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NaNoWriMo results

This year I won NaNoWriMo two days early on November 28th. I’ve had a lot going on since then, so sorry I have not updated about it since winning. On the left is the shirt I got myself as soon as I won and a few days later I treated myself to a shake from Chick-fil-A. I can’t remember what exactly it was called, but it was a chocolate chip peppermint flavor. The name doesn’t matter. That shake was good and Chick-fil-A makes good shakes in general.

This was only my third time participating. I’ve won it twice so far. The first I completed a first draft of an entire novel. Last time I finished roughly ~14,000 words. This time I won, but I don’t have a complete first draft. What I’ve found to work really well is an outline before starting. That’s what I did the first time around. The second time around I decided to dive in with no sense of direction. This time around I didn’t have an outline, but I had an idea of where I wanted my story to go. I think the results show the outline works the best if you want a completed novel by the end of the challenge.

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? How did it go?

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NaNoWriMo 2019

I just wanted to say I haven’t been that active on here lately because I am currently participating in NaNoWriMo 2019. For those of you who know what that is and/or have participated, good for you and I hope you the best in your word count keep up. I know it’s taken a toll on my sleep. For those of you who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, it is a non-profit organization, short for National Novel Writing Month, and it takes place every November. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This is my third time participating and my goal this time is to simply crank out 50,000 words. I am not worried about how good my novel is. I want to get in a good writing habit, starting with this challenge so I will be happy if I just write 50,000 words. I can always edit the story later, but for now, just getting the words out.

Peace x

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the truth isn’t pretty

They are thought bullets that stick to my desk and computer monitor. They are scattered. Like little connect-the-dots that seem random, but eventually creates a picture that makes sense once connected. Some are in blue. Some are in purple. Some are in pink. And still some others are in yellow. In my case the different colors don’t mean anything, but for some people, different colors can mean different things.

They are reminders on accounts, a cool new restaurant to try, a fun bookstore to visit, a useful website for writing, a new trick in Excel, a monthly directive, and a music lesson. They are parts of grocery lists, where to get homemade pop tarts, a dentist appointment, an invitation to a Halloween party, and podcasts to listen to. They come shooting out of my fingers faster than my brain can command, wanting to be done so they can jump into my recycling bin and shred bin. But tossing them away is futile, like plucking out unwanted hair. Take one away and two more come back in its place.

I have post-its everywhere. Work and at home.

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Crazy Writer Time #5: Confession

I haven’t been writing a lot lately and it’s my own fault. Sometimes it’s because of my schedule, but mostly it is because of lack of record-worthy inspiration. I say this because I don’t find it hard to get inspired by something, but I do find it hard to write it down. I don’t even know if that’s normal for a writer or if it’s due to pure laziness, but I’ve resolved to get better at it this week. I can’t be like this anymore. I don’t want to be like this anymore. I don’t even have writer’s block, it’s simply feeling tired at the end of the day and not feeling like writing, unless I’m blogging about One Tree Hill. (And ironically, I am thinking of Brooke Davis prepping for her presidential speech and she tells Lucas, “I am who I am. No excuses.” That resonates with me right now as I am owning up to my laziness to write.) I think I’ve avoided writing publicly almost because I’m afraid of failure. When I’m afraid of failure, I watch my comfort shows because it takes my mind off of the task at hand. And in true procrastinator style, it lets me put off my task at hand. But lately, it’s getting out of control for me. I find myself not able to write anything on a certain day unless I’m getting the chance to watch “One Tree Hill.” That show motivates me to write. That is the ugly truth about being a crazy writer. As much as I love writing and telling people that is my number one passion, it hurts when I think about the days that go by and I don’t write anything worth posting.

One thing that has helped me stay on track though or rather, help myself keep myself accountable is my quasi bullet journal I keep at the back of my Erin Condren. There’s a section in my planner at the back where there’s a lot of dots in a sort of graph paper layout, so I turned it into a bullet journal to quench my desire to start a bullet journal when I don’t need to add yet another notebook to my gargantuan pile of notebooks. (That’s another fun problem of being a crazy writer. Am I right?) I make two boxes for every day, one for reading and one for writing. If I read something that day, I color the box blue. If I wrote something that day, I color the box red. If I didn’t do something that day, I color the box yellow for incomplete. Whenever I flip to that page it is a visual reminder of where I’ve fallen short or where I’ve made progress or where I’ve kept up with my writing and reading habits.

