Archive | April, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Thirty COMPLETE!

30 Apr

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Ahhhh…. that light feeling you get when you’ve completed word count. And that aching feeling your head gets after banging it against a wall when the word count validator says you actually have another 300 words to go…

So, I finished my word count at 50,159 words. I always like to write a little extra for margin of error when it comes to validating it. Once again, I was just rambling and getting words down on the page. I’m not sure if I’m going to look at this day’s count when it comes to editing this monster, considering it’s going to be completely ridiculous, but whatever.

Anyway, I go to validate it and the validator says I’m at 49,735 words! It’s never been THAT far off before. 400 word difference? Maybe some of you will think I didn’t win, but I said screw it and copied my last few paragraphs and re-pasted them on to the end of my novel. I trust Word’s word counter more than theirs. I mean, Word’s word counter was good enough for my college professors, so it should be good enough for NaNo, too.

But I’m DONE! Finally! That’s a burden gone. How many of you completed your goals this month?

How many words did you write today? 1920
How long did it take you to write them? About an hour. Yeah, I was typing fast.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  Just one once I got going!
How many characters have you killed off to date? No one today.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today, I just had to keep going.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Breathing. Or at least it would be if I could breathe. (stupid cold)
Cups of Tea: None yet, but I’m about to go make one.
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? If I wasn’t sick, I’d say ALL the chocolate. Alas.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 50,093 (according to my cheated validator)
Words to Goal: 0!!
Days Remaining: 0!!

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

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Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Nine

29 Apr

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I think today was even worse than yesterday in terms of sickness–I have been stuffed up literally all day, unable to breathe through my nose at all. This has resulted in massive headaches and (yet another) feeling of utter exhaustion, and nothing was helped by any medication. It was weird. BUT I struggled through my last TIFO article for the month and word count for today. The end is in sight!

Once again, I’m not entirely sure what I wrote. I’m not sure if that’s the cold meds or the quickness with which my hands are flying across the keys, but I remember feeling like there were some good moments in there with the fluff, so that’s something.  Have I mentioned how much I want to re-structure and re-outline this? Ugh!

Well, tomorrow is the last day… I reckon I can make it.

How many words did you write today? 2399
How long did it take you to write them? A couple of hours. I didn’t do it in one sitting, but like… three little sittings, so it’s hard to tell.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  Too many to count. That, and YouTube. I think I’m addicted to YouTube.
How many characters have you killed off to date? No one today.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today, again! I was too busy trying to think up words to take them away again.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Watching the newest episode of Arrow!
Cups of Tea: Two.
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? None. D: Craving it though. Did have some Anzac biscuits, which are oatmeal cookie type things.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 48173
Words to Goal: 1827 (I think we know what my word count is tomorrow!)
Days Remaining: 1

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Beyond Camp NaNoWriMo: A Question For My Readers

29 Apr

Previous to April, I was having some trouble maintaining regular posts on the blog largely because I couldn’t think about what to write about. It was hard for me to think up something on the spot. Having April’s structure has really helped me keep on track (save for the last few days when I’ve felt like I’ve been on my deathbed–seriously, is it possible to contract Man Flu if you’re a woman? Because I think I might have it.)

Anyway, I thought I would give myself some structure for the next few months and see if it helps me keep up with the blog. Below is my proposed schedule:

Novel Mondays – talking about what’s happening with my current or previous projects, which will also require me actually working on the projects once April is done.

Review Wednesdays – book reviews mostly, perhaps with some travel reviews thrown in. This will also serve to keep me on track for my 2013 Book Reading Goal of 52 books in a year.

Freelance Fridays – This goes along with my new plan for the upcoming months. I’ve started freelancing for a few sites, and I’m planning on using Fridays to dedicate solely to working on Freelance projects as though I was going to the office. At the moment, this means two 1000-word articles each Friday, which, if I stop going on FB so much, should mean I get them done in a morning. Afternoons will then be dedicated to searching out more Freelance jobs and writing a blog post about tips/struggles/projects/etc.

