Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo The End? Not Yet!

Today is officially the last day of National Novel Writing Month. I "finished" my novel about a week ago but I thought today would be a nice day for reflection. This was a great experience. This month forced me to realize that I am perfectly capable of writing a significant amount daily. I finished a first draft of a novel in 23 days, that's huge for me! However, the work is not over. December will be Edit the Book Month, along with the month that includes preparing final projects, getting ready for Christmas and getting another ebook ready to put up for sale. It's going to be a busy month but this month has made me realize that I can handle it.

When Kortnee convinced me to participate in NaNoWriMo, I kept thinking, "Wow, 50,000 words in a month...that's a huge commitment," but then I realized this is a commitment I should be making every month. Having a daily word count has made me commit to a story and I like that commitment so I will be implementing word count goals into my writing from now on. I am grateful to both Kortnee and NaNoWriMo for showing me I can write again.

After my car accident, I couldn't write for at least nine months and I thought I may never write again. It's been a slow process to get back to where I should be and I still feel slow at times but I have new hope. I'm a writer, you can't knock that out of me no matter how hard you hit me. This month made me realize that I was down at one point but I am certainly not out. I know many people assured me I would get back to my writing but I needed to prove it to myself. Thank you to everyone who told me I could do it.

So, congratulations to everyone who "won" and finished their novels! And to those who didn't, congratulations on a great effort and I am sure you will finish soon. Thank you to everyone who supported me, believed I could finish and helped me along the way. The encouragement met more than you could know. A special thank you to Bill for pushing me toward my daily goals and always being there to tell me I can do it. Thank you to Kortnee for pushing me into this and for taking the journey with me (You're a winner!). Thanks mom for constantly asking when you get to read it (still...soon!). To anyone else who kept track of my journey, thank you! I look forward to getting my list of "to-dos" done soon and I'll keep everyone updated on the novel and the upcoming ebook (look for it around Mid-December). Have a great night everyone! I am going to sleep the content sleep of knowing NaNoWriMo has been conquered.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...Unless You Work Retail

I love Christmas. I love going to Christmas Eve service, I love decorating my house, I love watching the TV specials. I love spending time with loved ones and buying them gifts. I love it all, or at least most of it. There is one part of Christmas that people seem to overlook: the retail worker! Yes, that person that helps you find those perfect gifts for your loved ones. For some we are the ones you pass without saying much. To others we are the ones who help you track down the one item you have been looking for. And then, there is that group of people to which we are the human punching bag, the person you yell at and, sometimes, the person "who ruined Christmas!" 

Who would actually tell a worker they ruined Christmas? You'd be surprised. This is just one of the ridiculous things people say to those who 'serve' them around Christmas. So, in honor of all those retail workers out there, including my co-workers, who have been facing, and will continue to face, the horrors of Christmas shoppers, I present to you: The 5 Most Ridiculous Questions/Comments/Actions I've Witnessed SO FAR This Year! (In no particular order)

1. Are these all the personalized ornaments you have or are there more in the back?

This sounds like an innocent question but let's examine the situation. Imagine: You walk into a store and you see a spinning rack of red ornaments imprinted with names. Oh so pretty, right? Yes, so pretty. You spin the rack and look for the name of your family members. Yes, they have David. Oh, they also have Abigail. Wait, where is Madysen with my special spelling? And where is Timmy, not Tim or Timothy. Excuse me miss, do you have more of these in the back? Now, I want you to stop and think for a moment. If I had more of these ornaments, more besides the names on the rack, would they really be in the back room where I can't sell them? This rack is set with ornaments that are emblazoned with the name of the ornament, BEHIND THE ORNAMENT,  for easy searching but do I have any DIFFERENT names in the back? Oh wait, let me check...NO! I do not have a giant box in the back of ornaments I am hoarding because I like the different names, nor do I have a machine that instantly imprints your many obscure me, I wish I did as my best friend's name is Kortnee (note the unique spelling). We get the ornaments that are sent to us and the special rack with those chosen names on them. I don't handpick the names and I don't plot for your name not to be there because of a sick twisted need on my part. Trust me, I have been the person for years going, "Where is Jill?" when I look at personalized items. You'd be surprised how unpopular that name can be. We specifically sell blank ornaments so you can take a red writing sharpie to them if you so desire. And yes, I know "it's not the same" but staring at me blankly after saying this WILL NOT make your ornament magically appear. I'll tell ya what, next year I'll get little elves and set them up at a table in the back ready to print any name from the thousands of names in the Baby Name Book and we'll get you that ornament. Until then, try Google.

