Nov. 17th, 2011

nanowrimo: in soviet russia
Hi LJ. I haven't been here in awhile.

1. I hit 130k today and am still going strong. Not as strong as I'd like given that certain people are topping me at the moment, but I'm still going.

2. Since people may want a last chance reminder, here's your last chance reminder for the NOWD fundraiser. I have deadlines up now for things: noon Eastern time tomorrow (Thursday) for the outfit, the 20th for the novel (which is currently going for $100), and for those who care, the time for official NOWD prizes and extra raffle tickets ends at 11:59pm Pacific Time tomorrow (Thursday). I am dangerously close to raising more than Lindsey. As in less than ten bucks dangerously close. And I've raised the same amount as Rachael Herron.

3. What happens when you put a bunch of overachievers in one place? WAY TOO MUCH AWESOME FOR ONE BULLET POINT, THAT'S WHAT. :D That was last weekend, by the way.

4. I leave for San Francisco on Friday. Yaaaaaaaaaay! :D Oh my Baty, I'll be in California. :D

Today I wrote a book

nanowrimo: sleeping is for december
Word count: 50,004

Yes, you read that correctly.

Awhile back a few folks at the NaNo forums (*cough*cosmam*cough*) talked me into doing a 50k day one. I accepted this challenge and took it today. And well... Let this Google doc of my progress tell you how I did (spreadsheet also courtesy of cosmam). Note that I was significantly behind for most of the day but apparently rule at catching up.

I wrote only 3k at the midnight kickoff at my place. The last folks left at 3am, and the party was lots of fun--we had ten people show up! David's evil scheme to put me behind on 50k day worked, but it didn't put me down. As soon as everyone left and I cleaned up the stuff that was actual mess I went to my room and started writing and caffeinating. I took a couple of 15-minute power naps throughout the day but otherwise stayed up all night, and I used Dropbox to write nearly 1k on my way to and from tutoring today. This was probably the vital 1k that saved me, as I finished with barely ten minutes to go.

And then I had a celebratory drink; if I hadn't succeeded it would have remained untouched until December.

Oh, and the best part? I hit THE END on the book too.

#50kkillmenow? #50kkilledit.

But now I sleep since I haven't done much of that over the last few days. Mmmm, sleep.

Oct. 31st, 2011

nanowrimo: end of the world
I did all the things today. Well, except actual work, but my schedule is flexible enough that I can do it over the rest of the week. I can deal with that, especially since my brain will need a break from massive amounts of writing after day one. Moderate amounts of writing will have to do.

There were things I would have liked to finish before the first, like journalling and writing other pep talks, but they're things I can do later. I don't have to have my pep talk for the ninth ready right now, though it would certainly be nice. And I don't have to have my Night of Writing Dangerously donor pep talks ready yet. But the laundry's done and I have clean clothes and I have food ready beyond the frozen dinners that I'll probably be eating tomorrow and I have my Adopt a Day pep talk for the day after tomorrow and I've paired all the newbies and mentors and I've sent a friend something she needed that I had and I've done my first @NaNoWordSprints session and I haven't died. Yet.

And I'm hosting a midnight kickoff party at my place, and ten people have already said they were coming. This includes David and me. Holy wow.

All things considered, I think I'm in pretty good shape. As the sign Tia got me yesterday says, "Keep calm and carry on."

I think I can handle that.

Oct. 31st, 2011

NaNo starts in twenty-four hours.

The madness is nigh.

Now to finish things before I sleep.

That is all.

My pre-NaNoWriMo to-do list

nanowrimo: end of the world
I love to-do lists. They keep me organized, and I can cross things off when they're done. Bonus points if I put every item on a Post-it note and hang them on my wall so I can take the Post-it down when that item is finished, rip the note up, and toss it.

So here's this year's Pre-NaNo to-do list.

