(definition further explained in this post if you still aren't satisfied)

Saturday, October 31, 2009


NNWM Status Update: It's less than half an hour now until November officially begins! Excitement levels reaching critical!
The funny thing is, do you remember that little dream of having a plot outlined by now? Yeah....that never got done. Up until browsing the NaNo forums and viewing Wrimo blogs and vlogs a few hours ago, I was getting dangerously close to an official Freak Out Session. It wasn't until I began hearing from other Wrimos that an unexpected feeling began to creep across my psyche...it was a sense of well-being. An everything-is-going-to-be-okayness, if you will. In fact, I began to get even more excited about midnight because I was suddenly able to fully embrace my plotlessness. This wonderful new feeling blossomed because I realized that tons of other Wrimos had absolutely nothing planned out, and many of them were all the more optimistic because of it. I love Wrimos!
What's going to happen? Who's going to pop out unexpectedly? Who knows? I don't! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


November's almost here, and every Wrimo knows what that means! We're all preparing for an entire month of:

-very little sleep
-lots of caffeine
-comparing word counts
-meeting with our MLs
-attending every writing party humanly possible
-agonizing over plot points
-hand muscle spasms
-being terrified of computer crashes
-dozens of papers/word files strewn about
-muttering to ourselves deep into the early hours of the morning
-seeing our characters everywhere we go
-enthusiastically chronicling that last flash of inspiration
-anticipating the completion of our friends' awesome-looking novels

What an interesting experience this promises to be...

I'm actually a newcomer who doesn't quite know what to expect. I didn't even discover NaNoWriMo's existence until a few weeks ago, but now I find myself obscenely excited about it. What better way to top the experience of writing a no-holds-barred novel than writing one at the same time as thousands of other Wrimos around the world?

Anyway, I plan to continue regular posts. As an added bonus to keep you informed of my progress, I'll also label my NaNoWriMo updates with NNWM as an abbreviation, demonstrated here by my lovely assistant example:

NNWM Status Update: I don't know my plot yet, although I hope to have an outline by November. Thankfully, I have one idea that I've fairly fallen in love with, and hope to be able to build a plot and characters around that. I've done a few freewritings, which really helps with generating ideas, so we'll see what happens! :)

To prepare, I've actually managed to clean most of my room. This is an accomplishment for me, considering how messy and haphazard I usually am. (My technique is usually much closer to the throw-it-on-the-bed-or-in-the-floor-or-on-a-pile-and-get-to-it-later approach, which, for some reason, doesn't seem very effective when I indefinitely put off the getting-back-to-it-later part.) It seems as if this event brings out the best in me!

I would also really love to put together a completely decorated, eclectic writing space by November. I've already found a few things to set up from cleaning my room, and hopefully I won't have to spend much money at all to make an area that really gets my creative juices flowing.

If you plan to do NaNoWriMo too, post a comment to tell me a bit about your game plan! Hopefully, I can look forward to meeting many fascinating and quirky writers such as yourself through this experience.

And so I prepare to embark on a daring and exciting journey! I'll send word through posts and updates, and see you on the other side!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Meteors and God

Last night, I walked out of the house at three o'clock in the morning. I got in the car and drove. Past the high school, past the big intersection, past Wal Mart....past civilization and into the night. I didn't stop until only my headlights revealed a way through the dark. Once I found that dark place, I pulled off the road and turned off the engine to stand outside. Leaning against the side of the car, I looked up.

That night there was supposed to be a meteor shower, and I was going to see one for the first time.

As I stared at the still-tranquil sky, profound thoughts began to fill my mind. (This is, of course, because it is impossible to look up at the night sky without becoming a philosopher. It's part of the experience.) As my mind whirred, the stars seemed far away, as I had come to this place expecting. What I didn't foresee was the feeling of a large, encompassing ceiling pressing down on me. The stars suddenly looked very close! I was not only amazed, but I felt weirdly comforted. The sky-ceiling made the entire world feel smaller, like a big room instead of a planet. I blinked repeatedly, expecting the illusion to quickly dissolve, but it actually took thinking to make the sky go back. It took a change in mental perception instead of physical perception. Such a start to my adventure, though a bit confusing, was much preferable to sleep.

