Sunday, November 28, 2010

WriMo Certificate


Call me a geek.  Or a dork.  I don't care.
I am darn-tootin' proud of winning this, and when you are proud of something, you show it off!  So, after printing up my NaNoWriMo Winner Certificate on Thanksgiving, I asked my sister-in-law Samantha to snap some pics of me showing it off.

Oh yes.  You know you are jealous.

Something I have been noticing though is that people don't seem to understand what I won.  Some think it was a competition and I am the 1st place winner.  Some ask if there was a cash prize or some other awesome goodie.  To those of you still confused, here is what I "won":

-A cool certificate that is now hanging above my desk
- Bragging rights to the fact that I wrote 50k words in 30 days (even more so since I did it in 14!)
-The knowledge that I can, in fact, write that much.

Don't say its lame.  It was a personal competition with myself, and once I hit that 50k mark, I won.  If you know me at all, you know that I have always loved writing, but have never finished any of my projects.  Now, thanks to this challenge, I am only a few chapters away from wrapping up the first draft of my first novel.  Winning NaNoWriMo isn't about cash or prizes or being numero uno.  Its about proving to yourself that you are amazing, that you can write, and that you can do this.

That's what I won.  And I am darn proud of it.







I am a 2010 WriMo.  Are you?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Review: Bar Code Tattoo

The Barcode Tattoo
by Suzanne Weyn

Synopsis: (From Powells)
The bar code tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run . . . for her life.Indivuality vs. conformity.. Identity vs. access. Freedom vs. control.The bar code tattoo.

Why I picked up this book: The cover, the synopsis, and the many reviews saying it was worth reading

My thoughts:
I was intrigued by the synopsis, sold by the cover, and hopeful for the outcome.  What happened?  Well, to me... the book didn't.

I loved the idea that Weyn created, of the government being taken over by a corporation, which gradually made it a requirement for every citizen to wear a bar code on their arm.  It replaces money, cards, ID, everything.  Kayla, the main, is thrown for a loop though when her father commits suicide, her mother goes crazy, and she becomes friends with a rebel group at school, all because of the bar code.  All very reminiscent of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, only with a tattoo other than all-out plastic surgery.

Why didn't I like it then?

Though the plot was capturing, the writing wasn't.  It was very simple, almost adolescent in style, and I had to force myself through it.  I wanted badly to see where the story went, but with the writing the way it was, I was more tempted to pull out my red pen and do major editing instead.  There were many places where Weyn could have told more, left more mystery, pretty much done...more.  But she didn't.

Then I looked at the publisher and a little bit of it made sense.  Scholastic, you old devil.

While Weyn did a good job at portraying the story and wrapping up the lose ends, I never felt fully connected, pulled in, or satisfied.  I did not hate this book, but I highly doubt it is a book I will ever pick up to read again.


My rating:

2 out of 5 stars

Forecast: Word Clouds Ahead

Thanks to the OLL post, I have discovered a pretty awesome, time wasting site that I know I will go back to much too often.  Thank you OLL!

You plug in your writing, then it counts how much you use each word and makes a pretty cloud, just for your writing-procrastinating pleasure!  WAY too many options, and too cool to look at when you are done.  I plan to make the cloud again once my novel is done, but for fun I made some right now.  (How could I not?)

Also, it gives you a count of how many times you used each word.  Such as saying "Reed" 285 times.  Hey Reed, I think Millie likes you.  -wink wink-

Without common words...Hello Reed and Eyes!
Ok common words... I will let you show off too
 Site link:  http://www.wordle.net/


And on a quick update:
I have begun the climax of the story.  Intensity!  I can't believe how close I am to finishing this first draft.  I have a growing list already of things I know I need to go back in and add, delete, edit... The list, it grows!

I know a few of you out there have asked to read this book 'o mine.  Well, I will be doing a basic edit first... then I will let a few read it, for feedback and more editing.  I can't just let everyone out there read it though.  Who knows, maybe lady luck will smile on me...

 All is going good though.  Today my hubby has to work pretty much all day (Thank you Black Friday...) so I am not sure what I will get written.  He pulled out the christmas box this morning, and my oldest kiddo begged to put up the tree, so today just may be a deco day.  Which I do need.  What makes you happier than little Santas and glittering lights?







Thursday, November 25, 2010

Official NaNoWriMo 2010 Winner


I just plugged my writing into the validator, hit the submit button, and have no officially won NaNoWriMo 2010 with a word count of 60,127

I DID IT!

As I loaded the winner certificate and sat back to look at it, my name plugged in with my novel title, I suddenly felt choked up and tears tried to sting my eyes.  At first I felt like a complete boob.  Then I realized:  I earned this.  I set a goal, a goal I have wanted for as long as I can remember, and I finished it.  Though the novel still needs a few more chapters, mad editing and lots of TLC, I won the challenge. 

And what a great day to submit it.  Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful for the art of writing.  For the support of my husband and family and crazy friends.  For this imagination that never sleeps.  I cannot wait to wrap this novel up and see where it goes.  Whether is remains forever in my hard drive, or manages to find its way onto cluttered bookshelves, I do not know.  But one thing I do know...

I WON NANOWRIMO!
*Happy dance*


"One thing life teaches you is it is unpredictable.  If we wait for something to happen, and it never happens, we will just waste our lives waiting." - Jude, Prison Nation

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pep Talk

One great thing (among many) of NaNoWriMo is: Pep Talks.  
Every week we get a new pep talk, ranging from Chris Baty (founder) to well known authors.  They encourage us to keep going, give us advice, and remind us that insanity is what is truly best to live on.  (To see the Pep Talk archive, click here.)

The pep talk I got today I loved so much, I just need to post it here for all to read.  It was written by Lemony Snicket (You don't know who he is?  I just...don't know what to say to you!)  You can read the original pep post here, or just scroll down and devour!


Dear Cohort,

Struggling with your novel? Paralyzed by the fear that it's nowhere near good enough? Feeling caught in a trap of your own devising? You should probably give up.

For one thing, writing is a dying form. One reads of this every day. Every magazine and newspaper, every hardcover and paperback, every website and most walls near the freeway trumpet the news that nobody reads anymore, and everyone has read these statements and felt their powerful effects. The authors of all those articles and editorials, all those manifestos and essays, all those exclamations and eulogies - what would they say if they knew you were writing something? They would urge you, in bold-faced print, to stop.

Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well. We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.

Besides, there are already plenty of novels. There is no need for a new one. One could devote one's entire life to reading the work of Henry James, for instance, and never touch another novel by any other author, and never be hungry for anything else, the way one could live on nothing but multivitamin tablets and pureed root vegetables and never find oneself craving wild mushroom soup or linguini with clam sauce or a plain roasted chicken with lemon-zested dandelion greens or strong black coffee or a perfectly ripe peach or chips and salsa or caramel ice cream on top of poppyseed cake or smoked salmon with capers or aged goat cheese or a gin gimlet or some other startling item sprung from the imagination of some unknown cook. In fact, think of the world of literature as an enormous meal, and your novel as some small piddling ingredient - the drawn butter, for example, served next to a large, boiled lobster. Who wants that? If it were brought to the table, surely most people would ask that it be removed post-haste.

Even if you insisted on finishing your novel, what for? Novels sit unpublished, or published but unsold, or sold but unread, or read but unreread, lonely on shelves and in drawers and under the legs of wobbly tables. They are like seashells on the beach. Not enough people marvel over them. They pick them up and put them down. Even your friends and associates will never appreciate your novel the way you want them to. In fact, there are likely just a handful of readers out in the world who are perfect for your book, who will take it to heart and feel its mighty ripples throughout their lives, and you will likely never meet them, at least under the proper circumstances. So who cares? Think of that secret favorite book of yours - not the one you tell people you like best, but that book so good that you refuse to share it with people because they'd never understand it. Perhaps it's not even a whole book, just a tiny portion that you'll never forget as long as you live. Nobody knows you feel this way about that tiny portion of literature, so what does it matter? The author of that small bright thing, that treasured whisper deep in your heart, never should have bothered.

