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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Knock, Knock

Helloooooo, blog friends! Are you still there? Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m really awful without sleep and babies are awful about sleeping. So these past months have not been my most eloquent or awake ones. But here we are, 6 months into things, and Joey is sitting and playing on her own, sleeping at night, and taking two naps. So guess who has a bit more brainpower and time? I have no idea. Un-relatedly, I’m going to try to blog again. Going to take it slow with the goal to write 1/week.

Let’s catch you up to speed on where we are… I’m now admitting to be a SAHM. I am in mommy-baby groups that meet multiple days a week (!). We are starting solids. We are moving soon! Patrick is still not proficient at putting a onesie on a baby or changing a poo diaper by himself, but I suspect he is just feigning clumsiness so as to spend more quality time with me. Also, I talk about poo now. Clearly, I have a lot to write about these days, so why not do it here with you?

To reward those of you who are still with us, and because Angie requested…

Sitting pretty

Sitting pretty

Happy!

Face Time

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Best. NaNoWriMo. Award. Ever. Thank you, RayKay57!

I am a NaNoWriMo winner! I won the following: a full draft of my first book, bragging rights, a printable color certificate, a winner’s badge to put on my blog, and my fab twitter/blog pal made me a celebratory present! Woo-to-the-hoo!

Friend-designed award aside, winning the NaNoWriMo challenge was not the epic accomplishment of my literary dreams. Once the initial few seconds of shine wore off, I felt like I was saddled with a sloppy and forced rushed-draft, rather than a sound and malleable rough-draft.

I have amassed 50,000 words into something that resembles the disheveled typings of a disoriented, dizzy lunatic. Judging from the sentence structure, I think the lunatic left school in the 4th grade. And judging the plot twists, turns, and plummets (where did that major plot point go?), it appears this lunatic has the story-telling ability of a pre-verbal colicy baby.

exhausted!

But I finished! And I never thought I could write a full draft of a book in a month! I know I have some strong ideas and more than a few salvageable sentences amid the word pile, and that feels fantastic! Although I am not impressed with the quality of my writing, even I can admit that some neat writing moments came to be because I forced myself to sit and write for the sake of the NaNoWriMo word count.

I’m stepping away from the draft for a few days. Hello Skyrim! But once my coffee mug trophy arrives in the mail, the hunt for salvageable material begins!

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My previous NaNoWriMo update motivated me to get back in the game. In a week I wrote over 17,000 words and caught up to the masses! I was right on target to finish on time.

I promised myself a NaNoWriMo gift if I met the 50,000 word count by Dec 1. Impressed with the strides I had made, I took a look at the online NaNoWriMo gift shop for the first time and chose a ceramic mug that would serve as my completion trophy. I envisioned taking large hot gulps of coffee from my trophy as I worked on re-writes and first edits throughout the months of December and January. Those were the good ol’ days…

After my fantastic week of writing and constant stream of crap story plots (with a few good ideas thrown in there too), I let Thanksgiving festivities get in the way. A short weekend to my mums followed by a Thanksgiving week of fun has set me back considerably. So now I am eating dust again. Dust that tastes an awful lot like my regular old coffee mug.

My New Miserable Stats

Total Words Written: 33,628

Words Remaining: 16,327

Days Remaining: 5

Words Per Day To Finish On Time: 3,265.4 (sob!)

The Trophy I Wanted

My precioussssssss!

Now I’m Gonna Kick Some Ass – My Own Ass!

I want that trophy! It will be mine! So update, Universe, this is going to happen! I will finish NaNoWriMo. Skyrim is dead to me and we have enough leftovers to last us the week. No excuses, no nothing. If you need me and you can’t find me know this: I am in the zone. The writing zone. I will not return until December 1st at the stroke of midnight with a printed* receipt of an online NaNoWriMo ceramic mug order in my hand and the dust at my heels.

*I’ll really just save the receipt as a pdf on my computer to save paper, but that sounds less dramatic.

