Snapshot 11/30/19 // Stuffed From Stuffing (& Starving for Gingerbread)

Currently listening: “The Christmas Song“- Nat King Cole
Currently watching: Friends S10
Currently (re) reading: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Currently playing: Sims 4

November, November
you passed so fast
I want to remember
each memory to the last

November always goes by too fast for me. Thanksgiving, the bitter cold days seeping in, and the random warm days that trick you into believing summer will be back soon. Also, NaNoWriMo. This month always reminds me of writing and pumpkin bread and stuffing. Gosh, I love stuffing.

My November goals were:

  1. Write 25,000 words for my WIP. That was a failure, but a failure I am very proud of. By setting my goal to work on the story I found out exactly what was wrong with it and why I was struggling so much with it. It needed to be expanded upon. I need more information and to do more research (which I’m doing now). The original WIP I intended to write for NaNo was just a small cog in the machine of a trilogy that this story is turning into and I am so excited.
  2. Post at least 1 Living Life vignette again this month. I did do this one.
(smirk)

December goals (and candy canes, not coals):

  1. Research, research, research! I’m going to keep digging down deep into the black void of the internet for this new expanded WIP. If I don’t come back you know what happened lol.
  2. Post 2 Living Life vignettes this month. I think I can do this. So I’ll put it on here.
  3. Redesign my website a bit. I’ve been meaning to update somethings and move a few bits around. So, why not now. The present is always the best time to do something. That way it will look better for 2020 too.
  4. Play my violin more. I’ve been neglecting my beloved instrument because of work and laziness which is no excuse. I’m actively going to try to practice more this month.

Also can I just say I love Christmas so much. I’m just gonna throw that out there so be prepared for many holiday themed vignettes and poems. I’m warning you they. are. coming.

Also I had a great dream where I got to co-write a book with Maggie Stiefvater. I wish that would really happen omg. Just throwing that out there universe, if you are listening. I also got the opportunity to see Frozen 2 on its opening night. Let me just tell you guys I loved this movie so much. If you loved the first one you definitely need to see the second. It doesn’t try to upstage the first movie at all but continue it on, if that makes sense, and the music and growth of all the characters is just fantastic. (SPOILERS AHEAD) I loved the scene of Elsa fighting the Nokk and the song, Show Yourself, is also BEAUTIFUL. Elsa shows that she only needs herself to be complete and that is the absolute truth. Romance and partnership is perpetuated in society as something that we all need to feel “complete” and “loved” but all you really need to feel those things is to be yourself and love yourself. Just like Elsa, who knew she was different and fought it until she decided to accept herself and her powers and ultimately find the greatest happiness within herself. Olaf was also hilarious AF and who doesn’t love Anna and Kristof 😀 It is said so much but it really is true, just BE YOU. Unapologetically, wholly, wonderfully, unforgivably YOU. That is the way to achieve the greatest sense of peace. THANK YOU DISNEY<3

What I Read:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I… I loved this book. It was real, it was raw. I got SO attached to Alex and TOO attached to Darlington. Man. And Dawes, Dawes, Dawes and college me live on the same plane of existence. The magic was so real to me. The history and references in all of the tombs of the Ancient Eight, the privilege problem. My goodness this book. 100% worth the read and I can’t wait till the next. It’s not for everyone definitely (lots of heavy and traumatic topics are explored) but to me this book was excellent in how in handled everything. The right amount of dark side without becoming depressing and all this magic so grounded in reality. I- dang. Five stars, hands down.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I really enjoyed this book and all the magical realismness (is that a word?) with the personifications of the character’s darknesses, and how they overcame them. It’s an atmospheric, simple story with a very important lesson. When the characters’ darknesses manifest that is the first miracle, and the second miracle will occur when the character knows how to overcome their darknesses. The magical realism in this book is very well done. Maggie always does a great job in all her books of making magic seem touchable. Daniel was my favorite character but all of the cast was real and alive. I recommend reading it!
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. This is my favorite series of books of all time. This is my sixth read through of Clockwork Princess and it won’t be the last. We all have those books that we will never, ever grow tired of. No matter how many times we read them. The Infernal Devices are my books. What does Tessa say? “‘Words have the power to change us.‘” Yes, yes they do.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  1. Living Life vignettes
  2. Holiday poetry (joy to the world, you lucky lot lol)
  3. WIP snippets
  4. Monthly Snapshot! post

As promised last month here is a snippet from my WIP:

Rue scowled. “I don’t like you.”
“The feeling is mutual.” Evans replied.

Haha, yes short and sweet but I kept my promise 😉

Some posts I enjoyed this month:

My round up of November posts:

Bring on the holiday cheer December, you are the only think that is going to keep me going till summer is here again. I wish you all lots of hot chocolate, thoughtful presents, great company and happy holidays to come!!

