Tuesday, November 30, 2010

holga in the hizzy

I FINALLY got 3 rolls of film processed from my Holga which I got about a year ago. I have a little bit of experimenting yet to do, but I'm pretty pleased with how the shots turned out--and extra pleased to remember some of the things I shot over the course of a year.

I'll look forward to shooting even more, and hopefully I will get them processed more quickly each time. I have to send them to Precision Camera in Austin (supporting my hometown peeps), and while they have reasonable prices for processing & scanning, it's still a bit of a cost to consider, but such is the way with film. And speaking of looking forward, I'm already thinking about my 2011 goals list...granted 2010 isn't yet complete, but it is trickling away rather quickly. I'm trying to stay present while looking ahead.

Today is the final day of NaNoWriMo & while I didn't hit the 50,000 word mark, I did accumulate 20,000+ words to a novel that I look forward to completing in 2011. Hopefully some time away from it will provide the needed extra inspiration that I'm currently lacking.

Despite having the sniffles, this past weekend I did sit down to make some art. It felt good to get my hands all painty & sticky & my mind churning with visual creativity which is much different than the churning of writing's creativity, so I'll look forward to doing more art making as well in the coming month & into next year.

So onward & upward...was fun to dive into photography alittle more this past year & I'm eager to dive into much more of everything going forward.

Monday, November 22, 2010

burned out

NaNoWriMo has got me by the balls. I have hit a serious & very high & thick wall. I reached 20K words, but no more are coming. I'm lacking inspiration. I'm lacking direction. I'm distracted (see previous post about George, plus I've had a majorly huge dog training test looming over me).

I'm just stuck, which has me feeling totally (and unnecessarily) stressed out. Bottom line: I don't think I'm going to hit my 50K by end of the month & that totally sucks because I feel, just by saying that, I've officially given up. I mean, there's just NO WAY I'm going to whip out 30,000 words over the next 7 days...just NO BLOODY WAY. And I'm accepting that...slowly but surely.

I mean 20,000 words is still more than I've EVER written in my entire life...well not entire, collective life (which makes me wonder--how many words collectively have I written during my 39.5 years on earth? but that's another post), but it IS the most I've written for a particular writing assignment. So I guess I should be proud of that--and I am. And the novel isn't dead--I still want to see it through--it's just obviously not going to be born via NaNoWriMo 2010!

I'm definitely bummed & feeling uber defeated. But you know what? I don't feel stressed out anymore & that's a nice little weight off my shoulders!


Friday, November 19, 2010

lost & found

My dog Eadie & I found this little guy on our walk after work yeterday. He was friendly as can be, had a collar, but no tags. He & Eadie got along great (which is unusual considering Eadie's not much of a dog's dog), and he gladly followed us home.

I'm trying to find his people (sent out an alert via my neighborhood Yahoo newsgroup, posted on Petfinder.com, will take to the vet this afternoon to see if he's micro-chipped & will hang flyers around the hood this weekend) because if this were my sweet girl, I would want someone to do all the things I'm doing to reunite us. But I have to admit, he's already stealing my heart. I named him George--bad idea, I know, but he's just so dern cute & rather good. So I know he must be someone's pooch, I just worry given his condition that he's either not been as well cared for as I believe a dog should be or he's been roaming on his own for some time now.

I've never seen him anywhere in my neighborhood--and I spend alot of time out walking my dog or taking pictures--I've never seen him in a yard or being walked by someone or anything. A neighbor said she'd seen him earlier yesterday morning, so it's not like he'd just been out for a few minutes last night before we found him--he'd been wandering & no telling for how long.

Poor thing is itchy & dirty & stinky--but so so sweet. I've since learned Westies are prone to skin infections--he definitley has something more than just "the elements" irritating him. So when I go for the micro-chip, I'll get the vet to take a look and give me some tips on addressing it. It's one of those things that you don't want to go overboard & spend tons of money on a dog that you may have to turn back over tomorrow (and it's easy to spend too much at the vet on any given day), but he's uncomfortable, so I've atleast gotta help him with that. (was a restless night sleep last night, let me tell you). I'll figure out the rest as we go.

I will continue to try to find his peeps...and hope that if I do, they deserve to get him back.

PS: the NaNo writing hasn't been going well this week (i.e. aside from Monday, it's not been going at all unfortunately), BUT the weekend is upon me & I have high hopes I can crank alot out this weekend--I only need 17K to get caught up...so you know, no pressure or anything (especially when I'll have this cutie patootie running around being ahh-dorable!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

plugging along

Haven't written here much since starting NaNoWriMo...because I'm writing over there. I'm still behind my daily/weekly word count goals, but I AM WRITING and that's good enough for me at this point. I had hoped to atleast break 20K by this weekend's end (even though that's still about 5K behind where I should be to hit the 50K mark by month's end). And while I'm only 2,000 words away from my less-than goal this weekend, I think I'm tapped out & need to alittle nothing time before the work week starts all over again.

