Posted in [writer stuff]

NaNoWriMo approaches

I’ve randomly decided to try to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

For those who aren’t familiar, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 50,000 words (a novel) in 30 days (November). Part of it is a challenge, to focus your creativity and create something. The other part is a guide, to help you meet a goal of writing that story (finally).

I hadn’t heard of NaNoWriMo until it was already November last year, so it was a bit late to start. However, a reminder via YouTube had me refreshing my account and preparing to get creative.

I have two different plot ideas that I’m deciding between for the event. One is focused on a worldwide therian awakening, the other on a complex modernization of a Gaea-related myth. I like both, and I have a slight outline for both. The next few weeks will allow me time to choose a focus.

Part of me hopes to complete a rough draft of a novel. I’ve been hesitant with my writing for years now, between adulthood’s ugly reality and the possibility of failure. I’ve told stories, to be sure… I just haven’t managed to write anything down.

My dream of becoming a published author is only half completed with my poetry. It doesn’t feel like a victory without a novel of some sort.

The eventual goal is publication. If I like the story enough, I might try traditional publishers for a bit; the worst they can do is say no. If that fails, there’s always the e-book route; I actually enjoy the idea of only charging a few dollars per download with the possibility of a greater audience.

I’m a little nervous that our move will interfere. I’ll be taking two weeks off from work in November specifically for the move. On top of that, we have classes after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And there’s Thanksgiving.

It’s a busy month in November.

But I figure I’ll have at least an hour a day to write, especially if I don’t watch Netflix reruns after work. Moving time won’t be a 24/7 process; evenings will be time to recover (and write, hopefully). Our electricity will be on at one or both houses the entire month, meaning that the computer and laptop are usable; I type much faster than I write, so a keyboard is very necessary to my writing process.

We’ll see what happens! Are you a member of NaNoWriMo?

Posted in [business projects], [miscellaneous experiments]

Projects in Motion

Today has been an organizational day. I’ve been messing with my blog, updating categories and making once-private posts public. As I browsed my various posts, it got me to thinking: sometimes it looks like I never finish a project. My projects are all so long-term and low yield that they just happen over time, without me updating myself or others on what’s been going on.

That said, I wanted to make a list for myself. Think of this as a mile marker on my path in life.

Healthy Eating

The idea: I’ve blogged off and on about vegetarianism and preservatives. I’m a flexitarian for sure, and I’ve experimented too many times to count. I’ve tried vegetarianism, tried to switch to ethical meats once I became aware of a local health food store, gone thirty days drinking only water, started reading labels to avoid preservatives, and wanted to start using herbal remedies and eating organic.

The reality: I’ve made some definite life changes that stuck.

  • I read all labels on my foods, avoiding preservatives as much as possible; this means I’ve given up a lot of favorites (like Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in a tube), but I feel better about my food choices.
  • I eat organic as much as possible, using the Dirty Dozen list to help me make hard decisions when money’s tight.
  • I mostly drink water, with green smoothies covering breakfast every morning and the occasional soda every couple of weeks.
  • I haven’t switched to ethical meats, because it really is beyond my budget. I try not to waste, and I go for smaller animals (less environmental impact). I’m not willing to go fully vegetarian, because a bean can never replace bacon… but I make small efforts.
  • I’ve been using some herbal remedies. My main example is replacing antibiotic ointment with a homemade salve; I only made the damn salve after a sudden reaction to Neosporin! I’m glad to have made the switch, and I’m looking for practical switches for others hygiene products.
  • I make my own cleaners. I use vinegar for everything, and my homemade laundry soap takes 1-2 tablespoons per load. This was also the result of allergies to cleaning chemicals… I really don’t exist well in the presence of man-made toxins!

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made.

Spiritual Goals

The idea: I’ve talked about a lot of things on this blog over time. Some of them included vlogging, finding a better focus in shamanism, and finding a comfortable way to walk my path after a long hiatus.

The reality: I’m working on it. I know, it doesn’t seem like it… but I’ve been working with practical issues.

  • I don’t own a decent camera, and the laptop I use has a crappy microphone. I went out and purchased a decent-but-cheap microphone, but I haven’t had time to try out a recording.
  • I have notes for the various starter videos I intend to create, since I’m a rambler without some kind of outline. I’m still trying to decide between organic and structured flow, though. I personally like the idea of just recording a vlog like any other phone-to-YouTube vlogger, but the perfectionist in me wishes I could do all the editing and cool effects of the higher quality vlog channels I watch. I’m working on finding a realistic model for my own videos.
  • I have a family, and we study together each week now, as well as celebrating key days (like the full moon tonight). They help me stay on a focused path and grow as an individual, and I help them find confidence in leading a small group. It’s win/win.
  • I’ve actually compiled (literally translated into “come, get in a pile!”) all of my pagan notes from previous studies and random research tangents. I’m working on the pile slowly, going through and weeding out the good from the bad. I’m rebuilding my binder book of shadows, mostly because it’s the format I like best. At the moment, my original binder is stuffed full of JUNK, including journaling and articles and poetry and BLAH. I’m slowly chipping away at its mass, organizing it into something usable.

As you can see, I’m working on spiritual projects. They just take so much time, and I only have hours here and there to spare for them.

For my writing endeavors, I’m a flop. I’ll be honest; I’m a bit scared. I’m scared to commit to a project like writing a novel or writing a good pagan ebook. Why? Because once I commit, it gets added to The List of Things To Do *key dramatic music*. As long as I refuse to commit, I can work on my writings in bits and pieces without feeling guilty for “doing nothing” for long periods of time. Eventually, I’ll settle down with my muse and focus on my writing in some fashion… however, today is not that day/week/month.

And my mommy goal has been postponed. I had some minor health issues, then some minor family drama, then some financial issues… you get the idea. I’ve decided to postpone my plans until after our lease is up and we move into a cheaper place. That gives me a few months to get as healthy as possible and prepare my mind and body for the change. I’m also re-evaluating my feelings on being a stay-at-home mom vs a working mom; I’m starting to think that I’d be happy to work, but only if one of the boys were willing to stay at home instead. (I’m still very anti-daycare.) We’ll see what happens.

So there we are! I’ve accomplished a TON that I just never think about until I list it like this. Woohoo for lists, right?