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.

i’m trying out putting up my Goodreads review in a blog. they generate the code for you to do it every time anyway, so i figure why not? so if you see posts in the future that are nothing besides what you see below, then you know it’s just me blogging the lazy way. 😛

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one I liked from start to finish. It started in an action scene, which is my favorite way a book can start. And it ended sadly. And there’s nothing I like more than a sad ending.

View all my reviews

videos

so yesterday, i wrote a blog about not procrastinating making videos, and today i made this:

the reason i was able to do this is Tiff.

usually, i would have gotten the idea to make that video, reminded myself of the other projects i still haven’t even started yet, told myself i can’t start another project until i finish those, and that would be the end of that.

but now Tiff is editing those two bigger projects that, let’s face it, i was never going to get around to, leaving me free to make little projects like that. just in making that little video i learned a lot and got a refresher on a few lessons. next time i’m inspired to do something it’ll be better because of that. 🙂

ps. i posted this on VlogusSporadicus. and if you don’t know what that is, you should go check it out!

CGPGrey

a rather disappointing amount of the time, i am pitifully behind the curve. part of this is due to my stubborn attachment to the illogical notion that my bed is the most productive location ever. the other part is that i still refuse to learn the irrefutable lesson that John Green’s suggestions are good ones.

because of this lesson unlearned, i did not click the link he posted 2 weeks ago to C.G.P. Grey’s channel, and instead had to stumble upon it myself to become addicted. (so embarrassing, i know) it’s just, like, an endless fountain of information about all kinds of stuff. it’s awesome! …ok, clearly it’s not and ENDLESS fountain. i may be overselling it on that point. but it’s still awesome, nonetheless.*

this discovery is also important to me because, after getting a hazelnut latte at lunch time, i got so busy watching YouTube (CGPGrey to be precise) that I accidentally drank the whole thing instead of sipping it for the rest of the day. but i’m not worried because i happened to watch this, so everything’s ok.

i’ve also decided that i should just go ahead and jump into John Green fangirldom. i mean, it’s gonna be a really effortless transition. i already have all the ingredients, so there’s really no good reason not to.

* why is that a word? also, “nevertheless.” ???

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.

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

i knew i would cry. i looked forward to it.

it was inevitable. chances of tears from dearly touching moments are extremely high where prose written by John Green is concerned. The Fault in Our Stars seems to do its best to exemplify this.

how much i cried surprised me. how much i laughed surprised me. also, what made me cry surprised me. ludicrous, sarcastic, dark-witted dialogue made me laugh, often while revealing some of the more tragic aspects of the story. and i cried at some of the sweetest, happiest details.

to be clear, there were also moments that were purely happy or simply sad. these moments, at least for me, usually occurred between the laughter and/or tears.

i think the reason i feel so affected is i really didn’t expect it. i mean, i got the foreshadowing loud and clear. there was an abundance of clues and i followed them easily to the conclusion. but the way the characters changed and grew and (in classic John Green fashion) remained flawed and human, was not something that i could predict. these were the things that i found touching and thoughtful and excruciatingly beautiful.

i think it helped to finish the book the same way i had started it; listening to John read it to me. i got the Limited Edition Audiobook box set, and i’m so glad that i did.

also, the title couldn’t have been more perfect. not just meaning of the title and how it relates to the book, but there is much talk of stars sprinkled throughout the story. both real and metaphorical ones.

oh, and Orion happens to be the only constellation i can identify as well.

Forever Yours

it’s no secret that i’m a long-standing member of the Nermie Army. and as such, Lord Alex Day (it’s really so wrong that it’s really his name) has called out to his army to plug the shit out of his latest single.

BUT DON’T BUY IT YET!!!

or do if you want. but it’ll be best if you wait till the week of Dec. 18th. cuz then it’ll count toward him getting the #1 on Christmas in the UK. (i don’t know either. apparently this is a thing.) he’ll be giving the money to charity, too. so there’s that.

so in the mean time, feel free to get the song stuck in your head (as it’s stuck in mine) and watch the video. ^_^