Category Archives: school

I can explain…

Loyal followers of this blog (assuming there are any left at this point) might notice that it’s been rather a while since I last posted anything. More specifically, it’s been about three months, or fourteen weeks if you want to be picky. I like to think I have a good excuse for my absence, but I’ll have to let you all decide that for yourselves.

See, I just finished up my last semester of grad school. In ten days, I will be graduating with my Masters degree in Secondary Education, which means I will soon be certified to teach English/Language Arts to students in grades 6-12. It’s very exciting. And terrifying. And soul-crushing as I’ve only had one face-to-face interview with a school I really wanted to join but never heard back from.

Anyway, as easy as the actual degree was to attain, this past several months have been rather stressful. For those who don’t know, the last semester of a teacher prep program is student teaching, which means that I was in a high school classroom every day from the start of the semester (the first week in January) to the end of April. Actually, my last day was April 25. Most of my time was spent observing my cooperating teacher and others. For a full month, though, I was the teacher in charge. I taught all five classes and graded their work. I liked it, but it was really stressful, particularly because I didn’t really know what I was doing half the time.

I taught Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of ninth graders. I actually had a lot of fun with it, and by the end of the unit I had a better understanding of how to actually engage them in what we were doing (wish I had figured that out sooner, but better late than never, I guess). I’m actually really sad that my time with them is done. They might not all have been the best students, but I’m going to miss getting to talk to them each day. There are so many kids, especially in the lower level classes, that need more help than I was able to give them, and I wish I could have done more to try to help them.

The reason all this is (sort of) relevant is because I didn’t really do much of anything else while this was happening. I read a bunch of books (I’m up to 20 total for the year, because apparently that’s still something I can do when I feel too tired to do anything else), but I didn’t really get much writing done. I didn’t even write reviews for most of those books, which means I still have 14 book reviews to catch up. I also didn’t finish editing TILT YOUR HEAD AND SMILE, which is now in its sixth draft.

But that is changing now. I’m done with school, and I’m going to start using this time to catch up on all the things I didn’t do before. I’ve already started, actually. I’ve edited three chapters in the past two days, which isn’t much but is a lot more than I have been doing. I’ve applied to more counties. I’ve exercised and made relatively healthy meal plans again. I’m getting back into the swing of things again. My goal is to get used to eating better and exercising and writing a little every day now, when I have free time, so that when I’m busy again in the fall, it’s not such a shock to my system.

I’ve also come up with a schedule to keep my on track for the next week and a half. I figure I have 21 chapters left to edit of TILT and 14 book reviews left to write. My goal is to write 2 book reviews and edit 3 chapters a day. I’m not entirely sure just how doable that plan is right now, but I’m going to start it tomorrow and see how that goes.

The one where I decide to do NaNo over my own objections

For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that I usually do NaNoWriMo in November. You might also remember that I had a rather difficult month last NaNo. I wrote 242k, but my heart wasn’t really in it. If you go through the archives for all the November 2012 posts, you’ll see that I wrote a lot about all the hate directed at Overachievers – people who aim to write more than 50,000 words in November. I felt alienated from my region and most of the people on the forums, and it just really got me down. The competition wasn’t fun anymore.

So I decided to stop. I took all the NaNo stickers off my laptop. I wrote during the first Camp NaNo, but I didn’t join the cabins or post on the website; I just wrote with people on Twitter when they were writing. I tried to get into the cabin thing for the second camp, but it just didn’t work. I didn’t care about NaNo anymore, and I didn’t want to waste my time supporting something that didn’t seem to want me there at all. I still supported the idea of NaNo, but I swore I was never going to participate in another NaNo event again. I actually almost included that in my last post, but it was already getting kind of long, so I figured I’d write about it later.

Then, October 2, the day after I almost posted about how I would never do NaNo again, I got an email announcing the new forums. I don’t know why I looked. It was 6 am, and I had 20 minutes before I had to leave for school. But I looked anyway. I scrolled through the forums. And that’s when I saw it.

The Beyond 50k forum.

Finally, the Overachievers have a forum. A place where you can complain about how you’re having problems hitting 20k in a day, and people won’t criticize you. I was happy when I saw it, but I still didn’t think I would do NaNo. Once the joy of something dies inside me, it’s really hard to get it back. Or so I thought.

And then I started reading the comments. I saw so many people I hadn’t talked to in a year, people who had made me feel better when everyone else made me want to curl up in a corner and never speak to the world again. And I realized that part of me did still care. It wasn’t as much as it had been, but I wasn’t completely indifferent anymore.

And then I set a goal. And then more goals.

A total of 250,000 words.

A 50k day one.

At least one 50k weekend, possibly two.

Four or five novels, depending on how many I need to reach 250k.

I’ve decided that this is going to be my redo for last year. Last year I failed 50k day one (hit 30.5k instead). I failed my goal of 250k (hit 242k instead). This year I’m not going to fail. I’m not going to let other people get me down. I’m going to stay in my nice, safe OA forum. I’m probably going to avoid most regional events, although there are still some people in the region that I like (namely the ones who helped support me last year).

I’ve spent the last five days trying to figure out what to write. I still want to edit Tilt before the month ends. I’m going to rewrite Degeneration as part of NaNo. I have three other novels that I’m trying to outline. I’d really like one more novel as a backup plan, but I’m going to focus on the ones I already have for now.

I’ve already been doing my school work ahead of time, but I’ve doubled my efforts. I’ve done all but one assignment that’s due in November and that I can actually start early. I’ll be busier than I was last year, but I’m still hopeful that I can get this all done.

Hello, October. Where did you come from?

So, remember that blog post I wrote back in August, the one where I felt the need to assure everyone that I wasn’t dead and then complained about all the stuff I hadn’t done and vowed to do better the next month?

Yeah, this is another one of those.

I haven’t written a single post that wasn’t about someone else’s book since August 19. A huge reason for that is that I started my penultimate semester of grad school on August 20. My first class was YA Literature, which I was really excited about. I still am, mostly. For that class, I have to read 24 YA books. I’m currently reading book 24. Yes, I’ve 24 books in 6 weeks (6 weeks and 1 day if I finish the book tomorrow instead of today). Only two of those books have been less than 215 pages. Four I would classify more as MG than YA. But still – that’s a lot of reading.

This is part of my problem. I’m bad at multitasking. I should have just stuck with reading two books a week and then found a way to fit writing into that, too. Instead, I threw myself into reading. I wanted to see how fast I could read those 24 books. I liked being able to read without feeling guilty, like I was supposed to be doing something else. Yes, I should have been writing, but reading was homework, and homework is always more important.

Well, like I said, I’m about to be done with book 24. That means I should really cool it with the reading. I’m not saying I should stop, because I love reading, and I’ve really enjoyed the past 6 weeks. I’ve read so many books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I want to keep going. I’ve read 62 books this year, and I really want to see how high I can get that number.

But I also want to do other things, which means I shouldn’t keep reading at that pace. I would have nearly had to post a book review a day to keep up with all the books I was reading. I still have two book reviews that I wrote but forgot to post, and I have nine more books that I’ve read but haven’t written reviews for. I’m not really having fun writing them, and anyone who follows this blog for the writing has probably been pretty sick of the book reviews.

So starting now, I’m going to try to go back to posting 1-2 book reviews a week. I’m also going to try to write at least one post per week that’s about writing. And in order to do that, I should actually write something.

My grandmother was in the hospital at the beginning of the month, and my mom was gone for several weeks to be with her. That trip and what she told me about it gave me a lot of ideas for how to make Degeneration a better novel. I will have to go back over my outline for that one and rewrite more than I thought I would, but I’m okay with that. I feel even better about that novel than I did in August. I know for sure where it’s going.

I also want to work on Tilt Your Head and Smile. I haven’t read that one since I rewrote it back in July, but I remember liking it and feeling like I finally got it right. I just rejoined a critique group, and I’ve been wondering which novel to give them. I think I’m going to read/review Tilt and then see what they think of it. Then I’ll work on Degeneration, since that one will take more time.

