Category Archives: I might be a writer

I hate fingernails

I should clarify. I don’t hate fingernails. They are dead useful for peeling off stickers, or opening cd cases, or scratching an itch.

I should say I hate long fingernails. However in all actuality, I don’t hate those either. They’re pretty, after all.

But as a woman who uses her hands to see, long fingernails are a major pain. I don’t know why I decided to grow them out, but I did. And I jam them constantly while reaching for the wall to navigate myself inside, or reaching into the cabinet or the fridge. I’ve taken to reaching for Jayden using the back of my hand so I don’t poke him. And texting on my little phone with the full keyboard, those tiny little buttons hard enough to push accurately without a finger extension? Yeah, I think that’s what is going to make me finally cut the barking things off.

Typing hasn’t been too bad, luckily. If I can just hold out a little while longer and have long nails for the Christmas party, then I’ll cut them off.

How do you feel about long nails? I think my general consensus is, long fingernails are not meant for girls who use their hands. Maybe that’s a poor generalization. They aren’t meant for girls who use their hands to see. Maybe even that’s a generalization. I should just say they aren’t meant for me, except every so often.

A pointless post, indeed. I’ve got over 48,000 words now! I will definitely be exceeding the 50,000 word mark!

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Filed under I might be a writer, NaBloPoMo 2010, random stuff, silly girl

Oh Apple how do I love thee!

I did a Safari update today not expecting anything to be any better, but I think it just might be! There was some improvements attempting to follow comments at Vomit Comet but it’s still not perfect. So I thought, could Blogger be fixed now? Might I be able to access my labels without crashing Safari? YES I can!! I have my labels back!

Now that I’ve got some lines written here in Blogger’s text editor, let’s see if I can edit line by line. If I can do that, then the majority of my problems are fixed! Ok, nope not really. But composing blog posts offline is working just fine. At Least I have my labels back!!

Ok, back to my novel. The final puzzle piece clicked in my brain last night, so I’m super excited. I haven’t worked on it much today, having gotten quite a few phone calls and being out with Jayden this morning, but my word count as of right now is 42,151. Too bad I didn’t sign up for NaNoWriMo eh? Ah well. 😉

Not editing this since that little bug isn’t fixed.

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Filed under apple Inc, gratitude, I might be a writer, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2010, proud geek

Doggy Diaries – Night and Day

Taking a break from the novel to write about Jayden. 🙂

He is such a different dog when it comes to mornings and evenings. After he has his breakfast and relieves, he immediately curls up on the couch for a long nap. I like this as I know his food is getting settled calmly, and it allows me to get my caffeine levels to a theraputic range.

In the evenings after he has his supper and relieves, he walks around the house, bringing me the few toys that are safe enough to leave out, like his NylaBones and Goughnut. I try and find ways to play calmly after supper so he doesn’t get riled up with a full belly.

I was telling Gamma about this this morning and she wondered if other guide dogs are different, so I just knew it would be a blog post.

So, does your service dog behave differently with different feedings, if you feed twice a day that is. What about the puppy you’re raising?

I’m just really curious, and so is Gamma. =D

(The novel is coming along nicely. Writing it seems to be the easy part. I’m sure it’ll be a different story when I start the first revision. I will be pulling my hair out, indeed. Should easily be done by the end of the month! Hope I didn’t just jinx meself!)

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Filed under coffeeholic, Gamma, I might be a writer, Jayden, jayden quirks, NaBloPoMo 2010

Perspicacious!

Listening to audio books sometimes presents challenges. I don’t know how words are spelled. As regular readers know, I’m totally hooked on Scott Westerfeld right now and my new favorite word is perspicacious. I went to look it up even though it’s defined in Scott’s novel ‘Behemoth’. I wanted to know the actual definition. Unfortunately, all the pages I’m finding don’t seem to like to load for Apple, so I just grabbed what little I could find in the search results page. I’m sure I could dig deeper, but I have writing to do. So, according to the small blurb I found, perspicacious is having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning: to exhibit perspicacious judgment.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a fabricated beastie who is incredibly perspicacious? If you go read ‘Leviathan’ and then ‘Behemoth’, you will fall in love with a little perspicacious beastie. Perspicacious!

Yes, my brain is totally wrapped up in my novel right now so I’m a little silly.

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Filed under Audio books, I might be a writer, NaBloPoMo 2010, silly girl

NaNoWriMo

Technically, I could join NaNoWriMo if I really wanted to. What is that, you ask? Check out the link, I’ve got writing to do. 😉

Basically people all over the place ahve decided to write a novel, just a bare bones novel, no editing, no formatting, no nothing but just writing. They started November 1 and have to complete a 50,000 word novel by November 30.

