Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Gramps and NaNo

Last time I blogged I shared that my Grandpa wasn’t doing so hot. He managed to hang in there a while longer but last week on Wednesday he did finally die. It was a bittersweet situation because of course it was sad to have to let him go, but I was also really glad to know that he wasn’t going to suffer anymore and therefore we weren’t going to suffer anymore either.

His last five days were rough. They started out on a Saturday morning when my mom woke me up at six am because she was pretty sure he was going to die which I blogged about here. After that he sort of bounced back and forth between us literally thinking he was going to die within minutes to him cracking jokes and being his goofy self. The last day and a half was the worst though when his breathing pattern was seven breaths in 42 seconds followed by a full minute of not breathing. He was pretty much in a coma at that point although because he was at home it wasn’t diagnosed as a coma by a doctor. But finally on October 17th around 1:00 p.m. he finally let go.

I always thought that seeing a dead body in my home and experiencing a death like that would freak me the hell out. But after sitting next to him waiting for it to happen for days and getting only 3 hour blocks of sleep every so often, it just seemed natural. We’d sat there so many times thinking that he was going to die and then he didn’t that when it finally happened it was like, “Wow… okay, it finally happened.”

I haven’t written anything since I wrote that last blog post, but since Gramps died writing has definitely been on my mind. I’ve been reading a lot which always gets me in the mood to write. My characters are also popping up in random places showing me that they’re almost ready to play again, so that’s good.

With NaNoWriMo right around the corner I’m faced with the dilemma of to NaNo or not to NaNo? The last time I participated was in 2010 and I’m still working on that story, slowly but surely. I didn’t even attempt it last year because Gramps had just moved in with us and I didn’t think it would be fair to my mom to spend that first month up in my bedroom trying to write a book in thirty days.

I remember thinking a few weeks back that there’s no way I could do NaNo this year unless Gramps died before November. But here we are just a week away from November and he’s gone so I really could give it a try without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else. Of course, my ongoing problem with NaNo is always that I can’t think of a plot before November and then when the month begins I get seriously blocked. But I also tend to wait until a few days before NaNo starts to think about plot ideas so I’m actually ahead of the game right now. LOL Plus I’ll be attending the GRRWG Ready Set Write Conference next weekend too which will hopefully shine some motivation in my direction.

So I guess what I’m saying is that yeah, I’m going to attempt NaNo again this year. I think I owe it to myself to do it, and maybe even to Gramps too. Who knows maybe I’ll write about a crazy 97.5 year old guy who lives with his granddaughter, thinks facial hair means a guy has something to hide, and loves Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. 🙂

RIP, Gramps.

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Death of a Jump Drive

“Oh. Woe is to me, business is bad.” – My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My jump drive is dead. After using it regularly with no problem at all, I plugged it into the computer on Friday to find that it suddenly is an “Unrecognized Device” in every single computer on the planet. Some Google searching whilest throwing a massive hissy fit has pretty much led me to realize that the problem is not the computer nor is is Windows XP or Windows 7… it’s a dead freaking flash drive.

Apparently PNY Attache’ jump drives suck because they do this regularly. Google it and you’ll find that pretty much everyone who ones one of these precious little nuggets has had this happen. Of course I didn’t know this because I didn’t think to do research on the freaking jump drive that came with my Netbook when I bought it. *le sigh*

My jump drive has my ENTIRE NaNoWriMo story on it as well as several other works of fiction that are not yet finished and not yet shared with the public. In other words, if I can’t get my data recovered I’m fucked. I will have lost a ridiculous amount of work that I thought was safe because I was saving it on a jump drive instead of on the hard drive.

Data Recovery from the Geek Squad starts at $250. Greedy mofos… Another local company has quoted me with $95.00 per hour and said that it generally takes 1-2 days to recover data. Seriously? It’s almost worth it just to raise my middle finger to them all and start things from scratch. But damn it all to freaking hell, I don’t WANT to! I want to put my cute little pink jump drive with my Lego Yoda on it into the computer and know that my chapters are there and I can then safely move them to some other storage device that won’t suck ass like the Attache’.

Yeah… MASSIVE hissy fits over here.


Half Way

It’s November 30th which means it’s Day 30 of NaNoWriMo.  I know, my goal this year was to “win” by completing the 50,000 deadline by the end of the month and no longer playing the role of NaNo’s Bitch.  I had big plans of buying myself an overly expensive NaNoWriMo Winner Tee Shirt to proudly wear while doing a happy dance around town.  I had lots of plans.

