Friday, December 25, 2009

A Kitty Christmas

This is Mia. The kitten we got this past summer (in June). This is her first Christmas and she's been quite fond of the tree and all of the ornaments. I've had to replace several glass ornaments with shatterproof ones. It doesn't keep her out of the tree but it does save on the ornaments. It's a good thing she's so darn cute.

Dee - does she look amused?

White Christmas

I didn't blog much this year. Earlier in January, I was working on projects around the house -- painting and decorating -- and was well on my way into another project when everything seemed to turn upside down. Just a bunch of personal stuff that I didn't have the energy or want to to blog about. Even my other writing took a nose dive. Proudly enough, the one thing I was able to complete was my NaNoWriMo novel last month. I hope to be more productive from now on.

In the midst of all the craziness that was the first few months of this year, some good things happened. I've learned a lot from some very important people in my life. Things that I've embraced whole heartedly because these people just mean that much to me. I've studied Reiki, listened to some new music that I might not have found otherwise and have even learned to enjoy cooking (at least one of these people knows that I'm a disaster in the kitchen) and on more than one occasion recently I found myself looking at kitchen stuff and getting excited about the purchase of new cutting boards. Simple pleasures and all that.

I look forward to all that the new year has to bring.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

NaNoWriMo wordcloud

Wordle: Heat

The image is small, but I did a word cloud of the top 100 most used words in my NaNoWriMo novel through

So, it's been a little over a week since NaNoWriMo ended. My fourth year to participate and my first win! I was very proud of this win. I started slow - 300 word days tired me out, but the more I worked the more I picked up the pace, discipline kicked in - either that or fear of losing again - and I was having 2 and 3k word days, and later in the month close to 5k word days. It shouldn't have been so hard, but when you're out of practice it takes some time to find your rhythm.

Trying to work while away during the Thanksgiving holiday was tough but it got done, and I only had a little to finish when I got back home.

My biggest motivator was having the support and encouragement of a good friend who was also participating. I can only hope I motivated him half as much as he did me. I owe this year's win to him. To determination, to newfound discipline, and even to fear.

Some days the words came easier than others, some days I wanted to give up. There was all the usual suspects of course - self doubt, the inner critic - but I learned to just keep plugging along. That's how you cross that finish line, by not letting those things get in the way.

I enjoyed my crazy characters and had a lot of fun, which is what it's really about. I haven't looked back through the document close enough to see if there's anything salvageable, but I will. I think mostly it's a mess, but that's okay. I re-learned some valuable lessons.

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Small Step

I'm enjoying this year's challenge. I may be behind (what a surprise!), and I've probably had more than a few I-should-probably-just-give-up days, but I haven't and don't plan to. The farther I get into the story, the more fun I have with it. I can see it taking shape. Slowly but surely. One word at a time.

Thursday night, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet author Sandra Brown at a meet and greet/signing. She is even more beautiful in person, and funny!

Sandra's books are what inspired me to start writing, and after meeting her, I feel even more motivated to get this Nano novel done.

Off to Nano land.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Day 1

This morning I was already worried I'd get behind because I was doing things like taking pictures of the cats and other non-committal junk

but I buckled down and got my words in and then some. 1,720 so far. It's total crap really but I have to let it be or I'd never get this done. I think that's what killed me in years past. The inner critic just wouldn't shut up.

At one point, I typed 'Ack' instead of Zak, my hero's name. Freudian slip? Could be. Ack pretty much sums up how I felt about the first 1,100 words. I also don't have a last name for him, or my heroine, so he's just Zac, and she's Abigail Nolastname (for now).

I find it both mildly amusing and frightening that I've even allowed myself that kind of freedom. Getting things done right the first time is just part of my nature, but I guess I'll have to embrace the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach.

Tomorrow, my reward for getting the words done will be to catch up with The Vampire Diaries from Thursday night.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. - William Wordsworth

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

It's been almost a year since I blogged last. I debated about just doing away with this blog and starting a new one, but didn't. I'll do better about keeping up.

Did the trick-or-treating thing with my youngest son. Took longer to prepare -- carving the pumpkin, finding his costume in its entirety -- than the actual hunt for treats. He got plenty of these, although he announced that he "only got half a bag" upon our return.

The carving job (not shown) was a template I got from a box of Pringles. Nothing fancy. Easy and fast seems to be the theme as the years go by. Maybe it comes from doing it for both boys for so long, and I've just gotten lazy. At any rate, October will soon be over and I'll be looking at November's month long writing challenge, NaNoWriMo.

This will be my fourth year to participate. Sadly enough, the first three years were all a bust, but I'm looking forward to kicking some bad habits and making this one successful. Why would I expect this time to be any different? I just do. This year has been different. I'm different. I've grown in ways I could never imagine, and am thankful to the people who've been with me on my journey of self-discovery. This time is for them.

Happy writing!

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin