IWSG Post #03


NOVEMBER’S QUESTION: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

Look at me remembering this in time and posting during NaNoWriMo! These are a few of my favorite things:

* Getting lost in daydreaming about a story. I enjoy this part even more than actually writing it.

* This is work I can do in my pajamas before I’m even out of bed for the day. I mean, I don’t get paid for it and I usually have to get out of bed anyway and go in to the office, but still. Weekends are great.

* Writing to try and make sense of reality or explain something to myself. I did this a lot with research papers in college, but it works with fiction too.

* The “ah ha!” feeling of finally figuring out a solution to a troublesome plot hole.

* Character building. I love taking an idea for a person and fleshing them out into a believable, unique character with their own hopes, dreams, and motivations. Even if they sometimes take an odd turn and develop traits I hadn’t expected or planned for in their story.

* Being impartial. As the writer I don’t feel like it’s my place to pick a stance one way or another about what happens in my stories — not that I don’t, but I keep it out of my writing because that responsibility falls on the characters that live in inhabit the story. As a person who’s never been terribly good at picking sides, it’s a nice reprieve.

* Feedback. I really enjoy getting constructive criticism and figuring out which comments I should take into account and then working the suggestions and new ideas into my writing. Honestly, I don’t think I would have turned out this way if it hadn’t been for college writing classes and seriously getting into writing fanfiction at roughly the same time. The support, camaraderie, and positive feedback (from either source) was enough of a counter note to the negative crap (from either source) that I ended up fairly resilient.


Sunday Gratitudes #41

This would be number 42 — which is, after all, the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. But I didn’t post last Sunday due to a combination of forgetting until the last minute and then not having time. That’s life though, right?

I’m grateful for…

📌 – Writing so much lately!

📌 – Good feedback on what I’ve written from my partner. 

📌 – Both of us doing NaNoWriMo this year!

📌 – My coworker giving me a Kleenex with a dab of peppermint oil to help counteract my vertigo. 

📌 – A very good therapy session. At one point I was remind me that, when it comes to my fiction writing, I am very good at taking feedback andincorporating it into my edits. (Nonfiction is still touchy but I’m aware of and working on that.)

📌 – Fantastic seasonal pizzas at our favorite local farm to table restaurant. 

📌 – New audiobooks from the library! It’s been a while. 

📌 – Visiting the Sebastopol library for the first and second times. It’s a neat little place. 

📌 – Our aforementioned favorite restaurant called me at work asking to buy cider! I left a business card with the bill because it makes me feel like a real adult and because I knew our former sales rep had been working to bring them on board before she left. Jackpot!

📌 – Getting my flu shot.

📌 – Making a doctor appointment and getting my prescription renewed. 

📌 – Not being put on edge by the fact that it was a male doctor. 

📌 – The doctor mentioning that over the counter lavender oil pills have good antidepressant propperties. I’m going to give those a shot. 

📌 – Having five months worth of refills until I have to worry about my prescription again. 

📌 – Leftover pizza!

📌 – Having a partner who can have a sweaty day and still smell really good. 

Dear Life

Dear Life,

I know that I am at the end of my prescription and at the end of refills until I see a doctor again. I embrace the vertigo and sluggishness of not being able to take my pills for a couple days in a row. I drag myself out of bed on days when it’s the last thing I want to do, or something I wouldn’t mind doing it if I didn’t feel so profoundly and inexplicably unready to get up. I accept that sometimes my job is crazy and I have to do my best to just laugh at it instead of taking it personally. I agree to make plans even when it feels like everything is piling up and I have so much to worry about doing, especially in light of the fact that it’s not actually that much and the feeling of being overwhelmed is just there for other reasons.

It sucks, but I am meditating and drinking plenty of water and trying.



Daily Writing Progress #33

Wednesday, October 12th – Friday, October 21st

  • Sort of missed these days.
  • I did some outlining in a program that doesn’t let me run a word count, plus some keys on my laptop keyboard are crapping and really need to get repaired.

Saturday, October 22nd

  • Project: Todd, draft 1
    • Word Count: 1151
  • Thoughts: In college, a friend and I came up with in college, based of a favorite show and our takes on what their actors would be like if it were a live action show instead of animated. It was ridiculous and hilariously fun, and now I’m finally writing the story of two of them. (Side characters that we made up completely. One of the actors’ ex best friend, mainly. But reincarnations of two of the main characters have worked their way into my NaNo novel as well.)

Sunday, October 23rd

  • Project: Todd, draft 1
    • Total Word Count: 1620
    • New Words: 469
  • Thoughts:  This is going to need some work, but I’m proud of how far I’ve gotten with it so far! Most of the plot is already there in my head and has been for a long time… lurking… waiting… It’s just the details and some of connecting the dots that’s giving me trouble. But I’m almost to the fun angsty part.

