That awkward moment when you realize the last blog post you made was over two years ago.

So in order to avoid the embarrassing "I'm going to try to post more" thing that I always say, here's a picture to distract everyone.

And then I will proceed to say that I blame school and work for my lack of writing and blogging.

With NaNoWriMo in full swing, I like to pretend I have time to write, but another wave of midterms and project due dates is rolling through in the next three weeks, so alas, I fear I will not reach the 50k goal. But any little bit written is progress, eh?


Lemme just crawl out from the rock I've been living under

I know, I know. It seems like it's been months and months since I last posted...oh wait, it has!

The truth is, life is chaotic. Obviously not just chaotic for me, but in general. And those pesky little chaotic chunks are taking over my life. It's been very difficult getting time to even write, let alone do blog posts, but my schedule has become normal, which means I'm no longer the living dead when changing from waking up at noon everyday to walking up at 7am Monday thru Friday.


*cue single ray of sunshine and angel singing*

I have time to write, which translates roughly to, "I can catch up on some blog posts."

But let's not get out of hand. I'm balancing 40+ work weeks with an attempt at a social life on the weekends and writing for 1-2 hours before dinner, shower, bedtime. How people deal with a family on top of that will remain one of the greatest mysteries in the world, because I'll tell you--I have to avoid my pillow like the plague or all hope is lost. In my past, there used to be this thing called "time" and I used to have a lot of it. Now it's elusive and majestic...like a unicorn.

I can promise one blog post will be coming up, and unlike my usual posts, it will be utterly, completely, 100% serious, emotional, and close to my heart. And probably tear-stricken, because after July 15th rolls around, I'll probably be catatonic for a while.

If July 15th didn't clue you in, I'm indeed meaning the end of the Harry Potter movie franchise. It's a post I was intending to do after part one, but I felt it would be better suited for when the series is officially over--book and movie-wise.

A dedication post for the series that truly did change my life, but that'll all be explained in that post. You know what they say: spoilers.


Another reason why I love Photoshop...

...because I can go from randomly discovering cool Google pictures to cropping, blending, and merging something into a cover in 10 minutes.

Of course, this is nothing like how I want my cover to be, but I saw the picture and thought it was pretty neat for my book. I really want to get back into Photoshop now that NaNo is done and I can go back to writing at a leisurely pace rather than frantic.

But back to covers. The idea I have for my cover would be kind of similar to this, only my two male MCs would be in it. Shaggy, blond-haired Cole on the right and slightly forward, and spiky, brown-haired Morgan on the left and just behind him. In Cole's hand, not hovering, would be holding an orb like this between himself and Morgan, casting the light over their faces. Cole wears his typical mischievous smirk, Morgan makes a "y so srs" face. What's funny is this cover seems like it's all detailed when really, it only came to me today when I found the picture of the orb randomly browsing Google images.

I think I'll set myself to work on a project to make an awesomesauce book cover, or at the very least, keep training myself on various photoshop techniques because I really do have a lot of fun working on them, even if they are as simple as the one I just made.

This just in...

...I'm awesome. And amazing. And really proud of myself. Because it is currently November 27th, 2010 and I just finished writing 50 thousand words in 27 days for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

So I will bask in my awesomeness. Pass out. Get some decent sleep. Stop eating so much writerly snack food. Then finish the rest of my novel.

One of the more hilarious conversations...

Usually every Monday night, due to getting out of class late, I crash at my friends' apartment. Two computer guys--friends from high school--and one of my two closest friends share the three bedroom apartment. I like to call them my future roommates because once their lease is up at the end of January, I'll be joining their move into a four bedroom house.

The guys are, more often than not, hilarious. Tonight happened to be one of those times that I stumbled into an awesome conversation about Harry Potter and Twilight. It first started off when I mentioned that our group of eight (including them) were going to see Harry Potter 7 at the big 22-screen theater.

This is how the conversation went with the guys.

Me: So, you guys excited for Harry Potter?! I know you are, D. Kaitlyn was just thrilled when you woke her up at 3am thinking last Thursday was premiere night.
D: I read that it was the premiere last Thursday!
Me: That was in London...
D:...it was still a premiere.
Me: Well, it's THIS Thursday. And we'll be at Edwards Theater.
D: Why that theater? Why not the closer one with no people?
Me: Because we'll miss all the people dressed up as slutty and/or nerdy Hogwarts students.
M: We'll need to dress up then. I'll go as Edward.
D: I'll go as Cedric.
M: Dead Cedric.
D: Then we'll both be dead.
M: No, I'll be undead. You'll just be dead dead.
D: And I'll still be a better actor.
M: You do less sparkling.
D: And still be more entertaining.