* write pep talks
-three NOWD donor pep talks (contact donors to see when they'd like the pep talks)
-one Adopt a Day pep talk (by 2 Nov)
-two regional pep talks (by the end of Week One for one, the other is more flexible)

* catch up on journaling to this point
-I have two major events left, but these are major events. We're talking weekend-long events here. This may take most of my spare time over the week.

* Cook food so I don't have to cook as much during the first week or two of Nano
-I have four frozen dinners and five packs of ramen for November first and those nights when I really don't feel like cooking, but I don't want to eat these the entire month. Even though I'll be away from my kitchen for about a third of the month (the Overachiever Invasion, Night of Writing Dangerously weekend, and Thanksgiving weekend), I still want to eat reasonably healthily, and cooking in advance and freezing meals is a good way to make sure I do so.

* Acquire the last few needed groceries before starting all this cooking.

* Various ML stuff.

* Three kickoff parties the upcoming weekend. For those in the Atlanta region, there's one on Saturday evening followed by two on Sunday. See this thread for details and how to RSVP. (It's so close!)

And then the noveling begins...

Thoughts from the Nano food front

nanowrimo: procrastinating writer
A couple of things:

If NaNo is messing with my productivity and sleep schedule now, imagine what it'll do in November. No, life, I need to get work done. I can't spend all day on the NaNo forums. I would like to have money to fund my Night of Writing Dangerously shenanigans and write-in food and drink fund.

I also need to figure out what to cook for the first week of NaNo. A couple of years ago I was smart enough to cook enough food for a week and heat up individual portions as needed. Yes, this meant that I ate a lot of the same thing for nearly a week, but that was worth being able to sit down and write without worrying about food to me. Maybe I'll get lucky and I can stock up on cheap non-crappy frozen dinners again before the first for those really desperate times. (I already got two of them in anticipation of November first, along with a few packs of ramen. Don't worry, I eat real food most of the time. The ramen I ate the evening of NaNo site launch is an exception, not the rule.)

So I need some quick meals that I can cook before the first, preferably things I can cook all at once, freeze, and then pop in the oven or microwave before eating. Quick and inexpensive to fix are always better. I'm cooking for just myself, so almost any recipe will give me enough for leftovers. Ideas?

Oct. 12th, 2011

lion: yay!
Soon after the new NaNoWriMo site launched last night, I found myself on there, refreshing intermittently while doing other things.

There's one very big thing from the relaunch.

Wikiwrimo is the very first site featured in the Procrastination Station... meaning it's on the front page of NaNoWriMo right now.

Oh. My. Baty. Threads I've started have been featured there, but never a website I built. Then again, Wikiwrimo is the first NaNo-related site I've built. Still, seeing it on the front page of NaNo is ridiculously awesome. I BUILT that site, after all. My Wikiwrimo is all grown up.

Oh well.

do what you love
It went something like this on our way to my place after the weekend trip (which included an extra day that's now sending me scrambling, but that's another story)

Me: You probably figured this out by now, but I like you.

David: Is that a proposal.

Me: Depends. Do you want it to be?

David: Well, I hate to break your heart, but I don't want anything more.

And that was that. No additional awkwardness when we got to my place and he got his Tupperware dish and balanced it on his head and I called him possessing of a level head and we talked for a bit before he left and he said he may see me in a few months because it sounded like I was going to be so busy due to NaNo.

But I'm still writing his Renaissance assassins for NaNo. We had a great time planning that one out over the trip, mostly last night.

Also, now people are creeping my Twitter @ mentions to figure out who he is after I tweeted somewhat cryptically about it. Is this what being famous is like?

NaNoWriMo vs. my family

nanowrimo: sleeping is for december
The new NaNoWriMo website launches in a week. I'm running around like a headless chicken thanks to MLing, having a social life, trying to get other work done, and oh, being away last weekend and this upcoming weekend. This thing called a social life is really getting to me, but at least I'm getting it out of my system before Nano season officially begins for the masses.