It’s total coincidence that I started writing a novel with no editing, no formatting, no nothing but furious writing what, two days ago? Three? I’ve lost track.

I tweeted that I have over 22,000 words and L^2 commented that I could join NaNoWriMo. I had only just heard about it when I read writing tips on Scott Westerfeld’s blog and figured I was way too late.

According to the website, one can sign up any time so I considered it. However I read through the terms and conditions, yes, people actually do read those, and my paranoia got the better of me. I know I’m being totally silly, but I even worry about using the online word count tool I use, so writing excerpts in the forums and submitting my novel for word count on the forum just kinda makes my skin crawl. Maybe it’s that, or maybe it’s because I would have rather started it along with everyone else, or maybe it’s because I never even set out to do just what NaNoWriMo calls for and the coincidence is just too cool, that’s keeping me from signing up.

Point is, I’m basically doing it and I have ten days to write another over 25,000 words.

I’m thinking I should easily be able to do it since I’ve written what I have in three days. Three days I think. So…here’s to formally committing on my blog that I shall try to attain 50,000 words or more of a complete novel in the form of a zero draft, before the end of November.

It’s really just added incentive, though I don’t really need it. I decided today that my novel will have parts. It just seems to fit. I finished part one today and contemplated going back and starting the editing process, however L^2 and Steve said I should just keep going, so I’ll continue with my zero draft and see about finishing the whole darned thing by the end of November. Whew!

I’ve written a few scenes that were pretty hard to write, scenes that involved emotions in my characters I wasn’t expecting in the slightest. It’s amazing how hard that is to write, since I’m drawing on my own emotion. I’ve realized I have waaaaay too much dialogue, so that’s something I’m trimming a bit as I continue. My, the editing will be fun when the monster is finished. I also did not have a title, so I had just called it, ‘What’s the Title?’. A title presented itself today however, so that makes me happy.

Ok, should be fun doing a post a day here while trying to finish that novel, along with working Jayden and getting ready for the holidays. Weeeee!

PS – Does anyone know, if you title a book the same as the title of a song, and you reference that song in the novel, do you need permission?

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Filed under I might be a writer, NaBloPoMo 2010, plugs, silly girl, twitter me this

Submerged in my created little world

Writing has consumed my life haha! When did I start the book, yesterday, Wednesday? I can’t even remember.

Last November, Scott Westerfeld gave writing tips on every odd numbered day, and his wife did the same for every even numbered day. I finished his this morning and need to move on over to hers.

One of the things that Scott recommends is having a timeline. This is to help you keep track of what day of the week your characters are in, or even the month or the season, lest your character end up going to school six days in a row. A lot of the tips sounded really great, but all the writing tips I ever read usually revolve around being able to look at your work. Whether it be graphs or color coded charts or names written in bold, they are all things to help you keep organized.

After I had lost interest in the last book I had started to write, I took a different approach with this one. I just wrote. It’s so raw and skeletal, with tons of mistakes, but the words are finding a home on paper? screen? haha!

I hadn’t done any brainstorming like I did with the last one. I had a possible idea for the story, but didn’t have a definite plot. I had just decided to start writing and see where the characters led me. I read on Scott’s blog this morning about writing yourself out of the corner. Don’t think yourself out of a jam, write yourself out of it. I realized that was exactly what I had been doing.

After walking away from the computer for a minute, a possible plot flooded my brain. I let the idea dance around a bit, and then opened a brainstorming document. It’s just one paragraph, unlike the fragmented ideas I had written down with the last book. It just got the idea a bit organized. It doesn’t have all the dates and other important little data in it. That’s what my timeline is for.

I did take Scott’s advice and start a timeline. I looked back over my chapters and jotted down quick notes about what day it was, who’s point of view it was, important dates like birthdays, just small details like that. It doesn’t take much, and I don’t need any fancy color coding, just lines of text under the chapter heading. I’ll continue to fill in the timeline after I write each chapter, to keep it all straight as I go, and to be able to look back on during revision. I haven’t written an outline because frankly, I think that would complicate things for me. Jumping between text documents and finding my place would be rather daunting, and truth be told, how can I write an outline when the characters haven’t told me where they’re going yet?

After every chapter, I was saving a draft in gmail. What better place to back up my writing? This was working ok, but there was no real easy way to jump to a particular chapter. It’s nice having all the text in one document because I can highlight the whole thing and check word count. Over 11,500 words already!

