Dec 31, 2012

Metempirical Monday

metempirical ~ beyond the scope of knowledge

Is anyone else out there messed up because of the holidays? What's up with this "work a day, have a couple of days off, work a couple of days, have another couple of days off"? It's very confusing!

In any case, my days are totally messed up. My weekend definitely did not go as planned. Saturday felt like Sunday because my family and I drove up to Hamilton, in a snowstorm, to visit my sister and her family. We spent more time travelling that we did visiting. The driving was pretty hairy. Thankfully, I didn't have to do any of it. :-)

I don't know what yesterday felt like, but for some unknown reason I got the urge to organize my craft closet so I spent the afternoon and part of the evening plugging away at that. Hopefully I'll get it finished today. This is a huge storage closet and it's jam-packed with craft supplies - mostly wool and fabric. I will be posting pictures on Facebook when it's finished.

I had actually planned to have my list of goals for 2013 done for today, but as I said I got my days messed up and then I got distracted by the closet. (Did I mention it's a big closet?) So I'll be doing the New Year's goals post tomorrow. You know, on New Year's.

Something else I'd planned for today . . . I'm planning to rename and revamp Random Writings and use it as my main blog. Probably for this week I will post duplicate posts on Random Thoughts, but after this week the only new posts on Random Thoughts will be the installments of Water for those of you who've subscribed to the posts. Don't worry, I'll make sure I leave a message pinned to the top of Random Thoughts explaining what's going on, and I'll include a link to Random Writings in case you need one.

Oh! And just because it's been a long time since I've had a good, old fashioned rant, I have one for this holiday season. Why do all these TV channels have marathons of shows no one wants to watch? Two weeks of marathons and the only ones worth watching were Doctor Who, the Big Bang Theory, and Star Trek: TNG. Even the movies on TV are the same ones over and over again. A little variety, if you please! /end rant. :-)

What I'll Be Up to This Week:

Tuesday: Goals for 2013
Wednesday: Hump Day Hunk
Thursday: Chapter 47 of Water
Friday: I have no clue. What can I say? It's 3 a.m. as I'm writing this (I remembered I need a post for Monday just as I was turning in).

Maybe I'll do a post about my craft closet on Friday. I'm documenting it on film, just as a reminder to never let the closet get that messy again. And to impress everyone with my organizational skills. LOL

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

Dec 28, 2012

2012 Wrap-up

As we come to the close of another year it's time for my annual wrap-up post. I don't believe in resolutions, I believe in goals. Resolutions are too easy to break. But a goal is something to strive for and as long as you move towards it you have a win.

In 2011 I had a list of 7 goals and managed to meet 5 out of 7 of those goals. Last year I had 10 goals and if you count part marks, I made . . . um . . . 2 1/4 of my goals. Pretty poor performance overall. So where did I go wrong?

Let's have a recap of last year's goals and then we'll take them one by one.

1. Organize my days
2. Publish three books
3. Get more involved with the business of publishing
4. Do more self-promotion
5. Find a writing schedule I can live with and stick to it
6. Websites
7. Eat healthier
8. Exercise more
9. Crafts
10. Read a better variety of books

1. Organize my days
With the help of Organizational Queen Jamie DeBree I did make a start on this in the fall. She worked out a starting point for me and I started to refine it, but before I could really get in the scheduled groove I fell off the wagon when NaNo time arrived. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I give myself a quarter mark here because at best I was organized for all of three months.

2. Publish three books
The books I listed in last year's list were: An Elemental Fire; the Faery Heart; and Shades of Errol Flynn. I got An Elemental Fire published, forgot all about the Faery Heart, and although Shades of Errol Flynn (which has been renamed) is finished, it still needs to be edited so it'll be another couple of months yet. It ran much longer than I thought it would - at times I thought it would be the story that never ends! I give myself a half mark for this goal. :-)

3. Get more involved with the business of publishing
Yeah, this was pretty much a failed goal. I dabbled a bit, bookmarked some sites . . . I can't in good consciousness give myself any kind of a mark here.