But that leaves FOUR days of the week that aren’t covered. So, now that I’ve gathered a few followers from doing those Camp NaNoWriMo posts, I wanted to ask: what interests you? What would you like to see on the blog? What would you find helpful or entertaining? What do you wish someone would write about (preferably that fits into my read/write/travel theme!) that you haven’t seen yet?

I have a few extra ideas that I can use if no one has anything else they’d like to see, but I thought I’d see what you guys come up with!

Now, back to NaNo… 4000 words to go…

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Eight

28 Apr

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As you all saw, I ran into a plague-related problem, and not in my novel. I’m still hacking up a lung but the exhaustion bit’s petered out, so yesterday I not only *practically caught up* to the word count I needed, but also wrote one TIFO article and half of another. Productive day! I’m planning on pushing through another 2000 words (3000, if I can manage) today. It was looking a bit dodgy there whether I would finish, but the competition always drives me forward. I couldn’t be so close and not complete 50,000 words!

Anyway, gave MC and The Prince lots of soul-searching time in the last few thousand words. I don’t even know what I’ve written, but I hope it was good. I guess we’ll see when I reread it later.

Excuse me while I reach for (yet another) tissue.

How many words did you write today? 3687
How long did it take you to write them? I have no idea… I was on so many cold meds…
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  At least three or four. Plus a lot of YouTube breaks! I went on YouTube a lot.
How many characters have you killed off to date? One. The Emperor might have not-so-accidentally gotten poisoned.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? I don’t think I was capable of finding the backspace key, so I’m going to say none!
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Sleeeeping!
Cups of Tea: Three, all mint with honey. Pretty good. Soothed my throat a lot!
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? None. Husband said I couldn’t eat chocolate when I’m sick. D: (Now he’s complaining because he wants chocolate and he’s sick!)
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 45774
Words to Goal: 4226
Days Remaining: 2

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo: Taken by the Plague

27 Apr

I cannot believe I haven’t posted updates in the last few days. Well, I suppose I can. Thursday it completely slipped my mind and Friday I fell asleep. No excuses and all that, but here’s mine: I have the Plague.

The Plague is a special kind of infection that you get from working with children. This is the second time I’ve had the Plague in just about as many months, and it involves a horribly stuffy nose, sore throat, achy bones, and all that lovely stuff you get with normal colds. But it comes with a heaping side of exhaustion.

It is my theory that the children in question are able to leech all energy from you after giving you the Plague. It is some sort of coping device. They then use this energy to be that much faster, louder, and more difficult, while laughing at you as you shuffle after them, picking up legos and cleaning the crayon and avocado off the walls as you go, and by the time you’ve reached their room where you thought they were jumping on the bed and relieving the pillows of their unnatural feathery growths, they’re back in the kitchen relieving the drawers of all the newly organized tupperware, cackling.

That was a round about way of saying, I don’t even remember yesterday and today I napped for five hours after getting home from a half day at work.

I did not NaNo yesterday and I did not NaNo today. I have eight thousand words left and three days to write it in–plus the tail end of one TIFO article and one more before the month is out. I’m not too worried as I’ve come up with a few more things that can happen that I think will get me some more words. But I am NOT pleased with myself! I don’t think this has ever happened before…

Pretty sure I’m being punished for not doing my TIFO articles on Wednesday like I was supposed to. Oops. Either that, or the various stresses of the month have finally caught up to me in one big congested mess.

Or it was simply time to sacrifice another carer to the Plague God. And the Child knew. He always knows…

(Tomorrow should see a return to your regularly scheduled programming. That is, it will see a return to me playing MASSIVE catch-up!)

Word Count: 42,000
Days Remaining: 3
Needed Daily Word Count: 2667

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Four

24 Apr

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Write or Die Session #1:
855 words in 13 minutes.

