NaNoWriMo Changed My Life

NaNoWriMo changed my life. that seems kind of over the top, i know. but it’s sincerely true. when i thought i was learning how to plan out a story and put one word after the other, i was actually learning how to bravely take on challenges and persevere in the face of uncertainty. i also learned how to plan a novel and put one word after the other, but that’s only minorly life changing in comparison.

what i didn’t know, or even realize until very recently, is that through doing NaNoWriMo, i gained the courage to take on big, intimidating challenges and keep going even if i think success is unlikely; even when i’m afraid of failure. my first time taking on NaNoWriMo, i did NOT think i would be able to finish 50,000 words, let alone do it in 30 days. i did not think that i would have anything that even resembled a story when i did so. i was scared that i would find out i was completely talentless and incapable and, most of all, i was afraid of finding this out publicly. (i am connected with my friends on the NaNoWriMo site, after all.) but i did it anyway. and even better, i won.

i wrote 50,000 words in 30 days and i actually had a story at the end. granted it’s no prize winner, but by God, it has a beginning, middle and end that actually makes sense.

and then, last month, during Camp NaNoWriMo, i did it again. and this time i didn’t write during work hours (giving me less time to work on it), and i finished it four days early. and then, having just bolstered my confidence with my success, i did something that still scares me whenever i think about it: i sent it to all my friends to read. and i did it with joy, excitement, and even a little bit of pride.

and that’s just my courage concerning writing. i’m now just as courageous with the rest of my life. what i didn’t know during Nano and Camp Nano, was that every day that i sat down to write, i was diving head first toward a goal that i had no idea if i was capable of achieving. and now, diving into the unknown, striving toward uncertain success, is still scary as hell, but it doesn’t stop me anymore. NaNoWriMo taught me courage. And that has changed the way i live my life.

so if you could go click the vote button so that NaNoWriMo can get a grant that would fund their programs for years to come, i would really appreciate it.

the force

so this has been bugging me for a while…

at the end of the Star Wars trilogy, we know that Luke has brought balance to the force. …except he hasn’t.

there are Jedi (the good guys) and there are Sith (the bad guys). the presence of both with about equal power means that there is a balance. but at the end, all of the super-powerful Sith have been defeated and only super-powerful Jedi remain.

while no one’s really complaining cuz the Jedi are all for justice and peace, that isn’t a balance. just sayin’.

also, can you imagine being a retired Jedi? that must suck.

my sentiment exactly

found this on xkcd the other day. this pretty much encapsulates my theories on growing up. …hence why the return of the ball pit is one of the many things i’m looking forward to this VidCon. 😛


xkcd.com

it now also happens to be one of the things you will see by my desk at work.

almost, but not quite, a complete failure

hi blog!

so now that that irksome BEDA is over and there’s no real reason for me to write, here i am!

so remember when i had a daily blog, that then was an almost daily blog, which then became silent as a fucking tomb? yeah, that was fun, right? not really sure what i’m gonna do about that. like, should i start writing in it again? should i change the focus entirely? like, should i turn it into a photo blog of some kind? …i feel like a photo blog would fail faster. i don’t know. then again, i admittedly haven’t given it much thought. as in the amount of time it’s taken me to write this paragraph is the amount of time i’ve dedicated to it.

in other news (if you really wanna glorify it by calling it that), i still knit stuff. so that’s still a thing. i have a few projects that i’m going to make for a few specific people. i haven’t decided what to do for everyone else. and i’m half-way finished with a hat that i’m procrastinating because working for more than a few hours will result in my hand hurting like a motherfucker for the next week (because of the material). so… that’s the best excuse i can come up with. i’d have a better one, but again, not much time dedicated to it.

so what have i been dedicating my time to? mostly watching TV and writing. …i wish the writing was more extensive than the TV ratio, but it’s not. except for the past couple days. the only problem with the writing progress is it’s quite scattered. i’ve been working on Theta and Delvia (for the past week especially) when i’m supposed to be working on Death Haven. btw, Delvia and Death Haven are working titles, Theta will probably be called Theta. but i don’t know. nothing’s set in stone. i’m just writing it. and not very well. so you can’t depend on me to come up with titles, nor know if they’re permanent ones.

thinking of bad writing, you should see the beginning of a scene in the second act of Theta i wrote the other day. or actually, you shouldn’t. it’s horrible. usually you write something, and you come back the next day, and you gape in horror at the monstrosity and delete as fast as you can whilst thanking God or the universe or whatever you might thank that no one will ever see your ugly shame. but this thing, this character’s introduction to the second act, i knew was horrible as i wrote it. which means it’s far worse than any of my thankfully deleted ugly shame that you shall never see. i mean, i haven’t even worked up the courage to reread. i don’t want to admit to myself that such drivel could be produced by my brain. i’d like to keep sound my fantasy that i’m better than that. and that’s the update on that.

and… well, that’s all i can really think to say. i mean, that was pretty fucking dull as it was, and it can only go downhill from here, so i’ll spare us both and end it here.

…this post. not my life. though, on second thought, you could be right. i might be wasting perfectly good air. but i’m gonna go continue to waste it, or maybe use it wisely (says my mentally stable optimistic side), as i continue to work on Theta and maybe Delvia, but probably not Death Haven when it’s the only thing i should be working on. or maybe i’ll surprise myself and start working on something else altogether, thus putting me further behind on everything else. because that’s just the type of thing i’m wont to do.

# of projects being worked on (writing not included): 5
# of books being worked on: 5
# of ANYTHING finished: 0

winning. #sarcasm

oh hey! just remembered something i AM making progress with, and that’s my reading! hooray for audiobooks! otherwise i’d be a failure at everything. #sadbuttrue

song of the day: Does & Hoes

random picture i took today:

honestly horrified

horrifyingly true: if you know my screen name, then you can find out just about anything about me.
i’m a pretty open person. i am as i hope others to be. you see my real picture. see my real opinions, likes, dislikes. hear my real voice. nothing you see of me has been altered. what you know of me on the internet is exactly how i am in person. no filters.
this becomes a little bit scary where dating is considered. i feel almost like i don’t want to say anything about anyone because i don’t want them to be able to look me up and read about themselves. because i consider everything i write/record for public consumption as a conversation with you. (with the one exception of my daily blog.) so it would be like me sitting down and telling them everything i didn’t like about them. ouch!
but NOT to write about it would be like hiding parts of myself and being secretive, which i don’t want to be at all. and to be false to you, my friends who are reading this, for the benefit of people i’d be happy never seeing again, is absolutely ridiculous.
anyone reading this who may be insulted by what i have to say about them shouldn’t be reading this in the first place and have no right to feel wronged. i don’t believe in leading people on, so all signs should be pointing to “not interested.” any other conclusion is the result of reckless denial.
this internal debate, and having just arrived at my conclusion, is why the following contents of this blog post are being posted now and not yesterday.
so, uncharacteristically, i’m going to skip the background story and jump right into the action. words were exchanged via text and phone calls which led to a date. spoiler alert, it wasn’t good.
first of all, dude is half bald. let’s just get that surprise out of the way from the start.
second, oh my god, he’s only seen three academy award winning movies. in the lobby of the theater, there was a giant display covering the wall showing lit panels of the movies that had won oscars in the past. i thought this would be a great conversation starter until he said he had only seen MAYBE three of them. to demonstrate the gravity of this, here is a short list of movies he hasn’t seen, and just about everyone else in the world HAS.
Gone with the Wind
The Apartment
West Side Story
The Sound of Music
The Sting
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Annie Hall
The Deer Hunter
Platoon
Unforgiven
American Beauty
Chicago
Crash
Million Dollar Baby
No Country for Old Men

