working on some short stories ideas I’ve had kicking around for the past year or so. It’s true, this plan makes me a NaNo cheater. The goal is to work on a brand new project, and write a complete novel draft. However, my biggest problem as a writer is finishing stuff. I can’t seem to finish anything. (Short stories are the exception, but even that’s a complicated relationship…) For this reason, I think that the best thing for “Sylvie the writer” is to finish a novel draft. I won’t be counting any words that were written prior to midnight November 1st, but I’ll still be “cheating”. I’m strangely okay with that.

Anyone else planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

S. 🙂

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Slacking Already…

As the title of this post suggests, I’m already slacking on the new routine. Not the blogging so much (I missed Monday, but I’m still reading the same books, so there wasn’t much of an update to make!) but on the writing. I’ve written a little this past week, so it’s still better than nothing, but I’m far from my goal of writing every day. Still working on that. However, the fact that I’m here, blogging again, is an indication of my commitment to the new routine. I really want to do this, I just need to keep at it. So here I am, keeping at it.

Although I haven’t written much this past week, Julia (from the Underground Writers) and I have been gearing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which is just around the corner. Our mascot is still an owl, and I’ve knit one. I’m biased, but I think it’s freaking adorable. Here’s a picture, so you can decide for yourself…

We’re getting stuff done for NaNo, which is one of the reasons I’ve written so little this week, but I don’t want to give myself excuses. I need to try and do both, because during NaNo, I’ll need to write 1667 words a day, AND do ML (Municipal Liaison) stuff. I’m really glad that Julia and I are working together again. I think we make a pretty good team, and we’re way better prepared this year. We know what to expect, what’s feasible and what’s insane. Yay experience!

I’m still hoping to get some writing in before the UW meeting tonight. I really want to have a decent word count to report. And I really, really want to finish the freaking short story that will never die. I’m inching past 15000 words and still not done. It’s getting a little crazy. I’m still happy with the story, though, so I will keep going.

That’s it for me, for now.

Have a great day, folks!

S. 🙂

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The Oxford Comma

Okay, so I realize I’m a day late on this post, but here goes. The random writing-related topic I’ll be discussing today also comes from a conversation I had with Steph from the Underground Writers. (Jeez, I should really invite you to be a guest on my blog since all my posts seem to stem from something you said… lol) Anyone who knows me knows that punctuation is one of my strong suits. I’m anal about punctuation, and its improper use drives me a little nuts. One of the punctuation marks I am rather fond of is the Oxford Comma.

“The Oxford Comma, what the heck is that?” you might ask. It’s the comma in a list that comes before the “and” that ties on the last item. For example, let’s take the title from my last post: Fforde, Auel, and Gaiman – the comma before the “and” is an Oxford Comma. Apparently there’s a debate going on about whether it should stay or go. I, for one, am a firm supporter of the Oxford Comma. It just wouldn’t seem right to me to write without it. I know that sounds overdramatic, but it’s true. It would just be weird.

During that conversation, Steph showed me something that illustrates the importance of this tiny punctuation mark, from thegloss.com . Here it is:

Now try to tell me that a little comma isn’t a big deal!

Opinions on whether the Oxford Comma should stay or go?

S. 🙂

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So Far, So Good…

I’ve been reevaluating my goals, both long and short term, as well as taking a look at accountability. At the Underground Writers meeting last week, I mentioned that I wanted to find a way to keep myself accountable. Sure, I’m busy, but that’s not an excuse to miss my goals week after week. I will be trying a reward system as opposed to a punishment system. If I meet my weekly writing goals more than 80% of the time until the end of December, I will earn my reward. I haven’t decided exactly what that will be yet (I’m thinking either a PS3 or buying a domain name – thanks to Julia for the brilliant suggestion!) but I’ll figure it out sometime before then.

My goals last week were the following:

– write every day

– reevaluate my long term goals

– figure out a schedule that works for me

I wrote every day but Saturday, which is a HUGE step up for me, ending up with about 1600 words for the week. I even figured out a routine/schedule that I think will work for me. I find it hard to stick to these things, but I’m hoping this time will be different. I need to give myself some slack at first because starting a whole new routine can be rough.

I figured out my goals by the end of December, as well. First, I want to finish and edit Airship Aria, the short story I’ve been working on for AGES (it’s been dubbed “the story that will never die”). I also want to finish writing Siren Song. (I’m going to be working on it again for NaNoWriMo this year. Really looking forward to continuing a project…) And finally, I want to brainstorm and outline two short story ideas that I’ve had kicking around for a while.

