Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

“I quit, I’m done…”

“…’cause I don’t think it’s gonna turn out okay
It’s no fair, it’s not fun
If every time it’s gonna end the same way
Me: zero
Big bad world: one”

“Big Bad World One” by Jonathan Coulton

Yet again, I find myself feeling wiped out. I don’t know how driven people do it. I just don’t have that kind of crazy energy. A couple of weeks of frenetic business and I’m ready to crawl between the sheets and sleep for a month. Seriously, how do you people do it?

So, I knew going into NaNoWriMo this year, that I wasn’t going to kill myself over it. I did that last year and it caused some strain on my already tenuous social life. (Sorry guys. I’m not exciting. A thrilling night out for me includes going to eat somewhere like P. F. Wangs with friends and then a trip to a book store. Yikes! I’m boring.) Things seemed to be hurtling themselves at me pretty frequently, including some wretched bouts with writer’s block and feeling unwell. Needless to say, I got behind. Horribly behind.

Currently, I am over 10K behind, so I’m throwing in the towel. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing, it just means I’ll be doing it at a slower pace. After all, this year’s story took some strange turns and I get the feeling that unless I go back and correct said detours, I’m going to end up at the same dead end I did with last year’s “winner”.

I have no regrets about calling it quits. And now you know.


“A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do…”

“Don’t plan the plan if you can’t follow through.
The only matter is taking matters into your own hands.
Soon I’ll control everything. My wish is your command…”

Thanks to Elly over at Buggin’ Word, I’ve got Dr. Horrible in my head. Not that that’s a bad thing. Because, clearly, Dr. Horrible=Awesome!

Anywho… Today marks the midpoint of November, which means it is also the midpoint of NaNoWriMo, which further means that by the end of today, I should have 25,000 words! SHould be no problem as I already have 24,000-ish, but still! That’s a big number.

What does this mean for you, my loyal reader(s)? It means that I shouldn’t be spending up precious words, writing lengthy blog posts like last week’s w00tstock wrap up that clocked in at close to 2000 words. All of which don’t count for NaNoWriMo. Sad, sad, sad!

So, I leave you with a few videos that my lovely husband has made for his cinematography class. Enjoy!

I don’t have TIME to read!

I don’t know who’s bright idea it was to have NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) coincide, but they are not on my list of favorite people right now. My Reader was already backed up and now? Forget it!

*Note: I apologize for the low quality of the photos in this post. We were pretty far back from the stage and flash wasn’t allowed (of course). Motion capture drive 4TW!

So, if you haven’t gathered by now, we went up to Austin last week to attend w00tstock and, let me just say again, it was fantastic! The self-description of “Geek Vaudeville” is totally apt. Seriously, if you have a geeky bone in your body and there is a w00tstock happening close to you, ever, you are under direct orders to go. From me. For all that’s worth.

Let me just sum it up for you: imagine an event so awesome that with each passing moment of awesome/hilarity, you keep thinking “I need to remember this.” or “This is the best moment ever!” A week later and I’m still randomly chuckling about things that I remember. So much awesome!

We started off the evening with Adam Savage coming out onto the stage to apologize for replacement Wil Wheaton, Neil Gaiman being delayed. There had been some trouble with his flight so at show time, he was on his way from the airport. Paul and Storm took the stage, noting the ASL translators with the quip “We’re so not gonna break that toy by the end of the night” and launched into their go-to set starter “Opening Band”, always a crowd pleaser, especially the final note that seems to go on for ever. As Aaron put it, “Damn trained singers. ::grumble::”

During one of their songs, Paul moved over to where the translators were seated, sat on the male translator’s lap and serenaded the female, who was translating at the time. They really were great sports all night and I COULD NOT STOP WATCHING THEM!

Somewhere in the middle of their set, they announced that in lieu of Wil, they had a facsimile prepared and a poster on wheels of “recursive Wil Wheaton” was wheeled out by none other than Neil Gaiman! It took some of us a moment to realize it was him, as the poster was funny and awesome and no one really notices the stage hands, but once he was spotted, applause and cheers abounded! Squee! (For the remainder of the post, I will probably refer to him as Neil himself in homage to his twitter handle and because I think it sounds awesome.)  He said hello and then left the stage after a dramatic head shot was featured on the overhead.

Up next, after a video break from Wil Wheaton (from here on out, I won’t mention all of the video breaks, which were plentiful and hilarious), was Bill Amend who writes the comic strip Fox Trot.