i have no doubt that any and all reading this have seen at least five of those. and that is the short list. now, this is gonna sound a little weird because i have no allegiance to the film, but… SOUND OF MUSIC?!?! who hasn’t seen Sound of Music? it’s like never having seen It’s a Wonderful Life. they play it every year without freaking fail. in fact, last year, i felt like i couldn’t get away from the movie.
also, i’m sticking to the story that he didn’t see the panel for The Godfather. i absolutely refuse to believe he hasn’t seen that. even entertaining the idea is upsetting me right now.
the fact that he’s never seen any of these movies, even out of sheer curiosity, is a major problem. you have to have a curiosity about the world around you, what people think is culturally relevant. these classic movies are like snapshots of the public psyche. even if you think the movies suck, it’s still interesting to see what the other humans around you value. i can’t imagine not having that curiosity.
sitting in the lobby, waiting for the movie to begin, the wall full of movies he hasn’t seen shining across from us, i reach for another topic. he said he’d used to write. i ask what kind of stuff he’d been writing. i’ll just say that the plot for his script revolved around a gypsy curse. is it just me, or do the 80’s want their plot line back? also, he thought TV show when clearly a mini series would be stretching it… it wasn’t good.
ok. so when i watch movies i don’t want to talk, i don’t want to hear any noise at all, i just want to be absorbed by the movie. even if it’s bad. especially if i’ve gone to the theater to see it. i move away from loud popcorn crunchers, seat kickers, and candy wrappers. so you can imagine my horror when, as soon as we sat down and the movie began, he started taking candy packet after candy packet out of his pocket. he stopped after about 5, but not before offering me some of whatever the hell he was eating in his normal speaking voice. he said something about the 3D glasses (oh, did i mention we were watching Episode I in 3D? which carries with it its own set of unpleasantries. not to mention ignoring the very publicly used glasses on my FACE.), again not even in a stage whisper, but his normal speaking voice, which i politely responded to, gritted my teeth, and continued watching. then, in the middle of the movie, the wrappers began again, at which point i wondered why god had been so cruel as to not provide me a weapon with which i could STAB HIM IN THE HEART.
after i could finally get the fantasies of silencing him to stop, i realized i heard a voice, softly chattering off to my right. i wished they would shut up. and then it suddenly dawned on me that this was his voice talking to me. i had a choice: turn to him and politely say, “I’m sorry. What did you say?” or continue to stare forward and pretend i didn’t hear him. i could not bare to turn, and ask, and have him repeat himself at full volume, and have everyone in the theater loathe me, most of all myself. so i stared forward, watching Gungans do things that were meant to be cute and funny. and just as i thought with disdain and disgust, ‘and that was supposed to be cute, and i’m supposed to laugh now, how insulting,’ i hear next to me, in the stoney silence of the crowded theater, his laughter. he laughed, alone, at all such moments.
and so, as the Gungans battled the droids, i thought, “i have to get out of here! how can i escape?” and then i remembered my cell phone and my mother at home. i remembered that it was very normal to have to use the bathroom after a movie. all i had to do was suffer through 20 more minutes and i’d be able to call for help. i texted, then called my mom in the tiny, two stall bathroom. i whispered frantically to her, not knowing how well the sound might carry, how far he was standing from the door.
“So you wanna go get something to eat?” he asked the dreaded and inevitable question. ‘it’s ok,’ i reassured myself, ‘your phone’s about to ring.’
“Sure,” i say, keeping my voice light and casual, filled with none of the panic and repulsion i’m actually feeling. and then my phone rings; the song from the Great Fairy Fountain in Zelda’s Ocarina of Time has never sounded so wonderful. he is impressed by my choice of ringtone, and i don’t care.
i answer, she tells me the bogus story about how my brother’s upset because i forgot about taking him out… in other words, we played the autism card for all it was worth. which, if you wanna know, is quite a lot.
“I’ll walk you to your car,” he said.
“Sure,” i said. at that point i should have made up some excuse, but my mind was purely focused on the goal; i had to get to my car. i walked quickly. my saint of a mother made another call, urgently asking if i was on my way yet. i assured her i was almost at the car. she’s fantastic.
he started for the elevator, but i ran up the stairs. i thought to slow down, my mind automatically about to do the courteous thing, realized i did NOT want to slow down, and kept running. it was only two small flights to the second floor. thank god for small favors.
he gave me a hug and, as i got in the car, i remembered to say, “Sorry things were cut short,” over my shoulder. i only made a half-hearted attempt at sounding sincere. i didn’t care.
he looked sad as i pulled away and waved goodbye. i felt bad about that, but i drove quickly through the parking structure. i made record time getting home as my words came out in a flood to my mother on speaker phone.

just as a side note, i was going to title this blog “Chelsea and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad date,” but the reference is probably lost on most and therefore just makes me seem like a drama queen. 😛

love and promises

“Love is keeping the promise anyway.” – Issac, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

these words have been ringing in my head since i read them. they are wonderful and beautiful and powerful and inspiring, but most of all true. promises are the way we prove our love.
think about it. all the promises that could be made and all the ways they can be kept and broken; their inherent responsibility. they can be wonderful and justified, or merciful and horrific. promises are so often made and so rarely kept. they are treasured as preciously as gold, can weigh heavy as any burden, and flow as effortlessly as water. those who make empty promises are judged harshly and lose value until even their actions become worthless. but those who keep their promises are heralded and their actions are regarded and make deep impacts.
promises are easy to make, easier to brake, and often forgotten. keeping a promise denotes reverence, both held and reserved, and the most honorable take the most effort to keep.
keeping your word and the dishonor that comes from breaking it is why children commit to “double doggy dares” and why you can be imprisoned for lying under oath. these are verbal pacts, but the consequences of breaking these pacts are physical.
there are some promises that are so unpleasant that it is understandable and forgiven if you can’t carry them out; some promises that you may be ostracized for honoring. and it is love that will make someone keep the promise anyway, no matter how personally or socially deplorable.

