happy december

december is my favorite month. it has a lot of lovely things: my birthday, christmas, winter (though not particularly in california, but i like to know that snow is happening elsewhere), the song "once upon a december" from anastasia which as a kid i basically believed was written for me, a certain darkness, but a soft one, and lots more.

i wrapped up november with some lovely things as well.

one of the biggest things: effing finishing nanowrimo. 

i talked a lot about it in the last post, so i won't say much except that i am SO FREAKING GLAD it's over. i am also SO FREAKING GLAD that i did it. so it's a win-win. 

i'll write in another post about what i learned from it and what i need to do now to re-shape and continue working on the novel, but for now. let's just breathe a big sigh of relief.

did you win nano? if so, CONGRATS! if not, DON'T WORRY! any writing you did is more than you had before. and that is a Good Thing.

i finished nano on thanksgiving because i was leaving town the next day for a weekend at a cabin in lake arrowhead and wanted to be guilt-free and not have to write while i was there or afterward, trying to squeeze in something sunday night.

i miss this cabin.

and lake arrowhead.

and the people there.

very much.

it was the perfect amount of cold and the perfect amount of woodsy and the perfect atmosphere. on the third day it rained and an eerie mist settled over all the mountains. clouds were flying by past the deck and tiny leaves were blowing away. inside the cabin, we had whiskey and cider and a fireplace and a guitar and blankets and lots of soft and warm things.

a few instagram photos below:

i dropped off a roll of film today to get developed, so will post those soon.

i also started a second roll and tried out some double exposures and longish exposures. now i have to find thirty-something more photos to take quickly so i can get them developed too!

december promises to be likely even more busy than november, which is quite a feat. but i am excited about most of them. like my birthday in two days. eeeee.

i also found out that i get to go back to montana and yellowstone next year, which is absolutely wonderful. i can't wait. and we get to stay in a huge incredible cabin and will be very close to the park entrance. i expect to take many many many many many more photos. and hopefully do some good research on the novel.

speaking of. 

my nano novel is something i've been working on for most of the year but only in the last couple months had started writing. don't worry, i didn't count anything before november toward my word count. i had been doing a lot of research and prep work and had written the first chapter before november started but really needed that push to dive in.

the idea is inspired by my trip to yellowstone, montana and wyoming this past summer and the amazing things i saw there.

it's about a girl who lives on a ranch and meets a lonely buffalo. a wild kingdom that needs saving. and the bonds between people, animals and the earth.

and it has magic and stuff.

next time i will post an excerpt i think.

for now, good day.


three weeks

looks kinda like my main character charlie.

looks kinda like my main character charlie.

here we are. the home stretch, sort of.

three weeks into nanowrimo. it has been even tougher to make time than i imagined it would be. part of that stems from deciding to do it only a week or so before november, which means i had already committed to many, many things - and part of that is simply time and the general lack thereof.  

have i written every minute i possibly could've this month? no. there were nights i watched three episodes of the comeback instead of one, and by the time i started writing i was too exhausted to do much at all. there were nights i was too damn depressed to do anything except mindlessly click around the interwebs. there were times i needed to write double the amount of words because i'd slacked off the night before and instead, i barely made a dent.

but i kept going.

and to tell you the truth - almost every night, i've thought to myself, i'm not going to do it tonight. i can't do it tonight. i just need a break. i'm not feeling creative. i don't know what scene comes next. i need to figure out this part of the outline first. i don't know this character well enough.

and you know what? that stuff is all valid.

but - still - i wrote.

and every time, i'd end up surprising myself.

that's been the strangest part. where, even if i think going into it that it's going to be terrible, that it's a waste of time, that i'm not going to get anything useful done...i surprise myself, somehow. and i guess i'd expect that to happen maybe once. get lucky once.

but it keeps happening. every time.

so even though i wish i was further ahead - even though i wish i had more time - even though the temptation to go back and rewrite is EATING AWAY AT ME - i'm pushing forward.

and i guess i've never really done that before.

i did nano a few years ago as i mentioned - but i knew that project was never going to be anything in its state at the time. i'm so proud of doing all that work on it and i still like the idea, and one day i hope to revisit it and make it much better, but at the time, it was more of a, let's just see if i can do this.

i've never really pushed that hard on a project i genuinely loved and wanted to see succeed.

of course i want to one day get this published. i want people to read it at its best. i want it to be a success.

but i'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that if that doesn't happen, i can do this again with another project i love. and another one. and another one. until it works.

this feels sort of like a fourth week post. but heck, i'm doing my best.

happy writing.

as a bonus, here is my favorite track on the new one direction album:

fifty-thousand words and eggs and spoons

re-did the website layout again. i am obsessed with tweaking it. should have yellowstone pics up soon.

i changed the template because i wanted a place to put my thoughts (aka a blog) if i should ever have any.

so here are some thoughts.

we are about halfway through nanowrimo. just like in 2010, i decided to participate roughly a week or so before it began. i have a novel i've been working on for a good long while now, but had very little of it actually written. in september/october i took a novel-writing class with the amazing amber benson (buffy, the calliope reaper-jones series). it was an awesome jumpstart and amazing and strange to have feedback and classmates and a deadline again. getting notes, talking things out with people, meeting other writers - great experience.

but after the class i was flailing a bit on writing again. i just couldn't make myself do it.

so in a moment of obvious brilliance, i decided nano would be the perfect ass-kicker.

and it has been.

it has also been difficult and annoying and stressful. but writing would be that anyway. so why not participate in something cool while you're at it?


i am on track to finish the 50k, mostly. i fall behind for a day, catch up for a day, rinse, lather, repeat.

i have reached the stage where my outline sort of looks at me and laughs, so i'm shooting in the dark a bit. i've started wanting to rewrite - i won't, but - i want to - so much - but the good thing is i am beginning to make plans for what needs to be fixed as soon as the month is over. changing things. patching holes. fixing leaks. and the like.

i do hope to finish this thing.

other novel ideas come and poke at me and dance gleefully with their shiny new characters and brave new worlds and fun magic stuff.

but i fend them off.

what else?

i was excited to find out gregory maguire had a new book out. well, probably not new. i just didn't know about it. i was obsessedobsessedobsessed with wicked during high school, tried to read the sequels, and unfortunately they didn't hold up to the original amazingness.

i read the cinderella retelling too.

but this new one is an awesome YA fantasy with russian girls and baba yaga and it's called egg and spoon which is an awesome title with awesome cover art and i am so excited. 



oh yeah, one more thing - i wrote a new poem called pumpkin soup. you can read it here. i meant to post it for halloween and then just never did. but it works for thanksgiving, too.

i think that's all for now. we'll see how this goes in the future.