Happy Thanksgiving!

I couldn't think of anything clever for the title, so I went with straight forward. Haha. I'm pretty full to bursting right now, so I'm going to make this short and sweet.

I can't believe this is the last full week of November. OMG. Alz validated her word count for NaNo yesterday and posted below. I'm still trucking along very slowly. I'll be lucky if I get anywhere near my word count from last year, but I'm kind of not freaking out because this year's NaNo had its own unique challenges. What I mean is, last year was my first year after graduating from Berkeley. I was job-hunting and tutoring once a week, but other than that, I had a lot of time on my hands. Getting into the NaNo thing was easier because of more time, and I kind of didn't have an excuse to NOT attempt writing a novel. Haha. This year, I started working full time pretty much right as NaNoWriMo kicked off.

It's not really an excuse, but for anyone who has never worked full-time before/commuted to work/school, it's frelling tiring that first week or two. Combined with the amped up social schedule of November, uh, let's just say it is a challenge for me every day to find time and energy to write. Oh and did I mention my parents decided to fix-up the house suddenly THIS MONTH. Um, yeah. Also, I just write very slowly. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Getting 500 words per day out of me is an accomplishment, unless we're talking academic paper and deadline. So since the end is nigh, my brain might kick into gear! Yay!

In any case, I still think NaNo's awesome, and I'm very very thankful for my job. It was kind of rough not having something tangible to do after the awesomeness of being graduated wore off.

I'm also thankful for my family, my amazing, amazing friends who seem to become more awesome every year, and of course, for all of the awesome people I've met online through blogging and writing. You guys are great. And I'm using the word awesome a lot, but it's an awesome word and I'm from California, so it's ingrained in my every day language and I really can't help it.

So I hope all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving eat up! This is the day when pigging out to your heart's (or stomach's) content is totally approved! For those of you who don't celebrate this, you should eat up anyway. Food is awesome.



The End Draweth Nigh

'Tis November 25th--but five more days left of the glorious endeavor known as NaNoWriMo. Today the NaNo site activated the official wordcount verifier, so I verified my wordcount and collected my shiny new reward graphic, which doth looketh thus:

The product of blood, sweat, and tears.

I will admit that once I did hit 50,000, the urge, the haste, the pressure petered off some, and as a result, I wrote less. I did make an effort to write everyday, but some days I barely wrote at all. I entertained myself by instead nagging Krispy every night to write more, and everyday to write more, and every twilight to write more. I have not seen New Moon, but I may very well let my curiosity get the better of me and actually pay $6 for a before-noon showing. But no more than $6, my friends, and even then but grudgingly.

But back to writing--my NaNo novel this year is perhaps the greatest mess and in general the worst NaNo novel I've ever written. It's slow, and goes nowhere fast, and features a lot of walking and talking and sitting around and talking, and very little gets accomplished. But for all that, it was fun to write, and is still fun to write, for it is nowhere near done. Of course, that could be said of most of my writing projects.

Krispy, on the other hand, gave me a tantalizing taste of her story the other night (or was it last night?) and I must say this: I just churn out the wordage without care for anything such as style, lyricalness, or sense. From the couple of paragraphs I've read of Krispy's story, though, it is marvelous and far more beautifully written, and sounds like a real story with intent and purpose instead of an excuse to write about magical ninjas glomming onto a most reluctant knight.

I only wish she'd give me more. And write more. And faster. And these desires holds true year-round, not just for November. Write, Krispy, write! There is still time! The future is not yet decided! At dawn, look to the east!

Also, when I'm not writing or living life, I do other fairly useless things a lot. I therefore created a blog to document the creative results of my frequent bouts of procrastination, mostly involving shiny things, which I've named Sparkling Rampage because I thought it was a cool name and which I totally didn't steal at all from Legend of Mana's 2-handed axe technique of the same name.


Middling the Week

'Sup peeps. So I obviously calmed myself down and took a step back from blogging every time I looked at the calendar, looked at my word count, and started freaking out. I think bi-weekly is a good pace for this blog, especially considering we're going from once a month to twice a week in November. Trust me though, I've been holding back.

