Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camp NaNoWriMo

The August session of Camp NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. Elise and I are going for it. We were discussing tactics, and we think we're going to attempt a tougher daily quota than last time: instead of writing 1667 words per day combined, we're going to be writing 1667 words each. It may not sound impressive to you, but it most certainly is for us. And if we succeed, we'll end up with 100,000 words or more by the end of the month (instead of 50,000 - the NaNo goal).

In other words, if we succeed, we cold have a first draft of our first book before the end of this year! Woot woot!

I think that's a pretty ossum goal.

We're trying to get a little bit of a head start (NO, IT IS NOT CHEATING!), so we wrote part of a scene last night, and will hopefully work on it some more tonight. So far, we have just over 600 words. (Pitiful, I know. But we're working.)

Hopefully we can get our asses in gear by tomorrow.

I am both exhilarated and terrified by this challenge.

One thing we've decided is that we need to worry less and go with the flow more. Plot holes are okay in the first draft! Not every word needs to be perfection! We don't need to plan every breath our characters take, because we'll plan ourselves into corners. And frankly, I think all of the planning we've been doing has been taking some of the fun out of the actual writing, because we're worrying so darn much about being cohesive and whatnot.

Hopefully, in time, our villains will reveal themselves to us. We're having trouble figuring them out right now - what they really want and how they intend to get it. What's the final conflict/climax going to be? How do we move the story there? Will it flow naturally, or will we write in circles, like we did with parts of Two Captains? (Oh my giddy goodness, I hope not.)

Will we succeed this month? Only time will tell...


Writing is hard. Especially writing more better.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What did High School have that I don't?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much more productive Elise and I were in high school (as writers). What was it that made us write so hard for so long? Was it because we were avoiding schoolwork? Trying to tune out our teachers? Because we were forced to sit at a desk eight hours a day and needed something to occupy our over-active imaginations? What did we have then that we don't have now?

It's certainly not time. I have all the time in the world to write. I just...don't. I couldn't tell you why, except to say that writing seems so much harder than it used to be. Probably because we're waaaaaay more concerned about rooting out and closing up plot-holes than we used to be. We're trying to make things more cohesive and whatnot.

Also, focusing is hard. Easy access to the internet is to blame for that.

I'm tired of making excuses for not writing, and I'm tired of repeating the mantra "Writers write!" and then stepping back, taking a look at my writing habits, and thinking to myself: Well, I must not be a writer, then. BAH! I want to be a writer! I want to publish books!

So I guess, as always, I need to write.

Blast it all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Well, Elise and I have finally made use of that wonderful program called Skype, and a lot of brianstorming (or brainstorming, if you prefer) got done because of it. And we're going to do it again tomorrow, and possibly even the next night and the one after that. There's a chance we'll participate in this August's Camp NaNoWriMo (a very good one) and actually get this whole book-thing moving again.

Actually thinking about getting this thing really rolling, and - eventually - finished is a very exhilarating, terrifying thought. After all those ideas have spilled out onto the page, will new ones replace them? Or will I be one of those one-story people? I worry about that sometimes. But I suppose, if that's the way it is, then that's the way it is. ...although I have had one or two others knocking about. It's just that I've been so focused on this big story that I haven't spent time developing them.

Either way, we'll cross that bridge when it comes.

In other news, my husband is suddenly obsessed with the apparent threat of solar storms in the next few years. Apparently such a storm would knock out all electricity. Not just knock it out, but fry all of our systems. It would take decades to fix. Decades.

So now he's pricing out a disaster kit, making up scenarios and plans about what we'd do (and need) to survive in such a situation. Obviously his main worry is that he'll be out on a deployment, on a ship, when it happens, and be unable to help me. (And be far away from the action.) My main concern is not having a nervous breakdown just thinking about the possibility of having to deal with what would basically be a post-apocalyptic situation.

I'm not a lover of that type of thing. I don't want the world to end in my lifetime, and if it does, I'm not entirely certain I'd want to survive it. (I dunno, though. I hate the idea of dying too.) So...I'm hoping this whole solar storm thing is a load of bunk, like Y2K or that end-of-the-world thing that happened this spring.

I guess we'll see.

Beyond that, I don't have much for you. It was a busy week with my sister here, but I'm not really in the mood to go into detail about the whole thing. It was a lot of sightseeing, some culinary adventures (including me becoming somewhat ambivalent about sushi, rather than full-on hating it), and a 2-hour harbor cruise, in which we saw a gray whale. Want more details?

