NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 20, Learn All the Things

I majored in English, but I wanted to learn so many other things. If money was no issue, what subject(s) would you pursue degree(s) in?

Learning new subjects is one of my favorite things. There’s so much that I want to know. I love being in a classroom. If I could be a professional student, I would definitely do that.

Here are a few degrees that I have considered at some point: Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 19, My Life in Music

Describe your day/week/month in song lyrics.

Day

“Good Morning” Psychostick

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Photo from here

This song perfectly captures my morning argument with myself about getting out of bed. Adult Jen wants to get up and around while Kid Jen wants to stay in bed forever and ever. Adult Jen often resorts to threats and insults, which is probably a good indication that I shouldn’t procreate.

“9 to 5” Dolly Parton

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I remember listening to this song on a 45 in the “junk room” at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. If I had known then the validity of lines such as “you spend your life putting money is his wallet” and “barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin'”… Ah, the innocence of youth.

“Be Good to Yourself” Journey

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This is my mantra when I get home from work. I really try to work on freelance stuff (portfolio website is still in the process of being built) and finish the Christmas presents that I’m knitting and cook real food and any of the other tons of things that I want to do, but I also want to be good to myself and just chill out watching YouTube and eating pizza-flavored Pringles.

Week

“Weightless” All Time Low

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Image found here

“I’ve been going crazy, I don’t wanna waste another minute here.” I have had serious cabin fever relating to my apartment, my city, and my state for the past week. I feel like I need to get out and travel again. I go to work, I come home, I possibly meet a friend for dinner or drinks, and then I come home again. On my days off, I usually don’t even leave the apartment unless I desperately need something. Like mayo. Or wine.

But there is a positive to the song: “Maybe it’s not my weekend, but it’s gonna be my year.” Okay, so the year is almost over. But 2016 will be my year!

Month

“The Middle” Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World

Image found here

“It’s just takes some time, little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine.” This my life right now. It’s also related to the previous song. I just keep giving myself this pep talk that once this transition stage is over, everything will be alright, alright.

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 18, Mansfield Park

To be a writer, it’s necessary to read. What are you reading now and is it any good?

I have loved Jane Austen for a long time, and I have read all of her books (including the partials like Lady Susan). I’ve also read the Quirk Classics Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters very recently.

Right now, I’m reading Mansfield Park. It’s the only one of the core six that I haven’t read multiple times, so I’m not very familiar with it. It’s also the only one that I don’t own. I picked up a copy at the library today after reading Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating by Laura Henderson, which aside from being a bit stuffy at times, was a really interesting book. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 13, Burn Out

While writing all day everyday sounds like fun, it’s not really practical. Burn out is real. So, what’s your favorite thing to do when not writing?

Burn out has definitely been an issue for me lately. Not just with writing, but kind of with everything. Once I get off work, all I want to do is chill in front of YouTube. Possibly knit. But definitely nothing more taxing or more productive than that.

This, of course, is a problem. I have a lot of stuff that needs done, and I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish.

So instead of writing about things I like to do when I’m not writing (which I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned multiple times on this blog anyway) I’m going to make a get-myself-back-on-track post. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 10, Procrastination

Let’s check in with our writing buddy.What’s he/she/it up to today?

Well, my writing buddy is sitting around patiently waiting for me to get my act together and actually work on her story.

My alternative to NaNo, which was supposed to be more of a companion activity, has actually turned into a true alternative. I haven’t written anything on the novel since day 2. I suppose at this point I could still catch up, but for some reason my heart isn’t really in it this year.

I think I just have too much going on right now. I’m learning web development, knitting Christmas presents, writing this blog, writing freelance content, working in retail, and trying to remind myself that I really should talk to people sometimes. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 8, The Road Not Taken

Pick a moment in your life where you made a life-changing decision. Imagine how your life would be different.Sugar coating and optimism are acceptable.

When I was 20 years old, I made a decision that I have variously celebrated and regretted depending on the season. I was finishing my second year at Stony Brook University, and I decided to transfer to a school in my home state of Oklahoma.

A lot of thought went into this, and most of the reasons for leaving were financial, but a large part of me still wishes that I could have finished my degree at Stony. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 7, For the Love of Language

My love of French is well-documented on this site. What’s your favorite language?Or if that sounds weird, what language would you really really like to learn?