Abruptly, a few swooshy things (and yes, that is the technical astronomy term,) swooped at the edges of my vision. My eyes darted around the sky, trying to tell me if the movement was an illusion and unable to come up with an answer. As I tried to stalk movement with my eyeballs, it occured to me that the huge ball of life I was standing on was charging through space as I stood still staring patiently up and out. I blame this thought on the articles I read about meteor showers beforehand that described the earth tearing through a cloud of peacefully floating meteors that look like streaking stars to us. As I contemplated the feeling of standing still and hurdling through the universe simultaneously, I realized that I've had a life experience much like this. When I was younger, I was adrift. I didn't know what to do and didn't have a clear purpose, which is something that I think comes with youth. At a Christian youth conference with my youth group, I felt convicted by the motivation of the people around me because I had lacked it for so long. Upset by this, I talked to my youth minister and verbalized my dissapointment in myself up to this point. I explained how I didn't think I had done much of anything for God because I didn't know what He was asking of me. My youth minister told me that I had made differences, especially for one girl in particular who needed a friend. He explained to me that even when we don't know what we're doing, God does. He can use us even when we are completely unaware of it. It stunned me to look back and see what He had done through me while I was missing it! Although I felt like I was standing still, I was actually moving in the big scheme of things. It wasn't the night sky that filled me with awe at that moment. The memory was a welcome reminder of the wonder of God.

My thoughts were cut short when I heard another sound. As I had been standing there, there were periodical small snaps of a twig or brief rustling noises--sounds that come with the night. I had tried to remind myself not to be too jumpy; although I was in the dark middle of nowhere by myself, I was pretty sure that I was, in fact, by myself, and I didn't want to spend all my time squinting in the dark for a threat that wasn't there. This new sound went on longer and seemed louder than the other noises, causing me to whip my head around to stare into the black. It sounded like something small falling from a tree, hitting leaves and landing with a tiny crash in the grass. My heart pounded as I shined a light toward the sound, finding nothing. I seriously considered getting back in my car then, and thought maybe I could try to look out at the sky through the windshield to be safe. Then I realized: I'd never really see the stars from inside my car. That thought seemed significant. If a person is held back by fear, they can't ever reach their true potential or experience the amazement of it. I opted to stay outside and loved every minute of it.

All of a sudden, there were streaks of light through the sky that I knew weren't my imagination. It was exciting! I got to see movement were there is normally stillness. As if the stars aren't amazing and beautiful enough, this was a chance to see them dance. I decided that this was the best time to get real with God, because I had been slacking off too much. I began to hum so I could get used to the sound of my voice in the stillness. Then it was time to talk. I told Him about my stupidity that made me lazy, and about the confusion that keeps me frozen in place. I wanted to ask Him what to do, but I had asked many times before. Then it smacked me in the brain: why was I always waiting? I would ask God what to do, and then wait for an answer. Couldn't I figure out from His word that He's calling us to action? Then I knew what to do.

I've been telling people for years that if they want to build relationships with people, they have to talk to them, open the lines of communication, find ways to spend time with them. I've been saying that I want to build my relationship with God, but how stupid is it that I haven't been making time to hang out with Him? It doesn't always have to be something that feels tedious to us at times, like reading the Old Testament or going through a prayer list. Why don't I schedule some good old-fashioned hang-out time to just talk to Him? Something this obvious makes me feel stupid once I realize it, but it's something that each person has to learn for themselves, and I finally did.

After seeing a few more bright meteors, I decided that I was ready to head back home. I got in the car with a new feeling of peace in me, but also excitement at my revelations. You can bet I'm making plans for next time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CBR #2: Bowels of the Library

To get to the location of my second review, brave adventurer, you must first pass a test of both directional sense and wits.

The beginning of the maze is on the main floor of the library. Upon entering, the building seems to be a place of easy-mannered fellowship and learning...don't let this presentation fool you. Although portions of the library are safe, there are more things than you've ever dreamt of lurking in the more remote, secret places.

You must next approach the white door. This is your portal from the land of normalcy and smiles tossed casually over the shoulder into a lurking-inspired place. The journey down a steep, dimly lit set of stairs inspires a growing sense of dread with every step. However, do not let this deter you. Those who enjoy the light will have less difficulty braving the next obstacle.

The next leg of this journey leads you to white, blank, stretching, abandoned hallways through which you must previously know the way or have a guide. I am pleased to say that I have successfully guided one desperate wanderer through this labyrinth, so if you ever have need for my aid, please feel free to summon me any time.

Once you enter the lair in question, you will surely notice, in your astuteness, that it seems quite old and abandoned. However, you will also shrewdly observe that, despite its age and obscurity, this hideaway is also strangely clean and well-kept. How is it, you will surely wonder, that such an ancient, hidden place hasn't fallen into terrible disrepair? Well, my friend, I have a theory.

Among my various observations is the realization that the room is mostly empty of all things except the necessities, with the conspicuous exception of one corner. It has a watering can and a candle. Where might such unexpected objects come from, and why would they be in this bathroom?

I suspect that there is a forgotten, wizened old caretaker dwelling somewhere in the building.

Would someone please help me find him?