And Day Four

I watched reruns of Lost all night.

It’s sort of research for one of my writing projects, but really I just had an icky day at work and I have to do a sleep study tomorrow so I was mostly just goofing off.

I was ready to meh my hundred day challenge for the day, but Jason told me I was not too tired to post a blog.

And here it issszzzzzzzzzzzz

It’s Only the Third Day

This is the third day of my one hundred day challenge.

The challenge is supposed to be “post a blog or write for an hour every day,” but already it’s turning into a “blog every damn day” challenge because I can’t seem to set aside an entire hour in a day to work on a writing project but I can squeeze out fifteen minutes for a blog post.

And that’s why I wanted to do this challenge–to make writing a priority.

Jokes on me!

No, no, no. Just the third day, I can still do this.

I bought Scrivener not too long ago and I’m scared of it. I’ve been watching tips ‘n tricks videos on YouTube and am slowly going through the tutorial. But I’m still scared of it.

Or I’m just making excuses.

Tomorrow will tell.

Short Story Exercise: Change Diapers

(Using the book The Playful Way to Serious Writing [Amazon affiliate link], I set a timer for ten minutes and wrote a short story relating to the phrase “change diapers.” Edited a smidgen after the fact.)

 

Tara slowly adjusted her position in the seat. She couldn’t put it off any longer.

She checked the rearview mirror, set the suburban’s cruise control and carefully unbuckled her seat belt. A peak into the backseat reassured her that Brad was still asleep.

Tara slipped her hand under the skirt’s waistband and tugged at the straps. The thin cotton ripped open easily enough. She grimaced as a pungent odor tickled her nose, but this was no time to be squeamish. She planted her feet on the floor and raised her hips.

Holding the wheel with one hand, Tara slowly pulled the soiled diaper down until it cleared the hem of her skirt. She coughed against the stench, then lowered her window, and tossed her burden out. Grabbing a fresh diaper from the pile in passenger seat, she stole a glance into the back.

By some miracle, Brad was still asleep.

Unfortunately, flashing blue lights were coming up behind her and fast. Tara shoved the new diaper between her butt and the seat, sat down, and stomped her foot on the accelerator causing the suburban to roar in protest.

“What is that smell?” Brad said, his voice muffled with sleep.

“I think I hit a skunk,” she replied, her eyes trained on the rearview mirror.

Brad took in his surroundings and sat up straight. “Where are we? What am I doing here? Where’s Jessica?!”

“Don’t worry, baby, everything is going to be fine,” Tara sang out, tears stinging her eyes. “It’s just you and me now!”

She could hear the sirens. In her mirror she saw at least three state troopers closing in behind them, and still more coming from the opposite direction.

“Stop the car, right now!” Brad roared, yanking at the rope tied around his ankles. “Let me out now, you psychotic bitch!”

I love you!” Tara screamed as she yanked the wheel to the right.

 


Like I said, ten minutes to write a story.

And that’s what you get.

My 100 Day Challenge

April 1 to June 30 is 100 days. There are lots of hundred day challenges floating around the internet, and they don’t necessarily start April 1. Most of them are about fitness goals.

I have fitness goals. But I’m stuck with this body until I die, so any fitness thing I decide to do needs to be more long term than a few months. I did a crash diet once, and it worked, and then the pounds came back, and they brought some friends with them. Dammit.

So instead I chose a writing goal. Every day from today through June 30, I will either post a blog or spend an hour writing. And if I were a gambler, I’d bet the lot that I don’t do it. I’m a tad flaky when it comes to self-imposed challenges.

***

Me: I want to write a book!

NaNoWriMo: Here’s a month long challenge to write 50k words, and here’s message boards and moderators and adorable merchandise to help you!

Me after day one: Yeah, I’m not doing that.

***

Me: I want to read nonstop for 24 hours!

Me at hour zero: Whatever, I think I’ll just watch YouTube crap all day.

***

It’s pretty frustrating to know about all of the things that I honestly want to do, knowing that life is short, and still knowing that I am the biggest obstacle to me achieving my own goals. I had a birthday recently. Forty is getting closer, but I still don’t think I’ve really started acting like an adult.

I want to write. So, I’m going to write. That’s how adult-ing works, yeah?

Checking In

Awhile back I had the grand idea of posting a weekly update on this blog. I would post a snapshot of the view from my window at the same time every week, list the sunrise/sunset times, and briefly touch on the weather. Then I’d list my observations from the week before and write out my plans for the coming week.

I was thinking that because I live in Alaska, folks might enjoy seeing how quickly the seasons change and the sunlight shifts. And I thought it would be a roundabout way of getting me back into the habit of writing relatively regularly.

But like NaNoWriMo, because there was a deadline (Mondays) I don’t want to do it.

I don’t like surprises. I like to know what’s coming and plan ahead for as many scenarios as possible. So you would think I would appreciate a similar structure for my hobbies.

Yeah, no.

If it has to be done right now because I say so, it’s not happening. To the point of a toddler-like tantrum.

If it has to be done right now because someone else says so, okay. Heck I’ll even smile.

I don’t know what would happen if someone tried to pay me to write. I think it would be physically painful for me to write something that I didn’t enjoy writing, and so if I was being forced to write, I think my head might explode. Like that guy in Scanners.

Anyway.

The sunrise today was 10:57am and it set at 2:39pm. We’re just about to the solstice and then the days will start getting longer again. After enduring the summer of the midnight sun, I think I prefer the dark of winter. The daylight can get pretty intense after awhile.

The only real drawback to the darkness is that I basically can’t drive at all. My night vision is awful and it’s about an eight mile drive through the trees to get to town, no street lights to help, and moose love to wander onto the highway. Bad combination. Of course the roads have been icy for a couple months so I’m totally fine letting Jason drive always.

