Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Good Things

Hello, everyone!

I just love posting new entries. I like to post things that are fun, exciting, happy, or new. Today, I have two good things to post.

The first is this: I won in NaNoWriMo! Basically, that means I hit 50,000 words in a little less than thirty days. Isn't that fantastic? I got a certificate, too, a dowloadable certificate that I can print out, with my name and book title on there. It's pretty neat. I may end up getting myself one of the NaNo coffee cups. That would be fun, drinking out of a cup that sports the little Viking NaNoWriMo logo. Don't you think?

I am going to take a break from Badger for right now, and do revision on him a little later. I've completed his story, but I need to do the revision, and I can't do it right now. You wouldn't believe how much of yourself you pour into a story. I'm a little drained, emotionally, to revise his story at this moment, so I'm focusing instead on different magazines and online e-zines, to see if there are some out there I want to write and submit to. There's about six magazines/ e-zines I want to explore tonight.

My second good news is this: It's the first Sunday of Advent. That means it's about four weeks to Christmas.
I love, love, love Christmas. It's my absolute most favourite time of year. Advent is my favourite, favourite, favourite, favourite season, the preparation for the coming of the little Christ Child.

Contrary to what you might believe, we are actually not in the Christmas season yet, though the world tries to make you think we are. This is the time of preparation before Christmas, when we are readying our hearts for the coming of Our Lord. The actual season of Christmas doesn't start until the first Mass on Christmas Eve, and it goes on, liturgically, until January 14th, which is the Octave of January Sixth, the Feast of the Epiphany. Spiritually, the season of Christmas is celebrated until the Feast of Candlemas on February 2nd.

For the first Sunday of Advent, we set up the Advent wreath, with its three purple candles, one pink candle, and one white candle set in the middle of the wreath. We put out the empty stable with only the lowly donkey inside it. (Don't worry, we'll add the rest of the figures each Sunday, until Baby Jesus makes His dwelling there on Christmas Morning.) The manger that sits on the little stool in our living room is empty. There is no Christ Child in it, for He has yet to be born.

This first Sunday of Advent, it is tradition to bless the wreath and say a little prayer over the wreath. After the blessing, the first purple candle is lit, then the prayer for that Sunday is said. In our house, after we say that prayer, we sing two verses from "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and leave the candle lit throughout the Sunday dinner. During the rest of the week, we only sing one verse of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and we blow the candle out before we eat. Each Sunday, a new candle is lit, until Christmas day, when we light the white Christ Candle. It's beautiful.

If you'd like to read more about Advent, here is a great site for you to browse. God bless!

The Fish Eaters:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanksgiving is such a lovely time for my family. We always have a beautiful brown turkey, cut into separate piles of white meat and dark meat, thick whipped gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegetables, salad, and stuffing.

The best part is that we use fancy dishes, set the table quite elegantly, and have fun beverages to drink. Red wine is my preference, but highballs are lovely, too.
To top it off, Dad always listens to Nat 'King' Cole sing "O Holy Night". It is the first time before Christmas that we listen to Christmas songs. Me, before I get off tonight, I'm going to make sure I listen to Josh Groban sing "O Holy Night." That's my favourite version of the song, and my favourite singer, too. (If you want to listen to it, here's a link: )

It's kind of interesting how we celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a United States/ Canadian holiday. In America, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thrusday of the month of November. In Canada, they celebrate it on the second Monday of October, which is the United States' Columbus Day.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated back in 1621. It was a feast shared between the Wampanoag Indians and the Plymouth colonists, after the colonists managed to survive the first grueling months of settlement and benefit from their corn harvest. Also, this Thanksgiving did not occur in November, the way it does now. The pilgrims' first Thanksgiving was celebrated in December, and it was a feast that lasted for three days, instead of just one.

Between the 1600's and 1800's, Thanksgiving was celebrated sporadically by different separate colonies and settlements. Thanksgiving wasn't officially made a holiday until 1863, during the Civil War. President Lincoln proclaimed that a national Thanksgiving Day be celebrated every year in November.

Here are several different links that you can follow, to read more about Thanksgiving. God bless, and happy Thanksgiving reading!

Friday, November 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 19!

Wow, can you believe we're already 19 days into this thing? It's amazing how fast it's going. The really exciting bit is that my novel is almost done. I'm looking forward to the revision process. I think it's unjust that my inner editor is waiting until NOW to start being domineering!

How are all the rest of you doing? I know some people weren't able to do it this year, but I'm so glad you put the effort into trying. Sometimes, life gets complicated, and I'm only grateful that the story I chose to write was simmering forever in the stove top of my memory, just waiting to boil out. I don't think I would have come as far as I did if the story didn't beg itself to be written.

Happy NaNoing, for the next eleven days. Only eleven days, people. WE CAN DO IT!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 14

Yay! I hit 40,000 words today in NaNo. It's amazing how a novel can just take off, so long as you let yourself go and promise you'll be back to fix that one scene (or two, or three, or ten scenes), that are really bothering you. The freedom is in the JUST WRITING bit. I love it.

It's funny, isn't it, how a story can kind of end up doing it's own thing. In the beginning, Badger was going to have a hard time all right, but I wasn't expecting him to get hit by a car, or get chloroformed, or get handcuffed, or wind up as a suspect in a murder. I mean, I thought he had enough to handle with his Dad's death, and his brother's kidnapping. Wasn't that enough drama? Apparently not!

One of the things I love about writing is the adventure. You may think you have the journey plotted out quite neatly in your head, but when you go to travel it, it's much more vast and complex than you realised.

My advice? Go with the flow. Push your character to his ultimate limit. If you don't like what you've got, there's always the "delete" button. But the ideas can flicker and die if you don't write them down. Write them down, and see what happens. Go with the flow. Revise later. Have fun. Just be a writer for awhile, and not an editor.