I struggled finding a plot during Week One, found my plot and then totally changed it in Week Two, and although I was hopelessly behind in my word count, by Week Three I actually thought that I might be able to get caught up.  I’d fallen in love with my characters, they hung out with me at work waiting patiently for me to have the free time to play with them, and even when I didn’t have time to play, my mind was always working on plot lines, dialogue and crafty little nuggets of wisdom.

Then of course all hell broke loose.  My job, which is notorious for being extremely boring and which generally provides me with hours upon hours of time spent twiddling my thumbs, suddenly gave me a boat load of work to do.  Then I spent quite a bit of time sick in bed with migraines, and general yuckiness.  Then when I’d almost finished my Project O’ Doom at work and thought, “Wee!  Time for writing!” my mother got sick and spent two nights in the hospital.  Oh and of course there was the Harry Potter midnight premiere, Thanksgiving, and other family related things.

I struggled through thirty days of writing without letting my ever faithful beta readers see what I was working on or even know what my plot was, which is part of the whole NaNo process.  I’m a girl that needs validation, so writing fifty-two pages of a novel without anyone seeing it but myself was torture, but I survived it.  I fought myself on my incessant need to re-read and edit and “just write” which is another part of the NaNo process as they tell us “it doesn’t have to be good, you just have to reach the goal.”  For the anal-retentive editor in me, this too was torture, but I did it (kind of).

By the time I hit the home stretch, I hoped that I would still be able to make a decent dent in my word count but I knew that I wasn’t going to be a “winner.”  Surprisingly however, I was okay with this.  I was totally cool with not being a NaNo winner because I:

a)      Got more accomplished in NaNo this year than I ever have in years past

b)      Had the beginnings of a story that  I was truly falling in love with

c)       Actually kind of had fun doing it

Therefore I decided that being at the 25,000 word mark, or half way to the goal of NaNo, was my new personal goal.  I figured that half a novel in thirty days is a hell of an accomplishment considering all of the bullshit I’ve had to deal with this month.  So I’m happy to announce that at 10:11 PM on November 30, 2010, I hit 25,000 words exactly and have proudly proclaimed myself a Half Way NaNoWriMo Winner.

Yes, I made the title up myself, but so what… I’m creative, I’m a writer, it’s my job to make shit up.  I may not have conquered NaNo, but I am no longer its bitch. Thankyouverymuch!

P.S. If I add the first version of the plot to the current version, my total word count is 28,960 words, so actually I wrote more than half a novel, just not the same novel. hehe


Week Two-itis

It’s clearly time for another blog post and yet I’m so far behind on my NaNoWriMo writing that I feel that whatever words I type here are little whores cheating on my NaNo word count! So I’ll try my best to keep it short and sweet.

NaNo is still kicking my ass.  I finally found a plot idea just before I was going to give up and use one of my already started novels to work on.  I was geeked and I managed to bust out a decent word count by Day 5.  Then I spent the weekend with friends, didn’t write a bit.  There is no guilt about not writing last weekend though because I spent the weekend in the city where this whole plot is set.  Being there was great because it gave me all sorts of ideas to throw in except for the fact that my whole freaking plot changed.  Well okay, not the whole thing, the characters stayed the same but basically everything I’d written was no longer needed.

Funny that when I picked up No Plot? No Problem! to read the Week Two chapter last night there was a whole section about Week Two being the evil week when your story wants to change plots just like mine did.  Baty’s advice is to not change the plot and just stick with your original plan… but sorry Chris, I have to go against your advice because despite my freakishly low word count (I refuse to even tell you what it is at this point), I like my Take Two version of this story much better.

Other than NaNo, I managed to finish my very first knitting project involving cables and I’m in love!  Why I put off cables for so long, I have no idea.  If I didn’t have so much writing to do, maybe I’d be knitting right now! Hehe… The problem with NaNo falling in November is that this is prime Holiday Knitting time!  I’m so torn between these two loves of mine that it’s freaking torturing me!  And of course my raging tendonitis/arthritis/whatever the hell is wrong with me doesn’t really want me to do copious amounts of both knitting and typing each day. I am however in the process of trying to find out why I have so much pain in my body, so maybe next week’s doctor appointments will shed some light on all of this. *hope hope hope*

That’s all I’ve got for now.  Later, peeps!


A Little Bit of Everything

Lots of things on my mind today, read on fair blog readers!

