Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's a Conspiracy

Lots of things are conspiring against me lately. For example:

A couple of my friends just got back from Lisbon--one of my favorite places.

One of my friends is about to hop through the islands of the South Pacific.

I have been sorting a bowl full of foreign coins from a dozen countries.

This afternoon I caught a whiff of that pre-rain smell mixed with the smell of car exhaust...which always reminds me of the city I lived in in Spain. (Romantic, I know.)

Counting Crow's Holiday in Spain came out of my speakers when my ipod was on shuffle. {...We could simply pack our bags and catch a plane to Barcelona 'cause this city's a drag...}

And now, just like that...I'm feeling restless.

So, in honor of wanderlust, I present you with:

{Barcelona's Sagrada Familia}

{Venice's Grand Canal}

{German tourists on a canal boat in Amsterdam}

{A Christmas tree in front of Notre Dame in Paris}

Just because. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Novel In Review!


So I am having a nice cup of hazelnut coffee after almost a week on coffee detox. Mmm. I missed that over caffeinated kick, but I needed to let myself recover a bit from the gallons of coffee I downed while finishing my novel.

That's right. I finished my novel!

I pulled it off--and with 3 whole hours to spare! Here's my certificate to prove it:


 Let's hear it for a comeback! I started basically on day 14. That, my friends, was a bad idea. If you start at the beginning of the month, writing 1600 words a day or so, finishing on time is totally doable. Trying to catch up was a feat--especially when you throw in Thanksgiving week. In the end I made it to 30,000 words by day 27. That sounds pretty good until you realize that it left me with 20,000 words to write in THREE DAYS.

People told me to give up...but I was determined to finish--or at least go down typing. I dug deep, threw in some pointless stories, drank a lot of coffee, and almost went blind from staring at a computer screen--but I made it!

You copy and paste your novel onto the NaNoWriMo website for them to validate that you have at least 50,000 words when you are finished. Turns out Microsoft Word's word-counter is not quite the same. All finished, I had to go back in and add another 300 words to make it to the NaNoWriMo's word-counter's 50,000. (Those 300 words were really good examples of life altering prose, let me tell you.)

I finally made it though. My favorite part was that once you are validated as a winner (aka, finisher), a video pops up with their staff all yelling--You did it! They all clap and cheer, and considering I was sitting in Panera all by myself when I finished, it was a lot of fun.

Now to answer some of your questions:

When can I read your novel? Never! OK...maybe one day. But not any time soon.
When are you going to publish it? Never! (See above.)
Why can't we read it? My novel is "finished," true. But it is a draft. A rough draft. A makes burlap feel like Egyptian cotton kind of rough draft.
Why did you write a book no one is ever going to read? Well, because it was fun. Fun in a painful-lose-your-eyesight kind of way, sure, but fun nonetheless. I like a challenge. Plus, I always wanted to write a novel, and now I have. I can also now tell people I am a novelist. (Which is fun, no?) Finally, I learned a ton. Oh yeah, and its like a month's worth of free therapy.
What did you end up doing with your main character? As you saw here I got a little stuck and decided to take some advice to "Let the freak flag fly." I decided to have my main character just do something fun. Well, in a way that I never understood was possible before I started writing the novel, she refused. Yeah, I know. I did stumble upon the best plot device of all time (as far as I am concerned at least).
What is this "best plot device of all time"? (Spoiler alert!) I took another piece of advice to "Put your characters through hell" and sent mine into a coma.
Does writing a novel make you feel like God? In a weird way, kind of. When my characters refused to take my suggestions and ended up surprising me at times I had a nerdy discussion with myself about open theism. (Shout out to Dr. Stiver!).
What did you end up naming your main character? Yeah. She never got a name. See the "rough draft" bit above.
What's next? Who knows...

OK, that's my novel in review! Check out their website for more info so you can join in next November. (There are also a ton of great pep talks on there, too!)

Finally, I give you all permission to now answer the question Who is your favorite novelist? with my name.  : )