Woo, Novembrrrrrr!

Happy 1st Day of Novembrrrr and #NaNoWriMo!

If you look to the right, you’ll see I’ve met and passed the standard 1,667 word count for today. That’s no coincidence. Today is also November WriDay over at #WriYe and I signed up for 2500 words. Both goals met! Woo! Let’s see how long I can keep this momentum going.

Today I wrote a pivotal scene for VC-Samhain. I know, I haven’t released any info on any of the characters, but once I get a better feel for who’s doing what and when, I’ll give the skinny. Suffice it to say, the main characters in this part finally stopped fighting the match made by the gods and admitted their feelings. Hey, it’s a generational piece. Someone has to hook up and make babies, right?

Ho are yall doing on your NaNo projects? Share in the comments.

Happy writing!

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NaNoWriMo is on the Horizon

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NaNoWriMo.

The name can strike fear into the most dedicated of writers. A 30 day, 50,000 word marathon. Not for the faint hearted.

We’re 2 weeks away from this epic journey and, like many out there, I’m not even close to ready. My timeline has escalated since I start orientation today. I spent Wednesday through Friday of last week working on the timeline and outline for VC, as well as trying to mentally prep myself for going back to work. Granted I’ve only been out of work for 5 months, but that’s long enough to slack off and lose the mind powers associated with a paying job.

Back to NaNo…

One part of prepping (or, Preptober) was to mark all the lost transitions in the existing story. I also cut huge chunks. Nobody said writing was easy. The missing scenes and transitions didn’t take away from the story; they created opportunity for better, more developed writing.  That opportunity, combined with the desire to get this thing at least half finished by year’s end, will only benefit me. And, in the end, the story.

Here’s my advice to anyone doing NaNo for the first time: follow #NaNoWriMo and #NaNoPrep hashtags on Twitter, use the search function here (and Tumblr) to look for other bloggers writing about it, and read all those emails that NaNo sends out as well as their FaceBook posts. Seriously, they’ll help with the actual NaNo act.

At home, at work and with real life people: let everyone know you’ll be busy for 30 days. Break out or buy a crock pot, plan meals for the week and prep ahead of time. Write on the train, bus, on breaks. Set reminders in your smartphone’s calendar app for eating, showering, human interaction, sleeping. Create a rewards system for daily (min is 1,667 words/day) and weekly (11,669 words/week) writing goal achievements. A lot of us use leftover Halloween candy as part of that reward, or part of the survival kit.

Yes, a survival kit.

Favorite beverages, chocolates, scented candles or incense, a stuffed mascot or 5. Whatever you need to get you through those 30 days. Something a lot of WriMo’ers do is create a music playlist to inspire and energize their writing. I use Spotify and have playlists for all my WIPs. It’s free – that means there are commercials, but they’re few and far between. Suggestions would be video game background music and instrumentals (no words = no distractions), or soundtracks to LotR and Game of Thrones.

There are word counter widgets you can get on the NaNo site to add to your blog. Public accountability is a major factor. The counters help the world cheer you on!

What are your NaNo plans? What genre are you writing? Share in the comments.

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A Good Time for Planners

Happy day, folks! It’s that time of year…

If you’ve hung out here for any length of time, chances are you’ve run across one of my planner posts. They’re the best – the planners.

The last time I gushed about the paper darlings, it was rather love/hate. I was trying to figure out how incorporate the witch’s datebook into the zippy planner. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that I did it. The binder rings catch the spiral binding just right and holds it in place. Magic!

The other thing I wanted to mention was, I found a blank journal notebook a couple weeks ago my boyfriend had bought for me awhile back (that I packed for a move and forgot about). It will be perfect for keeping track of food and glucose readings, with a touch of wellness talk. While it won’t be super portable, it will be effective and have plenty of room, giving me more freedom than a 4×6 mini notebook.

I did break down and buy a traditional planner, though. It’s about the same size as the datebook and will fit inside the zipply with it. The reason I bought it – it’s a good reason, I promise – is because I got the job at B&N! I needed wanted something to keep track of my work schedule and tasks for each day (whether I’m off or not).

