Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's always weird having a holiday on Monday, since it kicks off a week in a very funky way - I guarantee the rest of the week will be confusing and all of us will be thinking, "Gosh thank goodness it's Fri--OH WAIT IT'S TUESDAY."  Not fun, my dears. Not fun.

But anyhow!  Happy Halloween, all!  Did everyone do fun things over the weekend?  I myself...did not.  I literally did not leave the house once.  I did not dress up, didn't see any of my friends. And yes, that sounds really pathetic and sorry in a way, but I enjoyed it immensely.  I feel like I've been running around since...last year.  It's just been non-stop hanging out and birthdays and errands and stress...so it was really, really nice to not deal with any of that this weekend.

I also didn't do anything productive, which kind of sucked...but once again, a nice break. I did continue with my prep for NaNoWriMo, and I started getting all my Christmas lists going.  It feels early, but I know the next 8 weeks are going to absolutely fly by.

Anyone doing anything for Halloween? A few friends and I might just hang out at someone's house and pass out candy, but otherwise, it'll just be a regular Monday for me.  Most important to me is that Halloween means November 1 is the next day - which is the big start of National Novel Writing Month!  I've been stewing on this story idea for 2 months now, so it'll be a relief to finally get it started and down on paper (or a Word doc, as the case may be).

The rest of the week has no solid plans, though Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday are all friends birthdays; so there's bound to be something. Dinners and games and alcohol and maybe even a recording session??  Whoooo knowssss...

Have a wonderful week all!

PS. To finish out the month of nails, these are currently mine:
OPI - Take the Stage; with China Glaze - Black Diamond and It's Alive! as the alternative colours. 
I did take that last one off the day I said I would, but I let my nails be polish-free for a few days since that hasn't happened in 3-4 months.  Until tomorrow, these are mine!


It's Friday! Let's kick it off with Childhood blanks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Friday, all! I finally got started on all my NaNo stuff, so this weekend will be more prep and probably just hanging out with friends.  This is also the last weekend I have before holiday & birthday things happen (seriously, starting November 1, I don't go a single weekend without some birthday or holiday following.  Ridiculous!), so I'm going to take my time to chill out before I get all stress-y and busy.

Then again, I'm complaining about having too many friends with birthdays and the holidays. Not much of a complaint there, is it?  I know I'm lucky.

Anyway. Have a wonderful weekend, and let's get on some blanks!

Link up here to play along!

1.   When I was a kid I wanted to be     a writer or a ballet dancer    when I grew up.

2.   As an adult, my dream job would be   a YA book editor      .

3.  W hen I was younger I wanted to be just like  Josephine March from Little Women(still true!)   .

4. The childhood Halloween costume that I remember most was when I was   Pocahontas. Mostly because this other girl named Ashley also dressed up as Pocahontas and it was so much better than mine, but I looked way more like her. It was an upsetting time haha   .

5.  My favorite childhood toy was    Oregon Trail. Does this not count? I've been on a computer since I was a wee one, so I loved Oregon Trail and my Creative Writer program .

6.  The time I got into the biggest amount of trouble when I was a kid was when I     didn't buckle my seatbelt. I was super pissed off about something and refused to wear my seatbelt as an act of rebellion. I think I lasted an hour, and then got a week with no TV, an immediate time out at home and probably some other punishments, too   .

7.  I get daily inspiration from    other blogs, Twitter (it's a funny world out there, my friends) and most recently, Pinterest  .


Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When I first took on NaNoWriMo in 2009, I thought I knew what I was getting into. I am no stranger to long nights, long papers, and even longer feelings of despair.  I'm a wordy person, so 50k seemed do-able, and I had the time for it.


I wasn't that far off, to give myself a teensy bit of credit. It was rough and tough and a lot of despair.  I lost some time, allocated some time, pushed it, spent some long nights cranking away.  There were several days of triumph and even more of complete loss.  I managed to hit the 50k mark about 5 days before the deadline, and I think I may have actually wept a few tears.