Of course, it may well be that you are writing not for some perfect reader someplace, but for yourself, and that is the biggest folly of them all, because it will not work. You will not be happy all of the time. Unlike most things that most people make, your novel will not be perfect. It may well be considerably less than one-fourth perfect, and this will frustrate you and sadden you. This is why you should stop. Most people are not writing novels which is why there is so little frustration and sadness in the world, particularly as we zoom on past the novel in our smoky jet packs soon to be equipped with pureed food. The next time you find yourself in a group of people, stop and think to yourself, probably no one here is writing a novel. This is why everyone is so content, here at this bus stop or in line at the supermarket or standing around this baggage carousel or sitting around in this doctor's waiting room or in seventh grade or in Johannesburg. Give up your n ovel, and join the crowd. Think of all the things you could do with your time instead of participating in a noble and storied art form. There are things in your cupboards that likely need to be moved around.

In short, quit. Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Blow it out, so our eyes will not be drawn to its power. Extinguish it so we can get some sleep. I plan to quit writing novels myself, sometime in the next hundred years.

--Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket is the author of  A Series of Unfortunate Events. You can learn more about his work here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Plotting Plotting


Its funny, because I always saw myself more as a pantser.  But here I am, plotting in my head what should happen, detail by detail.  I am not making charts or outlines or any of that sort.  No way.  All that does is make it feel like school, which means homework, and I rarely ever did my homework.  Rarely. 

(Strange side fact:  I keep having this reoccurring dream, where I am in school.  Good old high school.  And there is some class that I keep skipping, so much to the point that I forgot I was even enrolled in it.  Until I find out I am failing it and need to pass to graduate.  But I don't even know where the class IS, much less WHAT it is.  I have no idea why I keep dreaming this.  I graduated five and a half years ago.  Huh...)

Anyway!
Thank you's to those who took the time to give me their feedback on my last post.  You have no idea how much it did help.  It was nice to hear my thoughts reinforced by all of you, some of you even who I barely or don't even know!  You rock.  Yup, pretty much.

So I have decided to go with that little writer hiding in the back of my head screaming "Don't do it!"  Which does bum me out.  I originally totally had these characters planned in.  It all made sense.  And I love them, I really really do.  This story though...it has been writing itself.  While I do love the direction it chose to take, sadly it passed by these characters on the writing road and left them in its WriMo dust.  I do believe though that the ending will be much stronger without suddenly throwing them all in too, and the one part I have mentioned them can easily be edited out. 

Oh, the things we writers cry about.

(Awesome.  I am so trained.  I just hit ctrl+s without even thinking of it.  Back up crazy anyone?)

Tonight, I will write.  It was nice to take the two day break to make decisions, eat too much chocolate, and watch Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince with my hubby.  (Oh man...get to see the newest one tomorrow.  Really hoping it doesn't suck!)

Break is over though. 
Time to finish this bad boy, then dive into the dreaded editing stage. 
Can you hear my huge huge gulp at that thought?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Plotline Conundrum

I haven't written a word today.
On purpose.

I decided I needed a short brain break.  I think I literally see smoke pouring out my ears.  My brain keeps crying like a sad puppy, just wanting a yummy bone and a nap.  So, I threw it the bone today, and let it rest.

From the actual writing that is.
It doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it in major OCD-mode.

I have come across a plot issue I am trying to decide on.  And would love some input.  If you want to give me some...of any kind...do read on.

Ok.  So I am about 53,000 words in, give/take.  That's a good chunk.  (Typically publishers prefer a first-time author to have about 70k... or so)  I have already spent much time on different spots of the story (in prison, release, her work after release, etc), and am now nearing the climax.  The issue is, part of my pre-planned plot was that the main characters (Millie/Reed/Eddie...shall we call them MRE for this post?) were going to come across another group who was traveling towards the same destination, and join up with them.  I even have already planned the group, their back stories, all of that.  I love the characters.

But is it too much?

I am almost feeling like adding in this new group, on top of MRE, will be over kill for this story line.  I do not want it to drag on.  I want it to be amazing.  Don't all writers? (Haha)  So what do I do?  Do I still write them in, and hope that it isn't too much?  Or follow this gut feeling that now isn't the time for this group?  (Cool thought...let's say people like this novel, and I do a sequel, which I already have ideas for...I could totally bring them in then. Hm...)