My goal for the next week is to write at least 5 of the next 7 days. I’ll update you on that next week – same bat day, same bat channel.

What do you guys do to keep yourselves motivated and accountable when it comes to reaching your goals, whether or not they be about writing?

S. 🙂

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Fforde, Auel, and Gaiman, Oh My!

Currently Reading: One of our Thursdays is Missing – by Jasper Fforde

This is the 6th book in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, about a Jurisfiction (the policing agency that keeps tabs on the literary world) agent who goes INTO fiction. It is near the top of my list of favourite series. Best of all, this series makes my Bachelors in English Literature pay off! Thursday finds herself in all kinds of classic novels (the first is entitled The Eyre Affair, after all!) and meets characters from all kinds of genres. Anyone who considers him or herself a classic literature buff and has a good sense of humour should definitely pick up this series. (Not being familiar with classics will not stop you from understanding the stories though, there are just some jokes that you might not get.)

Currently Reading: The Land of Painted Caves – by Jean M. Auel

This is also the 6th book in a series (that’s random!). I started reading the Earth’s Children series when I was pretty young, maybe 13 or so. It’s set in prehistoric Europe, when Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens coexisted. Ayla, the main character, is a child of the Others (Homo Sapiens), who is taken in and raised by a group of Neanderthals. (This isn’t a spoiler, it’s how the series begins! lol) I feel like I know Ayla and the other characters. I CARE about these characters, which is always really important for me. I cry when they die, I sigh when they fall in love (tell anyone and I’ll deny it!), I hurt for them when they’re going through hard times. There are a lot of long descriptive passages, which can be a little tedious if you aren’t interested in botany (Ayla is a healer who uses medicinal plants). This series actually inspired me to take an Anthropology class in my first year of university.

Up Next: Neverwhere – by Neil Gaiman

I’m not actually sure what this book is about, but I’ve heard that it’s really good. I’ve recently watched MirrorMask (a movie scripted by Gaiman) and it renewed my interest in reading some of his stuff. I bought Neverwhere at Bakka Pheonix Books when I went to Ad Astra in April, but haven’t had the chance to read it yet. It has now been bumped to the top of my “To Read” pile.

What are you guys reading?

S. 🙂

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Canadian vs American Spelling

Recently, a few members of my writing group and I had a conversation about choosing between using American or Canadian spelling. As Canadians, we use British spelling. As Canadian writers, we often submit to American markets. I always use Canadian spelling in my writing, both academic and creative. Stephanie always uses American spelling, as she was taught during her journalism program. She also argues that if an American market chooses to publish our writing, it’ll be edited into American English anyways. This is true, but I still can’t bring myself to do it.

How do you choose which to use? As a proud Canadian and a stickler for proper spelling and grammar, I will probably always use British/Canadian spelling. Reading something that I know was written by a Canadian and finding American spelling makes my inner editor cringe a little. I know it’s still technically correct, which is why it’s just a little cringe.

Anyone have any thoughts on the topic?

S. 🙂

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Back to Blogging… Again.

Apparently I haven’t blogged in about 7 months. I fail at regular blogging. That being said, I will try again. In fact, that should say that I AM trying again. I have planned out a bunch of topics about which I will be writing, and an update schedule.

I’m going back to a three-times-a-week schedule. Monday, I’ll be writing about books. What I’m reading, what I want to read, what I’ll be reading next, thoughts and opinions about stuff I’ve read, etc. Wednesday, being the day that I meet up with my writing group, will be my writing update day. Everything related to my writing practice/craft will be blogged on Wednesdays. Finally, Friday will be for random updates, mostly about writing stuff in general, that isn’t necessarily specific to my own writing. For example, my opinion on Canadian versus American spelling. (That will probably be my topic for tomorrow… I’m sure you’re waiting with bated breath.)

So there you have it. I’m trying this thing again. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick to it this time. My posts may not be very long (or they may be novella-length – you never know!) but they should be regular.

Wish me luck!

S. 🙂

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Life Getting In the Way

I don’t have an excuse for not blogging last week, but this week, “life” happened. There have been a crapload of tragedies all around me this week (three deaths of close friends’ loved ones) and it’s all just a lot to handle. I did get a decent amount of writing done despite everything, hitting about 1500 words last week on my steampunk short story. I’m hoping to finish that up before my writing group meeting next Wednesday, but I’ll be out of town for a funeral this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes…

In brighter news, I GOT MY IPAD!!! I’m loving it so far, and I’m really hoping it’s going to help me be more productive. So far it seems to be working, as I’ve done more reading for my thesis today than I have in the last month. Woot! I’ve also been playing with Evernote and Moodboard, setting up everything I need to get writing on here (here being my iPad…). So, basically, yay increased organization!!