How were all your Novembers? (Do they go by as fast as mine?) What are the books that you will never tire of (that are part of your soul)? I’d love to hear about them!

Till next time,

NaNoWriMo 2019: (mini) Update 3

November 17, 2019

Just a quick update! (Like fo’ real.) My research is coming along for my new project, this expanded version of WIP from my original NaNo 2019 novel, this year. I’m having a lot of fun with it and as I research I’m handwriting the notes. This helps my mind digest and engage with the material more, and from that comes ideas upon ideas upon ideas!

I have also been writing little snippets about the characters to get into their heads better. Just quick, short paragraphs that are fun to write and fun (for me at least) to read.

Hopefully when I get more of the details down I’ll be able to share a bit 🙂

(told ya it was quick!) How are all your NaNo novels coming?

Till next time,

NaNoWriMo 2019: Update 2

November 10, 2019

I reached 12,022 words. That is nearly to the halfway mark, when my goal was just to get 25K. Although, I still have a lot of work ahead of me. A lot more than you would think and I’ll explain.

This week as I came to reach the near middle of my goal for my story I realized something. About 12K in, I found it hard to write. I was struggling again to fill the space on what should happen next and most of my characters were falling flat. Some were jumping at me though from off the page (in my head at least) and trying to grab my attention. The problem I came to realize this week was that I was coming at my story from the wrong time in the plot. I needed to go back farther in time in order to fully give the this story its proper way of being told.

Also I needed to lighten it up a bit. It was getting pretty gritty and philosophical so I needed to tone that down immeasurably. But, I would not have realized all this without first attempting to write the story. So NaNo was not a loss in the least. But a win.

That 12K that I did write is also a win. Those words will hold a place, just a smaller, better paced space in the new draft. In order to write that new draft though I need to fall down into the research hole. I’ll still be writing everyday as I do the extra research but not as quickly as I was going. I’ll be doing character sketches because the original ones I had planned are either taking on a larger role or moving to a smaller one, all still important but in a better place for their stories to be told. I’ll also be doing some world building exercises to get a feel for the different vibe I want to go for. So not really traditional NaNo writing but still writing nonetheless and that is important.

I’m choosing to look at this as a win but when I first realized it I felt such a huge crushing despair. That was because I had already done so much work and now I had to start over again. Also because it was November now and everyone was writing their stories now. But that was the wrong way of looking at things and when I changed how I thought I felt so much better.

I’m still writing, just slower, and every step leads to making this story the best it can be. That’s something I’m proud of now and still will be when it’s finished.

Writing is hard. I knew that. Susan Dennard, an accomplished and published author, said it to me too. Every true writer knows. No matter how much you’ve achieved or experienced writing is still hard. But that is what makes it worth it. Let’s keep going guys!!! How are you NaNo novels coming?

Till next time,

NaNoWriMo 2019: Update 1

November 3, 2019

Another day done, another day done, another day bites the dust.

So, it is Day 3 of NaNoWriMo and…. I’m tired. Also, worried and hopeful and sad and happy and lost and also very cold ALL at the same time. So that’s something, right? Good? Maybe?

My project for this year is the same story I’ve been trying to sing for nearly three years now but finally I think I found a few of the right notes to turn this WIP into a finished song. (A lousy first draft of a song but STILL a song!) I’m determined and I won’t quit until I get it done. (It’s been three years and I still haven’t given up lol.) Metaphors aside, my goal this NaNo is to go for 25,000 words instead of the traditional 50K because from prior years experience I have never reached that goal. So this is much more realistic and attainable for me because, as I have learned through experience, I am a slow writer.

So far I’m at 5,008 words and honestly, I AM VERY PROUD OF MYSELF. I’m above my target word count and I just hope I continue with the momentum. In years past I usually die down at the middle of the month unfortunately and this year I’m hoping to counteract that. Starting out strong is a good indication so far. (Hopefully my curse will be broken!)

This is just a mini check-in since my posting is going to be sporadic throughout the month (because of NaNo) and my mood is going to be erratic throughout this month (because of NaNo). Crossing my fingers I’ll be in a pleasant state of mind to do more check-ins throughout November but no promises.

Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s it going so far? (Are you also a mess of emotions?)

Till next time,

The NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag!

NaNoWriMo is coming. (Oh, and winter too *wink,wink*)

It gives me legitimate chills (in anticipation… and in excitement!) to just even think about it. This will be my third year participating and thus far I have never succeeded in writing 50,000 words. Here’s to hoping this year will be different. For instance, I might be changing that word count to a more achievable number for me lol. In the long year since last year’s NaNo I have started to gain more understanding of myself as a writer and my process!