Tour de Nerdfighting (#tfios)

i’m not even sure where to start. i guess the beginning is the best place.
as with just about everything i do, i overanalyzed and worried about going to the signing/show. i didn’t know anyone, and being alone is scary, people might not like me, and i was very anxious.
i love living in LA. it was a gorgeous, clear, warm night that allowed for t-shirts and the hoodies people wore (including my own) to be for personal preference, not necessity. this was good because when i arrived, an hour early, there was a long line. in retrospect, considering the fact that there were teenagers who aren’t ball and chained to jobs till 5, this should have been expected. if i were 16 and wanted a good seat at the Tour de Nerdfighting, i would be more than an hour early as well.
i don’t want to say to much about the show because, let’s face it, you can check it out on YT. but i did notice afterward that this is the first time i’ve gone to see them and they weren’t asked to do their happy dances. also, i have to mention that they signed things from every last person who waited in that auditorium (of a middle school for the curious). this was a long process that took over an hour. i know this because i was in the second to last row. (did i mention the long line even though i was AN HOUR early?)
although this is news to no one, John and Hank were fabulous; completely and absolutely. they are exactly what they are in videos except you are watching them in person. it is strange and amazing and wonderful, but what makes it unique and special is the fact that i was surrounded by Nerdfighters who also thought it was strange and amazing and wonderful.
there is something about Nerdfighters that can’t be said about any other group in the world. Nerdfighters are good people. they are fair and honest and will always try to do the right thing. i have yet to come across a bad apple. nothing exemplifies that like what i did last night. i said “watch my stuff.” well, i didn’t demand it. i said it like a normal human being in a proper sentence with a polite please somewhere in the mix. “my stuff” was everything that wasn’t my car key. as in all my money, the stuff i was getting signed, my phone, EVERYTHING. and i left it with people i had just met. and because they were Nerdfighters i didn’t even worry.
when i say the goodness of Nerdfighters can’t be applied to any other group, i mean, take Christians for example. they pitch a good racket. lots of morals and goodness for goodness sake. but there are plenty of bad apples. i’ll put it this way, i’d have taken my stuff with me had i been at a church.
and while this amazing community wasn’t created by John and Hank Green, it wouldn’t exist without them being exactly as they are. and they are who they are and do what they do because of the community. this entire community is a paradox. and i got to be part of it IRL last night.
if you ever get the chance to see John or Hank DO IT!!!
not just to see them (although they are amazing), but to get to be present, live and in the flesh, in this amazing community.

Time

this weekend i don’t know what to do with my time. i feel like i have too many options. i want to finish several things with a similar deadline. so i feel like i have to be working on the things at the same time. but that takes a lot more discipline over my time than i’ve been exercising lately. i haven’t been online nearly as much as i’d like to lately. and by that i mean i haven’t been watching YT, i haven’t been on G+ and Twitter, i haven’t been on Skype. when i’m online i’m buying necessities on Amazon, looking up my bank balance, and researching things. and i actually should be doing more researching.
what am i doing in place of these things? i am knitting and doing a whole lot of reading and writing. i’m also spending more time venturing outside of my house to run errands and spending time with my mom and brother. i want to spend more time working on projects, but it makes me feel guilty because i feel like i’m ignoring the people around me.
so today is going to be about figuring out realistic time schedules for myself. …and finishing the outline for Delvia. it’s a very rich and complex world, and i need at least one more story line. i think i’ll discover it in Thalden today. that’s not gonna make sense to anyone for a very long time since i won’t have time to actually write this story until i’ve finished Death Haven (my NaNovel), then (probably) Theta, then my (still untitled) God story. oh, and let us not forget that i still have to finish The Guide. and work on Ice Breakers, and i have a giant knitting project. the things i’m making won’t be all that large, but the amount i’m making is quite the undertaking. i also want to start a Sherman Oaks writing group. picking a day and a place is really the problem. i already have the people. (so many things come out of NaNo. it’s really amazing. i recommend it to EVERYBODY).
anyone who reads my blog, just take a minute to tweet me and say hi once in a while. otherwise i may become buried forever in my projects.

