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Archive for the tag “nanowrimo08”

Happy New Year

Another year over, another begins. Not that it means much to me. Really, it is just another day for me. The biggest even was getting to put the new calendar up on the fridge, lol. Last year we had Disney (because it came free in the mail). This year I got puppies for my 6yo daughter (she is obsessed with dogs). January has 3 chocolate (looking silver) labs…which is really making my 6yo sad because in 2007 we got 2 chocolate lab puppies but had to give them away a few months later when we suddenly had to move. She never got over it. Poor kid.

My New Year’s Eve was pretty normal. I played Guitar Hero World Tour most of the afternoon and evening. I didn’t even realize how late it was until the pizza my dad ordered arrived. I stopped for 2 hours while we ate and watched a movie then played until 9pm.

By then my eyes were burning and my fingers were so sore I could barely bend them, lol. I couldn’t even type last night and my hand still hurts.

After that I stayed up watching Angel DVDs and playing on the computer. Pretty normal night for me. Today we are having steak for dinner. Not just steak, but good steak…rib eye steaks. $50 worth of steak. It’s going to be heavenly. Kind of a bad start to my whole “eating right” resolution, though, because I always eat too much when we have steak.

I’ve made 3 resolutions for the year.
1. lose 60lbs by December 31, 2009 (that’s 5lbs a month)
2. finish my NaNo story and the other two fanfictions I have up that have been sitting unfinished since November 2005 and March 2007, respectively
3. finish a scrapbook for each of the kids by the end of the year and/or finish 365 pages (I did 127 pages last year)

Should be interesting. I might get the Nano one done but I never last long on diets. Last year I did good from Jan 1st-March and then I got sick and kind of just forgot about eating right. If I lose the 60lbs I’ll be around the weight I was before I started having kids (195 or so). Then next year I can work on getting down to my target weight of 140. Right now I’ll just be happy to be back in my size 18s and not have my knees and hips hurting so much.

What I’m most looking forward to is school starting again, lol. Just 4 more days of winter break left. I hate having to get up every morning to walk them to school in the freezing cold but at least they are gone for most of the day. It’s just me and the 2yo (well, almost 3yo now) at home and she’s fun to be around and far less annoying then my other kids.


I am officially done with NaNo.  I end tonight (mostly from exhaustion and not lack of inspiration) with 50,063.

This is my 4th attempt at NaNo and my first win.  I’m so proud of myself right now.  I didn’t give up and kept up even when I got majorly behind.  I learned a lot of lessons, too, and I think I might be ready to write an original piece next year.  As in: not a fan fiction.  I had fun writing it but I have that pesky story of my own I want to tell that I just can’t seem to get out.  I think by next November I’ll be ready to write it.

Ha, NaNo’s not even officially over yet and I’m already planning for next year.

Not only did I finish tonight but I finished against great odds.

Here’s a list of what I put up with today:

  • four insanely loud children that refuse to let me sleep in on the weekends
  • 1 very sick 2yo who was running a 102 fever most of the day
  • 1 6yo that couldn’t stop coughing who I was ready to strangle…or send to her room (which ever one doesn’t get me thrown in jail)
  • 1 8yo that refuses to do her science report that is do in 3 days because she doesn’t want to do the oral report (sorry but I don’t think you’re teacher will care)
  • 1 7yo that needed to run off some energy but instead jumped around the house most of the day driving everyone insane
  • a huge mess still left from Thanksgiving that looks like no one else is even going to attmept to clean up (even though I did all the cooking)
  • my son (the 7yo) tripped and slammed head first into our stairs (so far no signs of a concussion but he scared the bajeezers out of me.)
  • and my hard drive crashed so that I had to restore it to the pristine factory settings.  I’ve spent the better portion of the day reinstalling programs and photos only to find out I never backed up my son’s kindergarten graduation pictures (must have missed them).

I’m surprised I just didn’t slit my wrists…(that’s a joke).  I was so depressed earlier and I didn’t want to end up back in that dark abyss so this win really came at a good time.

Nano update, Thanksgiving, missing mom and a layout

So, I really thought I would use this blog to work on my NaNo entry this year.  Previously I utilized my NaNo blog a lot, keeping track of ideas and plot twists and just generally working out kinks by brainstorming online.  But this year…I didn’t need it.