2. V.I.P Gifts Are NOT Made For Your Personal Gift-Giving

Our store gives out special V.I.P gifts every year. There is ONE per customer with the purchase of $50 or more and we usually require a coupon with it that was sent in the mail to certain customers. This year we got extras, since we are a test store, and gave them out to anyone spending over $50. This V.I.P kit included a cute cookie jar, candle, ornament and candy. It was adorable and it sparked insanity! Some customers were surprised by it, not having received a coupon, and some happily took their expected one and left. Then there were the crazies. These people asked if they got a cookie jar for every $50 spent. So, if they spent $150 they got three, right? NO! What part of V.I.P, one per person do you not get? We had a few people who didn't get this and one who earned herself the title, Crazy Cookie Jar Lady. I will admit, we were not very creative in her name but she was not very creative in her tactics. This lady spent $150 and asked for three. Why? Well, she has three daughters and two couldn't go without...well, then don't give them a FREE V.I.P gift for Christmas! She threw a fit and somehow managed to get two. Then, not happy, she went home and changed her clothes and came back an hour later in a track suit. I wish I was kidding. Now, here's where she made the mistake. If you are going to try to get multiple free items, don't complain loudly the first time you come in! My manager of course remembered this lady because she threw a fit. Track suit or not, she remembered this woman because she made a fuss. I remembered her because, aside from the cookie jar, she made a point to tell me, and two other workers, about her bad experience with a store 3 years earlier while we were trying to help the store full of customers. This was one of our busiest times of the year and we all remembered this lady because she kept throwing her tantrums. So, she came in her track suit and purchased 150 more dollars of merchandise and asked for a cookie jar...we said no because she already had one. She responded by having me put an ornament on hold for her at another store. When she got to that store she complained that we hadn't given her a cookie jar. This was mistake number two! If you are going to go to multiple stores to get a free item, don't complain about another store. We will call that other store to either find out if you are lying or to ream them for poor customer service. Just purchase your items, get your free crap and move on. In a three day period, this woman visited our store four times that I witnessed and went to two other stores. How many cookie jars did she get? Two! Why? Because we had an alert up for her after her first fit. She spent at least a hundred dollars every time. Another stupid thing! If you need fifty for a free item and you are doing it just for that item, why spend two or three times that much? Well, this lady returned the next week to return $140 worth of her purchases. Guess who got to do the return...Yup, me. And this lady was even stupider than I originally thought. She returned about ten ornaments and they were all multiples. Who needs three 2nd Christmas ornaments? Nobody. She tried to convince me she forgot what she bought. Lady, we all know you just bought them to get a free cookie jar. So what have we learned? 1.) Free items are not gifts unless you have ONE person to give them to. 2.) If you want more than one free gift, don't draw attention to yourself. You won't stick out from the other hundreds of customers unless you tell thirty minute stories and throw a hissy fit.

3. "You'll be out of a job soon!"