I talk about French a lot because it’s the language that I’m currently trying to get better at. I speak really bad French, but I can understand most things that I read and a lot of things that are spoken.

I watched a video earlier today that was an interview with Bradley Cooper entirely in French, and I understood basically everything. Which, side note, how awesome is it that Bradley Cooper speaks French?

But I digress. I talk about French a lot, so for this post, I’m going to talk about some other languages that I want to learn. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo alternative: Day 6, Lost in the Land of the YouTubes

It’s distraction day. Pick a YouTube video and discuss it.

I don’t actually need a distraction day considering that I am still woefully behind on Nano right now. A lot of the reason for that is that I have been on YouTube entirely too much lately.

But, I have been keeping up with this challenge that I set for myself (yay!) so at least I can use all the hours of video I’ve been watching to help this along.

With that in mind, here are 6 YouTube channels that have had me letting the AutoPlay keep rolling along: Continue reading

Nanowrimo Alternative: Day 5, Had a Bad Day

Yet man doth not live on bread alone. Describe the thing that gets you through your most difficult days.

Yesterday was one of my difficult days. I have mild anxiety attacks from time to time, and yesterday I had one that was not so mild. And I had to go to work. Oi.

When those hit me, really the only thing I can do is work through it. Quite literally as it happens. Anyway, on days that I am not at work and one of these hits, here are a few things that seem to help. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 4, How to Make a BLT

Music may be the food of the soul, but my stomach needs other nourishment. What’s your favorite meal ever?

So yesterday I raved a bit about my current favorite band. Today, I’m going to talk about my current favorite food.

I’m in love with BLTs. I used to think they were the most boring sandwich ever. I also used to hate raw tomato. I now know that a BLT is beautiful in its simplicity and tomatoes are only gross raw on a taco. For some reason, raw tomatoes and Mexican food still don’t mix for me.

So, here is how to produce the perfect BLT. I also kind of feel like practicing my first person writing (I generally prefer third-person for fiction) and present tense (huge proponent of past tense because it’s the invisible tense). Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 2, Setting the Scene

Next up is scene-setting. Describe a place, real or fictional, where you would like to live (and presumably write) for a year.

So, my original plan for this was to talk about Marseilles for a while because it is the one place that I feel I simply must see before I die. However, as I started actually writing my novel, I created a setting that I would like to share. This is not a place that I would like to live or work. It’s actually just the opening scene to my novel. However, since Halloween is just barely behind us, I think it is highly appropriate. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 1, Buddy Up

Prompt: We need a buddy to trek through this month with us. Sketch out your writing buddy. They could be based on an actual person or one of the voices in your head. Maybe you’re doing NaNoWrimo, and this is your story’s main character. Tell us about them.

Well, I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, so my buddy is going to be my novel’s main character: Katie Morrigan.

Katie is a 22-year-old college student, but she’s taking a hiatus from classes because she can’t afford the tuition. In her job hunting, she gets a job at a complex known as The Seven.

Katie has nightmares that never vary. She’s had them since puberty, so she just sort of lives with it at this point. No one can tell her what they mean or what caused them, and no amount of therapy or medication has helped her get rid of them.

She was adopted at the age of 6 by a middle-aged couple who had lost their only son in a school bus accident. They didn’t tell Katie about him until she graduated from high school. She remains close to her parents. She is considering moving back in with them to save money, but her boyfriend James is trying to convince her to live with him instead. They have been together less than a year, so she’s not sure about that idea.

Katie is something of a modern hippie. She goes with the flow. She doesn’t really believe in violence. Very eco-friendly. Generally trusting, though not exactly naive. Has a love of all things books.

I think Katie and I are going to be quite good friends by the end of this month.

Do you have a writing buddy or main character you’ve sketched out? Link in the comments!

Nanowrimo Alternative Intro: Let it begin

So last year I did not participate in National Novel Writing Month due to a whirlwind of emotional and lodging issues stemming from the collapse of my relationship the month before the writing event started. It was the first time in five years that I had not attempted the 50,000 words in a month challenge.

This year, I am going to participate. However, in lieu of actually writing a novel last year, I decided to post a blog every day. And this year, I am going to try to do both. Yay overachiever!