Now, maybe you’re wondering why I don’t use the Google calendar app exclusively. It would have everything at my fingertips, after all. Here’s the thing…I enjoy checking off tasks as I complete them. I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. Check out literally any post about bullet journaling; there are plenty of us out there.

One day I might make that transition to complete tech. But, for now, it’s primarily a tactile system.

How do you stay organized? What are some of the things you look for in a planner? Are you solely tech or paper? What apps have you tried, and how did they fair? Share in the comments!

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How to Pagan When You Can’t Pagan

Not long ago I wrote about the lack of pagan resources in the area. The one group I found (and joined, incidentally) meets for food twice a month and observes the sabbats. Meet-up and Facebook pages. It’s all well and good, but that’s about where it ends.  No website.

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Last month, the group posted an announcement for a book club – yay! Here’s the thing. They posted a date and time, but no location. They don’t have a location, so I suggested Barnes & Noble. They host book clubs all the time. Hell, we don’t even have to out ourselves as a pagan group; we could go with “spiritual” and that would work. No response either way has been given to my suggestion. Low and behold, a location was given last week. They’re meeting at the same place they do the bi-monthly lunches.

Insult to injury: They’re not having Pagan Pride Day because Square (the weird payment thing) doesn’t accept the sale of pagan/occult goods on public grounds. Instead of trying to find an alternate location – of which there are plenty – it feels like the group said “meh” and gave up. I had a solution, but I doubt they’d have considered it, anyway.

So, long story short, I’m going into solitary mode.

Solitary rituals and sabbat observances, increased dedication to the gods and goddesses of my/their choosing, and probably phase myself out of the happy-with-the-status-quo group. I really thought a pagan group in an area this large would be more…active.

 

 

 

And I am not the person to take that on. I don’t have the energy to grow them up. Plus, I don’t want to be “that person” who swoops in and changes everything.

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Later, September! Hello, October!

I did a lot of baking last month. You know how people have a recipe box or book? Well, I have the cabinet door.

It’s easier this way.

I just sent in my Q3 verification doc for WriYe – a little over 13k for the quarter. Not too shabby. If I wrote nothing until NaNo or in December, I’d still hit my goal of 75k for the year. This month will be focusing on NaNoPrep. I decided I am going to work on VC; it’s the logical choice. Sometimes I look at it and want to fling it across the room, there is so much to do on it that I get overwhelmed. So, baby steps and tiny bites are the ideal ways to go at it. (Stay tuned for a NaNoSurvival post in a couple weeks!)

Tomorrow I have a job interview at Barnes & Noble! Fingers crossed! That would be the best job ever. We’ve joked about it, how I’d end up owing them money thanks to my book obsession. It’s only part-time, but that’s cool. It would give me flexibility to finish out 2017 strong on the writing front and do what needs to be done here at home. It will also get me more active. Hopefully I’ll know by the end of the week if I got it or not.

I had glucose lows the last three days, along with migraine aura/hangovers and my own personal full moon. Needless to say, I’m not feeling top shelf at the moment. Creating and keeping a healthy diet is rough, don’t let anyone tell you any different. I’m doing my best. Getting a routine back will help.

Also thinking about bringing back Picture Day posts. It’s been awhile since I’ve done those. I have to warn you, though. Most of the pics I take these days are sunsets and moon shots. With fall here, we may get in some day trips into foliage country. Or the park. After 3 years where the leaves don’t change, it will be a nice change and there is real winter, not “winter”.

For today, I’m going to chill and watch cheesy Hallmark Channel movies – the newest Good Witch comes on the 22nd! – and get ready for tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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Update on the Writing Game

I haven’t written anything new since mid-August. Been busy, had a lot going on. So, instead of writing I’ve been reading through what I wrote (again). Revisited stories I started, ideas for stories that need fleshing out. All counted, I have nearly a dozen WIPs. Only one has a completed first draft, and man doesn’t it suck.

That’s the point of a first draft, right? It’s sole purpose is 1) to exist and 2) to suck.

Here’s a funny for you. As I was going through all the WIPs, I realized I’ve been working off the same drafts of stories without adding edits. The last print of anything was September of last year. My computer tells a different story. I’ve got 6 months of content (I think I mentioned this before) to plug in because I didn’t write in a linear fashion. No, I meandered through the stories picking what part to work on. That is one hellacious double-edged sword. On the one hand, meandering gets writing done. On the other, linear writing without motivation/inspiration leads to no new content.