I’ve spend so much time jumping back and forth between novels. It’s like I don’t want to finish-finish one until they’re all at the same level, which is stupid. I have a new novel idea that I’ve been writing down notes for, but I’m refusing to let myself write it until the three that I am closest to finishing (Tilt, Degeneration, and For Real This Time) are actually finished.

So, yeah, those are my goals. Edit Tilt. Rewrite Degeneration. Stop reading 4 books a week.

And not have my next writing post be November 1 saying “Gee, where the hell did October go?”

Hey, look – I’m not dead!

This month hasn’t gone quite how I imagined it would. I thought I would have most of my dystopian novel planned by now. Instead, I’ve put that one on hold again to work on another novel. It’s not that I don’t still love the dystopian novel, because I do. I just still feel so overwhelmed by that novel.

Not that I haven’t worked on that novel at all. I spent the first week or so of this month watching documentaries that I thought would help me picture what the United States would be like 80 years from now. Those documentaries include the following: Standing Army, Superpower, I.O.U.S.A., An Inconvenient Truth, Detropia, Trouble the Water and Tapped. I’ve also been flipping through my old International Relationships book and reading one of the political books that’s been on my shelf for years.

I have notes on all of those documentaries and books. I feel more knowledgeable than I did last month, so that’s something at least. But as time went on, I found myself less interested in reading or watching those documentaries. I guess it was just too depressing, and I like to spread out those negative emotions so I don’t get too overpowered.

Part of the problem this month is also that I was supposed to be put in a school three weeks ago. I’m two semesters away from graduating with my Masters in Teaching, and one of the things I have to do this semester is my practicum. That’s where I spend at least 60 hours in a high school classroom and observe the teacher and then slowly start taking a more active role, helping him/her teach and actually teaching 10 lessons myself. My orientation meeting was July 29. I was supposed to have my placement by then. I didn’t. I was supposed to go in and meet my teacher Aug. 5-7 so I could be there for the first day of school. I didn’t have a placement. It’s now 3 weeks after the orientation meeting, 2 weeks after the semester started, and I still don’t have a placement. So I’m freaking out rather a lot, and that has made it hard for me to concentrate on anything else.

So between all those “the world as we know it is about to end” documentaries and the fact that I’m now worried I won’t have enough time to do everything I’m supposed to for the practicum, I’ve been rather unhappy lately. Plus most of the fiction books I’ve been trying to read are horrible and not at all the nice distraction I was looking for.

Which brings me to the novel I’m currently working on – Degeneration. I don’t know if that’s necessary a happy book, considering it’s about a family that hates each other that get together for a wedding, but at least it was something else to think about. This is the novel that I wrote twice as a screenplay and then once as a novel, so I’m familiar with the plotline and characters. Besides, I really wanted to work on a novel that I knew what to do with.

So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m working on the second draft. Or at least I’m about to. Earlier this month, I imported the novel into Scrivener and fun putting it in e-book format. I put it on my Nook and read through it. It’s rather short – about 48k – but I still really like a lot of it. I made notes on the big-picture stuff that I need to change. I made her trip to visit her family longer (a week as opposed to a weekend, which wasn’t nearly enough time). Yesterday I created a new Scrivener project for draft 2, making index cards for all the scenes in the new draft. This morning I copied the existing draft into the correct files so I can see which scenes I need to edit and which I need to write for the first time.

So for the rest of the day, this is what I will be doing: (re)writing Degeneration and checking the practicum site to see if I have a placement yet.

Camp NaNo Update #2

I’m really bad at writing Camp NaNo updates. Part of my problem is that I want to wait until I’m done writing for the day to write them, but then I don’t finish writing until right before I collapse into bed, and that’s not really the best time to write a blog post. Since it’s been like a week and a half since my last update, though, I figure it’s probably best if I actually pull it together long enough to write this.

