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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gone Writing.... (Word Count = 50,276)

 Each year is different...there were 11 days that I wrote no words this year.  My highest day was 8K words.  I had two 5K days.  I had two 4K days.  I had two 3K days.  The novel is far from over, I'm not sure if I will go back and finish it.  It is only 50,276 words. To be honest, all while I was writing I was thinking about how much I can't wait to get back to my NanoWrimo 2009 novel.  My goal is to get it in good enough shape to be read by a few of my friends before the end of the year.  After all of these years of writing, I want to know the feeling of actually finishing something.  I know that I can do it.  I'm going to give myself the rest of the day off.  Tomorrow...the reading/editing begins again.  It is good to have a deadline, I'm good with those.  A definitive endpoint to accomplish a certain set of work almost guarantees that I will accomplish said work.  I mean, if I can get 26 miles, there are really no excuses for not doing anything I set my mind too.

It was fun to get my 50K words surrounded by several of my NanoWrimo friends.  We wrote late into the night on Friday and then started up again in the morning.  After four hours of sleep, I am really looking forward to heading home for a nap.  November is always a fun month.  It is 30 days of writing crazy and enjoying spending lots of time with my writing friends.  I rarely see them throughout the year...but in November...they are constant support.  I readjust my schedule flipping my dates with Gym to the morning so that I can write in the evening.  I eat horrible (too many cookies to count at this point).  I find time each year to write my heart out and get at least 50K words.  No matter what is happening, I always find the time.  This was my 8th year...and it still feels just as good crossing that finishing line.

All my Bags...NanoWrimo All Night Write-In...


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Everywhere we follow....

I have written many times before about how following the game of soccer has transformed my life...in many different ways.  I'm healthier.  I'm more outgoing.  I'm more interesting to talk to.  I'm more balanced.  It all started with one soccer game at the Soccerplex when I saw the season opening game for the University of Maryland in 2011.  In those first moments, the minute the game started, I knew.  This was going to be something good.  I know this is why they will always be my first favorite soccer team.

When you commit to following a team, you follow them wherever they go.  You literally travel to places you that were never on your radar.  I was in Hoover, Alabama last December to watch Maryland play in the Semi-Finals for the NCAA Championship.  I think that game was the hardest I had ever worked as a fan.  We were down in the second half, but we fought back to tie things up.  The Maryland fans...the crew, parents, and a few others were on our feet.  Chanting.  Giving good vibes.  Transfering energy.  You could feel it.  It was amazing.  We fought through two overtimes only to lose in PKs.  My family and I actually stood with the Crew (Maryland's amazing Student Fans) behind the goal.  It was brilliant...all of chanting...hugging...and then then consoling.  We even stood by the bus to cheer on the team as they left.  It was heartbreaking.

Despite our loss, I stayed in town and really enjoyed Birmingham, Alabama - you can feed giraffes at their zoo!!  I also enjoyed watching the University of Indiana beat Georgetown two days later.  It was an amazing atmosphere to sit among the Hoosiers.  We were chanting with them.  The sheer number that were there was overwhelming.  It was my first time seeing a Big 10 team play.  They had a group of alumni who assembled a marching band to play during their tailgate.  It was inspiring.  It was top-notch fandom.  I wished that for Maryland...to be able to have that many people there to show support. It helps, I know that it helps.

2013 is the last ACC Season for Maryland, next year we will be in the Big 10.  I don't know if it will initially help to bring a bigger draw of alumni and fans out to soccer games.  I do know that my soccer fandom will take me to new places, places that would have never otherwise been on my radar.  I love what following the sport has done for me...I get on planes and buses.  I have crazy sport fan rituals.  When we are losing, my hair goes up in a ponytail.  I always wear my lucky shamrock earrings to games.  I have a pre-game ritual for every home game too.  It works, so I keep all these things going.  It helps, I know that it helps.