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It is Day 15 of  NaNoWriMo. For those of you just tuning in, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The purpose is to motivate thousands of fools to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. We are at the halfway point! By we, I mean all of the really fast writers out there who are not me. My word count is totally right on track if it were Day 9 of this event.

My Miserable Stats

Total Words Written: 15,830

Words Remaining: 34,170 (is that all?)

Days Remaining: 16

Words Per Day To Finish On Time: 2,135

8 Ball’s Prediction Of Whether I Will Reach Goal on Time: Not looking good.

Oh! Did I mention that we got a video game called Skyrim this weekend? It is a never ending nerd game of dragons, bandits, and quests. So many quests! Did I mention I turn into a 16-year-old boy when I play these games? My wood elf has been picking locks, trading goods, and honing her archery skills all weekend. Meaning, writing is no longer happening and I have just revealed to my blog friends that I am a mega-nerd.

Chance of Reaching Goal With Skyrim In House: Not going to happen, Dragonborn*!

In sum, I would have had a better chance growing a beard for No Shave November. But I haven’t given up on NaNoWriMo yet. A wood elf never quits!

Me with a beard (and fancy mustache)!

*Since you were wondering: The Dragonborn have an innate ability to soak up the powers of dragons upon slaying them.

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I promised myself, as a reward, that I would write during my year of absence from academia. Of course it would make sense to continue to write and publish this year to maintain continuity in my graduate school career. But no! I am taking a break from you, self-serving publications. In lieu of furthering my science career, I am collaborating on a fiction project with my husband. He is a real writer — with an MFA in creative writing, published creative works, and a resume of cool creative-writing jobs. I, on the other hand, can only claim a background in science writing — with a Master’s thesis, two academic publications, and the not-so-cool job of teaching undergraduates how to write research reports. Nonetheless, it turns out that we are a pretty clever fiction team.

However, plagued with baby fever since June, I have not completed as much writing as I would have liked since I stopped teaching mid-August. Here is a short list of what I have done instead to stave off baby-related anxiety:

Lulu is ready to get some writing done!

1. Watched TLC’s “A Baby Story” marathons. And I still want to have a baby story of my own!

2. Cleaned out my fridge. I removed shelving and scrubbed the entire fridge and shelving units until they sparkled. Fridge wasn’t really dirty to begin with.

3. Read a lot in the name of “research.” Although The Game of Thrones series is nothing like our intended work and not at all written for the same target audience.

4. I have learned to cook. And failed at baking a number of times. Although I now have 2 successful apple pies under my belt!

5. I have blogged. And I will not stop so I will just have to make both work simultaneously.

So today, after some concurrent writing with Patrick this weekend, I woke up with the mindset that nothing would break my stride. I’m in it to win it! Then Patrick reminded me that the contractor was *finally* coming today to rip rotten drywall out of our entryway closet (damage from winter storms). I am excited to have our closet back and pleased to pieces that he really showed up this time (project was supposed to begin in the SPRING). But as it turns out, this is a noisy job. Not at all conducive to writing… But I aim to soldier on. You may clang and bang, Mr. Contractor. You can sigh heavily in exasperation many times so that I feel the full weight of your struggle. You can exclaim loudly, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” all you want. But I have writing to do!

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Lulu Taking In The View

I don’t know if it is because I just turned 31, I’m in some sort of pre-baby nesting/cleaning phase, or both, but today Patrick and I cleaned out and rearranged our office! I filled two large bags with old papers, articles, and psych conference knick-knacks that I had accumulated over the course of the academic year (and I call my husband a hoarder!).

Our desks that once faced adjacent white walls, now share a window view—which at the moment is green, lush, and vibrant.  We love the idea of collaborating or working on individual projects side-by-side in this new clutter-free space.

Of course, this room will go through another transformation if we end up adding to our family, but right now it is perfect. A room with a view and promise!

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