Posts Tagged "nanowrimo"

November is pretty great.

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

I spent most of my life resenting the very existence of November, until recently. In high school, November is The Month Before Christmas (also known as Not Christmas Yet or What do you Mean we Still Have Two Months Left Before the Holidays? month). In university, November is Final Papers Month (which becomes even worse if you’re an English major). In the wonderful world of retail, November is Ah Crap it’s Already Christmas and we Have Lineups a Mile Long month, also known as There’s Still Two Months of This Before we See a Holiday month. Somewhere between Final Papers Month and Ah Crap Month, something in me changed. I discovered NaNoWriMo while still in university and, despite all the final papers I had to write and the reading I skipped did, found it to be an exciting and worthwhile exercise. I’m sadly not participating this year because I barely have the time to squeeze this blog post in, but the awesomeness of NaNoWriMo will be mine once more next year. There’s something inherently quiet about November. If you spend any amount of time in the woods or in nature in general, you may notice a certain kind of peace. Though I love the warmth that summer and spring will offer every year, I’ve grown accustomed to the chill air of autumn, the early snows and the gentle frost that sits on the grass. The mornings that are quiet and dark seem to be the only source of peace. When you wake up, it’s still dark. I like that. When it’s that dark in the morning, it seems like no one can approach me. November mornings give me an impenetrable barrier of solitude. No one needs me for anything and I don’t have to do anything. I can relax. A hot cup of coffee tastes best on a chilly November morning, when I’m not chilled to the bone but just cold enough to experience the pleasant contrast in temperatures. The slow cooker comes out and hot soup is just a sleep away as it cooks overnight. Waking up to a golden sun, beaming over the ice-kissed lawn looks like something out of a fairytale. There’s also Movember. Though I can’t condone moustaches on anyone under 45 (I’m sorry, I just can’t), it’s a fantastic cause. And, you know, some participate in full-out No-Shave November, which simply means a greater abundance of beards. That, I can totally get behind. Now, if only I could feel this way about January, February and March, I’d be all set. For now, at least I can enjoy the tranquility that November...

Read More

Don’t overdo it.

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Today, I saw an older gentleman exiting a food bank with several bags of food. I noticed he was struggling to walk, so I offered to help him carry some groceries. He declined, however said that he would be grateful if he could lean on me as he walked. So, I let him, and he imparted to me a little bit of wisdom. He told me he had a pinched nerve in his back, and that was why he had difficulty walking. He told me that these aches and pains can come on no matter how old you are, and can really slow things down for you. He stopped walking for a moment, then, and turned to look me in the eye. “You’re young,” he told me, “and you have more opportunities to be happy.” He looked pointedly at me, then. “Don’t overdo it.” That was one of those “eureka” moments, for me. It felt almost as though he knew what has been going on in my life of late, and how I have, in fact, been “overdoing” it. I’ve been working harder than necessary on a number of things, and I haven’t taken time for myself to be happy. It’s just been a constant “go, go, go”. I helped him to his car and we then parted ways. As I left, it got me thinking about what he said. “Don’t overdo it.” Why do so many of us (and I’m including myself, here) feel the need to escape from our lives? What are we running from, and why? Coping with stress and unhappiness comes in a number of forms. My mother once said to me “Don’t wish your life away, because this is it”. A lot of stress comes from being unhappy with what you have. That doesn’t mean that we should settle, but rather, if we’re unhappy with something and have the power to change it, why not do that? If you hate your job, find a new one. Don’t make excuses, be in control of your life. If you don’t want to find a new one because the money is good with your current one, then find something about the current one that you like. Happiness isn’t a given thing. It comes with practice. Sometimes you need to make yourself be happy the sake of your sanity. Take time to do something you love each day, or just to relax and close your eyes. Make plans, or do something spontaneous. Don’t escape your life, embrace it. Because, as my mother said, this is it. While it’s always important to cut loose and enjoy yourself, don’t spend your days waiting for that time to come. I fall into this trap all the time. I think we all do; it’s a very human thing to do. If you catch yourself doing it and try to correct it, though, you may find that happiness isn’t so far away. That’s my rare, stress-free lucid moment for today. Here’s an update on my NaNo goals, while I’m here. It’s only November 4th and one of my goals is complete, so I can get started early on the next one! Actually… I already have started the other goal. It’s been in the works for a few months. But this morning I worked on it for a little while. 1. Finish last year’s novel. Complete! Wrote the ending last night.2. Finish the planning for Population: 1. – In progress.3. Plan and script another cooking video.4. Do a soft edit of the draft of last year’s novel.5. Finish writing the song I started earlier this year. In further news, I’ve been invited to open for New Brunswick novelist Beth Powning at her reading on November 17th! I’m very honored to have been asked. It will be at 8 PM at La Teraz (154 Church Street, Moncton NB). Admission is by donation. I will be giving a short reading from Hub City Survival and will also be bringing a few copies to sell. If you have a copy you would like me to sign, you...

Read More

Go for the goal!

Posted by on Oct 28, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Go for the goal!

