Thursday, November 29, 2012

First World Problems

Stupid PVR stopped working this week. Again!

I don't watch a lot of TV, but the few things I do watch (like Parks & Recreation, or 30 Rock) I like to be able to watch on my own time, not whenever the show airs. So I rely on that little PVR to be working. When it's not, it pisses me off. But I can usually make a point of watching the show during the actual air time.

During NaNo? Not so much.

Of course, then I remember the good old days, when we only had like six channels to choose from, and think, "right, first world problems." Life could always be worse than a non-functioning PVR.

I finished my 2300 words tonight. 2301, to be exact. That leaves me with 3429 words I need to cram into tomorrow afternoon and evening...

Ack! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So Close!

I kept wanting to quit tonight. Kept telling myself I'd make up the words tomorrow or Friday. So exhausted! But I pushed forward, kept on churning out the words until I hit that golden 2300 word mark. I'm now at 44 270 words. I'm going to aim for another 2300 tomorrow, leaving me with just under 3.5K for Friday. And damn it, I will finish the 50K!
The end is so close I can taste it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kitty Cam!

Just got home from Idiot#1's staff party. It was actually better than I had anticipated for a dinner theatre. Jubilations could do better on the food, but the show was great. Ghost Busters themed, all 80s tunes. Even had a little Toto in there at the end!

But yeah, I'm off to bed right away. Won't get any words down today, but I knew that. The next three days are going to be filled with writing—just over 9K words, to be exact! I'm really taking it down to the wire, but that's kinda fun in its own way.

I do have something fun for this post. We suspected our cats were getting on the counter at night, and I suspected Steve French, while Idiot#1 suspected Lemon. To see who was right, I set up my laptop to record the kitchen overnight. The built in camera takes a picture every fifteen seconds, compiling them into a short video. And...

Turns out, we were both right!

Three nights in a row I've recorded the kitchen, and three nights in a row BOTH cats have gotten up there and mucked around. I also recorded while we were away at work. Here's what I came home to today:

Apparently, Lemon just wants to see what's going on outside!

Haha.. this Kitty Cam stuff is fun :D


Monday, November 26, 2012

... there is no spoon.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this spoon. Let go, jump off the building, follow the white rabbit. I’m so close, but still so far, from that fifty thousand goal. I would be right on track (as I so hopefully believed yesterday...) until I remembered that Idiot#1’s staff party is tomorrow night. So yeah, probably won’t get a single word down tomorrow. That’s gonna put me behind.

I’ve got Friday afternoon off to run a few errands that need to get done, so if I get through those quickly I might have a few extra evening hours. And at this point, it goes without saying there won’t be any cooking or cleaning happening until I hit the finish line—or epically fail only a few hundred words short at midnight... Ha!

But fail or not, I am happy with this MS so far. Maybe when I have the time (let's face it, that'll be after the Festivus season is over) I'll put together some better blog posts, and tell you all about it. Maybe a little more Scrivener love. It'll be nice to have some free time again!

Anyway, I’m outta here. Until tomorrow (or the next day),

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back on Track

Five nights left of NaNoWriMo. I'm 12K short of the 50K words, and I think I can do it. I've fallen behind (still mostly blaming that on being sick last week) but I put in just over 3K words tonight and it's put me right back where I need to be. If I get back up to my 2300 words per day then I'll still finish before midnight on Friday!

Anyway, that's my short update--too tired and ready for bed! I'll have to try to remember to post some pics from my knitting club brunch this morning. It was freaking delicious!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Short & Vehement

I’ll be writing this weekend! Got in only a thousand words tonight, and they were a struggle. I’m finished through chapter eight, though. I think nine will be an easier write so I’ll be starting with the dialogue for that tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get nine finished and maybe even a start on ten during FNTWP!

I’ve got a lot of baking to do on Saturday, plus a staff party, and knit club on Sunday, but I’m vowing to catch up my word count by writing whenever I’m not doing one of those three things!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crappy Timing

Yeah, so I've missed all of the NaNo events since we kicked off at the beginning of the month. Which kind of sucks. Honestly, it's been a busy month. Fitting 2300+ words into the MS every night leaves very little time for anything else. Not sure how everyone else manages to find the time, but I'm cramming a lot of stuff into my weekends to make up for lost time during the week.