Yup, I had this yelled at me one night. Why? Because our policy changed and we could no longer return ornaments. We could only exchange them for equal or greater value because Corporate changed the policy. So, when a man came in with his ornament and his receipt and I told him this, he immediately rose his voice. "It doesn't say that on the receipt!" I replied politely, I'm sorry sir but you did buy the ornament after the new policy was enacted so I can't return it. "That's ridiculous!" Well, he went out to his car to tell his wife and came back in to pick out a new ornament. He returned to my register where I told him he would have to fill out the paperwork on the receipt, name, phone number and so on. He waved me on and I did the exchange while he continued to yell at me. One of my co-workers watched me and I am sure I had a blood vessel bulging on the side of my head as I kept saying, "I'm sorry but we have to do what corporate says." He told me we should be ashamed of ourselves and that our cards are overpriced. Then he declared, "they keep raising the prices and, soon, no one will buy these stupid cards! Then who will be hurting? You! You'll be out of a job soon!" He apparently has never watched how many cards come to our registers. Trust me, my job is safe! After his tirade he said, "I'm sorry, this isn't your fault," but he did so while still yelling! Then I gave him the paperwork to fill out and he left the phone number blank. We need the phone number in order to process everything. I tell him this and he says, "I don't have a phone number. I don't have a phone." I'm about to say something when he picks the pen back up and says, "Ya know what? Here! They can call me and I can tell them what I think about their policy!" Ok, great. Tell them, not me! That is, if they ever call you, which they won't! They don't care about your fifteen dollar ornament exchange. He left declaring that he was going to call the hotline and complain. Please do so that I don't have to listen anymore! I looked at my co-worker and she asked how I didn't scream at the man after he degraded me for fifteen minutes. I honestly didn't know the answer. I wish he was the only one who has done this but I've had loads of people like this, one who wrote down a number then walked away saying "That's not my real number!" Well, the joke was on her...I had her number in our system for our rewards card. Don't tell me your number is unlisted when I can look it up on the computer. Oh but don't worry, I won't have a job soon anyway so your number is safe. ;)

4. "I Got My Coupon in the Mail After My Purchase, Can I Return Everything to Get My Discount?"
Really? You want me to HAND TYPE everything on your receipt so I can return your fifty items then retype them in with your 20% off coupon and you can get a few dollars back? I've had this happen twice now this week. I don't know why I keep getting so lucky but the crazies seem to flock to me. The first one called ahead and we relented. She had purchased about $200 worth of stuff, went home and her coupon was waiting in the mail. My manager oked it and she came back and I got to key in the codes for over fifty items so I could return it all then repurchase it with a coupon. This took 45 minutes of my time. How much is 45 minutes of my life worth? Apparently $26. She was nice enough about it but I think that bothered me more than yelling. She kept saying, "I am so sorry about this." Well, if you were really sorry then you wouldn't have had me do it!  The second person had around fifty items too and my manager tried to spare me this time. She said, "Well, do you have the merchandise with you?" in hopes of him saying no and figuring it was a lot of work to type it in. He said no and asked if I could just type it in...So, apparently you know how much work this is and you don't care if you torture me, you douche bag! We inform him it will take time and he says that's ok, he will shop some more. So, I get to typing. He ends up spending so much more that he owes us seven dollars. At least my time was worth $40 dollars this time but still, if you are going to spend that much money anyway, why make me return a whole different purchase? The lesson: USE YOUR COUPONS ON ITEMS THAT YOU PURCHASE AFTER YOU GET THE COUPON! Common sense has been lost on this world.

5. "Do You Have A Box For This?"

We don't have a box for everything! This may seem small but there are only so many times a person can take being asked, "Do you have a box for this?" I know it would be easy if we had a box for everything. You could buy it, take it home and wrap it nicely without a problem. The only problem is, where would we put all of these boxes? Think about. We can't display hundreds of boxes, there is no room. We already keep thousands of boxes in the back, we can't keep them for the smallest things or least expensive things. Sure, we have some under the counter but not for the giant train you are purchasing! And certainly not for the odd shaped snowman who is too tall for your average coffee mug box. It's impossible to have that many boxes lying around. The other day I had a lady purchase one of our giant piggy banks. They are maybe a foot tall at the most but they are wide and don't fit any of our boxes under the counter. I told her they don't even come in boxes; they are one of our items that come individually wrapped in bubble wrap in a giant box. She asked if she could have the bubble wrap...I had to take a second before answering just to control my, "REALLY?" look that was sneaking onto my face. I told her we throw away the bubble wrap when we take the items out to display. She told me this was a waste of bubble wrap and that we should really keep it. Yeah lady, we don't have space for 10,000 boxes but I'll get right on the storing of random sheets of bubble wrap! 

The sad thing is that it's not even December! I'm sure I'll have more to report by the end of the season. Until then, take a moment and think about how you talk to your local retail workers. Take another moment to think if your questions/comment/actions are crazy. Remember, if you have to ask they probably are. 

