Sunday, November 28, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

Dear Secret Blogiary,

This will be my last NaNoWriMo update for 2010.


After a great struggle in the last week, I managed to stumble over the 50k mark last night. From the get go this year’s NaNo was a struggle. I did not plot and plan as much as I have in previous years and I feel that my story certainly shows the effects of inefficient planning. With a critics eye I can honestly say that my characters were one dimensional, flat and static; not a single one of them grew or developed. The plot, weak though it was, did not drive the story and I spent a good twenty thousand words meandering throughout a very stagnant middle.

Also, I did not end the story. I just stopped writing in the middle of a fight scene between my main character and her sister. I had had enough so I walked. All of my investment, my time and effort, I just walked away and that was okay, because really, I do not think that the story would go very far to be a viable polished piece.

Please note my use of polished rather than published. Over the month, I have heard a number of critics slam NaNoWriMo as, and I am paraphrasing here, stupid, hack work, fan-fic crap. These critics who are “published” writers seem to think that NaNo detracts from the written word and they miss all the good that NaNo has done: the surge of interest in writing, the donations to libraries, the connections that the WriMos make with others. All this done in the name of literary abandon!

Do these critics honestly believe that just because a writer writes fast, produces quantity that we expect to be published on December 1? That seems to be the case, but I can tell in all honesty, that most of the WriMos I have encountered are intelligent, word wise people who know that what ever they produce in November is a first draft. It will need polishing, tightening and sometimes, yes, we toss the whole thing out, as I plan on doing.

Now, someday, I hope to be published. Someday, I hope that I have a story that people are moved by. But until that happens, I will continue to participate in NaNoWriMo because the way to improve my writing is through writing. And that is what the critics should focus on. People are writing! Words flowing from the mind through the fingertips so fast the sometimes the word processor can’t keep up with you!

That’s writing, uninhibited by rules and structure, (okay…we all still follow rules and structure, but still). Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in six meager weeks. SIX!! And it was an instant success when it was published. Walt Whitman kept reworking and republishing Leaves of Grass until he died. So who is to say how long a work of genius should take? I’ve seen romance writers publish four novels in a single year. Stephan King publishes one every year or so.

NaNo comes around once a year; a crazy month long adventure that is entertaining, exciting and enjoyable. It is a break from my “regular” writing: blogs, short stories, novellas and yes, novels. I may not be a published writer, but I am still a writer because, my friends, I have stories to tell that are just about near to exploding out of my head!

I write because I love words.

I write because I have stories to tell.

I write because it is who I am.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

Dear Secret Blogiary,

What I should be doing is sleeping, but what I am really doing is working on my NaNo novel to try to up my word count so that when my family arrives on my doorstep tomorrow and demands I entertain them while they wait for my amazing Thanksgiving Day Feast Extravaganza!


No Tuesday Bananagrams today instead bask in the awesomeness that is my word count:


Yeah. Yeah. I know some are already done. But I am beyond pleased with my progress.

Have a Great Thanksgiving All!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Bananagrams

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Autumn is my favorite season hands down. It would be hard to name exactly why, though; perhaps it is the perfect crisp weather, the abundance of seasonal veggies, the delightful harvest treats, the many reasons and only three short months in which to enjoy them. I find that aside from Zombies, autumn is the easiest topic for which to compose haiku. So while waiting for my awesome new camping post in which I meet more nature, please enjoy this week's haiku.

As always, the solution will be revealed next week in the comments.

EDIT: WTF?!?!? I totally missed last week's Tuesday Bananagrams! What a bum I am!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Twisting the Plan Up in Bunches or How My Family Keeps Throwing Me for a Loop

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Is it a reprieve from angst and worry? Or is it a trap cunningly disguised as salvation?

I have written many times about my current position regarding the pit of hell I am living in my house. Just to be clear: we are upside down on the mortgage, live in a neighbor that is unfriendly and reside in a city that is a drug-runners haven. We want out and after speaking to a lawyer made the ultimate decision to walk away from the house and rent for a while.

Eventually the goal would have me at home writing, possibly home schooling Big Sis and Little Sis, and living on Mister W’s salary.

This was the plan. We agreed upon it and took steps to start it.

Now? Oh Boy!

My father, after two long years in litigation regarding my grandmother’s will, is reaching a settlement that will free up his finances. The will was contested and it looks that the judgment will be in my father’s favor.

Well, after hinting and hemming and hawing for the past two years about “wishing” he could “help” us it finally came out that Dad wants to buy a home down here and will be able to plunk a $50,000 dollar down payment on one. Peachy. How does that involve me? Apparently, he wants to buy a 4 or 5 bedroom house and have Mister W and I live there and make the mortgage payment as he has no real income aside from social security. And he would have his own room.

Currently, he travels a lot. But the house would be his and when the time came, he would relocate here permanently and the unspoken arrangement would be that I would become primary caretaker in his elder years.