Thank you to the lovely Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for creating this tag and tagging me to participate in it! I’m definitely going to have fun with this so, without further ado shall we begin? ;D

Rules:

  1. Thank the awesome blogger who tagged you!
  2. Link back to the creator of this tag, Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner. (I want to hear about your NaNo novels!!)
  3. Feel free to use the NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag graphics!
  4. Answer the questions.
  5. Tag some friends who are also doing NaNo this year.
  6. And have fun!!!

Tell me about your NaNoWriMo project this year! Give me a blurb!

(I’m still in the process of mapping out the plot but here is a general idea about the story!)
Alice doesn’t understand how summer came to end so fast and school is right around the corner again. On her one and only vacation to the Boardwalk at the end of August, oblivious and distracted in her mind, she gets lost and ends up trapped in a vicious game where the only way out is to win. The Boardwalk is not all as it had first seemed when Alice finds herself ducking through seedy alleys, facing ghost stories, and taking on the thirteen challenges she needs to win. It is not going to be easy, especially, when their only purpose is to stop her and keep her soul trapped in the game with them forever…

What’s the genre?

YA, most assuredly, with a touches of fantasy. Also, like a lot of magical realism thrown in there.

Describe your MC in three words.

Imaginative, self deprecating and competitive AF.

Without spoilers, describe your villain in three words.

Reckless, lost and selfless.

What is your goal? (the traditional 50K? 20K? 5K? or……. 100K?)

In the two years past I participated I’ve never made it to 50K, despite my efforts, SO this year I’m going for hopefully a more realistic goal of 25K.

Is this your first draft? Second? Third?

I’ve written this story three times before and didn’t like how it turned out. This time after reworking it (again) this October (fourth time is the charm!) I like the direction it’s going in and hopefully I will bang that first draft out! I’m not giving up on the idea, I just needed the time to rework it into the best it can be and I’m getting there. Those other attempts weren’t a waste either because I found out what didn’t work, with some gems of really decent writing along the way that might make it into this draft.

Are you starting a new project (or draft), or continuing an existing one?

I guess you could say sort of continuing an existing one.

What is your favourite time to write in the day?

Ideally, the morning. Although, my records show I do a lot of night writing lol. This year I’m going to try to wake up earlier to write before work.

Where are you going to write?

More than likely at home. I might be tempted though to try getting out and working at either the library or my local coffee shop just to mix it up!

Computer or paper?

All my notes will be on paper, but I’m going to type the story on the computer.

NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment!! How are you going to make time to write?

I AM GOING TO WAKE UP EARLY.
(As if making that all in caps will give me the strength to get up earlier lol. I promise to try really hard universe so be kind to me.)

Are you going to participate in local or online NaNoWriMo events? (e.g. kick-off parties in your city, write-ins, virtual writing sprints…)

At this point, I don’t think I’m going to but never say never!

Do you write from beginning to end or skip around?

My head ideally likes to work from beginning to end, especially when I’m writing a first draft, that way it clearly follows how to get from Point A to Point B. That being said, as of late, I’ve been skipping around so who knows how this November is going to go? 😀

Planner or pantser? (or plantser?)

Plantser, 100%. A healthy dose of outlining so I have an idea of the beginning, middle and end. Then, an unhealthy dose of let’s just get writing and see what the heck happens.

What will be your go-to NaNoWriMo snack?

Chocolate in any way, shape or form. I’m looking at you mini Halloween candy variety bag.

Choice of caffeine? (or no caffeine?)

CAFFEINE, YES. COFFEE AND TEA AND ANYTHING IN BETWEEN.

Any rewards for milestone achievements? For finishing NaNoWriMo?

Infinite pride in myself till the year’s over for working hard and doing my best. Then, sleep.

Share a tip for other NaNo-ers!

You have to love the story you’re writing. Otherwise what’s the point? If you don’t love it, then probably no one else will either.
That’s why this story has taken me so long to get right. I wasn’t loving what I was writing but now I’m working it out so I do and want to get up early every day to write!

How are you feeling about NaNoWriMo? (Excited?! Nervous!? Terrified?!)

Terrified, 100%. (But doing it anyway!) Plus another 150% SUPER excited!! One step closer to getting my story out there in the world! 😀

Share an aesthetic for your NaNoWriMo novel!

(The photos above were found on Unsplash by Álvaro Serrano , Edgar Hernández , Daniel Monteiro , Thomas Dumortier , and Mishal Ibrahim . )

I tag anyone and everyone else who is doing NaNoWriMo and wants to participate in the tag!

Let’s get going writers! NaNoWriMo is nearly here! So have Needle at the ready (or like a pen or pencil or laptop… or sword because you never know) and let’s ACE this November. If you are participating I’d love to hear about the stories you’ll be writing in the comments below!!

Till next time,