Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Year in review!

Well only a few hours left of 2006. It's been really tough year personally but I have had a few good things in the writing part of my life.

The year started off well when my story "Papa's Little Angel" won second place for short fiction in the LCC division of the L.A.N.D. writing contest. And after talking about it for some time Jenni and I officially began writing "Behind the Naugahyde". I was also very excited when my short-short story "Sweaty Palms" was published in the September 2006 issue of Writer's Post Journal.
Not to mention that Jenni and I received three letters from agents requesting to see more of "Behind the Naugahyde" and was started.
I would have completed NaBloPoMo by posting everyday during the month of November but I missed one post and I also started a new, not yet titled, novel but did not finish NaNoWriMo or NaNoPloMo. And I received 89 rejection notices this year.

Last night I switched to the blogger beta version. I'm not sure how long it will take me to tag my post but I'll try to work on it.

Hope everyone has a safe and very happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Not quite done

Well the New Year is near here and I don't think I'll have my Nanowrimo/fimo book done. That's okay with me because the goal of Nanowrimo got me started on a project I might have put off and the same goals don't work for everyone. So I'll be okay. Sure it would have been nice to end the year with a finished book but you can't leave behind everything from the past year.
Besides just about every book I've read about writing a novel says that three months is the average time for completing a novel in which case I'm doing okay.

I hope to post a year-in-review kind of thing tomorrow but I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to. Once I'm done with this post I'm going to switch to the new and improved blogger version. Wish me luck!

It's a Wonderful Gift(s)!

Today a box full of wicked cool stuff arrived at my door step. It was a writer's dream come true. It included a cute little bin to organize my office with, tons of envelopes so I can stop whining that I couldn't send out submissions due to the lack of them(envelopes), as well as postage stamps to also prevent the same whining. I also got pens and a notebook for all of my bad ideas and white out to get rid of the evidence that proves I actually came up with an idea that awful. There was lots of other wonderful stuff in it to. I'll start the New Year off with no excuses as to why I'm getting nothing done so I guess I'll have to actually do something.
Although the best gift of all was really the thought put into each item. Obviously, the sender has been reading my constant griping about my lack of supplies and thought that would be something useful to give me. It also seems the gracious gift giver doesn't believe that sending me a ton of writing supplies is a waste, which makes me feel pretty good.
It could also be a hint that I need to finish my part of the next three chapters of Behind the Naugahyde!

Thanks again, Jenni!

Sometimes I think life isn't that great then wonderful people remind me of how lucky I am.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Weird dreams

I had two of the weirdest dreams last night. Actually they were both dreams that made perfect sense not like crazy dreams where you're you but you're not you because you look like your great aunt Mildred's dog and you're at your house but it's not your house because it looks like the inside of a T.V. They weren't anything weird like that. I guess I would qualify them as weird because they were perfectly clear but they were both so different.
In the first I was me and I had just gotten divorced (little weird there since I'm not married) and I was trying to learn how to swim.
The next I was a police officer who was assigned to patrol a haunted hotel and I was running from the paranormal activity after watching it kill everyone in the hotel.
I have no idea how I ended up having two dreams so completely different during the same night. The second dream about the hotel made me wake up and I wanted to go back to sleep. I couldn't though because I kept thinking I really needed to write these things down before I forget because I might need them for a story one day.

Nanofimo: 20460 + 29438 = 49898

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night

A while ago I got a book with advice from writers for writers. The main writer giving advice is a writer that has faced more rejection than I can count and has done it all with people reading about it daily. That writer is Snoopy. Often people read the Peanuts comic strips and read how he got yet another rejection notice or just watched as he sat atop his dog house typing away.
The book itself doesn't have anything about techniques or what to do or not to do. It's a just a book full of inspirational stories and a few words of advice that writers picked up on their long struggles through publication.
I love this book and I skim through it quite often when I feel like giving up. I try to use what ever piece of knowledge my random gaze happens upon to get through whatever writing problem I have at the time.
Sure it doesn't tell me how to write a best-selling novel but it's the best writing book I've read. It's stuff most writer's know, they just need to be reminded of now and again.

"Some nights were dark. Some nights were stormy. Some shots rang out. Some maids screamed. Some more editors sent rejection slips."
-Snoopy (from Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life)

Nanofimo: 18770 +29438= 48208

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

If only

Well my plan was to send Jenni my part of the next three chapters of Behind the Naugahyde for her Christmas present. Unfortunately, three hours that could have been used for writing were spent with a DSL tech support person that asked me to restart my computer and modem about 500 times. Clearly 500 was the charm because I am back on-line.