What many people don't realize is that Nano season begins much sooner for me. My brother contacted me about the family coming down to visit me this weekend for my dad's birthday. The fact that my dad and I aren't very close at all (the least close of all my family members) aside, I have an airtight excuse in being away this weekend. But it also happens to be Nano season, and as we all know, Nano eats my soul even more than usual during October and November. Not that it doesn't during the rest of the year, of course, with many of my social interactions being with Wrimos, but the soul-eating definitely goes into overdrive and obsession during Nano season. You would think my family is aware of this since I did Nano as a high school student while living with them, but no, every single year they still ask what Nano is. At least my brother, who is like me in that he is Internet-savvy and geeky, has figured out what Nano is after all these years and even commented on it last year when Nano trended on Twitter. He still thinks I'm nuts for doing it, which is expected. My parents primarily care about my writing to get published and therefore rich. It doesn't work like that, but that's a separate subject altogether.

So how do I explain to my family just how important Nano is to me? They sort of know what Nano is but don't really value writing unless it's going to make me rich. You know, because all writers are rich, right?

Sep. 29th, 2011

nanowrimo: nano is coming
My Nano ML application got accepted. YAY!
My next few months are filling up quickly. I already RSVP'd to the Night of Writing Dangerously (and am still fundraising to dress like my Twitter icon!), but a couple of nights ago I took the next big step and bought the plane ticket to San Francisco.

I didn't mean to. I was talking to a couple of folks about the event and found myself checking flight costs again, as I had been doing casually over the past few weeks, when I spotted a flight that fit my wants and needs (Fri-Mon, arriving in San Francisco early, not a red-eye return to Atlanta or leaving San Francisco at the crack of dawn, nonstop--oh, and wifi on both flights) perfectly for a much better price than what I had been spotting over the past few weeks. Low enough that I wouldn't kick myself too hard if the price went down any further.

So I did some quick math, consulted Bing Travel's prediction to see what it said about buying, and caved and bought. And now it's officially official: I am going to the Night of Writing Dangerously in San Francisco.

My other weekends between now and the end of Nano are also filling up quickly. I count two completely free weekends between now and the beginning of Nano, but those weekends will fill up as Nano approaches or non-Nano friends want to see me in a non-noveling context. Even my Nano weekends are slowly filling up. Between Nanolanta shenanigans, the Night of Writing Dangerously, and 50k weekend, only the first weekend remains fully available, and I'm sure it'll fill up with write-ins as November approaches. Meatspace non-Wrimos, if you want to see me before December, you better see me soon or take advantage of my flexible schedule to see me during the week because soon it's going to be really hard to do so unless you're also doing Nano.

This means December will be a breath of fresh air. Won't that be exciting?

Aug. 31st, 2011

I have moved in! Almost everything is unpacked except for about half a box in the kitchen, but that can happen as I need those things. I'm not in a huge rush to get it unpacked. However, this could also be a veiled excuse for laziness, so I must be careful, lest the laziness take over the rest of my life.

Besides unpacking, there are a few things of note.

A few of you have already gleaned this from Twitter, but I have applied to be an Atlanta Municipal Liaison this year. For those who have no idea what this is, a Municipal Liaison (ML) is someone who leads the region and its activities. Atlanta already has two with a known third person applying this year, but when the current MLs got wind of my moving back, they asked me to apply. Having four MLs in a region is normally frowned upon, but 1) the Atlanta region is huge, and 2) Sarah the community liaison and former ML of a large region has seen our 15+ page Google Doc and already thinks we're nuts.

Another thing of note in the ML department: all four of us are overachievers. We wrote a collective 931,772 words last November. Writing a collective million is possible. Holy crap. We should do this. I will probably not write my 300,000 again this year, but surely I can do my fair share of 250,000. My goal for this year is 200,000 to write my collective million words over ten years, but if it means getting the four of us to a million words... I vote yes.


Some of you may remember the glove that I couldn't find last time I went camping with David. Sunday night he tweeted at me and asked if I wanted to have an all-day (later revised to all evening) MARTA party. I said it probably wouldn't happen that night since I was still unpacking. It didn't happen, but last night he texted me and said he had my glove and would I like it back?

