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>My Holiday Gluttony

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For the most part, I can honestly say that this Thanksgiving weekend has been completely gluttony free. It helped that I didn’t get to go to Asheville with Honey for the big dinner there (I was too far under the weather). It also helped that my side is waiting until December to do a Thanksgiving/Christmas combo (timing issues). Even the giant plates of food Honey brought home lasted a couple days instead of getting gobbled up all at once. Pretty good, huh?
Well, yesterday I did succumb to a kind of gluttony. Primarily, the computer kind. Let’s see:
 I did a little bit of this. I promise, just a little tiny bit. For myself….
 I did quite a lot of this. Usually, I find myself just running through here, clicking the like button. Yesterday, I posted, commented, rechecked over and over to look for replies and new posts to comment on. Still, no gaming! That’s something, right?
 My nano schedule has been to post on Tuesdays & Thursdays and read and comment on Saturdays. I’ve been all over blogger the past couple days, for long periods of time, too. And it’s been a lot of fun….
 I have also been feeding my lolcat addiction quite a bit. I’ve saved bunches of new-to-me lol’s…..
The thing is, as usual, I’ve waited to the last minute to finish some other things. Er, um, I should say start…  I really want to get to some of this kind of decorating. I’m looking forward to the whole Christmas season for a change and I want to act on it before it slips away….

 I also want to complete my story. Now that I’ve crossed the 50k yard line, I’m really struggling with making myself sit down and get the thing finished. It doesn’t help that there are several technical points that are throwing me for a loop and helping me to become discouraged…..
Then, there is the neglected homework. I won’t even go into my attitude toward school and the college right now. I’ve made some decisions but I still have to get this stupid, useless, already been there-done-that class over with. GGGRRRR!
I also either need to go to the grocery store for some of this stuff, as well as a few other items, or, see if I can talk Honey into doing it for me….

 What isn’t helping is that I’m terribly sleepy because we went to the 10:45 showing of this. Woohoo! It was really great, even better than I expected. William was right; it only left out/tweaked a few little things. For the most part, it followed the book very closely. And yes, I cried. 
Surprisingly, I don’t know which excited me more last night, going to see Harry, or going out with our friends. Let me explain. Honey’s BFF (and co-worker for the last 4 years), Furby, wanted to see Harry (and so did his wife and daughter) and he’s been nagging me forever to come out to eat. (They go out after work some, but I would have to drive 45 minutes to meet them; and they never know for sure when the last customer is going to leave. I really don’t want to drive that far at 8:30-ish, eat, and then come home, see?)
ANYWAY! Last night was not just about eating and going to see the movie. Nope. Furby was a cop for 15 years and he’s getting ready to go back into it part-time. Guess what? He said I could pick his brains. That’s right. He’s helping me out with the technical junk that’s been messing with me. He’s also helping me figure out some murder scenes. Cool, huh? 
I’ve already learned that I was putting too much unnecessary detail into scenes that wouldn’t really matter. A mention in passing would be enough. I’ve also changed some scenes to fit into one jurisdictional area instead of having them all spread out. This crosses out the need to think up more background characters and unnecessary back-story-type information. Sweet!
His wife contributed an idea that I love and will probably use. I don’t know if it will be my antagonist or a red herring dude…hmmmm. 
The important thing is that all the stress I’ve been experiencing because of my lack of knowledge is completely gone. Completely. The really cool thing is that Furby is really interested in the whole idea of my story. I’m glad, because we still have some kinks to work out. 
Ain’t it nice to have friends who don’t mind letting you download from their own hard-drive? 
That’s been a large part of my Thanksgiving holiday, especially yesterday. Now, I have to get off here and go get busy!


>&^*^&%%^*^(*)%$#@@@#_))((*&^%%$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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See this angry gorilla? That’s how I feel right now. Ask me why. Go ahead, ASK ME!!!!!!

I just completed the 50k word count for nano and, since that doesn’t complete the story, I was still writing. I was IN THE FLOW, MAN!

I get to the point when one mc has to share some important and difficult information with the other mc and DANG IT! How did he react? HE GOT MAD! He wasn’t supposed to get mad! What the heck?!!!

Where does he get off thinking he gets to choose how he feels and reacts? I’m the one in charge here, right? RIGHT?!!

Now, the flow is jammed all up, ideas spilling out everywhere like an overflowed toilet and here I am, barefooted, standing in a load of crap without a plunger!

Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but he’s messing with my flow! Now, how am I supposed to bring it all back together without making it sappy? I HATE sappy. GGGRRRRRrrrrrr! No, wait…WWWaaaaaaa!!!! *sniff* *hiccup* *sniff*

“It’s okay.” *shakey, whispery assertion* “I’ll find a way.” *blowing nose and sweeping up office carnage*

Anyway, I just needed to vent. And maybe a little sympathy. Does this happen to you? Got a hankie?

>Crawling Around In A Dark Mind

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 Because of some things that occurred this weekend, I haven’t had time to schedule any posts ahead of time. Well, except for the cool poetic list from Tuesday. I will do a post about the happenings later. Sometime.

Just for clarity, I didn’t make that list; you just copy and paste it and change the answers to your own. I read it over on L’Aussie Writing. So, anyway….

My nano story is coming along fine and I’m getting to that place where things are starting to heat up. You know, things are starting to connect and action is taking place and the characters are starting to see that something is going on.

I’m finding out it’s pretty tricky making sure that I don’t give away too much at one time while dropping hints so that later, the reader will go, “Oh! Oh, I remember that, why didn’t I see that?” Or, “Man! I KNEW it!” Even, “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming!” Any of those reactions are good for me.

One of the most difficult things for me is writing through the mind of my antagonist. Oh boy howdy, he’s a bad dude. I could tell you some tales…..! He’s mental. And pervy. He has a long history of cruelty and other things.

I was doing some research this weekend (which made me shudder) and Monday night, I wrote from his point of view. Part of me wanted to be so completely true to him. But I couldn’t. Without going into it, I wrote the scene….and still felt as if I needed a shower afterward.

One reason was because he is so vile underneath. Another reason was, in the back of my mind, all I could think about was the fact that one day (hopefully) people I know will be reading this. And they’ll be SHOCKED! Which is fine to a point, but I didn’t want to put people off. So, I did the scene in such a way as to remain true to his character and his perception, but still kept it creepy. And later, that scene will come back to haunt the reader. Hopefully….it’s pretty whacked out.

Does anyone else have these issues? Is this normal? Is it better to write the scene in such a way that readers won’t be turned off but still creeped out? Or should I just totally spew the filth? I gotta tell you, spewing might work in my head, but I don’t know about on paper….?

And in case you’re wondering, he’s not a vampire. He’s not supernatural at all. But, he is extraordinarily evil….

>The Birth Of My NaNo Story

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 Okay, scheduling some posts before I get back to writing. Before I do that, I have to say something about NaNo.

Sure, so far, it hasn’t been as terrible as I thought it was going to be. I’ve found that if I stick relatively close to the routine I’ve mapped out for myself, I do okay. No more HGTV, though!

Also, regarding saying no to tv, the NaNo-quest is helping me do something that is very difficult for me-saying ‘no’ – to all sorts of things.

 I’m learning to say no to television, movies, blogging (which reached an unhealthy point a couple months ago-I was spending way too many hours everyday blogging instead of spending time with my husband, my family, doing homework, etc.), people, internet meandering, and a few other things. Most of these things I just need to learn to do in moderation. Others I need to learn to say no to without all the guilt that I either heap upon myself or is dished out by others.

And I’m learning who is truly supportive of my dream of writing a book and getting published. What a feeling it is to learn that there are people who really believe in you! So, I’m loving NaNo for reasons other than getting something written.

Now, for the something being written. One blogger I visited today asked us to reveal a secret. I almost told this one and decided it could be a blog post. It’s about my NaNo story….

Have you ever seen the movie The Illusionist? The one with Edward Norton? If not, click off the computer and go find it or rent it. It’s that good. In fact, it’s just under Kingdom of Heaven and Gladiator for me. I digress….

When I saw the movie, I fell in love, in a way, with Norton’s character – Eisenheim. His love for Sophie (I had forgotten that was her name-it’s the name of the daughter in my story!), his determination juxtaposed with his melancholy…he, to me, was just a beautiful character. And I loved the

look of him. He appeared professional, able to handle things, yet gentle and kind, trustworthy.

Soft spoken but not to be underestimated. Unflinching but not cruel. Clever and masterful…

And my husband-character was created. Like Athena, he sprang full

grown from my imagination. As soon as he became sentient, my MC, his wife, was born. The daughter-character was only born this week.

From there, the story developed….a little bit. I had the ending from the get-go, but nothing else. So, I put it on a shelf in my mind and left it there for over three years.

NaNo required me to dust it off and see what I could make of it. Lydia Kang and Laura Diamond, in answering a few questions, and William, in letting me bounce ideas off him, helped the story to take shape and direction and the plot was born. I pretty much have the whole shebang now. And just today I learned that my MC loves chant music-primarily Gregorian….news to me!