IMG_1612

About 2pm at The Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska

We’ve managed to do a bit more sight seeing here and there. The Santa Claus House is basically a huge gift shop with a huge fiberglass Santa out front and a live Santa inside you can take a picture with. By the way, North Pole is the name of the town, but it has nothing to do with the magnetic north pole.

I do hope to blog more. Maybe short stories, maybe life updates, who knows. One thing for sure, I’ll do it when I want to and not before.

Monday November 6

Diary entry, just an update on life, things, whatnot.

November 6

The view from my office today around 4pm

This morning the sun came up at 8:57am and it set at 4:11pm. The high was in the low twenties while the low is in the single digits.

So NaNoWriMo started. I didn’t get the surge of creativity on November first like I’d hoped. I managed to write a few hundred words, and immediately got a monster headache.

Haven’t touched it since.

Like so many things, I like the idea of having written, but not so much the actual work of writing. I haven’t been able to have fun writing in a long time. I was hoping that NaNoWriMo and my crafty composition notebooks would at least make me want to write, but I honestly haven’t wanted to write in a long time.

Probably I picked the wrong story for NaNoWriMo. And probably I should have just tried typing instead of writing longhand. And I probably should have remembered the lesson from last year–if a thing is supposed to be fun, but there’s a time limit and/or daily goal, I’m not going to do it.

I know I could write 50k words in 30 days. But trying to write 50k in 30 days brings out my stubborn, toddler brain that only knows how to say NOPE.

Preptober 2017

nanowrimo crest

National Novel Writing Month starts November 1, tomorrow. If you too are attempting to write 50,000+ words in the month of November, feel free to add me as a writing buddy. My username is kristykristymckinnon. Last year was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, and I did not win. May as well try again, right?

This year I’m going to be writing a brand new novel. If I had to pigeon-hole it into a category I’d call it a supernatural mystery. Basically my heroine hears things and accidentally figures out that she’s hearing other people’s thoughts. One night she hears someone plotting a murder, and later sees a story on the news about a famous person who supposedly committed suicide via the same method as the murder plot she overheard. Did I mention that my heroine is a tired, divorced grocery store clerk? Cue the moral struggle/sleuthing theme music!

That’s a thing, right?

Because my job requires me to sit and stare at a computer screen all day, I have a hard time making myself sit and stare at my personal computer after work. In an effort to give myself every opportunity to win NaNoWriMo, I decided to handwrite my novel this year. This way it will be portable, I’ll get to practice my handwriting, I won’t be tempted to rewrite the same sentence over and over, and I have an excuse to buy new pens and notebooks!

So I picked up a few cheap composition notebooks. I tore the shiny paper off the covers to expose the brown paper. This makes it easier to use glue. Using double stick tape and glue, I attached thick cardboard to the covers to make them into hardcover notebooks since I’ll likely do most of my writing sitting on the couch. In hindsight, I should have just spent a few extra bucks to buy hardcover composition notebooks. Oh well, live and learn.

Attached cardboard

I attached a piece wide elastic to the back cover of each to make a pen loop. Then I wrapped the notebooks in sherpa. My thinking was that it would make the books soft to the touch, which would make me want to hold them. But I’m probably going to regret this decision. The sherpa is shedding worse than my kitties, and now my kitties think the notebooks are cat toys.

Finished

Finally, I glued some pretty paper into the front and back for a flyleaf.

Flyleaf

Flyleaf with penloop

See the pen loop?

Almost all of the supplies came from Michaels, and the rest was just stuff I had in my stash.

Acquiring the materials was the fun part. Now comes the work.

I have a general idea of the plot, but I haven’t done any real planning or developing of my story. I want to have the entire story fleshed out and divided into thirty parts before I start so that I’ll know exactly what I need to write each day. Alas, I have been procrastinating.

Writing should be fun, especially the plotting stuff. There aren’t any rules. You get to make up and choose everything. If you don’t like the way something turns out, you can change it to whatever you want.

But to date I’ve had more fun daydreaming about potential cover art and my old abandoned scifi novel. Drat.

But I did make this:

Word count countdown

See? Every time I cross a word threshold I get to color in a box! Hooray for visual goals!

I don’t have to work tomorrow, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that in the morning I’ll feel a surge of creativity, finish drafting the outline, and still hit my 1,667+ word goal. It could happen.

Monday October 16

Weekly check in, overview of last week and plans for next week.

October 16

The view from my office at 5pm, actively snowing.

The sun came up at 8:48am this morning and set at 6:23pm. The high was predicted at 33 with a low of 24. We had some sun this morning, but it has been snowing steadily since about 4pm.

LAST WEEK

Between the weather changing, overtime, and Inktober, I spent a lot of time sitting down last week.

We rewatched Passengers, Liar Liar, The Goonies, and the first season of the animated Spawn series. We also binge watched Stranger Things again so it will be fresh in our brains when season two starts next week.

And then there’s this…

2bg 6

Season six of 2 Broke Girls (Amazon affiliate link). I loved the first season of this show, and I enjoyed season two. Season three was just okay, but it’s been downhill ever since. The show has finally been canceled, so season six is the last. Because I adore Kat Dennings, I’m forcing myself to watch the entire series. I got season six last week and it’s been a painful slog to get through all these episodes. Today I’m just over half way through, but I know if I don’t finish the thing it will bug me. If I didn’t love that first season so much I wouldn’t bother, but it’s like I have to know the thing is dead before I can bury it and move on, you know?

THIS WEEK

I’m putting in twenty hours of overtime this week. Between work, sleep and Inktober, I’ll blink and it will be Saturday again.

Bye!