Monday, October 24th

  • Project: QWERTY post
    • Word Count: 412
  • Thoughts:  Typed on Evernote in my phone, woohoo computer problems lol.

Tuesday, October 25th

  • Project: Todd, draft 1
    • Total Word Count: 1721
    • New Words: 101
  • Thoughts: I gave my partner a critique on a short story (read it, you know you want to) and got a critique in return, so even though I  didn’t add much to the word count it felt like a good writing day all around. 😊

QWERTY — Or, why technology frustrates me

When you have pets, it adds a new element to basic computer care: keeping hair out of your keyboard.
So when vowels and certain consonants started msesl (for example, that was supposed to be “mysteriously” and I’ve now switched over to typing on my phone) dropping out of what I was trying to type, I figured I had just been getting lax. But alas and long story short, taking it to the Apple Store to get vacuumed out didn’t solve the problem. There’s a pretty solid chance I’m going to have to drop a couple hundred dollars on a replacement keyboard for my laptop, or at least a few dozen on a desktop keyboard that I can just plug into it.

Notice how there’s no way for pet hair to get in there.
The latter isn’t a great long term solution but ahhhhhh, my NaNoWriMo planning is suffering because of all this! I was doing my outline in an online mapping thing that I can’t use or even view from my phone, and although I do have a screencap that I’ve saved to my phone it’s just not going well. And I had been on such a roll, too.
Mercury isn’t in retrograde just now, so I can blame neither this nor my car deciding not to start again on that particular portion of the heavens. This is also an intermittent problem, to the tune of umpteen calls from the mechanic saying they can’t figure out what the problem is because the car worked as soon as they tried it. Sigh.
There is a slight chance now that I will spontaneously do something else for NaNo. Over the weekend I started noodling around with an old story that I’ve never actually written down before but have pretty much all planned out. It’s up to 1620 words now. I’ve been typing it as I am typing this, in Evernote on my phone and then copy pasting into wherever I want it to live on my computer from there. Thank goodness the command, C, V, and X keys still work — the only ones that seem to have a problem are RTYUIOP and, once and very briefly, B.
… Just for the record, the Genius Bar guy said they did get a lot of cat hair out of the keyboard, so maybe that originally was part of the problem.

Sunday Gratitudes #40

I’m grateful for…
☔️️ – Gluten free donuts. They were ridiculously good.
☔️️ – Keurig hot cocoa with a splash of chocolate milk.
☔️️ – Getting my resume, LinkedIn profile, and Facebook work history all updated.
☔️️ – Not being as as upset as I might have been without the foresight to guess something like it was coming. It was a mostly self-contained bout of insanity, don’t worry about it.
☔️️ – My dad driving up to (a) pick up a dresser we decided to un-handmedown and (b) taking me out to lunch.
☔️️ – My dad letting me vent. I wen back to work after lunch feeling a lot better about life. Sometimes he’s not the most sympathetic about this sort of stuff, but he actually seems to get it. The support is all the more valuable for that.
☔️️ – Seeing Barney and Polka again over the weekend. They are good dogs.
☔️️ – Being able to text and FaceTime with my partner while we’re separated by dog-sitting and a two hour drive. I miss my cutie.
☔️️ – Buckling down on eating healthier and having a salad for lunch.
☔️️ – Making progress on some work stuff. I feel like I’m getting a good handle on reorder calls now.
☔️️ – The fact that both season’s of MTV’s Scream are up on Netflix now. It’s cool to rewatch knowing all the whodunit punchlines.
☔️️ – My coworker complimenting my phone manner. Phone calls stress me out so it was really nice to hear.
☔️️ – How happy the kittens are to see me when I get home.
☔️️ – All of the frozen meals my partner bought me before going down to dog-sit.
☔️️ – Special cookies just for me.
☔️️ – A “Christmas morning” sensation of relief.
☔️️ – I meditated for twenty minutes!
☔️️ – Finally being successful in syncing the Calm app to the Health app on my phone.
☔️️ – Discovering a new sleep tracking feature on my phone now that I’ve updated it.
☔️️ – Having salad for lunch again.
☔️️ – The great brainwave of taking grapes to work to snack on.
☔️️ – Feeling like my hair was pretty tonight for FaceTiming.
☔️️ – Trading my salad for California rolls with a coworker who thought she was getting avocado rolls instead.
☔️️ – Meditating for another twenty minutes. Two days in a row!
☔️️ – Having my baby back!
☔️️ – Warm chai in the morning. Chai for two!
☔️️ – Getting the dishes washed. I’m not very good at washing them the night of, but on weekends I’ve taken  washing them while I wait for the chai water to boil.
☔️️ – Making good progress on the new outline for my novel! This draft is going to make a lot more sense.
☔️️ – All this rain we’ve been getting lately.

Daily Writing Progress #32

Tuesday, October 4th

  • Project: NaNoWriMo post
    • Word Count: 334
  • Thoughts:  

Wednesday, October 5th – Thursday, October 6th

  • Missed these  days.