The ACC Championship (almost poetic in a way) was held at the Soccerplex in Maryland both in 2012 and 2013.  As a fan, watching them win the ACC Championship two years in a row on the first pitch I ever saw them play, motivates me even more.  They work so hard for every win.  It makes me want to work harder too. I trained for my marathon winding around the trails surrounding the Soccerplex, it was not an accident.  As 2013 starts to wind down, I can only imagine what my soccer fandom will inspire me to do in 2014.  I know that getting miles will be still be a theme...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Orange Wall Magic... (Word Count = 32,835)

All my noveling essentials...
An early Saturday morning with a marathon for some words.  So far I have written 5,244 words...it is only just after 12pm.  I was able to get the sacred space by the orange wall at Panera, which always helps.  I write more words here than I do at home now.  This has been the case for a few years now actually.  Writing is solitary for the most part, but in November I am always surprised about how productive I can be writing with all my NanoWrimo friends. I'm sure it is the word wars more than anything else...we turn the hour glass...and try to write as many words as we can in ~ 14.5 minutes.  On good days, I can make about 745 words.  Today has been slower...averaging about 450 words.  I'll take it. I'm also sure the productivity stems from all of us holding each other accountable to our word counts.  It really helps.  I always feel lucky.  I'm the one chick lit writer among a bunch of super smart science fiction/fantasy writers.  There are many conversations they have about things that I don't understand.  Lots of inside jokes I don't comprehend. It doesn't matter.  I'm getting words.  They are getting words.  I had all of my essentials this morning.  My laptop.  Coffee.  Headphones.  Music.  Notebook.  Pen.  Friends.  Words.  This is what November is all about...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How you know you are not feeling well...

My word count has not grown over the past few days...I'm holding steady at 26K....but I have a really good excuse.  I have been sick and this cold/cough/fever thing has knocked me out.  I haven't been sick like this in a long while.  I have still been at work...which I know is a mistake...but sometimes you just have to put how you are feeling aside.  I may have been quoted as saying the following, "It doesn't matter how I feel, there is work to be done."  I know.  I need to fix this attitude.  I was a train wreck yesterday...it was clear to all those around me.  So, while my novel sits waiting for me to return...I thought I would note a few of my observations over the past few days.   


How you know you are really not feeling well...
  • You have insane dreams...for example...buying a $1700 Kate Spade bag to keep your cell phone in...only your cellphone.     
  • You leave your diabetes bag (filled with life sustaining stuff like both of your insulin pens and glucose monitor) on your desk at work.  You realize this at 9:30pm at night and then have to drive all the way back to work to get it.
  • Your boss refers to you as Typhoid Mary.
  • Your partner in crime at work shields their face anytime they walk in your office or anytime you go theirs. 
  • Your co-workers wonder if you are okay because your eyes are really "glassy".
  • You walk up and down the hallways really slow.
  • You can't wait to get home to your Vicks VapoRub.
  • You don't even miss Gym or care if he misses you.
  • You cancel Physical Therapy for the week, but you feel really, really bad about it.  You can barely carry your purse; you have to be realistic about your energy level.
  • You wear a neon green sweatshirt at work over your outfit because you are shivering...all day long. 
  • You fall asleep looking at twitter and accidentally favorite things you do not intend too. Upon waking up, you quickly unfavorite them...but does it even matter?
  • You are home at 8pm which enables you to go to sleep at 8pm.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A close to 8K words kind of day... (Word Count = 25,652)

What November looks like...
Maybe I will get a few more words...the day is hardly over...but I'm almost caught up to where I should be to get 50K words by the end of the month.  Today was a good word getting day...so far I have written 7,642 words.  I took full advantage of the fact that there were no soccer matches on my agenda today.  My novel is moving along.  The good news is that I have a good rhythm going, every time I sit down to write, there is no struggle for words or ideas.  I know enough about my characters now so that I can move them through their days.  I'm feeling slightly lazy...all I have to do is write about 400 or so more words...then my total for the day will be 8K and my total word count will be at 26K.  I have been at Panera for way too long.  I need some fresh air.  We will see if more words happen...but in the meantime...I'm feeling much more confident that I will get at least 50K words.  Each year I always worry that perhaps I have lost the art and tenacity to produce many words in one day.  And then a day like today happens...and I am reminded that I can indeed get all the words I need.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I know < What I don't know (Word Count = 15,042)

Yes...I know I should closing in on 21K words...but I have 15K...it could be worse.  I have decided to not stress so much about the word count.  I'll write when I feel like writing.  If there are others things I would rather be doing...I'll do them.  It just feels better all around.  My novel is taking shape.  As with every November, I'm learning lots of things that I was not expecting too.  This is my first attempt at Young Adult Fiction...so my characters are in high school at that perfect age of 17ish.  Well...perfect for some.  It was one of my favorite ages...I got a car...I got a real grown up job...I got an A on my term paper...and I was in a hurry to leave high school behind.  I have written young characters before...but this is very different.  It is good to stretch yourself in new and different ways.  It is a completely different perspective.  I am having fun with it.

What I know so far...
  1. My girl hero is Agnes.
  2. My boy hero is Shane.
  3. Another boy named Jaren appeared in Agnes's Spanish class...who knows where this will go.  
  4. Agnes has an Aunt Ellen who is part mother, part big sister, and part best friend.
  5. Agnes's favorite teacher is Betty Torres...she teaches Economics and Business Law.
  6. Agnes is about to embark on a Junior Achievement student company adventure.
  7. Agnes may or may not be selected as the President of aforementioned student company.
  8. Shane may or may not have a huge problem with this; he thinks he should be the President.
  9. There may end up being two student company's - one "on the books" for school and one "off the books" because Agnes has big ideas and knows how to bring them to fruition.
 What I don't know so far... 
  1. Where the novel takes place.
  2. What time of year it is.
  3. What the name of the High School is.
  4. What Aunt Ellen does for a living.
  5. What Agnes's parents names are.  What they look like.
  6. What Agnes's style is.  What her favorite song is. What her favorite candy is.
  7. What the duration of the story is - a week, a month, a season, a year.
  8. What the name(s) of the student company's will be.
  9. This list goes on...and on...
I never let the details hold me back...I just keep writing...it all sorts out in the end.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

First Part and Second Part (Word Count = 8,084)

A goody bag from one of my NanoWrimo
Buddies...filled with J stuff!!! 
A different kind of marathon now...my writing one...it is National Novel Writing Month...and I'm already set on my 8th journey.  7 crappy first draft of novels sit upon the shelf...I never finish them...but maybe this year I will.  I'm far behind where my word count should be.  I initially set my goal to 65K instead of the required 50K words...I could still get there.  The start has been slow...I did not really get going until Monday when two things happened -  I heard a song that spurred the words and then I met with several of my writing friends at Panera after work.  I got my first thousand words. On Thursday I wrote with them again...and got 3K in just a few hours.  Then I got 1K more at home on my own while listening to a soccer game.  Last night, another 2K in about 1 and 1/2 hours.  I'm definitely a faster writer than I am a walk/runner...but the work pays off in both (and feels pretty good too).
 
This year is different.  I'm cheating a little bit.  All of my words will not be for a new novel.  The first set of words are to finish up a novel I wrote in 2009.  Of all of things I have written...it is the closest to being done...it is the one I think about the most.  It all spurred from a life happening that caused me pause when I got a call from work while Kid Cudi was performing...one scene formed in my head and then I ended up creating this unexpected quirky story that I still love.  I will finish it.  I have completed the missing part that I have been mulling over for 4 years. I will have to fix up a few things to tie everything together...but I will save that for December.  I will finish it before the new year...that is my next goal!

So...now...as I head into the weekend...all the words from here on out will be for a new novel idea.  I'm easing into it.  I know the overall story.  I know the complication.  It will be my first attempt at young adult fiction.  I don't know my main characters names yet.  I don't know what they will look like.  I don't know if they hate or love their parents.  I don't know if they have siblings.  I don't know where they live.  This is how I write...I'm a true pantser (fly by the seat of your pants).  Unlike everything else in my life...my writing is truly free...no lists...no structure...no plans...no schedules...it is perfect.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Week 23 - After the 26.2

The last day on my training plan has been checked off...starting tomorrow...I am on my own again. Post Race Recovery Week 3 was much better than Week 2.  I was back at the gym.  I walked and ran on Monday for the first time since the race.  It felt better than what I was expecting.  I also started trying to get to the gym in the mornings before work to prepare for all of the writing I will hopefully do after work in November for National Novel Writing Month. My energy level is still dragging...I'm still exhausted all the time.  I keep thinking, if only I could take a day off to just sleep...it would fix everything!

I started back with Physical Therapy for my right knee and hip this week as well.  I have a set of stretches to do each day and will go two times a week initially.  I'm feeling really positive, I know that I can fix the issue.  I'm excited to see what not having an injury will do for my walk/run pace.  I finally did some strength training as well.  That was an eye opening experience.  It felt like I was back to square one...everything was difficult.  I knew that I was tired, but I had no idea how fatigued my muscles still were.  The good news is, I know that I will get back to where I was.  That is part of the fun...working your way back and then going further.

The hardest work of the week was doing something that used to feel like nothing...getting my three miles on Saturday.  It was hard.  I walk/ran on the treadmill and I could feel how shaky I am on my right knee.  I pushed through.  I kept my pace.  I got it done...as always.