What do you like when you read?  Do you like when new characters are thrown in at the end, or do you just want to keep focus on the few you have gotten to know all these pages? 

...discuss??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 of NaNoWriMo and...

I JUST DID IT!

I will happily hit the sack in just a few short minutes with 50,002 words completed! I WON NANOWRIMO!

Now then, the novel isn't done.  I feel like it still needs another 20k.  Maybe.  We will see where it goes.  I am now at a point that it is picking back up and I am getting very into it again.  I am stopping tonight at a spot that I need to be refreshed for.  It will be an intense scene, with truths being revealed and emotions running.  When I first thought it up, I even started to tear up, just at the thought of it.  Oh my...

I won't get the winner certificate till the verfying days at the end of the month.  Sadly.
It is almost midnight.  I am SO exhausted.

But know what?  I feel AMAZING.  I wasn't sure if I could do this.  But now I know: I CAN.

Alright, I will write a better post when I am rested and not just giddy with this amazing amazing high.

My awesome status Chart.  Purple line is the 1667 a day goal.  Blue bars are ME.



Snippet #3

In celebration of almost reaching my 50k challenge goal...here is another snippet, freshly written just a few minutes ago.


     Reed looked over at me.  “When you said you didn’t want to know the truth about your parents, I – I hated you, for that moment.  I hated how you had your parents, had a chance to know the truth, and refused to take it.  While I am here, wanting to know and…” His voiced trailed off.  He stared at the apple again, then said roughly.  “I am so sick of this.”
    I felt my body sway in the breeze and clutched the branch beneath me.  “Sick of this?”  I asked.  I felt myself panic at the thought of what his answer would be.
    Reed waved his hand around in the air, motioning to everything around him  “This.  The constant fear of breaking the law.  The need to always work, never knowing what you are working for.  Never being in control.”  He looked at me, his eyes heavy again.  “Fearing that the goodbye you refused to say could have been your last goodbye.”
    I could only watch him, the memory of last night flowing in my mind. 
    Reed tossed me the apple.  I shot a hand out and caught it before it could fly past me.  It was a deep red, shining in the bright day light.  Reed plucked another apple from the tree and took a huge bite.  Juice sprayed from the apple, the meat bright white as he took another bite into the crunchy surface.
    “Reed…” I said, alarmed.  I felt my eyes scanning the ground beneath me, afraid someone passing would see what he was doing.
    “Millie, I am sick of not knowing who owns this delicious apple that I am never allowed to eat.  There has to be more than this Nation.  There has to be.”
    “Like what?”  I asked.
    “I don’t know.”  I could hear him chewing the apple, his head leaned back against the trunk of the tree.  I looked at the apple in my hand.  Then looked back over at Reed.
    “What are you going to do?” I asked, my voice barely audible.
    Reed sighed and looked over at me.  “I don’t know Millie.  I don’t know if I even can do something.”  His eyes searched mine.  “I don’t want to risk losing the few things I have.  But there has to be something.”  He took another bite, watching me as he chewed.  “First thing I know I am going to do.  We are going to find out what really happened with your parents.”
    He looked at the remains of the apple in his hand, then let out a slow sigh.  Leaning his head back again, I watched as he disappeared into his thoughts, his mouth mindlessly chewing the last bite he had taken of the apple.
    I looked again at the apple in my hand, then raised it to my lips.  It was cool and smooth, smelling rich as it pressed against my nose.  Closing my eyes, I took a bite.  The apple was crisp, its juices spraying into my mouth and down my chin as I carefully chewed.  I didn’t feel myself cringe as I took another careful bite.  This apple was different than the ones I had always known. 
    Maybe it was because it was fresh picked off of the tree that I sat in.  It had never had the chance to soften and brown in its over filled basket.  Captivity and the end never loomed in front of it, stealing away its deep red and sweet juices.  All it had ever known was the sun and the breeze and the song of the birds. 
    I leaned heavy against the trunk, finishing my apple along side Reed.  We didn’t talk.  We didn’t need to.  We knew with out saying a word that something had just changed.  Something deeper than eating an illegal apple.  Something that was about to ignite a change that would landslide our entire lives.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

WriMo Update

Me all happy after an awesome all night writing session

Last night I had the first of two planned all-night writing sessions with Keary.  My friend Kimmel joined too.  It was pretty much awesome.  Even though Kimmel and I talked a bit more than we should have...ahem...all three of us were able to get out a good chunk of word count.  I am really looking forward to my meeting with Keary next week.  Having my small writing community is something that is really helping me.  I love you all!

