Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And So It Begins...

I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. I wasn't prepared for the sense of satisfaction, completion, or excitement I felt when it was over. But here I sit, on the other side of 50,000 words, and I can hardly believe it!

I finished my NaNoWriMo project a full week early, pushing out an unheard of (to me, anyway - if you are a cyborg that regularly manages this feat, I don't want to hear it) 10k words in a staggering 5 hours. FIVE HOURS. I wanted to finish while at a NaNoWriMo event called the Night Of Writing Dangerously write-a-thon in San Francisco this past weekend. I thought it would be neat to have my final hurrah happen with other Wrimos. I won't be doing that again (the 10k in 5 hours, not the event). However, I will be writing for NaNoWriMo again.

And what am I going to do with my current manuscript, you ask?

Edit. Edit. Edit.

I can hardly wait to begin. I knew I really enjoyed writing, but I wasn't expecting it to so fully engage my heart. I really love the story I am weaving, learning the characters, and watching as my protagonist did things for which I was utterly unprepared.

Here is my nod to an Acknowledgements page:

Thanks to my wonderful husband, who gave me the time I needed to stick my nose in my laptop... again. My kids were great, giving me inspiration, and laughing at the right parts when I read sections out loud. My parents were a wonderful support, giving me the financial gift of attending the NaNoWriMo write-a-thon. My mom, Jill and Carolyn were the best in sacrificing their schedules to watch my crazy seven children, giving me and Christopher the first 2-night stay away from the kids in 9 years. Birthing a baby doesn't count for that one. Thanks to all my friends who told me I could do it! Especially when I was convinced the story line roughly resembled Dog Chow - Dog Chow being the more appetizing.

And so it begins... the work of turning this burly manuscript into a sleek thing of beauty.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Changing The Layout

Just ignore all the proverbial clutter and dust. I am working on changing the blog, and blundering my way through html, xml, and all manner of other mls. Hopefully, you will soon see something pretty.

Boys. Bricks. Bees.

Before you read any further you MUST watch this video.

Did you watch it? No?

Go. Watch. The. Video.

I own this particular DVD (which has several incredibly humorous skits on it) but I saw this clip on YouTube, first. In fact, I laughed so hard at the, "throw a brick at my head" part that I had to watch it again just to hear everything. I particularly loved it because I have a boy, and he would do something like this! In fact, let me give you a recent example.

This past weekend Bethany came bursting through the door, and announced that she needed my tweezers because Caleb had a bee stinger in his hand.

He has a what?

A bee stinger in his hand. He got stung.

In a few moments Caleb came along, holding his hand out for me to see. Sure enough, stuck into the pad of his palm was not only a stinger but the entire rear end of the bee it had once been attached to.

Umm... wow, Caleb!

Yeah. I know.

Thankfully you aren't allergic to bee stings (we didn't know that before this incident). How on earth did this happen?

Oh, I was catching bees.

blink. blink.

You were what?

I was catching bees.

On purpose?


I was doing this: He made his hands perfectly still, and mimicked holding them next to a flower where a bee sat. Suddenly he cupped his hands together, and showed me, rather triumphantly, his hold on the imaginary bee.

Did you not think you would get a bee sting from this activity?

Caleb looked at me perplexed. I waited for the answer. I figured he was mulling over my profound question, and realizing the foolishness of his behavior. In fact, he was trying to understand how I could be so dull. He decided to explain the obvious:

I didn't get stung the other times I did it.

We will be listening for the whistle of flying bricks.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo (pronounced nay-no-rye-moe) is taking place right now! November 1st through November 30th finds over 100,000 people frantically trying to fill roughly 175 blank pages with 50,000 words. I am one of them.

I decided to write a book. Several of you have been fearless in your encouragement of this endeavor, and I appreciate your sentiments. I am still very unsure of how this will play itself out, but for better or worse I am committed to writing 50,000 words over the coarse of 30 days. The basic rules are as follows:

-No writing can take place outside of 11/1 to 11/30 except plot outlines, or character sketches. I chose to do away with this acceptable medium of novel insurance, and simply jumped in with both feet last Sunday night.

-The book has to be an original piece of fiction, and can not be a left-over project from a previously unsuccessful NaNoWriMo year. Since this is my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, and certainly my first attempt at writing a book, this rule doesn't apply to me. However, should my grasp of sanity prove too tenuous I have a lovely piece of plagiarism I am prepared to enter under my own name. Did I just write that out loud?

-The book must include 50,000 words (per the official NaNoWriMo word counter) by midnight, local time, November 30th. It can not be the same word written 50,000 times. I checked. So far I have 14,720, but I am fairly certain only 7 of them will last past the first edit.

The last point NaNoWriMo makes is that this project is purposely about the pursuit of the Frantic Novel. In order to complete a novel of this length, in this amount of time, you can't expect perfection. In fact, quite frankly, you can't really expect much at all - except a high word count. So don't think you are getting a copy of my Newberry Medal earning novel on December 1st. However, I have decided to take the book, when complete, through an editing process and see if anything sticks.

So, wish me well! You may send sustenance to my family, since they will be without a mother/ cooker/ nurse/ laundress/ wife/ home manager/ maid for the remaining 3 weeks.


Phoebe did the oh-so-cute sneeze with a little hiccup yesterday morning. As most babies her age can testify, it is hard business, and requires at least a teaspoon full of milky spit-up to complete satisfactorily. Mary watched her then announced:

Watch out, Mama! Phoebe bless-up'ed.