4. Do more self-promotion
This one didn't happen either. I suck at self-promotion.

5. Find a writing schedule I can live with and stick to it
This one kind of goes hand in hand with number one, but I also intended on setting a daily word goal for myself and to pick a non-serialized project and work on it until it was finished. Another utter failure. My writing is sporadic at best and the only things I've finished are really short stories. Think flash or less.

6. Websites
It may surprise you to learn I have a business website. Well, I had a business website. I really dragged my heels on this 'cause I kept changing my mind on what I wanted on it. So another fail here.

7. Eat healthier
I was diagnosed with diabetes more than a year ago, and I'll be the first to admit I'm a bad diabetic. I try to eat properly, but food that's bad for me tastes so much better! And then over the holidays I started staying up later, which meant I was sleeping in, so I was skipping breakfast. I'm giving myself a half point here 'cause I did try.

8. Exercise more
Last winter was mild enough that I was able to walk most days, but the summer was so hot that I kind of fell off the walking wagon. In the fall I lost my walking buddy and then due to other health reasons outdoor walking was no longer the best option for me so I switched to the stationary bike for a while, but even that petered out. So I get a half mark for my half-hearted attempt here.

9. Crafts
As I pointed out on last year's list, I have a crap load of craft supplies and the goal was to start using them. *sigh* Other than Christmas crafts, this was pretty much a fail too. No points here 'cause I only worked on them for a couple of weeks.

10. Read a better variety of books
Darn! I thought I did better here, but I specified I had to read at least one classic book a month and one non-fiction book every two months. I read maybe two classics and one non-fiction book. Two if you count a book of poetry I read. So no points here either.

And there you have it. Add them up and I have a grand total of 2 1/4 marks. Looking back at my lack of success I only have myself to blame really. If I had worked a little harder on the organizational thing, it would have helped all but the eating healthier. And even then, part of eating healthy is to eat on a regular basis.

So while last year was disappointing in many ways, I'm not discouraged. There's always next year. And next year just happens to be only a few days away. Monday I'll be posting my goals for the New Year - check back to see if they've changed. ;-)

Dec 26, 2012

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone is having a happy and safe holiday. Just to share the love, here's a trio of my favourite Christmas songs by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Christmas in Sarajevo

Christmas Canon

Wizards In Winter

Dec 24, 2012

Merry Monday

merry ~ full of high spirited gaiety, jolly

Well, we didn't meet a fiery end on Friday, so it looks like once again Christmas is saved. :-)

My winter solstice end of the world cookie exchange went well on Friday. I had just a few of my writing friends over but there were many, many cookies. Yum! And for a change my cookie press decided to co-operate so I made an enormous batch of spritz cookies.

We finished up the Christmas shopping on Saturday, and in the morning/early afternoon my daughter and I did our traditional Christmas crafts. Ever since she was little we've taken a day to do a new Christmas ornament for our tree. Now that she has her own tree we have to do twice as many. :-)

I thought about taking the whole week off of blogging, but I have a couple of more things I want to post this week. But for sure it'll be a shortened up week.

What’s Up This Week on both blogs:

Tuesday I will be posting the last of my Christmas videos - my absolute favourites from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Wednesday I will be posting an extra Christmasy hunk. ;-)

Thursday I will be taking a rest, which I'm sure I'll need by then.

Friday I will be posting my yearly wrap-up.

And now, because it's Christmas Eve, I give you my own version of T'was the Night Before Christmas (aka, A Visit From St. Nicholas):