Of course I wanted it back (and I wanted to see him too, of course). So I told him my address, and he was on his way. Hype and I started sharpening Obviously sticks in the hopes of poking him with them.

He showed up and handed me my glove, and I fixed us some water (a nerdy glass that I sandblasted at the Corning Museum of Glass with Andrew for him, my Schrodinger mug for me--also from Andrew. Huh.) before we sat down in the living room. I squeezed on the small couch next to him, and we discussed why I had moved there in the first place. He got more water and plunked down on the chair across from where I was sitting. We made our way to my room, where he tried to figure out the passcode on my phone because I wouldn't tell him what it was. I pointed out that it should be the easiest thing ever to figure out since he knew me. When he still didn't get it I pointed at my shelf of math books. Three guesses later he was in.

We poked fun of the two Lays who wrote two of my math books and how they couldn't be related because one of them had tiny serifs and the other didn't. I also found out that David is slightly allergic to cat dander when Elmo (my new roommate's cat) entered the room, but he's not so allergic that he was going to start sneezing when Elmo showed up. Good thing too since Elmo had already managed to get all over all my stuff in the short time since I moved in.

He showed me Cut the Rope on Android, which I have not yet played, and then we decided to go out. A few shakes on UrbanSpoon decided on a place for us, and we headed out. After several trips around the bar in search of parking we finally found a parking meter that said nothing about what happened if you parked there after 10pm, so we took a chance.

All that time spent searching for parking meant that the place was closed by the time we found a parking place further away than we had anticipated and walked there. The guys there gave us recs for other places, so we kept walking and wondered if they would have served us drinks if we had asked.

Anyway, we found the place and settled in at the bar. I told David he could educate me on beers, but he suggested the bartender do that. I told the bartender my tastes (nothing bitter, please), and he made a suggestion that I didn't dislike after a sample, so I got it. Some football preseason stuff was on the TV, and we turned to it now and then even though I had no idea what was going on (Vikings, rayerai , and yes, I mentioned you in this). I don't remember a lot of the things we talked about, but at one point I noticed that he had a deck of cards with him and asked him to do a card trick, so he did right there.

We paid for our own drinks. Rather, I went ahead and paid since I had my debit card, and he paid me back for his. But close enough.

I was definitely a little tipsy by the time we left. Not drunk, but I had to watch my step for the first block or two. I told my phone to direct us to my place and noticed that Matt the ML had texted me. I checked it after the GPS was blaring out directions. Matt was trying to get my attention to get me in chat so we could discuss ML stuff. All of us had decided to try Monday, but well, I got my glove back, which led to other shenanigans. From what I heard later, not much got decided anyway. (I also got eaten, probably as an attempt to get my attention.)

He also tried poking me on Twitter, something I didn't notice until we stopped at a gas station. Whoops. Sorry about that.

We got back to my place, and I really had to pee. I peed right before he got there, but the alcohol must have kicked in, for unlocking that door was an exercise in speed for this lady. I dashed into the bathroom as soon as we got upstairs. He was on my bed reading my copy of the Nanoland Chronicles when I returned. I flopped next to him and peeked at the story he was reading, then told him how the chronicles came to be. He tried teaching me a card trick on my floor after that. My mental faculties still weren't quite there, but I did my best anyway. I doubt I could perform it for you now, but I do remember some of the steps.

He left around 12:30 since he had to do things early in the morning. I let him out, we hugged goodbye, and he left.

And that is that. Oh, a few more things. He borrowed the NaNoland Chronicles. I told him to return it in one piece, and he asked why not return it in pieces. Oh you.