I’ve always appreciated his nods to geekdom, ranging anywhere from characters playing Dungeons and Dragons to quips about computers. He was understated and didn’t seem to know what was expected of him, but he came prepared with a slide show of what he called his 2% comic strips. e.g. the strips that only two percent of readers would really get. They brought down the house! Funny, funny stuff! My favorite was a nod to the horror that is the impending “Star Wars 3D”. Everyone booed at the right time and it was great!

Next Neil himself took the stage and we were treated to not one, but two short stories:

I took a wide shot to include the Wil Wheaton poster because it amuses me.

Let me just say that if you’ve never heard Neil Gaiman read, go buy one of his audiobooks, find a reading of one of his short stories or something. I could listen to him talk for hours… But that’s beside the point… Moving on…

The first story was a “scientific” experiment to examine the effects of alcohol on creative writing. It was witty and, as the drinks flowed in the story, progressively more incoherent and crass. Perfectly appropriate for this crowd! About half way through the bottle, he started talking about a program he had seen on TV about elephants and mused that a single ::ahem:: dose, shall we say, of “elephant spunk” could feed an ant colony for a year and proceeded to provide a dialogue between an ant child and mother which ended with the mother telling the child to “finish your elephant cum” Needless to say, all eyes turned to the translators at the choicer moments and “elephant spunk” became the joke of the night.

The second story was a noir murder mystery set in a fairytale world focusing on the death of Humpty Dumpty. Great story including many a nursery rhyme character, though the first story was a bit more memorable for obvious reasons.

After intermission, it was Stephen Toulous (or Stepto), who is XBOX Live’s Director of Policy and Enforcement. With Paul and Storm chanting the Halo theme randomly, he read from a big bible-looking book about a player (p00nhun+er) that fooled the system and ruined lots of people’s fun. And lo, the banhammer did fall upon him and there was silence in the land. And it was good!

Then, I think it was Mary Jo Pehl (who was on Mystery Science Theater, apparently) who came onto stage in an emotional tizzy and apologized. She said that she had just read “the latest” issue of a comic book in which Super Girl (I think?) was killed in some elaborate, out of this world, way. She stopped for a moment, hand to face, then concluded with “which is exactly how my grandmother died.” and walked off the stage.

More video, including a Red vs. Blue PSA especially made for w00tstock, after which the creators came out, drinks in hand, said they didn’t have anything to say and walked back off stage.

Then it was Molly Lewis, with her ukulele:

She started with “An open letter to Stephen Fry” in which she offers her womb as a surrogate since his genes should clearly continue to grace the earth after he’s gone. Sweet! Then a song about Wikipedia. She closed with “Our American Cousin”, a song about Abraham Lincoln that is simultaneously awesome, thought provoking and heart tugging. I’ve already listened to it several times since we got home and I love, love, love it!

Last, but not least, was Adam Savage (for real this time):

The man would not stay still and this blurry mess was the best I could do.

He started with a funny story about Jamie Hynemen and then went on to share about the porn talk he had to have with one of his eleven year old sons (he has twins) during which we got to learn the sign for c**k-sucker (which is pretty much what you would expect it to be). It was kind of cool that he would share such an important and private thing with us and I think the way that he handled it was admirable. He didn’t shame his son but he did stress the fact that the internet can be scary and dangerous if you’re not careful and that there are a lot of people out in the vastness of the internet that hate women. He told him, “Savage men respect women. We are not those men.” Seriously, mad props, Mr. Savage! We could use more dads like you!

Finally, like all w00tstocks, the four hosts, Neil (as Wil Wheaton), Paul, Storm, and Adam took the stage:

Amazing! I managed to get a shot without anyone moving and therefore blurry! Sweetness!

And so began “The Captain’s Wife’s Lament”, a song about pirates with full audience participation (ARRRRR!) that Paul and Storm always do at the end of their shows. The song can be stretched to fill any amount of time, as there is a lot of banter and randomness that usually goes something like this (complete with pirate-y accent):

Storm: “Give us an ARR!”
Audience: “ARRRR!”
Storm: “What’s that spell?”
Audience: “ARRRR!
Storm: “Pirate S.A.T. You all pass!”