I learned a lot doing NaNo this year and it is by far the best of my attempts.  I’m sitting at 45514 right now with the end in sight.  I’m actually going to win, barring a major catastrophy in my life.  The story is a shambles, though.  I finally learned how to just write to get it done and worrying about the quality after the fact.  So there are huge chunks of plot missing.  Some scenes just end abruptly because I realized I was getting bogged down in the details so I would skip to something I could write.  The night before last I did that twice because I was so tired I couldn’t concentrate on the scene I was working on.

I also ended the story that night.  I knew it was running long.  I had originally worried I wouldn’t be able to get the story to 50k.  Now it’s going to go way, way over which is good.  But Chris Baty (in one of his email pep talks) talked about ending the story just to be done with it.  In other words: skip ahead and write the last chapter because there is some psychological advantage of actually having a “finished” story.  You are more likely to actually finish it for real if you have the ending already down.  I believe he is 100% correct.  I have a lot of editing to do, though.  I don’t think I’m going to do that in December, though.  In fact, I think I’m going to stash this thing in the proverbial drawer for a few months because I’m ready to pull my hair out, lol.  I never wanted to be finished with something more then this story.  I’m so ready for November to be over because I am beyond stressed which leads into Thanksgiving.

Great segue, huh?.  Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday.  Why?  Because it’s a beautiful celebration of family togetherness and…  Oh, who am I kidding.  I love the holiday because of the food.  It has always been my favorite and because of that I go all out even though it is just us-me, hubby, the kids and my dad, just like any other meal.

The problem is we all have this romantacized version of reality in our memories.  When I look back on my childhood I remember things through rose colored glasses and Thanksgiving…it was always perfect.  The food was always ready and hot and delicious and we were all happy.  I know, intellectually, that isn’t true.  Stuff was never done on time, something was always burnt and my mom was so frazzled that she couldn’t eat and would just pick at her food.

So what do I do?  Get myself all worked up trying to put on this “perfect” ideal Thanksgiving meal, just like my mom and I end up in tears.  Yes, I was crying today.  Not just once but twice I broke down into tears.  Which leads me to missing mom.

It wasn’t only Thanksgiving but it was also my mom’s birthday.  She would have been 60 years old.  Unfortunetely she died 8 years ago, a few months before turning 52.  I was only 23 and I don’t think I ever really mourned.  I was in shock for a long time, just going through the motions.  My dad was a mess, my brother was a wreck and I had a newborn to take care of.  My emotions pretty much shut down and I was on auto pilot for weeks afterwards, trying to take care of everyone else.

I remember those first holidays being tought but I got through because I just turned it all off.  I stopped feeling anything and tried not to think about what was missing.  As I get older I realize I can’t keep doing that and I have to deal with the sadness eventually so every year, with every holiday I let a little more out.  I started scrapping about her and how much I miss her.  Every year on Mother’s Day and her birthday I make some pages about her.  It really does help.

But this year, with her birthday falling on a major holiday, it just overwhelmed me.  I couldn’t put a finger on why I felt so anxious and ill at the beginning of the week and then it hit me on Wednesday why.  It was because of her birthday.  It was because it was blatently obvious that she wasn’t here this Thanksgiving and suddenly I felt all this pressure to make this perfect dinner for everyone in her honor.  I felt that if it didn’t turn out perfect I was letting her down, even though, at the same time, I knew that none of her dinners ever turned out perfect and yet I still enjoyed them.

At one point my husband, as his habit, started teasing me about something.  I just couldn’t take it any more.  I yelled at him and tried to continue cooking but it was too much.  I just turned and walked into my room, shut the door and climbed into bed.  I thought he would come after me like he normally does but he just went back to playing video games.  That was fine with me because I didn’t want to hear how I was putting all this on myself.  I cried into my pillow for a good 10 minutes until I calmed down.

Then, just as we were getting ready to serve dinner, I broke down again.  This time right in front of him.  It just all came crashing down.  And the crazy thing was…dinner turned out nearly perfect.  Almost all of the food was hot, the turkey was perfect, the mashed potatoes extra buttery, the rolls hot and on the table.  I’d say it was 90% perfect.  Yet I couldn’t shake the uneasy, sad feeling.  I haven’t felt this down in months.  I just miss her so much right now.

And that leads me to the last portion of this entry.  A layout.