Have a great Holiday season everyone! I'll be back with more just as soon as that crazy cookie jar lady finds another deal! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Muppets P.P.M.R (Positively Positive Movie Review)

"It's time to play the music,It's time to light the lights. It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!" We all know that song right? If you grew up knowing a Muppet was your best friend, you know that song. You also probably had a child-like moment of pure joy when you found out that they were making a new movie, The Muppets. Then you stopped and went, oh no, will they be able to capture the same energy as they used to? Will it be another horrible Hollywood "remake" like some of these other travesties? Fear not, this is not another Hollywood butchering of your favorite childhood show.

"It's time to put on makeup,It's time to dress up right.It's time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight!" Jason Segel, co-writer and one of the stars of the film, promised that this movie would honor everything Jim Henson created and he kept his promise! The film has the same quirky antics, the same lighthearted humor and the same family friendly aspect that The Muppets have always had. This film follows the journey of a new Muppet, Walter, as he and his brother, Gary (Segel) and Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), try to get the Muppets back together again. Not only does this movie represent a new adventure though, it pays tribute to the past. When the Muppets get back together they all climb in a car for a road trip which is a direct reference to the first movie that tells the story of how the Muppets met. The journey is even complete with Sweetums chasing the car again! After they are together, the Muppets must race to save their studio.

"Why do we always come here,I guess we'll never know. It's like a kind of torture,To have to watch the show!" Yes, Waldorf and Statler are in this movie, heckling the Muppets just like the good ol' days. The whole gang is back, I couldn't think of one character missing. It was great to see how many Muppets have joined the cast over the years. Also joining the cast were some humans, as usual. Jason Segel and Amy Adams do a great job of playing the human support system in the film and their tale mirrors that of Miss Piggy and Kermit. This is the all too familiar story of a couple learning how to show their appreciation of each other. This story-line will be familiar to the adult audience and adds softness to all the humor. Another human in the story is Chris Cooper who plays this film's villain as he tries to take over Muppet Studios.  He does a great job of portraying the larger-than-life type of villain that every Muppet movie needs. This film is also littered with cameos! Look for Jack Black as Animal's anger management sponsor, Zach Galifianakis as Hobo Joe and Emily Blunt as Miss Piggy's receptionist. I won't give away all the surprises but it is clear that many celebrities wanted to honor the Muppets.

"And now let's get things started, Why don't you get things started? It's time to get things started, On the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational...This is what we call the Muppet Show!" And what would any Muppet show be without music? This film has a handful of new songs that have that good old Muppet feel to them. Yes, they are a bit corny but that's part of what make the Muppets amazing. There are also some of the old songs in the film. I don't want to give too much away but yes, you will hear The Rainbow Connection! I was swaying along to the music just as much as the five year old in front of us. I loved it! This movie is a great family film! It is wonderful for those of us who grew up loving the Muppets and it's also a fabulous way to introduce the Muppets to the next generation of viewers.

I left the theater feeling like a five year old again. The only thing was missing was my old Gonzo stuffed animal clutched in my arm. I can't wait to get this on DVD so I can watch it over and over again. This movie can bring a smile to anyone's face. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it! It's worth every penny!

Movie Rating: No sugar needed to sweeten this review.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaNoWriMo Days 21-23 (50,000 words and counting!)

I haven't blogged the past couple of days because I was so close to reaching my goal that I didn't want to report back until I had. It's been a busy week but on day 21, I "finished" my story but was below 50,000 words. I figured this might happen because I often go back and plump up the more skeletal sections of my writing. I am stilling doing this as we speak but I had to let everyone know that I passed 50,000 words! I have now officially "won" National Novel Writing Month! I am still adding, so my word count will keep growing. I still consider this a first draft because I'm not really editing yet. I have fixed a few sentences but I am mostly just boosting the information that I skipped over in my excitement to move onto certain scenes. Here's where I stand as of right now:

Words Written on Days 21-23: 2,976
Total Words Written: 50,023

Winning technically begins November 25th so my novel will be even larger when I "validate it." However, I have proved that I can do what I set my mind to. I have a novel!

This is how I feel right now! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 20 (almost there!)

