Monday, November 28, 2011

How badly do you want that dream?

Reading and writing have always been a big part of my life.

At school when the teacher passed around Book Orders, I would start circling like crazy, take it home to my dad so he could decide how much money he wanted to shell out that month on my reading. I joined book order clubs like Babysitter's Club and Girl Talk. Every month I'd get two fresh new books, read them within the week, and be begging my mom to drive me to the library. I have to say my parents were quite awesome in supporting my book nerd habit.

When I couldn't find the story I wanted to read that's when I started writing. Which I assume is how a lot of people started writing as well. I don't remember what my first story ever was. The earliest one I can remember is one I made in Girl Scouts called: Susie Is Lost. All about a girl who looses her doll, only to find the thing shoved under a couch cushion.

I've always known that writing was a massive part of my life. Even in moments where I didn't write, I was creating a story in my head. My dad used to play his record player growing up, and there I would be in the living room, walking circles around the coffee table just thinking of adventures. Honestly, if I didn't have crazy scenarios, what if's, and characters constantly chattering away in my head - I think life would be massively boring.

A few years ago I decided that I needed to be published. I needed to fulfill this dream of writing. Somewhere from there and around the time summer ended, I lost something. I gripe about writer's block and failure a lot.. I am probably the best at griping about writing instead of actually sitting on my butt and doing it. The thing is, I know I haven't lost the ability to write. If anything, I have gotten better. I am not being self-centered about that either. I can look at a story from seven years ago to a story now and I can proudly say: I am a good writer. I may not be the best writer, but I'm still a good one.

But what I lost was my drive for it.  I didn't come across this until about August.  I was at work, talking to a lady who said she wanted to read an expert of The Unexpected Clash of Strangers. I started laughing saying: "Oh you know me, I dropped the story again!" She was trying to tell me: "Hey, it's okay. Writers do that all the time." Seriously this lady is like the best at encouraging me and has always supported my writing. While she was trying to give me a pep up speech, I realized something and blurted it out:

I don't think I want it bad enough.

And I didn't. I had no desire at all to write when it came down to it. If I wanted it bad enough, I would have been going for it.  I would have just done it.  I wouldn't care like I used to NOT care of what was wrong here and there.  I would just keep going and writing and getting these characters are were so alive in my head out onto paper.  I would tell their story.  Life hadn't exactly been my best friend around that time or for the past few years, and I let all those bad things take control of me.  And somehow without knowing it, I let it take control of my dream.  I let it tear it and me down to a point where I felt like I just didn't care anymore.  It's weird knowing that I didn't care about writing.

Then October rolled around. I started thinking about past stories, one in particular Fairy Tale. I decided that I would use it for NaNoWriMo. I had no high hopes. I've done NaNoWriMo, and even Camp NaNoWriMo (around the same time I claimed defeat of my dream), and I've never really "won". I plotted and I changed things. When November 1st rolled around, I sat in my chair, and I just started typing.  Some days I didn't write anything. Other days I went crazy and wrote 7K or more. I did word races on Twitter. I texted Cheryl many times at all hours of different ideas and ways things could go. Then last night, I reached the 50K line.

And it felt amazing. Beyond amazing.

The story isn't finished. The first few chapters are going to have to be completely scraped and rewritten.  I'm missing huge chunks of the story, and I even decided to rename my main character from Gabby (short for Gabriella) to Ari (short for Arianna). I know this is a very rough skeleton of a story, but it felt amazing because I wrote. I dove in head first, typed furiously, and kept going and going and I'm still going.

Every day on Facebook I have been putting something I am thankful for. When I woke up this morning, there was really only one thing to be thankful for: NaNoWriMo. For giving me back that drive.  For giving me the kick in the butt I desperately needed, and making me realize what I've always wanted out of life was what I've always had. It's writing. It will always be writing no matter what I'm in school for or what I'm doing. I'm glad it's back. I'm glad that I can look at all 122 pages of complete crap and smile that it's there.

Things in life are going to suck. Sometimes they're going to tear you down and make you doubt yourself in ways you'd never thought could happen. But the trick of it is, get back up. Don't let it win. No matter how long it takes you - a week, a month, or even almost three years - get your dream back. Fight for it, and dont' stop until you know it's fully yours. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Live Blogging Part Duex - NaNoWriMo Crunch Time!

Decided to dedicate another Sunday to live blogging so I can reach 50K today!

Goal: 7,000 words

6:30 AM: Woke up. Told my body is was nukin futs if it thinks this is considered sleeping in.

8:00 AM: Alarm goes off. Must get up to do work out.

8:05 AM: Must get up to do work out.

8:10-15 AM: I am not getting up to do the work out. Hit snooze again, and "daydream" about my next scene that I need to write. I seriously come up with the BEST scenes when halfway asleep.

8:40 AM: Alarm goes off again. Must. Get. Up.

9:17 AM: Showered, toast crammed in my mouth, jamming out to Walkin' On Sunshine! Yes, it's the morning dance routine. And yes, it's still as hideous as it was two weeks ago. Decide to do a live blogging post and remember what all happened this morning.