cutting it close

if you follow me on twitter then you’ve already noticed that i’ve started a daily blog. i’ve wanted to make a daily blog for years now, but every year i remember on Jan. 2nd so it doesn’t happen. (cuz i figure i should start properly or not start at all.) but this year i prepared a new blog just for my 300+ word blogs.
already i’ve cut it close. i posted my second blog of the year at 11:58pm. perhaps my New Year’s resolution should be to post my dailies in a timely manner. 😛
thinking of posting things in a timely manner, something i didn’t do that with (again) is the HNS podcast. i’m not sure why… actually, now that i think of it, i do know why i didn’t post it. because editing it is a pain in the ass and i can’t stand editing. i mean, i started making one take vlogs, not because of time constraints and my love of brevity (although those are also factors), but because i hate editing.
actually, i have a love/hate relationship with editing. once i start it, i get all consumed with it and rather enjoy the process. usually. sometimes, a lot of times, it’s just one more thing i have to do and i want to get it done as soon as possible so i can have time to do the other things i have to do, usually to keep from failing at life. so there’s that.
but i digress. a lot.
my daily blog will be different from this blog in one major way: the subject is always me. not the New Year, Alex Day’s new album, other blogs i like, or weird things i’ve noticed, but me. who i am, what i am, what i’m doing (or not doing, as is sometimes the case), and why i’m doing it. almost every post will probably start with “i” (that’s the trend so far) and the rest with “my.” this is because, unlike this blog, i want to force some self-analysis and i always do this best in written form. that, and i want a reason to write every day. not that i need an excuse. i need a purpose to motivate me. if the goal were just “write something every day” i would forget about it and it wouldn’t happen. which is probably the reason why i have been wildly unsuccessful in the past.
this blog will still host BEDA and Blogust (since i don’t want those all to be 300+ word introspectives), and this will also have my random stream of consciousness things and all the other random that isn’t, well, introspective. it must be said that i’m a bit worried about NaNoWrimo. 300 words plus the 1,667+ words for my novel is going to be a challenge. but then, i am someone who’s written 5,000 words in a day (like a boss), so maybe i don’t have that much to worry about.
i also plan to do Camp NaNoWrimo (at least one month) because i am apparently mad. if i finish outlining Delvia in the next few days as i plan to, then i should have nothing to worry about since that will make two things unwritten but outlined. i want to outline one more thing before novel season to put my mind at ease though. because, apparently, if you don’t have at least two back-up plans, then you’re ill-prepared. …sometimes i wonder about my sanity. #writingaddiction #ambitiousgoals
daily blog

things have changed

so yesterday was all about getting Christmas gifts into boxes and shipped out. …maybe it should have been about work since, ya know, that’s what i was supposed to be doing, but hey! Christmas! am i right?

since i was busy sending packages (and putting the finishing touches on my project) i didn’t get time to chat with the receptionist* till an hour before quitting time. I did briefly say, “This is for my friend Sam.” or “This is for my friend Meg.” as i put boxes up front to picked up by the mail man, but that was it. And let me just precede this whole thing by saying, when i did go chat with the receptionist, it was 15 minutes.
so you’ll probably remember Douche Master, aka boss #2. well, i guess he was afraid he might lose his title or something because he comes up and says, “Wow! You’ve been doing a lot of talking up here today.”
to which i reacted with genuine surprise and said, “Have I? I don’t think I’ve been up here a lot today.” and i looked to my coworker to get her opinion.
she said, “No! You haven’t been up here much at all today.”
then he wandered off.
“Why does he think I’ve been up here a lot today?” i asked.
“I don’t know,” she said, looking bewildered.
“Weird,” i said.
“Silly man,” she said, and we continued our conversation.
the reason i’m even mentioning this exchange is to share the difference in my reaction. in the past i might have apologized, quickly cut off my conversation and slunk away. and i know what has caused the change: my coworker. she’s my friend** so i felt confident enough to just be myself and react as i normally would. it’s amazing the difference having a friend there has.
hopefully this will discourage him from continuing his asshole behaviour in the future. it’s doubtful, but i can hope, right? although it doesn’t really matter anyway since, with a friend in my corner, he doesn’t even bother me anymore. 🙂

as for Christmas, i’m just really excited for all my friends to get their gifts. especially to see what they think of my project i made for them. #loveitorhateit

oh, and i just read the blog where i gave Douche Master his nickname, and i think it’s really funny that i said,

i hope something happens so that i only work in the back and don’t have to be in the front office and deal with him.

which just so happens to be my precise work situation right now. i love when things work out that way. 😛

* i would say her name, but i’m going to keep up the tradition of anonymity for my coworkers.
** to me, a friend is someone who loves and supports you. if you’re reading this blog, you are probably one of these people.