Just keep writing, just keep writing. What do we do? We write! And so ends Day 20. I was determined to put up some good numbers today and I am pleased to say, I did. I worked this afternoon, had a nice relaxing dinner with Bill and then I got to work. I finished my final scenes and went back to the ones I skipped. I still have to finish those scenes in the middle that I just now have had the ideas for pop into my head but I am getting closer and closer to being done. I can see the finish line and it looks great! I was worried that by this point I would be sick of the story and would not want to edit it but I was wrong. I can't wait to go back and tweak the things I need to. I have even started a list of things that have popped into my head that I know need more information. I'm excited to read the finished first draft and edit it into everything I want it to be. That said, here are today's numbers:

Words Written Today: 3,069
Total Words Written: 47,047

I am less than 3,000 words away from"winning" NaNoWriMo and soon I'll have completed the first draft of my novel. I couldn't be more excited and I can't wait until it's ready to be read by others.

Well, I have to be up early to work in the morning but I hope in the next day or two that I can say I broke 50,000 words! Also, keep an eye out for a review of The Muppets Movie because I plan on being at the midnight release (I love me some muppets!) And last but not least, take a look at my ebook Trapped if you feel so inclined (reviews are appreciated). I guess that is all. Have a great night everyone!

Minnie appears to be about 49,999 words away
from "winning" NaNoWriMo ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo Days 17, 18 and 19

I haven't done a blog in a couple days for a few reasons. The first is that on Day 17 of NaNoWriMo, I closed at work and was so exhausted when I got home that I finished my words and crawled into my bed and slept like a baby. The second is that technology hates me and my internet decided not to work at all yesterday and didn't start working today until around 4 in the afternoon. I truly realized my dependency on the internet during these hours as I nearly twitched at not being able to update my word count. Also, the NaNoWriMo word counter was having some issues for a few days there so my word count is messed up for Days 17 and 18. Because of this, I am going to give a three day total from where I left off on Day 16. That said, I'm excited with my progress. I completed a battle scene I was dreading because I wasn't quite sure how I wanted it to end. I also completed a scene that had been bothering me as it served as a segway into the future. I'm pleased with how these came out, though there will be a bit of tweaking when I edit. I'm now 170 typed pages into my novel and I actually like the story, something I worried about early on. I have to complete a chapter in the middle that I skipped over due to lack of interest (that interest is now renewed) and then finish it up. It doesn't seem possible that I should be this close to finishing my first draft but I am. It feels great!

I had to include this picture because the
Mortal Kombat song kept playing in my
head as I wrote my battle scene. Yes, I even said
the words aloud MANY times while writing the scene.
Whatever works, right?

Alright, here are the numbers for Days 17,18 and 19 combined.

Words Written: 5,850
Total Words Written: 43,978

That's almost 2,000 words a day so I'm steadily chipping away at my remaining words. I have just over 6,000 words left until NaNoWriMo considers me "a winner." My novel will surpass 50,000 words, especially after I edit. I'm very excited. I remember when I hit 6,000 words and thought, "Look at that progress!" I also remember wishing the little blue line on the word count meter would expand faster. Now the line is almost near the end and I am starting to feel a great sense of accomplishment. However, I still have at least 6,000 words to go so I won't focus on this happiness too much. It's time to get back to work and finish this bad boy!

Thanks again for all of the support I have received. I can't say how much I appreciate it. Have a great night everyone! I can't wait until my blog says, "I'm done!" Until then, happy writing!

He may be drawing but we will say Elmo
is illustrating his book. :)

Elmo's computer seems more useful than mine yesterday...
and it's not real.
(Where else could you find Mortal Kombat
and Elmo in one blog?)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 16 (a day of triumph!)

Day 16 has come to a close and I feel much better about it than I have felt about the last couple of days. My head is finally clearing from the cold and I have renewed determination. Today has been an exciting day. I am now 145 typed pages into my novel and I am excited to see how it all comes together in the next week or two. Here are the numbers for today:

Words Written Today: 2,127
Total Words Written: 38,128

The NaNoWriMo web page now lists me as close to the word count goal of Day 23. Even though my numbers have been down the past couple of days, I am still ahead of schedule. I can't wait to finish and edit this baby!