It is now Wednesday, November 18, more than halfway through the month. To tell you the truth, I thought things would calm the eff down by now, mostly because the many birthdays are over (omg, I just remembered one more right now...must text her...). As usual, I was wrong. I think this will be one of my NaNo lessons for this year:


On the other hand, it's been a happenin' November, full of pleasant surprises. Yesterday, for example, I squeezed in a mere 100 words or so, but it was totally okay because I had tickets to a free secret concert. My sister apparently has amazing Twitter and email skillz0rs and scored tickets to OK Go's secret show last night in LA. It was at the Grammy Museum at LA Live, and it was being filmed for Last Call with Carson Daly. Sadly this meant no pictures, but the show was AWESOME. Small crowd, small room, and pretty much a full concert set (and FREE). They said it'd only be 45 min, but it felt longer. New songs, old songs, random hilarity. Oh man, I had no idea they were so good live. The one downside was parking at LA Live.

Um, I had no idea parking there was $25. Yes. $25. Seriously had a ridic moment with the parking attendant when she said, "It'll be 25," and I stared at her and said, "Dollars???"

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing, to be honest, except that NaNo is all well and good, but so is your social life sometimes. Yes, it's November. Yes, this is possibly the only month in the year you set aside exclusively for mad writing with the excuse that thousands and thousands of people are dedicating themselves to the same crazy dream. But, sometimes life also hands you a pair of free concert tickets, and you really just need to take them. Really.

Now, time to distract the Inner Editor and get back to NaNo-ing.

(But I'm still really boggled by parking costing 25-freaking-dollars.)

(P.S. In case you missed it, Alz has been done with NaNo word count-wise for like a week now. That boggles my mind as well and I should be used to this!)

P.P.S. I almost forgot to share this random but fun name generator thing. Make Me Mighty. This one's mine: Princess Krispyhawk, the Firemaster: Judge, Jury and Executioner, Impeacher of Immutable Souls.


Krispy is forcing me to write this post.

Krispy said that if I didn't post about it, she would, and she said it in that very Krispy-ish, venemous, menacing tone of voice that makes absolutely everything sound like a threat, even something as innocuous as, say, "Let's go get frozen yogurt." When you say it that way, it sounds like you're threatening murder.

I hit 50,000 words today--however, let it be said that my NaNo is a mess of inaction, and what little action there is is mostly walking around and talking, and the story is so ill-paced that it does not limp along as much as it does stagger in drunken circles before falling to the ground and spasming. I do not believe I've ever written such a long story in which so very little happens.

Also, with regards to editing, I have done none. For NaNoWriMo I make it a policy never to edit, revise, or delete anything, and because of this there are many instances where sentences just don't make sense or metaphors peter out before actually flowering out into a full image. It is an embarrassment of a plethora of mistakes and loose ends and unexplained developments and undeveloped tangents. Let's face it: my NaNo story this year is a total mess.

But that, my friends, is that crazy, cathartic joy of it. Writing without care for editing or sensibility, without worry of review or critique, without concerns for publication possibilities and potential. Writing just to write, and surprising yourself with an occasional amazing tidbit here, a striking image there, a poetic phrase here, a dramatic moment there. Ah! Every NaNo has its moments. Some more than others. This one in particular, not so many, but still--some.

Reaching 50,000 in 12 days is a new record for me, and as boggling to me as it is to everyone else. I don't know how I did it. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it again. As Krispy noted previously, reaching 10,000 in one day was also a new record--though as I've told her and shall now tell everyone else, I had literally nothing else to do that day but sit and write, still fired-up and rip-roarin'-ready to go, plus it was daylight savings so I had an extra hour. And I really did literally spend most of the day writing. So it is possible, and unfortunately now that I've done it, I'm going to have that dreaded realization dangling over my head all the time now, singing that seductive siren-song, ♪ It's possible...so why aren't you doing it?~♪♫

Krispy has been writing, slowly but surely, and I await in anticipation the first glimpse I'll have of her story. NaNoWriMo is about deadlines and pressure, about pushing yourself to write more than you normally would, and so I'm grateful for any writing this month manages to squeeze out of Krispy--because I love her writing so and it is my iron-clad belief that she should always write more, more, more, and give it all to me, because I am a whore for her writing and unashamedly so, right down to my literary core. See, Krispy? You even drive me to poorly-rhymed randomness. I expect you to be NaNo-ing right now, even as I write this.
Write more, Krispy! Write more! Crank up that wordcount and go for the gold! There will be ice cream at the finish line--or maybe boba. ♥♥♥


November is a bastard or Week 1 of NaNoWriMo

So last night, Alz, Luce, and I got together and completed a massive art project. You think I exaggerate, but this was an art project the likes of which have not been seen since our days in elementary school when some of my classmates were eating glue (I kid you not). We had markers of different colors and sizes, colored construction paper, scissors and glue! What were we doing? We were decorating a large cardboard box for our friend's belated birthday present. The completed project was pretty amazing. Alz has pictures.

