NaNoWriMo: Wrap-up; Drained Ambition, Renewed Effort to Come

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And as swiftly as it arrived, it was over. National Novel Writing Month of 2016 concluded with a small whooshing sound, as it passed me by while I juggled too many projects to keep up. 

In the end, I reached nearly 25k words, half of what I set out to do. The fighter/winner in me is ashamed to admit I did not slay the NaNo beast. But the sensible/insightful in me is proud that I put myself out there. It was important for me to take a step forward, to take a chance. I may not have finished as I intended, but I still tried. Sometimes trying is more important than achieving. 

It doesn’t matter what kept me from achieving my goal. What is important is that I learned a lot about my writing process, and I allowed my mind to fully immerse in a world again. It has been a long time, and it felt like I was returning home after a long absence.

And now I know I owe it to myself and my world to continue on, and get the story out. So that’s what I’ll continue to do – just on a different schedule!

So congrats fellow writers that beat NaNo, you are awesome! And congrats fellow writers who tried, you are awesome too! Regardless of how many steps we took during the crazy month of November, they were all advancements towards a goal, and that itself is important to be proud of.

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NaNoWriMo: Tips for Thought

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As NaNoWriMo 2016 is winding down, I found myself reflecting on what I’ve learned during the last month. I wanted to take a moment to share it with anyone thinking of attempting NaNo, or just writing for that matter. I’m not a pro, and this may or not be helpful to you, but here are a few things I’ve taken away from the experience of trying to write a novel in 30 days.

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Afraid of the Dark

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Ashes are all that remain of the flame.
Flames of passion, once a fuel, pushing forth, pushing onwards. 
Ashes are scattered, broken dreams are scattered, mind is scattered.
Fractured reflections glare forth, fractures of confidence, fractures of purpose, fractures mended once before.
Darkness beckons, coaxing, begging, pleading, yelling, demanding.
The absence of flame, the inevitable, the fall. 

The Infinite Sadness of Yearning for the Past

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Although she could look to the horizon and see the protective hills of her childhood, the yearning did not ease. Fifteen years of absence, spent in denial and indifference, reversed with a smile from an unexpected source. The ill feelings towards those that had forgotten her suddenly ceased, and the longing for the familiar returned. She realized, as she watched her once family, now strangers, she yearned for what once was, not what now is. The pain of loss, another great patriarch of the family, returned to the ground, weighed heavily on her heart; but the revelation that she missed those she had spent so much time resenting, crushed her soul. 

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Look It Up

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Hyperbole
[hahy-pur-buh-lee]
nounRhetoric.
1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”.

Hyperbole: a word that I always have to look up the definition – and then when I read what it means, realize I do it on a daily basis. For some reason this really amuses me. It is also one of those words that I read completely wrong, every time. Hyper-bowl is not right, and really screws up the flow of a sentence.

But when I stop and think about it, there are a lot of words in the English language that amuse me for odd reasons. Take “onomatopoeia” for example, another word I often forget the definition of. When I see the word, it makes me think of some strange library or magic dictionary. Mostly because it rhymes with encyclopedia. Encyclopedia in my mind = books on a shelf (library) and pages of information (fat dictionary). Makes perfect sense.

A term that will stick with me for the rest of my life that was hammered into me during a high school English class: anti-transcendentalism. I cannot remember a lick regarding what the teacher was teaching us about this term, and in addition, I loathed reading and examining the Scarlet Letter. I’m also completely convinced that my teacher had an unhealthy obsession with the term “anti-transcendentalism”, and took it as a personal challenge to use the word as often/creatively as possible during that part of the curriculum. It was pure torture. I can still see her crazed, smiling face chirping the word repeatedly and saying something about it being such a lengthy, wonderful word. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn new words. I love the word a day calendars, and I always make it a point to read the weird word being featured on thesaurus.com when I’m writing. Which reminds me that I called a thesaurus a theOsaurus well into high school, and I can recall one of my teachers asking which dinosaur I was referring to.

Oh hyper-bowl, look at the rabbit hole you’ve pulled me down.