Thursday, November 30, 2006

Vacation almost over

Is it odd that I actually miss work? I caught myself thinking about it today, wondering what everyone was doing at the office. I guess I'll find out on Monday. I'm looking forward to getting back to it and diving back into everything. I'd say that's a sign that I love my job. I really, really needed a break, but now I'm ready to go back. The break was good, it did exactly what I needed it to do, and now I feel like I can really go back and do things with energy and passion again.

I went Christmas shopping again today and now the three kids are finished. I can't describe how relieved I feel knowing that I'm done with their gifts. Now I just have to figure out what to get my parents. They are always difficult, especially my dad. We will be having Christmas early this year because my sister is taking the kids to New York to be with her husband's family. I hope they have a nice time, but I can't help being sad that we won't be seeing them on Christmas Eve like we have since they were born. Ten Christmas Eves in a row with Noah... that's significant. I'm not sure what the day will even be like without having the kids around.

Anyway, I think I'm just going to take it easy tomorrow. Maybe I'll read something. At any rate, it's going to be a relaxing day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Since I don't know anyone who does these I have to search them out. But there's this cool thing about technorati, you can type in any word and find blogs with that word as a tag. I typed in meme and this was one of the first that popped up and I loved it! So here it is.

Greatest Hits for the Year I Turned 18

The Rules
1. Go to and find the greatest hits for the year you turned 18.
2. Note that this is totally US-centric and play along only if you're okay with that.
3. Select the first 50.
4. Bold the ones you like.
5. Turn the ones you hate a lighter color.
6. Italicize the ones you are familiar with but neither like nor hate.
7. Leave the ones you don't know as is.

So here are the greatest hits of 1994, the year I turned 18.

1. All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
2. I'll Make Love To You - Boys II Men
3. Turn The Beat Around - Gloria Estefan
4. On Bended Knee - Boys II Men
5. I Like To Move It - Reel 2 Real
6. Crazy - Aerosmith
7. I Swear - John Michael Montgomery (or All-4-One)
8. The Sign - Ace of Base
9. Bootie Call - BLACKstreet
10. Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John
11. Beautiful In My Eyes - Joshua Kadison
12. 100% Pure Love - Crystal Waters
13. At Your Best (You Are Love) - Aaliyah
14. Fantasic Voyage - Coolio
15. Mr Vain - Culture Beat
16. Mr Jones - Counting Crows
17. Power Of Love - Celene Dion
18. Another Night - Real McCoy
19. Whatta Man - Salt N Pepa
20. Endless Love - Mariah Carey & Luthor Vandross
21. What's Up - DJ Miko
22. Here Comes The Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze
23. All For Love - Bryan Adams, Sting, Rod Stewart
24. All Apolgies - Nirvana
25. Action - Terror fabulous
26. Return To Innocence - Enigma
27. Always - Bon Jovi
28. Back and Forth - Aaliyah
29. Prayer For The Dying - Seal
30. Moving On Up - M People
31. I'll take You There - General Public
32. What's My Name - Snoop Doggy Dogg
33. Amazing - Aerosmith
34. Laid - James
35. All I Want Is You - U2
36. Without You - Mariah Carey
37. Wild Night - John Melloncamp & Me'Shell NdegeOcello
38. Regulate - Warren G & Nate Dogg
39. Don't Turn Around - Ace of Base
40. Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet
41. Having A Party - Rod Stewart & Ronnie Wood
42. Basket Case - Green Day
43. Anytime You Need A Friend - Mariah Carey
44. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World - Prince
45. Bump 'N Grind - R. Kelly
46. Come To My Window - Melissa Ethridge
47. Loser - Beck
48. Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
49. Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through - Meatloaf
50. Self Esteem - The Offspring

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 28

Current wordcount: 50,043
Today's wordcount: 2,043

Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: about 10 minutes

Today's soundtrack: selections from the nineties
Today's mood: Awesome!