Back to School (Again)

Two years ago I’d enrolled in grad school and then there was a problem with my transcript getting sent to the new school so I ended up not getting everything in on time.  Then I got a job that I thought was going to be a dream job so once again, school was put on the back burner and I focused on this new job of mine.  Well the job turned out to not only prevent me from going back to school but also from having much of a life outside of work at all.  I spent a year and a half on call 24/7 and my own life pretty much fell apart.  So when an opportunity to switch job positions within the agency presented itself, I took the pay cut and traded my on-call job for an 8:30 – 5:00 job and traded one type of stress for another.  I miss the money (even though it wasn’t good pay to begin with), and I miss working with the public doing what I went to school for in the first place.  But I don’t miss being on call and I don’t miss the rest of the bullshit that came along with the job.  Actually, I still get to experience all of the bullshit and more, just in a different manner and for less pay. 

Anyway, after six months of this new job, I finally decided to start researching grad school again.  I figured if I was going to be working a job that I don’t want (despite the fact that I kick ass at it), I might as well use the opportunity to also further my education so I can move on eventually.  Plus if I go back to school those pesky student loan payments that I can’t afford to make on my measly salary can go back into deferment while I go further into debt!

Here’s my problem though… I can’t move away to go to school and I really don’t want to have to commute some ridiculous amount of miles either.  So I have to find either a long distance program, or a local one.  I’m lucky in the sense that there are quite a few university satellite sites in the area, I’m not so lucky though that most of those sites don’t offer a major that I want to study.

I’d researched and talked to people and had pretty much decided that I was going to bite the bullet and apply to a program here in town at one of the more religious schools in the area.  Despite the fact that I got my BA from a Catholic university and that I work for a religious non-profit, I’m not a religious person.  But, the program they offer is reportedly a good one and despite the churchliness of it all, I figured I could deal.  That is until a good friend of mine who I’ve known since I was eleven years old and we were desk partners in the sixth grade sent me a little tidbit about the school on Facebook that I had to look into. 

It was then that I found out that the churchy school I was considering attending had fired a professor in 2007 who had worked for the University for sixteen years because she was openly transgendered.  She’d begun working at the school as a man, and had been making the change and when she told the university about it, they first dropped her pay and cut her hours.  Then they decided that she would only teach online courses so that she couldn’t spread her “sin” around to the students.  They also put restrictions on her like she couldn’t wear makeup or dress as a woman if she was going to be at any school functions.  Finally when her contract was up, they said that they would not be offering her a new contract.  After SIXTEEN YEARS of service they fired her because she was transgendered.

As a part of the LGBT community, I cannot and will not support a school that does that to its employees, plain and simple.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable hanging a degree on my wall with that school’s name on it.  And frankly, how would it look if I were to try and serve fellow LGBT clients with a degree hanging on the wall from a school that was so openly bigoted?  Not good, that’s how.

So… once again I’m back to the drawing board and to trying to figure out what the hell I want to do and where. Yay.  

 

 Court

Court is in session today for a certain someone that I used to work for.  Oh to be a fly on the wall in that courtroom.     

 

 

NaNoWhatMo?

It’s NaNoWriMo time. Time for me to once again commit to something and then struggle with actually doing it because my inner critic steps in pumped up on steroids saying “You can’t do this, sucker!”  But this year I am determined to meet my goal and accomplish the damn thing.

What’s NaNoWriMo, you ask?  National Novel Writing Month, or as the website says, “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!”  The goal for participants is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November (which is roughly 1,667 words a day). 2010 is the twelfth year of the contest and at least my second if not third official attempt.  A 50,000 word novel literally is not a huge deal to me… My books tend to be much longer than that because I write for the internet where stories go on and on and on and on.  And on.  But there’s something about NaNo time (yeah, I call it NaNo because I’m cool like that…) that gets to me.  I freeze up and think, “OMG what am I going to write?!”

In years past, this freeze of creative energy just made me quit trying to do NaNo all together.  This year though, I’m going to get the ice scraper out and beat the hell out of the freeze every time it returns.  I refuse to succumb to the pressure.  I say this, but of course today is day three of the contest and what’s my word count? Big fat zero.  Nada. Zilch.  I’ve toyed with just continuing one of my newer novels that is less than 8,000 words at this point, but the whole point of NaNo is that you work on something NEW.  So despite the fact that I have a new novel to work on, it’s not November New.  If push comes to shove and I don’t get some burst of creativity by the end of week one I will most likely just “cheat” and use the preexisting novel to work on.  But my plan truly is to begin something new, and finish it by the deadline whether it sucks or not. Then I can buy a happy NaNoWriMo Winner tee shirt to wear proudly and know that I am no longer NaNo’s biotch.