Well, that’s all for now…
Have a good week everyone! 🙂

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I haven’t been hitting my 250 words each day, but I’m averaging about that for the last week. Yesterday I finished another scene of Siren, and today I outlined and started a new short story, currently titled The Airship Aria. It is a post-apocalyptic steampunk, and going well so far. Looking at what I’ve been writing lately, I think I’m really starting to see progress in my writing style, which is always exciting. I’ve read 3 of the 4 pieces I need to critique for Wednesday, so I’ll finish up with those tomorrow. Looking very good so far! Hoping to finish Airship by the weekend so I can submit it for critique ASAP. I’m serious about submitting this year, and someone in my writing group pointed out a steampunk market today, so I’ll be looking into that. That’s all for me for this week! 🙂

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Slacking Already

I still haven’t started my 250 words per day. I did get a few words down yesterday, but not nearly enough. I really need to get on that.

Goals for the week:
– finish the scene of Siren I started with Julia’s prompt at last week’s meeting
– take another look at Hide and Seek, my serial killer story, because it’s the first one I’ll be submitting

That’s my short update for now, I have to run off to the gym…

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New Year, New Goals…

Clearly, even blogging three times a week was way too much for me. I keep doing that – starting strong and then tapering off or just stopping completely. I’ve decided that I’ll try for a weekly check-in this year. It’s not too often, and not too seldom. Hopefully a happy medium for me. We’ll see.

So here are my goals for the new year:

– submit something by the end of the year (hopefully much sooner than that, but it’s an absolute deadline)

– finish the draft of Siren Song (my current WIP – check out the page at the top, I’ve just added it!)

– write 250 words every day (I’ve yet to start this, but I’ll get to it as soon as I’m done this post)

– have weekly goals that are realistic and achievable

And some non-writing goals as well:

– go the the gym three times a week (been doing good on this one)

– eat healthier (been doing good with this as well)

– be better about keeping in touch with my friends

– finish my thesis by the end of August (and as such, set aside time to work on it every single week)

– propose my thesis asap (this is a big one – I need to stop procrastinating on this thing…)

So there you have it, in black and white. Those are all the things I want to do this year. Wish me luck.

S. 🙂

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NaNo Update: Week One

Ok so I realize this is far from being a daily update, like I wanted to do, but I’m thinking this is more realistic for me. Weekly updates it is.

So, the big questions:

What’s my word count? 7006.

Where should I be by the end of today? 15003. As you can see, that’s quite a gap.

I plan on doing 1 or 2 more 15 minute sprints today, so that’ll boost my word count significantly. I’ll probably end the day around 9k. That’s not bad, all things considered. Ah yes, these “things considered”… I had a rough week last week. I have anxiety issues, and they were acting up last week, which made it virtually impossible for me to write. I had homework to do, and I couldn’t write without my brain telling me “You should be doing your homework!” on a loop. That’s very annoying, by the way… lol. Anyways, everything’s better now, but as a result of those issues, I’m pretty far behind now. Nothing I can’t make up, but still.

Lucky for me, I have a good writing support-system, which is 4-fold:

1- My writing group, the Underground Writers. I don’t know what I would do without these guys. They rock my socks in the best possible way.

2- My co-ML for NaNo, who is also part of the UW, Julia. If she wasn’t there to pick up the slack when I go MIA because I’m having issues, I would be so much more stressed! (Thanks Julia!)

3- My regional Wrimos. Sprinting with them at the write-ins helps me boost my word count, which is really important, especially because I’m behind. And seriously, they’re just all kinds of awesome! We have soooo many active participants this year, it’s absolutely amazing! (*happy sigh*)

4- Jessica, my NaNo-Penpal in Japan (but she’s from Texas originally). She’s challenged me to daily sprints, and that’s motivating me to do some every day. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know her. We send each other crazy long emails a few times a week, and she’s awesome. 🙂

So there you have it. I’m done being mushy (for now) lol. Now, a status update on the story itself (Siren Song).