Now, my post also says "a day of triumph" in the title. I suppose 2,127 words is a triumph in itself but my day goes farther than that. First, as I said in a previous post, my ebook is now up and available for purchase on Amazon. Also, I passed the 8,000th page view count today for my blog! This is partially because I had a record setting 261 page views today. I don't know what happened but I am loving it! This puts the month of November at 1,556 views so far and we are only halfway through the month! Another great thing is that I  have now surpassed 50 followers on Twitter (52, last time I checked) and I was only at 9 around the beginning of the month, or end of last month, when Kortnee told me I had to tweet in order to have followers (duh, Jill!) (Her ebook is also up, by the way). I feel like I have accomplished something! Bill bought me flowers to celebrate and I can't stop smiling. I am planning on riding this feeling through the next chapters of my novel!

I guess that is all. Check back in tomorrow for more updates! Have a great night! To my fellow writers, happy writing!

Thank you Bill for finding this picture!
And yes, I did feel like a gun was held
to me while writing today because
of my lack of words the past few days.

Ebook Release!

I mentioned last night that my ebook was almost ready for purchase. I am proud to say it is now up and available! I'm very excited and I felt a jolt in my heart when I searched my name and found it on Amazon. Take a look:

Also available is Kortnee's ebook, which I had the pleasure of editing. It's an amazing story. 

Both of these stories can be purchased through Amazon and can be read on a Kindle or computer. You can search using our names or follow these links to the stories: (Trapped, Stained Glass Forest)  The awesome cover work for both of these stories was done by Neil Wells. I hope you enjoy them!

Since my word count for my novel has been down the past two days, while I was finishing the work on this project, I am off to work. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15 of NaNoWriMo (and some happy news!)

Today I felt much better than yesterday. My cold is clearing and my brain is becoming useful again. That said, on paper I didn't accomplish much. Let's look at the numbers:

Words Written Today: 386
Total Words Written: 36,001

Why are these numbers so dismal? Well, I spent the night helping with a report and, get ready for this, getting my ebook ready to be published! It has been uploaded on Amazon and will officially be available for purchase in about 24 hours. I will keep everyone updated on it's availability. 

So, tomorrow I have a lot of work to do but I don't feel like a failure. I will get my word count up tomorrow. For tonight, I am proud to say my ebook is almost available for purchase! 

Have a great night everyone!

 Bill suggested this for tonight's picture. :)
While the picture doesn't show writing,
it does show some pretty awesome books!
I think it fits for tonight since my ebook is up.
Remember the awesome talking books?
I loved them!

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNoWriMo Days 13 and 14

Sorry I didn't update last night but I've been slowly getting a cold and it's now taken over my body. I managed to write last night and was pleased with my progress. I am happy with the way everything is coming together and I can't wait to finish up the first draft so I can reread everything and flesh it out even more. Last night was pretty great for writing. Tonight, well not so much. Last night started to drain me and working today finished the job. I am now ready to sleep.

Here are the numbers for yesterday:

Words Written: 3,166
Total Words Written: 34,451

Today the cold took over my head and I've been fighting to write through a fog. I now have a headache so I am going to turn in and admit partial defeat.

Words Written Today: 1,164
Total Words Written: 35,615

Today wasn't a total failure but I know I could have done better. I guess it's good that I have been ahead of schedule just in case something like this happened. I'm now past Day 21's goal of 35,000 words so I'm not too worried that I came up short today. I am going to rest, relax and get my brain back in order. Tomorrow I will wake up, ready to conquer the next part of my book!

I hope everyone had a great start to their week, I'll try restarting mine tomorrow. Have a good night!

This is how I felt today!
 Yup, I got a bit more written than
 Spongebob did but not much.
This is how hard at work I want to be tomorrow!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Another day has come to an end and I have to confess, I didn't think I would write a single word. After work I felt really sick and figured I wouldn't write today. I laid down and fell into a deep coma-like sleep for about 3 hours before I got up and decided I had to conquer my novel. Still, I didn't know where to start. I had reached a slump. My friend Kortnee told me to try Write or Die a few days ago and I decided today would be a great day to try it out. If you are unfamiliar with this site, it is a wonderful tool! Basically you set a time limit, a word goal and a level of leniency and then are presented with a box to write in. If you don't keep up a normal pace the page begins to turn red, which actually makes you panic. I was wondering how this would work but the simple changing to red made me feel like I had to write or I was an epic failure. However, I wondered how effective this tool was for others until I realized I had my sound off. After turning it on, I realized if you don't write the most annoying sounds go off until you write again. This is an effective tool! Just to see how it works, I set my goal to 500 words and my time limit to 30 minutes. I completed these words with a lot of time to spare so the next time I put in 700 words (the amount I was short on for my daily word count). I finished with 10 minutes to spare and 862 words written. I will definitely be going back to this site!