I'm finished! Yay! Well, okay, I'm not actually finished. In fact, the novel has quite a long way to go. However, I have finished the first 50,000 words and that's something. Even though it is not the first time I've won this challenge, it is still significant to me. So to celebrate, I am going to go have some chocolate! And tomorrow? I'm going to rest. But the next day? I'm going to write some more. I estimate that this book will probably be about 80,000 words by the time I'm finished.
But for now, I'm just going to be happy that I crossed the finish line.

Blogger Beta label cloud

Did you see my label cloud? Scroll down a little and you'll find it. I never would have been able to do it without the help of this awesome person here. Seriously, step by step instructions on how to create a label cloud and how to customize it so that it works with your color scheme and everything! I'm going to do some more customizing of my blog when NaNoWriMo is finished, but I was just too anxious to get this one working. Isn't it cool?

Monday, November 27, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 27

Current wordcount: 48,000
Today's wordcount: 1,684

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: less than 5 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Toad the Wet Sprocket (thanks, Chris!)
Today's mood: Okay

Well, I didn't write as much as I wanted today, but that's because I squashed my finger in a door and am having a lot of trouble typing. I did make over the usual NaNo daily goal, so that's good. Now I have only 2,000 words left to reach 50,000 and I will do that tomorrow. Hopefully my finger will feel better by then. In times like these, I really wish I had voice recognition software. I could write so much faster and injuries like this wouldn't slow me down. This kind of thing is so typical of me. I'm always hurting myself one way or another. Oh well, that's just the way I am. So here's to tomorrow, the day I will finish (and verify) this year's NaNoWriMo!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 26

Current wordcount: 46,316
Today's wordcount: 2,105

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: less than 5 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Dave Matthews
Today's mood: Great!

So somehow voodoo has been introduced into my story. Well, at least one of the characters says it's voodoo. Having absolutely no experience with or prior knowledge of the practice of voodoo, I can't say that it is or it isn't. If I decide to leave this part in my story, December will be full of research! Of course, since I really enjoy research, it'll be fun. Hopefully after the research I can still use it, because it makes something that I was planning even more interesting. Actually, it makes the whole story more interesting, and since the voodoo story happens in the past instead of the present, I can use it without serious complications for my main character. It just makes her family's past more interesting.

Is there a Dave Matthews song about voodoo? Maybe that's why it appeared in my story today. But either way, I hope it works because if it does, it will take the whole story in a much more interesting direction.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 25

Current wordcount: 44,211
Today's wordcount: 2,000

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: About 10 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Death Cab for Cutie
Today's mood: Pretty good

I finally completed the scene I went back to do a couple of days ago, and then I added a couple of paragraphs before it to make it make more sense in context. Yes, I'm aware that the point of NaNoWriMo is not to go back and make things make sense, but I couldn't help it in this case. I needed to go back so I could go forward. Since I got that finished, I have been moving forward at a steady pace, and the story seems to have more direction. I think it might actually be a good direction, which makes me happy! I was feeling a little unfocused about this story and wasn't really sure where I was going with things, but now I think I'm on a path. We'll see what happens...

Friday, November 24, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 24

Current wordcount: 42,211
Today's wordcount: 6,211

Time spent writing: 3 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: About 30 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Robbie Williams (especially the swing album, which is awesome!)
Today's mood: Great!

Wow... my fingers hurt. I was trying to write 10,000 words today, but I didn't get there, but I did write over 6,000 words, so I'm happy with that. Also, I'm caught up, which is great. Here's what I'm going to try to do:

11/25 Saturday: 2,000 - bringing me to over 44,000
11/26 Sunday: 2,000 - bringing me to over 46,000
11/27 Monday: 2,000 - bringing me to over 48,000
11/28 Tuesday: 2,000 - taking me over the top with a couple of days to spare!