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all in a tizzy

Depression and fear can creep up on you before you are fully aware of it, like getting your period if you’re a girl. At least that’s how it is when I’m getting my period. (I hope this is not TMI.) I’m fine one day, then the next all of a sudden I’m starving all the time and really moody. I’m surprised every time, like I’ve never gotten my period before, and then it arrives and I’m thinking ohhh! That’s what was going on with me the last few days, duh! Every. Time.

Anyway, that’s kind of like how depression and fear creep up on you. When it does and you finally realize that’s what’s going on with you, you just feel…defeated if it’s the first time you’re going through it and disappointed if it’s not the first time. The truth is at different stages of your life you’re going to experience moments where you just don’t feel like you belong anywhere, but you’ll also experience moments of pure joy, where you know you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. I would tell you to hold onto those moments of pure joy when you are going through moments in the opposite direction, but that only works temporarily.

It takes peace. And that means shushing the voices in your head that confuse you. That can be a confusing process in itself, but it must be done to get the clarity you need so you can stop feeling down on yourself and letting your fears take the wheel.

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h-a-p-p-y

Because of my past experiences I fully understand Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Because of You.” My parents. Because of my past experiences I am most attracted to listening to pop music. Also my parents, but mostly my dad. Because of my past experiences I have had to learn how to socialize. Me…and my parents. I feel weird admitting that, but if you knew the whole story, you would understand where I’m coming from. Because of my past experiences I’ve become better at reading people, both at work and outside of work. My former and current friends and co-workers. This one makes me sad to admit even though I know I’m not the only one. Sad because that’s the reality of humankind.

And reality…isn’t always how we pictured it to be. Usually it is depicted as something negative, a situation worse than we expect or want it to be. Maybe that’s why we spend so much time and money escaping from reality. Some of us build our whole lives around bigger and better ways we can escape reality. Some of us face it every day without ever getting a break. I just hope it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. I want to believe reality can be something to look forward to all the time rather than to escape all the time.

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Matt

Matt

When I got back from the Dominican Republic, all I wanted to do was escape again. Overwhelmed was putting it lightly. My brain was back to reality, but reality hadn’t set in. I was spacey, tired, sad, sleepy, confused, empty, guilty, giddy, happy, and nervous all rolled into one. My head hurt a little, but my brain couldn’t comprehend that pain. It was too distracted. Everyone wanted to know what I did there, how was it?, and no, beyond the bug bites and sunburn! Beach, a couple excursions, I said to some. I left out the buffets and unlimited drinks to some others. All I wanted to do was find out how the Orchestra was doing since he went. Am I allowed to feel giddy and happy in the midst of him being gone? I didn’t know then and I still don’t know now.

There is a tribute for him in his old chair, complete with his trumpet and a picture of him smiling with his dog. It is not the same without him physically present and I want to cry when I see it, only no tears slide down. I see my stand partner tearing up and all I can do is touch her arm lightly. I should hug her, I should say something wise, but I have nothing to offer except for that light touch. I am thinking of the last words I said to him and how I’m still in shock. “Thank you” seems not enough to express my gratitude for his presence, but I’m glad I got the chance to say it. Even one last time, unknowingly.

How unfair life really is, this short living, breathing beast that we must face every single day and yet never know how much longer we have left. It didn’t happen. He’s going to be back when it’s Orchestra time, not band only. It’s just going to be band only for a while. Orchestra welcomes me back, especially the string section, but I just feel guilty I went away to the Caribbean, where the sun and personal heartbreak is eight times stronger than anywhere else, while everyone else was left here to mourn, here to pray, here to have to come up with things to say to his parents, here to visit, and here to suffer in silence together.

Tonight I want to weep in the shower, except all that comes out is an inscrutable sound, like the start of a wail that was cut short by pure grief that wanted to hide. He’s gone and I didn’t say good-bye. I prayed, but I was too cowardly to really say good-bye. I have already gone through too much and I can’t go through another one. My brain is twisted. I am happy for the progression of my personal life, even though I’m afraid to really talk about it. This feeling mixed with loss is a confusing mess of emotions, an amalgam of fears I can’t chase away no matter how hard I go to work.