I came up with the idea to create a private blog, just for the book. It’s barking perfect! I copied each chapter into it’s own post labeled by chapter. The book appears backward by chapter, but I can just jump to the last heading and navigate by heading in reverse order.

This will come in handy later when I incorporate another of Scott’s tips. Read your work backward. That’s to take you out of context and really catch any phrasing errors. He actually recommends reading backward by paragraph as well. That won’t be intil the revision process, but having the book in a blog is going to be quite helpful.

Now that I’ve gotten some of the organizational stuff taken care of, I can really get back to focusing on the bare bones of the novel. It’s so fun creating it. It’ll be even better to get to the fine tuning stage.

I just have to remember not to forget about life. 😉 I had really planned on getting some vacuuming done today but, it’ll wait haha! Jayden seems to be the only thing taking priority right now. I’m sure this little phase will pass, or maybe it won’t? Maybe this is what happens when a potential author is really on to something.

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The writing journey

I’ll be referencing three people in this post and I don’t have the brain spoons to go locate links, but guess what? They’re in my blog roll. Ha! Sooo, if you’re curious, scroll down and find Joni, Stormcrow and Scott Westerfeld. I think Scott’s blog is ‘Wester blog’. Ok, got my plugs in, kinda.

Joni, who I always call JayNoi, inspired me a long time ago to think about writing. She posts writing tips quite often on her blog and she got me in to that free writing course I took. During that course, I developed two characters, a plot and a few settings. I got so excited about the story that I’d just open up a text document and start brainstorming. I wrote scenes for the class. I had dialogue. I had conflict. I explored the senses. I had the general idea of what I wanted to write and I thought it was pretty cool. I got pretty good feedback in the class and the two friends I shared the ideas with thought it was awesome.

The ideas for the novel were inspired after I read ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfeld. Stormcrow had reviewed the audio book on his blog and after I read it, I had to download the book. I was instantly hooked and promptly read ‘Pretties’ and ‘Specials’. The creative freedom Westerfeld had by choosing to write in the future is what really excited me. So I decided that’s what I’d do and the few scenes I wrote were set in the future. I also picked a genre I was really familiar with. Crime. I had read a lot of crime novels. James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell and several others who lived in my mystery box of audio books. I loved crime novels, so of course that’s what I’d write. Right? Hmmm.

After I finished the writing course, I tried sitting down and working on my new story idea with my characters living in my brain patiently waiting to be born into the story.

I struggled with how to start the novel. I wrote a prelude to explain the futuristic ideas. I started with a plane ride for my main character. As if the plane crashed before reaching its destination, so went the novel. I never went back to it. Suddenly the thought of trying to figure out the crimes, the crime scenes, the forensics and the Bureaucracy all mixed with the idiosyncrasies of my characters became so overwhelming that I basically put the laptop in the freezer and ran screaming.

The idea to write a novel has never left me however, especially the more books I read. I find that if the book is really good I’ll restart it and really pay attention to the details now that I know the story. I’ll make a mental note of how something was described, or how a few words in a dialogue made me feel, how a character seemed to reach in to my soul and remind me of something I experienced years ago.

Are these crime novels I’m talking about? No. They are books for teens. Scott Westerfeld’s books to be exact.

A few nights ago I googled him and discovered his blog. I read through a comment thread at what the teens were saying and I loved their enthusiasm! I started finding youtube videos of Scott and I believe it was in one of these where he talked about how exciting it is to write for teens. I was inspired. I realized that I don’t even enjoy reading crime novels anymore. Why would I want to write one?

What if I plucked my main character out of her FBI roll and made her a high school student? Why not just create a new character? Well because I love her. I created her. I love her name. I love who she is. I want to explore who she is as a sixteen year old.

So my possible novel idea has taken on a whole new timeline and plot. It’s all changed except for her. The chaos I created for the crime novel is being completely and totally transformed into a new chaos, one I truly understand. Instead of opening up a document and brainstorming, I opened up a document and wrote the opening scene. I’m letting the ideas stay marinating in my brain, waiting for me to pluck a piece out and taste it, see if its ready, decide whether to throw it in the story yet or let it simmer.

I already made the mistake of going back and re-reading and fixing typos. Arg, don’t do that! Just write it, Ro. Get it out there.

We’ll see what happens. I think my character is excited. I feel it. She’s found her place and it’s much more comfortable than the last one. Maybe this time next year I’ll be looking in to how to find an editor. You never know, right?

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MH – Mental health days

In my opinion, we all need mental health days, whether we have a mental health condition or not. So I thought I’d write about what I do when I need a mental health day.

