Three Quotes Challenge – Day 2 | Nanowrimo edition

Hello, happy day two! I’m not even going to try to keep up a lie that these are gonna be posted consecutively. With Nanowrimo soaking up most of my time, they’ll be posted weekly. So pbtbt. I was tagged by Orangutan Librarian! πŸ˜€

As mentioned last week, I am posting quotes that have and are inspiring to my Nanowrimo dumpster fire.

Today’s quote… is a song. I couldn’t pick out a single line or two above the others, so I am posting the entire song. I’ve posted the version with lyrics, so if you’ve got eight minutes, give it a listen. It follows a lighthouse keeper, who for some reasons is not able to light the beacon in the lighthouse, and what follows is.. well, listen to the song.

Today I tag WindsorWrites, ZezeeWithBooks, and ThoughtsOnFantasy!

That’s it! Happy Read-Writing!


NaNoWriMo Tag!

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello, a tag today! I saw this tag on Natalia Leigh’s youtube channel and thought it was neato, so here we are.

  • How many times have you participated in Nanowrimo?

My profile says every year since 2011, but I definitively remembering participating as early as 2008. I don’t think there’s been a year between now and then that I haven’t participated. So… officially this’ll be 8, but I’m pretty sure it’s more like 11.

  • Are you a pantser or a planner?

My nature is pantser, but that hasn’t worked out for me super well lately, so this year I’m trying to be a planner.

  • What are the titles of the projects that you have attempted/completed for past Nanos?
    • 2008-2010, I don’t remember, because hey, the website didn’t record it.
    • 2011: Terminus
    • 2012: Basil
    • 2013: Animal Research
    • 2014: Gambit
    • 2015: Untitled
    • 2016: Basil (version 2)
    • 2017: Vial of Earth (which… is basically Basil version 3)
    • 2018 Basil (version 3) (…version 4)


  • What are you working on for this year?

While technically it’s the fourth version of Basil, it’s called version 3 because one year I actually came up with a title. It’s a fantasy about a lighthouse keeper and a pirate who is based off my old behavioral stats professor.

  • What is one tip you’d give to someone else participating in Nano?

A good temperature is good. If you’re in a cold room, put on a blanket. Or if you’re in a hot room, run around in your skivvies. Be comfortable before you try to concentrate.

  • What was the inspiration for this novel? Do you remember when inspiration hit?

A song by Sonata Arctica called White Pearl, Black Oceans. I’ve adapted the main character and bits and pieces of the events of the song into my character’s backstory, but at this point the plot has gone so much more beyond that. As for when it hit, back in 2011. It’s been in my head since.

  • Read us the first sentence from your Nano novel last year?

“When the juggler dropped the Earth, everyone felt it. ”

  • What do you plan to do with your manuscript after Nano?

Assuming it’s actually viable, edit it. But it’ll likely just sit on my comp like all the other ones have.

  • Are you prepared for Nano? Are you nervous?

Nervous, no. Prepared? …At the time of writing this (the 18th) no. Hopefully by the time it posts, I will be. Fingers crossed peeps.

I tag Sarah @WindsorWrites! Show me your stuff! Also anyone else who is nanoing and needs distracting from that plot they should be outlining.

Preparing for Nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello! Today I wanna blabber about all the things I’m doing to hopefully prevent my Nanowrimo novel from being a dumpster fire (but let’s be honest, that’s a long shot).

  • Outlining

I’m actually attempting an outline this year. Usually I’m a pantser, and I’ve won three times using that method. Unfortunately, each time, I was rewriting a novel that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to the year before. And guess what, it still didn’t turn out. So this year I’m rewriting it again but hopefully I’ll like.. y’know.. having an ending.

  • Making a story binder

This kinda goes along with outlining – I’ve decided to keep a physical contraption full of all the stuff I’m doing. It’ll hold my outline, any research stuff I’ve grabbed, character sheets, sticky tabs, yada yada. I actually went out and got a new binder specifically for the occasion, almost like a christening. I’m hoping it’ll have some substance in it by the time Nano begins, and I hope it’ll be nice and chubby by the time Nano is over.

  • Making a survival kit and writing nest

This is a one new for me, and I didn’t realize it was a thing until I starting seeing it floating around on the internet. Basically whatever hovel you set up to write in, you fill with things to basically help you, well, survive. Snacks, socks, blankets, candles, what have you. Anything that’ll make you comfy and help you maintain focus. As of writing this post, my nest is my chair, blanket and side table, and my survival kit snacks haven’t been purchased yet. I have the candle though – pecan something or other.

