Sunday, November 29, 2009

I AM FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since I was a little dorky girl, dreaming dreams from my table in the library, I have wanted to call myself an author. And now, I can. As of 10something pm, this evening, when I uploaded my final word count (50,191) into the word counter, I got this on my screen:

...and you know what? I feel like I did.


Normally, I hate sentences that are typed in all caps. But today, I'm making the exception on the title. Because I literally am: ALMOST FINISHED!!!

Only 1393 words left baby....finish line, here I come!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

an invitation to you!

This month, as you probably know by now, I took it upon myself to participate in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, to the layperson. I started writing on November 4th with no outline and no concept of what my book (which was to be finished in under 30 days) was even going to be about. As I write this invitation, I am 3 days from my deadline and only 10,000 words from the end of my novel. I haven’t seen my friends in almost 30 days. The only thing on my calendar for nearly a solid month has been “Write!” I have ingested more espresso infused drinks in these 3.5 weeks than I have over my entire lifetime combined (don’t believe me? Just ask my innards, they are certainly noticing the diet change). My stomach is a constant ball of tension (will I make it?). In short, I will be pretty frickin ready to celebrate by the time this thing is actually over.

People keep asking me, “So, what do you win?” Well friends, I win that I wrote a novel in under 30 days. I think that’s a pretty sweet prize! Call me a dork, but filling up my word-goal chart with little gold stars has been oddly thrilling, and the anticipation I have for reaching that “50,000!” mark is growing daily. Three more days. (or, depending on when you read this, I could be finished already!)

My original goal was to have this NOVELIST! party the day after my “month” was over (Dec 1); however, the neglect I gave my schedule during the month of November has come back to bite me in the a** and booked my evenings up with a vengeance for the next three weeks. The only free night I have? December 5th.

I’ve chosen theSmall Ritual Coffee Society as the location for this event because this place has been Instrumental in helping me finish this book. Small Rituals is a community based, volunteer run, delightfully inspiring little coffee shop that’s opened up recently in White Rock. Think local art, live music, French pressed bliss.

So if you’re free and want a place to chill for the evening (while rubbing shoulders with an amateur novelist), please join me at the Small Ritual Coffee Society on Saturday, Dec 5 @ 7pm. Bring your friends, or a book to read, or your spouse, or your mother - it's gonna be pretty casual!

I’ll be the one wearing the NOVELIST! pin on my shirt front.

Ps – depending on the interest level, I may have “the book” available for perusal. It’s not finished yet, so that’s hard to think about. Ask me next week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i am woman, hear me swoon.

I admit it. I laughed with glee throughout this entire article... Preach it, sista! Ladies and Gentlemen, meet my new hero, Tara Hallam.(article featured in today's 24hr Vancouver newspaper)

(click on  article to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

37,000 (words, silly)

I just wanted to proudly announce that I have just passed 37,000 words. Funny how this story just keeps going. Totally different ending than I expected, but hopefully with a little editing it will all make some sort of sense when it's finished.

13,000 words to go friends. That's IT. 13,000.

the goal is....reachable?

Wait a minute. I'm having a minor epiphany.

I've been reading over my tweets/blogs having to do with National Novel Writing Month; my progress reports, my rants of frustration...and I've realized: I'm still writing. The story has taken a direction I did not expect (it's true, even authors get to be suprised by their character's lives), but as different as it is, the story still hasn't ended. I find this remarkably encouraging.

No, really! I am actually in a little bit of awe right now, reading back over my " am I going to get past 10,000!?!?", knowing that actually, I not only passed 10,000 words, I pulverized that word mark; as I currently sit at over 32,000 words. I did not know, at that point just last week, that there were 22,000 more words left in me. But there were.

So, while I am tempted to pull my hair out at the thought that I am only at 32,000 - and very soon need to be at 50,000...I digress. Apparently, it is possible.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Progress Report

Current word count: 28,658 (approx)
Days since I started this: 19
Days since I should have started this: 23

Days that I've actually spent writing: probably...12 or 13.
I feel: like I might have a stomach ulcer. No, really. (although I believe my crush is partially to blame)
I look forward to: The golden moment when I've dragged my haggard self over the 50,000 word mark.