I’ve mentioned before that crochet is one of my favorite things to do when I need a day to relax. For me, my physical health plays into my mental health, for sure, so when I’m really fatigued, I have to listen to that, and sometimes it can really get me down. The last week and a half or so has been like that. With the weather change comes pressure change and I’m down physically for a bit. When this happens, I really need to watch my mental health, because I can spiral down pretty quickly. I had a touch of anxiety yesterday, feeling so tired but pushing through it so Jayden could have a good long walk. My mind starts going and I’m already thinking about how tired I’m gonna be and yesterday it actually brought on a mild anxiety attack as I rode with Dave to the historic neighborhood for Jayden’s walk. It helped to talk about it and I was able to keep the tears away.

Ok I got kinda sidetracked, but my point was, that I can get really down during the bouts of fatigue. So deciding to crochet to a book really helps. I feel like I’m being productive through the fatigue and creativity also helps.

Being on the computer is also something I enjoy when I’m in a fatigue, though sometimes even that is too much. Blogging helps, especially doing this series, and talking with my online friends is great to help with the lonliness that the fatigue causes.

My new hobby, writing, is huge too. It’s pretty awesome to suddenly get a brain wave, run to the computer and begin writing, letting the creativity pour out of me. It’s instant gratification too, since I can instantly read what I’ve created.

I can’t leave out baseball, either. The excitement it brings, the anticipation waiting for the game to start, the whole experience, is great for my mental health.

And animals. Oh, the animals. Except I think I might kill Timmy. After his escapes, he just whines by the door, driving me mad! But Jayden, my therapy dog, is such a huge help for my mental health. When I need affection, he’s right there to give it to me, giving me kisses or cuddling. He brings me so much joy!

So those are some of things I’ve found that help when I’m having a low mental health day. What do you do?

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Filed under awareness month, baseball, crochet, I might be a writer, Jayden, mental health

This that and the other thing

Ahhhhh….that’s the noise one makes when things start getting done, the feeling of being overwhelmingly busy begins to subside and life starts looking a little normal again.

I’m waiting to update on Jayden until I get a phone call, so that will be in a Diaries post. I just wanted to update on where I’ve been, since I know I’ve been a bit absent.

Aside from worrying about Jayden all week, I’ve been working on the F2K writing course I mentioned briefly here. It’s been a lot of fun exploring my creativity in a fictional sense, since here everything is fact. I was talking to Georgie about it and telling her how weird it is that characters are just taking chape, seemingly with no real work from me. I suppose it helps that my female character is based a lot on me. The first assignment was to have the character write about me from her perspective. I was able to have her talk about herself in tandem with talking about me, and what came out is that she’s like the old me, the negative me, the dark me. She’s the part of me that is in the past, demons not dealt with. My maile character is turning into more of the present me, with solutions to life’s problems, an inner light, a strong sense of spirituality. It was so crazy to read back what I had written, to see who these people are becoming, and now I can’t wait to explore more and find out exactly what their setting is. I have ideas of course, but if the first lesson taught me anything, it’s that my ideas will morph and twist and become something I never expected. Georgie said I should post my assignments on my blog, but I don’t think I will. The class setting is pretty protected from theft, but a blog? Yeah, not gonna trust that. So many people have told me I should write a book about my life, based on what they’ve read here and while the thought intrigued me, it didn’t excite me like my fictional characters have. So, maybe I am supposed to write a book, but maybe it’ll be a fictional one.

Aside from that, I went to a rehearsal for a choir last Monday, but we’re not sure it’s going to go anywhere. It’s a completely different style than I’m used to. It’s Afro Cuban, done in a call and response style. The lyrics are learned by repetition and memorization, and they are not english haha! It was a lot of fun, but we’ll see if it continues.

I’ve been pretty isolated lately. I’m not really sure if it’s my doing or not. I mean I’m still going to Saavi and stuff, but obviously the last week we were pretty home bound while Jayden was sick.

I guess I’m talking more about getting out and being with friends. I think I’ve hit another impass in my life, where it comes to how I handle my sobriety. I have an incredibly strong relationship with my God and my spirituality. I practice the principles of what I’ve learned in my recovery program. I do these things by nature now, because I love what they’ve made me. I love who I am today, so why would I want to stop? It has become less about staying sober and more about continuing to be the person I want to be. Which actually is all about staying sober, because by doing these things and being happy with myself, there’s no reason to even want to pick up a drink.