And so on for a very long time. But no one really minds. It’s great fun! There was a gag in which they made Neil himself put on a monkey hat (which you can see in The Bloggess’ post about w00tstock and interviewing Neil) and giving us a small polite “arr”. And elephant spunk was said a multitudinous amount of times, much to everyone’s delight. The song ended, after a very long time, the way it always does, with a rousing verse about sea men (har, har) that’s loads (snerk!) of fun.

Once the show ended, we queued up to get autographs. An hour later, we reached the end, getting autographs from (in order) Bill Amend, Stepto and Molly Lewis. Aaron chatted with them while I stood mute as mud, struck by social awkwardness. Then we went around the bend:

My heart got all fluttery, lump in my throat, as Paul, Storm and Adam defaced each other’s little likenesses on the poster, while they signed. I kicked myself, yet again, for forgetting to bring a book to get signed, and then we were there. After Neil signed our poster, I swallowed my anxiety and told him it was an honor to meet him… And HE HELD OUT HIS HAND! My breath caught and I reached to shake his hand. I said some more stuff that, for the life of me, I can’t remember. I don’t know why (WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?!?! No one cares!) or how I mentioned being a teacher and he said that he found teachers inspiring. I’m sure I grinned and muttered something else no one cares about and that was it.

Aaron shouted a final “Farewell Nerds! And thank you!” to which our hosts replied with a hearty “Thank YOU!” and we were outside. As we walked back to the car, what had just happened sunk in. We entered the building were we had parked and as we approached the garage elevator, I started getting all squealy just as a trio of girls entered from the other door equally squealy. In the elevator we had a little Neil Gaiman fangirl party of squeals and OMGs before going our separate ways and heading back to the hotel.

I think, aside from meeting Neil himself, the best thing about w00tstock and other such things, is the feeling that you are surrounded by people that “get” you. As someone that often feels like the odd one out, the feeling of belonging is priceless. It was truly fantastic.

And now for a few choice words in American Sign Language…

…Well, not really, but I have to say that at an event were some ::cough:: interesting words were being bandied about, those interpreters put on a very brave face!

Tired, but content, we return from Austin and w00tstock! It was a blast and I will definitely write more about it later, but for now my NaNoWriMo novel needs working on, if I don’t want to get behind.

I will leave you with this: I shook Neil Gaiman’s hand! ::sigh::

Crazy days!

What can you do when life gets hectic? Yeesh!

So, today, after work, Aaron and I will be driving up to Austin for w00tstock! Haven’t heard of it? Check it out. Hosted by Wil Wheaton (Actor/Nerd icon), Adam Savage (Mythbusters) and Paul and Storm (Musical Comedy Duo), w00tstock is a multimedia event that celebrates the nerd! If you like Mythbusters, w00tstock is for you! If you can accurately answer the question, “What was Han Solo encased in?” w00tstock is for you! If you have any interest in anything nerdy/geeky, w00tstock is for you!

I’m excited.

Though I am dissappointed that, due to a scheduling conflict, Wil Wheaton will not be at w00tstock Austin (I heart Wil Wheaton), we’re getting and equally squee-worthy Wil Wheaton stand-in: Neil Gaiman! Ever since reading Good Omens (which he coauthored with Sir Terry Pratchett), Gaiman has been one of my favorite fiction writers. I especially love his children’s lit (Coraline and The Graveyard Book) and short story collections.

And on top of the w00tstock excitement, I have decided to participate in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again this year. I have a kind of ambitious sci fi/fantasy idea. It remains to be seen if I will, indeed, achieve NaNoWriMo success again this year!

Wish me luck! (definatly not lick… ew… gross typo!)

It’s that time again!

I was about to attempt writing an entire blog using my Smartphone, when I had an epiphany. I have my net book with me and even though I don’t have a wireless connection here, my lovely little net book and my phone both have Bluetooth capabilities! So, this is kind of an experiment to see if this will work now and in the future.

Here goes.

Any who, November is right around the corner and for those of us crazy enough to attempt it, that means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is upon us again. Now, I’ve vacillated about participating, mostly because I’ve been in a sort of funk. Well, I know myself, and I know that having something enjoyable to work on will do wonders for my disposition! Well… Either that or it will turn me into a mad hermit. But as long as the words are flowing it will be worth it.

This year, it’s no holds barred. I know I’m not the best at coming up with concepts. I tend to pick ideas that end up not panning out. So, my dear readers, I’m asking you (as well as my facebook and twitter folks) for ideas. I have a possible idea, but I’d like to see what you all think is interesting. So, let me know. This is your chance for requests! And if I like, pick and write your story, AND it gets published, I’ll give you credit.