It’s nearing the end of October, which can only mean one thing. Well, all right, two things. Wise guy. NaNoWriMo is approaching! And this year I’ve decided… well, I’m actually not going to do it at all. I have too much going on this year! And besides that, with all the writing projects I have on the go… I really, really shouldn’t be starting another one. What I’ve decided is that this year, I’m going to substitute NaNo for finishing (or, in some cases, starting) a couple of my writing projects, not all of which are necessarily literature. True to NaNoWriMo mentality, though, I will be working on this every day, and I will set a goal for myself. I won’t sign up for the website and give myself a word goal, because then I know I’ll be tempted to participate in NaNo itself! Instead, I’m going to use my blog to update on my progress. Without further ado, my goals: 1. Finish last year’s novel. I wrote the 50,000 words, that is true, but I couldn’t find the ending. This month, it will be finished.2. Finish the planning for Population: 1.3. Plan and script another cooking video. You know, just because the last one was so much fun.4. Do a soft edit of the draft of last year’s novel.5. Finish writing the song I started earlier this year. I will try to do one a week. Since there are just about 5 weeks in November and some of the goals are a little shorter (the first and last week are not complete weeks), I should have enough time. Should. Wish me luck, and see you...

Read More

(Almost) a year later

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

I feel it’s important to note that it’s now been almost a full year since Hub City Survival was first put into print. Since then, over 100 copies have been printed and six stores carry my book. To many authors, that would be a failure. To someone who self-publishes and doesn’t have as much time to promote, nor the means to hire someone for promotion, this is a success! The book is still selling well and I am contacted with relative frequency about restocking. If you’d like a copy, I’ll be selling them online through Paypal for $25 each. Shipping, signing, and a little surprise gift is included! I’ll include a link on the side for future use. Now, my next project, as I stated before, is to write Dahlia’s story. I am in the process of mapping out the entire story, which is quite extensive. As I previously mentioned, however, this will be a story that you can actually interact with. As such, I have created two new blogs: one to tell the story in a completely in character fashion, and an out of character blog to discuss and participate in. Please feel free to follow both blogs if you’re interested! Here is a link to the Population: 1 main blog, and here is the Population: 1 OOC (out of character) blog. I’m really excited about the project and it’s coming together, even if it is taking awhile. I hope it’ll be well worth it! NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, as well. I have an idea for it, but I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll participate this year. Time will tell if my life will be too hectic this year, but I hope it will work out! This weekend I’m getting married and going on a brief honeymoon to Saint Andrews, so I’m hoping the time away from… stuff will replenish some of my decidedly diminished creative pool. Have a wonderful October, if you don’t hear from me by the end of...

Read More

National Novel Writing Month

Posted by on Nov 1, 2010 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

It’s that time of year again! At about 1 o’clock this morning, I started my novel for NaNoWriMo! I am, of course, not very far into it just yet; as of now, I have written 849 words. Nevertheless, it is a start. My usual NaNoWriMo strategy usually involves a large amount of Word Wars, which can usually be found on the NaNoWriMo chat or forums, and a lot of Word Sprints as well. Word Wars tally up your collective word count and can tell you how much you’ve written as a result of the Wars. You can have a friendly competition with other NaNo-ers in this way, but the competitions are usually for personal accomplishment. Another NaNo strategy I have is to get someone to pick a random word for me (preferably a commonplace word) and try to use it in a sentence, or, better yet, write an entire paragraph around it. This year, my novel is more serious than in past years. Normally I write about a group of adventurers called the Panzerotti Group who get into all kinds of ridiculous exploits. This year, however, I’m writing a psychological horror/action-adventure novel. I’m trying to use a different technique by picking a “mood song” for every chapter and having that song in mind while I write it. Here is my current mood song: It’s a remix from the video game Shadow of the Colossus. I want to get a similar feeling of loneliness and emptiness that the game tends to portray. My main character, Odessa, is all alone in a strange land, and she really relates to Wander from Shadow of the Colossus in that sense. The difference is that Wander is armed with a number of ways to defeat his loneliness: he is battling to resurrect someone, and he has his horse, Agro, to assist him. Odessa is completely and utterly alone, and she doesn’t even remember who she is. Here’s a small excerpt from my novel, which is currently nameless. She couldn’t remember when she had even fallen asleep. She blinked slowly as she awoke, and her eyes adjusted easily to the darkness, as though she had been there for a long time. The only light that met her eyes was a very faint, distant shimmer. She couldn’t begin to fathom where it was coming from; she had to let her mind adjust to the fact that she was awake. She suddenly felt very ill as she realised she didn’t remember anything at all. It wasn’t so much that she couldn’t remember falling asleep… she couldn’t remember what she had been doing before that, or how she got to be in such a dark place. Fear overtook her suddenly, and she couldn’t stop herself from whimpering out loud. “Hello?” she called. She tried a few times, just to make sure, but there was no response whatsoever. Panic was beginning to set in when she realised one last thing. She couldn’t even place her own name. She struggled with this for a moment as tears of shock spilled down her cheeks. The sadness of her own situation overwhelmed her, and she suddenly felt very, very helpless. How could she possibly find a way out if she didn’t even know how she got there in the first place? Her screaming began then. She screamed and screamed until her throat was raw. “Help me!” she cried. “Come find me! Get me out of here!”. But no one came. When at last her throat was hoarse and raw, she couldn’t scream any longer. She sat there for a few minutes in silence, looking down to where the light was coming from. In a moment, she knew she would have to get out. She pushed herself to a stand, which proved difficult due to her legs being asleep, and she started to stumble toward the apparent exit. In the time it took her to stand, she had started to notice a dull rumbling noise, with an accompanying tremor. She ignored it at first, but then found she simply couldn’t, because the noise...

Read More