Words left: approx 21,342
Days left: SIX, including today.
Realization: I have to write almost as many words as I wrote in 13 days, in only 6. Oy.
Please, I am begging you: don't talk to me until Dec 1. Unless you are wondering what time to drop the chocolate off on my doorstep.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

National Novel Frickin Writing Month - a frickin update


I've passed 24,000 words. Which is an accomplishment all on it's own (yay me!). But this novel project feels a bit like quicksand, and now that I'm knee deep in it, I realize I'm quite stuck here. Either I stay put (panicky feeling and all) and write even though I can't think of anything to write about...OR, I stay put and sit my cute butt down in the mud and give up.

In order to finish, I've got to get at least 12,000 words down in the next two days. Which still leaves me with 14,000 words for a very busy next week. Boo.

It might be counter-productive, but I think that I'm going to go for a walk to clear my head, unless it starts to rain while I'm straightening my hair.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

put your hands up

In grade one, I had a mad crush on the boy my mom babysat some days after school. His name was Jaime, and he was the cutest boy I had ever seen. Big brown eyes, big smile. And we were friends, too. And he came over to my house lots. On Valentines day, I even got up the courage to tell him how much I liked him on the big Valentine's Day card that had his name on it. Right before I gave it to him though, I got so nervous that I decided I didn't want him knowing, after all. So I took little pieces of paper and taped them over most of my words. Foolproof eh. I can still remember, to this day, what it looked like; it was a horrible tape job that practically screamed: LOOK WHAT'S UNDERNEATH! I also remember, quite distinctly, the feeling I had while I held that taped up little Valentine in my six year old hands in our crowded elementary school hallway: I would be so devastated if he knew and didn't like me back! As it turns out, the whole rest of the day him and his friend laughed everytime they saw me, and we weren't very good friends after that. He must've looked under the tape.

My next crush was in grade four; his name was Jeremy. He was the most popular boy in class and definitely the cutest. But he was dating Catherine, who just happened to be the prettiest girl in our grade. Catherine didn't like me very much, either, although I have a hard time believing that she liked anyone. By grade four I had already started to develop into the tall, lanky girl in the middle-back-row of class pictures. I was new that year too, so I didn't actually have that many friends. I remember playing with my cousin Stephanie sometimes, though she was a grade below me. I also remember my (now longest-time) friend Tyler, who was in my grade; he would talk to me sometimes, too. Other than that, I only remember a really hard year. One time, towards the end of the school year, most of my class was out in the field playing tag. Catherine called to me and told me I should play; I was so excited! This was the first time they'd ever invited me to do anything with them. I ran out to the field to join them; Catherine was it. "GO!" she yelled, and she started chasing me. I'd always been a reader, not an athlete, but I ran as fast as my spindly legs would carry me. To my suprise, Catherine wasn't catching up, and I was almost all the way across the field. I looked behind me to see the whole group (led by Catherine) standing where they'd been before on the other side of the field. They were laughing at me. Jeremy was laughing too. They started to play amongst themselves again as I walked, back turned, in another direction.

New school. My grade five crush, Jimmy, was adorable and super friendly. He had blonde hair that was brighter than the sun. He didn't like me either. From what I remember, he liked April. And then he moved to Nanaimo.

At the end of grade five, after Jimmy moved (and this is where I start changing/not mentioning names! ha) I met the boy that would become my first thought for the next five years. He was dating a girl that reminded me a lot of Catherine; in looks and attitude and social status. I didn't care though; I was pretty sure I had come across the pinnacle of male beauty; he was perfect. He was tall and quiet and as cute as a buttermilk buscuit. He played hockey, too. And even if he didn't notice me, he had the nicest eyes out of any boy I had ever seen in my whole life. Why don't we call him Jason? That seems like a good name. Jason it is.

I liked Jason so much that it hurt to think about; but I thought about him all the same. Every school dance, or class trip, or group project, I knew exactly where he was and who he was talking to. I always pictured our conversations in my mind on the way to said-event. And I always imagined he was talking about me when I wasn't there. Turns out, he was. By this time I had reached my maximum potential as "class poke 'n' prod". Think back as you read this, to your grade seven or late elementary school class. There was a girl in your class, wasn't there, who was too tall and skinny, all knees and elbows, flat chested and painfully shy. I know there was, because that was me; and from what I understand, there's one in every grade school.