Seriously?

I am not a morning person.  Getting up in the morning is one of the hardest things I do every day.  On top of the fact that I simply enjoy sleeping and I like to stay cozy in my bed, I’ve also found that medicated or not, this damn clinical depression of mine makes it very hard to get up in the morning.  I have struggled to be on time to work in every single job (and school) that I’ve ever had if the start time was any time before 10:00 AM.  It’s just how I roll. 

I do not, however, take my lack of morning chipperness out on other people.  If someone says “Good Morning” to me, I say it back.  Even if I don’t like the person and would rather act like that seriously rude dude in the McDonald’s commercial who won’t speak to anyone before his coffee.  I can’t be like that because it’s not in my nature.

So imagine my surprise when today someone who I struggle with comes into the office and asks me and another coworker “Is there a reason you two barely speak to me in the morning when I come in?”

What?

Apparently we don’t say good morning back to her with enough gusto to keep her happy.  She says we mumble or mouth the words but no sound comes out.  What the fuck ever… I know I don’t do that.  This morning when she came in and I said good morning back to her my voice gave out, but I looked her in the face and smiled.  I can’t help it if my voice tends to go in and out in the morning during the first two hours I’m awake and it chose that specific moment to fade out!  But the smile and the eye contact should count for something, right?  She says, “Maybe you guys just aren’t morning people… I know I’m not, but I try to at least say good morning.” I told her, “I know I’m not a morning person, but I do say good morning.”  She then said again that it’s usually a mumble or a mouthing of the words and even threw in a pithy imitation of how she thinks we respond to her.

Honestly, there is no winning with this woman.  Once she has it made up in her mind that she’s right and you’re wrong, there is no telling her otherwise even if you know for sure that you are right.  So nothing I can say will make a difference.  And she’s also put us in a very peculiar situation too because you know I graduated with honors from the School of Smartassedness and what I really want to do from now on when she comes in is go extremely overboard when I greet her and do my best Loud Ass Oprah Winfrey Voice for her. But I know of course this would just cause even more trouble and yet another lecture.  So what do I do?  Continue to respond in the way I always have, which according to her is not good enough, or go for overkill?

I mean seriously, who in their right mind says things like that?  Who the fuck cares if someone says good morning with gusto or not?!  Am I mean to you when I interact with you all day? No.  Am I a jerk to you like you are to me and the rest of the staff on a regular basis? No.  But you come down on me because I don’t say good morning loud enough for your tastes? Give me a fucking break!  And honestly, if you truly have a problem with it, calling someone out like that isn’t the appropriate way to make things better; all it does is make things even more uncomfortable. 

I once worked for an agency where the morning receptionist would never acknowledge me when I walked in and said hello.  It didn’t matter if she was busy working or she’d been sitting there contemplating the color of the walls, she always ignored me.   For a while I just ignored her thinking, “Well if you’re not going to talk to me, then screw you, I won’t talk to you either.”  But then I decided to kill her with kindness.  I said hello and good morning to her no matter what with a great big smile and overkill every morning until she finally started to respond to me.  And you know what?  She eventually became my absolute best friend in the agency and someone who went to concerts with me, roomed with me on business trips, and was an adopted mom to me.  But I can guarantee that had I stopped at her desk and said, “Is there a reason you don’t respond to me when I talk to you in the morning?” none of that ever would have happened.

To be completely honest, I’d like to greet this chick most mornings with a raised middle finger and some saucy expletives, but I don’t because despite being an evil bitch, I’m also a really nice person.  And yes, I know that if there isn’t drama going on this chick will find something to stir up because she simply thrives on the stuff, so today was most likely one of those “Oh gee, what can I bitch about today?” moment… but still, it just makes me so freaking mad!  She doesn’t do her own job, but she sure as hell can pick on everyone else and stir up some drama on a regular basis.  She’s like an 11 year old kid who has to narc on everyone despite the fact her behavior is worse than anyone else’s.   She can’t narc on me for not doing my job because it’s always done (and then some) but she can pick out some stupid thing like the strength of my “good morning.”  What a sad and pitiful existence if that’s all you have to look forward to at work each day.  Blah.

 ~~~~~

So there ya go, that’s what’s on my mind.  And for the record, if this were my NaNoWriMo novel, my word count would be… 2,214.


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