Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm a Winner

I won. I won. I won.
I wrote 50,000 words in November.
I owe a huge thank you to my writing group. Without them I would have given up last week.

Now to keep the momentum up.
Also time to start my holiday crafting. It's not even December and I have two pairs of PJ pants cut out so I'm way ahead of the game.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving memories and important life lessons

One of the most memorable Thanksgivings was a trip to New York City for Thanksgiving. My parents and sibs were there and my aunt and uncle and their three kids were there. Despite my parents both being from upstate New York we lived in the midwest and this was the first time we'd ever been to New York City.
We did the whole Thanksgiving in New York thing. We saw Miss Saigon, ate Thanksgiving dinner at Tavern on the Green, went to the Empire State Building and marveled at the Black Friday line outside of FAO Schwarz.
It was this Thanksgiving where I learned an important life lesson.
When my mom knocked at the door of my hotel room it was still dark but she was ready to go and get a good spot for the parade.
When we got to our spot on the parade route it was drizzling so we bought $2 umbrellas, an hour later it was raining and the umbrellas were $4 so we actually saved money by being up that early.
My stepdad and sister showed up later, you know closer to when the parade actually starts.
My brother never showed up. Keep in mind this was before the days of cell phones and texting.
When we got to the hotel there was a message from my brother- he had been invited to watch the parade from the warm, dry, hotel room of my uncle and his family. We had been invited too but by the time the call came we missed it.
The important lesson in this is that sometimes the early bird doesn't get the worm. Sometimes the late riser gets continental breakfast at the Radisson or Marriot.
But we were in the front row for the parade. I'm pretty sure Kenny Rodgers and 98 degrees or NSYNC or whatever boy band it was that year wouldn't have looked as awesome from the warm hotel room.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thankful List

Due to work and an impending storm of the century of the week I'm celebrating Turkey day with friends in the Cities. I'm not sure that I'll have enough time to list all the things I'm thankful for at dinner so I'll do it here.

I'm Thankful for

My family- Mom, John, Dad, Kim, James, Tina, Chloe and all my cousins, aunts and uncles.

Friends- I have friends who have been in my life for a long time. Love reconnecting with old friends and the new friends who have come into my life

My job and the awesome friends I have there. My job is a fun job and at the end of the day I still have energy and inspiration t0 write.

My home- I may be underwater on my condo(who isn't) but I am not in over my head and for that I'm thankful.

My health-fitness, running, biking, my friends at the gym.

My writing- I continue to work on my middle grade novel and a picture book manuscript inspired by the Leader Dogs my mom trains. I had story published in Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul this year.

The cats- My big cat for always greeting me at the door and wanting attention and my little cat for letting me pet her but only on her terms

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NaNo update

I'm behind on my word count. Really behind.I've thought about giving up on this NaNo almost every day this week. Basically my neck hurt for a couple days and I wasn't sure if the NaNo was worth the neck pain.
But I've kept going and I'm hoping that the epic border battle between the Vikings and the Packers will inspire some words. I'm not sure they will all be good words.
My NaNo takes place at a drama camp and while it may seem that football and drama camp would be unrelated I think they are a lot closer than one may think. Being a Vikings fan is full of drama. First there is the whole Brett Favre element. Retired, not retired, injured but playing. Then Randy Moss comes back only to leave again because well he's still Randy Moss. Was there actually some sort of magical Sampson like power in Jared Allen's mullet? Last year lead the league in sacks, this year he is 25th. Then there is the question of Brad Childress. Will he continue to "coach" or will he be fired? Now I'm wondering if I should have written my NaNo novel about a football team and the disappointing end to the last season and their rocky season following the loss.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OK I love Harry Potter.
I first met Harry Potter when I moved to the Twin Cities eleven years ago. I was working in a place known as the Fur Salon. I basically brushed and styled Elmos's fur in between Sesame Street Live tours. Someone recommended the books to me and I read the first three. When the fourth book came out I bought it and read it on the plane on the way home from a trip to California.
I was just out of college but I never quit reading YA. I would just keep the cover of my YA novel hidden by something more serious. See I was an "advanced reader" so I hung out with the smart kids. The smart kids made fun of my reading choices. Like why was I reading The Lord of the Rings the summer before ninth grade, they all read it in sixth grade and were reading War and Peace or something.
I remember boarding the plane while reading Goblet of Fire and seeing other grown ups reading the book. Not just grown ups like me who could still pass for teenagers (seriously the flight attendant asked if we were old enough to sit in the emergency exit row) but fifty year old college professor types reading kids books. In public. It made me do a little happy dance. Yay I can read kids books in public now. My friend's mom even wanted to borrow my books because her book club was reading them. I leant them to her but that is another story.
It was around this time that I started dreaming about being a writer. OK really I wanted to be a writer before that but I had to major in something in college so I picked theater. Since I loved MG and YA fiction that is what I wanted to write. But I was scared of failing so I started with poetry.
Needless to say I'm a Harry Potter fan.
Last night November 19 came early and I got to go to a special screening of the Harry Potter 7 part 1. OK first off I was really excited. I started my happy excited dance at around 3. I left to get in line earlier than our planned meeting time because what else was I going to do with my day besides obsess about seeing Harry Potter. I got a good spot in line and one of the people in our group had a kid with them who did the bolt-past-everyone-and-save-us-seven-seats thing as soon as they let us in.
The movie is awesome. I know everyone will see it on Friday so I won't say anything else until then.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I live in MinneSnowta

Today it one of those days that is made for NaNo. I'm sure that NaNoers across the midwest are going to have hefty word counts after today. I'm working today but I made sure to get a little extra word count yesterday before the storm of the century of the week showed up.

The snow meant that despite my denial I actually had to find my winter accessories. Since I put this off until the last minutes before leaving for work it meant I couldn't find my kitty cat ear flap hat. Which meant I had to wear what I like to call my kewpie doll earflap hat. It looks like this
The thing I forgot about this hat is that it makes people smile and talk to me. There is something about wearing a pink and purple pointy hat that makes people smile on a grey, snowy day like today.

Happy writing and if you aren't lucky enough to be living in a winter wonderland look at the top picture, pour yourself some hot cocoa and work on your NaNo word count.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


November isn't just for novels anymore. It's also for moustaches. During November or Movember participants grow a moustache to raise awareness and money for men's health.

I can't grow a moustache but I've been playing with a lot of fake moustaches at work this month. I'm working wardrobe on a play called The 39 Steps based on the Alfred Hitchcock film. There are so many moustaches and mutton chops, wigs and hats in this play it is hilarious.

Yesterday the review for the play came out. I don't usually read reviews for plays. But everyone made sure the wardrobe crew read the review in the Star Tribune because there is a shout out to the wardrobe crew. Awesome. Yep that's me and three other amazing ladies back there adding and subtracting clothes, hats and facial hair in a matter of seconds.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Getting caught up on NaNo and blogs

Sunday I did something I've never done during NaNo before. I went to sleep behind on my word count. I tried to write after getting home from work but my cats were demanding attention. I realized I wasn't going to get anything done with a kitty on the keyboard so I gave up for the night with 800 words to go.
Yesterday I managed to get caught up on my NaNo novel word count. I've never been behind in NaNo before but lately I've done some writing after work before I go to bed. Sunday night I just didn't have any more words in me so I went to bed vowing to catch up on my day off. I did.

I also caught up on blogs I follow.
It seems that November might be blog contest month in addition to being NaNoWriMo.
1. Jessica Bell at The Alliterative Allomorph is giving away prizes for reaching 400 followers. If she gets to 500 followers she'll double the prize.

2. Jennie at Garden Full of Lily has prizes for reaching 100 followers. Go follow her and tell her a secret for extra points.

3. Tamara Hart Heiner at Chasing Dreams is having a Blog tour the celebrate the release of her book, Perilous.

Good luck to all the NaNoers out there. Now I have to go work on my word count for today.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thing I miss during NaNo

Day three of NaNoWriMo.
First of all, wow I forgot how hard this was going to be. I took last year off so I haven't done NaNo since 2008. I am getting back into NaNo shape and carrying my notebook around for when I am away from my computer. But so far this month's novel is fun with a fun cast of characters.

But it is day three and I feel like it is important for me to talk about what I miss most during NaNo. See normally I am a voracious reader. Whenever I set off to do NaNo I don't get to read nearly as much as I usually do because I'm writing. But I miss reading. Already three days into NaNo and I feel like I've broken up with the library. But then I remember that it is just temporary and that once I get farther along in the process I may be able to read a little bit.