9:18 AM: Stepping away from the computer to go get ready for church! When I get back my writing game is ON!

10:17 AM: Squeeze in some words:

353/7,000 words

Now off to church!

1:27 PM: Back home from church and a not-so-quick drop at Wal-Mart. Going to make yummy chicken tacos and then novel: You're goin' down!!

3:01 PM: Ohkkay so my break might have taken longer than expected. I did watch the last new episode of Once Upon a Time, but I think that qualifies as "research", don't you? Glad to know you agree with me. I also took down my pumpkins outside since I do have my Christmas tree up. I'm not gonna lie, sad to see those goes:


3:54 PM: Ugh. My belly still feels ridicously full from my lunch. I want a nap.

1,237/7,000 words

5:16 PM: Sweet mother of pearl! I am tiirreedd!! But I did just "officially" bring Prince Easton into my story. He's evil. Like really evil, and I notice I keep having him threaten to kill people over and over again when he first meets Gabby. Could be why my word count skyrocketed there in the past hour. Hhmm, probably need to edit some of that part out, but alas, I must charge forward. All right muse, together now: Onward, march!

3,614/7,000 words

6:02 PM: So my MC who is named Gabby, but I don't like that name anymore and need to change it, has been kidnapped. To show her kidnapper aka Hot Evil Prince Easton that she will be quite the pain in the butt, she has started to sing 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall.  I think she might be getting herself gagged soon. Speaking of songs, I have somehow became obsessed with replaying this particular one by Puddle of Mudd. I think it's his voice. I mean LISTEN TO THAT INTRO! *melts into a puddle of goo* <--I really didn't mean to do a halfway pun there.

....I also have been spending entirely way too much time on Twitter and not really focusing on writing. Bad Amber! But I'm just gonna replay this song one.more.time.....

4,682/7,000 words 

8:01 PM: Umm so in all my excitement I kind of forgot to update this but at exactly 7:40 PM.......





Until next time kittens............

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNoWriMo Check-In! Who's still alive?

All day today I kept thinking it was the 15th, but silly me, it's the 16th which means everyone should be up to 26,666 words!!

So, where does that leave me?

Right here.

Or at 29,024 words. 

Before you go thinking on Day 6 I was some sort of amazing crazy writer - don't. While I would like you all to believe that I pumped out that much wordage in a day, I actually pumped out extra wordage leading up to Day 6 in different scenes that I had saved on another file. (Like at school during my lunch break.) So when I added what I hadn't put in the first 5 days, well it made it go way UP! 

I had a good few days where ideas were flowing and I was typing like mad! I even did word races with Canada (her word count is up in the 30K mark), which made me bust out about 5K in a 2.5 hour race. It was insanley awesome. Last Thursday the dreadful DIMB kicked in. What's DIMB you ask? It stands for Demon In Mah Belly. And no, that doesn't mean I'm with child. (But if I ever were to ever get pregnant I'm sure it would be a demon.) DIMB is a stomach disorder that I have that I obviously renamed. It has made me want to be on the couch, curled up, and watching all the lovely shows on my DVR all day and night. 

But today DIMB and I had a little chatty-chat. It's going to calm It's butt down before I shank it so I can get some more writing done tonight. 

If you happen to be on Twitter and would like to do some word races, feel free to send me a  message! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing advice from Roseanne.

Yesterday morning, around 3:25 AM to be exact, this lovely framed poster that hangs above my head decided it was time to come crashing down. Luckily, for my head's sake at least, it did not hit me. But it did jolt me awake, and make me believe I was living in Amytville Horror for about a minute. I wasn't able to go back to sleep for a long time so I turned on the TV, flipped through a million infomercials when I saw Roseanne was on.

I grew up on Roseanne.  Loved it back then and still love it today. This episode was the series finale that always makes me cry (and yes, I got teary eyed at 4:30 something AM over it). Now if you never saw the series finale I don't feel that bad "spoiling" it for you cause if you haven't seen it yet, I doubt you ever will.

Basically the series ended with Roseanne in her basement finishing the book she had been writing about her life aka the show. A lot of things she switched in the book like did you know Mark and Becky weren't actually together?! It was really Darlene and Mark. Becky was with David, but like any good mother she always thought that was strange so she switched their lives around. Oh, and also Dan really did die when he had his heart attack which made me bawl.

Re-watching that episode, the last few minutes where Roseanne is narrating, the following passage really stuck out to me:

....In choosing life, I realized that my dreams of being a writer wouldn't just come true; I had to do the work. And as I wrote about my life, I relived it, and whatever I didn't like, I rearranged. I made a commitment to finish my story even if I had to write in the basement in the middle of the night while everyone else was asleep. But the more I wrote, the more I understood myself and why I had made the choices I made, and that was the real jackpot. I learned that dreams don't work without action; I learned that no one could stop me but me. I learned that love is stronger than hate. And most important, I learned that God does exist. He and/or She is right inside you, underneath the pain, the sorrow, and the shame. I think I'll be a lot better now that this book is done.

For the past couple years I've lost a lot of things, and one of them was my drive for my dream. It's good to have that back, and that little passage above will be my push throughout this entire month as I charge through NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

If your characters had Facebook....