The thing is, I’ve started getting some judgement for the way I do these things. I don’t do it the “typical” way. I don’t go to meetings every day anymore, like I used to. It’s not that I’ve chosen not to, but with my special circumstances, I’ve had to adapt my sobriety to fit with my limitations. I talk to another alcoholic daily, heck, I live with one. I’m surrounded by recovery 24 hours a day, not just for an hour in a meeting. The problems I’m running into are other people in the fellowship not being open minded at all that it can work this way too. I know their judgement comes from a place of love, but it’s just misguided, and if anything, it makes me want to run from the rooms, which is a sad commentary. I’ve talked with the people who know me best, B, Carol, Georgie and Erik, and they’ve all assured me that what I’m doing is working just fine. Georgie and I were talking about how you just need life experience to make you really see that there are different ways, and before I had mine, I was one of those who thought it had to be done n a meeting every day too. Carol and I were talking about pre and post spiritual experience, and how everyone intuits that differently. I’m feeling much better now after talking to these people, and I’ve always known I was right with God, and that matters more to me than anyone’s opinion. I just needed to hear it from others who value God in the same why I do, to fully accept that I’m doing just fine.

I have done some back sliding in the things I worked on in therapy, though. Namely my self esteem and confidence have taken some major blows and I had worked so hard to build those things up. My therapist had graduated me back in August, and I need to get in to see her again. There are just certain things that the steps and the fellowship can’t fix, that outside help has been the best for.

I had definitely fallen into a bit of a depression in the last couple weeks, and it’s not usually until I’m about to come out of it that I can recognize it and go, oh! That’s why I was so blue! Haha! So things are looking up there and when I get back to my therapist, she’ll be able to narrow it all down even more.

When I start taking on projects galore, I know I’m trying to step away from my own little reality. Not to say I’m trying to escape, but when I get uncomfortable, I’ll take on something different. Which is actually a good thing, in my opinion. As they say, pain is the cornerstone of spiritual growth, and for me, that takes shape in several different ways.

I’m really enjoying the autism series. I got really behind in posting daily, but I got caught up today. I’m just making the number on the autism label match the date. I was starting to wonder if anyone was reading the series because I’m not getting comments aside from Katrin, who really adds to the material. But I looked at my stat counter today, and people are reading and following the links, so that makes me happy. The whole point of the series is to help people become aware and I hope it’s helping that it’s all in one place and written for the layman. I’m really excited for tomorrow’s post, because I have a guest poster! You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to read it. 🙂

So, that’s where I’ve been. I’m settling in to the writing course, and can’t wait for the next lesson to be posted on Wednesday. I’m so surprised at the feedback I’m getting. Someone told me I’m good at “turn of phrase” which I had to ask what that even means, and I’m still not even sure haha! People have said my writing was poetic. Wow. Never would have thought that. Hopefully some day I’ll be able to share it with you all. I’m already thinking about the audio book narrators hahaha!!

A Diaries post is coming soon, promise.

Oh haha, I have to mention that B is out buying me a new belt right now. I was going to go with him, but don’t want to take Jayden out yet, so we measured my old belt so he can get a smaller one. I’ve had that belt since about 2002 and it finally needs to be replaced with a smaller one. *grin* So happy!

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Filed under accomplishment, Choir, faith, fellowship, I might be a writer, Jayden, plugs, sobriety, therapy

She’s taking a writing course?

Yepper! I got an email from a reader after I posted to JayNoi yesterday, asking me what is F2K? Well, it’s a free online writing course offered by Writer’s Village University. Also known as WVU, but not West Virginia University haha! Can you tell I’m a little giddy?

JayNoi is a mentor for F2K, so she’s always talking about it on her blog. I have expressed interest the last two times but decided it wasn’t a good time. This time, I signed up the day of the deadline. I’ve never tried my hand at fiction. A few months ago, I got an idea for a silly little fairy tale and came up with first names for the who main characters, but I never wrote anything down. This first week at F2K is orientation, so we’re not actually writing yet, just getting familiar with the website. My mentor posted an exercise though, just write. Write about anything. Even just write, “I don’t know what to write”. Haha! I do that here with my nothing posts. So I started just throwing ideas about my characters into a text document, because my imagination suddenly took them out of a fairy tale setting and ideas came flooding in like a drink held to the lips when a car suddenly starts moving. I had to write. I literally ran to my computer to get the ideas down. Who knows if they’re any good. I guess time will tell.

I used to be quite the writer back in school, but those were academic papers, not fiction. I read JayNoi’s blog religiously, as she writes posts about how to write. So now I’m jumping in to writing for real and we’ll see where it goes. The first lesson won’t be posted until Wednesday and I just can’t wait to get started!

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