I may go over the goal a few days, but I will at least hit 2,000 each day. I think it's a pretty good plan.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 23

Current wordcount: 36,000
Today's wordcount: 2,000

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 15 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Miss Saigon soundtrack
Today's mood: Pretty good

Well, this morning I was able to write a good 2,000 words before going off to a relative's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I went back and added an extra scene that I think really explains what's happening with my two main characters. I need to go back and add another one, I think. Their emotional connection is too strong for the time they have known each other, so I'm going to go back and write a few more scenes where they are getting to know each other. I think that will help the flow of the story. I think I'll work on that a little tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 22

No writing today. Work was crazy and I didn't get home until late. Everyone else left at 1, but I had to stick around for some things, so I didn't get to leave. Oh well, at least I'm off all week next week! And luckily I will be able to write a lot this weekend. I want to get caught up by Friday so that I can take a fairly easy pace for the next few days and still finish with a couple of days to spare.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 21

No writing today, but I knew that would be the case. I'm going to work on the story Wednesday night, as usual, and then I have plenty of time to work on it Thursday morning and then again on Thursday afternoon. It's not my year to host Thanksgiving, so all I have to do is prepare a side dish and go to a relative's house. I'm so looking forward to my week off. It'll be great to be able to spend my days writing instead of having to go to work and write in the evenings.

I'd really like to finish with a few days to spare, simply because I enjoy that feeling of knowing I've passed my NaNo goal and I love going onto the forums and encouraging others to finish. So the plan is to finish sometime early next week. We'll see what happens.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Write a 5 year career plan - Complete

Today I finished the second goal on my 101 in 1001 list. I wrote a 5 year career plan. More details can be found here. It's nice to cross things off a list!

NaNoWriMo Day 20

Current wordcount: 35,556
Today's wordcount: 1,700

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: None

Today's soundtrack: The Clash
Today's mood: Pretty good

Well, Tori is still in the attic, discovering her family history. I think I might just keep her there for awhile, because it's so much fun there! But I guess eventually she's going to have to go downstairs for one reason or another! Writing went well today. I didn't go overboard with it because I wanted to do some other things tonight, but I made my word goal for the day and that's great. I won't be able to do any writing tomorrow, so Wednesday I'll catch up and then Thursday I'll have plenty of time between the two Thanksgiving meals, and Friday I have plenty of time because I wouldn't dare go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving! Work was stressful today. I'm trying to get too much done in too little time, preparing for my week off. It's hard to take time off, but I know I have to do it. I really, really need a break.

Harry Potter 5 teaser trailer!

I just found out that you can view the new Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix trailer online! You can find it here! Now I have something very cool to look forward to in July of 2007. (yes, I'm aware that I'm a geek!)

Harry Potter 5 teaser trailer!

You can view it here and let me just tell you, it's fabulous!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 19

Current wordcount: 33,856
Today's wordcount: 2,107

Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 30 minutes

Today's soundtrack: actually, complete silence
Today's mood: Okay

There's really not a lot to say about today's writing. It was good, but not spectacular. After a few days of not writing, and after being sick, it was hard to get back into the story. But I did, and it's really about to get good... well, I hope it will get good. It's at the point where it will be good if it's ever going to be good, if that makes any sense. It probably doesn't, lol.

On another front, I completed the first thing on my 101 in 1001 list. I wanted to make something decorative for my home, and since I've always wanted to try mosaics, I bought a kit and learned how to do it. Here is the link to the entry on the list: Mosaic Votive

Saturday, November 18, 2006

NaNoWriMo Days 17 and 18

Still sick. Ugh. I'll be so glad when this virus or whatever is over. Horrible headaches and stomach issues for what, four days now? It's just not pleasant at all. Tomorrow I'm going to sit down and write, no matter how awful I feel. It sucks to be sick on your birthday. The only thing I did all day was go to out to eat with my parents. It was nice and I enjoyed it, but only because by the evening I was starting to feel better. Now I'm sort of feeling sick again, so I'm going to get some rest and hopefully things will look better tomorrow. I'm so glad I got so far ahead, because now I'm only a little behind. And I have that whole last week off, so I can finish then if I haven't already. I know I can write tomorrow, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday (in the morning, before we go to Thanksgiving) Then I have every single day until the end of November, so I'm sure I'll be able to do it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My 101 Things in 1001 Days