And then I hit up the NaNo message boards yesterday, only to find out that the 12-hour marathon has been cut down to only 8 hours, and that it overlaps with—of course—my staff Festivus party. The write-in starts and 6pm and, lo and behold, my staff party starts at 6pm. By the time dinner and drinks are said and done, it'll probably be well past midnight. Doesn't leave me much time to drop in at the write-in before it's over!

Could I blow off the staff party in favour of the write-in? No, not really. We're a staff of five. My absence would probably be noted... ha!

Oh well. Maybe the meet-up at Denny's on Monday?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cold: Fail!

Okay, it's not really an epic fail, not yet. Just a 4-day fail.

Yeah, so I caught that cold. It sucked. Still sucks, but not so bad. After being short words on Wednesday and Thursday, I didn't get any writing done on Friday. In fact, I missed work and slept until 3:30pm. Watched a couple movies, complained, ate jello, and went back to sleep by like 8:00pm. Man, I haven't slept that much since I was in high school.

Saturday was much the same, and also included no writing. Sinus headache: not good for creative thinking processes. I cancelled knit class on Sunday, but was feeling well enough in the evening to fit in 2300+ words. Great, but not really enough, because I also didn't get any writing done yesterday either! After a full day of work and still not feeling 100%, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open on the drive home... yikes...

All this, of course, means I also failed in blog posts!

Fail and fail. But—! Not epic failures yet. I got in a few thousand words tonight, bringing my total up to 31K and only 1.2K words away from where I should be at this point. I can catch that up. And as for the blog posts... well, take a look at my posting history. Yeah, sketchy at best. I'm still pretty happy with how often I've remembered to post this month! Quality posts? No, not really. But you can't have your cake and eat it too >.<


Thursday, November 15, 2012

And... I'm sick.

Yeah. So I think I mentioned that Idiot#1 missed a couple days of work this week with a cold. I was trying really hard not to catch it—taking extra vitamin C every day, washing my hands like a crazy person, keeping as far away from him as humanly possible—but I did.

Felt a slight scratch in my throat this morning. Felt fine all day. Felt a slightly stronger scratch on the way home from work, and six hours later I can barely swallow, my nose is running like a faucet and a sinus headache has set in. Awesome.

Nevertheless! I have indeed completed my 25K words for halfway-at-halfway through NaNoWriMo!

I missed the word count again tonight, but as I'll probably be spending the next few days on the couch complaining about being sick, the least I can do is settle my laptop in next to the Vics and the box of Kleenex and get writing. With luck I'll make up for some of the words lost in the past two days...

Until tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hump Day

Ah, Wednesday. How I both love and hate you. The weekend seems so close, and yet still so far away!

I only managed about half my word count tonight, as I was distracted by Idiot#1, who wanted to watch the new Will Ferrell movie, The Campaign. And seeing as Idiot#1 has been stuck home sick with a cold for the past two days I took pity on him and watched it. It wasn't too bad, but definitely not my favourite Will Ferrell flick. Plus, it was only an hour and a half long, so I managed to squeeze in a couple hours of writing afterwards.

I stopped tonight at a total of 24,801 words. That means tomorrow I'll hit...

(drum roll please)

The Big 25,000 Word, The Halfway-There-Mark!

Which, it so happens, is exactly halfway through the month. Huh. Seems I'm right on target.

On that happy note... Good night!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Okay, so I fell short by about 400 words yesterday. Not the end of the world, as I was still a little bit ahead of the overall word count I need for 50K by the 30th. Today, I made up for it.

Today was a 4K word day!

With some fun NaNoWriMo math, that's 1700 words more than my usual daily goal, and 1300 words more than what I was aiming for tonight, trying to make up for yesterday.

Which leads me to question what made tonight so awesomesauce? What made today different? Because I started at 7 p.m., same as usual, and worked for about the same amount of time as usual. Maybe it was the extra cup of coffee I had at 3pm. Maybe it was the because this chapter was just easier to write. Maybe there was a solar eclipse in New Zealand or something. Who knows.

(My guess? The coffee. I'll try that again tomorrow...)

Anyway, it's late and I'm tired. 4K is exhausting!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Missed two blog updates for EpicNaNoBlogs this weekend, eek! Not that surprising though, since I haven't been NaNoWriMo writing on weekends, and not writing makes me not think of blogging!