But I was also utterly wrong.  I didn't realize how much fun it would be, how rewarding, how absolutely emotionally draining it is.  So much of your life gets consumed by this lovely, amazing 30 day challenge that you start to eat, think, breathe your characters.  Which gets really confusing in day-to-day life, as well as incredibly frustrating when your plot is losing its steam and direction.

I took on NaNo in 2010, and failed miserably. I had neither time nor sanity for it, and it crashed and burned 3 days in.  As I prepare for it now, I kind of know my process, know what to expect, and can figure out what needs to be done now, during, or never.  So, I share with you the things that work for me. Every writer is different, as we all know well - so maybe this won't help you in the least bit.  But maybe it will.

1) Develop your plot.
I don't really outline or prepare for things I'm writing.  I'm always thinking about it, but I don't take the time to write it down. Maybe it's because I know within 50 pages I'm going to deviate so badly from the outline it's hopeless to get back.  But the thing is, I always have some sort of direction in my head.  I know how I want to start, I know the first few things that will happen.  I know something I want to happen eventually.  I never know how it will end.

2) Develop your characters.
I've never been much of a pre-planner, but I am working on character development.  As the writer, you need to know your characters better than you know yourself.  To be able to strike that consistent voice, to keep your reader believing in your protagonist, you need to know.  You can do basic sheets of who you are choosing to make your character, or you can do in-depth analyses.  I found this on the NaNo forums in 2009, and I've used it ever since: Character Sheet (my apologies to the original poster, as I don't remember who it is and can't give credit!).  It seems silly to write such a profile on a fictional person who doesn't exist yet, but that's the point: you need to make your person real.

3) Use the NaNoWriMo forums.
Seriously, they are a saviour.  They are there for everything.  Want a Write-In?  Need to vent your frustrations?  Looking for a character name?  Need encouragement? Want to know the most obscure way a character can die using a pen, Hallmark card and trash bin?  It's there, or someone there will know.  I promise, no one on the forums will ever let you down.

4) Writing exercises.
If you're unlucky like me, you don't write every day.  Writing is a talent and a skill that never really goes away, but it is something that can't hurt being refreshed - especially when you're about to surmount 50k words  There are prompts everywhere on the web.  You can google them, or check out here, or in the forums there are always tons of suggestions.  NaNoWriMo has also done Sprints via their twitter, which are immensely helpful, and I hope will be done again this year.

One of my favorite things is www.oneword.com where you are given a 1-word prompt and 60 seconds to write anything about it.  It's timed within the site, and it will post automatically as soon as the minute is up. It's helpful to get out of your head and to write on instinct; and you also can't really go back and edit unless you want to give up half your minute to re-read and change things!  I'll post a few of mine tomorrow.

5) Plan your time.
Ok, this is actually a lie - I never plan out my time.  Some people keep strict goals for the day or week, and know down to the number what they still need.  I don't do that, but I definitely keep in mind what needs to get done and how long I have to finish it.  I'm aware that a daily minimum is 1667 words to make the goal; and I'm aware that I lose two days in November: Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  While I don't freak out until I have that 1667 for the day, I do adjust as needed. Most of the time I'll bump up my writing times the few days before Thanksgiving so I'm not playing crazy catch-up in the last few days of the month.

6) Find your writing nirvana.
It's important to know what environment you work best in.  Make a playlist, fluff up your pillow, bar your bedroom door so mom won't come pounding in right when you're at an interesting murder part in your novel.  Whatever it is, it's important that where you are nurtures your writing.  And likewise, understand that you won't always have your writing nirvana.  It's impossible to live sitting on your bed with a fresh cup of hot cocoa to your right and your fluffy dog to your left for 30 days straight.  You'll be taken out of your zone lots of times, and you have to know that you can push through it - if only to get back to your happy place.

This is perhaps the hardest thing for anyone to get comfortable with.  I've been writing for 19 years, and it still makes my heart skip thinking about it.  But this is also one of the most important rules when you're taking on NaNoWriMo.  I know the temptation of editing, especially when there's a part that you just need to take out or alter.  Unless it's something that will entirely affect your novel (such as your character goes to Moscow instead of what you'd originally written of Acapulco), then of course you have to.  But anything less than that, let it go.  When you go back and re-read, you not only waste valuable time, you're wasting your thought process.  You've interrupted your flow, and I can bet you'll start focusing on how poorly something was written or how little you like a part.  It's much more of a hinderance than you realize, I promise.  Just remember that as of December 1, you are free to go back and edit and change and cross out to your heart's content.