Friday, October 7th

  • Project: Romance prompt story
    • Word Count: 284
  • Thoughts:  The prompt was so cliched that I wanted to mess with it. I’m not completely sure where I’m going with it though… I may have to restart.

Saturday, October 8th

  • Project: Horror movies post
    • Word Count: 383
  • Thoughts:  It’s been a rough week.

Sunday, October 9th

  • Project: Horror movie post
    • Total Word Count: 613
    • New Words: 230
  • Thoughts:  I’m glad I got this done. Kind of hard.

Monday, October 10th

  • Missed this day.

Tuesday, October 11th

  • Project: Sleeping Beauty, draft 2
    • Word Count: 225
  • Thoughts:  Yeah, I started over on this too haha.

Monday Musings #15 — Anxiety, Horror, Zen

Do you follow Zen and Pi? There’s a newsletter associated with the blog that I’ve subscribed to and read, eventually. Today I didn’t feel like getting it if bed right away and it was one of the most recent Unread things in my email inbox. So I opened it.
There are always links to interesting reads at the end. I have to admit that I don’t usually click on most of them, and when I do it’s somewhat haphazardly. After all, I usually have a lot of blog post notifications from the blogs in subscribed to waiting in my inbox to be read as well. But today I saw this and clicked immediately: “Horror movies for anxiety?”
One of the hurdles I had to get over in order to ask my doctor about anxiety medication was simply that thinking about how long I have been living with anxiety makes me uncomfortable. As far as I can tell, I went from relatively extroverted to an introverted bookworm at some point just before or during fourth grade. By sixth grade I was a huge Stephen King fan, my favorite movie was Jaws, and vampires that are actually scary became (and for the most part continue to be) my favorite type of humanoid monster. So reading this article about how many people with anxiety self-soothe with horror at first made me uncomfortable because it points out something I’ve been doing for longer than I’d like.

Continue reading “Monday Musings #15 — Anxiety, Horror, Zen”

Sunday Gratitudes #39

“Paradigms describe how the world occurs to us. In my mind, there are two general ways that the world occurs to people.

The first is from a place of Abundance. This is where people see themselves as acting on the world. They see themselves as the one that has to change. They see the possibilities in all things. They practice gratitude consistently.

The second is from a place of Lack. This is where people see the world acting on them. They assume that things outside of themselves need to change. They focus on what they don’t have. They allow limitations to permeate their lives.” (x)


What have you felt grateful for this week?

I’m grateful for…

🍁 – My partner still loving me when I got us both sick.

🍁 – Our kittens! They’ve been snuggling each other so much lately. The other night Frankie was grooming Luci, then Luci got tired of it and tried to lick/bite her ear, but Frankie was like “Stop that” and held her down for more grooming. We got a video of it. Eventually they just started wrestling, but there was so much cute first.

🍁 – Kitten love as a cure for the common cold.

🍁 – Getting the trash taken out, finally. It has been piling up since we got sick and felt to crummy to deal with it.

🍁 – Cleaning the bathroom floor. It was all dusty and bugging me. Now it looks all nice and clean!

This is not how mine looked, but they were delicious anyway.

🍁 – Trying a new recipe for crustless apple pies. I wasn’t able to core the apples while they were still in halves so I ended up just slicing them and making an apple crumble instead, but I don’t even care because it was delicious. I had so many apples I’d accumulated from work (Gravenstein, Red Jonathan, Granny Smith, MacIntosh) that it was a fantastic little medley, and that was only half of them. Continue reading “Sunday Gratitudes #39”

NaNoWriMo Strikes Again

Last year, when I signed up on NaNoWriMo.com for the first time, the site encouraged me to upload a cover. The idea was that “coming up with a cover can also help you finalize your idea a little more.” Fair enough.

At the time I had a decent idea of what my story was going to be and no graphic design skills or programs, so I bopped around on Google for a bit with phrases like “dark forrest,” because one of the central locations of the story is a magic forrest where anyone who goes in tends not to come back out again.

If anyone knows the source, give a shout.

My focus then was on the forrest because the main character’s father was last seen walking into it before he disappeared when she was thirteen, and the end of the story takes place there as well. To be honest, I have more of the backstory for the forrest worked out than I do the rest of this world, so naturally I thought it should occupy a prominent place on the cover.

Of course, when I wrote the first draft that I never quite finished, I barely even got them into the forrest. I never wrote the final scenes because there was so much I had to go and figure out before I could wrap it all up. So how important is the forrest, really?

It’s still pretty important. But it’s not the ominous, forbidding thing hovering in the back of all the main characters minds that the picture implies.

This year, I still don’t have any graphic design experience or programs, but after being in that camp professionally for the past three years I’ve learned to (sorry graphic designers…) make do with PowerPoint.  Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Strikes Again”