The Product of NaNoWriMo 2012

As promised, I am recording for posterity (and my lovely blog readers) the lessons I have learned over the past weeks since I made a spontaneous decision to enter NaNoWriMo 2012.  (I was serious blogging about whether or not to do it…having done no outlining or anything…and just did it on a whim thanks to the encouragement of a few lovely voices!…& I thank you sincerely Marissa and Darcy!)  Here we go, in no particular order…:

  • Prayer works.  (Not that I didn’t know this prior to Nov. 1, 2012; it was just reaffirmed to me….)
  • Productivity produces energy.
  • Support from those you love is vital for success!
  • Goals can be accomplished…(and a lot more, too!).
  • I CAN WRITE!!!!!
  • Being purely creative is energizing.
  • My family, friends (& I) love me!
  • Even with road blocks (scheduling, sickness, holidays, etc.)~keep moving forward….! (See Meet the Robinsons for more info on this topic.)
  • God is aware of me and loves me!
  • I HAVE A VOICE (and an important one, at that)!
  • I can cultivate creativity…and a writing mood.
  • Breaks are important.  (I took every Sunday off…and a few other Thursdays sprinkled in the month, as well.)
  • When all else fails, have a dance party with the kiddos (…or with friends…or by yourself…)!
  • Have munchies around always.  (I had a Swiss Cake Roll emergency…luckily for me, I did have some left-over Double Stuf Oreos which satisfied the chocolate/creamy craving.)  🙂
  • Buy back your kids’ Halloween candy and use it for NaNoWriMo snacks…and to last until NaNoWriMo is over and you start making Christmas candy.
  • Spotify created great mood music when I needed it…and was a great resource for the karaoke scene I wrote.
  • You can always edit later.

In the past few days, I have listened to some of the songs on Alicia Keys’ new album–and the chorus and several lines of this song resonate with me.  I do feel like a “Brand New Me.”

The only time I recently felt this kind of growth and accomplishment is when I worked and trained for (& completed) a half-marathon with a dear friend of mine…something about measurable success.  Hopefully, though, I will write more novels than the number of races I’ve run…! 🙂

Hugs!

Epitome…& other words I once loved

I wonder if my husband ever gets jealous.

Salisbury-74copy

I think some of my children do.

You see, I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last month staring at a glowing rectangle, my fingers and fingernails tapping in wild patterns across a dark keyboard with white letters, numbers, and codes painted across them.  Each time I tap a key, WORDS flow from my brain through my fingers and onto a large screen that sits in my kitchen at a desk.  The process has been transformative for me…but that story is for another day.

You see, I used to write quite a bit of poetry.  Poetry can be written quickly when inspiration strikes, recorded with relative speed, and even edited fairly quickly compared to something of, say, 170 pages or so.  I don’t think I’ve ever written a poem over a couple of pages.  And, considering only time, I could write a poem in the time I could write a grocery list…and no one would be the wiser.

Fiction is different for me.  I write pages upon pages, developing characters, rethinking dialogue, and editing.  Always editing.  And the time this past project has taken so far (and I’ve just begun editing)…well, let’s just say it’s taken a little longer than writing a grocery list.  🙂  But the lessons learned and the growth I’ve achieved in the past month have been worth the time commitment.

To me, WORDS ARE POWERFUL.  I live on them.  I breathe them in; I feel them with every fiber of my soul.  They speak to me.  When I watch a movie, the words expressed are what make the movie meaningful for me.  When I receive cards from friends, I read them repeatedly to feel the expression of their words.  When I listen to music, the words–even more than the music–speak to me.

As of late, I’ve been trying to teach the power of words to my children.  They are often flippant in their conversations and remarks to one another…but, I know (and try to actively teach them) that what they (and I) say to one another carries weight and power and can hang in a mind forever.  (Don’t you hold onto words and conversations–for good or ill–which make a nest in your brain that invades your present psyche every now and then?  I do.)

Anyway, in light of the power of words, I wanted to share a few that I think are fun to write (and say) in today’s post!  (If you don’t use them or know how to pronounce them, dictionary.com is a great resource and will also pronounce words for you…and they have an app!)

epitome

onomatopoeia

Terpsichore

and while we are talking Greek Muses, Calliope

juxtaposition

enamoured

iambic pentameter

polysyllabic, and

antidisestablishmentarianism.

You?

Goodbye, November…& NaNoWriMo

I just have one picture to post today…and I will work on my recap (to post sometime next week) of the past month’s adventures!

Winner-100x100-2

I did it!!!!! 🙂

Thank you for all your words of encouragement, likes, and support!

Hope you have checked out the Facebook page, and know you are always welcome to follow me on Twitter!

Hope you have a glorious weekend…I will be walking on clouds until who knows when…!  🙂

Do You NaNoWriMo?

