Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Patchwork Babbles - #NaNoPrep & Vlogging

My muse
Yesterday I participated in my first NaNoWriMo discussion on Twitter!  It was featuring the topic of #NaNoPrep and discussing how everyone was preparing their stories for the quickly approaching month of November!  I was so surprised how many people actually had real discussions with me and even started following as a result of those discussions!  It really does go to show you how important team building is for NaNoWriMo because just chatting about my writing for that short 15 minutes or so that I joined in really got me excited and pumped for writing.  That makes sense, since my writers group has been giving me the same energy as well when it comes to getting excited about writing.  It is so crucial to be excited about your writing and to have others be excited sure as hell helps!  We went over how detailed of outlines we were creating, the music we use to get inspired, etc....and I adored every moment of it!   I need a sharped eye for when these discussions are taking place because this was really the boost I needed to get excited about writing again.

Which brings me to my second topic: vlogs.  Yesterday, in all my flurries of excitement, I threw it out there that I've been very interested in creating vlogs for NaNoWriMo and wanted to know if that interested anyone out there.  Instead of being met with silence, I actually had people interested!  I still have a long way to go with my editing skills and I desperately need a camera better than my pathetic web camera on my laptop, but I super inthralled with the idea of vlogging my journey.  I noticed vloggers I follow who vlogged during NaNoWriMo were able to build much larger writing communities to discuss and write with!  I would love to build my own circle of fellow writers and I feel like youtube would be a great platform to reach out! Would any of you be interested in that?  I guess it would be similar to these articles, just a bit more personal with you face? Haha! to head off to the "real world" and do some adulting.  Maybe someday I will do this for a living?



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Losing "It"?

It hit me for the first time yesterday....a strong desire NOT to write.  I knew that I was running on a steam that could only last so long, I just am trying not to panic.  Being the rational, mature adult I am I automatically thought that my desire had left my body for good.  Like inspiration  is a balloon tethered to my wrist and one gust of wind could snap the string and send it floating away from me.  That's just silly (the idea not the metaphor).  My inspiration is probably just tried right now.  I'm getting close to completion of my works busy time and it has been fast but exhausting.  My husband is a first year teacher, so he's tried too.  Our dog, Willie, well that little guy is always tired when there isn't space to sprint.  We are in a tired house.  The dishes need doing, the laundry is piling up, and pup fluff needs to be vacuumed from the carpet.  Life is happening, so my fantasy worlds are taking a back seat.

I finished the outline for my NaNoWriMo novel a while back.  Upon letting it sit I've started to fear that it's too quiet and boring.  That I haven't put enough action or things happening in it.  But another this hit me, it's a first draft outline.  Well, to be fair more like a third draft, but it's a DRAFT.  I have very vague descriptions that could easily evolve into multiple chapters.  My outlines were even less detailed when I was a kid.  I usually would just write the chapter number and put initials to represent the characters featured in the scene.  Everything else was locked away in my head.  Also, there is research about my setting I have yet to get off my ass and do.  Most of the time I stay vague with settings to avoid headaches and homework.  Unfortunately, my brain decided on a very specific location and unless I can convince my husband we should honeymoon there, I need to hit the internet.'s time to get ready for work.  Hopefully this dry spell is nothing more than a temporary need for creative refueling.  If it isn't, then I will just need to kick myself harder to I'm ready for November!

Sorry this is a short know....inspiration struggle is real.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Babbles of a Fan Girl - I'm A Hufflepuff and I'm Proud

I'm sure you've already guessed today's topic based off of the title.  Before you start snickering into the sunset, I'd like you pause and actually read what I have to say: I am a Hufflepuff and I'm goddamn proud of that!  This wasn't something that I easily came to terms with either.  As a child I always thought I'd be a Gyffindor simply because that was the house Harry Potter was in.  When I got older, I thought I'd be a Ravenclaw because I've always been creative and a good student. And then came Pottermore and everything changed.  I took the sorting test very seriously.  I read and re-read the questions over and over, trying to decide the best and most truthful answers.  I submitted these carefully mused answers and.....

Yeah, I took it there.



My husband bursted out laughing (Yes, I made him take the test and he's a Gryffindor).  I was actually ready to cry, real tears.  I couldn't be a HUFFLEPUFF, there was no way!  Hufflepuff was the boring house.  Hufflepuff was the house of wet blankets.  Hufflepuff never really stood out at any point in the books.  This wasn't happening.  I had to have answered wrong!

I quickly took the internet to do some more research (like the true Ravenclaw I thought I was) about this strange little house. Upon doing some research I learned something: I really am a Hufflepuff, through and through, and that's not a bad thing.

I have always been ridiculously loyal to people and rules....I'm lawful neutral....what do you expect?   If you give me a rule and tell me to follow it I will understand that boundary.  And don't start saying I'm a blind follower, please.  If the rule is to punch every person with freckles I can use my mind to figure out that that rule might not be worth my time.  I'm talking more about attendance and other rules that help keep structure.  I usually get to work early and sit in my car until it's time to start (That's the Felicia Day in me!).

The Hufflepuff's are hardworking and I'm proud to be part of that too!  Sure I don't work as hard as I should, but when it's time to buckle down I crank my work out.  Sure were are not the smartest, boldest, or proudest but we are happy being who we are and not boasting about it!  I hate bragging and it actually takes practice for me to "show off".  We play by the rules and will give you all the time in the worlds to learn them!  We will be the first to jump when you need help and the last to leave you after a hard day of work. (Notice the use of "we" all of a sudden?)

