NaNoWriMo 2015 a.k.a. the year I’m not participating

What? WHAT? Yes, after much debate (with myself) I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year… Well, not officially anyway. As much as I love how the mad bouts of productivity and sky-high word counts that I magically (robotically?) seem to dole out every November or during other write-a-thon events, I’m trading in my word count for an email that I can send to my CPs/beta readers finally declaring, “Hey, I finished revising my novel. Have at it!” Basically this year I’m taking a page out of Jen Ellision‘s book and participating in my own little National Novel REVISING Month (NaNoReMo).

Whenever I had to write an essay in high school or university, I would write like the wind, but when it came to revising? HAHAHAHAHA. This is honestly Classic Lindsey, and since I don’t have an ~official deadline for my novel, obviously I’ve been taking my sweet time in revising it. I keep procrastinating for whatever reason and ohhhh how tempting it is to start fresh on a new project. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. This year I’m going to finish what I started three years ago. This year I’m going to finish what I put on hold EVERY YEAR because of NaNoWriMo.

In other news, that schedule I made for myself back in late September? I haven’t been sticking to it as strictly as I hoped, but I’M NOT MAD AT ALL. Of course on the week I decided to create that daily schedule, my workplace declared that we could start banking extra hours to allow us extra days off during the holidays. Sometimes I go in early, sometimes I stay late. Strangely enough, my unpredictable work schedule still allows me to follow every item on my daily schedule… EXCEPT THE MORNING WRITING SLOT. I was able to get in about a week’s worth of sessions before I switched to sleeping an extra half hour instead LOL. That’s something I’ll need to work on this month.

Today is November 1st. The plan is to make yet another daily schedule somewhat similar to the NaNo 1667 words per day one. Today, I think (I HOPE) I will go to a Starbucks or something and just focus on getting that done before anything else. Wish me… Strength. Pots of coffee. And candy.


Fear Not the Fall… Schedule

Oh, how I wish this was a blog post about my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel FEAR NOT THE FALL, but it’s actually a post about the upcoming season–the fall. Tomorrow is the first day of my if-I-have-to-choose-only-one-favourite season. There’s just something about first days and last days that get to me. Maybe it’s my seemingly existent obsession with deadlines and the cruel mistress known as Time, but whether it’s the first day of a month, season, whatever–I just like to schedule my life around these firsts and lasts.

So what’s on the menu for the first day of autumn? A brand new schedule! Last November–during NaNoWriMo 2014, actually–I had a really great daily schedule that I pretty strictly stuck to. I REALLY enjoyed it, and I got so much accomplished that month. Since then, I haven’t really been able to stick to a writing schedule just because my days are all over the place despite having an 5 day, 8 hour work schedule.

My ~goal for the next two and a half-isn months until winter/Christmas/holiday madness takes over is to stick to my daily schedule without fail. …Okay, there will probably be a little bit of fail just because I’m not a 100% robot. For the most part, however, my goal is to not stray from this schedule. I mean, if my life is gonna continue to be semi-mediocre (why in the world haven’t my mutant powers kicked in yet??), I might as well routine the heck out of my upcoming days, right? Right. Sure. Yes.

And so, I’ve composed a rough schedule that I sorta kinda already stick to save for the writing/revision slot. Usually I just do that whenever I feel like it, but I think in order to accomplish other goals and stay focused, I need to designate a time slot to writing EVERY SINGLE DAY. Below is the schedule, more or less, which yes, I am documenting in this post so I will be more inclined to follow through, hehe.

6:30am – wake up!
6:35am – actually wake up.
6:35-7am – tend to dogs, brush teeth and MAYBE COMB MY HAIR, make tea/coffee/breakfast, change into non-pajama clothes (i.e. clothes that are socially acceptable out of the house)
7am-8am – write! revise! whatever, as long as it involves words.
8am-8:30am – work commute and misc other stuff (chasing dogs around the house, etc)
8:30-5 – work work work x_x
5-6 – misc post-work stuff (grocery shopping, errands)
6-7 – work out!
7:30 – dinner…
and after dinner… whatever. Netflix binge session. Reading. Anime marathons. More revisions or writing if I am so inclined.

I feel like Springtime is traditionally that whole ~rebirth~ season because of flowers blooming and George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and Thumbelina growing her wings. With that said, I’m not entirely sure what Autumn is … Like the pretty orange-brown calm before the dead of winter? Seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones? Whatever it is, for me I’m making it a time to indulge on pumpkin spice everything get back into a groove. Not just with writing, but with everything–eating, working out, reading (ugh, I have been in such a reading funk lately -_-), my social life (LOL), and whatever else in between.