This past weekend (Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon), I was on vacation with my parents, my boyfriend, and my sister and her boyfriend. We rented a house on a lake, and we spent most of the time swimming and playing games. It was a lot of fun but not very conducive to writing. I had one good night of writing while everyone else was playing ping pong downstairs, but I still only managed to write 5,884 words the entire weekend.

Monday I drove back for my last class of the summer semester. I had a debate and a huge project due. I ended up getting an A on both assignments, and I learned that I passed the English GACE (the test that I needed to pass in order to get my teaching certification). I decided to spend the night relaxing and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my boyfriend. Not a productive evening, but it was fun.

Last night I started being productive again. I wrote 7,893 words, which I feel is a good start on making up for the words I didn’t write this weekend. I have nothing to do for the next month, so I’m definitely going to be putting my all into writing. Well, writing and reading, because I have 3 library books out right now and 2 books that I promised people I would read and review. So, yeah, lots of reading to do, too. I’m definitely looking forward to the next few weeks. 🙂

For those who don’t know, here are my current stats for Tilt Your Head and Smile:

Total Words: 70,104
Average Words per Day: 4,382
Total Chapters: 13
Average Words per Chapter: 5,842

At this rate, TYHAS will be about 135k – a bit much for a contemporary/literary NA novel. Of course, my novels tend to get shorter with edits, so that’s comforting. I have this problem where I’m always afraid that I’m leaving out important information. I guess I have this other habit of trying to skip scenes that are too hard for me to write, and I end up taking the easy way out and wind up staring at my “finished” manuscript, which isn’t really finished at all. In an order to fight that, I try to force myself to write everything, even stuff that should really just be summarized, and that’s how I end up with super long novels. That’s also why draft 2 tends to be shorter.

I am starting to work on a different method of outlining, though. I still have my original outline, which is about 6,100 words long and is broken up into chapters and details what happens with each different plot line in that chapter. I tried to put those in order within each chapter, but some chapters need a lot of switching around/breaking up/combining in other ways. This is all fine with me, as it seems to be working for now.

But now what I’m doing is going back through and outlining each chapter more specifically right before I write it. In the past, I’ve just gone through and made my notes a bit more detailed. Now, though, I’m also going through and trying to figure out which parts need to be actual scenes and which could just be summaries. I just started doing this last night, but it definitely helped me finish that last chapter faster – but in a way that still made sense.

Queen of Un-productivity

I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. Actually, I’ve been a bad writer in general. I was supposed to be working on the second draft of DEGENERATION and planning my camp project, which I’ve been calling 2,000 MILES, even though I’m not sure if that will be the title I go with. I was also invited to join a Facebook critique group, so I should have been reading those works and posting my critiques.

Instead, I’ve been doing nothing. Well, nothing writing-related. I had a big project for school that was worth 25-40 percent of my grade that I had to do. That was due on Tuesday, and I’m glad that that’s out of the way, but it still took up a lot of time. I’ve also been sick all month, so I haven’t really felt like doing anything. I get up between 4 and 5 most mornings and go to work. I generally get done between 2 and 3 and then have class from 5 to 8 Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Thursdays I go and observe a middle school class from 8 am to 4 pm. Fridays I go to my boyfriend’s house and hang out with his parents. And then on the weekends I’m just so tired.

I’m going to be better now, though. Starting next week, work decreases drastically, so I’ll have a lot more time and energy. There’s a week before Camp NaNo starts, and I’m going to do my best to come up with an outline before then. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to rush it. I know a lot about my main character and love interest, but I don’t really know what the actual plot is going to be. I definitely need to work on that. I think this weekend I’m going to watch a documentary on the Appalachian Trail. I also have a fellow NaNo friend who recently set off to walk the trail, so I should really catch up on his blog. I can read about what he’s doing on the trail and steal the most interesting parts for my novel. 😀

This weekend I also need to write up some book reviews. I finished two novels this week, and I should really review them before I forget what I wanted to say about them. One I really enjoyed, and one had a lot of potential but just ended up annoying me. I’ll get to those later on, though.