I also could have spent the two hours that I was at the movie for writing but it was my vacation so give me a small break please.
I went to see Eragon. All I'm going to say is that I wasn't too impressed so please stop saying " move over Harry Potter."
I had read both Eragon and Eldest already. I won't say too much about what I thought because I hate to critique other writers. Although, I do get a little frustrated with these particular books sometimes. Not because they are poorly written, readers can judge that for themselves. It's just that the writer was 15 when he started writing the first one and 17 when he got published. An amazing accomplishment right? Well his parents own the publishing company. Maybe the book is worthy of all that it has achieved, I'm not one to judge.
I just think of all those writers that have struggled for years with novels that could have been some of the greatest literature the world has ever seen but they just never sent the right submission at the right time. Maybe they sent it to the wrong person, maybe it got thrown away by an assistant that doesn't know anything about literature, maybe it got thrown out because the format was against company guidelines, maybe they just caught the publisher on the wrong day, who knows?
You have to wonder what great writing the world is missing out on because the author's parents didn't own a publishing company.

Anyway enough crankiness. I'm continuing to make a dent in my novel but I'm not sure that any goals will be met before the end of this year. At least I was writing though.

Although I do have one goal to accomplish before the new year: clean my desk. I already lost the notebook that I wrote my character name list. It's a mess.

Nanofimo: 17710 + 29438= 47148

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to post tomorrow so I wanted to take this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Jenni and I also prepared a small gift for our loyal readers. There's a new Christmas Nauga Note posted on . Although everyone's probably out enjoying themselves and won't see this until after the holiday.
And as always, sorry for the pop-ups. Maybe if everyone's good and signs the guest book, Santa might spring for a pop-up free website next year!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Vacation!

Today was the first day of my five-day holiday vacation. Yet somehow I ended up back at work to get my boss a Christmas gift and explain the inventory procedure. How does this happen?
I know that the next few days are going to be filled with holiday extravaganzas but I plan to get a lot of writing done. I think I'm already off to a good start having already done more writing today than I have the four previous days combined, maybe more.

I work in the field of shoes so I already think about them a lot and you can imagine how many characters I can come up with at work when I put the shoe project into affect. I also find myself thinking about other people's shoes. I saw a crossing guard helping children across the street in shoes that were nearly falling apart and I started thinking about how they got that way and why the man was wearing those particular shoes. Are his shoes worn out just from helping children across the street or does he have to walk everywhere? Are those just the pair of shoes he wears for the job because there really is no reason to wear nice shoes, did he step in a puddle with his good shoes and have to wear his old pair for the day or can he just not afford shoes and if so why not? It really gets the mind thinking.

I also had some really odd thought provoking questions about shoes and death but maybe I'll save that for another post.

I'm trying to get a Christmas present ready for my blog readers but no promises. And I'm also of thinking about finally switching over to blogger beta for the New Year. Is there really a better time for change?

Nanofimo:12570+ 29438=42008

Monday, December 18, 2006

In their shoes

Today's post I wanted to give a tribute to teachers. Teachers that don't just go by the book. They actually want to teach you about something. Teachers that go out of there way to do something that you'll never forget.
I know a teacher like this. I've never attended a class of hers but she has taught me quite a few things. And I have to say that she told me about an amazing project that she came up with for her students ( I don't want to give too many details since it's not mine to tell) and I truly believe that it will teach the students something about themselves and others.
When I heard the idea for this project it occurred to me that I should steal this project and use it for my writing. It's a great way to come up with characters. So once again that teacher has taught me something and I'm not even one of her students.

In honor of great teachers ( and I hope I don't give away too much of a project that's not mine) the next time you see a pair of shoes I want you to think about who's shoes they were, are or will be and imagine walking in them, imagine being that person. Maybe you're a writer like me and you'll get a new character from it. Maybe you're a high school freshman that will learn something about a person you would never have given a second thought about.

And if you learn anything from it your life has now been touched by an amazing teacher who dared to think outside the textbook.

Thanks Ms. Alto!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The name game

Today was my day off and I probably should have written a whole section of my book today if I had stuck to my pace. I didn't though. If only I had nothing to do but write. I only wonder how much I would have written by now.

I did start my writer on another short story today but I came to a halt early on. When I was trying to name the characters I realized that I was naming one of them something I had already named a similar character. It occurred to me that I had started and written a lot of stories, which means I had used a lot of names. So I decided to make a list of character names. I'm not sure I got all of them though. Sure I could use the same name twice in an entirely different story but that might get boring. And if I have fear of being boring why don't I just make up crazy names for everyone? The answer to that is that some characters just need to have boring, plain names.

