NaNoWriMo – I Did It!

The fog has lifted from my brain as the end of November approaches.  Last night, I hit 50,000 words!  I exhaled for what seemed the first time since November 1st.  My family recognized me as I emerged from the piles of papers, mountains of coffee cups and countless energy bar wrappers.

I have to say, I freaked out when Thanksgiving approached.  My thought process went something like, “WHAT? THANKSGIVING?  But… I have to WRITE!”  Turns out Thanksgiving gave me just the break I needed.  I wrapped my WIP up yesterday at the Southampton, PA library with my NaNo pals.

We had a bit of a party!  We feasted on baked goods, ziti, fruit salad, lots and lots of cake and someone even brought a NaNoWriMo cake! I meant to take a picture of it, but forgot amidst the fun and food.  We did some word wars.  A word war is basically timed writing.  Alexis set the timer for thirty minutes and we all wrote non-stop.  When the bell chimed we would stop writing and then chirp off how many words we had written.  I am looking forward to reading a lot of the manuscripts that came out of my group alone.  I can only imagine how many wonderful ideas came from all the other groups around the world.

There are three days left!  I am wishing all my other NaNoWriMo pals and participants the best of luck.  YOU CAN DO IT!

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The Thanks and the Giving

Cornucopia of Thanks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  Yep.  I get four cool days off (except I have to work job #2 Friday night – but that’s the fun job) and I get to see my family tomorrow.

I was just reading Billie Jo Woods’ What if? Wednesday post about the Mayflower.  If you haven’t done so already, go check it out. She had mentioned how she misses home and that got me thinking.

What do I have to be thankful for?

What should I be giving more of?

What do I complain about (a lot) when I should feel privileged to even have that kind of problem?

The answers to these questions are in list form somewhere in my mind and that’s okay for now.  I do have a Top Three Things to be Thankful for on Thanksgiving going though.

I happen to see a lot of self-absorbed behavior where I live.  Now, I don’t know if it is because I grew up in the city which is not exactly a place of privilege and I now live on a street where everyone has their own driveway.  Maybe my perception is self-absorption when the reality of the situation is these people up here (most of them don’t say hello when I walk by) just have a different way of doing things.

One thing I miss about the city:

Having neighbors to sit on the front step with and chat.

I do have one neighbor in the front building who is pretty chatty.  We don’t have a step to sit on, but we do have many trees to stand under.

I am thankful for her.

Now, the giving part.  My daughter is sixteen.  Anyone who has a teenager knows how much fun it is having one in the house!  Yes.  The slammed doors, the rolled eyes, the loud music.  Why, it is just a gosh darn hoot.

One thing I give my daughter a lot of (and I just recently noticed this) is lectures.  Originally, I thought that I was “giving her tons of joy” because my mother and father never lectured me.

I say things to her like, “You should be thankful I talk to you like this. Mom-mom never talked to me and I wish she had.”  My daughter is looking at me like, “You are crazy woman!”

I walk in the poor kids room, say “You got five minutes?” and before I know it her eyes glaze over and I am winded from talking for a straight thirty minutes.  Gee, thanks mom!

So the giving part I will be doing this season is giving my daughter less grief and giving her more understanding.  I’ll give her a little more space (not too much!) and hope that she will start looking at me like a human being again.

Happy Thanksgiving my fine friends.  What are you thankful for?  What will you be giving this season?

I Spy With My Little Eye

My co-worker’s father died last week.  He was a total whipper snapper.  I never saw the man until I went to his service this morning.  However, I did talk on the phone with him a lot.  His features were as I had imagined.  There were lots of pictures of him and his family on boards and in frames placed on various mantles about the room at the parlor.

The funeral service was more a celebration of life.  George, his son (my co-worker) had “Harry-isms” printed on the back of his mass card.  I thought that was awesome.

Some of the quotes were:

  • Animals are people, too.
  • Ah, the hell with it.
  • Sure the coffee’s fresh, I made it yesterday.

