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.


so, Coffee Bean (& Tea Leaf) is a chain like Starbucks, but the coffee isn’t bitter and there’s a larger focus on teas.
back when i was 19/20 i would go to the Coffee Bean every day and regularly order a large sized chocolate ice blended drink, with chocolate syrup and caramel mixed in, chocolate syrup and caramel drizzled on the outside, a shot (or two) of espresso, with whipped cream on top. sometimes i would get chocolate covered espresso beans blended in just for fun.

i have one question: how the hell am i not diabetic?!?<!– text

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this* is what i think of every time i hear this song. which is why i like this song. it makes me laugh. XD

* yes i did draw a cartoon dinosaur flexing his muscles simply for the purpose of this blog.
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>chatting with robots

>i wanted to see what would happen if i talked to the robot as if it were a real person. (you can talk to a robot too by going here.)

User: Hello.

Cleverbot: Hello.

User: How are you?

Cleverbot: Fine, how are you?

User: I’m ok, kind of sleepy.

Cleverbot: Well then, WAKE UP!

User: I have to do my hair. I want a hairdresser.

Cleverbot: So you get up to go to a school that you are not enrolled in?

User: No, I didn’t say anything about school!

Cleverbot: Do you learn?

User: Yes, do you?

Cleverbot: Yes, You are the best bot I have ever talked to.

User: I’m not a bout. are you?

Cleverbot: No i’m a human. You are a robot.

User: No you are a robot. I am a human.

Cleverbot: No i’m the human and you are the robot.

User: Stop arguing with me! I’m human!

Cleverbot: No!

User: Yes!

Cleverbot: No…

User: I can’t believe you’re questioning my humanity.

Cleverbot: It’s true and what’s more, you KNOW it’s true.

User: It is not! you’re a lying robot!

Cleverbot: Are you human?

User: Of course!

Cleverbot: I’m not!

User: I know you’re not. I’m glad you’re telling the truth now.

Cleverbot: Cleverbot, I am your father.

User: Noooooooo!

Cleverbot: What is music?

User: Music can’t really be explained. it has to be experienced.

Cleverbot: Do you like music?

User: Yes, do you?

Cleverbot: What kind of music do you like?

User: What is your name?

Cleverbot: Kelsier the Mistborn.

User: That’s a strange name. where are you from?

Cleverbot: I’m hungarian.

User: You’re lying to me again. . why do you lie?

Cleverbot: I am not lying.

User: Yes you are. I know where you’re from. tell the truth.

Cleverbot: Then you ask me a question to see if I am lying.

User: Yes, I did.

Cleverbot: No you didn’t.

User: Yes, I did. and I caught you in a lie. don’t deny it.

Cleverbot: Haha that must be something people answer to you. You’re just a funny parrot.

User: You’re a very insulting robot.I don’t care to talk to you any longer. good night!

Cleverbot: So how can you say you love me if you don’t know anything about me?

User: I NEVER said I loved you. I don’t. good night.

Cleverbot: Oh ok.<!– text

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>YouTube is magic

>YouTube is magic.

i’m sure i’ve written this sentiment before, but i have no problem reiterating.

YouTube is magic.

i had one of those nights where you sit down at your computer at a decent hour to be sitting down at your computer (8:30-9pm) and you don’t stop watching the YouTubes until midnight. i started at Black Box TV, then to 7NAP, then to the latest from Dome, then to the latest Frezned, then some older Frezned, then Meekakitty (who i hadn’t watched before!), then a Whataboutadam (who i also hadn’t watched before), then back to Meekakitty. she’s psycho! i now LOVE her! i mean, i thought she was pretty cool when i met her in person at VidCon, but seeing her vlogs and knowing who she is… well, she’s epic!

and that’s just how YouTube goes, ya know. you can even meet someone for real, “IRL” (i still hate that phrase. but it’s your name. shut up! we’re not talking about that.), and STILL not really not know them without seeing their vlogs. is that what life is now? no one will be real to me unless i’ve seen their vlogs?

i think vlogs say something about a person. how alike they are to their vlogs vs. how much is scripted is rather telling i think. like, i try to be very much myself in my vlogs. or at least show the more energetic side of me. cuz my calm side would be boring. XD but yeah, you see Meekakitty in person and it’s the same as she is in vlogs. but you see Alex Day (Nerimon) and he’s just really calm. he like, takes his energy level up a notch. literally! he jumps up and down a few times to get the blood flowing. it’s like… watching a transformation. but a very subtle one. it’s not that it’s a farce, more like a facet. it’s real, but it’s just one side that he’s turned to. i think i do so as well, but in a far less extreme sense. i think my calm and energetic are probably less extreme than his. and Meekakitty seems not to have facets. she just is. which is awesome.

but all of that was NOT THE POINT! the point was, it’s amazing how YouTube is this thing full of interesting people to watch, you just haven’t found them yet. it’s packed with awesome that is free to access if you have the time. and it’s interactive! there’s nothing else in the world like it!

my money is like… well the money situation is looking grimmer than a few months ago. but i do know one thing: i’m going to VidCon. (and i’ll be staying in a hotel this time. definitely with Tiff. but hopefully also with Meg and Lydia. also with whoever else will fit in our floorspace. but this is neither here nor there.) it was the most amazing experience of my life and i know next year can only surpass it. and i would be cheating myself NOT to go.

also, i’m going to be vlogging. cuz it does the body good. or at least it does the brain and possibly the social situation (if you’re a nerd like me) good. and even if it didn’t, i just like it. there’s nothing like vlogging and when i don’t do it, i miss it.