I will admit that I occasionally think of people I know when writing characters and sometimes it's the same person for more than one character. I often try to give the character a name that is similar to the person. I don't mean that Jenni is Jenna or Penny. What I mean is Meg isn't Esmeralda. I'm not sure if that made sense to anyone other than me but it sounded good in my head.

Eventually I did get over my name problem and write some of my novel. Not really impressive but there's always hope for tomorrow.

NaNoFiMo: 8053 + 29438 = 37491

Close enough

Yahoo! Avatars

The shirt's a little late but I just made this and since I rarely use yahoo, I thought I'd post it here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A new goal

Well as my word totals show, NaNoFiMo is going as well as NaNoWriMo and by well I mean not well at all. I'm thinking that I need to just sit down and write an entire section at a time, since each section is a short story that my main character is writing and her thoughts about writing it. I know I can write a whole short story in a day because that use to be the result of my procrastination during my creative writing classes. The writing 1,000 words a day system isn't working for me. My former creative writing teachers tried to encourage me to set similar daily goals for myself but they just never worked for me. Probably because I have no self discipline but I'm just going to say it's because I like to break the rules and be different.

And you can now find me at .Although I haven't really put much more than my name on their yet. I usually add to these things a little at a time.
Thanks to Ragnell for the name suggestion!

NaNoFiMo: 6760 + 29438 = 36198

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Comic space?

Quick post-

I just read about this thing ComicSpace. It's like mySpace but for comic creators and fans, and obviously much better. I want to sign up but I need a user name. Any creative suggestions or should I just use some variation of my real name?

Friday, December 08, 2006

What did I write?

I know I didn't post yesterday but you couldn't expect that habit to last forever.

I was trying to work on Behind the Naugahyde but my scribbled notes were unclear to me. Also I remember stuff that isn't written in my notes which means I didn't write it down because I figured I'd remember or I didn't write it down because we had decided not to put it in the novel. So now I'm waiting for Jenni to clarify. As if she needed more to do.

Since today was pay day I ordered a few books that I hadn't been able to find. They are books I am hoping will help inspire my writing. One of them is related to the novel I'm currently working on and the other is for the novel I hope to work on after I finish my NaNo novel.

Yesterday I managed to get a little work done on my non-fiction articles. I also managed to fill quite a few pages of my personal journal with a detailed description of all the things going on in my life.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cover shot

When I had blog writer's block last month, I was given a few lists of suggestions for blog post. One of those suggestions that I was too lazy to get to right away was pictures of my writing. I had my camera out today and tried to take pictures of my writing. Obviously pictures of a computer screen don't really work so well. And my writing on paper just turned out looking like blank paper. So I decided to try something else, a picture of me writing. However, since I usually look not so great while writing, well I usually look that way all the time, it's just a picture of my Beauty and the Beast pen doing all the work.

It's not too exciting but I try to keep Jenni happy and it was her request. Not that Jenni's request was boring, it's just my picture taking ability that lacks excitement.

And yes, I do know I hold my pen funny. I don't know why that's just how I've always held it.

What else did I do with my day? I didn't waste it. Check out the word count below.

NaNoFiMo: 5731 + 29438 = 35169

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Getting into writing

Stranger Than Fiction was a $3.50 movie today and so I decided to splurge. I love Emma Thompson and Will Ferrell and it's about writing so I was very excited.
It was funny but also sad and insightful. I won't give anything away but I never really thought about writing the way that Emma Thompson's character is forced to. What if your character was a real person and you decided their fate? Would you just write happy stuff all the time or would you sacrifice real people's happiness, health and lives for the sake of great literature.
Also the writer in the movie really gets into visualizing and feeling the things she's writing. Her ways of doing so were intriguing and almost had me wanting to try it by locking myself in my trunk.
I didn't lock myself in my trunk because there was no one to let me out but the writer in my NaNo novel was able to finish her short story that being locked in a trunk would have helped. And who knows maybe I will jump in the trunk before editing that part. I know the writer in my Nano novel will.

Just saw: Stranger Than Fiction

NaNoFiMo: 3099+29438=32537

Monday, December 04, 2006

Not just NaNoWriMo

I participated in NaNoWriMo last year and I thought about doing NaNoEdMo, which is in March, this year but didn't get around to it. I did NaNoWriMo again and added NaBloPoMo and have now carried on with NaNoFiMo. Then I got to thinking how many more of these goal oriented months are there? Quite a few.
This is what I got in order of month.

JaNoWriMo- writing a novel in the month of January since November can be a little hectic for some.
NaNoArtMo- has a goal of ten art projects in a month for artist. It can be any kind of art from sculpting to cooking, it just has to be creative.
NaNoWriYe- write an entire novel, set your goal between 50,000 to 3,000,000 words and finish it in a year.

NaNoEdMo- editing your NaNoWriMo novel (I'm sure you could do any novel).

Script Frenzy- (odd name, huh?) and it's for writing a screenplay in a month.

JulNoWriMo- write a novel in July in place or in addition to November or January.
NaNoMango- is for artist to draw any kind of sequential art ( not just manga) and occurs again in November as well.

NaNoWriMo- write a 50,000 word novel.
NaBloPoMo- post on your blog everyday for a month
NaPlWriMo- write a play in a month
NaGraNoWriMo- write a 175 page graphic novel in a month
NaNoPubYe- start with your NaNoWriMo novel and then try to get it published with in a year.
NaNoMang- Draw sequential art, also takes place in July

NaNoFiMo-write 30,000 words to finish an unfinished novel, usually from NaNoWriMo

Various start dates:
Book in a week-starts every Monday of the first full week of the month, set your own goal the beginning of the week.
Mad Challenge-is every other month, starting February and they post a different challenge each time.

So there are a ton of good challenges. Many I would participate in if they didn't all seem to fall in the same few months. Of course it might just be more beneficial for me to take the goals of these groups but put them in realistic months for me. Maybe I'll have to make a schedule for myself.

Just watched: Heroes
Just read: Every issue of 52 for the last five weeks (I'm catching up slowly)

On my mind

It's after midnight so technically I missed a day of posting. I don't care all that much since NaBloPoMo is over and my faithful readers still get their daily dose of bad writing.

I've been thinking about a novel lately. No it's not Behind the Naugahyde or my NaNo novel, although I do think about these but that's not what I was thinking about today.
Anyway, I think I've mentioned a few things about this novel before. I've had the idea for a while but I never tried writing it because I'm scared to write it.
The subject matter is a serious issue and I think if done well this book could make a difference. Like with most of my writing, I try to have a message, something I hope that the reader takes with them and thinks about. It's the power of the message that has me scared. I think it's very important. I really do think it could make people think if it was written well, I'm just scared I can't write it well. But I've been thinking about it more and more lately. I can't stop thinking about it sometimes. Bits and pieces that I couldn't figure out before are starting to fly together and I'm starting to think that it may be time.
Obviously, I'd wait until I'm done with my NaNo novel and hopefully have a good chunk of Behind the Naugahyde done. Then I'd have two completed(but not so good) novels and a half a novel's worth of experience to put toward this book and time to write it.
Or maybe I'll just keep putting it off.

Since NaNoFiMo doesn't have a grand website like NaNoWriMo, I'll post my word count here which is actually better. Now no one has to go to another website just to find out I didn't write anything today.

NaNoFiMo: 1499 + 29348= 30847

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tougher than fiction?

I almost considered not posting today but I figured why ruin a good thing.

Yesterday was the first day in thirty days that I hadn't forced myself to write fiction. I did write though. I tried to work on researching, writing and a query letter for a few non-fiction articles. I'm not really into non-fiction but I think these ideas are pretty good. I'd like to get them published in a decent magazine so I'm trying to make sure that I not only write well but check my facts since I can't just make things up like I usually do.
I used to think fiction was harder to write because with non-fiction you really just have to lay out the facts in an interesting way. But now I realize that non-fiction you have to be creative at how you use those facts to make the biggest impact and you can't change the facts to make the story more intriguing. You have to work with what you have. Now I think both are equally tough to write.

Today, I worked all day and finally decorated my Christmas tree. I also kept getting side tracked by holiday movies, so this blog post is all I got done today. Everyone needs a little break though.

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

December 1st is here. I know I'm posting a little late in the day but you can always make a difference so be sure to check out 5 things you can do for World AIDS Day.

Now that NaNoWriMo is over I'm attempting NaNoFiMo. It's the goal of writing 30,000 words in the month of December. Most people join because novels are generally longer than 50,000 words so some times you complete NaNoWriMo but you have an unfinished story. I, however, am using it in to finish my story and hopefully add 30,000 words to my 29,438. And yes I realize I am an idiot and said yesterday I needed to write 800 words to get to half way when I meant I needed to type the 800 words to get to 30,000 which is more than half way.
NaBloPoMo is over as well. I did miss a day due to a technical mishap but I posted twice the next day. I also posted the day before and now, the day after so I think I did pretty well.