Last week I attended a webinar put on by Gabriela Pereira over at DIYMFA. I bought the book last year and signed up for her newsletter. Strongly encourage the purchase, because it’s solid with great advice and some exercises. The webinar was all about building the author platform and connecting with readers. It was a scaled down version of part of the book with Q&A, and worth the time. And it taught me something important. This blog needs to be revamped. Hard. There will be some changes happening over the next few months, but I won’t make huge, glaring changes all at once; they’ll be gradual.

For the rest of this month and October I’m going to focus on what passes as an outline for the 3 most-complete WIPs and pick one to work on in November for NaNoWriMo.

I could choose VC because that thing is 8 parts with minimum story for 7 of them (and already has a loose outline structure), and would easily eat up 50k words. When that project is complete, it will likely be over 200k words. Possibly close to 250k, depending. If that’s the case, it may be released as individual stories instead of one single publication. I mean, really. Would you rather have 8 individual stories at 40k words released roughly every 6 weeks, or a massive digital tome at 240k? I’ve been working on this bitch for close to 4 years…

 

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The Diabetic Legacy

I come from a long line of diabetics on the maternal side of the family tree: mother, grandfather, several great aunts and uncles. It was a contributing factor in their deaths. In my mother’s case, it was the official cause of death.

No official diagnosis has been made for me, but I’m not stupid. Glucose readings hovering 200-300 all the time isn’t good. When my fasting is over 150, I have a problem. When it is over 250 2h after eating, I have a problem. On the low side of things, 60s-low 80s at anytime is bad. So, here I am. Trying to change so it’s no longer a problem.

My last soda was July 4 and I basically quit cold turkey. That day I drank 2 cans at home and another liter at a bbq. Yes, that’s a lot of sugar and caffeine. I’ve had a couple on “special occasions” (eclipse weekend and last Saturday night), but it’s not daily, which is great. A typical day now: After 2 or 3 cups of coffee, it’s water only. No, my sleep schedule hasn’t adjusted. Most nights I don’t go to bed until around 1 and sleep until 9:30 or 10. I’m also trying not to eat after 9. Most days I test first thing in the morning (before coffee), 2 hours after lunch and then again 2 hours after supper.

We’re working on adjusting our diets to be more healthy in general, too. He isn’t diabetic but feels he’d benefit from a better diet. I’ve been scouring the webs for food lists – most food to avoid is common sense – and really not coming up with the information I need. I printed one I thought would be promising but after looking at it closely, it’s not.

Recently I bought a cookbook (put out by the American Diabetes Association) and a what-to-expect book (recommended by the ADA). Once they’re in-use full time I’ll write some reviews, etc. So far, the what-to-expect book is great and is similar to a book on grieving.

Plus, there’s a ton of “advice” for the newly-diagnosed and I have to share one piece. I don’t remember where I saw it or who said it but it’s this: “To save money, it’s okay to reuse your insulin needles and prick sticks.” Um, what? No, no, fucking no. Don’t ever reuse your needles or sticks. Ever. Ever. Ever.

I’m consistently logging diet and glucose readings. Some food is common sense, though, about sugar content. One of my favorite things to eat is chips. I’m trying really hard not to eat them when they’re in the house, and sometimes times I do really good. Sometimes I have to force myself to put them away or not touch them at all. We have an air popper for popcorn, and my man recently got me dill salt (we can thank a local shop for this idea) to put on it. It’s pretty good.

And we bought an air fryer and use it over the stove for most fried/baked things. Instead of breading chicken fingers in panko or breadcrumbs, I used a mix of almond flour and parmesan cheese. The thing came with a ton of recipes we want to try; some will have to be adjusted but that’s cool. We’re always experimenting with food.

Exercising is another hurdle. Hell, I can get a workout just walking up and down the stairs or up to the main office (that’s a 1/2-mile round trip). With the weather cooling down (ish), I really do need to get off my ass and get outside/moving. Walk the circle, yoga on the balcony. Something.

One step at a time, right?

Next time: writing update

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