Ahh…. today was a much better day. I didn’t get everything done that I planned to–I had to work early, which meant waking up at 5:30 (aka: Still A Zombie). I only worked for a few hours and was planning on going to the police station to get my fingerprints re-done for my visa, but I ended up getting home and sleeping for a few hours, and then sleeping again later in the afternoon. It did WONDERS for my stress levels/overall mood!

I’m still not incredibly happy with what I’m writing, but that’s pretty much how I feel every NaNo month around this time, so that’s nothing new. Having passed the 40k mark today, I feel like I’m so close I could practically taste winner-dom. And then there will be plenty of time to edit and re-outline later.

Pretty much just wrote a back story for MC’s personal guard/friend today, so it was fun to explore the character. Again, I’m writing in huge monologue chunks which obviously won’t be the way it would be presented in the final draft, but it’s nice to get out what needs to be known eventually. I’ll find a way of reworking it later.

How is everyone else doing? Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?

How many words did you write today? 1741
How long did it take you to write them? Roughly half an hour.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  One, plus an additional Pinterest break (so many things you can make out of pallets!)
How many characters have you killed off to date? None today… at least not directly.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today yet again!
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Watching another episode of Friends.
Cups of Tea: None
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? A sherbet fruit and a few Anzac biscuits (because I’m so patriotic), and I’m thinking about diving into this white chocolate again soon. White chocolate+Anzac biscuits = HEAVEN.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 40,783
Words to Goal: 9,217
Days Remaining: 6!!

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Book Review: Crusade by Linda Press Wulf

23 Apr

ImageWhen Prophet Stephen brings his children crusaders to Georgette’s town, she wants nothing more than to leave with them and serve God. Robert was a foundling and raised in an abbey where he was taught that the glory of God was everything. The journey to the Promised Land wasn’t what either of them expected, however–fraught with death and sickness, a less-than-moral prophet, constant hunger and tired feet, Stephen promises that the sea will open for them at Marseilles. So–what happens when it doesn’t?

I picked this book up because I am fascinated by the Crusades and pretty much anything to do with over-the-top religion. I’m not religious at all and never attended church, so stuff like the Crusades seem like something out of a fantasy world to me. I have never understood why anyone would undertake such a thing. (Though I feel I should also point out that I am not against any religion–I’m very open-minded and think everyone has the right to practice what they wish, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone!)

Anyway, I’d heard of the children’s crusade but had never read much about it. This is, of course, a fictionalized tale, but many aspects of it were very real, from the descriptions of the French countryside to what the young crusaders must have been feeling so far from home with all of the challenges thrown at them. What stood out, too, was Georgette’s and Robert’s faith in times of hardship. It was admirable rather than strange, which is how I read most books with extremely religious characters.

Anyway, Georgette, anyway, really grew on me. I think she was ten or eleven at the start, and over the year in which she was on the Crusade, she changed dramatically from a young girl with this romantic idea about serving God, to a hardened young woman who had seen too much and served God anyway. She took her every experience as a lesson, which I appreciated. Knowing the ending of this story already (historically), I couldn’t help but feel she was too eager to go at the start and too accepting of Stephen’s words. By the end, she isn’t nearly as naive about such things.

However, while I appreciated the plot between picking Georgette up and the sea not opening at Marseilles–sorry, was that a spoiler alert?–what came after came as a bit of a surprise, and I felt it was unnecessary. I would have liked the story to end with some more closure in regards to the Crusade. Instead, it goes off and becomes a story about Georgette’s and Robert’s extremely sudden relationship–as in, they’d barely said two words to each other before this–and then they’re married (she’s like twelve, but I mean, it’s the olden days), and then they’re running away  from being arrested and the book ends. There’s more to it than that of course, but the last few chapters seemed so disconnected from the rest of the book and sounded more like they were setting the reader up for a sequel than anything else.

Still, the book was enjoyable and a fascinating glimpse into history. If you have any interest in the crusades, I highly recommend it. 

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