Sounds awesome, right? ;)

If it’s not one thing…

So, yeah, NaNoWriMo. I know I said I would move on, but I can’t help it. Now that it’s over, I feel at a loss. There was an amazing feeling to being a part of something people all over the world were doing together. I felt focused. I felt disciplined. I felt wonderful. And now… I just feel sad.

I think maybe I’m suffering from the same kind of depression that Aaron (my super awesome husband) goes through every time something that’s been anticipated comes and goes. It could be a trip or a holiday or anything really, but he tends to go into a funk at The End. If this is what it’s like for him all the time, Dang. (I’m sorry love. This sucks! I’ll try to be more understanding next time.)

The last couple of days, I’ve felt kind of dispondent and unmotivated. I’ve still been writing (I’m over 53,000 now) but it doesn’t feel the same. There’s no more rush, no more community and no more deadline. I would give myself one, but we all know it’s not the same. If I had a graph thingy like the one they use for NaNo maybe that would help, but somehow I doubt it. 

What do you do when you’re in a funk? :(

::cough:: ::ahem:: Is this thing on?

Hey there, hi there, ho there! Hello, internet! Did you miss me? I mean, yes, I know I was here with you in spirit, but I’ve been neglecting you all much, much more than I should. As you can see below and to your right, I am done with NaNoWriMo, although it’s going to take some considerable hacking away and quite a bit more typing to create anything that looks remotely like a real story out of the mountain of B.S. that flowed during the month of November. (Wow, long sentence…)

Let’s just say that it was liberating when I entered those last ten words into that word count validator and hit the submit button. But as I’ve said, it is a little bit of a hollow victory with all of the work that I foresee ahead. But I won, so shut up, voice of reason! LET ME HAVE MY MOMENT!

Anyway! Moving away from NaNoWriMo awesomeness. Thanksgiving was nice. We decided to do what WE wanted (well… What I wanted… I think Aaron didn’t really care.) this year instead of being guilted into seeing one person over the others. The morning was spent writing and relaxing and come afternoon, I made some mashed tatters and we headed over to a friends’ place to have dinner. (Deep fried turkey: delicious stuff Marc! Good job!) The food was great, we played Taboo until we ran out of cards and the Mrs. Smith’s Apple pie was way better than grocery store bakery pie! And after Taboo we headed over to Kmart (just me and the husband) to camp out for our new-super-awesome-LCD-HD-over $100 off-TV. It sure is purdy.

After our all-nighter Friday was a blur of sleep and I seem to recall there being a cat napping on my chest at some point but other than that, nothing. Wait, I think we watched “Hellboy” at some point…

Saturday was more cognizant but I don’t remember if we did anything or not… Yes! Dinner and ice cream! Sunday we went to see “Ninja Assasin”. A really stupid action flick, but it made no qualms about that and just had fun being itself. Lots and lots and lots of blood and severed body parts. Some of the scenes were priceless and hilarious!

So, I’m back and hopefully I will have stuff going on that I can regail you with wonderful stories about though that never seems likely. (HOORAY FOR HORRIBLE SENTENCE STRUCTURE!)


I really can’t believe it’s over. I’m done. I earned this:

One month and 50,000 words later, I have the bare bones beginning of a real story, but the journey and the knowledge gleaned was well worth the back aches, tired eyes and fingers and wracking of the brain.

Again, thanks everyone for the support and understanding. Couldn’t have gotten through this madness without you guys!

I’m done, but I’m not done. Don’t be surprised if you keep hearing about this damn book, but for now it’s time to celebrate! :D

Blessed indeed!

Since we’re not celebrating until this evening I’ve spent all morning hunched over my netbook taking full advantage of my days off. I just passed the 45,000 word mark and although that is only 5,000 words short of my goal (and I’m super excited about it), I find that I’m nowhere near done with this monstrosity and there is currently no end in sight. Looks like November will not see the end of furious typing or a conclusion to this unsightly, awkward thing that can hardly be called a story. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing a victory dance when I get to push the “I WIN!” button hopefully before the weekend is out.

I’m just thankful for my loving and supportive husband and for friends and family that have been understanding of my hermit lifestyle this month even when they think I’m crazy. Thank you guys. I love you. Now go eat some turkey! Or if you already have, I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy Thanksgiving. :)