So here's the skinny on a new project I've decided to start. I made a blog for it just to stay organized, but I know I'll be posting updates on the project here too. I came across this concept while randomly surfing the other day and decided it would be interesting to try. Here is some information on the project: (Full details as well as a list of people participating can be found here)

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:

1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 16

No writing today. There are two reasons for this.

One is that I've been very sick since last night. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, I feel completely horrible and I hate it! I mean, who gets sick on their birthday? I'm so unhappy about being sick now. I mean, of all the times to be sick, I have to get sick on the one weekend that I have big plans.

The other reason I didn't write today is that I just got home from a work event. Well, I got home at about 9:30. Ugh. I hate being sick and I hate working late. I guess today is the day for me to hate things, but I don't feel bad about feeling this way. I'm always the one who is positive, happy and bright. Well today I'm just not any of those things. After standing in the freezing cold for 2 hours tonight for work, I don't feel positive at all. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

NaNoWriMo Day 15

Current wordcount: 31,749
Today's wordcount: 1,749

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 45 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Lord of the Rings soundtrack
Today's mood: Just okay

Lots of paperwork today at work, so by the time I got home my eyes were blurry. I wrote some words, but not really the 2-3k that I really wanted to do. Tomorrow night I have a work event and then when I get home I have to do some laundry and pack for the weekend. Friday is going to be an extremely hectic day, but when it's over, everything will be great! I am so looking forward to my birthday weekend out of town. I'm also really looking forward to my week off. I'm going to sleep late and write all day. It'll be great!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 14

I chose to take a little break today, and I'm very glad I did. So I'm still at 30,000 words, which is still ahead, so I'm not going to stress about it. Sometimes you just have to take a little break, you know?

Monday, November 13, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 13

Current wordcount: 30,000
Today's wordcount: 3,367

Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 1 hour

Today's soundtrack: Snow Patrol and Fall Out Boy
Today's mood: Great!

A great day at work and a great day of writing. The story is going well. I stopped right at 30,000 words, right in the middle of a sentence, just because I wanted to have an even wordcount for once. Now I'm ahead by several days, which is great, considering that I won't be able to write all weekend. Since I've finished for the day and I have a little time before I have to go to bed, I'm going to play The Sims 2 without feeling guilty. Yes, I could write more, but I deserve a break! My NaNo report card says I'll be finished on November 22 at this pace, but it doesn't take the weekend into account, so I'll probably be finished around November 25 or so, much like last year. Some people treat NaNo like a race. I don't like to do that. Slow and steady wins the race, right? NaNo is good for me because it forces me to write every day, even when I don't feel like it. They always say the best way to get into the habit of doing something is to do it for a month, so this year I'm using NaNo to get into the habit of writing every day. Maybe this time it'll stick...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Current wordcount: 26,633
Today's wordcount: 3,533

Time spent writing: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: about 30 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Coldplay and Dave Matthews
Today's mood: Pretty good

Whew! I finished the 11,000 word challenge for the weekend, which really helped up my total count. Now if I just do 2500 to 3000 words each day this week, I'll stay ahead even missing a few days next weekend. I'm so glad to be finished with the 11,000 words, and extremely glad to have passed the halfway mark! Yay!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 11

Current wordcount: 23,100
Today's wordcount: 3,091

Time spent writing: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 20 minutes or so