And lastly: 8) Be ok with sucky writing.
Here's the thing: all 50,000 words you write will not be Literary Enlightenment.  Your dialogue will not move you to tears like Hamlet's soliloquy.  Your murder scene will not make Agatha Christie jealous.  Your memoir of sorority days will not make Jen Lancaster envious, nor will your steamy sex scene make Harlequin romances blush.  That's just the way it goes - and you have to be ok with that.  Kathryn Stockett took 40 rejections and re-writes before The Help was published, and Jo Rowling did not gain immediate success.  You have to go through the hell of poor writing to recognize the ones that are great.

I'm all about encouragement in this exciting month though, so if you want some daily or weekly support, follow me on Twitter and/or leave your Twitter handle here and/or Tweet me and I'll make sure to check in with you throughout the month :)

Good luck everyone!


October Nails

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As I've alluded to before, and if you follow me on Twitter you know...I'm a bit of a Nail Polish Freak.  I don't really know how it happened, but I know it's gotten way worse in the past 4 months or so.  I used to only have a few bottles - maybe 6 or so.

Well, at last count, I'm somewhere in the 50-range.  So...it's gotten bad.  It's just something that's so versatile, for relatively cheap (if you know where to look), and it makes me feel happy.  I've never really been a vain person, or one who focuses a lot on clothing/style/make-up/accessories.  But I understand it with nail polish. Oh, do I ever.

So, I thought I'd show you the different nails I've had during the month of October. I don't usually change my polish that often (usually every 6-11 days), but with the ever-present costumes and parties I've been doing, I coordinate them - so this month's gotten a bit terrible. Plus, I can't stand chipped nails, so as soon as polish starts to come off...by the next day I'll have changed it.


Started off the month with:

Bad lighting. I look extremely tan.
OPI - Big Apple Red with China Glaze - Black Diamond tips

Changed to this for my Disney Halloween costume:
in sunlight so you can see it glittering
bad lighting, but at least you can see all the different glitter colours!
OPI - Extra-va-vaganza (Burlesque line)

Which I chipped pretty early because I didn't put enough top coat on, so it quickly turned to this:

China Glaze - Midtown Magic

And then I decided to get Halloween-y 3 days later, so my nails are currently this:

China Glaze - It's Alive (2011 Haunting collection) with OPI - Just A Little Rosti At This (Swiss Collection) tips/blood drips.

As I was typing up this post, my right hand ring finger started chipping (irony?), so tomorrow they'll probably be gone. I'll do another Halloween-themed one, but i have to decide which one first.

Please tell me I'm not the only one with a Polish craze!  Right?!?

PS. I apologize for such crappy photos!  Usually I take them in my car with sunlight (like the last, most recent one), but I've been slacking this month.  Promise to keep it consistent the next time :)


Somehow I knew it wouldn't last.

Source Unknown
So there was this guy.

It was never a relationship thing, always a friendship - and a pretty close one. We got along well, we fought in that i'll-always-love-you-BUTYOU'REWRONGDAMMIT! kind of way.  People mistook us for a couple sometimes, which skeeved me out because it was so far from that. It was a gradual friendship because of our circumstance (which I can't tell you, as it'll be particularly specific and if he were to ever stumble upon this, he'd know it was him in a *snap); we started out as acquaintances, which eventually morphed into more.

I didn't always like him, mind you. We're very different people: me a goody-two-shoes type, he the type that college experiences were based off.  He's done everything I've ever said I'd never do.  He's also one of those passionate people who will argue the death out of anything no matter if you're agreeing with him or not. I am not the argumentative type, as anyone who knows me (or barely knows me) could tell you.  Half the time I wondered if I liked him as a person, even respected him, because our differing views on several things are the type that started revolutions (seriously).  