The plot is actually advancing, but more slowly than I would like. (This means I’ve started babbling for nothing again…) I’m trying to stop that, but it’s hard when I’m just writing in sprints. That’s the main difference I’ve found between “writing” and “sprinting”. If I’m “writing” I take my time, I make my words count. If I’m “sprinting” it’s turn off the brain and go, go, go! Although this is fabulous for my word count, it’s not so great for my plot advancement. I supposed I should probably try to find a happy medium, but seriously, this is NaNo! It’s SUPPOSED to be about quantity and not quality! 😉

Also, I know I’ve talked about this program before, but it saves my butt during NaNo in particular, so I’m going to plug it again – Write or Die. (http://writeordie.drwicked.com/) This is available in both an online and a desktop edition. I bought the desktop edition, and never regretted it. In fact, I love it, and can’t recommend it enough. If you’re doing NaNo and need something to kick your butt, Write or Die is the program for you. Check it out! 🙂

Ok, that’s enough procrastination for me. Time for another sprint. I’ve already made my word count for today, so anything more I write is chipping away at the words I have to make up.

Wish me luck!

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And They’re Off!

WORD COUNT TO DATE: 1768. (I will try to update my word count daily throughout NaNo.)

I got a solid start to NaNo. I had all my words for today before 9:00 this morning. This year, unlike all the others I’ve participated, I started writing at midnight. Seven other writers from my region met up with my in our group chat room, and we sprinted together, racing to see who could get the most words in 15 minutes. After the two sprints we did, I had just over 1300 words. That’s pretty good, in general, hitting over 650 words in 15 minutes, but they’re some of my slowest sprints yet. My record is nearly 1200 words in 15 minutes, so you can understand that that would feel slow. I got up early, and got in the rest of my words for today.

Now I’m trying to build up a buffer, so that if I miss a day for some reason, I won’t fall behind. If I could get at least a couple of days ahead of schedule, that would be awesome.

We also had our official kick-off party yesterday afternoon, with an AMAZING turnout! A total of 31 people came out over the course of the party, most of them in costume! We had a blast, and the group is awesome. I look forward to spending more time with them at the write-ins. Here’s a group shot that was taken before the last 6 or 7 stragglers came in.

This year we have a lot of high school students, which is awesome (though kind of surprising). I’m not sure I ever would have been brave enough to participate in something like NaNo when I was their age, so I’m very impressed with them! (Way to go, guys!)

Another difference from last year is that, this year, even though it’s still the first day, I feel like my story is actually getting somewhere. I don’t feel like I’m writing empty words, and there’s actually description in there! (I mean real description, with metaphors and similes!) And there’s dialogue! What?!? No more of that “she said that…” or “she explained that…”! Actual quotation marks and dialogue tags! (Maybe that explains the slower sprints… Totally worth it!)

On top of all that, I’m trying to keep on top of the homework situation. I have a huge presentation on Thursday that I’m not quite ready for yet, but I’ll be ready on time, as long as I set my mind to it and get my stuff done. Then I have another one either one or two weeks later. I’ve already started working on that one too, which is good, but I’d really like to get that done as soon as possible, so that I don’t cause myself stress for nothing. That’s actually one of my concerns this year, my stress level. I’m still pretty chill so far, but being c0-ML and organizing everything, plus getting my words in, plus getting my homework done, plus being on student council… It’s a lot. Not too much though. I just have to keep remembering that – it’s doable.

That’s all for me, for now. Anyone else get a good start to NaNo, or have any tips for juggling a million things to do?

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NaNoWriMo Preparation

So I’ve been doing NaNo prep all month, along with my co-ML, Julia (check out her blog here: http://piscesmuse.wordpress.com/). I’ve also been getting ahead on my assignments so that November doesn’t kick my behind.

There’s been a bunch of NaNo prep, and though some of the stuff is supposed to be a surprise for our Wrimos, the kick-off party is on Sunday, so if no one checks my blog before then, we’ll be good. 😉 (Because I’m totally posting a bunch of pictures…)

So, first of all, Julia and I made awesome info packs for our Wrimos called NaNoPDAs. I’m not going to post pics of those because it’s just information specific to our region. I will, however, include a picture of our regional logo (that’s right, we have a logo now!)

We also decided that we would be folding origami plot owls with our Wrimos. Usually they are plot bunnies, but we adapted that idea to our region. I was also told that Tavia from the OLL (the non-profit that runs NaNo) loves owls, so I sent her an envelope full of them. See her blog post about it here: http://blog.lettersandlight.org/post/1407794945/the-owls-of-ontario.

Here’s a more close-up picture of the owls (these are actually the ones I sent her…)

For anyone wanting to make their own origami owls, here’s the link to the instructions I used to make these ones: http://shoko-origami.jp-au.com/archive/mimizuku.pdf

I was bored the other night, and was browsing online, and saw the cutest stuffed owl ever so I decided I would make one. Here’s the result of that adventure (by the way, the eyes aren’t supposed to be the same size – I think it’s cuter that way):

We’ll be having a “name our mascot” contest!