Today's soundtrack: Madonna (a mix of old and new)
Today's mood: Pretty good

Didn't really carve out a special time to write like I wanted to, but managed to get quite a few words down late in the evening. I had planned to do what I did yesterday, just sit and write until my fingers felt like they were going to fall off, but a call from my sister begging me to watch the kids kind of cancelled those plans. Not that I minded, I always love spending the day with the kids. We went on another nature hike, this time without the GPS. There were no caches in the nature preserve we went to today, so we just took ourselves and a camera, and really had a nice time. I'll probably post one or two pictures later. I think it's very important to teach kids that nature is supposed to be enjoyed and respected, not abused and neglected. They are the future, after all, and this planet is bad enough without them adding to the problem. They love being outdoors, and they always have a blast counting the wildlife we see when we go on our little nature walks. This time we saw several different types of birds, many squirrels, some bees and other flying insects, and two very large spiders. Noah spotted one spider as he was wrapping a fly that had been caught in his web. We watched him prepare and then eat his dinner with morbid curiosity. We were all properly grossed out by it, but I think it was a very educational experience for them. Noah couldn't stop talking about how cool it was. Later, after my sister picked them up, I went shopping for their Christmas outfits. Every year, I take them to have Christmas portraits taken and then I give the prints to my family as gifts. They always really love having these Christmas pictures, so I'm going to keep doing it. I got a red dress for Hannah, a nice shirt and tie for Noah, and a cute little sweater with a snowflake on it for Kohl. They are going to look so beautiful in their new outfits! If I ever have children, they will be the most spoiled kids on the planet, I just know it... lol.

Anyway, so the writing was a late evening thing, but it still worked out well. I managed to get in a little over 3,000 words, bringing my weekend total to 7,467 words. I need to write 3,533 words tomorrow to win the 11,000 word Veteran's Day Weekend Challenge. Tori and Holly are going to go shopping for clothes tomorrow, and they will run into Robert in a coffee shop. Tori is also going to find out what being a part of "Southern Society" really means...

Friday, November 10, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 10

Current wordcount: 20,009
Today's wordcount: 4,376

Time spent writing: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 1 hour

Today's soundtrack: The Fray and Gavin DeGraw
Today's mood: Really good. Very productive!

Off today and it was wonderful. I slept until 11, wrote for two and a half hours (mostly using word wars on the NaNo boards) and the story really progressed. They are finally finished with their tour of the grounds and Tori just signed the papers claiming her inheritance. Odd things keep showing up in the story that I hadn't planned. There's this whole family history that I didn't invent that just sort of happened. I love when the story takes over!

Anyway, I'm trying to write 11,000 words this Veteran's Day Weekend, and I think the first day of that attempt was pretty good. Only 6,624 words to go...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My first Nanoism

I just had to post this. Don't look at the horrible sentence structure as much as the missing letter that changes the entire scene.
Elegant scones hung on the walls and came to life when Robert flipped the switch.

Okay, so when did we start hanging pastry on the walls, and how exactly do they come to life when you flip a switch? Sconces for breakfast, anyone?

I just had to share this Nanoism with everyone. That's what happens when you do word wars all night, I guess!

NaNoWriMo Day 9

Current wordcount: 15,633
Today's wordcount: 3,233

Time spent writing: 2 hours and 30 minutes (approximately)
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 1 hour (word wars, mostly... one NaNoism)

Today's soundtrack: the Scrubs soundtrack, volumes 1 and 2
Today's mood: Great!

Wow! I think 3,233 is a personal best for one day! Well, at least it is for this year. Last year I had a couple of 3,000 days and one amazing 6,000 day, with a few 5,000 and 4,000 days mixed in. My target for today was 15,300 words, and I passed it by 333 words, which is great! I just posted a commitment to write 11,000 words during Veteran's Day Weekend, so tomorrow I really need to sit down and write! Good thing I'm off work, huh? I really need to get ahead, because I've just found out for sure that I'm going out of town for my birthday weekend, so I won't be doing much writing while I'm not at home, so I'm going to try to be at 30,000 by next Thursday. Luckily, I have the last week of November off from work, so I can finish during those days, but I'd rather not be rushing to finish. Last year was so nice, because I finished a few days early and just hung out on the forums and rested my fingers. I'm hoping I can do that again this year. Of course, the story is going to be much, much longer than 50,000 words, so I'll probably just keep writing even when I hit 50.

The story is still going well. Tori and Robert are, at this moment, having a picnic under the magnolia tree. They have no idea what is buried just a few feet under them. They will find out soon enough, though, and it won't be pleasant. I can't wait until she finds the trunk in the attic and starts reading the letters and diaries. That's when the story will really start to heat up (I hope!) I'll post my progress on the 11,000 word weekend here as well as on the forums.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 8

Current wordcount: 12,400
Today's wordcount: 1,636

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 15 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Wicked
Today's mood: Exhausted

Well, the headache never did go away, I had it all day today. It wasn't a migraine, thankfully, so I was able to function. All day I felt like I was in a fog or something. I couldn't concentrate on anything, and wanted to just curl up under my desk and sleep. I guess I never fully woke up this morning, and it just got worse from there. The story is still going well. I stopped tonight before I was done with my wordcount, but it was the end of the chapter, so I decided to finish for the night. I hope I sleep better tonight. I need to be more focused tomorrow.

New visitors!

I noticed that I've been getting some new visitors lately. Welcome to my blog! I love knowing that there are some people out there in Blogland who actually look at my humble contribution to the Blogosphere. If you're here and you've never said hello, please do! I love getting comments!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 7

Current wordcount: 10,764
Today's wordcount: 1,529

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 30 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Veronica Mars Soundtrack
Today's mood: Bad, bad, bad!

Headachy again. I think it's work. I spent the entire day doing applications and contracts and grant proposals (oh my!) So basically I was in front of my computer screen all day. Of course, when I came home I sat down to write and made it to just over 1500 before my screen started to swim before my eyes. I decided to stop there. At least I have a three day weekend to really get caught up. In fact, I'm going to try really hard to get as far ahead as possible this coming weekend, because I'm going out of town for my birthday and don't want to lose any ground.

The story is actually still going well. I described the house tonight, which was so much fun! I'd love a house like it, although I couldn't live in it alone. I'd have to turn it into a cute little B&B or something, because it would just be too big for just me. Or I guess I could just let every single member of my family live in it, lol! Anyway, it was nice to see Tori finally experience her first look at the house. Now we have to go inside... (that will be tomorrow's writing session, I'm sure!)

So due to the headache, I think I'm going to stop here. Oh! I voted today after work, and oddly enough, there was a nice turnout when I went. They had been saying it would be a low turnout this year, but it seems to be better than expected. Some of the people I voted for are currently winning, some are not. It looks like my favorite Congressman is returning, which is awesome. He is a genuinely nice man who really cares about our state and our country. I think we need more politicians like him. Anyway, so I was happy to be a part of the process today and was extremely happy to see so many people voicing their opinions at the polls. My dad used to say you can't complain about the government if you can't be bothered to vote, so I've always made it a priority to get out there and cast my ballot. I hope everyone out there did the same.

Now I'm off to take a Tylenol PM and go to sleep. Here's hoping tomorrow will be better...

Monday, November 06, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Current wordcount: 9,235
Today's wordcount: 2,435

Time spent writing: 1 hour 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 30 minutes

Today's soundtrack: my "Current Favorites" playlist, which includes Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Jack's Mannequin, Travis, The Fray, Frou Frou, Ivy, and Madonna, among others
Today's mood: Quite good!

I'm working on getting caught up. I figure if I do about the same tomorrow night I'll almost be caught up. If I do a little more than I did tonight, I'll be completely caught up, and then I can use Friday to get ahead. I'll do some during lunch tomorrow and then when I get home from work. I'd try to do it in the morning before work, but everytime I've attempted that, it has gone very badly. But it works out very well to do it in the evenings, so that's how I will continue.

The story is going well. Tori is moving into the house right now. She will be happily exploring soon, and will be finding the interesting stuff in the attic very soon...

NaNoWriMo Day 5

The migraine did come, and unfortunately caused me to have my first non-writing day of this year's NaNo. It's very upsetting, because I really wanted to have a big writing weekend, but just didn't manage to do it. But this week should be good. The migraine is gone, thanks to medicine and sleep, and my schedule is fairly free this week except for a work event on Thursday night. We're closed on Friday, so I'll have a whole day to catch up or get ahead. I'll need to get ahead if I want to go out of town for my birthday, which is what I'm considering right now. So anyway, yesterday was a lost day, but I feel certain I can catch up in the next few days.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

yesterday's geocaching trip

Yesterday I took the kids geocaching again. It was Hannah's first time, she was shopping with her mom when I took Noah and Kohl out for the first time so she missed it. She was a little afraid at first, because she thought we might see raccoons, and she doesn't like their black eyes. She really is the most afraid child I've ever known. But she got over it once she realized we wouldn't let her get hurt, and then she started counting the different types of wildlife we saw. It was cute. We drove all over the place looking for caches. We only actually found 3 yesterday, but we saw some great places that we had never been, so it was totally worth it. The pictures above are all from a park and nature trail in Daphne. It was so pretty down there, and it was such a beautiful day to be outside. We were not able to get to the cache in this location because the city had some construction vehicles and a crew down there, still cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina, but we made a note to go back when the construction is finished. There were a few we couldn't find, but we'll go back and check those later too. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I think these trips will become a regular thing, which is good because I do enjoy spending time with the kids.

The Gremlins on Halloween Night

I actually meant to do this sooner, but it slipped my mind. But better late than never, right? Here are the gremlins on Halloween night. This was after they had done all their trick or treating. My house was the last stop on their list. Aren't they cute?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Current wordcount: 6,800
Today's wordcount: 1,277

Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 10 minutes

Today's soundtrack: 80's
Today's mood: Uninspired

Totally uninspired today. But I wrote through it. I wanted to at least hit the number I am supposed to have by today, and 6,800 was the magic number. I literally stopped mid-sentence when I saw that I had the correct number of words.

I think my problem is the massive headache I have. I think it might be turning into a full-blown migraine, so I'm going to go bed shortly.

I took the kids geocaching today. It was a blast! We found three caches.. even Hannah found one! We also found some great little places tucked away off roads we travel every day. That's the thing I love about geocaching. You find spots in your own hometown that you never knew existed. I'll post some pictures of our caching trip tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, barring the development of a migraine, I plan to have a very productive day tomorrow. I want to make it to 10,000 words by the end of the day. I think I can do it, because I'll be getting into a more dialogue-heavy portion of the story coming up, and that's really good for word count. And of course, I get to describe the estate when Tori finally sees it, so that's going to rack up some words! I can't wait to get to that part. Robert will be there with her when she sees the estate for the first time. It should be very interesting.

So I think tomorrow will be good. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 03, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 3

Current wordcount: 5,523
Today's wordcount: 500

Time spent writing: 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 5 minutes

Today's soundtrack: Lord of the Rings
Today's mood: Frazzled!

Not too many words today due to the extreme schedule! And due to the fact that there were gremlins (my sister's kids) at my house. I had to baybsit all night, but still managed to get a few words in. This is why I like to write ahead! I'm going to try to get a lot done Saturday evening, to keep ahead a little. According to my progress chart, I should have made it to 5,100 by day 3, so I'm still ahead of schedule. And I want to stay that way! I'm aiming to have at least 10,000 words by the end of Sunday night. The official NaNo goal for Sunday is 8,500, so I would still be ahead.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Current wordcount: 5,023
Today's wordcount: 2,698

Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 3 hours

Today's soundtrack: Better than Ezra
Today's mood: exhausted

Today, I discovered that I can hook my iPod up to my computer speakers for killer sound, so I had a great time writing to wonderful music. Since my book is about southern families and their secrets, I thought a southern band would be perfect, and I was right. Better than Ezra was great for writing the scenes I had to write today. My character is seeing Mobile for the first time, and it is not what she thought it would be at all! I love, love, love the Better than Ezra song "A Southern Thing" It's perfect for my novel!

