And without warning… #NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of the year again in which thousands of people all over the world abandon their lives, their family, their jobs and their general well being to try and complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I feel as if this year’s event really snuck up on me. I almost forgot to complete my returning-ML form. I have not given my plot much thought since about… well… Today. And, I almost forgot to organise my region’s Kick Off party. It seems that this year, truly, November couldn’t have come at a worse time. But, I take heart in the fact that I’m not the only one unprepared. A lot of students are writing exams, it’s end of the year functions, it’s school, work, terrible weather (both hot and cold depending on which hemisphere you live in) and all round end of the year depressed funk.

Nothing seems like a better idea than to ask the organisers of the event to delay it another month… or two… Or maybe three.

And, in that lies the problem that NaNoWriMo tries to solve. (For those new to this – NaNoWriMo means National Novel Writing Month). There are a lot of ‘one day novelists’ out there. People who keep telling themselves that ‘one day’ they’ll write that novel. They keep putting it out and putting it out for a more convenient time but the truth is that no time is better than NOW. You see, we are so good at delaying ourselves, that we end up delaying ourselves in definitively. Which is why an event like NaNoWriMo is so great. It forces you to take a step, to write a book and get it done quickly. The focus is not on quality, but on quantity. The more you get out, the more you can edit in December.

A friend of mine, Suzanne Lazear, managed to use her NaNoWriMo book which she eventually got published. (Innocent Darkness will be released August 2012).

Things can happen during November that can change your life. I’ve done it for two years now (this will be my third) and I’ve been surprised everytime.

So, if you are a ‘one day’ novelist then maybe, it’s worth giving NaNoWriMo a chance. Not only will you get to write that book, but you’ll meet people such as yourself and find out exactly how hard/easy it is to write that book that you’ve been dreaming of for so long.

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Of Aliens and Pigeons.

If you’ve been following my tweets you’d have noticed that there’s been a bit of an extraterrestrial trend in them. I’ll confess that I’ve had alien invasion on the brain (in no small thanks to Mass Effect 3 marketing – I present to you exhibit A).

Now, my gaming addiction aside, there’s actually a little bit more to this than meets the eye. The weekend before last I was dragged to a company function in which we treated our customers (and their partners) to a night away at a local game lodge. One of the activities presented there was Lazer Clay Pigeon Shooting. Although not nearly as fun as the real thing (which I did a lot in England), it was an interesting activity to observe and also, to see what my colleagues were capable of.

The ‘Alien’ theme took seed in my mind when I watched a colleague of mine miss pigeon after pigeon and after her fifth failed attempt at hitting the poor defenceless disk I found myself saying out loud:

“You know, when the Aliens come you’ll be amongst the first to go. I’m not hiding with you.”

The observers had a good laugh about it (though carefully when they saw me take the lead in the women’s shooting department and then finally almost win the shooting competition against the one client who had been shooting competitive for years…) and I got so distracted by the work that I let the subject drop.

It was only last week as I was driving from my one client to the other (through a desolate piece of farm land) that the theme came back. As I was driving around fairly early – there was nobody out on the roads. I found myself looking around and thinking:

I wonder if I’d notice if Aliens came and took everybody. Would they notice me? Would they not think to look in this god forsaken piece of land?
Maybe? Maybe not?

And of course, then I found myself thinking: What would I do if the Aliens came?

I’ve been amusing myself with this for the past week and although it’s not the most elaborate brainwave that I’ve had in the past couple of months, its shown me that I’m on track again, that what ever silence had trapped my mind in the past couple of months had dissipated and allowed space for more ‘silly’ thoughts. When I was in England I had reached a point in my life there that I had thought enough, that place where I had turned over every thought in my mind so many times that I was willing to just put it all on the shelf and let them sort themselves out.

I think (perhaps because of the extensive driving that I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks) that I’ve reached that point again. And, it’s a good point to be at.

So, hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me again. I’m hoping to continue back into some semblance of a routine and also log my writing progress (which I’ve been neglecting terribly).

NaNoWriMo is around the corner as well and yours truly will be competing again. I’m not shooting for the 100k words that I did last year. No, this time I’m hoping to accomplish something (And see a fellow Tweeter StillDormant in a dress) and to finally start working on all my outstanding projects again.

So watch this space and – if you see an Alien, call me.

I can shoot the hell out of it…

When We Stand Together

I’ve had a pretty rough weekend, which has been a focus point and summary of what my life’s been like really. One unexpected disaster on top of another, being pulled in a million directions at once without me actually wanting to go in any of them.

And, worry. Fear of the future. All mixed together into one big mess of what has become my life. Yet, through it all – I’ve survived. My partner’s been super, bringing me to realize why we as people need to be more than one. Yes, I can focus on my own, I can get through things without the help of others. But it will be harder and I won’t necessarily be a better person at the end of the day. My partner became my moral compass this weekend, my guide and I think that I’m starting to learn that sometimes, it’s not bad to follow other people’s advice. Especially those who care for you. Deeply.

Another light this weekend has been the release of Nickleback’s new single – When We Stand Together. I have a long history with Nickelback the band (not the man naturally, lol). I started listening to them when I was still dating my first boyfriend and the music has followed me through my life. Some of their songs were amazing, others not so much. Like moments in my life really.