And there you have it. So now I’m gonna make like an autumn tree and LEAVE… because homg, I need to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow morning, ahahahahahaha.

Spirit Junkies don’t cry. Or: Another life lament.

In another life, in another universe–I might’ve been a hobbit. First, I like the idea of second breakfast. Second, I’d love to live that quiet countryside life. Third, and most relevant to this post, I seem to be fond of making birthday-related speeches. Today is not my eleventy-first birthday (although I aspire to reach that age one day just for the sake of exclaiming “Today is my eleventy-first birthday!” just like Bilbo Baggins), but I feel the need to write up a grand lament on my life thus far. Last year, I went into this whole spiel about how I was growing anxious about getting older and how it felt like my life hadn’t really “begun.” This year… I don’t know. I’ve been 27 for less than a week, but I don’t feel any wiser, nor seasoned. JUST OLD.

I’m honestly horrified that I’ve reached the age that How I Met Your Mother‘s Ted Mosby was in the pilot episode where he realized he needed to start settling down. I HAVEN’T EVEN PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS YET. How can I even think beyond that? I know that I can’t and shouldn’t really compare myself to a fictional character (which again is something I have the tendency to do), but as I clock off another year and reflect on my life, it’s hard not to evaluate what I haven’t accomplished so far. Like okay, I have university degree. I’ve one completed manuscript which is just kind of there right now, but I’ve also got one that I’m currently working on that I really really am enjoying. But I also spend the majority of my week fiddling with catheters or dodging the toxic fumes of tetrahydrofuran glue. I don’t really want to accept the present, but in a way I kind of have to?

But I think I can change how I take it. I do try to stay positive and persevere, but I think I truly do have to take Shailene Woodley’s advice to head and heart. I have to “forgive my past, accept the present, and release the future.” Carpe Diem, forget regret, and all that jazz. Sure. But really what I have to do is that I have to make the most of what I have. That’s not to say that I’m just going to remain immobile and just let life do whatever it wants to do to me. I do have control (to a certain degree), and I think as long as I just make whatever the heck drink I want out of the lemons that life gives me, then, to quote the R&H’s Cinderella musical, “I can be whatever I want to be.”

So. That’s my yearly lament. To be honest, this month has been sort of top notch in the lame department. I can’t dwell on that crap, though. I have to keep going. Tomorrow, I’m off to NYC for Book Expo. Although my trip has already taken a slight tailspin into misfortune (flight scheduling issues, therefore having to leave early and missing out on the Bevy’s long-awaited brunch ;_;), I’m NOT going to let that get me down. I’m going to enjoy the time I do get to spend with my friends. I’m not going to go in oblivious carefree happy mode (as if I could ever do that), but I am going to strive to be that so-called ~Spirit Junkie. The robot version of one anyway 🙂

ETA 10:51am – Just before I scheduled for this post to go up, I found out that my flight going to NYC had been cancelled, as well. So now I’m sitting in the airport until the next flight leaves. HAHAHA. Wellllll then, I’ll consider this the first challenge~

I dreamed a dream IN SPACE. Or: discussing my other other OTHER story.

Last December I did something that I probably should not have done. I tried to ignore what came of this act, but I could not. So now here I am with a substantial word count of ANOTHER story. Although I know that nobody can dictate what I write and when I write it, (until I get a book deal, HAHA), so who even cares how many new stories ideas I come up with, I feel like I’m cheating on my Starless Night babies. But I CANNOT HELP IT. I wasn’t going to ever blog about this hoping that it would just die in the gutter (this metaphor is relevant, you will see!), but no …it’s still alive and moving and AHHHH!

Anyway, on to the plot~ It’s no huge secret that I adore Les Mis. For a plethora of sad, sappy reasons, it’s my favourite musical. It reminds me of everything. You know what else I adore? SPACE. Stuff that happens on spaceships. Star Wars. Battlestar Galactica. Firefly. That kind of stuff. So I’m all good when it comes to the screen, but when it comes to books, I actually haven’t read too many novels that take place in space that I’ve enjoyed. So during Christmas break last year, I was writing a scene about this girl who’s all in unrequited love with this guy and then I thought, “YOU KNOW WHAT, let’s change the setting!” And I put them on a spaceship. Then I took that chunk, changed their names, and stuck it in a new file and titled it “The Space Errand.” And a random short story was written.