As November’s end is fast approaching, I am behind a bit on my word count (last week brought to our home some illness as well as the holiday that many of you also celebrated).  As of this moment, word count weighs in at 42,644, which, on my word processing program, equates to 153 pages.  Over dinner a week or so ago with some friends, he joked, “Why don’t you just go back to school and use it as a dissertation?”  Some day….

By the end of yesterday, the magic number according to 1,667 words per day would be 43,342…and at the close of today, the goal is 45,009.  Since I had several 800 (maybe) word days during the holidays, and I know I can pull a 4,000 word day (I have already once this month), I’m feeling the energy (even though I’m still below goal) of the magnitude of finishing this amazing feat.  I’m compiling a list of lessons learned this month, which I hope to post at the conclusion of November.

And, I’m wondering how I am going to celebrate….

And I want to give you a shout-out to keep writing!  Your words have a powerful effect on your soul and the lives of others…even if you think you are writing in a private journal or blogging in your own little corner of cyberspace or publishing books–YOUR WORDS ARE IMPORTANT.  Continue to develop your voice and use it–and share it with the world.  You have value beyond measure.  Feel that power and write with it!

Here is one of my favorite “raise your voice” songs:

Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield

Cursive? or Print?

Which do you prefer?

Were you taught to write in cursive? When?

I was taught (and graded) on cursive handwriting in third grade…Mrs. Jordan’s class.  And, I struggled to get a B-.  “Why do we need to learn this?” our class inquired of our teacher.

“It’s faster,” she responded. Indeed.

Cursive was tough stuff for me as a struggling third grader; now I prefer it to printing most of the time.

Well, a dear friend of mine and current student of medicine asked me recently, “Do kids still learn cursive?”

I replied, “Some of mine have…but not all of them were taught cursive writing formally–and my older ones still print most of the time. Why?”

“Well, I was just reading that losing the ability to write in cursive can be a symptom of dementia. I wondered if people were even learning it in the first place, and what we’ll do if we don’t have that symptom to eval for anymore.”

Good point.

I have read that people with dyslexia write better with cursive and should be taught how to write in cursive as soon as they are able.  As a person who has struggled with both handwriting and (mild) dyslexia, I can attest that cursive is easier for me.

On another note, I was thinking that maybe teachers are so bombarded with information to teach children for their end of year testing (you know, those lovely bubble tests?) that maybe they feel pressed for time with teaching and cannot afford the “expense” of spending so much time on the dying art of cursive writing. You don’t exactly “bubble” your answer in cursive or print, now do you?

NaNoWriMo Update

I was hesitant to start reading a new book this month.  I have been writing for NaNoWriMo for almost a week now (today will be my sixth day of writing since I didn’t–and don’t plan to–write on Sunday).  So, amid bursts of words and the patience of my dear family, I have so far (and I haven’t written today yet) 14,096 words (which, double-spaced, equals about 51 pages).  I have always wondered if I had the time, determination, and wherewithal to accomplish such a daunting task, but I guess I know the answer now.  I have been amazed at the positivity I feel about myself and the new energy with which I am able to perform my otherwise perfunctory responsibilities.  I feel the support of my children and husband.  I feel excited to share my news with friends and family and those on Twitter and Facebook.  And, I have an empty sink (since my daughters and I caught up on dishes last night) along with a full heart.  Life is good.

This morning, though, I was feeling a little deflated…so I picked up a book I had requested from our local library.  I hesitated to open it (because I read slowly and just finished a rather lengthy reading endeavor last week) but I found it a delightfully quick read and a nice way to fill my head with a fun, quirky story as a distraction from the craziness I was experiencing.  I do love to read–but the book has to be worth the work my brain has to go through to read it.  I think I’ve found another one I actually want to keep reading.  🙂  See? Life really is good!

So, I leave you on this Wednesday to pick of where I left off, feeling blessed, happy, and grateful once again.  Grateful that I have a voice.  And though, at times, I find it falling on deaf ears, not making the difference I would like it to, I should continue to speak and write and blog simply because I have a message to share and a story to tell…and I’m finally finding the courage to tell it.

NaNoWriMo

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? Well, it is upon us!!! November 1st through 30th…! Will you be participating?

I’ve always been enamoured of the concept…a book in a month…but I try not to force too much creativity…I’m more of a free-spirit/let-the-creative-flow-happen-for-itself kinda gal. I still have a few hours left to decide if I’m in or not. 🙂

But I’m afraid my kiddos and house and marriage might all suffer from the neglect. Maybe next year, when the preschooler isn’t a preschooler anymore….

What do you think? Should I throw caution to the wind (along with fear of not accomplishing, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of laundry piles higher than my twelve-foot ceilings…among other things)?