Technically I’m not supposed to post this yet.  The products I used won’t be in the store until later tonight I think but I need to put it up.  Hopefully they will forgive me.

missing you

It’s a pretty simple page.  I wanted to keep the focus on my mom.  The picture was taken in the early 70s after my parents started dating.  They were on a camping trip.  My mom was about 23/24 in the picture.

The kit I used is called “El-naturelle” by Opal Scraps which you should be able to find at twolittlepixels.com tonight or tomorrow (sorry Sharon but I needed some therapy tonight).

NaNo update and other stuff

Well things were going really good.  I was staying close to the quota every day, usually being behind only a few hundred words by the end of the night.  That’s not too bad considering every other year I was days behind by this point.

That is until Tuesday.  I was plugging away at the story Tuesday night…as much as I could while still watching election coverage online.  I was taking an online break when I noticed I had a message at my favorite scrabook site.  Next thing I know I’m on a creative team and have tons of new stuff to download and play with and there went writing right out the window.

Well not totally.  I still came close to making quota on Wednesday and then Thursday I finished 2 scrapbook pages and managed to write 2000 words which put me over for the day (162 words over–YAY me!).  And then there was yesterday.  The scrapping just sucked me in.  Not to mention it was a crazy day.  The kids got out of school at 11:30 and the I had to go to parent/teacher conferences from 1:30-2:10.  By the time I got done I was tired and feeling sick (it got really cold here over night and I usually get sick with drastic weather changes).  Then last night I had to take my son to hockey practice.  We got home around 7pm and I was already having a hard time keeping my eyes open but I didn’t fall asleep until 1:30am.  But I was too tired to write.

So I went from a 162 word surplus to a 1505 word deficit (not counting the words I’m supposed to write for today which brings it up to 3172 words to write today…ugh).

My story is going pretty good.  I’m learning to just skip the scenes I don’t have a good grasp of yet and write the ones I have planned out.  I can always go back and fill in the empty spots.

Today is my daughter, Brenna’s 6th birthday so I haven’t been home most of the day.  We got up and went to breakfast (at the Original Pancake House).  Then all the girls got their hair cut.  After that we went to Target and Brenna got a bunch of colorful socks and tights (she loves funky knee highs).  She also picked up a Bratz set, got a coloring book, a stuffed dog for her collection and some stickers.  Then we drove over to the mall and she got her main present…Build-a-bear.  She has been begging to go for months, if not years.  But there were too many choices and too many people telling her what to do (like her sister).  Finally she decided on this little dog.  Next she had to choose clothes.  Oh brother.  Eventually me and Meagan (my 8yo) helped her pick a pair of sparkly silver pants and a pretty pink, white and sparkly silver knit sweater.  She picked some white dressy shoes with silver flowers on it to complete the look.  Oh, and pink bows on her ears.

Her name is Lola.  She had no idea what to name it so I opened their idea book and saw Lola first and she fell in love with it, lol.

I still have to figure out something for dinner and make her zucchini cake.  My dad said if he’s feeling better he’ll take her out to get her gift.  Her and Owen (my 7yo son).  Owen didn’t get his present last month because Papa ran out of money.  So it’s been a good day for Brenna despite a melt down at the pancake house because she didn’t get her chocolate milk and she fell asleep on the way home from the mall because they were up at 6am this morning (which is 30 minutes earlier then they get up on school days).

nano 08 fanfic, chapter 2

25 years earlier…

The rain beat against Angel’s back as he knelt in the dirty alley staring at the screaming infant in the puddle. He could still feel, still smell Darla’s ashes as they mixed with the pounding rain. Confusion gripped him. The baby screamed. The rain drenched them. He looked up at Fred. Her hair was plastered to her face and she wore an expression he assumed mirrored his own. They wrapped the tiny boy in Angel’s coat.

He’s so small, Angel thought as he cradled his new son. Movement caught his attention and he found himself staring down Holtz, a cross-bow pointed at his heart. He swallowed hard, his breaths coming faster. Next to him Fred shivered. The look of confusion replaced with fear.

Angel was lost. If he tried to flee surely Holtz would put an arrow through his chest and if he stayed to fight the tiny baby was at risk. Fred could do little to protect him and they could all end up dead. Panic set in. A panic unlike any he had ever felt before. He held on to the wiggling body in his arms as if his own life depended on it. Holtz’s demons blocked the alley in both directions, leaving Angel with little choice.