For now, I must get to sleep.

Good night, all.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

May the Fourth Be With You

This Fourth of July, I got to watch six sets of simultaneous fireworks (four of which were identical, two of which were far in the distance...but still) over the San Diego harbor, the glittering skyline of the city itself as a backdrop. My husband and I wrestled a funnelcake with flimsy plastic forks, getting whipped cream and powdered sugar all over ourselves. A medley of Katy Perry's "Firework," and several other fireworky-patriotic-type songs played in the background. It was a pretty good Fourth.

Here's a clip, taken on my phone (which explains the poor quality):

In other news, my older sister will be arriving in San Diego this Friday night, to stay until the 18th. We'll get to see all the sights, the last *sob* Harry Potter movie, and possibly even the fourth Pirates movie, if the fancy takes us. Needless to say, I am SUPER EXCITED.

Currently, I'm vegging in my living room with my husband, watching Hook and feeling a variation of the antsy-ness that has been plaguing me for the last month. I need to do something. Some craft or project or something. Writing is at a dead stop, I've got no job, and schooling is out of the question at the moment. Tomorrow I'll be working on cleaning, and Thursday and Friday too, I guess. So that's something.

I should try to write a random tidbit of something, just to... I dunno. Work out my mind or something. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Despite the "blahs," life is pretty good lately. I have nothing to whine about.

And yet I whine.

C'est la me.

EDIT: I did something productive: I drewd another picture.

TA-DAH!!! The eyes are crooked, but after five attempts to fix them, I gave up. Sometimes people have crooked eyes, and that's just the way it is. So there.

Friday, July 1, 2011

On the Fridge

The idea behind my post today is kind of random, but I suppose it makes sense. Just bear with me, and if I'm boring you, go away. Nobody wanted your opinion anyway.

As I was sitting here, trying to think of an idea for an entry that was not either a) depressing, or b) whiny, or c) A and B combined, I took a good look at the side of my refrigerator. Since I'm sitting at the dining room table, it's not unreasonable that I would be doing this - it's right across from me. But anyway... if someone who didn't know me took a look at my refrigerator, they'd just see a hodge-podge of crap and clutter (albeit very brightly-colored crap and clutter). But for someone who does know me (and, I suppose, Mark), they'd see a number of insights to our lives, interests, inside jokes and whatnot.

Just look... (It's a crappy, blurry picture, but look anyway, darn you!)

For instance, you'll notice one or two dinosaur-related magnets and pictures. Those are because of my husband, who - one day, out of the blue - made my sister and I bust into hysterics with the following words: "You know what I'm thinking about? ...Dinosaurs." (Once or twice, I have found him in what appeared to be a deeply depressed funk. When asked what was the matter, he has responded with, "I'm just really sad that I'll never get to see an actual dinosaur.") Yes. He is a nerd. My older sister and I often gift him with dinosaur memorabilia now. Thus, the dinosaur magnets/picture.

"KARAS SMASH WORDZ" is an inside joke with Mark and some of his Navy buddies, involving a strange individual named - you guessed it - Karas. Even I'm not sure the what the whole story is behind that one, but I leave it up because it makes them smile whenever they come to visit.

There are several state magnets - mementos from a few of the states my Mom and I had to drive through as we made our way out to sunny California.

"Pirate Girls Kick Butt" - fans of Two Captains could easily tell you why I have that. :)

"Can I Have the Last Life Vest?" is from a book of comedy post cards called Asking Awkward Questions With Baby Animals. It's the sequel to another book entitled Breaking Bad News With Baby Animals. My older sister and I like to send them back and forth. If you could look at the back of the postcard, you'd see the caption my sister added - "You can swim, right?"    (I miss her. Thank god she's coming to visit next week!)

I love the TV show The Office, as you might be able to guess from some of the other magnets.

"Marzipan aka Marissa" is my loverly cousin, who is pictured with her impish little brother, David Joel further up on the fridge.

And last, but not least, is my favorite picture EVAR of Elise and I.

I have no idea if any of this is boring. I just felt like giving you all a tour of my refrigerator. (Who ever guessed it could be such a personal, life-affirming experience!?) Consider yourself lucky, because usually only people who are in my apartment get to see that. And my apartment is like my secret lair. Only my closet confidantes - and whoever Mark decides to invite over - ever get to see inside it. (Oh, and everyone I'm friends with on FB, since I posted many pictures of it.) Still... you're so very, very lucky.

And...yeah. That's all, I guess.

Have an ossum Fourth of July, e'erbody!