I have so many things I should be doing. Yet here I am, watching Miss Congeniality instead. Maybe I’ll be productive afterwards.

2012 Recap

It’s that time of year again, the time when people sit back and reflect on everything they hoped to accomplish over the year and compare that to what they actually accomplish. I will be writing another post soon about what I hope to accomplish in 2013, but for now I will reflect on my goals for this past year.

1. Find a job that doesn’t make me want to murder all those around me.
Yeah, this didn’t happen. I still work as a school photographer. However, I did complete my first semester of grad school, which means I’m one semester closer to getting certified to teach high school English. Not a new job, but a step closer to getting a new job, so it’s not as bad as it could have been.

2. Finish the novel I wrote for 50k weekend.
That would The Story of Em, which is still unfinished. I have an outline for the rest of it, and I actually really like this story, but I’ve been working on other novels, so I haven’t finished this one.

3. Edit both novels that I finished this NaNo.
Those novels would be Tilt Your Head and Smile and Learning to Lie. I rewrote Tilt once, so I will consider that a partial success, even though I only got halfway through the edit of the rewrite. I also haven’t edited Learning to Lie. I still like the idea of that trilogy, but I’m still not sure where I want it to go, so I’ve decided to shelve that one for now while I work on the novels that I actually know how to write.

4. Win Script Frenzy.
Yes! Finally I did something that I said I was going to do. And, okay, sure, I wrote a huge part of those 100 pages on the last day of the month, but I still finished. RIP Script Frenzy. I’ll miss you.

5. Win both sessions of Camp NaNo.
Didn’t win either. I finished a novel for the June Camp (about 48k) and gave up halfway through the novel for August Camp.

6. Keep a blog going for an entire year, writing at least once a week (if not more).
I’m going to count this as a success. There were a few weeks where I didn’t write at all (mainly during NaNo and the beginning of December), but this will be my 125th blog post, at least 100 of which have been posted in 2012, so I consider this a success. This is actually my most successful blog ever, so I’m happy with it.

7. Build up a portfolio so I can actually apply for writing jobs.
This didn’t happen, either. Since I decided to become a teacher, I’ve sort of stopped looking for writing jobs. This probably won’t change, as I plan on spending most of my time next year working on my Master’s degree and writing/editing/reading novels.

8. Read 52 books in 52 weeks.
If I read 1 book a day for the rest of the year, I will achieve this goal. It’s not impossible – especially considering the fact that I read one book in 5 hours today and only have a few chapters of the next Dresden book to finish, as I’ve been listening to that one in the car – but I’m not all that sure that it will happen. Still, 47 books in 52 weeks is still respectable, especially considering how many books I read in 2011. I hope to do better next year, but I’m not doing to beat myself up over it.

Okay, so I didn’t really accomplish as much as I wanted to this past year. Still, I’m happy with a lot of what I did accomplish. I wrote more than 242k for NaNo. I wrote 2 novels and 1 novella in a month. I ended the year with 5 completed novels, 1 completed novella, and 3 short stories. I submitted some short stories to contests. I wrote a query letter. I entered my query and novel into a contest. I didn’t win any of the contests, but I learned a lot, and I got over my fear of letting other people read my stuff. I still have a long way to go, but I’m putting myself out there and taking risks, and that’s a huge step for me.

I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked, but I’m still making progress, and that’s the important part. 🙂

What about the rest of you? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to in 2012?

My NaNoWriMo Goal – and an explanation

I’ve been debating whether or not to write this post for a while. I hinted at my goal for NaNo in the last post, but I wasn’t sure if I should go further. Some people get discouraged if they see others are writing more than they are, and I would never want to discourage anyone. That said, this is my blog, and I don’t feel like I should have to hide or be ashamed of my word count goal on my own blog.

Before I go any further, though, please let me make a few things clear.