And then…then Holtz lowered his weapon. Angel stared at him through the driving rain trying to rationalize, to understand what his enemy was thinking. More confusion mixed with the fear and panic and he gripped the baby tighter. There would be no easy fight after this moment, he thought. From now on he had to consider his son in every scenario. But, he realized, there would be no fight this time. Holtz was letting them go. For what reason Angel didn’t know, nor did he care to ponder it.

He and Fred hurried by Holtz and climbed into the waiting car at the end of the alley. The car was silent the entire ride back to the hotel. Fred shivered in her seat. Angel tried not to drip on the baby. Cordelia opened her mouth to say something a few times but changed her mind after a look from Wesley. Everyone stared at Angel but he barely noticed. He was still racked with an overwhelming panic.

What was he supposed to do with a baby? He wasn’t good with adult people, let alone little babies. His own father wasn’t exactly the best role model. I won’t be like that, he promised himself. Oh, and there was the whole vampire thing. Angel felt completely lost and yet, at the same time, things seemed perfectly fine…normal even. The baby felt perfect in his arms, as if he had always belonged there. Angel already memorized his scent and smoothness of his skin and the tone of his cry.

Together they drove in silence save for the whimpering of the baby in Angel’s arms and the breathing of six living bodies in the car and the one un-living that still forced the air in and out for no other reason then he could.

NaNo fanfiction 2008, chapter 1

This is an Angel the Series fanfiction set after the episode “Lullaby” (when Connor was born) but following it’s own alternate story line.

The last rays of the evening sun tickled the tops of the buildings, glistening against walls of glass and steel. Pink and fiery orange tendrils reached out across the horizon, pleading to stay one more moment in the day, only to be taken over by the cool purple night. Behind him a few stray stars fought against the city lights for dominance in the sky and the moon played peek-a-boo through the wispy clouds.

Angel took a deep breath, letting the cooling night air caress his lungs. He often reflected on how he was more aware now that he didn’t need them of the mechanics and pleasure of breathing. He held the breath in long, feeling his useless lungs expand and fill his chest. There was no reason to exhale, no burning sensation as your body screamed for fresh air. Angel wasn’t even sure if he remembered the feeling. And still he went through the motions…in and out the air went for no other reason than habit.

The door to the roof creaked opened and he let the air out of his lungs softly. He could tell by the footsteps across the worn tar and gravel who it was. He didn’t turn until he felt her hand on his arm. She looked beautiful and so young, Angel thought. Her long brown hair was pulled up with curls spilling out from the clip. She was already in her dress, long and pure white. Angel felt an overwhelming urge to hide her away, to protect her from the world well up in him. She was too young for this, the thought, and then reminded himself that she was 22 and old enough to make her own decisions.

Slowly he let a smile play across his lips. She squeezed his arm tighter.

“Come on, Dad, we’re going to be late,” she said sweetly, using the look her mother had taught her. Pride welled in Angel. He followed her down the stairs of the hotel watching her maneuver gracefully in heels while carefully holding her dress above tripping level. Grace…something else she gets from her mother, he thought.

Outside two limousines waited. Angel took one last look at his hotel before climbing in the the first one with his daughter. The inside was empty.

“Where is everyone?” He glanced over his shoulder at the other car following.

“I thought we could take the last ride together.”

Angel glanced at her. “Oh.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Angel said with a smirk, “but won’t your mother be mad she wasn’t here for the ‘last ride’?”

She smiled, showing a row of perfect teeth. “It was Mom’s idea.”

She wrapped her hands around his arm and Angel settled back in the leather seat, feeling at ease for the first time that day. Things had been crazy the last week and now his little girl was getting married. He took another deep, unneeded breath and wondered how he had gotten to this point.

nano update…day 3

It’s officially day 4 for me.  I did finally throw together 1668 words on Saturday (day 1) but didn’t get to write anything on Sunday.  So when I sat down tonight I was about to be two days behind (as usual).

As much as I want to write “the story” I just can’t make myself.  I gave up forcing it and decided to go with a fanfiction I’ve had in my head for awhile.  My best nano year (2005–my first year) I wrote a fanfiction.

So after writing for a few hours tonight I’m up to 4400 words.  I need just 600 more to make quota for yesterday but I’m too tired to keep writing.  I have to but up in like 5 1/2 hours with the kids.

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