Then I started thinking about high school history class and the French Revolution and my mind went into allegorical mode and WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF THE WORKING CLASS WERE ALIENS? Aliens and humans and rebellion and UNREQUITED LOVE. Before I knew it, I had a Les Mis re-telling unfolding in front of me. The short story had turned into a new story. I know that there are a LOT of classic novels being retold in sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural/etc settings and this is freaking LES MISÉRABLES …which is why I yelled at myself when more ideas matriculated because I’m sure it’s going to happen sooner or later. But ohhhhhh I cannot abandon this now.

By the way, I know that Marie Lu’s Legend (which was AMAZING) was inspired by the Valjean vs. Javert cat-and-mouse chase, but naturally my story is told in the POV of Éponine and focuses more on that side of the story. And yes, she is an alien. Kind of. It’s a futuristic story, so there are aliens and humans and maybe hybrids and oh, I have said too much already.

The moral of this story is that I really need a time turner because my brain feels like a volcano on the verge. It’s going to erupt, so I need to stop stuffing it with notions and ideas. On the other hand, yay notions and ideas! I mean, that’s one of my favourite things about writing: brainstorming.

So the real moral of this story is that I better go finish Starless Night revisions because… there are more stories waiting for me and despite my freaking out, I’m pretty stoked about writing this new endeavour. 🙂 IN SPACE!

Zombie Time. Or: I’m ransoming my brain in 2013

Let’s not call them goals. Let’s call them, SELF-DEMANDS.

• edit Fear Not The Fall into a viable second draft.
• revisit Starless Night and …do something about it.
• finish the first draft of Verona Horse Mermaid.
• participate in NaNo 2013 (???)
• roughly outline Peter Pan remix story
• upon revising FNTF, let someone else read it
• before turning 26 (z o m g), have one of your projects READY FOR QUERYING.

Is this all too bold? Probably.

My brain might explode in November. Or: NaNoWriMo 2012

Yup. Tomorrow is November. What?! That means …NaNoWriMo. Do you know the first thing that pops into my mind when I someone says “NaNoWriMo”? It’s this:

(click the photo for the image credit and A RECIPE)

In case you have no idea what that is, it’s a nanaimo bar. Supposedly it’s some Canadian specialty, but to me it’s just one of the rare chocolate desserts that I’ll actually eat. My chocolate preferences are not what’s important right now, however. What’s important is that I’ve never really officially participated in this event. NaNoWriMo, I mean. Not a nanaimo event, though I’m sure somewhere in the great white north, they do exist. The reason for not participating? Every year on whatever various social media I frequent, someone (or several people) will obsessively or annoyingly NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT. Needless to say, it’s always been a major turn-off. Throughout high school and university, I was constantly surrounded by people who were all, “Oh, I’m a writer. I’m working on a novel and I’m going to get it published. No, Lindsey, I don’t want to write for your lame newspaper or join your writing club because I’m clearly too cool for that, but still, writing is totally my passion. By the way, did I also mention I’m reading the CLASSIC NOVEL by Charles Dickens because I’m so into literature and writing. BLAH BLAH BLAH.“* Most of those people were all talk, no action. Or should I say “all talk, no writing.” So I stayed away. And for the record, my writing club was awesome.

To be completely honest, I’m still not even sure how I feel about NaNo. It should be quality over quantity, right? Just because I’m able to write 50K+ doesn’t mean that I’ve written a publishable novel. Likewise, I might only write 20K in a month, but be on the verge of something AMAZING. …But just like everything else in the whole dang universe, I feel I can’t really judge or say since I’ve never officially participated. That’s why I’ve signed up for this year. I suppose it could be said that next month is an experiment. I want to know if I can do it and I want to know if I like it. More importantly, I also want to know what happens next. Am I going to learn anything from this? Will I be a ~better writer on December 1st than I was on October 31st? DO I REALLY HAVE 8K/day SUPER POWERS? (I’ve officially been sorted in Slytherin, but apparently my Ravenclaw is still showing.)

My current WiP Verona Horse Mermaid (not the actual title, of course) is just under 30K at the moment. I wanted to just work on that for NaNo, but then I thought to myself …NO. I want to start an entirely new story from scratch. Once I make a drastic decision like that, I kind of force myself to keep it because I don’t like declaring stuff only to take it back. So yeah. My story this month will be a contemporary one. I don’t want to say it’s YA because I want the characters to be slightly older. We’ll see what happens.

So yes. There you go. My NaNo profile can be found here and I’m sure sporadic tweets will also appear on the subject. Thankfully I have friends who totally don’t annoy me when they talk about writing who are also participating this year. So basically, it’s going to be like a party. Hopefully. We’ve already got another writeathon date planned~ This is going to be interesting…

*Clearly I still have much pent up aggression from my teenage years. xD