Does that make sense, in a backward kind of way?

I didn't quite make my word count for today, but it was close. I didn't have as much time as I normally would, because I wanted to finish the toque that I started yesterday. It's the newest project for knit class, and I needed to know what materials to tell the girls they need for next weekend.

In yesterday's class they picked out a project, an aviator toque one of them had pinned on Pinterest, but it's one of those stupid ones that takes you to a link to buy something. Here's a screen shot:

So do I spend the $4 to buy the pattern?

No. Because I'm a cheap bastard.

Instead, I pulled out a ball of wool and some needles and started knitting. I actually like interpreting patterns from knitted things I see—it's more of a challenge, right? And this is what I came up with:

Also, I was severely distracted this weekend by this:

That's right. Angry Birds: Star Wars. Pretty much my two favourite things combined into one.

Bad. Ass.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Egads, I did it! Um, almost.

Okay okay okay, it's not quite the 2300 words I'm aiming for every weeknight (2274, to be exact) but it's pretty damn close. And honestly, I finished chapter five with that, so seems kind of strange to write twenty-six words of chapter six just to make the word count.

And I had about ten spelling mistakes in my first try at the above paragraph. Apparently, my brain is mush now. Probably best if I shut it down and put on a movie or something. There were a couple books I was hoping to read this weekend, but I think I'm too tired to move my eyes across the pages. Yikes.

So no surprise I'm giving up on this blog post right here. I'm not even gonna sign off. That's how tired I am.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


What do I aspire to?

One day, I hope to be the crazy old cat lady. I went down to the City compound a couple weeks ago to pick out a new cat, and all I wanted was to adopt them all!

But instead, I just took Lemon home with me. That wasn’t her name at the compound, but I figured since Steve French got two names, this cat deserve two too. Therefore, she is officially dubbed Liz Lemon. Or just Lemon, for short. This way, when she does something stupid (as cats are prone to do) I can say, “Good God, Lemon!” in my best Jack Donaghy voice. Love it when a plan comes together.

Anyway, getting a new kitty (and all the subsequent photos) was one of those random bits of crap I saved a blog post for, when I had nothing else to talk about during EpicNaNoBlogs. And today is one of those days, so here you go:

Lemon, Day 1
Lemon & Steve, Day 3
Lemon & Steve, Day 6
And by Day 13... Lemon & Steve, best buddies!

Oh, I did reach the 15K word mark today. That was pretty awesome. But really, the next big milestone is the halfway point... hopefully sometime next week!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dialogue First

Someone asked me yesterday what I meant by turning the dialogue into prose. Most of you writerly types out there probably know what I'm talking about, but for those that don't, it's a writing method. For me, it's the method I like best.

When I start outlining a new MS (like I did for my NaNo novel back in early October) I start with a list of goals. That turns into an outline, what I want to happen from start to finish, that's about 3K words long. Then I break that into chapters and scenes, add details and makes changes. The final word count for my NaNo MS outline was about 21K words.

Basically, by the time I start writing I know exactly what's going to happen. My first draft doesn't very often deviate much from what was in the outline. If changes are going to happen the the overall story, they'll happen in the next round of revisions.

I like to think of the actual writing not as the telling of the story (I already know the story from the outline) but getting to know the characters and finding out how the story affects them all individually. So I start each chapter by writing just the dialogue first. Like this:

S      Hi, what's your name?
F      Frodo Baggins, what's yours?
shayla punches frodo.
S      Shayla Smith. Pleasure to meet you, Frodo Baggins.

I'll toss in a few words for description, expression, actions, but it's mostly the dialogue. I find it allows the characters to lead the way through the story, keeping me from spending too much time internalizing the MC. Once the chapter is finished I turn around, go back to the beginning, and start re-writing the dialogue into prose:

"Hi," I said with a smile, opening the door. "What's your name?"
The stranger hesitated. "Frodo Baggins, what's yours?"
I leapt over the counter and punched him in the face, sending him sprawling head over furry feet.
"Shayla Smith. Pleasure to meet you, Frodo Baggins."

So that's turning my dialogue into prose. And actually, since I'm talking about it, here's how Scrivener makes that whole process awesome:

Left window: dialogue. Centre window: chapter four outline. Inspector (right side): synopsis and Project Targets

But now I'm apparently having an allergic reaction to either cats or smoke, so I gotta go dig up a Reactine. Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

one up, one down

Bad news or good news first?