And yet, we were friends. We didn't have a choice in how much time we spent together, and at least 40 hours a week together kind of forces something resembling a friendship.

So eventually, that's what we had. We started going out together, mixing our friends together and hitting the bars/clubs and going on weekend trips with friends and hanging out at his place.  There was a week where I saw him a good 150 hours (which is 168 hours, FYI) - no exaggeration. Texts were sent, calls were made - and not always because we had to.  There was some drama, there was some making up, there were some silences that meant anger and silences that meant comfort.

Then our circumstance changed, and we didn't need to see each other 40 hours a week; or even at all, really.  We had to communicate, but technology could span that.  And it seemed apparent that our friendship wasn't as strong as I'd thought.  We didn't talk as much, I didn't hear from him, we didn't go out on the weekend or after hours.  When we occasionally were together we'd fall back into our routine and it'd be as easy as nothing. He'd tell me to hang out with him, he'd say he wanted to see me, he'd asked me to friends' parties or gatherings.  And so I ignored that little nagging feeling.

Then the circumstance drastically changed: we didn't even need to communicate anymore.  I was no longer a part of what kept us together, and his role had changed anyway.  I didn't hear from him for 2 weeks.  I finally asked him to join my friends and me on a night out, in which case he insisted I meet up with him as he'd already been out; so we did - and then when our friends were chatting, they all invited us to a party they were having the next day.  So we went. And then I didn't hear from him again, until 2 weeks later when there was a function we were both required to be at.  And it was easy again, and simple and we were who we always were.

For a long time, I'd been feeling like I was making all the effort.  I was the one who had to always invite him places, I was the one who had to always call him or tell him where I was.  In which case, most of the time he'd tell me where he was, and if I wanted to see him I had to go to him.  I didn't really think much of it, but once I took a step back and started seeing it...I couldn't ignore it anymore.  He never, ever initiated anything.  And when he claimed he had, it was always a "why don't we hang out anymore??  hit me up!" which is just a stupid manipulative way of making it seem like he cares but is, in fact, asking you to chase him.

The last time we spoke, I told him I'd be in his area the next day and I wanted to grab lunch with him around 1pm.  He said definitely.  I ran my errands, went to my appointments, turned down a friend because I had plans with this guy.  I called him by 12:45 - no answer.  Again at 1 - no answer.  Again at 1:10, because I was on a schedule - no answer.  By 1:30, I'd moved onto a different errand and skipped lunch, thinking we'd go later.  I was getting agitated, as I had to be back in my area by 3 and time was running out.

Finally at 2, he texted me.
      Hey. Sorry I missed your calls, I was at the gym. What's up?
      So, are we doing lunch?
      I have work to do, actually.  Gotta be at my place.
      Besides, I ate before the gym.
      Didn't we make plans for lunch around 1?
      Yeah, but I wanted to go to the gym. And I was hungry.
      It couldn't have waited?
      I guess so.  But I was hungry. And now I have to work.
      You couldn't have called me earlier to bump up the time?
      I didn't think about it.

And I made the choice at that moment to never initiate anything with him again.

It's been 5 weeks.  And so far, I don't regret it.  It's been a bit weird.  Having a friend that was a constant to be...nothing. I still feel a bit odd when I go out and don't text him, or when I'm making plans and don't let him know.  But all it's proven to me is that I made the right choice, because I haven't heard a peep out of him since.  This guy, who was always telling me how much I meant to him, and pleading with me to help him out, and always telling me he wanted to see me hasn't made any sort of contact in 35 days.  Which was spurred by him blowing me off completely without even a second thought.

It kind of sucks, I won't lie about that. I enjoyed his company most times, and our friends hung out together. Without him, my usual Night Out Group went from 11 to 4.  It's been an adjustment.

But I accept this change in status. Because I don't need to feel like I'm putting in 100% effort for 0% return. Because I know I matter, that I'm a friend who tries - and it isn't fair to get nothing back.  If he doesn't think I'm a worthy friend to call, then...I won't be.