There were a few others, but these were my favorites.  Every time he called the office he always had a joke, or would pretend he could see me through the phone.

So when I went back outside the funeral parlor, imagine my surprise when I saw this place across the street.

Not Very Spy Like

I laughed out loud!  Thankfully, none of Harry’s other family was outside when I laughed, but I did tell George and he thought it was hysterical.  I mean, I really thought only in the movies would I ever see a Spy Shop (aptly named SPY SHOP) across the street from a funeral home.  George no doubt got his sense of humor from his father.  The both of them had seen the humor and irony in almost everything.

As for the spy shop… I told my boyfriend and my daughter we are totally going there this weekend.  A real live spy shop!  I wonder what kind of spies they sell? 😉

My ROW80 this week!  I have one goal:

Write my ass off for Nano…

I am doing well so far!  Happy writing.  And try to find a spy shop near you!  Could make for an interesting story. 😀

NaNoWriMo and the Proverbial Butt Kicking

So I am doing NaNoWriMo this year.  Yay me.  So far I am 36,209 words in.  I am super excited to be a participant this year and love the connections I have made with other Nanos.

I have been to two write-ins which are loads of fun!

Somehow through the whole NaNo thingy… I have to keep doing other non-writing things such as:  spending time with family, working at my full-time job, watching The Walking Dead (and football) … oh, and showering.  I always forget how important showering is!

My boyfriend gave me a bit of crap today.  I wrote over 2,000 words today and was freaking out because I wanted to reach the 40,000 mark today.  But he was right.  My mind was mush, my back was killing me and I am almost to the point where my plot has gone on strike.  Can’t have that.

I even am baking chocolate chip cookies!

We here in the household seem to be quite addicted to chocolate chip cookies these past few weeks.  Now, the three of us are also going to the gym (my daughter and I went today).  Maybe we think that if we do an extra fifteen minutes on the tread, the cookies won’t matter.  In the back of our little minds, however, we know…. those cookies matter.

Me? I am not freaking out about it.  I quit smoking the day NaNoWriMo started.  I hadn’t even realized that this was to be.  I mean, my boyfriend was nagging and nagging and nagging still. “When are you quitting?  Are you quitting soon? Darlene, is today the day you quit?”

“FINE!  I’ll quit the day after Halloween! All Saints Day!  How perfect a day to quit smoking!  All Saints Day!” Yeah, I freaked out a little.  Then it dawned on me.

Crap!!  NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st!  It’s all good though.  Apparently my seething tummy knots and unabated anger are doing my story rather well. 😉  Now, my family and the lady that followed me in the parking lot today to tell me I could “try a little kindness”…. they are singing a different tune.

Happy ROW80ing and NaNoWriMoing my fellow friendly writer peepazoids!

NaNoWriMo and Quitting Smoking – WHAT?!

So I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.  Nope, no one put a gun to my head and I am not certifiably insane (yet).   I have seen this NaNo thingy around for years… years! I was always too chicken poop to give it a shot.  Or maybe I didn’t have a story idea.

Anyway…. I have a story idea and it is a darn tooting good one.

To commemorate my Nano Insanity.. I quit smoking!  Ok, I did not quit smoking to cement NaNoWriMo.  I actually picked my quit date as November 1st two weeks before Halloween after much cajoling from my boyfriend.  On Halloween he said to me, “Tomorrow is the big da-ay!”

I looked at him completely confused.  “All Saints day?” I said, pitching my voice up in question mode.

“No, babe.  Remember?  You are quitting smoking tomorrow!”

“I am? Oh!  Right!  Yeah, I am,” I tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible.  I was right there along with a squirrel right before he gets smashed by a car.  At least the squirrels misery ends!

So Sunday, Halloween, October 31, 2011 was my last day of smoking.

Sunday, Halloween, blah blah blah was also my prep day to start NaNoWriMo on Monday, November 1st.  Monday November 1st would be my first official smoke-free day.  It would also be a day I had to write at least 1,667 words.