The point being, I ended up NaNo-ing like 100 words maybe after we finished that and I went home. That's not bad since some word count is better than NO word count, but uh, I'm almost 16,000 words behind. Ahah ha.

I'm not freaking out (okay, I'm kind of freaking out) because I knew November's a bad month for me. It's the holiday lead-in month, and on top of that, for some reason, I like making friends with people whose birthdays are in November. It means my Social Life in Real Life suddenly goes up a few notches, and not only am I using all my creative juices on trying to figure out what presents to buy (and apparently how to wrap them), but I'm also going for broke (no really...How much do I owe you again, Alz?).

So really, any amount of wordage I manage alleviates my guilty conscience. I'm going to truck along, despite November's attempts at derailing me. And I know he's trying to because he's a shady bastard - my character November, but the month too. The amount of words I need to get on track is daunting, but it is not insurmountable! If all else fails, I'm going to write gibberish or maybe I'll just let November run amok and do his worst if that'll get him to be nicer to me.

Also, I've decided to completely numb myself to Alz's word count. She's at 40,563 words. Um, yes. Word Monster, that is what you are Alz, stop denying it.

There's a guest post at Icy Roses' blog about word count freak-outs that I found heartening. See it at From Elysium. But I pose the question, what if freaking out is part of the fun? Oooor maybe it's only if you're slightly masochistic (like I apparently might be) or in denial (which I probably am).

Oh! I experienced my first mini-write-in and word race this past weekend! It was a private party - just me, Luce, and Alz - but it was effective. Mostly. I mean, Luce and I were right about Alz's click-clacking on the keyboard being kind of distracting, not to mention stress-inducing and a reminder of AP Exam days. But we got over it after Luce and I decided to race each other to 100 words (baby steps!). I won that round, but she won the 500 words round. I discovered that intense competition actually makes me crumble under pressure (like my college football team seems to do after they get my hopes up for Pac-10 glory). The first race wasn't that intense, so I did okay. The second one was more competitive and that just tensed me up too much. There are psychological studies that show people do more poorly on certain tasks when they think they're being watched/judged - basically when they're made to feel self-conscious. This is one of many common-sense-like gems I learned from 4 years of study on the subject of the human psyche.

Uh, Clash of the Titans teaser trailer. Looks pretty EPIC (or possibly awful but still EPIC). Hahahaha.

(Excuse the randomness and rife use of parenthetical phrases in this post. I haven't been getting enough sleep between work/commuting, NaNo, social life, and trying not to break my face in the mornings when I get up and have to navigate through the piles and boxes of stuff piled around my room because the family decided it was a good month to do major housework/cleaning. Oh November.)


NaNoWriMo Day 4 & Things that really Interest Krispy

Um, so it's Day 4 of Nano, and I am officially 6668 words behind. Yes folks. My word count is still nonexistent, but look at me blog! Procrastination does weird things to me. In any case, I am feeling intensely guilty & I'm way behind on my TV show-watching schedule (which I'll admit is gratuitous), but I'm sacrificing my shows (some of them anyway) for Nano! I just have to get to the writing part.

Unfortunately, November hates me. I usually don't have much of a social life, but November always manages to side-swipe me with events. What's up with that? I thought I'd be okay once I graduated since that put an end to the dreaded Midterm Season, but I was wrong. Score: Krispy - 0, Universe - 100000000+ Also, don't name your characters after months that are dreadful to you because they inevitably will turn out shady.

So speaking of distractions, my sister made me aware of a remake of the movie Clash of the Titans. I vaguely remember seeing the original on TV (at least snippets of it), and anyway, I love Greek mythology like maybe I should've been a Classics Major LOVE it, so I'm KIND OF EXCITED. I mean, this could be a potentially bad idea. Like the movie Troy sorta killed parts of my soul, but I did enjoy select parts of it, and I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Disney's Hercules (okay, but really I love Disney, so more love than hate).