I think it's time that Hufflepuff got some respect!  And according to the supreme goddess herself, J.K. Rowling, this is going to be "...the dawn of the Age of the Hufflepuff." thanks to the upcoming release of the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", where the lead character, Newt Scamander, is a Hufflepuff!  We have Tonks, we have Cedric, and now we have our own movie!  I agree, this is the dawn of the Age of the Hufflepuff, and I'm so excited to start blazing this trail!

So here I go:  I am a Hufflepuff and I'm proud!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Short Stories

The other day I was playing with a new program I got called Scrivener and the funniest thing happened: a short story fell out of me.  It was very much akin to how a woman doesn't know she is pregnant until the pink blob is halfway out of her and screeching for a damn nipple and decent health care.  I didn't know it was in me, but once it was nearly out I felt so obligated to have it out completely. Horrible metaphors aside, I wrote a pleasant little story and I had fun writing it.  It all came from a random sentence I wrote simply to fill a space.  Upon writing that sentence, it hit me: this could actually be a story!  2,000 words later, "An Incident with a Gargoyle" was born!

I decided to man up and read my story at my writers group the other day. I found something oddly therapeutic about reading my story out loud. Like I was hearing for the first time that my stories don't always suck and I may actually have some talent with this thing I've been wanting to do since 3rd grade.  I really could be an author someday if I keep this up.  I finished reading my story and it was met by the polite "That was good"'s and one of my favorite compliments ever: "You write crazy very well!"

I've completed a measly total of three short stories this past year but I'm proud of each of them.  It's very hard for me to write a story without completely investing myself deep within it.  So far two stories have been created by one part a crazy idea and one part the perfect writing music.  Sia will be deemed my muse of 2015.  The other story came from a random impulse and a true desire to write.  That has made me very excited.  I have a desire to write, something that has escaped me for a few years now.  I am writing and enjoying the process again.  I'm not seeing it as an obligation.  I've come to love short stories because they are like sprints through fun ideas.  Now, I just need to get up the courage to actually try and publish them.  But where to start?

I hope I can write one short story every month in 2016.  I think that's fairly realistic, no?  At the end of the year, I will have 12 new friends, each as deranged as the next (I write crazy well, remember?).  I'm still working on this "setting goals for myself" thing and so far I'm not doing too horrible.  I'm writing at least one blog per week, often a belated second quickly after, and I am still drafting and prepping for NaNoWrimo.  I would share my stories hear, but I'm horribly paranoid about theft (you can blame some nasty middle school experiences for that) so I am afraid you will have to wait until I figure out the whole "publishing" thing first.

I wonder if I have another short story somewhere in me this evening?  I should be doing job applications but I'm still doing the "reevaluating my life" thing.  Yay?


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Babbles of a Fan Girl - Books to Read 2015

In getting back into writing, I am starting to realize how important it is for me to get back into reading.  My relationship with reading has always been a strange, twisty roller coaster ride.  When I was a kid, I have a bad habit of starting a book but never finishing because either A. I lost focus. or B.  I wanted to move on to a new book that caught my eye.  This habit carried on through middle school, only being fueled also by my adopted philosophy that I'd rather "Write a book than read a book".  Fast forward to my first day on ninth grade, which was also my first day of public school.   Before that, I went to private, Catholic school from pre-school all the way through eighth grade. I had never seen so many kids jammed into one building.  No one was wearing uniforms, including me!  I was terrified by the idea of making new friends and just wanted to blend in to the point that I matched the paint on the walls.  So of course, my natural reaction was to always carry a book and bury myself in it whenever there was free time in class.  Socializing?  Making new friends? Um....let's just read instead.  I went from being the girl always writing to the girl always reading in the course of a semester.  When I had a book I felt safe.  And my passion for books went with me to high school.

Then came college....

I read many great books in college, but I often felt like I couldn't read in my freetime because there was always some textbook glaring at me, demanding my attention.  So I didn't read nearly as much as I did in high school.  Luckily, I had some great professors in my writing and English classes that introduced me to new literature and in turn, my new writing style.  It was a wonderful time, but when I got done with college, I was exhausted...and I fell out of reading more than I ever had before.  I felt overwhelmed with all of the classics I still had not touched!  There were so many contemporary novels that I needed to expose myself to!  No reading was getting done and people still referred to me as this passionate reader!  This madness had to stop!

And that brings us to today....

I am going to make a list of books that I will read before the end of this year.  It's going to be a puny list because, A. this year is almost over and 2. This is the busiest time of the year for me.  When 2016 rolls around I will make an official list of books for me to read over the course of that year!  For now, here are the books I will read before the end of 2015 (Yay for making more goals for myself!)

1. Misery by Stephen King

I started this book a few months and it's a compelling but exhausting read. I keep taking mental breaks for both the sake of my sanity and my innocence. The much needed coffee breaks are a result of this book being so well written!  You feel for this man trapped in the home of his "number one fan" and battling his addiction to painkillers to find his freedom.

2. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir by Felicia Day

I bought this book the other day and it is such a relaxing read.  Felicia Day, known work such as The Guild, tells the tale of her life and how she became the kick-butt nerd she is.  I love when girl nerds are in the spotlight and I can strongly relate to her journey.  I can't wait see more of her funny stories!

3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I was supposed to read this book in high school but being the hipster I am, I skipped my junior and senior years of high school and went to college instead.  Don't worry, I had a high school teacher remind me that by doing this, I was just trying to act older, so I will be forever ashamed of getting two years of free college.  I was disappointed that I missed reading this horror classic.  This will be my Halloween time read and I can't wait!  And yes....I may watch "Young Frankenstein" after I finish the book.  A girls gotta roll in za hey!

I know there is going to be a least one more books mixed in with these, but let's start small and work out way out from there.  Do you have any book recommendations for 2016?  Any good books you can recommend about writing to help me prep for NaNoWriMo?