But back to the writing, I'm concerned that my chapters are too short. I guess I can fix that when I start fleshing out the story more, but I still worry that I'm not putting enough into each chapter. Of course, that's the kind of thing you fix during editing. And editing is a NaNo writer's best friend! (after November, obviously!)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Current wordcount: 2,325

Work was fairly calm today, so I had plenty of energy left when I got home and sat down to write. I've been thinking about this for weeks. I've plotted, sketched characters, and created outlines. I've even formulated a first sentence... several hundred times! Of course, all the planning went straight out the window when I actually sat down to write. My beautiful, literary, flowery first sentence turned into this:

“Beep, beep, beep,” the register kept a steady rhythm as Tori slid item after item over the scanner, looking straight at the products on the conveyor belt, but not really seeing them.

Hmm... not the best start ever, that's for sure. I just kept typing "beep" until I could think of something else to type. Then, of course, when I noticed I had typed "beep" about ten times, I deleted all but three of them and started actually writing. But still, it falls short of what I like to consider my usual quality. Then again, I may just be delusional. After all, I am doing NaNo, so we know I'm a little delusional, right?

Anyway, that's how NaNo started for me this year. The words actually flowed pretty well, after the first sentence anyway, so I kept writing even after I reached my personal goal of 2,000 words per day. The story I'm writing is actually set in my area, so it was fun describing everything from a visitor's point of view, in a sense trying to see my home through the eyes of a tourist. Tomorrow I start getting into the real meat of the story. The first major decision my MC has to make comes tomorrow, a life-altering decision that will change not only her surroundings, but possibly her inner self. In theory....

I hope everyone else out in NaNoLand had a great first day, and here's to a wonderful second day. It starts in only a few hours...

Gilmore Girls

I've been catching up on Gilmore Girls, having recently gotten a wonderful deal on the box sets from I now own seasons 2-5 and season 1 is supposed to be on its way to my house. Though I wasn't able to start with season one, and will probably start over when season one comes to my house, but I couldn't wait to start catching up on a show I only discovered last year.

First of all, let me say I came in right as Luke and Lorelai were heating up, and then, of course, there was the breakup, so I've actually never seen her with anyone else. Going back through the seasons is interesting, because I now see that she's had a few boyfriends that I've actually liked, but that the one she always calls on when she needs someone, the one she keeps coming back to, is not Luke, it's Christopher. This kind of ruins the Luke thing for me because when I came to the series, it felt like they were supposed to be together, but I'm thinking now that I must have been wrong. And may I just say that I think Lorelai is a beautiful name and it's going on my list of possible girl names if I ever have a child (a girl, of course)

Anyway, I find myself more interested in her relationships than Rory's, which is a little odd, I think. But here are my thoughts about the series so far. Catching up gives it more depth. I knew the mother/daughter relationship was different, closer than most mothers and daughters, and I knew that Lorelai had a strained relationship with the Gilmores, but I didn't really know the full story on why, and am just beginning to figure it out. This gives the series so much more depth and makes it even more enjoyable.

I thoroughly enjoy the Gilmorisms and the speech patterns of both mother and daughter. This is probably the thing I like most about the series. The dialogue is unique and very, very funny. I'll post more thoughts as I watch the rest of the seasons, but for now I have to say that it is a series worth watching, and even worth buying if you're an avid TV on DVD collector like I am!