And that present for me he had for completing 12.5k by the promised day during Camp NaNo? Apparently I will find out what it is during NaNo, specifically during the MARTA route write-in he's putting together. If it's a Sushi Avenue write-in, well...he knows about #wrimosagainsttheeatingofsushi (even though he is not against the eating of sushi). We did look at Google Maps while he was here, and when we reached Decatur he pointed out Sushi Avenue in passing. Do I get this info out of him or wait? I can be an impatient Sushi when it comes to things I want.

I believe he is going to the JoCo show on Friday, so I'll most likely see him then, if not before. I'll also see magiuspendragon sometime while he's in Atlanta for Dragon*Con. Yay! And sometime over Labor Day weekend, writing a novel's gonna happen. Remind me how this is going to happen.

Updates and things

fractal: sun

I'm at my cousin's yard sale right now. She and her daughter moved in with her dad/my uncle, and now their stuff is taking over the house. And that doesn't include all the stuff she still has in  storage. Solution to that: a yard sale.
On a whim.

A good bit of the family is here right now, including the cousins who got taken away from their mother but are now technically adults or close enough. Uncle Pat is asleep, but he goes in and out through the day.

Dad got diagnosed with diabetes recently. To be honest I'm not all that surprised. He's overweight and doesn't eat the healthiest diet. Uncle Pat and Grandmother have diabetes and prediabetes, respectively, and are both also overweight, so again I'm not too surprised. This is quite the bummer for Dad, as he'll have to start eating more healthily, something he has trouble with.

On a somewhat related now, a longtime family friend died last Saturday. I've known him since I was a little kid, and he knew Dad and Uncle Pat and my grandparents for about forty years. John loved horses and raised and trained them for most of his life. His niece, the daughter of one of my high school math teachers, also loved them, and they grew close. She was with him when he died. They were out with the horses when he just fell over and died. He was in his late fifties, a couple of years older than Dad.

To show what an effect this has had, Uncle Pat shaved off his enormous beard and got his hair cut for the funeral. For a man who is so big he can hardly bathe himself sometimes, this says a lot. I hope Dad uses this as motivation to get healthy.

I'm halfway to the minimum $250 for this year's Night of Writing Dangerously. Yay! Thanks! Now to dress like my Twitter icon. You can donate here if you would like.

Also, I'm moving back to Atlanta next weekend. I have not started packing. Eep.

I think that's about it for now.

nanowrimo: sushimustwrite
As I mentioned in my list of goals for 2011, I want to go to the Night of Writing Dangerously, a write-a-thon fundraiser in November by the NaNoWriMo staff. I've been planning my fundraising page and bribes for months in preparation for the day the event fundraising page went up and I could simply make a few small changes and practice my copying and pasting skills to get started immediately.

My Night of Writing Dangerously page text has been ready for quite awhile, so I let it sit until the fundraising page sneaked its way onto the Internet today. A few tweaks later, my fundraising page made its way to the Web.

Then another idea for bribes came in, courtesy of OLL's Sarah. My Twitter icon is rather iconic, and she joked that she might not recognize me if I didn't come in looking like that. She suggested that I add one element of the outfit for every hundred dollars I raise.

I could go to the Night of Writing Dangerously looking like this.

Well, that would mean I'd be outfitted up for right around a thousand dollars. Why not reward people for raising more? For every hundred dollars over the minimum $250, I will wear one element of the icon's outfit. This means that if you raise $1450 on my page I will go to the write-a-thon looking as much like that sea kitten as humanly possible.

But there are individual prizes too. Everyone who donates receives a thank you email from me. Donating five dollars gets you a Twitter shoutout. Ten dollars gets something or someone in my novel named after you. Twenty gets a character of yours in my novel (or a character of your choice created in my novel for the non-Wrimos). The custom pep talk comes at forty.

If you are the top donor, you will get to choose the idea for one of my novels this year. I'm not kidding. It'll probably be my 50k weekend novel. This is the big one, folks.

My fundraising goal for this year is $500, twice the minimum for admission to the event. Take a look at my fundraising page for the full deal. Thank you so much, and you rock no matter your support level, from donation to spreading the word to wishing me many words in November.