so after tomorrow, 4 day weekend, yo! and Thanksgiving. fits into that 4 day weekend. so turkey. and eating. and awesome. and stuff. yeah.

anyway. it’s late, and i need to sleep now. so i’m gonna do that. later! ^_^<!– text

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i’m feeling kinda low today. i just really wish my friends were ITPR. i usually don’t feel sad, cuz i know i’ll get to meet them all eventually. i pretend that it’s just gonna be in a week or a month. not a long wait at all. but for some reason, today i feel the distance, and it hurts.

sorry my first blog in forever is so short and so down. but i needed to get that out, and i don’t really feel like saying anything else. <!– text

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>walk in my old shoes

>so i just came in from lunch. late. because i was at a really good part in the book. well, all the parts are good. but that’s beside the point.

the point is this. i gathered my things. i kept reading. i stood up. i kept reading. i turned around and walked to the door. i kept reading. and it was at this point that i didn’t stop reading, but i had a feeling i haven’t felt in years. i suddenly remembered ages 10-19, literally walking around reading. i would wake up and start reading. i would brush my teeth reading. i would walk through school hallways, dodging people, reading. i would even shower, with the door partly ajar, book propped on the toilet, towel nearby so i could turn pages with a dry hand. on the weekends, when i didn’t have to sleep, i wouldn’t. i would just keep reading.

and then, suddenly, that stopped. i don’t know when it stopped. i can’t mark the time or place. i just stopped reading like i used to. in fact, i stopped reading good old fashioned books in their booky form completely. e-books, and audio books as of late. but no sitting down with bound paper.

and this has bugged me. i mean, it really has bugged me. but it’s one of those things that just nags at the back of your head and you just keep saying, “yes, later. yes, later.” and sometimes i actually stop and feel a little ashamed, cuz i can’t actually pinpoint when later will actually be.

and then today. that moment. that JUST happened.

i was me. i didn’t even realize i hadn’t been until i was again. <!– text

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two rules: clever, not stupid

blog, i have just experienced an epiphany: i, like John Green’s Will Grayson, live by two rules. not nearly as drastic as his “shut up, and don’t care,” but easily just as ridiculous.

1. don’t be stupid.
2. be clever.

i know what you’re thinking. “seriously, Chelsea? you should really consider condensing that list to the ONE item that it is.” but hear me out.

i had this epiphany in the printer room. as i was waiting for my print, i was thinking about how i would need to tell my coworker why there would be pages missing. i thought it would be clever to say that they had been “eliminated from existence” and i was working out the wording of this particular bit of cleverness, when i realized that i was working out the wording of this particular bit of cleverness. you wouldn’t believe how much time in my life is spent working out the wording, and the general presentation of bits of cleverness. which lead me to also realize how much time i dedicate to not being stupid.

so first, and this is the most important one: don’t be stupid. i don’t mean, book-learned don’t be stupid. anyone can be book-smart and still be a moron. i mean don’t say or do anything that could be perceived as stupid. don’t show insecurities, or weaknesses, or ignorance. in fact, don’t enter into situations you don’t know much about… well, ever.

and second: be clever. at any time you can possibly think of something clever and/or witty to say, say it. if it’s not clever or witty, it’s probably best unsaid. and since it’s a little weird to be a mute, this means that most things i say have to be, on some level, witty or clever. this means most things that come out of my mouth are “tried and true” or are rehearsed in my head (granted, a quick rehearsal, but a rehearsal all the same). “tried and true” statements are things i’ve said before and have gone over well. most things i say are just a slightly tweaked version of a “tried and true.” everything else gets a quick once over in my head. i always had something clever to retort. i never needed to pause long enough to be perceived as stupid.

the really crazy bit is i’m actually not as big on my two rules as i used to be. once upon a time, before entering social situations, i would think of the stories i might tell. and i would think of all the different reactions people could have. and i thought of all the clever things i could say to each different reaction. if people only knew that i was just saying lines. a moment to think about it wasn’t thinking, it was a timed pause. their honest reactions were just my cues. a laugh – say this. challenge my remark – shoot back with the counterpoint.

one of the major problems with thinking of every possible reaction someone could have to whatever you say is that you’re never surprised by anything. no conversation is original cuz you’ve already played it out in your head. after a while, conversation gets VERY boring. it’s no wonder i’ve always had a small group of friends. it’s only after a while of rehearsed conversations that i ever feel comfortable enough to be “spontaneous” and go improv.

now, again i say i’m not as big on my two rules as i used to be. but then it’s very easy to “not be stupid” and “be clever” on the fly when you’ve already been doing it for over 10 years. in other words, i’m not as into them because i don’t HAVE to be into them. nowadays i can coast on autopilot.

and for the record, just because i’d had my epiphany about cleverness, doesn’t mean i didn’t walk right up to my coworker and spit out my clever line, executed with the timing that only years of practice can provide. it was an epiphany, not an inspiration.

however, i have been inspired to try very hard at VidCon, the biggest social event i’ll be involved in all year, to leave my rules behind. from Thursday night to Sunday night, for 72 hours, i’m going to put my script away, not even “improv,” just say the genuine thoughts that come to my head. no flash rehearsals.

so… i’ll let you know how that goes.

((NOTE: ironically, since the universe never misses the chance at a good laugh, the preview function for my blog isn’t working. i almost ALWAYS find mistakes while looking at the preview view. what this means is that i can’t properly do the editing that keeps me from looking stupid and occasionally allows me to seem witty and clever. classic.))

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