I love my Dad. I do. But he is very hard to deal with. So I made a pro-con list:


1. house troubles = fixed
2. Mister W loves his job and wants to stay in the state
3. With such a large down payment, the mortgage will be less and I’ll be able to be a stay at home mom as I have been longing to do
          a. If I am stay-at-home then I can leave-the-home at will to go camping and kayaking
                  i. Not that I have a kayak yet…but I really want one
                 ii. And going camping during the week? How cool and less crowded would that be?
4. A single family home means that I can let the Psycho Dog outside and get chickens

1. Dad is a hoarder and as much as I love to stockpile Jell-O and craft supplies, I am not willing to live with a true should-be-on-Hoarders hoarder
2. I do not really want to be a caretaker, especially for my Dad...that just seems skeevy.
3. I would never feel like the house was my home...we might pay the mortgage, but we'd only be able to do so because Dad dropped that much money on it
4. Dad took care of my grandmother for over 15 years (she lived until 96)
5. I had the girls on the young side and by the time I am 45, they will both be out of the house…do I really want to be tied to house taking care of my Dad
          a. Oh Geez! How selfish is that?!?! It’s like I only think about myself!
6. I do not want to live in Florida for the rest of my life - seriously, I told them I was moving back up north and what do they do? They all follow me down here!
7. I hate being obligated to people – even family

I am not sure that this covers everything that I have been thinking about since my Dad offered this as an option…except that it wasn’t really phrased as an option; it was more like an expectation. Like when the finances cleared up, Dad would put the money down and Mister W and I would pay the mortgage.

Mister W is all for it. And by "all for it" I mean that he is willing to go with this "plan" because it solves a great many problems. The biggest one on his list? He doesn’t want to leave Florida. He likes it here amazing as that is. He doesn’t want to leave his job. He loves it and is quite good at it. I can respect that especially considering that in Florida we can live comfortably on his salary alone.

And if I don’t take up this offer, how do I tell Dad? “Sorry Pops, can’t be bothered with thinking about you in your old age, I am just going to put you into a nursing home?”

Ouch. I can’t do that. But I also have to be able to live with my choice. So how do I choose between a sharp pointy rock and a bigger jagged blood-stained boulder?

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Oh how those plot monkeys have been working!

I am pleased to announce that the first week has gone exceedingly well! My word count is 15333 as of tonight and that is with me being a total bum over the weekend wasting time with silly things like laundry and grocery shopping and playing D&D.

If my word count keeps it up, I think I will be way ahead of the game and get a great enough word count cushion that I might even be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with the family. This would be especially helpful as I am apparently the one who is going to cook the Thanksgiving dinner...

...Who am I kidding?

I am always the one to cook!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Diaper Cake Wrecks!

Dear Secret Blogiary,

I love Cake Wrecks. I only wish I had the baking talent to recreate some of the cakes I've seen on the site. Instead, I make some fantastic crafts and sometimes, the most well-intentioned craft gets out of control and explodes all over my dining room table.

This week, I bring you a story of a craft gone horribly wrong. You might remember me mentioning my BFF Rose and her soon-to-be-born baby. Her baby shower is coming up this week and Big Sis and Little Sis and I intended to make her a diaper cake.

Expensive craft, yes, but utterly delightful and fun to make. Here is what I envisioned we’d end up with:

Diaper Cakes by The Stork Connection
Photo taken from The Stork Connection

After working about two weeks on it, looking at different configurations and ways to attach everything in, we finally finished it yesterday.

We spent night after night, rolling and rerolling organic cotton cloth diapers, organic cotton receiving blankets and splash-themed hooded towels. We tried tiers; we tried single layers, no matter what we did it looked lopsided, drunk and deformed. Finally, we settled on rolling the diapers (which are taller) inside the blankets and towels for a thick, wide base that we could “fit everything” on.


We rolled soft little baby washcloths into something that resembled a flower…or a sausage…or a wiener…

We implanted little Nuks, jittery vibrator vibrating toys, things that rattled, crinkled and jingled all throughout the cake. We attached things with giant safety pins that shed much of my blood. Baby safe, rubber coated spoons grace the top like candles and the center piece (the only thing that would fit and stay put) was a super safety rubber ducky that wasn’t even on the registry but Big Sis fell in love with it and needed it for “her” Rose.

How can I resist that kind of logic?

Well, after all was said and done, this is what we ended up with:

And this is the pile of all the stuff that didn’t fit on the cake!

Big Sis looked at the cake and the pile afterwards,

“Well, I guess we over did it again,” I said.

“WE??” Big Sis asked her eyes practically popping out of her pretty round face.

“Yes, WE!” I replied, “You were at the store too. Half of this stuff you put in the cart.”


“A ya-huh!”

“Our Rose will like it anyway.” She said completely not playing into the argument.

“Yes.” I said, “Yes, she will. ‘Cause we made it.”

“What about the other stuff?” Little Sis asked.

“We’ll just wrap it up.”

“Cool.” Little Sis said, “I think you'll need a bigger box, though.”


Can't argue with that one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Bananagrams

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Happy Tuesday! And with it another Tuesday Bananagram! This week I was feeling a bit lazy. And really, all of my creative juice is flowing into my NaNo novel (which by the way is already off to a great start but I'll talk more about that later).

This week's Bananagram will get a bit of a hint although if you grew up in the 90s you might recognize it right off the bat!

Good Luck!

Hint: It is Novemeber and chilly and rainy.