Tag 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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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!


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