Alright, here are the numbers for the day:

Words Written: 2,095
Total Words Written: 31,285

Not too shabby for a person who thought they would accomplish nothing today. I also passed the 30,000 mark which made me very happy. According to the site I now need to complete 995 words a day to make it to 50,000 by the end of the month (it used to be 1,667). If I keep at the pace I am going at (an average of 2,607 words a day) I will be done by November 19th. Since my novel will go past 50,000 words this makes me feel like I have a nice cushion. I am loving what is happening with my characters, especially as I go deeper into the fantastical elements. I am also pumping up the love triangle that I threw in and I'm liking the direction it is taking me. However, I think I am channeling my anger toward mean customers into the novel because I killed three characters randomly tonight....this novel is racking up quite the death toll but it's working! That's it for tonight. Since I had a long nap I will write more before bed but Day 12 is officially over. Happy writing to my fellow writers and have a great night! 
Arthur, what a great show AND a great book series!
Who didn't love Buster and Arthur?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11...Bring on Day 12!

Another day down, another bunch of words written. I'm pleased to say this was another productive day. I wish I had started a tally of how many cups of coffee I have consumed during this experience because I am sure I have passed thirty at least. Alas, we will never know. I've also become obsessed with creamer. I've always loved coffee and have always loved adding delicious flavors but the holiday flavors have been released and, thanks to a nice sale, my fridge is full. Before anyone asks, no this is not a sponsored blog post. I just really, really love International Delights. I've become obsessed with their Gingerbread flavor and I got this mapley good one tonight that is delicious too. For some reason coffee and this wonderful flavoring keeps me going...I blame my mother and her two pots a day habit. Can anyone tell that I am jazzed on caffeine right now? Anyway, I'm sure nobody really cares about my coffee addiction so I will move on.

I got tired of my current scene today so I jumped ahead and started writing one that has been spinning in my head for a while. I've been jumping between the scenes and I think they are forming nicely. It will be interesting to see where my character's take me next. I'm really loving the humor that I find myself adding without really meaning to. This story is surprising me so I hope it surprises others in a positive way as well. Alright, here are my numbers for the day:

Words Written Today: 3,089
Total Words Written: 29,190

I wanted to break 30,000 before bed but my mind seems to be freezing up so I plan on sleeping and waking up refreshed and ready to write, after work that is. I don't work much this weekend so I am hoping to put up some big numbers. I also hope to see another movie soon so keep your eyes peeled for a movie review. Last but certainly not least, I am getting closer to be finishing my ebook. I will post a link to it when  it is up. Have a great night everyone! 

Gummi Bears anyone? I LOVED this
show as a child...still do actually.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another Day Down! (Day 10)

Another day ends in my quest to conquer NaNoWriMo! If you had asked me how I was doing a few hours ago, I probably would have grunted at you, glared and then spat something about writing this day off as a failure. However, a sudden spurt of inspiration hit me and I am proud to say I had good numbers today! Before I report these numbers, I'd like to note that there is now a word counter at the top right hand side of my blog page. If anyone is ever curious to how my writing is going for the day, take a look. It updates as I update on the site. In short, see my fun new toy?! I worked today (I think I feel another retail rant coming soon) and felt drained by the end of the day but I wrote and this is an accomplishment for me. Having a word count goal has kept me going. Also keeping me going is my constant stream of support. Bill keeps me going with his encouraging high fives and coffee refills. Kortnee has kept me going simply by watching her progress! Check out her page, she is doing great and I can't wait to read her work! Aside from this however, she always has something upbeat to share with me and I'd be lost without her. I'm glad she took me on this journey with her. And of course my mother has kept me going by reading every blog post and continuously asking when she gets to read it...soon mom, soon :)

Alright, time for the numbers!

Words Written Today: 3,061
Total Words Written: 26,101

I am almost to the word count goal for Day 16 and I am officially past what NaNoWriMo considers the halfway point, although the novel will go past 50,000 words in all reality. This feel awesome! Whenever I see a good word count I feel like writing more. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am going to keep doing word count goals after this month!