Parties and Pictures!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Short post today as I'm still absolutely exhausted from the weekend festivities of brother's birthday - which was a resounding success!  A few hiccups of course, but all for the better in the end.  Unfortunately my sleep schedule just did not hold up and in 72 hours I managed roughly 13 of sleep; the rest were running around gathering materials, planning, coordinating, driving and actually going through all the activities.  Note to self: next time, give yourself more than 3 days to get your shit together!

Pictorial evidence of what I've been doing the past few weeks!

Brother's girlfriend's birthday party - Princess/Adventure Time-themed.  If you spot me, I know it looks like I didn't dress up - but I swear I did!  I'm Marceline, from Adventure Time.  Reference:

Disneyland Halloween!  My first time doing the Holiday circuit at Disneyland, which is sad since I'e had an annual pass for quite some time now. But that's ok. It was wonderful and filled with that Disney magic we all know and love.  Lots of pumpkins and WAY too much candy to even think about.  For those that don't know what it is, the Park closes to guests at 7pm and only those who purchased special Halloween passes can enter - all the rides are open, and they set up stations throughout the entire park that hand out candy to you.

And yes, I am the bright blue blob: aka, The Fairy Godmother from Cinderella!  That costume was a biiiiiitch to make. Seriously, never using Costume Satin again.  But it turned out relatively ok, and it was easily recognizable so that was good; I even had a bunch of little kids say "Oh my God look mom, it's the Fairy Godmother!" and a few picture requests! And bonus: I got to carry a wand. Who wouldn't want that?!

Brother's surprise birthday party!  He never makes a big deal about his birthday, so this year me, his girlfriend and two of our friends decided to pull together and throw a surprise day for him. It was originally supposed to be a Scavenger Hunt spanning San Diego, North County San Diego, and Orange County, but somehow it morphed into a day of Minute To Win It based games. Not what I really wanted, but a blast nonetheless!  There were several typical games, a few multi-player games we adjusted ourselves, and a flour-based game (as you can see from the picture) that I feel was good in theory, but perhaps not in execution.  We finished the day with a delicious Lucille's BBQ dinner in Irvine/Tustin and cake/board games back at our house.  Exhausting and frustrating and a headache, but totally, totally worth it.


It's Friday and finally feeling like Fall!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Radio silence on the blog again folks - sorry about that. It's been a huge Halloween Madness in my life, which has now turned into brother's birthday madness. But luckily, his festivities will end by Monday, which means my life can return to the norm of unemployment and crafty-goodness.  And blogging! So much blogging!

What are your weekend plans?  As mentioned, it's my BroBear's birthday so we're having a dinner with friends.  We're thinking of something else too, but if it happens, it'll be a secret...so shhh!  Can't write it here, lest he find it ;)

Let's fill in some blanks, shall we??

1.   Nothing says fall like     pumpkin and/or cinnamon-spiced baked goods  .

2.   My favorite autumnal tradition is   gearing up for Black Friday. Yes, it's very commercial, but it's the excitement and fun of being up at such odd hours for the holidays     .

3.  My favorite fall treat is   pumpkin chocolate chip muffins from Coffee Bean. Delish!  .

4. Fall makes me think of    snow    because    I live in an area where Fall = Winter. We don't really have seasons in San Diego: it's hot, and then not-as-hot.  So when it becomes not-so-hot, I always think of it as other people's winters...which is snow.  Yeah, that was a very long train of thought   .

5.  Autumn free form word association, go!   leaves, crisp air, boots, jackets, pumpkin spice lattes! .

6.  My go-to outfit in the fall is    leggings, flawy top, cardigan, boots and a scarf. Maybe leg warmers if it's colder  .

7.  My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving)    Thanksgiving!  I actually really don't like Halloween - the slutty dressing up, all the candy sugar sweets which make me break out like crazy, and then I'm a bit of a scaredy-cat. I have a crazy spider phobia, so Halloween just freaks me out. Plus, Thanksgiving is wonderful; it's food and family and laughing and the parade and dog show and football and the prelude to Christmas .