We also got pins made for our Wrimos with the logo on them. I got them to add “Write! Write! Write!” all the way around the edge of the pins, which I thought was appropriate. You can’t see that part in the picture though…

And finally (though Julia doesn’t know this yet… So if you’re reading this, SURPRISE!) I’ve been making “Sprint ribbons” for our write-in sprint winners. They’re made of cardboard though, not fabric, but I think they’re adorable the way they are. I was thinking the winners could pick which one they want, then we could write the sprint info (which write-in, and the sprint number) on the owl’s belly.

Ok, so that’s it for the massive NaNo update. Will post again soon! 🙂

PS: What is everyone doing to get ready for NaNo?

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NaNo Ahoy!

Well, I can’t believe it’s already October. Holy crap, where has the time gone?! And of course, October means that November is just around the corner. Which means NaNoWriMo time! (National Novel Writing Month – http://www.nanowrimo.org) I am so excited about it! I mean, I’m always excited about NaNo (which is a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days), but even more so this year. For the first time, I am ML (municipal liaison) along with Julia from the Underground Writers. Together, we shall be organizing all kinds of activities for the WriMos from our region. I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress throughout this month and the next, and I’ll make sure to keep you posted on my word count once the event actually starts. Wish me luck! 🙂

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So apparently my summer sketchiness turned into a complete accidental hiatus… Although I should have blogged more (I guess I should say that I should have blogged, period…) I had a good and relatively productive summer. I didn’t write an enormous amount of words, but I did write, and I’m really liking where this new project is going. I’m mostly back home now (from camp) which means that my internet access should be less patchy, and as such, I will be trying to return to a regular posting schedule. We’ll see how that goes, but that’s the plan.

How was everyone’s summer?? 🙂

PS: My next post, whenever that may be, will be about the many, many, many books I’ve read over the summer.

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Summer Sketchiness

Hello to anyone who might be reading this… lol. Just to let everyone know, my summer posting schedule is bound to be rather wonky – I’m staying at camp, with no internet access, and so I probably won’t be posting anywhere near regularly. I’ll try to post as often as I can (and as close to my M-W-F schedule as possible) but I can’t make any promises.

Hope everyone is having nice summer weather like we are here! 🙂

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Friday Check-In

Here’s my check in for this week…

What I read this week:

  • I finished Jim Butcher’s Death Masks

What I’m continuing to read in the next week:

  • Jasper Fforde’s The Big Over Easy
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Whatever else was on my list from last week that I haven’t finished reading yet.

Last week’s goals:

  • Blog M-W-F (done!)
  • Finish chapter 12 of Darkness Awakens (done!)
  • Start outlining new YA novel (done!)
  • Start critique on Steph’s novel (not done… oops!)

This week’s goals:

  • Write another chapter of new YA novel
  • Start Steph’s critique
  • blog M-W-F
  • Get a loose outline of the overall plot for the YA novel

That’s it for now. Have a nice weekend! 🙂

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The New Project

As I mentioned briefly in my goals post from last week, I have started a new project based on a writing prompt we had at the Underground Writers’ meeting last Thursday. After some pretty intense brainstorming and research, I’ve got four chapters outlined, and I’ve started writing the opening. I’m still struggling with some plot issues (i.e. what the hell my main conflict will be) but I’m really enjoying the story so far. I’ve made a deal with myself that I can work on the new project, as long as I don’t let Darkness Awakens (the current WIP) fall to the side. I need to keep making progress on that novel as well.

So, about the new project… It’s a YA (Young Adult) novel, with a supernatural twist. It is currently titled Syren Song, but that might change along the way. The main character is a fifteen year old girl (who is about to turn 16) who is a siren – and doesn’t know it. The curse kicks in at the age of sixteen, and her mom hasn’t told her about it yet. You can imagine that’s going to be one hell of an awkward conversation… Anyways, yeah, those are the pertinent details about the project.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Short Story Frustration

So I’ve realized something of late, and it drives me a little nuts – I can’t write short stories. Well, I can, but rarely. What mostly happens is that people read it and say: “This isn’t a short story. This needs to be a novel. Or at least a novella.” Why can’t I write a short story that stays a freakin’ short story?!

Julia from the Underground Writers said something to me on Thursday that I think makes sense: “You just think too big!” This is true. I don’t know how to think small; once an idea takes hold in my brain, off goes my imagination, building new settings, and characters, and events. No wonder I can’t write short stories! I don’t know how to turn it off though, or at least turn it down. So I guess I’ll just have to keep trying, and maybe eventually I’ll figure it out. Until then, I’ll probably add many more novel ideas to my already toppling pile.

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