I have to say, it hasn’t been so bad.  I mean, yes, I have purchased a small fortune in gum.  I have consumed about 60 chocolate chip cookies in the last four and a half days along with countless Twix Bars and Snickers.  I am drinking the equivalent of a small creek of fresh spring water each day.

Some things I have noticed that are super smashingly smurfariffic!

a) I don’t stink!

b) I think a little clearer because I am not obsessed with nicotine!

c) I am a little grouchier (this is making my characters not so sissy-like in my WIP).

d) I am drinking way less coffee.

e) I already have extra cash! Weee! 😀

So if I seem a bit snippy at the write-in this weekend at Panera in Bensalem or we’re on Facebook and suddenly you get the feeling a seven horned monster with eighteen green, scaly fingers is typing, don’t be alarmed.  It’s just me.

Happy NaNoing (and ROW80ing!) 😉

NaNoWriMo takes the lead! ROW80 – I’ll be back!

Ok, so anyone and everyone who writes, blogs, reads or owns a computer knows that November is not only filled with days such as All Saints Day (the 1st), Day of the Dead (today), Veteran’s Day (the 11th) and good ol’ Thanksgiving (c’mon Turkey Day!)… it is also a big event in the world of writing.  National Novel Writers Month.  Hence: NaNoWriMo.

This is my first year.  *Cheers and claps abound* *whistles and hoots* 😀 Why thank you so much!

I am starting off with a bang, but like any marathon (which is what I have equated this with), slow and steady does it.  So, I did some extra yesterday and today so that I can have a little cushion in the days ahead.  I will most likely do a little extra each day until my brain becomes mush.  That way should the day come (say a day when I have to work from 8:30 am – 12 midnight) I will have a little leeway.

So, Happy ROW80ing friends and Happy NaNoWriMoing. 😉

If anyone else is NaNoing this year… look me up on the NaNo Page here.

Looking forward to this month with very cool writer and blogging folks!

Darlene

ROW80 and Spooky Towns

Ok, so I am pretty sure this whole ROW 80 thing should be fun and interesting… but lately it is starting to feel like the kind of work I would do back in the 1920’s with oh say… a giant lump of coal and a pair of tweezers.  Yeah, I don’t know.

I have all these dang gone goals and I feel like by the time Sunday goes to sleep, Wednesday is waking up and screaming in my face!  Not to mention I signed up for the NaNoWriMo this year.  NaNoWriMo is a huge goal on my list.

As usual, I continue to read and comment blogs.  Weee! 😀

Also (as not so usual) I am keeping up with posting my blog entries 1 – 2 times per week.

I am thinking of writing a short story of sorts that will be fictional based on facts.  Nope, that’s all you get!  Don’t want to spoil the surprise. 😀

One goal I am putting on my list for this weekend:  ROAD TRIP TO CENTRALIA, PA!  My boyfriend went last weekend with friends and did some dirt bike riding.  I am going to drive up and hoof it to the creepy broken road with the steam billowing out and take lots of abstract pictures.

Kind of like this one:

Ok..So it isn’t exactly abstract.  But I know I can do better than this one here.  I love creepy places… more so I love creepy places with creepy back stories.  I was up here (Centralia) a couple of years ago.  The fact that at one time this place used to bustle with life is amazing.  Now I think less than twenty homes remain.  Sad, really.  The government decided it would be cheaper to make almost everyone leave rather than try to get rid of the fire that burns underneath.

Gotta love the government!

Goals for this week:

*Read/comment blogs

* Go to Centralia

* Write 1,000 words on WIP.

Happy ROWING! 😀

By the way… if you did not know… a creepy movie actually based on a video game confused with being based on Centralia is  Silent Hill. There is definitely some serious fiction thrown in there.  But that’s ok!  ;D  Also, if you are interested in reading more gobs of goodies on Centralia check out The Smoldering Ruins of Centralia.