But then my sister showed me this post at ohnotheydidnt, and the movie posters are PRETTY AMAZING. Also, RALPH FIENNES is playing Hades. That's He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named VOLDEMORT as Hades, and um, Liam Neeson is Zeus. LIAM NEESON. Granted, Liam Neeson is sort of already a god-figure in Narnia, but he's freaking ZEUS. Ralph Fiennes. Liam Neeson. EPIC!

Okay, I think I'm working myself up too much. Speaking of great posters, have you seen the movie posters for The Lightning Thief yet? It's pretty awesome.

And while I'm on the topic of things I'm in to, check out Racebending.com, a website about the controversy surrounding the live-action movie of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I've actually never watched this show, though I've seen it on TV and heard good things about it, but the issues brought about by the casting for this movie interests me. Plus, the world of the Last Airbender is really cool in that it's a "fantastical Asian world," which is what I'm going for in my Nano and what I kind of want to see more of in general. I can only hope I pull it off with some skill.

So to tie all of that back to writing, find things you're passionate about and write about them. Greek mythology has influenced a lot of my reading and writing; there are a lot of themes and stories there that I draw from. I mean, the myths never get old for me. I can read them again and again. The whole Avatar thing made me consider, among many other things, the richness of Asian folklore and culture and how under-tapped it seems to be. Well, I'm finally going to try to draw more inspiration from my heritage. I'm just not sure NaNoWriMo was the best time to attempt such a challenging undertaking.

I did mention that I'm 6668 words behind right?

P.S. The only picture of me in my other costume: Hogwarts student! My Sirius Black from a few years ago was better. (Also, my actual costume, the Alice in Wonderland, still blows this one out of the water. C'mon! I had a Monty Python killer White Rabbit!)


NaNoWriMo has commenced!

And I'm already behind! My word count as of right now is a grand total of 0. I blame this on having maybe a little too much fun on Halloween, major house cleaning on Nov. 1, and beginning of the month work madness today.

Oh and you know how I said I was going to outline? Um, that DIDN'T HAPPEN. So far, I think only 3 people have names in my NaNo, and one of them has 2 names. I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED, but it did. It's okay though because I think I have a better idea of the plot this year than I did last year, and I've always kept everything trapped in my head anyway (ask Alz; I tell her nothing).

Speaking of Alz, the Word Ungeheuer and Mind-Boggling OVERACHIEVER, do you know what that woman's writerly output was on the first day of NaNo? You ready for this? 10,515. Yes, that's 1000 words TEN TIMES, plus 500. I kid you not. I don't know how she does this, and frankly, I gave up trying to figure it out a long time ago like back in high school when I refused to sit anywhere near her during Advanced Placement testing in order to avoid hearing her page-flips as she blazed out those essay answers.

Anyway, I ought to go write now before I get even more behind. But it's okay guys. That's just how I roll. Apparently, I masochistically like having dead-heat races to the finish with deadlines.

My friend, who I badgered, coaxed, and begged into doing Nano is signed up. She and I sort of operate the same way with this whole starting off behind thing. Friend her and cheer her on here: Evaleva!

Oh and before these become too out-of-season, Halloween pictures since it was kind of epic, and no lie, I talked and thought about Nanowrimo while I was out being ridiculous. Also, I now have a cool new reference for settings, The Edison.

In which I found a killer White Rabbit and fell down a rabbit hole...

The Edison in Los Angeles is super cool, by the way. It used to be an electric plant, so it's still themed that way, which makes it very atmospheric. It's kind of industrial and old-fashioned and very steampunk - PERFECT for Halloween.

Indeed, I saw some steamers, including this awesome time traveler-type guy (or something?). There were cool decorations/displays (i.e. heads in glass cases) and dancers in costume, including amazing ones on stilts.

Oh and of course, no Alice in Wonderland story is complete without random meetings with these characters:

I don't know these people at all, but they pulled me in for a spontaneous photo op and it was awesome. Okay, and the kicker: my name is Alice. It was about time this happened.

That's all to my randomosity. Hope you all had fun and safe Halloweens and are being very productive writers. I'm off to name some characters!