What would their status say?

I saw this on Twitter last month, and for the life of me I cannot remember what site did this. (Sorry un-credited site!)

It got me thinking (in class, of course) what would my characters say? So I picked four of my main characters from "Fairy Tale", jotted them down (aka saved the texts I sent to Cheryl), and wha-lah I'm making a post on it.

It was a fun little exercise, and if anyone decides to do it, put your link in the comments so I can go read!

Jesse: Stuck in a fairy tale realm. Please send clean underwear.

Mason: Went to the tavern last night, and woke up face down in a field missing my pants. Gingers. They get me every time.

Gabby: Just got kidnapped by the Prince of freaking Darkness. No, I'm not talking about Ozzy. Although, that would be pretty cool.

Easton: Idiots. I am constantly surrounded by idiots.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Live Blogging! A Day in the Life of NaNoWriMo....

I saw something on Let the Words Flow on how they did a live blogging day. Since Sunday's are the only days I have off, I thought it would be the best time to do it. My goal today is to write *drumroll* 7K to catch up on the last two days I've slacked!

7:10 AM - Wake up from drooling on one self. Stupid allergies. Look at clock (it says 8:10), curse my body for thinking this is sleeping in, and then remember it's day lights savings time so I can be lazy for a bit.

7:35 AM - Decide to eat breakfast and then go write before I need to start getting ready for church.

7:45 AM - 2 gluten-free waffles, turkey bacon, and a nice cup of coffee mixed with the tale end of various coffee creamers later I am back in bed watching Grey's Anatomy from Netflix.

8:15 AM - Could totally go write, but ya know it's Grey's.....

Word Count: 0/7000

9:00 AM - Pour second cup of coffee, jump in shower, start getting ready for church, and shake my bootay around to dance music. Glance in mirror realizing I am the whitest girl alive.

10:00 AM - Heading out to pick up sister for church, run by ATM, stop by gas station to get Sunday paper cause I am poor and coupons are amazing. MUST MUST write when I get out of church.

12:33 PM - Back home from church (awesome sermon, btw). Got Red Diamond tea poured and some lovely pineapple to much on AND NOW I AM GOING TO WRITE!!

12:43 PM - Okay, fine. Now I'm really writing. *turns off Facebook and Twitter*

1:29 PM - Did the ultimate NaNoWriMo sin and spent the past 40 minutes or more going over chapter one and editing things. WHAT?! I had to change things, dang it! My MC does boxing now. It needed to be added.

1:31 PM - Check e-mail to see Cheryl has sent me pictures of her characters. Swooning over her bad guy. Seriously people her story is going to be awesome.

1:32 PM - Diving back into story with All! New! Words!

2:41 PM - Ermmm may have done some laundry, texted a few friends, and read more e-mails from Cheryl in between writing. Heading to Sister's house to eat lunch and wondering why I ever thought live blogging for a 7K word count was a fun idea.

Word Count: 936/7000

4:16 PM - Back from Sister's. Food was yummy up in my tummy. Now to kick some major word count butt. *puts on warrior helmet*

5:02 PM - Realized my novel playlist is quite lame. Must add a few new songs to get my groove going.

Word Count:  2094/7000

5:38 PM - Downloaded most of the Enchanted soundtrack and "Sail". Now must write my MC about to get mugged in a fairy tale realm and then introduce Mason. *sighs* Oh, Mason.

6:20 PM - Holy sweet mother my eyes are going boggers. Need to take munchie break and stare at something else for 30 minutes.

Word Count: 4123/7000

7:18 PM - Oohhhkaaay so my break was a bit longer. Dang you, Grey's for sucking me in! And just ignore my little out cries on Twitter about knowing nothing of boxing (which my MC knows how to do), and how all my words are crap. Turning on The Princess and the Frog soundtrack via DisneyParkAudio on Youtube and I will finish this baby!

7:43 PM - Dudes. Soundtracks are quite possibly the best thing for me to EVER write along with. Seriously I am loving DisneyParkAudio like whoa. Right now it's Pirates of the Carribean soundtrack and I am amazed how it just seems to go along with what I'm doing. Must download many more soundtracks in the future.  Oh and Mason totally just clocked out some bandits that were trying to kidnap my MC Gabby and sell her off. Mason is the bomb dot com even if he is a thief himself.

8:11 PM - Been talking to Cheryl and Laura on Twitter. Probably shouldn't. #Distractions But ya know, we're writing talking so it's very important.

8:14 PM - My butt is asleep. My butt is asleep. I repeat my butt is asleep.

Word Count: 5789/7000

8:19 PM - The light at the end of the tunnel is close. SO VERY, VERY CLOSE!  I see you, you beautiful thing!

Word Count: 6325/7000

9:13 PM - *smacks her NaNoWriMo novel* Who's your Mommy now!? (Okay, I will never make that horrible remark ever again, but I am done.) DONE I TELL YOU, DONE!! Please bust our your drums as you read........

Total Word Count: 7256/7000

And only about 5K of it ISN'T crap! Boo-yah!!