Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Very First Blogging Award!!!

I'm so excited! Quinn over at seeing, dreaming…writing has given me my very first blogging award, the Honest Scrap Award. Thank you, Quinn! This award requires that you share ten things about yourself before passing it along, so here it goes.

  1. I'm deathly afraid of fire. I'm not really sure why, but I have always attributed to my mom stopping to check out a huge fire as it engulfed three houses. I'm not sure how old I was, but I don't think older than eight. Back then it was okay to leave kids in the car, so she and my older sister got out to see what they could, leaving me and my little sister to watch alone in horror. Okay, so it was only horrifying to me but whatever. I've been afraid of fire ever since.
  2. I love Mexican food. I could probably eat Mexican food close to every day, if my family would let me.
  3. I once dated a younger man. Okay, so he was only two years younger, but still. This was my "be young and irresponsible" stage. I just couldn't say no, he was so pretty, and so damn fun.
  4. The younger man phase also brought about a piercing stage. I didn't pierce too much, just my tongue and belly…but for me that was a lot!
  5. I am a USC graduate. I graduated from the Marshall School of Business in 1997. Fight on, Trojans!
  6. When I was at USC I had joined the Young Republicans. After dragging my most liberal friend to one of the meetings I realized I wasn't really as right-winged as they were. Instead I fit in somewhere in the middle. Needless to say, we never went back!
  7. I love to ride dirt bikes. My sister Patty over at Simplicity in Volumes got me into it when we moved out to the Inland Empire five years ago. Riding season is upon us and I can hardly wait to get back out there!
  8. I love to cook. I don't really have enough time to be a creative cook anymore with three kids, but I still enjoy it.
  9. I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, twice. It was the most amazing experience. Free falling out of an airplane was the only time in my life that I have ever felt truly at peace – absolutely amazing!
  10. The only things I miss about growing up in Utah are the four seasons. It just doesn't feel right to be in shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas morning. Of course, as soon as Christmas is over I don't want to have anything to do with the snow and cold unless I'm skiing in it.
So there are the ten things about me, probably not the most interesting things about me, but my brain has become mush since embarking on the NaNo journey. After November, I promise to be a more interesting blogger!

Now it is time to pass on this award. Quinn wasn't exactly sure what the award was supposed to be for so he passed it on to those he felt were honest in their postings, so I will do the same:
  1. Patricia at Simplicity in Volumes
  2. Misha at My First Book
  3. L'Aussie at L Aussie Writing
Even though I've been slacking since November 1st, I really do enjoy your blogs. Thank you for your honesty!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our 16 Hour Writing Day

On Saturday my sister, Patricia over at Simplicity in Volumes, hosted a 16 hour writing day for our writing group consisting of her, myself, my BFF, Jen and our good friend Darci. We arrived at my sister's house at 6:30 in the morning for a delicious breakfast from Panera Bread complete with soufflé's, bagels, fresh fruit and warm pastries all provided by my wonderful brother-in-law, James.

After we filled our body with fuel for the brain we began our marathon of writing promptly at 7 AM. Did I mention this was all being streamed over the internet on my sister's blog? It didn't take long for me to realize that I am NOT very focused in the early morning. It wasn't just that the girls were so much fun, I really could not transfer the images in my head to words on the paper (or keyboard.) Every time I got stuck I would look for my creativity by laughing with the girls or rubbing the zucchini genie (I'll get to this in a moment) or pulling a prompt from the "Block Box" which was a box filled with writing prompts to assist us along if we were feeling stuck.

By lunch time I had written less than 1000 words, but I had already laughed more in those few hours than I think I have in a long time. I'm talking tears to the eyes kind of laughter. Two more girls from or regional NaNo group joined us at this time, and after refueling with tasty sandwiches, chips and dip, and an assortment of salads we were back to the grind.

I'll take this time to explain the zucchini genie. My sister and her husband had removed all of the summer vegetables from their garden to plant their winter veggies, leaving a lone zucchini. Since all of their winter vegetables are too small to produce veggies, they sometimes forget to check the garden, which has led to the growth of zucchini of unusual size. The zucchini in question was figured to weigh approximately ten pounds.

After refueling with lunch, we all had a burst of energy and managed to pump out some words while having fun. It turns out that this zucchini was very versatile. We were able to tone our arms, play hot potato, rub it for inspiration, and a few R-rated things we won't talk about (wink, wink). Even with all this fun everyone seemed to hit a brick wall around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The words stopped flowing and everyone looked like they might find a corner to pass out in. That's when James came to the rescue once again with Jamba Juice's with energy boosters for everyone. Woo Hoo! This seemed to do the trick for a while.

Throughout the rest of the day we played, laughed, and wrote. James provided one last, delicious meal from Wood Ranch and then we dwindled down to just three of us, Patty, me and Jen. It wasn't until after dinner that I finally found my creativity and began to really write. We were all determined to put in a decent word count before night's end so we wrote and wrote, and played some more, then wrote and wrote. In the end, we had all put in more than 4ooo words, some of us with over 6000 for the day (great job Jen!) It was an unbelievable experience!

The next day I felt exhausted and could barely write three hundred words, but it was worth every minute of it. Sometimes you just need to surround yourself with fun, crazy friends to push you along with your creativity. Even though we didn't attain the exact word counts we wanted, we all came away feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of this 30-day journey. Thank you to Patty for leading us, hosting this and being a great mentor. Thanks to James for feeding us and entertaining us endlessly. Also, thanks to Quinn at seeing, dreaming…writing for chatting with us when we started and again at the end to see us to the finish line. You definitely kept us from giving up. And thanks to everyone else who checked in on us on the livestream to give us encouragement. Last, but not least thanks to all you girls in the writing group for making it an amazing day, I truly haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


NaNoWriMo is finally here and I am so excited to be participating.  I began writing at midnight on November 1st, pumping out my first 256 words.  By eight in the morning I was already feeling behind.  Some of my writing group had stayed up later and got their word count beyond 700, even 1000 words.  By noon, I just wanted to start writing.  This is easier said than done since I have a 2 year old, 5 year old and 6 year old who all need my attention in the middle of the day. 

Finally, at two o'clock, my nephew came over and the kids happily played outside together until my 6 year old got home from school at three o'clock.  I managed to get out another 400 or so words, which made me feel better until I could escape everyone and really put my mind to it. 

After dinner, I headed upstairs and locked myself away for the rest of the night (with a short break to read to the kids and tuck them in for the night) and ended my day with 2,135 words.  Not bad for a first day!  Now if only I can keep it up.

Today has already started out  much slower.  Kids are cranky and I have a miserable head cold slowing my thought process.  Later today I have to take my daughter to the doctor which is an hour away (we live in the middle of nowhere and I've refused to give up my Orange County doctors.) Somewhere in that mix I also need to find time to review the propositions and head to the poles to vote!!!!  And if all that isn't enough, at the end of my day I need to finish up some work that I do on the side so that it isn't looming and impeding my writing!  Phew...I'm tired just thinking about it all!

I am, however, determined not to fall behind!  I will find a way to squeeze in a little writing here and there today, and stay up later than I should to get in at least the minimum words for the day!  So here's to another productive day, wish me luck!