1. I have a lot of free time in November.
I’m not kidding. A lot of free time. My last week of work for the year is next week (the joys of having a seasonal job). I only have class two days a week. Including time spent driving too and from class, plus the time spent in class, I spend about 8 hours a week in class. I’ve also worked on getting all of my work for these two classes done before November. I still have two papers to write for one of them, but they’re very short (2-3 double spaced), informal papers. My classes are really easy. I also have no kids, no bills to pay, no real commitments to anything. See? I told you I had a lot of free time.

A lot of people don’t have this. Some people are taking five really difficult classes. Some people are working full- or part-time jobs. Some people are doing both. Some people are doing that on top of clubs and activities and raising kids and going to religious services and all that other fun stuff. I’m in awe of you people. Really. I did one Camp NaNo while I was working full time, and I barely hit 50k. I was so tired after work that I rarely ever wrote during the week. I pretty much only wrote on weekends – and that was before I had class and therefore homework to do. I don’t think I would have finished if I had had to do both.

2. My region is extremely supportive.
It’s only halfway through November, and we already have 8 weekly write-ins up on the calendar, plus two special write-ins, and I know of at least two more write-ins that are being planned but haven’t been posted yet. So there is plenty of support and encouragement. We have a regional chat room that is constantly full of people, and those people are often doing word wars. It’s awesome. If anyone wants to hop in the chat room, let me know and I’ll send you a link, as there are a few people in there not from/in Atlanta who are always on. Just be warned that it can get pg-13/r at times, depending on the group of people in there at the moment. 🙂

3. I could only write this much in November – see reasons 1 and 2 above.
I have a hard time getting motivated to write on my own. It’s a huge problem, I know, but it’s true. Any other month, my inner editor takes over, and I have a hard time writing. During November, my inner editor actually shuts up. I think a large part of that is because all the other NaNo participants are so loud it drowns it out. There are so many people involved that it’s hard to let the self-doubt creep up. It’s also harder to back down on your goals, at least for me since I know so many of the participants in my region personally.

Plus there’s the fact that I have all that free time. I don’t have that during other months. I have work other times, and school with assignments that are harder than the ones due in November. Plus I have less work to do in November because I did it in October, so I couldn’t have written this much in October, too, because then I would never have done my homework. Plus there’s all the participants and word wars. Even months when I don’t have work/school, I also don’t have word wars, which means that my inner editor takes over completely. For instance, I failed both Camp NaNos this year. I hit 40k in June and 30k in August (I think – it might not even have been that much). Which brings me to my next point –

4. My first drafts are always horrible, no matter how long it takes me to write them.
Most people write a first draft, wait a while, and then edit it. That doesn’t work for me. I write a first draft, wait a while, throw it out, and rewrite it, and then I edit the rewrite. It’s just the way I work. I think part of why I’ve been having such trouble writing recently is that I’m trying to make the first draft decent, when that’s just not how I write. I was like this with short stories in college, and I’m like that with novels now. The first draft is when I get something down on paper and see how my outline works in actuality. The second draft is where my writing is better and I actually feel good sharing it with people. This is apparently an important part of my writing process that I keep trying to ignore, but I can’t anymore. My first drafts must be written down quickly, before the self-doubt comes back. Then I can take more time with the rewrites and edits.

5. I write literary fiction.
I almost forgot this one, but I feel it’s important. A lot of people write novels filled with action and plot twists and fun things like that. While one of my novels is a dystopia, so it will be more plot-filled than normal, all of my novels have at least an element of lit fic to them, which means that my characters spend a lot of time sitting around, thinking about things. Rambled thinking lends itself well to high word counts, and it’s not even really padding because it fits with the story (well, assuming you do it right, of course. Some ramblings would definitely be off topic.).

Now that that’s out of the way, I will say that my goal this November is 250,000 words. My novels tend to run around 100k, so I’m planning on writing two novels and finishing my Camp NaNo novel from August, which currently sits around 40k and still has a long way to go.