An Old Favourite

Saturday, October 8, 2011

And it's breaking my heart
I'm trying to keep it together
But I'm falling apart
I'm feeling all out of my element
Throwing things, crying
Trying to figure out
Where the hell I went wrong
The pain reflected in this song
Ain't even half of what I'm feelin' inside
I need you
Need you back in my life, baby...


It's Friday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Friday, all!  Any plans for the weekend?  I've got a dinner and night out with my girlfriends, but aside from that I think I'll lay low - being sick still and having gone on such an exhausting (but lovely) vacation requires some recovery time.  I'm also going to start sewing my costume for Disneyland Halloween!

Link up here!

1.   Something popular that I can't stand/just don't "get" is    the TV show Vampire Diaries. Maybe it's because I found the main girl SO unlikable and bratty when I started reading the books and gave up on them, and that has just transferred over to the show...but I don't see the appeal.  (Note: this does not mean I don't see the appeal of Ian Somerhalder.  YES PLEASE).

2.   Something unpopular that I secretly love is   capes. I've heard they're sort of coming back in style?  Probably more so in England, but not so much here in San Diego.  They're comfortable and cute and I love the silhouette  .

3.  When I've had a bad day I  go home, take a long shower, wrap myself in a blanket and watch Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley 2005 version)   .

4. I'd prefer   a coffee shop talk   to   a night out on the town    any day.

5.  Something that makes me nervous is   dressing up for Halloween. This year is the first year I'll be doing it in about 20 years, and it's freaking me out. I get anxious at the idea of purposely drawing attention to myself .

6.  Something worth fighting for is    marriage equality. There are few causes/fights I am truly passionate about, and that is one of them. I will fight until the day I die for the right to marriage for EVERYONE.  NO TO PROP (H)8!

7.  When people think of me, I hope they think   that I am kind and truthful and creative with an open and caring heart  .


Why the bloggy silence in the last week and a half?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I don't know how many regular readers I really have anymore, but for those left: sorry for the radio silence going here the last week and a half!  I did really well with posting the week before, but I was craaaazy busy all of last week and could not find the time.

Why was I so busy, you ask?

Because I was in Portland!  (And Seattle, but that was really only for about 38 hours).

And let me tell you guys, I am in love with that city.  Like...I mean, I'll always love San Diego. It's so ingrained into my heart and soul I couldn't ever not love it.  But Portland has definitely edged its way up there.  To the point where I am heavily considering moving there - and if not really, I will be job searching up there. And if an opportunity comes up, I have absolutely no problem taking it.

Once I get my pictures uploaded I'll talk more about the city and how wonderful and personable and weird and beautiful it is, but for now I will sneak peak you with this (and if you are my friend IRL, you've seen this via my Facebook):

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

We just landed back in SD Tuesday night around 11pm, so this has been my first day back and I'm trying to clear up all the things I've missed and get back into my routine.  And predictably, I came down with a crazy head cold while there, so I am still residually sick from that.  I'm trying my best to get over it, but my voice belies the health. As does my sniffly nose and cough.  It doesn't help that it's cold and rainy in San Diego, so it's all just under the weather. (pun!)

I am back to regularly scheduled programming though - not that I had any regular schedule, but at least some sort of regularity on this blog. And hopefully a nice layout change to go with it soon, as well as some new content. I've been considering including a hobby of mine that I've been kind of hiding (but not really, if you follow my twitter and see these tweets) on this blog, but was always a bit hesitant to. Not that I'm ashamed of it (because who is ashamed of nail polish?) but because way back when I was a real blogger with real posts on my really real active blog, the majority of my readers were boys. And there are few things I can think of that will make men hit "mark as read" faster than a post about my nail polish of the week.

But hey. My blog, my rules, right?  So...it'll come!

Anyway. I am now off to finally finish my work packet (even though I quit more than 3 weeks ago...ugh. That's a whole other blog entry) and trudge home in the rain.  I hope everyone has been wonderful the past couple weeks!


About Me

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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i'm probably reading

Zoe's bookshelf: read

The Dragon's EyeAngelsThe Lightning ThiefThe Man of My DreamsCity of GlassCity of Ashes

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