I love my future roommates.

NaNoWriMo and Beyond

NaNoWriMo Day 4

The trek through the perilous Forest of Wordage is beginning to take its toll. I'm 6700 words in, perfectly on course, but I keep finding myself falling victim to the Distraction Traps. Twitter, Facebook, and Absolute Write page refreshes lie in my future, overreacting characters in my past. I take comfort in knowing that it's all behind me and the move forward is beginning to form more of a defined path, less of a thick mass of seemingly unending forest.

At least the rations are plentiful. My journey isn't without the necessities: coffee, chocolate--just what I need to survive the sleepless nights. The looming threat of the next day's word count is like an invisible monster hot on my heels. If I don't move faster, I'm sure to be crushed under the monster's weight.

I've run into others on my quest. They tell tales of two, friends from distant lands crossing the ten thousandth threshold. They're rumored to be named Sage and Becca. Chances of meeting them through the thicket are low, but I refuse to not make an attempt.

Tomorrow is a new day and the next days after it are wide open. I plan on doubling my pace with each new day; change speeds from meandering along to pushing myself further. What new word counts will I see? 3000? 4000? Could I possibly see 5000? The idea seems foolish, yet the coffee running through my veins might just be enough to make me believe.

My short rest is almost over. Night time approaches, and the Distraction Traps become fewer and farther between. It's my chance to act, to take that chance and get ahead. Maybe the Word Count beast will cease its chase, allow me to not look over my shoulder. Maybe I can catch up with the quick-moving Sage and Becca someday.

Only the speed of my typing and the quickness of my imagination will tell.

The Prep for NaNoWriMo

I have returned. Back from the fiery depths of a place called School and an equally fiery place called Work.

October is passing with a flash thanks to the mounds of papers and studying as well as those lovely 6am work shifts that leave me too exhausted to do anything afterwards but sleep.

While it seems that I've disappeared off the face of the writing community, the truth is--I've been sooper sekretly busy...it just comes in spurts. Writing a bit on the computer here, writing a bit on the notebook there. Characters, plots, story lines have permanently wedged themselves into my skull so even when I'm not doing my sooper sekret writing, I can't stop thinking about all my characters.

In all reality, I've been prepping for NaNoWriMo, which for those of you who haven't heard of this strange word, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Long story short: 30 days to write 50,000 words. Sound easy? Think again. That's almost 1700 words a day to form ideas into sentences. I failed it last year, coming up at only 30k words with some flipping between which story to write.

This year, I'm prepared.

How am I preparing, you ask? Oh, let me tell you.

Step One: Think up a story
Preferably something that will be longer than 50k words...
Or in my case, decide which of the seemingly billions of ideas I want to pursue. But that's all they are: ideas. Nothing concrete, just brief snippets of story that I want to turn into full-length epic novels. It's tough. I have a lot of promising ideas, I think, and I'd like to create the plot for them someday, but for the sake of my sanity, I'm deciding now, before November, which story I am putting all of my effort towards. But to decide that, I needed to go into step two, and that is...

Step Two: Plot, Detail, Outline
Some people dig outlines, others don't. For me, It's not so much a detailed outline as a poster board with a bunch of thoughts jotted down and circled in a bubble. Sometimes there is a timeline of events, sometimes I have arrows from one bubbled thought pointing to another to show that they are linked in some way. Sometimes I just want to bang my head against the closest hard surface, but in no way does that help my progression. The most I hope to achieve in the second step is a general plot.
"This story is about a boy who does [this]. He and [this person] are bitter enemies but they must team up to stop [this] from happening. Along the way, he meets [a person] and [another person] who help him on his journey."
Something like this, but more awesome.

