Saturday, October 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo, Nerdfighters, and other Randomness

As I type these words, according to the NaNoWriMo countdown timer at, National Novel Writing Month will begin in one day, one hour, and thirty-seven minutes. That means that one hour and thirty-seven minutes after I post this, er, post... There will only be one day left until NaNoWriMo begins. This both excites and terrifies me (with the reason for my terror being elaborated on more fully in my last post).

I am prepared and unprepared in equal measure. A year or two ago I probably would've called myself a pantser, if I had learned the meaning of the term at that time. Now, I'd almost say that I lean more towards being a planner... I'm somewhere in the middle. Often I start with no idea what I'm writing, and then five pages later have the next three books in the series all figured out - at least in general idea form.

For this year's NaNo-Novel(s) I have my basic plan worked out. One moreso than the other. Ice Ambassadors is pretty much planned, and I'm rather excited about it, while Inherited Destiny is sort of... Half-planned. With LOTS of empty space in the middle. But hopefully I can work with that. In any case, I'm calling Inherited Destiny my SECOND novel (as opposed to my first) which means that - while I'd be extremely psyched if I COULD make the full 50,000 words on it - it won't be the end of the world if it dies mid-month. I  have a significant number of pages of world info. I have Word documents with my essential plot points (as well as pictures stolen, I mean, borrowed from DA, Google, and Getty images. I've made an image on GIMP for Ice Ambassadors, and have a half-done one for Inherited Destiny (which suck, but I'm still proud of them). I have a flash drive prepared for novel-holding (so I can work on it from any computer in my home) and I have blatantly bragged about what I'm going to be attempting to everyone around me, whether they care or not. I have also intimidated my mother (who I'll be competing against) with talk of my obvious superiority, reminding her that I've won the 1/2 pound candy bar wager every year we've done it.

However, there are still things I SHOULD be doing, which I MIGHT do tomorrow, if I have time/motivation. I should be preparing a spreadsheet to keep track of word counts, goals, and green/red surplus/missing word calculations. I should be organizing playlists so that I don't have to stop writing to switch forward to a good song. I should be reminding a classmate of mine who supposedly writes but hasn't managed to finish a single chapter that this is his opportunity to get motivated! He's less than excited.

So how did I spend the day? I finished a Nancy Drew computer game (Trail of the Twister! Can't wait to do Shadow at Water's Edge - JAPANESE STUFF FTW - but sadly, I shall have to. Just until after NaNo). I watched some of the shows that our DVR taped for me on Friday while I was at a Relient K concert (Generator Rex - Love it. Ben Ten, Ultimate Alien - Have a few problems with the plot/dialogue sometimes, but it's a'ight. Symbionic Titan - Love the story - and Lance - though it can be awkward in some places and the art's alternately amazing and... Different. Quirky). I finished a book. I'm trying to excuse this by telling myself that I'm savoring my last few bits of time wasting before two NaNo novels eat me during November.

The book I finished was The Girl Who Could Fly, by Victoria Forester. I bought it a while back, but haven't had time to read it since I've been distracted by library books. This happens a lot with things I own. Anyway, I made the decision to read books I own during November so I won't have to worry about finishing them and getting them back to the library on time. But, wouldn't ya' know it, I finished this one in two days.

Mostly attracted by the cover art, I expected it to be cute, but a little lame, and written for a much lower age group. And it was cute. And it was written for younger people. But it was SO not lame, and I think people of all ages could enjoy it. It's about a girl named Piper McCloud, who lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere, where her neighbors and family don't seem to appreciate the fact that she can fly. She's taken to a facility filled with exceptional kids like her - kids with telekinesis, and X-ray vision, and superspeed - but soon finds out that the facility isn't as wonderful as it first appears.

The writing was actually really great, filled with the kind of humor I love. The plot was amazing, and it kept me wondering even though there were a few things I did successfully predict. There are still some questions left unanswered at the end, so I'm assuming there will be a sequel sometime(?). Hope so. I'd definitely reccomend this book...

Even if Stephanie Meyer was the one quoted on the cover. XP

Let's see... NaNo, books... What else was there... Ah, yes. Nerdfighters.

The other day a friend of mine posted a link to the NaNoWriMo song.