Good luck! God bless! Happy writing, NaNoers! (And all other writers, of course). Have fun, be confident, keep writing, and good night.

(And don't forget, Josh Groban's CD is coming out tomorrow. BUY IT! LOVE IT! And, of course, keep writing to it. :))

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 11

So, it wasn't such a bomb of a day. I actually was able to write about 900 words, which was a big thing for me.

I'm so glad I'm off on vacation tomorrow. Work was long, and packing was longer. I feel like I'm forgetting everything, even though I know I'm not. What I'd really like to do right now is sit down and watch Tim Hawkins, except it's 10 pm, and I need to get up at 3 am to leave for the train station. Bummer.

So, I'll say my prayers and spend a little while staring up at the shadows on my ceiling. While I lay there, I'll probably remember stuff I still need to pack, and hopefully by the time I get up I'll still remember what it was I remembered... if that made any kind of sense.

So, 900 words today! That was stellar. Really. I thought I'd do a great big zero, so I'm happy with 900. We'll see what happens tomorrow. My brain's fuzzy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 10

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. I've been rocking on Badger's Cross. I'm falling more in love with my MC every day. I wish he were real.

One fun thing about NaNo... They have some fun videos you can watch to get "inspired". They're like these fun pep talks. They make me laugh when I watch them, and it recharges my battery. Check it out!

I'm going to be ridiculously busy for the next couple days. Somehow, I have to find time to pack tomorrow on my 45 minute lunch break, because after work I'm going to have dinner at a restaurant that's about an hour from where I live, and the reservation is for 7 pm. It's a staff dinner, so I HAVE to go, but I'm not going to get home till late, and then I get to get up at around 3 am next morning to catch the train that will propel me on my vacation! I'm nore sure how many, if any, words I'll get written tomorrow.

Do they have power cords on trains? 'Cause I think I'm going to spend the travel typing. Gotta share all I can about Badger, you know!

Goodnight, everyone. Have fun writing!

(Oh, and a small happy aside: Josh Groban's new CD, Illuminations, will be available in stores on 11/15/10. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)
God bless.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 4

Hurray, I hit my word count goal for the week. Know what that means? I get a Starbucks coffee. Oh yeah!

One thing I wanted to share. I received a critique from a friend at my Writer's Retreat a few weeks ago. He's a fantastic critic, and he made an excellent point that I just wanted to share.

When you are writing, and you want to change your passive voice to an active voice, simply do this: Go through, find all the verbs that end in "ing", and change MOST of them to "ed". Believe it or not, that automatically takes your writing to the stronger active voice.

My second thing I wanted to share: Cut extraneous adverbs. Don't rely on three different words, all the time, to say one thing. SAY JUST THE ONE THING.

Good night! Happy writing. Yay for NaNo! Have fun with me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 3

There really is nothing like getting into the flow of a story. I could write all day, if only the computer's glare wasn't quite so bad. :-)

Seriously, once I get past the first five hundred words, it feels like I could write forever... until I hit a block. That doesn't usually happen for at least another thousand words.

If no one has done NaNo yet, I encourage you to try next year. Have the NEED to write 1,667 words a day is a great spur to one's creativity. There's nothing like typing the amount of words into the NaNo records and seeing the sentence "One unsuccessful day" pop up to encourage one to keep writing until the full allotted amount is attained. It's fantastic, being PUSHED to complete a goal.

One thing I noticed during these three days of NaNo. It's really a great feeling just WRITING a story. I love going through and just pouring my thoughts onto the paper without feeling the need to go back through and edit as I write. I get a lot more words written, and I feel fantastic about myself at the end of the day.

Right now, Badger just had a small meltdown, and is wondering if his mind is wandering. I'm feeling very bad for him. This MC of mine is going to be pushed through the entire gamut of tragedy that I can thrust on a human being: sorrow, grief, anger, rage, disillusionment, faithlessness, despair, forgiveness, all that kind of stuff. He just got hit by a car, too, so he's going to lead a very exciting life for the next 27 days. Poor Badger! :-)

I'm just loving this. I can't wait for the climax. Too bad I have to wait for another 27 days (or so) before I reach teh exciting conclusion. Death, drugs, revenge gone wrong... it's going to be fun!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo... Day 2

It's now about 8:32 pm where I live, and I must say I'm just having so much fun with NaNo right now. I'm absolutely loving the pressure that's making me sit and write, and not waste time on the internet, or checking my email, or playing stupid games.

As I'm writing, and just letting the words come (keeping that inner editor locked away inside myself. She's not coming out until after NaNo's over, and then we'll sit down together and edit), I'm just loving how, once I hit a certain amount of words, the flow just starts. Ideas and images flash into my head so fast my poor little fingers just can't keep up with my thoughts. It's fantastic.

I'm sure, as time goes by, the ideas might flicker a little bit, but for right now, I'm going to enjoy the ride. Besides, I'm going on vacation come November 12th through the 20th, so I'm trying to write as MUCH as I can, 'cause who knows how many words I'll hit during that period, you know?

But oh, I can't describe how much I'm loving my MC! He's such a poor, confused, bitter little guy. I feel so bad about what I'm putting him through, but at the same time I'm glowing with the knowledge of how he's going to turn out. I can't wait to reach these next few chapters. Action is going to happen, boy!

Uh oh! My computer battery is down to eight percent. My computer is one of those that gives you a warning, and then, about five minutes later, the screen goes black and the computer shuts down. SO, I'm going to say goodnight for now, before I lose everything I've written. Until then, good night! God bless! Happy writing! Cheers, NaNo nuts! Talk to you later.
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