Well, I wrote until about 3am, went to sleep, got up and went to take some photos of my hubby's cousins.  After that...I wrote some more.  Since midnight, I have written 4,361...bringing my total to...

45,053

No kidding! 4,947 more words and I complete NaNoWriMo!  How crazy awesome is that?  The book isn't quite near its end yet.  I sitll have at least 10-20k left I think...if not more...we will see!  Then I "get" to dive into the joys of editing.  This feels awesome.  I have never had this much written...and I am still going!  According to word counts, I am 5k away from having a "novel."  *makes OMG face*

Now, most of it I know needs mad rewriting and tweaking.  But over all...I am proud.  I am happy.  And man, I am tired. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Time for Giggles

We are nearing the end of week two of NaNoWriMo.  Feeling it?  Well, I sure am!  Even though I am ahead in my word count, I still find myself stressing about getting a daily total.  I guess its a good thing that I just feel wrong if I haven't written for the day.  Hopefully that brain washing sticks once WriMo ends!

Now, just for fun, here are some random comics I have found scattered on the interwebs.  I will post some now...and save some for closer to the end. 

Take a break, read a comic, laugh a bit...let your brain breath...
Then get back to writing!




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11...





You want to know how I am doing?  Hoping the words are still flowing and I am at about 80k now?


Sad to say...not happening.  I think I have hit a slump.  (week two...noooo)  I am trying to plow through it with my block-plowing awesomeness, but it is slow going.  The last few days I just haven't been able to get my usual 3k.  Last night I even hit the sack after only writing about 1700 words.  Sad times, right there. 

I know I know, at least I wrote some.  Right?
Its just that personal goal that makes it a bummer for me.  I was hoping to be hitting 40k tonight...right at this moment I am at about 35,586, and am tired.  (I went to the bookstore today, then popped over to see a friend. Great thing about the hubby having a day off is I get to get out of the dang apartment.  Bad thing?  I am sooo note used to being out and about anymore and it wears me out.  Sad, I know.)(I just realized how much I keep writing "sad" in this post.  Sad...)

Anyway!  I am still going.  Going going...mentally GONE!  I have to at least hit my 1667 tonight, then I will allow myself to hit the sack.  Tomorrow?  Totally doing a night write with at least one friend online, if not more!  Really hoping that helps!  If anything, it sure should be entertaining.

PS.  If you are reading this, raise your hand.  I have a feeling practically no one is.  Not like it matters.  But I have Writer's Ego, suffer from it daily, and have yet to find a cure.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Snippet #2

I totally meant to post last night, but I -gladly- got pulled into writing instead!
(Side note: wrote 4050 words last night!  I have now reached 30,119!)

So, here is another blip.  I really like this one, for some reason.  It was a battle between this and two other pieces...maybe they will win someday too.  I know it needs editing...but you have asked, so here some is! 

    
     The sound of someone washing their hands pulled me from my empty dreams.  My father was standing by the sink, scrubbing at his hands vigorously.  I could see a stream of red mixing with the water that flushed away down the old sink.
     “What happened?” I asked before I could stop myself.
     My father jumped at the sound of my voice.  I could see his shoulders sag as he let out a heavy sigh.  “Just a cut.  At work.  They said I don’t even need stitches.”  I saw him wince in pain as he scrubbed at it again.  “Don’t worry.”  Still wincing, I watched as my father pulled a small sliver of metal out of the cut on his hand, dropping it to wash away down the sink.
     I climbed down from my bunk and crossed over to him.  Unrolling some of the rough toilet paper, I waited for him to turn off the water, then handed him the wad.  “Thanks,” he muttered, taking it carefully from me and pressing it to the cut.  I could see dark red already bleeding through the thick toilet paper.
     “You should go to the Infirmary.  You need to get that checked again.”
     My father stared at his hand, pressing harder against the bleeding.  “No, they said I’m fine.  Don’t worry Millie.”  He looked up at me, forcing a small smile to pass on his face before he winced again in pain.
     I watched as he walked past me, moving to sit on the edge of the bed.  Unrolling more toilet paper, I brought it to him.  He kept his head down, carefully pulling the now blood saturated ball of toilet paper off his hand.  Before he could cover it with the new bundle, I was able to catch a glimpse of the wound.
     The side of his left hand, right along his thumb, was sliced cleanly open.  I could see the bulge of white fat and gleam of bone clearly, all covered in the thick red of flowing blood.  It clearly needed stitches.
     My father pressed the clean ball of toilet paper to the wound, shamefully handing me the dirty one.  Without pausing, I moved over to the toilet and dropped it in.  I watched as the red toilet paper soaked up the toilet water, already tearing apart and disintegrating.  I hit the flush handle and the red mess disappeared.
     “I’m getting a Medic.”  I announced.
     “Millie, I said that I’m - ”
     “I said I’m getting a Medic.”
     With that, I stormed out of the cell.  The Medic room was just down the walk, positioned to be close for a reason.  There were a lot of injuries here.  There was even a special clean up crew, assigned to only clean up the blood left from the brawls and self-inflicted wounds that occurred daily.
     Banging on the door, I waited.  Finally a woman peeked out.  I could tell she wasn’t a convict.  The scared look on her face, the long wavy hair pulled back into a clean pony tail, the neatly trimmed nails only served to give her away.  There was no way she had ever served time.
     “My father is injured.”
     “Name?” she asked, pulling out a small device that fit into the palm of her hand.
     “Alan 942B.”
     She typed in the name then waited.  The machine was silent a moment, then beeped.  “It says he was examined at the site and was deemed fit to return to cell for rest.”
     “I can see fat,” I snarled through clenched teeth.  “And bone.  He won’t stop bleeding.  Does that sound ‘fit’ to you?”
     The nurse’s eyes widened for a moment at the hiss of my voice.  Checking the device again, she added nervously, “And his points amount only allows - ”
    “Take it from my points.”  As she opened her mouth to protest, I cut her off.  “Yes, you can.  I am given points as an allowance until I leave.  Take the amount you need and fix his damn hand.”
    The nurse looked at me a moment, her eyes wide in fear.  Then she nodded once, picked up a small bag, and pushed past me.  I watched as she made her way toward my block, then I let my body slump heavily against the now closed door.
    I felt strangely exhausted.  Even though I had just woken up, my eyes were now heavy, my body laboring for breath.  I didn’t know what had come over me.  The sudden rage that had driven me was something I had never felt before.  It scared me a little.  Yet, at the same time, I felt oddly powerful.  The look the nurse had given me as I hissed my words at her seemed oddly fulfilling.  And that feeling, the feeling of enjoying the innocent woman’s fear, was what was scaring me the most.
    A clock hung on the wall above the nurse’s station, covered in strips of metal.  Looking up at it, I saw that it was almost 1300.  I had just enough time to make it to the Parole room.  Cursing at myself for pushing time again, I started to run.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week One ends and....

Last night was the end of week one.  How did I fare you ask?

26,069

No kidding!  I am no officially halfway done with the NaNoWriMo challenge...and still have three weeks to go!  Crazy times, right there!  I know my novel will be longer than 50k . At first I was wondering I could even GET to that amount...now I am pretty sure I will soar right past it.

I still feel good.  I am finally at a point where more things are happening.  Life for Millie is about to completely change.  Is she ready?  They have severed her ties, drilled her brain with facts, and prepped her to be the perfect citizen.  Will she be though?  Only crazy WriMo will tell!

(And by the way, I have another snippet I am thinking of posting.  Tune in tonight for my decision...or non-decision...)

Friday, November 5, 2010

WriMo Update


Day five is over.

My official word count as of this exact moment in time:  
18, 686

I am not about 38% done with my NaNovel.  If I can keep up this crazy pace, I could be done with it come November 14th.  No kidding.  Now then...can I?  More so...will I?

I am feeling pretty good!  It feels good to be punching this out word after word.  Granted, I am terrified to go back and read any of it for fear of finding utter crap.  I keep reminding myself that that is ok.  Editing was invented for a reason.  So, I skim what I have, and write write write.

My secret?  Word Wars.  I write alright on my own, but always end up zoning out, wandering off...eating... With a war, I am focused and determined to win.  It feels awesome to throw-up the words and, most of the time, win. (Yeah yeah...not every time...sigh...  Haha.)  I think if it wasn't for awesome word wars, I wouldn't be NEARLY this far along. (thank you Kimmel and Elizabeth and the awesome online Portland WriMos!)

This weekend I have tentatively committed to a 10k challenge.  By sunday night, I need to try to get 10,000 more words written.  Now, I know I CAN do this.  But...will I?  Oh man I will try.  If I can do that, then I will be more than halfway done.  How awesome is that?  Wish me luck with THAT one...

Yes, my brain is feeling slightly fried and is threatening spontaneous combustion.  My butt hurts from too much sitting and I miss my tv and zoning time.  Just imagine though...I am this much closer to actually finishing a novel.  How long have I been trying that and getting mostly nowhere?  Maybe this novel sucks, maybe it is hidden gold.  Only time will tell that one.  But now I am realizing...I really can do this.  I can bust out almost sensible sentences into almost complete paragraphs and am getting closer and closer to almost finishing a novel!

*phew*

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A snippet

Just because some friends told me I really should...here you go!  Remember, ROUGH draft here, so be nice!


   The prison was fully awake now.  I could hear the nonstop chatter of inmates.  The shuffle of worn out shoes.  The occasional angry shout.  I let my eyes shut, let the sounds envelope me.  Someone shouted louder, their voice full of anger.  I could hear a body slam into something solid.  The gasps of people standing by.  Then, right on the cue, the heavy thump of boots as the guards ran to the fight.  Inmates shouted, some cheering on the fighters, some scared and trying to get away from the crowd.  Then suddenly it was quiet, everything falling back to the shuffle and murmur of usual rhythm.
   This was the music my life consisted of.  The beat of the laundry room, the strum of the shuffling feet, the occasional solo of a frenzied fight, always ending with the finale buzz declaring lights out.  I had only heard true music a handful of times in my life.  It was beautiful.  Every note was clear and lacking chaos.  I longed to hear it more, but in Spokane, only the priviledged got any kind of music playing device.  I didn’t have a job, and my parents rarely worked.  This meant we had no points, and no special treatment.  The only music I was allowed was the daily songs of the prison walk.
   My mind drifted more.  I felt my lips vibrating as they hummed an uneven rhythm that swayed and moved with the sounds of the prison.  Occasionally a small snatch of one of the unnamed random songs I had heard before mixed in, giving my melody a strange, haunting sound.  I let a small smile spread on my lips.  It felt good to be alone in the cell.  No chattering.  No need to check in and make sure my mother was clean or my father was awake.
   In my mind a saw a green field take form.  I let myself fall into the daydream.  The field was one I had seen many times in my school books.  Rolling hills, green with occasional patches of white flowers.  The sky blue with light fluffy clouds floating by.  I could hear the songs of the birds in the distance.  The lap of unseen water.
   Laying down in the grass, I let the sun bake my soft skin.  My clothes were clean, smelling of flowers instead of the usual stink of rank soap and dirty sweat.  There was no one around.  Aside from the crash of the waters and the singing of the birds, I was completely alone.  My smile grew wider.
   The sound of someone clearing their throat snapped me from my dreaming.  Blinking my eyes open, I leaned forward and looked down at the open cell door.  Carl GF4 was leaning in it, his arms folded across his uniform chest, a sly grin smugly spread on his face.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Broke 10k!

Here comes the end of day three and... I have already broken 10,000 words!!  True story!  So far I have been having 3-4k writing days, and it feels great!  (Being as the daily goal is 1667...)  Granted my brain feels very fried and abused, I am truly loving this adventure!

I am finally getting more into the story, and getting excited for things to finally get going!  Something that I have noticed is, no matter what novel I am working on, my chapters always end up being roughly 6 pages long (single spaced, blah blah)  That is very much so holding true for my NaNovel.  I think word wars are the one thing that is really helping me get this out.  (Thanks Kimmel!)  I am finding myself looking forward to the wars every night, and know the day is just around the corner where I will be totally schooled.  :)

Anyhoo, I just thought to brag a bit and tell everyone that...I broke 10k I broke 10k! 
That means I "only" have about 40k to go....it is do-able.  It is...

Word count tonight before I log off and hopefully pass out into a happy writer coma:

11,883

Monday, November 1, 2010

And So Ends Day One


 Day one of NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close.

I stayed up for the midnight online Launch some people in my region threw together. It was awesome to feed off of their energy as we awaited the "permission" to begin out novels. I swear, it felt like we should have yelled out Happy New Year...or more appropriately: Happy Wrimo!

I totally intended to stay up just long enough to welcome it in, then hit the sack. But the energy was too intoxicating. I ended up staying up half an hour longer and busting out a little over 1000 words; the start of my NaNovel!

As soon as my day actually began, I had to jet off for a dentist appointment. Three fillings later I was home...and in pain. I hate fillings...but they are better than a root canal at least. I am sure happy I got those words written at midnight. It let me relax a bit as my mouth protested against the drilling I had just put it through.

This evening I was able to sit back down and plunk out more words. It truly is sad how excited I was to begin this novel...and already I glance over what I have written and convince myself how sucky it is. No Jenni...no. It is supposed to suck. Its the first draft! Keep going...

Meeting up with my friend Kimmel online, we decided to use Word Wars to help us get writing out. What is a word war you ask? Well...you pick a time, set a time limit...and then BANG, off you go, typing like mad. At the end, whoever has the largest word-count wins. Yes, it may seem a bit dorky, but hey, who ever said that we writers aren't dorks? Kimmel and I have a deal: Come mid-month we are going on a double date to see the newest Harry Potter, and who ever had lost the most Word Wars has to buy the popcorn. Oh Kimmel, it is ON! (And how sad is it that I am SO excited to go see Harry Potter? Oh yes, I love those movies and books. And yes, my netbook will be coming along as well. Waiting in line is prime time to bust out some wordage!)

Well, after three fifteen minute word wars (luck was on my side tonight...I won all three. Tee-hee) and some slower paced writing, I am glad to say I very much so got the aimed for 1667. In fact, day one now ends with a total word count of:

4,223

Yay me. *Does happy dance*

How awesome would it be to get at least 3000 a day? The novel would be done mid-month. I know. I know sucky days lay ahead. And exhausted days. And "my novel won't talk to me" days. But hey..hoping isn't bad!

I will try to update on here as often as my brain allows. I have added a widget to the left that will update as I update my word count online. I know already that I will not be able to do a blog post daily as I write daily for the next month...I am thinking it will be a weekly or bi-weekly update. But we shall see!

On a side note, I have been thinking alot about whether I want to post my writing on here. Here is why I am sketchy: I have always been paranoid about my work being stolen. Along with that, I read that once you post more than three chapters on any non-password protected site, agents and publishers claim you as "published" and you become less likely to be picked up. Now, this novel may never see the light of publishing day. But I need to live with the hope that maybe, just maybe, it might... Maybe.

As of right now, I will occasionally post blips. Small ones. Just to keep you wondering. Maybe if you beg enough I will post a tiny bit more. Maybe. My mind may change, it may not. But I am hoping that you at least read the small blips I post and convince me to keep going.

Here is the first one, very tiny. It is how the book opens. Tell me if you crave more, at all.
Enjoy!

My name is Millie 942B.
Next week is my eighteenth birthday. And I dread it with every fiber in my body.
But I am already getting ahead of myself.
I guess I should start at something close to a beginning. My name seems pretty strange to someone who doesn’t know the world I live in. It is a symbol of my existence. ‘942’ is the cell number I was born and raised in. ‘B’ is the floor level of which my little cubicle resides. I have no brothers. No sisters. Only a silent father and a state-proclaimed unstable mother. And it is because of them that I live in this cell.

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