Sunday, November 27, 2011

I did it!

I finished my 2011 NaNoWriMo Novel!  It required powering through 6,000 words in the last two days, writing late at night while standing in the kitchen with a baby on my back, and getting up very early to sneak in more writing before the kids were awake.  It's very much in first draft form.  But I did it.

Betsy was with me when I finished, and clicked the button to submit it to the word count validator.

And here's my winner's badge to prove that I did it:

More thoughts on the whole thing later.  Now it's time to rest my aching arms, and to have breakfast with my big girl!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Ten

Things for which I am thankful this year, in no particular order:

1.  Caffeine.  Why did I resist it for so long?  Grad school, first kid, I said no.  It wasn't until I became a stay-at-home parent that I regularly bowed to the power of this miraculous and life-giving force.  What was I waiting for?  A muddled mind on this matter: a clear indication of needing caffeine*.

2.  Cheese.  Just all of it.  Brie.  Gouda.  Cheddar with caramelized onions.  I'm even thankful for that vegan rice milk cheese, which is not much like cheese, but still decent on a pizza, and better than no cheese at all.

3.  Songs We All Know.  Can you imagine birthday parties without "Happy Birthday?"  "Uh, here's your flaming cake."  "Thanks."

4.  Hugs.  Nature's true miracle drug, soother of wounds, bestower of love and affection.  Also, a good way to suck body heat from your partner, if you happen to be cold-blooded and have a warm-blooded partner like I do.

5.  Sticks.  Good for building fires and smacking things, and for making fishing poles, tree forts, and fantastic fake antlers.

6.  Saying Wow.  And not just because my littlest began to say it this week.  Try it yourself, go find some things to say wow about.  I'll wait.  Now don't you feel better?  Wow!

7.   Dressing Up.  As a person who wears slippers for the majority of my work day, I love wearing nice things once in a while.  And the cats appreciate having more luxurious materials to shed upon.

8.  The Color of Cranberry Sauce.  I don't mean the kind in a can, I mean the kind made on the stove with cranberries, sugar, and water.  I've been fortunate enough to see a lot of beautiful things in this life, but few can rival the color of cranberry sauce.

9.  Traveling, and Not Traveling.  I love to go exploring.  But sometimes, like this weekend, I am quite glad to be staying home.

10.  Good Books.  They feel good to read, and they're good for you.  I'll never be able to read them all, but I'll die trying.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

*No matter how much I reassure you on this matter, however, do not let me have a second cup of coffee.  I quickly turn from peppy and productive to angry and jittery.  A second cup of tea should be okay, but a third might be risky.  Be thankful I have told you this.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Insomnia Made Useful

I'm at 40004!  It's a palindrome!  And I'm at 80%, which is good news.  I'd love to wrap this book up by the end of the weekend, so I can start on all these Christmas projects I've been sketching out in my mind.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Near May Be Better Than Far, But It Still Isn't There

Current Word Count:
35,608 (71%)

I totally stole this post title from my friend Sharon's status update, who in turn stole it from the musical Evita, which she'll be directing this spring in the first ever all-cat production.

Don't meow for me, simple human.
The truth is, I have my wet food.
My juicy tuna,
My oceanfishes
I have my wet food
Please bring cat dishes.

And as for opening up those cans
I have tried but I still have no thumbs
Though it seemed to the world
They were all I desired
They are illusions
Mittens don't open wet food as promised to me
The answer is still sleeping in
Oh wake and bring wet food to me!

You'll have to come to the show to hear the rest.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Days Something Through Whatever Today Is

Current Word Count:
30,772 (61%)

I don't even know what day it is now.  I would probably be done with the darn thing if Abigail weren't teething these molars.  As in, not sleeping.  As in still not sleeping now at 11:20 p.m.  Fussing.  Both of us, fussing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Over the Hill

Current Word Count:
25,095/50,000 (50%)

I am feeling the fatigue.  Suddenly, there is a lot going on at home and I am not wanting to give my attention to this project.  Matthew laughed as I was grumbling tonight, because it's not as if I have to do this.  I apologize if I owe you an e-mail or a phone call, but this project is sucking up literally all of my free time at the moment. 

On the other hand, I'm at 50% now, two days ahead of schedule.  It's all downhill from here!

And now I am going to go have an actual conversation with my husband, because I miss him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Days 9 & 10

The writing has been a little harder, but I met my goals.  I wish I had time to go back through what I've written, to get a better sense of where I'm going and how I want to structure the rest of my time, but the joy and the torture of NaNoWriMo is that I can't go back and rethink.  I just have to keep going forward if I want to make it to 50k.

A few other positive side effects:  I can't spend time on Facebook hearing about the great artistic things my friends are doing instead of doing my own artistic things.  Since creative work begets creative work, I've sketched out a half dozen more cartoons.  (Yes, this blog will again have content other than me blathering on about trying to write.)  I have a whole list of Christmas presents I want to make.  And Betsy and I made felt carpets for her dollhouse today, and a felt garden dotted with sunflowers, and a felt swimming pool, just because we wanted to.

Day 9 Word Count:

Day 10 Word Count:

Total Word Count:
19,234/50,000 (38%)

Answers to my frequent question, "How did this happen?" which I received on days 9 & 10:
"I almost did this great handstand in the box..."
"Blue food coloring..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Days 7 & 8 and Voting

I forgot that my husband has the ability to accidentally erase Sharpie with his bare hands, so I lost my word count for yesterday.

Combined Word Count for Days 7 and 8:

The nice thing about aiming for more words than I actually need to reach my goal is that even when I fall short, I'm not really behind. 

Total Word Count:
15,198/50,000 (30%)

I hope I don't ruin my good streak by telling you this, but I am really enjoying writing.  Instead of hitting the week 2 slump I feel like I'm hitting my stride.  It's so nice to have a small part of my day that is calm and focused.  And the more I write, the easier it seems to be.  (I sound about due for a major creative block, don't I?)

Members of Household Over 18 Who Voted Today:
2 (100%)

Yet again we had a mix up about voting.  We told Betsy we were all going to vote after dinner, and she and Abigail would be allowed to watch but they couldn't actually vote yet.  Yes, we could have each gone without the kids, but Matthew and I think it's important for them to witness us doing our civic duty.  And they get stickers.  There was some fussing from Betsy about how unfair this was that she couldn't vote, but she eventually resigned herself to the fact, and sweetly offered to help keep her sister out of the water.  Yes, for the second year in a row, she thought we were going boating without her.  In November, after dark, at the local High School.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Days 4 Through 6

We were on our church retreat this weekend, and I wasn't sure if I'd get any writing done.  I was ready to let the project go entirely if that was the difference between enjoying and not enjoying the weekend.  I'm happy to report that I met my 3-day goal of 6K, and it was quite easy to write there.  I suppose it's not surprising, considering that down time was actually down time there, not Time In Which I Could Be Doing Something Productive Like Laundry.  And it's hard not to be inspired in a place as beautiful as Shrine Mont.

Day 4 Word Count: 1522
Day 5 Word Count: 3262
Day 6 Word Count: 1223

Total Word Count: 11,371/50,000 (23%)  Almost a quarter of the way there!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3

Long day.  Non-napping toddler.  Currently typing one-handed while entertaining toddler w/other hand.  Too much to do tonight to squeeze in more writing time.

Today's Word Count:

Total Word Count:
5,346/50,000 (10%)

Number of times recently that I have incorrectly reassembled the coffee maker, resulting in spectacular coffee grounds mess:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2

I did not get any long chunks of time for writing today, so it was in dribs and drabs of 100 words here, 400 there.  Some of it was typed with one hand.  I was able, however, to mentally sketch out what I wanted to write next, so when I did get near the computer I wasn't confronted with writer's block.

I have one rather sad runny-nosed baby sleeping in the Ergo on my chest at the moment.  I hope both my girls are feeling their usual chipper selves tomorrow.

Today's Word Count:

Total Word Count: 
4,481/50,000 (9%)

Total Children on Medication for Pinkeye:
2 (100%)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo Time

'Tis the season!  I am indeed participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again, so expect blog posts to be short and sweet this month.

In order to make the 50,000 word goal by the end of November, I'm aiming for 2,000 words/day.  This is a little more than I need to reach 50K by November 30, so I'll have a few non-noveling days built in.  This year I'm writing a book for Betsy, at her request.  On one hand, I always feel guilty taking time away from the family/chores/sleep to do fun things.  On the other hand, I want to set an example for Betsy, and to show her that her mother can indeed still do things not concerning the family/chores/sleep.  My hope is to use November to write the first draft, and to have a novel to begin reading to her on her birthday in February.

I'll try to update here with my word counts, just like I did on the old blog when I won NaNoWriMo in 2007.

Today's Word Count:
2,092 accomplished out of daily goal of 2,000

Total Word Count:
2,092 out of 50,000 (4%)

Wow, that 4% makes this seem so daunting.  I think last time I started tracking the percent a little later in the process.  I mean, yeay, 4% done!  Not bad, considering that I've had about four hours of sleep and accomplished this word count with a sick baby napping on my back while the older child is at preschool.