Yet, when I look at this new song – I can truly say that things have become better with time – that their music has just become better and that you must never think that the moment in which you are in now (or the song that you are listening to) is the best that there is because it isn’t. So, listening to When We Stand Together, I find myself hoping that the best is yet to come – and that life will improve.

And become amazing.

Novocaine

There’s one thing about people’s logic that I can not understand.

We are not allowed to properly discipline our children anymore, touching strangers in public is generally frowned upon and hitting people are out.

Yet, we are more than happy to pay some dentist to torture us for everything from half an hour to an hour. I don’t understand that but then again, I don’t understand dentists and I really don’t like them.

I’ve had a pretty destructive week. I broke my car, broke my shower, broke one of my favourite cups and broke my tooth. In the tooth’s defence, it’s been begging to go. I’ve had trouble with it for almost a year. Every six months or so I suck it up and go to the dentist only to have myself told that I either need to get a nerve removed or there’s nothing wrong. I’ve stopped going since November last year, having decided just to tough it out. Thinking about it now, that’s probably the reason I can be pretty bad tempered at times.

This past week was no exception and I’ve really had to focus to keep my temper in general. The reason? Apart from my car that is, my sensitive tooth had become an aching tooth. It caught me off guard at night where I’d wake up from a sudden explosion in my mouth (I grind my teeth on a regular basis) and chewing anything harder than a cooked pea was painful. It reached a crescendo last night when I was having peas and potatoes (with mayonnaise and cheese… Yum). I was happily munching away at my first proper meal for the day when quite suddenly a shock ran through my mouth. I knew without a doubt, seconds after almost choking on my potatoes in pain, that I had broken something. At first, I thought it was the filling in said tooth but then as I rushed to the mirror and worked the hard bits out of my mouth I realized that it was in fact my tooth.

Dismay hit me like a rock because I knew that it meant I had to go to the dentist. There was no getting out if it this time, I had to go so that they could sort out the gaping hole in my gums.

I summed up my courage and went right after I’ve seen most of my clients for the day. I had to pay an emergency fee up front and then waited for almost two hours to be helped. When the dentist finally saw me, I was a wreck but I kept myself together even when I realized that he was preparing to give me a shot of novocaine. I’ve never found the sensation pleasant as it seems to have a bit of a delayed reaction in me. I’ve told this to my dentists countless times but they never listen. Once, one even drilled into my tooth live because he didn’t believe that I could still feel a thing. When I jumped up in pain, the nurse held me down. It was frightening and that experience is forever locked in my mind.

Today was no exception but luckily the dentist waited for the stuff to work properly before he started working on me. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Because I can’t afford a crown, he decided to build up the tooth which didn’t take a lot of time but it was just enough to reduce me to a bundle of nerves. I was so tense (and suffering from facial paralysis thanks to the novocaine) by the time that I left his room that I couldn’t even take out my debit card from my purse to pay for the torture. The assistant made me sit down for several minutes before she came round with the bill again.

I’m not even embarrassed to admit it!

I don’t know what type of person becomes a dentist and the worst part is that we need them. I know with the certainty of a bitter cold that I will have to return within the next 6 months, either to take care of this same tooth or to deal with a different one.

It is not something I look forward to.

Blood Moon Decisions

I was watching the total lunar eclipse this week on Wednesday eve and I found myself thinking that it was probably a great opportunity for olden priests and holy men to get their people to get themselves sorted out. There’s nothing more convincing than the moon disappearing to use as a benchmark to threaten the masses into submission.
Or, to get their shit in line.
As I looked at the dark moon, seeing its strange blood like reflection looking down at me, I realized without a doubt that I needed to get my own shit in line as well.
I took a big step this week, applying for veterinary science after working for five years in Agriculture. I did this for a number of reasons, one of them being that I was tired of being a sales representative. My company calls me a technical advisor, but inevitably, I am a sales rep – no matter which way you looked at it. And, quite frankly – I’m tired of it.
The other reasons are more personal, though one of them includes trying to finish something that I started and never completed. You see, years ago I thought I would become a vet and started on the program but youthful ignorance of the world made me drop out and follow my own foolish path.
I don’t regret it, but I’m at a point where I realize that I’ll never get any further than I am now unless I do something drastic like become a vet. I wanted to walk a different path than that of marketing, returning more to the technical side of animal production and the only way I could do that was if I had a “Dr.” behind my name. It was either that or go overseas again and, with my Other Half here, that wasn’t an option.
So, in the event that I get it I have to start preparing for a few things.
I have to start get used to studying again, and revise my old university work. I have to start saving (though that I’ve already done) because chances are I won’t have a lot of time to work and study.
And, I have to sort out my current writing WIP’s. I want to get my novel to first draft status by the end of the year (screw my previous goal of just having 50K). I want to finish my fan fiction stories.
And, I want to make sure that this is the right choice – that I will actually finish it this time in the event that I get selected.
I know that this is a big step and even the woman who had to help me with my application tactfully started with the words: “Err, you don’t look 22 anymore…” (Yes, I know I’m going gray, don’t RUB IT IN!) But, this is something that I want to do, have to do.
And, it’s something to hold onto, something that might well get me through my job for the rest of the year.