Despite the mass amounts of pain inflicted on me by Jason and his friends (he was the most popular boy in our grade, did I mention that?), I still found myself completely enamoured with him. Even though he once called me the ugliest girl in class (yes, to my face), even though I had heard him and his friends make jokes about me. I assumed, as I still would, that Jason actually had a really good heart and was a good person who was just confused; who would someday see the light and at least make me feel somewhat worth it. It didn't happen, but my crush continued. Do you sense a pattern?

I wish the stories stopped in elementary school, or at least after highschool. But they don't. As it turns out, in many ways I still wear the badges of half-truth given to me by the list of guys that I've liked. And in many ways, I am still the nervously awkward adolescent that I was in my youth. And as much as it pains me, I also find it quite hilarious. Normal girls' hearts flower under the eye of a beautiful man's attraction. My heart, however, curls up in fetal position and develops a quivering, panicky lip. My brain swells inside my head. I lose the ability to form sentences. My personality is replaced by The Monster of Silent Awkwardness and Serious Tones. My laugh sounds fake. My smile hides behind frozen facial features. I forget how to stand, or sit, or hold my hands. And worst of all, I am fully aware of how silly I must look, panic stricken and incapable, yet am completely incapacitated and unable to change it.

You would think that after repeating this cycle so many times I'd be immune to the folly of the Crush, or would have at least learned how to maintain composure. It hasn't happened yet.

Ladies, put your hands up: we all do this in some way or another, don't we? (I know we do, because you've all told me about them, or I have seen them). We've all got a pattern of behavior that causes us to second guess ourselves. I wonder what would happen if we stopped waiting for the idiot to strap on a pair and just LIVED instead.

Gents: this is not an invitation to ask me for coffee. You are not the crush I'm silently referring to.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

National Novel Writing Month - progress report

Current word count: 19,783
Days since I started this: 14
Days that I've actually written: much less than 14
I feel: accomplished! And tired.
I look forward to: kicking this deadline in the ass. And wearing my cute "Novelist!" pin on my shirt front once I'm finished for at least a solid week, or until I've seen everyone I know

Words left: 30,217 (words needed: 50,000)
Days left: 12
Realization: The Odds are not in my favor. Good thing The Odds don't make all the rules.

Today's Soundtrack: Josh Smith

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo - update

Well! I just passed the 10,000 word mark (for those of you that haven't been following my Twitter feed on the sidebar). If you think that's an accomplishment, please note that I need to write 40,000 more words by umm...the 30th. Which is in 2 weeks. OH MY.

Thanks to all my friends who've suggested their characters; among my favorites: Sandy with a feather in her hat and high button shoes, Abby the quirky bookstore owner, Bonnie the cougar in leopard print, Nick the vodka drinking Russian mobster, and Dave the jean-shorts wearing homeless guy.

Anyways, I've only got a half hour left before my inspirational coffee shop closes, so I should get back to it.


Friday, November 6, 2009

don't hate the process

I have often heard married couples speak of their morning-after-the-wedding response of "Who is this other person in my bed?!?" Their love hasn't died, and neither has their commitment to the person, but somehow they are faced with reality in a whole new way after "their day" has come and gone.
I am currently experiencing very simliar feelings. NaNoWriMo, my 'commitment to my commitment' to you has not wavered, nor has my love for the process I'm sure this will be. But I feel a bit like a tentative newlywed; I'm not entirely sure what I've gotten myself into. It feels as though there is a stranger in my bed.

But you're cute, so you can stay there :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It’s not personal, it’s NaNoWriMo.

Well it's November, and you know what that means:

Ugh. Yup. Seeing as I am really good at starting things (and I do mean GOOD), I have decided to participate in this venture. Blame Anita, who bought me my very own Kit back in September. 

I suppose I am excited. Well I am. But I am also intimidated. So...that makes me happy, but bloody nervous. It's an odd mix. I don't even have a solid plot idea yet. But I am 4 days behind already (I forgot about it until today), which means that I can't even care about things like plot or perfect sentence structure. I literally just need to write my butt off. My plans tonight will involve me, my computer, and likely, a whole lot of BS.

Sweet :)

A few pointers for the days ahead:

1) My favourite caffeinated beverage is a Caramel Macchiato.
2) I am not above accepting free coffee or meals (who has time to cook? I'm writing a freaking novel.)

And finally, in regards to all other matters of normal social conduct:
3)  It’s not personal, it’s NaNoWriMo.