Making Independence Day About Me: A Writer’s Declaration

With all my time off, I’ve been able to focus on my writing, which has been a really productive thing. I’ve been participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, setting my own goal to be 50,000 words in July, and writing 15,000 in two days.

And today, as it is Independence Day, I’d like to celebrate not by chugging beer and barbecuing things and causing things to explode, but rather by focusing on my writing and celebrating my own Independence.

When I decided to go back to school, it was because I was tired of being laid off from jobs because I was disposable or the business flat out died. I also wanted to get out of video production, since that was just not my passion. I wanted a job that revolved around what I love: writing. So I disguised my education as something thoughtful and smart: a very useful and versatile English degree. But really, I just want to write, and have something to help me get my foot in the door of a publisher.

For two years I worked hard in school and took on two jobs outside of school. All my time went to studying and working. Sure, I wrote, and tried to participate in any of the NaNoWriMo events. But it was an activity divided between other obligations and distractions. As soon as I graduated from the community college in December, I picked up a job as well as kept my other two jobs, giving a grand total of 70 hour work weeks, leaving me too exhausted to even contemplate writing of any form.

Now I am down to two jobs again, one giving my only 4 hours a week while the other job is just on weekends. This has left me with ample time to think and discover what it is I really want. The answer to that is simple: to write.

And I have so much time to do it!

So this is my writing Independence Day. It is the day that I know my life needs to revolve around writing to get to be where I want to be. It’s the day I make sure to schedule time for my writing every day. It’s the day that I know that it is what is important for me to grow and to put that growth first. It is the day that I separate myself from the working world and the obsessive manner to which I participated in it. I am a writer, and thus my life will be about writing, from here on out.

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Trying to stay positive

Rough. I had it, I understood everything that was going to be on my math test that was in the book this weekend. I took awesome notes. I made an awesome 3×5 note card, I took the practice test/review three times – TODAY, and I still failed my math final.
No, this isn’t me being a Debbie doubter, I honestly couldn’t answer a large chunk of the questions and had to leave the slot blank.
I have no idea how to graph a negative logarithm because the book never went over that. I don’t know how to turn a g(x) equation into a logarithmic graph when it’s not given to me in logarithmic form. The questions were thrice as difficult than anything on the review. Why would the review as well as the practice problems not be a reflection of the level of difficulty in the test? Especially given that this is an online math class as well, so it’s all self-study.
If I got every answer I put down correct on that test, then I stand to get a 62%.
There’s the possibility of a saving grace. Through participation points I’m at a 101% so far. With how much the test is worth weighed against everything else, I could get a 0 on it and still pass with an A. The stipulation though is that in order to pass the class, I have to average a test score of 70% between my midterm and my final. With my (possible) 62% score from tonight, that would put my average between the two tests at a 73%. So I really only a small amount of wiggle room.
However, I am determined to feel inspired instead of defeated – which is excruciatingly difficult to do.
If I get less than a satisfactory grade in this class then I will simply take it again next quarter and get my A which will override whatever I get this quarter.
I had more umph for this entry before I got home. I need to move out. This place is distracting and restricting in many ways.

As NaNoWriMo Draws to a Close

Firstly, a HUGE congratulations for all the participants of National Novel Writing Month that made the goal of 50,000 words. That is absolutely amazing, and even if you’re not proud of what you created – you really should be. In November, with it’s measly 30 days, 50,000 words averages out to be 1667 words written per day.

A little on NaNoWriMo for those of you who might not be in the know: National Novel Writing Month begins at midnight on November 1st and ends at 11:59pm November 3oth, the goal of which is to write 50,000 words (as you might have gathered from my congratulatory paragraph above). There is a whole online community based around this, which you can explore using the above link. It is a nonprofit organization with the aim at helping writers create.

“National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light) that believes your story matters. Our mission statement:

National Novel Writing Month organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels.”

NaNoWriMo creates programs in communities all over the country, encouraging young writers with their K-12 Young Writer’s Program, meeting fellow writers in your community, as well as monthly exercises which get you pumped and ready for November each year (Camp NaNoWriMo).

nanowrimo

 

Because of school (though the running excuse for the last few years has been work), I wasn’t able to participate, or even consider participating in it. However, since for some insane reason my college has altered the schedule to differ from every other college in the state and give us finals week the week following Thanksgiving weekend – thus resulting in a five week winter break – I thought I would make December 6-January 5 (30 days) my own Novel Writing month, seeing if I can independently accomplish what so many dedicated writers accomplished over November.

I might cheat a little bit and put to use the NaNoWriMo Boot Camp to see if it can help me generate ideas and keep on track. We will see how it goes.

However, again, I have to say congratulations to those that participated, and an even a bigger one to those that met the goal. Well done, writers!

Huffington Post’s 17 Fascinating Language Facts

As a word smith, I am fascinated by language, either native or otherwise. It is for this reason that I’m considering linguistics along side my English degree. However, here are some beautifully interesting english language facts from the Huffington Post. Numbers 7, 12, and 17 are my favorites!

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5786262?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

Inspirational Weekend – Re-Writing the Known

Writing prompt of the day:

Take a comic – anything, it could be Garfield, Batman, Cyanide and Happiness, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, etc – and re-write the premiss of it, or re-write the background of one of the characters.

If you blog it, share the link to your post below!

Inspirational Weekends – Fiction in Science

My writing prompt for today is to look at a recent scientific discover, and write a scene that is impacted by this discovery. If there’s nothing in the news that’s jumping out at you, make something up! I heard the next dominant species is going to be the squid – what evidence has lead to this conclusion?

 

Inspirational Weekend – Google Image Prompt

Image by Dan O’Halloran For LotRo Vol 2 Book 7: Leaves of Lórien

For this exercise I needed two things:

  1. Random selection of books, or a library, stack of magazines, etc
  2. Internet (included is a device upon which to browse the internet, such as a computer, phone or iPad)

I was considering bibliomancy, which is the art of divination via books. A person selects a book, whichever one they’re drawn to – it doesn’t matter the subject matter (too much), focusses on their question, energy, feeling – whatever it is they need to know about. They close their eyes, turn to a random page and puts their finger down. Wherever the finger lands, usually that sentence holds the answer to their question.

I took a different direction. I chose a book at random – in my case, it turned out to be a Star Wars book, Legacy of the Jedi: A Clone Wars Novel by June Watson – opened it to a random page and put my finger in there with my eyes closed.

It landed on the word Lorien. I tried not to read anything surrounding it, but seeing it next to quotation marks, I quickly picked up that it was a person.

The next step was to take this word to Google Image. I searched the term and found the above image. Isn’t it lovely? And it’s interesting since it is of the other spectrum of the genre – fantasy.

Now I have my randomly selected image. Time to write about it. It can be anything. Write about what the image is, write a story using the image, write anything that comes to mind – just write! Isn’t that the whole point?

To Recap:

  1. Select a book at random
  2. Select a page at random with eyes closed
  3. Select word at random, with eyes closed
  4. Google the word selected in Google Image (alternatively, Google has an eco-friendly version called Blackle, which also has image search)
  5. Select an image
  6. Write about said image

Good luck writing!