So, that’s the where and how of my NaNo story. Care to share yours?

>My NaNo Experience Thus Far

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Before NaNo began, I was really nervous. I had read all these things about having no time to write, putting life on hold, cooking lots of meals ahead of time and freezing them for later use…..

And I have to tell you, it hasn’t been too bad at all, for me anyway. I have created a simple routine. Nap time is two hours, relatively speaking. One of those hours is my lunch hour. I try to use as much of that time to write as possible. Then, when I get home, I do a tiny bit of housework, grab a bite to eat, take my shower, put on my pj’s, and write for a couple more hours.

How long I write in the evenings depends on a few things: how much I wrote at work, and how much sense the words are making. It has been interesting at times.

A few things I have learned:

1. It totally ruins my process if, when I’m ‘grabbing my bite to eat’ I decide to watch Bang For Your Buck. I become engrossed and need to watch the next HGTV show, or maybe a rerun of Dr. Who. Worse still is if I check to see if a good movie is showing on one of the channels. I have to drag myself to the daybed and make myself pound out a few words. Lesson: NO TV!

2. Having a routine actually works for me. Have I stuck to it? Sorta-kinda. Not today so much. I watched Dr. Who, HGTV, and most of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Lesson: STICK TO THE ROUTINE! IT WORKS!

3. Most of the stuff I read about NaNo before it began was HUMOR. It really hasn’t been too bad at all. Of course, I have fur-babies that are pretty self sufficient. They don’t have any soccer practices to go to. Roo has a check up tomorrow (sorry, today), but that’s pretty much it. When we had planned to go to the beach, we bought an auto-feeder. I don’t even have to worry about feeding them anymore! The best advice I read beforehand was 1-don’t use contractions (it helps with word count) and 2-don’t edit, just write. Lesson-FOLLOW THE ADVICE AND BE THANKFUL FOR THE VERY FEW DEMANDS ON MY TIME.

4. When I upload my story, I get to see the word count on my NaNo page. I also have a widget here on the blog. It’s very satisfying to see that count go up. It’s also nice to see it help boost my regional count. (I’ve learned that these guys are competitive!) Lesson: TAKE INSPIRATION WHERE I CAN GET IT.

5. Assistant Director promised me that she would hold me accountable. The first time she asked me if I had written anything was on Tuesday. Every year, when Director gets her new calendar, I try to schedule off two days-Honey’s birthday and mine. How cool that my b-day was the first day of NaNo and I was off work! So anyway, she asked if I had written anything and it made me feel good to be held accountable. She cared! And, she’s asked about my progress throughout the week. Plus, Co-Teacher has also been very supportive. I work with some great people.

Honey has been outstanding, making sure that I am undisturbed at home. Director and William, who are also writing in NaNo, have been very enthusiastic, as have several of you. Lesson: REMEMBER TO APPRECIATE AND BE VERY THANKFUL FOR WONDERFULLY SUPPORTIVE FRIENDS AND HUSBAND.

6. Writing on the daybed is like my happy place. Usually, I have some sort of music in the background, but, since I had to use a story idea/people that I hadn’t really developed before, I’m still working on what kinds of music they like and/or that fits them. I’m listening a lot to the Coraline soundtrack and Enya keeps popping into my head. Also, instrumental music such as bagpipes and uillean pipes-mournful, haunting music….and I need to find some kind of dark instrumental music. We’ll see….

Anyway, I have also learned that sitting in the floor, in the dark, during nap time is a very conducive place to write. Nap time is a two hour block during which teachers take their lunch hours. So, one hour is mine, and the other is Co-Teacher’s. Typically, I can get anywhere from 1200 to 3000 words during that time. Today was an exception I think. The only time I’ve gotten 3k. I was so into it, concentrating so hard, that when it was time to put everything away, I was sweating from the heat of the computer and shaking from the intensity of my concentration.

Co-Teacher was so sweet-she started the after nap pottying while I put my things away. Lesson: WRITING IN VARIOUS PLACES CAN BE A GOOD THING!

I’ve learned a few other things but I’m tired and want to go to bed. I have to put Roo into her carrier for her check up at the vet tomorrow-something Honey usually does. Not looking forward.

I think some of you got the impression that I was pictured with the cool dragon guy in the RenFest photo. Nope. Not me. He was posing for photos with different people and those people would pose with him for the rest of us. Everyone was so nice. I didn’t meet any rude people at all there. Well, except for Dead Bob. He might be in the next post I schedule.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to get around to all your blogs tomorrow. I’ve missed you all! Good night!