  • Making a playlist

For scenes I already have in my head, I tend to associate them to songs. So, those songs are going on there. Otherwise, I’ll be adding instrumental music that I feel overall conveys the tones of arcs, chapters, the whole thing, etc. I’ll be listening to almost solely it, at least while writing, in November. At the time of writing this, this is what’s on my current playlist.

And that’s it! Are you doing anything different or in addition to this list? Gimme ideas, peeps.


NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello! Today I want to talk about NaNoWriMo!

If you’re unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, where during the month of November, hundreds of thousands of people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel! It started back in 1999, and there were 21 participants. Last year in 2017, there were over 400,000. If you would like to learn more, here is the NaNoWriMo official site, and here is me! Add me if you plan on participating!

I’ve been participating every year since 2008 (Though my user account shows only participation since 2011. I think it’s because my first three years were such utter failures but that’s ok). I can’t skip out now, even if I end up failing, I still need to at least try.

I’ve won NaNoWriMo three out of the seven times shown on my profile, and I plan to (try) to win again this year. After last year’s attempt though, the need for me to change my approach is very dire. Usually, I’m a pantser – I don’t really outline and just take an idea and go by the seat of my pants. The problem with that is, the past five years or so, I’ve been attempting to rewrite a novel idea I first had in 2010. Each year I tell myself that ‘this didn’t come out how you wanted it to last year, so try it again’ and each year I go in with a vague idea of what I want, and then hey, it still doesn’t turn out.

So this year, I do plan on rewriting, but I’m going to do it planner- style. During October, I will be outlining and making character sheets to the best of my abilities. I’m hoping it’ll result in at least a first draft that I will let see the light of day. So wish me luck! I really like this story idea – it’s stuck in my head for nearly a decade now – so I hope I can do it justice this year. All I can tell you really is that it’s about a lighthouse keeper and it’s a fantasy.

There will be one obstacle to my goal: I will be out of town between October 27th and November 3rd, and during those first three NaNo days, I won’t really have the opportunity to write. So I’m going to attempt to do a lot of catch-up on the 4th, and keep even from there. That’s the goal, buuuut from looking at past attempts, I tend to flounder until the last three or four days, and then I churn out 5 or 6k words per day at the very end and hit the goal way closer to midnight than I am comfortable with. So here’s hoping future-me stays motivated.

Also, writing this novel means that this blog will be taking a bit of a hit. Instead of three or four posts per week, I’m going to drop to two: Wednesdays and Saturdays. When NaNoWriMo is over, I’ll be hoping right into Blogmas 2018, so there will be a post every single day in the month of December to make up for it. So I’m ok with it, averaging out.

I think that’s about everything I wanted to say. If you’re in the western Pennsylvania region and plan on participating, let me know! I love participating in write-ins and I don’t mind driving a bit to a public place. Also if you’re participating period, add me on the NaNo site!

Happy writing!

I won Nanowrimo!


Happy December 4th!

As I’ve mentioned in the past few posts, I participated in Nanowrimo this year. I’ve been doing so every year since 2011. The only years I’ve ever won were years where I wasn’t in college. Any years that I had finals to study for, Nanowrimo always failed spectacularly for me. That pattern held true again this year – no school, so I won! πŸ˜€

Winner proof

Is it any good? No! I need to delete about 5000 words straight off from scenes I know won’t be staying, then I can begin editing. Right now it’s a piece of doody.

But it’s 50,000 words worth of doody! πŸ˜€

If you participated in Nanowrimo, lemme know how you did!


NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week 2

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner

The word count goal for the end of today isΒ 23,333. My current word count is 9,359. So yes, I’m very far behind. πŸ˜› Classes are killing me. I’m still planning on trying a 10k saturday on Nov 26th, but we’ll see how far that gets me. At this point, if I make 25k words by the end of the month, I’ll be happy, haha.

To those who are in my boat, I feel you. To those who are succeeding, go you! I wish I had your self-discipline. :”D

Maybe I’ll do better next year when I’m not in classes anymore. That tends to be a pattern. The two years I’ve won, there have been no classes to worry about. Coincidence? Me thinks not.

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week 1

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner

Hello! Today is November 8th, and the word count goal for the end of today is 13333.

If you read my original Nano post, I mentioned that I’ll be doing a mixed-media project of sorts for this year’s writing. I’m writing a novel like everyone else, but I’m also writing two coding projects and since I know they’re going to take hours of time, I’m including them in my wordcount.

So in between my coding projects and my novel, my current word count is 8592.

So I’m about 5000 words behind, but the month is still early. Plenty of time left (and plenty of coding left to do). I’m still hopeful for this one. I think I’m going to attempt a 10k Saturday on 26th if I’m not caught up by then. If you’d like to do it with me, drop me your Voxer or skype or something and we can keep each other motivated. :”D

Happy writing!

NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner

Happy day! I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year, and I feel like it’s going to be an interesting one purely do to the format I’m going to be writing in. This year is going to be a bit different. Yes, there will be a rough draft of a novel and it will go towards a word count, but knowing me and my workload this semester, I already know it’s not going to make 50,000 words.

So what I’m doing to do is I’m going to include my projects into my word count. I’m writing (code), and it’s creating a thing, so I’m going to count it (cry). My projects this semester are two huge ones: Create a text miner that will read in raw medical data and do a bit of machine learning to harvest patterns from it, and create a linking package between a tic tac toe game and a NAO robot that will allow that robot to play the game with a human user. Both projects are huge and both will require so much damn code. So I’m going to count that code, just because I know it’s going to suck up hours of my time in November (and now – I’m already working on the damn things). My novel will be a reboot of one I wrote in 2010, so I already know the general plot, I’m just going to rewrite it from scratch since I didn’t like how it had turned out.

So my Nano plans are as follows:

Text Mining and NAO Tic Tac Toe projects as a priority. I’m going to count each line of code as one word, just because it’ll be hard to pick out words from brackets, operations, etc etc.

The novel reboot as a secondary project, because the first two are more important. D:

So yes. I’m doing Nano, but I’m definitely doing it in a very non-traditional way.

Wish me luck! If you’re participating, add me on the Nanowrimo website! πŸ˜€

Nanowrimo…oops. :”D

After 30 days of Nanowrimo, my final word count sits at 20,396.


Honestly I haven’t written anything in the past week. Once I got it in my head that there was no way I was going to beat the thing, I lost all motivation. However, this month of writing did lead to some interesting things:

First off, I re-wrote the Nano novel that I did (and won with) in 2012. I decided to do that because I didn’t like the way the plot turned the first time, nor did I like half the characters that I haphazardly threw in there. This time around, while the word count is smaller and the dialogue definitely needs work, I do actually like what I came up with. After two or three more drafts, I might let someone read it. Maybe.

Secondly, I went to two different write-ins this year, something I’ve never done before! Both of them were really fun and it made me enjoy the writing process all the more.

The first one was one for my region which was hosted by my university. Me and one other person showed up, but we ended up getting along and had a good time. Turns out she’s a book lover too and we spent as much time gooing over our goodreads lists as we did writing.

The second one was a write-in I did with a friend of mine at her apartment. The Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, I drove down to her city, about an hour away, and we drank wine. I stayed the night. We got up early, got breakfast, binged on some anime (I got her hooked to Attack on Titan, I’m so proud) and then got down to writing. We did writing sprints that were really beneficial for both our word counts. Throughout the sprints, we also drank more wine and petted her dog. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time (and my word count went up because of it! :D)

And since then… not a word. That drunk write-in was the last time I even opened the document. Saying I got bogged down with classes and family holiday obligations sounds like a weak excuse, but there you go. So this year, I got about 40% done. Next year, I’m predicting the same since my school situation will be the same, but now I know I LOVE write-ins and hopefully I’ll be able to do some next year as well. πŸ˜€

I hope that if you participated that you are happy with your work, whether or not you met your word count. I certainly had fun and produced (dare I say it) not horrible writing.

Now back to my true love: books.

NaNoWriMo: Day 15.

Hello, in an hour it will be November 15th, 2015. So it’s time for the mid-way progress post. By midnight tomorrow night, if I’m on schedule I should be hitting 25,000 words.

Well, guess what.

I’m not on schedule.

I’m super behind schedule.

I’m sitting at just over 12,000 words.

So I’m 12,000 words behind schedule.


WOE IS ME. But on the plus side, I really like my story this time around. If you haven’t read my previous posts on the subject, I’m re-writing the nano novel I wrote in 2012. I’ve completely revamped it. So I’m liking it. :”D

Of course I’m just spouting excuses, but my class load has been heavy this month. I’ve had two exams already and I have two more within the next two weeks. And I have three upcoming presentations, all due the first week of December, so that’s gonna go over well. Odds are at this point, I won’t finish on time. But at the same time, I feel like this is a story I’ll want to continue afterwards. I hope. If all goes according to plan, Thanksgiving break will be a good time for me to try to catch up. Ideally, I’ll have all my presentation stuff completed before break so I won’t need to work on it then. But if there’s one thing I’m awesome at, it’s procrastination.

Also! I found out one of my friends is also doing Nano, so I’m going to go visit her the day before Thanksgiving and we’re gonna have an all-day write-in together :”D My hope for that day is a good word count and lots of pizza and wine.

So that’s it. Prolly not gonna win, but definitely having a good time writing the thing! If you guys are going to edit your novel in December, let me know~ I’d love to be a beta reader and get one in return.

Happy writing!