Bad news? You got it.

Today, I didn't reach my daily NaNoWriMo word count goal. I know, I know, I can sense your disappointed head shakes from here. I only managed 1681 words, despite a Tim's run for a little liquid energy. I've got no excuses to offer—the words just wouldn't let themselves be written.

The good news: Somewhere amongst those 1681 words was my ten thousandth word. The MS for Pulled from the Waves (working title, obv) is now sitting at 10501. That means I'm a fifth of the way to my NaNo goal!

Uh oh.
The caffeine in my system is crashing.
We're going down!

(radio silence)


Monday, November 5, 2012



I... just... barely... reached... 2300 words!

I'm way ready for bed (Mondays will do that to me) so I'm calling it quits for the night just before the end of chapter three dialogue. I'd like to stay up and finish it, but... no.

A couple times tonight I didn't think I'd make the 2300 word mark, but I did it. At 2375, I just barely did it.

Of course, I spent a good chunk of the evening just hanging out while Idiot#1 and his hunting buddies butchered the deer they shot on the weekend. I'd show you the pics, but I bet a lot of you don't want to see the dead deer in my garage... Long story short, it was a tiring evening.

But I'm done. Off to update my word count on the NaNo site!

Until tomorrow,

Sunday, November 4, 2012


No writing today, all knitting!

One of the girls brought some delicious little dip to knit club that tasted just like the inside of a jalepeno popper. That was awesome. She also brought a kind of cinnamon-bun-bread-pudding, and that was awesomesauce.

We almost finished our sweater project in class today, but not quite. Just finished up the collar and the button band, so only the buttonhole band left over for homework. I finished mine up after class: voila!

The first hat I did using this pattern came out kinda fucky, so I'm going to start the hat tonight and see if the pattern is fucky, or if I did something wrong last time—which might be the case, as I was distracted by the audiobook I was listening too while I knit it >.<

And if I have more time than I expect this week (we'll see how the NaNo word count goes!) I'm hoping to get another sweater in this pattern just about done too...


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The 5K Mark

As per yesterday's post, yeah, I only needed to write one word to make it to 5000, but it still counts as a milestone, right?

And actually, after shoveling snow off the deck, cleaning up halloween decorations, getting the ice off the gazebo and outdoor furniture, and installing a decal on the back of Idiot#1's truck, I sat down for two hours to write. I'm now sitting pretty at 6415 words, which is probably where I'll stay until Monday evening. Yeah, got a lot done today, but there's always more to do. Life happens all the time.

That's all for now. I'll leave you with a pic of the decal that was designed, cut, masked and installed all by me. Because I'm awesome like that. And oh-so-humble.

K-town Represent.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Groove

I only managed to squeeze in two hours of writing tonight. Late start, and a birthday party to go crash. Life happens.

Only two hours, but they were good.

Reached my word count (2358), bringing my total up to... 4999! Hah, that kinda makes me want to go and write... just... one... more... word...!

But no, I’ll save word #5000 for tomorrow. It’ll be a good way to start the day, no? Wasn’t planning on doing any writing on Saturday, but I think I will, at least for a while. Because I’m in the groove.

Yesterday was a bit stuttered, because I haven’t done anything but edit for a few months, so I needed to get back into writing mode. Probably part of the reason why chapter one came in so short. I almost finished all the dialogue for chapter two tonight, but not quite. I want to at least finish dialoguing the chapter tomorrow. Maybe prose. We’ll see.

But I gotta run! People to see, parties to crash...


Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNo Day 1

NaNoWriMo day one was a success. Well, my ass is sore from sitting in this chair for so long, but the word count was a success.

Correct me if my math is wrong (and it very well could be... math: not my forté) but if I don't plan on writing on weekends, then I've got to get down 2272 words per day. To make that easier to remember, I've rounded up to 2300 and set that as my daily goal in Scrivener.

(Does anyone else love the Projects Targets window in Scrivener? Yeah, me too.)

I'm a dialogue-then-prose kind of writer. Dialogue the chapter first, then go back and add the prose. So I finished both the dialogue and the prose for chapter one tonight, coming in at a total of about 2600 words. That's a short chapter, but usually my first draft chapters are, so no worries. At least I beat my daily goal by 300 words!

Until tomorrow,