Step Three: o hai characters.
For me, sometimes this step and step two get switched around. I tend to think up characters and then revolve stories around them, but sometimes the story writes them. With the case of my NaNoWriMo WIP, it was the characters first, story second. But every so often, it's story first, characters second.
With every story, I like to have well-rounded characters. It's hard for me to write them as bland and then go back once I'm finished to tidy them up, so I like to have them as 3D as I can make them. Considering there are only 30 days to write a full urban fantasy novel, character development will help me move way faster.
Characters created--Check!
Characters named--Check!
Characters described--Check!
Hello MC boys. You're looking very makey-outey (props to those who know what that line is from)

Step Four: Determine the Point of View and tense
WHY WAS THIS STEP SO HARD?! For me personally, this step is STILL driving me insane as to how I want to actually write the story. As much as I ADORE first person PoV (both past and present), this book is screaming to be written in 3rd person because of the jumps between characters. And considering there are five characters with huge roles and three that are actual MCs, that would be very tricky. Still considering it, but not likely.
3rd person is safe for the plot, but no I have to decide whether to make it past or present. Present would be the safest for this story, but I'm feeling more and more comfortable with present tense.
For the time being, I've decided to do 3rd person present. Tenses worry me less when I have to go back and change them.

Step Five: Combine steps 1-4 in a large bowl...
Feeling comfortable with my decisions, I mix everything together to create a decently detailed plot with developed characters, those pesky plot twists, and an ending.

Again, this is me being overzealous. After not actually being ready for NaNo, I vowed to make this year better. This year...I WILL finish a book in a month.

Oh, I almost forgot Step Six: Buy munchies...lots of munchies
Because NaNoWriMo also means "lets gain 10 lbs from snackage and lack of sleep!"

So...Did I miss any steps?


In which I fangirl...

Nothing inspires my writing on like TV shows with amazing moments. So if you haven't seen the tv show Castle with the amazing Nathan Fillion, you better get on it. No words can describe the look on his face at the end. My WIP couples are just ITCHING to be written.


Writing for the sake of writing.

......I finally have time to write.

Seems like ages since I sat down at Starbucks and cranked out some words. Other than school, friends, and work, it's taken me a lot of plotting, coffee, and scribbling on notebooks to get to where I am now, which is about to work on a new idea.

Yeah I know, I know. Not sure how many times I've said THAT before, but I'm hoping this will be different. Why?--because something clicked in my head: I'm done playing by the rules. I've spent so much time worrying about what agents will think, why publishing houses would never buy this story. In all the stress and worry and frustration, I forgot that writing was my passion. I forgot that writing was what made me happy. So I'm falling back to my roots. Some of what I've written is too tangled in the worries I had before, and I'm tired of trying to fix it at this moment in time. Maybe some day I'll tend to the messy WIP folders I have, but until then, I'm starting over. Writing just what I want to write because that is my passion. If it's good--wonderful. But it doesn't matter to me so much anymore.

I just miss writing for the sake of writing.

As it is, I'm adventuring into the lands of male PoVs. Wish me luck.

Just a little update

Mostly because I feel AWFUL about the blog abuse, and mostly because I needed to vent about the build up of life that is really restricting writing time.

Reason 1.) I am a slave to work. Work. work. wokr. owrk. As the days go by, my brain turns to mush. It was like a game of How Many Hours Can We Cram Into Leah's Week. And let me tell you, they done good.

Reason 2.) I am a slave to school. Hour and a half commute to Fresno, class, hour and a half commute home, sleep. Rinse and repeat. How I pass the time on that drive? I blast A Day to Remember, Four Year Strong, and Saosin--which incidentally are all CDs that fit awesomely with the new Concealed story.

Reason 3.) I am a slave to my animals. My parents are off to help the needy children in Haiti for a week and a half. It's wonderful and caring and noble of them, but mixing reason 1 and 2 with tending to the three dogs, 2 cats, fish, and lawn care have left me a bit exhausted. So when I'm not doing 1 and 2, I'm doing 3.

And social life? At this point, non-existent. Friends moved to Fresno, Leah stays home...at least, only for a few months until I move down to Fresno too. At this point, the writing output will spike. I had never written so much in my life when I lived in my last apartment in Fresno. For some reason, having my own place with my own stuff was like a kick in the ass to my muse. 67k on my first book in two months...while going to school 5 days a week...and working...and still being able to read books and play video games.

I just keep telling myself that all this stuff I'm doing will end well. I'll have money for my apartment from all the hours at work. I'll learn more about writing through my English classes to further my writing style more than its already come. And I'm only taking care of the animals for another few days, so I'll have more time then.

Until then, I'm just counting down the days until I move out. It'll be "So much writing, so little time."
Copyright © Dreaming Up Realities