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To make things easier on myself, I’ve created this list of prompts, which I can ignore or follow as I choose because I like to keep my options open. So the daily posts will begin tomorrow with the start of the actual NaNoWriMo, but I wanted to also give anyone who’s interested a chance to write along with me. If you find my prompts interesting enough to write posts of your own, please share them with me 🙂

I also want to point out that this idea for making a list to stick to did come at least in part from the Blog-tember Challenge posted by Bailey Jean, which I attempted but never really committed to in September. So, major props to her for a great idea!

That said, many of my suggested prompts will be more oriented toward fiction-writing.

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  1. We need a buddy to trek through this month with us. Sketch out your writing buddy. They could be based on an actual person or one of the voices in your head. Maybe you’re doing NaNoWrimo, and this is your story’s main character. Tell us about them.
  2. Next up is scene-setting. Describe a place, real or fictional, where you would like to live (and presumably write) for a year.
  3. What’s your go-to writing music?
  4. Music may be the food of the soul, but my stomach needs other nourishment. What’s your favorite meal ever?
  5. Yet man doth not live on bread alone. Describe the thing that gets you through your most difficult days.
  6. It’s distraction day. Pick a YouTube video and discuss it.
  7. My love of French is well-documented on this site. What’s your favorite language? Or if that sounds weird, what language would you really really like to learn?
  8. Pick a moment in your life where you made a life-changing decision. Imagine how your life would be different. Sugar coating and optimism are acceptable.
  9. Back to reality. Explain why your life is better now than in the make believe of yesterday.
  10. Let’s check in with our writing buddy. What’s he/she/it up to today?
  11. What is your number one inspiration for your art? This could be general for all of your art or specific to what you are working on now.
  12. Describe the place where you do most of your writing. And remember, the devil’s in the details, so let’s hunt him down like Waldo.
  13. While writing all day everyday sounds like fun, it’s not really practical. Burn out is real. So, what’s your favorite thing to do when not writing?
  14. What superhero would you want to be? OR what superpower would you like to have?
  15. Halfway there! Time for a modicum of celebration. Pick a theme for the party you’ll throw at the end of the month. Describe the food and décor and whatever else strikes your fancy. Pictures appreciated!
  16. To be a writer, it’s necessary to read. What are you reading now and is it any good?
  17. What’s the status on your NaNo? Are you falling behind, way ahead, or not participating?
  18. Let’s play kiss, marry, or kill with current events. Pick three things in the news and put each in a category.
  19. Describe your day/week/month in song lyrics.
  20. Why do we blog? This may be as difficult to explain as why we write in general, but give it a shot.
  21. Explain your writing buddy’s relationship status.
  22. Kids are weird. But they’re all weird in different ways. How were you a weird kid?
  23. New Year’s is still a bit away, but it never hurts to plan ahead. What’s a resolution you think you’ll make? Or do you even make resolutions?
  24. I majored in English, but I wanted to learn so many other things. If money was no issue, what subject(s) would you pursue degree(s) in?
  25. Getting closer to the finish, and by now it’s getting tougher. Or is it? Maybe you’re breezing through this bit. If so, what’s your secret? If it’s a struggle, how do you keep pushing on?
  26. Happy Thanksgiving! US bloggers: what does your family do (or not do) for this holiday? Non-US bloggers: If your country has a similar holiday, describe that for us.
  27. Black Friday. Let’s take a moment to commiserate with all the retail workers out there. Be strong my brothers and sisters. This too shall pass. Though, let’s be honest, the sales started yesterday. What would it take to get you to go Black Friday shopping?
  28. The Saturday after Thanksgiving means football in Oklahoma. Let’s talk sports. What do you play/watch?
  29. Christmas music has been playing in stores all month, but now it’s really time to prepare. What’s on your [insert appropriate holiday here] prep to-do list?
  30. You made it! Whether or not you participated in NaNoWriMo or my alternative blog thingie, you survived November. Mazel Tov! Now before that party you planned earlier this month takes off, one more blog prompt: Give me the ultimate cocktail/mocktail recipe.

So there it is. I hope some people decide to join me in this little jaunt, but either way I’ll be having fun. Allons-y!

Kudos to RedGryph0n on deviantart for this beauty.

Kudos to RedGryph0n on deviantart for this beauty.