Clicking NaNo-related videos once that AWESOME video was over (the song's been stuck in my head ever since I watched it. I've been singing it in public), I discovered the Vlog Brothers. John and Hank Green, two brothers (obviously) who send each other videos back and forth in lieu of texting each other. To quote one of them very roughly, pulling from my faulty memory, "A lot of people seem to find it funny." With good reason. These guys are so awesome.

Nerdy. Funny. Very little swearing (though some awkwardness is occasionally present. If this scares you, DO NOT watch the giraffe love video). Contains some deep content, some eco-geeking, and a whole lot of awesome. I'm currently watching their videos in reverse order.

Oh, look! Another way to put off NaNo prep!

Their YouTube channel:
Their website:

I recommend the "Making Adorable Music" video.

ALSO, don't tell anyone, but on my username is horse_chic11. Keep an eye on my wordcount. ;)

P.S. Counting The Girl Who Could Fly, I just realized that I own five books related to flying children. XD I should find a way to organize my bookshelf accordingly.

One day, fifty-one minutes! *squeals*

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“I Don’t Suffer From Insanity...”

I enjoy every minute of it.
Except for about right now, when NaNoWriMo is (*goes to check timer on*) as I write this, four days, seven hours, three minutes away and I’m just starting to comprehend how utterly impossible it’s going to be for me to meet my goal.
Because a few months ago, I decided I wasn’t going to be satisfied with the usual 50,000 words in thirty days.
“I wrote 76,817 words last year!” I thought. “I got to 50,000 words in fifteen days… Why not try for 100,000 words?!”
Poor, poor, silly little girl.

To make matters worse, I’m not just writing a 100,000 word novel. That would be too easy. Oh, no… I’m writing TWO novels, 50,000 words each.
And I’m not just writing one 50,000 word novel and then the other one. That would be boring… I – being the egotistical young fool that I am – am going to write them simultaneously. 1,667 words in a novel one day, and then switching over to the other document and writing another 1,667 words.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
But now I’ve barely had time to breathe lately, balancing homework, play practice, family outings, etc. etc. etc. I don’t know how I’m going to survive in November. November 5 is my play, so that will be over soon, but mid-month Speech starts, and since I’m trying out for that this year… T-T

And even with all this going on… I’ve started working a little on a comic I may possibly upload online if I can find time to work on it. Yeah. That’ll probably die once NaNo starts.
I’m hoping that once National Novel Writing Month actually starts, I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the accumulation of scraps of free time I can scrounge up. But at this point, that’s just a hope.
What about you? Are you doing NaNo? Have you done it before? What are your goals for this year’s NaNoWriMo? Are you suffering from anxiety/insanity?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why I Like, But Fear My Latest Short Story

About a week ago, I wrote a short story about a kleptomaniac watching stars die.

You should be able to read it here:

[url redacted, because I've begun to submit this to contests, etc.]

Because I feel guilty for not writing blog posts more regularly, and because I think whoever’s reading this blog should probably have some idea of my writing style, and because I want free publicity, I thought I’d write about this short story, for lack of anything else to talk about. Think of this as a kind of self-review/critique.

I like this short story. I’m rather proud of how it turned out, to be honest. I feel like I described the setting well. I introduced my main character as well as anyone can be introduced when they don’t have a name – through showing instead of telling. Instead of saying that the narrator was a kleptomaniac who comes from a poor family and resents the rich and doesn’t fit in at school, I presented her as a girl sitting by herself in a field, apart from her classmates, plucking at threads on her hole-filled jeans and fingers twitching as she looks at a man’s nice, expensive watch… Sometimes I have problems with show versus tell, so I think it actually turned out pretty well.

I liked the science-fictioney premise I based the story on, I liked the characters, and I even managed to slip in a few profound musings that I thought were also good…

I am pleased.

But I am also afraid.

Because up until relatively recently, I hardly ever wrote short stories. And the short stories I did write ended up being 15,000 words long. Now, since finishing the rough draft of a novel, I’ve barely written anything in novel form, and have instead written a bunch of (still admittedly long) short stories.

What if I’ve devolved into someone who can only write short stories? What if I’m never able to write a full-length novel ever again?

What if my goal of two 50,000 word novels this November is completely unattainable?

I supposed I’ll just have to trust for now… In God, in myself, and in my technology…

Oh, dear. A bad omen for that last one: my phone just broke and I’m no longer receiving any texts. O.o

Wish me luck, and check out my short story if you’d like… Opinions welcome.