I hope my goal hasn’t discouraged anyone or made them feel like I thought I was better than them, because that’s not what I want at all. Everyone works a different speeds and in different ways, and this is what works for me. The novel that I have that’s closest to being able to be shared with people was one that I wrote during the first two weeks of NaNo last year. I reread it in December, rewrote it during JanNoWriMo, and was really happy with the second draft. I’m still editing that one, but I only have to rewrite a few chapters, not the whole novel, so I’m happy with it.

Good luck everyone!

17 days until NaNoWriMo!

Less than three weeks until NaNo! I still don’t have complete outlines for either of the novels that I plan on writing, but I have a much better idea of where I want them to go, so that’s something. I’m actually looking forward to working more on the contemporary YA one than the dystopian one. I still really love that idea and want to write it, but I don’t have as much of the plot figured out on that one. I think there’s just so much stuff going on in that one that it’s hard to make it all fit, and there are certain things that I need to figure out before I start writing.

My right wrist is also currently in a brace. I finally went to the doctor, and they think it’s the early stages of carpal tunnel. Not happy about that, especially with NaNo right around the corner. The good news is that they’ve taken me off the camera at work and made me a helper, so I’m not putting new strain on my hand/wrist. I have to go back to the doctor on Oct. 26 – I’m hoping it will have gotten at least a little better by then.

Sundays I’m hosting a write-in at a little coffee shop near campus, and several people have already said they’re planning to attend, so that’s exciting. I’ve also matched up one newbie with a mentor so far. We have five other newbies and twelve other mentors signed up, but I’m waiting to see if any better matches show up first.

As far as school is concerned, I’ve done all of the assignments that I can do at this point. The rest I have to wait for further instruction. Well, at least for one of my classes. The other class involves a bunch of group work, so I have to wait and see what the other members of my group has come up with. It looks like I really will have most of November wide open, which means I will have plenty of time to write. As long as people are in the chatroom having word wars, this should be simple.

Now I just need to finish those outlines!

45.5 days until NaNoWriMo 2012

Holy crap. How did that happen? Two weeks until the NaNo forums are cleaned in preparation for the new year. It’s crazy. I don’t know how the time passed so quickly. What have I been doing with all my time? I was supposed to be working on the first draft of Let Go and finishing the first round of edits for Tilt Your Head and Smile, as well as working on outlining my NaNo project(s) – not to mention all the homework that I want to have done before then.

What have I actually accomplished so far? I’ve managed to stay a week and a half ahead of my classes as far as the homework is concerned. I’ve added about 11k to Let Go. I haven’t even looked at Tilt Your Head and Smile since July. I’ve added some more notes to my main NaNo project, but I’m not really much closer to figuring everything out than I was last month.

On the plus side, I have gotten more writing done this weekend. We left the house yesterday and hung out at the coffee shop down the street. I managed to write about 3k while I was there. I finished chapter 10 and started chapter 11. I’ve only written about 800 words so far today, but I’m a little over the halfway point for chapter 11, and chapter 12 should be really easy to write. I think I just needed to get over that little hurdle with chapter 9 (which was a big turning point for two of the characters). Now I’m feeling better about my novel again and am starting to get more into the NaNo spirit.

I also found out that one of the people I work with knows about NaNo and is planning on doing it this year. That was exciting. Most of the people at work just look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about NaNo. I’m hoping I can encourage her to go to write-ins or at the very least hang out in the NaNoLanta chat room, as that’s really what helps me during November. Because, despite what it looks like on this blog, I really can write a lot when I sit down and focus. I’ve just let myself get too distracted with other things for the past, you know, eight months.

But that’s going to change now. I have 22 chapters left to write for Let Go. I have 17 chapters left to edit for Tilt. I have at least one novel to outline for NaNo, though I would like to have two planned, just in case I actually manage to write as much as I was hoping to this year. I also have all of my big assignments for both classes due throughout the month of November. I’m going to try to do most of those in October, but I can only do so much ahead of time.

My goal for today is to finish writing the next chapter and a half of Let Go and to finish next week’s reading for my Foundations of Education class. I only have one chapter left to read, so it shouldn’t take me too long. Then I should really write my review for The Fault in Our Stars, which I finished a few days ago but haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet.