NaNoWriMo in Full Effect

http://files.content.lettersandlight.org/nano-2012-beta/files/2012/09/Participant-120x240.jpgI haven’t blogged in a while.
Not that I’m not annoyed with things on a daily basis. On an hourly basis, more like. The thing is: November is NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month.

I’m busy!

It’s my first time doing it. Basically, the goal is to start a novel from scratch and get 50,000 words down in thirty days. That’s 1,667 words a day. You can participate even if you’re writing a work already in progress, or doing something other than novel-length fiction–which means you’re a NaNo Rebel and can’t qualify to “win” but still, anything to get one writing is damn good, I say. I think the goal is doable, for some people anyway. I don’t have kids and I generally enjoy my writing time, so I had no anxiety getting all up in the NaNo action. Plus, I don’t have issues with getting words down so I wasn’t really going into it to get 50,000 words down in a month. I pretty much just want the excuse to put everything aside, to leave most of my days free just for my writing. For that reason, NaNo all year would work for me. I mean, I’ve still been feeding my puppies, taking showers, and going to the grocery store. But, I’ve been sacrificing Call of Duty, reading, watching (for the fourth time) The Gilmore Girls, and most of my lazy sitting around time. I just sit around with my laptop now, which makes it productive time.

So, the first 4 days were great. I got to 20,000 words, don’t ask me how. But then it was feeling like a race and I was afraid I was tripping over everything to get words down. And then I realized it’s only ’cause I haven’t been rereading and editing compulsively like I usually do. I’m doing that thing a lot of writing people recommend: I’m banging out a first draft without over-thinking it.

I’m sort of losing the character’s voice and I think I’m dipping into previous voices I’ve used in other manuscripts. But, apparently that’s all stuff I can tend to in revision.

But still, after getting only 200 words down in the early hours of today (because looking at my computer was making me yawn and hate my story), I managed to catch up tonight and do 1,698 words. So, Day 5 is less productive, but still way above average. I just know I’m going to find this story “meh” in the coming days but I read an interview in The Writer magazine with John Dufresne–whom I’ve never read but will in the future–and he had some great advice that would be applied to NaNo. At one point, he advised writers to strive to recapture that initial feeling of excitement they once had for their story. He also emphasized that getting to know your character is a long process and it goes on into the revision phase, which is great because right now, I don’t really know this kid Aeden I’m writing about. She just does and says things. But, she obviously has a story and I’m gonna write that shit.

So, this is the first NaNo report, blog style. No one’s gonna read this but it’s okay because I’m doing it so that if anyone brings up my website and my blog, I won’t be one of those people who has an inactive blog. I’m still active, baby!

😀

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Some Thoughts On…Dreams!

**Disclaimer: There are footnotes!

Sometimes, I have crazy dreams. It’s pretty common in people—we all have some crazy, vivid dreams. But, sometimes, my dreams totally mess with my daily life. There are times that I’ll walk around with this uneasy feeling, like something awful is going to happen. I’ll stop what I’m doing and acknowledge the anxiety and think, OMG, what’s going to happen? Am I having some premonition of something awful? And that shit’ll follow me all night at work, bothering me in the pit of my stomach. I’ll start obsessing that people I love are going to die. And then—BAM!—the dream comes back and I’m like, “Oh, that’s just ‘cause I had a horrible dream about my puppy falling out a window.” Or, “Yeah, I dreamt I got in a huge screaming fight with a client and I punched them.”  Or, “Don’t worry, you still live in your apartment, and not in this half-open squatting house without walls where people can see you pee and drool in your sleep.” 1 Just like that, the unease lifts and I’m all better.

In grade 7 or 8, I had a dream that I was walking around the iced-over grounds of my elementary school. This shit was vivid, right down to the crunching of my footsteps in the hardened snow. I’d realized that I wasn’t walking around aimlessly. Jonathan Brandis was there, walking with one of his friends. I mean, anyone from my time will remember how hot he was (in a fourteen-year-old girl-crush kinda way). I was all “Ladybugs! He’s soooo cute!” Well, I was walking behind him going, “Jonathan?” all crapping my pants in excitement. What did he do? He turned around and raised an eyebrow with a look of annoyance. Then, he told me to go away and leave him alone. It’s like I knew he was telepathically calling me an awkward fat kid with frizzy hair—dreams are like that. Jerk. That morning, I woke up to my Bop magazine posters of him in the corner of my room and I took them down. That was it for Jonathan Brandis. He was a jerk and I never liked him again.2

Another common thing is what I have an argument/fight with someone in my dream. I won’t remember the dream when I wake up, but I’ll remember being mad at someone. I’ll hear that person’s name mentioned casually and my eyes will roll, or I’ll feel like I don’t want to answer their phone calls. Again, not sure why. But then—BAM!—here comes the dream memory and I’m like, “Dude! That never freakin’ happened!” It’s hard to get over that, so I might still avoid the person even though rationally, I know it’s crazy. My heart just won’t shake the bad feelings.3

In my dreams, I frequently know how to fly or am telekinetic. Usually, I’m at the “discovering” phase of it, where I’ll leap into the air and use all my concentration to not come crashing down. Or I’ll focus all my energy into the telekinetic thing and objects will move and I’m immediately way cooler than everyone. I love it. It’s like, the best thing about dreams. Well, waking up to being a regular old human totally sucks. Like, borderline depressing for the first few hours. That’s usually when I try squinting my eyes4 at something in my room, hoping it’ll move and I’ll know I’ve still got my powers. It never works. But at the same time, I know it can never work, because then I’d take those powers and abuse them, use them for personal gain (such as doing devastating things to bad drivers, etc.). It’s all very mindboggling.

Do dreams mess with your mind? Was Jonathan Brandis a jerk to you in your dreams?

Footnotes:
1)      I actually dream I’m not in my apartment anymore quite often. I’ll be living in some other apartment, back in my parents’ house, in some loft without doors or privacy, in a dorm with other people—again, with no walls or privacy. I panic in my dream, trying to make a home out of this weird setting, meanwhile I’m like, “Where the hell is my apartment? My stuff? My puppies and my girlfriend? I wanna diiiiie!”
2)      May he rest in peace. Jonathan Brandis, 1976-2003.
3)      Sorry to all I’ve acted cold toward when there was no reason. It was just the dreams.
4)      Telekinesis “Prue Halliwell from Charmed” style. Hence the eye-squinting…

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