A Visit From the Computer Tech

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, just the optical mouse;
The cords were all strung to the PC with care
In hopes the technician soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of interwebs danced in their heads;
The wife couldn’t take any more of this crap
So she went to bed while I took a nap.
When there on the screen there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the keyboard I flew like a flash,
Grabbed up the mouse and gave it a bash.
The monitor gleamed with a brilliant blue glow
Seeming to mock me as I lowly moaned, “No!”
And what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a security warning that made my eyes tear.
With an attack on my drivers, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment my computer was sick.
More rapid than eagles the popups they came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now Trojan, now Wormy, now BankerFox vixen!
A technician’s coming, my computer he’s fixin’.
By installing protection ,a blocker, a wall!
And then he’ll delete you, delete one and all!”
And then, in a twinkling, I heard it once more,
A van pulling up, then a knock on the door.
I opened the door with a feeling profound,
And into the house came the tech with a bound.
He was dressed all in blue from his head to his toe
And his jacket was covered with a sprinkling of snow.
A box full of tools was grasped in his hand
And he looked like an angel, come down to land.
His eyes, they were bloodshot, his face was unshaven
From his pocket he pulled a business card graven.
He was balding and old, and I was put right at ease,
And I said to him, “Sir, this way, if you please.”
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And in a few moments pulled the plug with a jerk.
“The mother board’s fried,” he said, shaking his head.
“And the rest of your hard drive looks like it’s dead.”
Then he packed up the tower and picked up his tools
“Gotta watch these old ‘puters, they’re stubborn as mules.”
He walked to his van, my computer in hand
And I had to admit, this did not go as planned.
And I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, no more surfing to-night.”

Dec 21, 2012

5 Days to Christmas!

It's getting down to crunch time - are you ready for Christmas? Here's a few of my favourite Christmas songs to get you in the mood.

The Little Drummer Boy – Bowie and Crosby (one of my all time favourite Christmas videos)

Mistletoe and Holly – Frank Sinatra

The First Noel - Celtic Woman

O Holy Night – Nat King Cole
I was disappointed I couldn't find a video of Nat King Cole singing this, but at least you get to hear his angelic voice.

Dec 18, 2012

Humour For Tuesday

Today's humour is dedicated to all you programmers out there. And you Poe fans too. :-)

No, I didn't write this and unfortunately the website I originally found this on is now defunct so I can't credit the genius who did come up with this. It's a little dated - kids today probably don't even know what a floppy disk is - and I'm sure I've shared this before, but it still tickles my funny bone.

Poe on the PC

Once upon a midnight dreary,
Fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high
and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets.
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand,
I then invoked the SAVE command;
But got instead a reprimand:
It read, “Abort, Retry, Ignore.”

Was this some occult illusion?
Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices Solomon
had never faced before.
Carefully I weighed the options,
These three seemed to be the top ones,
Clearly, I must now adopt one:
Choose Abort, Retry, Ignore.

With my fingers pale and trembling,
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending,
hoping all would be restored.
Praying for some guarantee
Finally I pressed a key –
But on the screen what did I see?
Again: Abort, Retry, Ignore.

I tried to catch the chips off guard –
I pressed again, but twice as hard,
Luck was just not in the cards.
I saw what I had seen before.
Now I typed in desperation,
Trying random combinations.
Still there came the incantation:
Choose Abort, Retry, Ignore.

There I sat, distraught, exhausted,
By my own machine accosted.
Getting up I turned away
and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw an awful sight:
A bold and blinding flash of light –
A lightning bolt had cut the night
and shook me to my very core.
I saw the screen collapse and die.
“NO, NO, my database!” I cried.
I thought I heard a voice reply,
“You’ll see your data NEVERMORE!”

To this day I do not know
The place to which lost data goes.
I bet it goes to heaven where
the angels have it stored.
But as for productivity, well . . .
I fear that it goes straight to hell.
And that is the tale I have to tell.
Your choice:

Dec 17, 2012

Magianism Monday

magianism ~ teachings or philosophy of the magi

Are you ready for Christmas? It's coming whether you like it or not!

I decided to cheat on my Christmas baking this year. I sent out invitations for a cookie exchange. That way I only have to bake one really big batch of cookies but I'll end up with a bunch of different kinds. :-) Being diabetic I really shouldn't be eating them anyway, and we don't really do entertaining over the holidays, so a cookie exchange is the perfect solution.

Today the tree is going up, come Hell or high water. Oh, don't judge me! I was sick most of last week so I didn't get much of anything done. I did watch a fair number of those smarmy Christmas movies and I read a book or two on my Kindle . . . and I napped a lot. ;-)

We've had a couple of cold days, but no snow to speak of. We did get a crap load of rain though. It's mid December. Where's my freaking snow! As I was typing this at 2 a.m. last night, it was 7 C (45 F). Not exactly snow weather. Although we are supposed to get a mix of rain and snow for the apocalypse Friday and if we're still around on Saturday it's going to be cold enough for snow that sticks.

Are you ready for the apocalypse? And have you seen the lengths some people have gone to so they can survive the apocalypse if it happens? I've been browsing through a few of these "preparing for the apocalypse" sites and the most interesting thing I've learned is that nondairy creamer (the stuff for your coffee) will explode upon contact with a spark. The things you learn on the internet!

This week I'll be baking spritz cookies for the cookie exchange ('cause they're my favourite) and maybe a couple of other varieties just in case no one shows up for the cookie exchange. ;-) And I have to make gingerbread 'cause it's so yummy (the actual bread, not the cookie - gingerbread cookies are only fun to make if you have kids around to decorate them).

I have a few Christmas crafts to finish up . . . decorations for the tree mostly. I have a Christmas wreathe I started a few years ago that has a stuffed reindeer head sticking out of it, but even if I get it finished I have no idea where I'd put it. It's fabric, so I don't want to put it on the front door with all the rain we've been having.

What’s Up This Week:
The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On both blogs I will find something humorous to post. Maybe a couple of somethings. :-)

Wednesday (on Random Writings) I'll be posting the chapter links of the draft version of Shades of Errol Flynn for the last time, so catch up before it's gone. On Random Thoughts there’ll be a Christmasy hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday Chapter 46 of Water. I fooled you last week, didn't I? But Dr. Arjun is still very much in charge so every once in awhile he has to have his say. But things are going to be seriously heating up for Taja and Ravi before Operation Retrieval goes into effect.

Friday on both blogs there will be more Christmas music videos. :-)

Dec 14, 2012

12 Days Until Christmas

Are you ready? I'm sure not.

Could we put off Christmas for another month or so? Pretty please?

We still don't have any snow, and the temperature's been kind of up and down lately. I refuse to put the flannel sheets on the bed until the temperature hovers around zero for at least five days in a row. Every time I even think of breaking out the flannel the temperature goes up again. So far we've had one minor brush with freezing rain, but no snow.

Bah! Humbug!

However, despite flu bugs and sinus attacks and lack of snow, I am starting to feel just a smidgeon of the Christmas spirit. So today's Christmas music videos will be half humorous and half serious. Hope you like them. :-)

I Am Santa Claus

Achmed the Dead Terrorist - Jingle Bombs

Faith Hill – Where Are you Christmas

Carol of the Bells – Celtic Woman

Silent Night – Elvis

Dec 11, 2012

Humour For Tuesday

This is an oldie but a goodie and came to me from my son-in-law, via email. :-)

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Now that's more like it!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.(Creepy)
(I'm still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
(Dont try this at home - at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
(Honey, I'm home . What the...?)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. That's like a human jumping the length of a football field.
(30 minutes.. Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 ! times a day.
(I still can't believe that pig ....quality over quantity.)

Butterflies taste with their feet.
(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. (Hmmmmmm........)

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.
(If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
(Okay, so that would be a good thing.)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.
(I wonder how much the government paid to figure that out..)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like t hat.)

Starfish have no brains.
(I know some people like that, too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
(What about that pig? Do the dolphins know about the pig?)

Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread these crazy facts and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to, maybe even a chuckle.

In other words, send it to everyone!

(and God love that pig!!!!!)

Dec 10, 2012

Multitarian Monday

multitarian ~ having many forms but one central essence

Bah! Humbug!

Still no sign of my Christmas spirit, although the holiday depression is in full swing. We did knock off a bunch of our Christmas shopping on the weekend and we're going to need to get our out-of-town parcels sent this week. I found one item I've been searching for for weeks, but I can't tell you what it is because it's for someone who reads this blog. :-)

I have one batch of cookies done, and I have a date to do Christmas crafts one day this week. I've broken out the Christmas music and I might have to break down and get the Christmas tree up this week. Maybe. Just one good snowfall is all it will really take to jumpstart my Christmas spirit.

It almost turned into winter - we had freezing rain yesterday but today it's warmed up and we're getting un-frozen rain. Environment Canada still insists this winter is going to be more typical than last year, but I've yet to see it. The temperature is supposed to be up and down like a yo-yo this week but at least they're calling for a couple of sunny days *knock wood*. If it won't snow it might as well be sunny!

My big project for last week was updating my Goodreads account. I've read 65 of the 75 books I pledged to read this year, although Goodreads believes I've only read 59. But in any case, I can add four more books to the list - an anthology I wasn't impressed with, and the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Other than a bunch of reading I didn't do too much last week. I did go on a crocheting binge on Sunday . . . snowflake bookmarks to give to my friends in my writer's group (we have a meeting tonight).

Ironically, I got a letter from my sister on Friday telling me she gets a pain in her neck and shoulder if she knits/crochets too much and darned if the same thing didn't happen to me Sunday night. Like migraines aren't bad enough - I have to get pain elsewhere too.

As far as getting back to a healthier lifestyle . . . it's a lot easier to get back in the habit of eating healthier than it is to exercise. I get up to feed the cats in the morning and I take one look at the wet, miserable weather we've been getting and I'd just as soon go back to bed as exercise. But one of these days . . . I just need to do it without thinking about it. :-)

What’s Up This Week:
The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On both blogs I will find something humorous to post. Maybe a couple of somethings. :-)

Wednesday (on Random Writings) I'll continue to post the chapter links for Shades of Errol Flynn so you can catch up before it's gone. On Random Thoughts there’ll be a Christmasy hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday Chapter 45 of Water. Hmm . . . just what was on that data cube Taja passed to Ravi? And what's he going to do about it?

Friday on both blogs there will be more Christmas music videos. :-)

Dec 7, 2012

Eighteen Days Until Christmas

So . . . it’s the holiday season, but I don’t have my tree up, I haven't started my baking, and there’s no snow on the ground. We’ve had lots of rain though. And yesterday it tried to snow. But now it’s warmed up again and we’re supposed to get rain for the next four days. So I’m going to start off my traditional holiday music series with a few of my favourite Christmas songs that seem appropriate for the current state of my Christmas Spirit. :-)

12 Pains of Christmas

White Trash Christmas

Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire

Dec 5, 2012

Hump Day Hunk

I think he needs some help with his massive . . . candy cane. What do you think? ;-)

Dec 4, 2012

Humour For Tuesday

Okay, I stole this from a site called Bookgasm. I'm giving you the LINK to the original post because it's pretty long (there are 50 reasons in the original) that I've taken the liberty of only posting my top 30 favorites.

30 Reasons No One Wants to Publish Your First Book
Author: Allan Mott

1. Being innovative doesn’t justify writing a Civil War epic entirely in texting slang and emoticons: “ts u hor! i dnt gv dam :< !”

2. There’s this thing called punctuation. You might want to look into it.

3. Where are the vampires?

4. No, seriously, where are the vampires?

5. The world isn’t quite ready for an illustrated children’s book called SOME MOMMIES ARE INTERNET PORNSTARS: “Mommy and Daddy’s door is always locked and your online access is completely blocked! You asked them why and they say, ‘Don’t worry, honey, we’ve just found a fun new way to earn some money!’”

6. Submitting a manuscript handwritten in your own blood does indicate your passion for the material, but not quite in the way you might have hoped.

7. Iambic pentameter? Really?

8. It’s not technically a novel until you’ve written it down first.

9. Yes, enclosing a bag of flour along with your manuscript and causing an anthrax scare will get people’s attention, but it’s the wrong kind of attention.

10. You’re not just being paranoid; there really is a vast corporate conspiracy to ensure that your revolutionary ideas never leave your parents’ basement.

11. Most good books aren’t created with the sole hope that they might someday be adapted into a Martin Lawrence movie.

12. You’re actually the 139th person to submit a conspiracy thriller involving the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, entitled THE MICHAELANGELO CIPHER.

13. And the 78th to submit a chick-lit manuscript about an attractive woman’s sweet tooth and affection for footwear, called CHOCOLATE AND SHOES.

14. You know the part where the protagonist stuffs those puppies into the wood chipper? It’s not quite as funny as you seem to think.

15. A young-adult novel set in the behind-the-scenes world of network reality television featuring over two dozen characters, graphic underage sex and dead prostitutes? Are you fucking kidding me? No, seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

16. You know the talented creative writing professor who told you your work showed so much creativity and promise? Turns out what he really meant was that he wanted you to blow him.

17. Because they threw away their annual budget on the new Lindsay Lohan autobiography, BOOKS ARE RETARDED.

18. Everyone who attempts to load a copy of the manuscript onto their Kindle is found dead three hours later.

19. There’s a fine line between writing authentic regional dialogue and making all of your characters sound like stroke victims.

20. Just be thankful they refused to publish it, since the common accepted response to a novel that ends with the protagonist realizing all the terrible things that happened were in a dream (or was it?) is some stern re-editing of your face with a pair of brass knuckles.

21. Writing a book about vegetarian zombies kinda indicates you don’t exactly know why people like zombies in the first place.

22. God may have told you to write this book, but he didn’t tell you how to give it a decent ending.

23. You may want to revise the query letter you’re sending to agents so it’s more about the book and less about how much you love kittens.

24. For the first 20 pages, everyone who reads it is certain it’s the funniest book they’ve ever read. Unfortunately by the 21st, they finally realize you’re actually being serious.

25. It’s never a good sign when a manuscript’s first sentence is “’Are luck’s run out,’ said the Princess, ‘there unicorns are to fast!’”

26. When writing erotica, you want to avoid graphic descriptions of acne, cellulite and back fat.

27. Life-affirming poetry written by a 10-year-old with a fatal disease is inspirational; that same poetry written by a 47-year-old housewife with a trick knee and occasional indigestion is really, really lame.

28. If you’re going to make your main character a forensic coroner, you’re obligated to know more about human anatomy than what you learned playing Operation as a kid.

29. A general rule to follow when writing for kids: If you could go to jail for saying it to them in person, you’re better off not putting it into print.

30. Historically, books written solely to settle a bar bet seldom make it to print, especially if they were written during a seven-and-a-half-hour period in the same bar where the bet was made.

Dec 3, 2012

Morioplasty Monday

morioplasty restoration of lost parts of the body

Wow, it's December. How in the world did that happen? You sure couldn't tell by the weather. It's warm and rainy. It doesn't exactly put me in a Christmasy mood.

As you can see by the word count widget to your left, I did manage to make a come-back and crossed the NaNo finish line with a couple hundred words to spare. Unfortunately, the novel itself is far from finished, but I can take my time with it now.

If I had to sum up this year's NaNo in one word, that word would be stress. I don't know if was the insanely long span of grey miserable weather, the fact that I was writing in a linear fashion instead of jumping around like my previous NaNos, or the fact I was writing the sequel to a book that wasn't quite finished yet, but this was the most stressful NaNo ever.

As the month progressed and I found myself falling further behind, I found myself cutting more and more things out of my life - something I didn't have to do in previous NaNos. By the final week my husband was lucky he got supper on his bowling nights - the rest of the week he got to make supper. E-mails went unanswered, Facebook was ignored, even the puppies and kittens on the web cams went unviewed.

Which is why I'm doing a bare bones blogging for the month of December. I'm not doing book reviews, but I will be taking the time to get some reading in. I will not be doing poetry posts, although I may post my Night Before Christmas parody at some point. I will not be posting any flash fiction.

What I will be doing is a modified blog schedule with re-postings, seasonal postings, and yes, I will be continuing with Water.

What I will be using my break time for is to de-stress, catch up on my e-mail and blog readings, get my diet and exercise back on track, and maybe even a few mundane things like crochetting and Christmas crafts and baking. Oh, and editing. Lots and lots of editing. For me there's no better way to de-stress than editing. ;-)

I've already started the de-stressing process by being a lazy couch potato (or perhaps that should be chair turnip since I spent most of it in my easy chair) this past weekend. I read Forests of the Heart, by Charles de Lint (which I highly recommend to any one who enjoys urban fantasy, fantasy, or just a damn good book) and I've just started Fifty Shades of Grey (which I'm not impressed with so far).

There's something else for me to do during my break - get my Goodreads updated. Now there's a scary thought! :-)

What’s Up This Week:
The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On both blogs I will find something humorous to post.

Wednesday (on Random Writings) I'll continue to post the chapter links for Shades of Errol Flynn so you can catch up before it's gone. On Random Thoughts there’ll be a Christmasy hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday Chapter 44 of Water in which I have no idea what will happen 'cause I have no idea where I left off. ;-)

Friday on both blogs there will be a Christmasy post. Perhaps with music videos. :-)

Dec 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 - Wrap Up

Happy first day of December. For thousands of us, that means finally being able to give our keyboards a rest. I don't know how many people signed up for or completed NaNo this year, but there were over three billion words written in the month of November. That's a heck of a lot of words.

But now we can go back to reading a book, or watching TV, or even just come out of our caves to join the world again without feeling guilty. NaNoWriMo is over!

As you may or may not know, this is not my first NaNo win. I actually wasn't even going to do NaNo this year, but I'd talked a few of the ladies from my writer's group into giving it a try, even going so far as to giving a NaNo info session at the library and talking them into giving us a couple of write-ins, so I pretty much had to participate.

So let's start by re-capping my previous NaNo wins:

The first time I won was amazing. After years of writing (mostly poetry, short stories and articles) I had not only finished a novel, I did it in 30 days. Ironically, I almost didn't try. For the two weeks prior to November I wasn't able to write a word. Then November 1st a name popped into my head - Treasure Beaumont. Then her story, called Forever and For Always started just spilling out onto my keyboard.

The second time I won was even more amazing. Not only had I finished another novel and within the 30 days, it wasn’t going to require nearly as much editing. This one is called The Faery Heart, but it too is still waiting on my hard drive.

The third year was interesting. I had my idea well in advance – I knew the characters and the story, I even knew the setting. And then at the last minute I was seduced by a shiny new idea. 12,000 words into it, I discovered that not all ideas are suited to NaNo, so after taking a day to think about it, I scrapped it and started from scratch again. I won NaNo with my original idea, Quest of the Valkyrie, and did not even need to include the 12,000 words from the story I started with.

The fourth year I again thought I'd give NaNo a pass. I already had three not-quite-finished novels and I wasn't really sure I had the time. But somehow or other I found myself sitting down at the keyboard on November 1st and not stopping until I reached my 50,000 words. This one was called Fire and Ice.

Which brings us to this year. I have to admit it, my heart just wasn't in it this year. I'd had a massive overdose of grey, miserable weather and was feeling depressed and unmotivated. I started out strong, the first four days I was ahead of the game, but then I had to really struggle for my word count. I had six days with no word count at all. By the second week I was behind by 7,000 words and I stayed well behind until day 26. Finally the spirit of NaNo kicked in and I wrote 15,000 words in four days, reaching the 50,000 mark in the wee hours of November 29.

There were a lot of things about NaNo that were different this year than previous years. First of all, I wrote my novel in a linear fashion. All the other years I would write until I got stuck, then skip ahead to something more interesting and then go back and fill in the gaps - or sometimes not, which is probably part of the reason why those novels are still waiting to get finished.

Something else new to me this year was going to a write-in. We had two at our library and to be honest, I didn't find them very helpful. I found I got more writing done when a friend and I went to Timmies and McDonalds.

I also went into semi-hermit status this year. As the month went on and my word count wasn't keeping up, I started to avoid going out and even cut myself off from the internet - especially my email and Facebook. There were many times when I was ready to throw in the towel, but I'm nothing in not persistent. However, I felt really stressed out most of the time - it was like pulling teeth to get the words to come, until those last four days.

But I made it through, that's the important part. And although I reached my 50,000 words I've still got about 20,000 before the story's done. So that makes FIVE not-quite-finished NaNo novels I have. For the record, I'd like to state that I unless I have at least two of those novels completely finished and edited next year, I will not be doing NaNo.

So if you see that little NaNo widget go up next year with the name Lady Cat on it, you can totally call me on it. ;-)