I did pick up some speed this past week, so I hope I can piggy back off of that this coming week, and finish a bit stronger by the end of next weekend. The story is unfolding nicely, some snags here & there as to how I thought it was going to go (and I'm pretty sure I need to completely re-do my beginning).

And I really have no concrete idea where I'm going from page to page, but I'm finding that the story is letting itself be told without too much manipulation on my part (well you know except for the typing & retyping). I'm finding each scene just sort of leads to the next scene, and the characters I created appear when they need to & some new ones pop up out of nowhere.

I am having more fun with it too (meeting my characters is the part I get most chuffed about), plus I'm getting better at not back-editing each time I sit down. I keep reminding myself "yes it is crap, who cares, just get the ideas & the words down." I will confess, I am an obsessive "recount" hitter in Word--it's both motivating and distracting, so I will work on not hitting that button with every pause I take. Otherwise, full steam ahead...


Monday, November 8, 2010


It may sound obvious, but this novel thing is H-A-R-D! I mean, I knew it would be, but I guess unless you've done it before, you don't know the exact ways it will prove toughest.

For me, I think it's proving tricky in the following ways:
  • I'm doing too much rewrite as I write (for every 2 words I write, I feel like I rewrite them each 4 times--time waster!)
  • I'm not totally sure how solid my story is (and I find myself distracted in research in the middle of a paragraph--time destroyer!)
  • And probably because of the lack of solidity, I'm having trouble understanding my characters (although I did just discover an unplanned character & I'm quite smitten with him, but it's making rethink the first 2K words & one of the main characters that lives in them...and who is sort of the catalyst for my main character's decisions--time annihilator!)

My goal by Sunday eve was 12,500 words...I have less than 1/2 of that at barely over 5K. Listen closely--can you hear it--my tears of defeat dripping down onto the keyboard? Yeah I can't hear it either because I'm not crying, but I am pissed because I spent ALOT of time writing this weekend, and yet, I have very little to show for it. On the page anyway. I guess the biggest part is the learning & hopefully that will show up on the page as I continue.

Because I'm not going to let my word count set back defeat me. I'm not going to say "well I'm already behind & there's no way I can catch up, so I might as well not even bother with the other 45,000 words," even though I'm not gonna lie, I've thought it. I'm just going to buckle down, aim for daily writing (instead of saving so much up for the weekend like I thought was a good idea last weekend), learn from my mistakes, and hope that the more I write, the more I will write!


Thursday, November 4, 2010


By day 3 of NaNo (yesterday), I was feeling stressed...okay, I was actually feeling stressed the Sunday night before NaNo officially started...but on day 3, I had only 800 words swirling inside a clumsy opening scene. Needless to say, I was feeling frustrated & DE-flated...who am I to try to write a novel when I haven't even tried writing many short stories. Pounding out a couple thousand words for a short story is tricky enough, but crafting an entire novel...making 50,000 words come together in a way that creates interest & also makes sense, with only 7 days preparation? Yeah, it wasn't looking good for me.

FYI: 50,000 words in 30 days = approximately 1,667 words per day or 12,500 words per week.

I was watching other NaNo writers hit their daily word counts, feeling myself getting further & further behind as I massaged the same 800 words over & over & over. I have to give myself some credit--from the get-go I completely intended to get most of my word count in at the weekends & wasn't going to freak myself out with needing to produce 1,667 words every-single-day (especially when I sit in a cube for 8 hrs of those weekdays). But these 800 words were taunting me & the the more I hoped they'd turn into something that would work, the more they simply refused to play nice. Actually the words were fine (some even good). It was the scene itself that was refusing to be my friend. Bottom line--what I was trying to make into the opening scene, was not in fact the opening scene.

Just as I was having thoughts of throwing in the towel, I had a mini break-thru yesterday at work...yeah, yeah, I know, shhh, don't tell them, okay?! I scribbled the ideas down as they kinda flooded me, cramming as much messy handwriting as I could into my handy dandy pocket novel notebook. I "outlined" the first scene, and then the next 2 scenes, during this break-thru. Nothing flowery, mind you, just basic thoughts "she leaves here...she meets him there...she's nervous, she has a secret...he's nervous, he too has a secret..." that I would use as my guide when I could actualy sit down at the computer later that night from home and flesh it out all literary like!

And by golly it worked. I hammered out 1,200 new words with relative ease last night...granted, they're rough, some even ragged, but they're down on the page & they're working to propel the story & that's about all I can hope for this month.

December can be for the gentle soothing of revision's loving and tender embrace. November is gonna be like sex in a public restroom with a stranger...dirty & fast!