I've also been having fun tweeting my playlists as I write. I've been told by my sister a million times that my music taste is schizophrenic so its fun to see what pops up when I put the list on random. Tonight I had a nice mix from B.o.B, Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore, Slipknot, Rascal Flatts, Atreyu, Jack Johnson, Lifehouse and more!  Tomorrow will bring more writing and more music! Feel free to follow me on twitter for more continuous updates.

I have finished the cover art for my ebook, thanks to help from Neil and I hope to release it very soon! Well, I think that sums up my day. I hope you are all having a great week! To my fellow NaNoWriMo participants, happy writing! To everyone else, have a great night!

Anybody remember As Told By Ginger?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 9

I am happy to report that I slept much better last night...I even slept until 11am, much to my surprise. I got up with a much clearer head. The only problem is that I was having a bit of a problem coming up with what should come next. Not really a Writer's Block but a Writer's What Next? I decided to write another scene and this helped me decide what should come next to get me to that scene. I also had fun looking at the Dare Machine at the NaNoWriMo page for Young Adults. This generates wacky things to add to a novel. I went through a few and used one that made me laugh...Have something written on the inside of a bathroom stall change your character's life. Yeah, I used it and it oddly worked. We'll see if it makes it through the first edit but, strangely, I think it will.

After all of this, a little research, quote searching and class, I still managed to beat the word count for the day. It's not as much as I wanted but there is always tomorrow now that I am back on track.

According to the NaNoWriMo I should be at 15,000 for Day 9. Here are my word counts:

Word Completed Today: 2,020
Total Words Written: 23,040

After today, I am almost past the word count for Day 14. This will be really helpful for the days when I have to finish term papers. I plan on writing more before bed since I work tomorrow. Tomorrow the goal is to pass 25,000 (my goal, not the website's goal). Wish me luck! I also have been working on the cover for my ebook and going through my Children's stories to find one that I want a friend to begin illustrations for. I'm keeping busy, to say the least. I hope everyone else is having a great week and a special shout-out goes to my friend Kortnee. She is doing awesome! Have a great night everyone!

(I think this is what I look like when
people talk to me while I am
trying to write.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 8

Today began the second week of NaNoWriMo. It wasn't my most productive day but it wasn't the worst. I wrote a lot in the early hours of the day when I couldn't sleep. Because of my lack of sleep, I didn't write much more during the brain felt a little frozen. SO, tonight I am going to get lots of sleep and get back to work tomorrow! On a side note, I worked today on getting things together for my first ebook. It's a short story and it should be up very soon. I plan on epublishing more of my stories and hopefully creating a collection of short stories. This is very exciting for me and hopefully it will be the start of something great!

Alright, here are the words for today!

Words Written: 2,039
Total Words Written: 21,020

This puts me under the 30,000 mark for "words to go" and it feels great! Let's hope tomorrow brings an even more productive day! Thanks again for all of the support. Have a great night!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Days 6 and 7 of NaNoWriMo!

After working two of the biggest shopping days for the store, so far that is, I was exhausted yesterday so I decided to go to bed after writing and to update on Days 6 and 7 in a joint blog. Day 6 was a productive day, I am happy to report. 

Words Written: 3,162
Total Words Written: 15,233

I surpassed the word count for Day 9 and this makes me happy because I may have a really off day and I like to be prepared.

Day 7, today:

Today was even better than yesterday. I am getting to some scenes that I am really excited about and that I have had in my mind for days. I also have had fun realizing that I've created an odd sense of humor throughout the story. I like the light-hearted additions I have put in. I also updated my NaNoWriMo page with a synopsis and excerpt from the novel, thanks to a reminder from Kortnee (she is doing great! Check out her page)! I hope my synopsis is good enough, I don't really like writing them. I ALSO added a working title to the page so, needless to say, I've been very busy today. 

Word Written Today: 3,748
Total Words Written: 18,981

I hope to pass 20,000 words before bed, if not then definitely right away in the morning. 20,000 is the goal for Day 12 according to NaNoWriMo so I will be nicely ahead of schedule.

Here is what I added to my NaNoWriMo site. I hope you enjoy and have a great night!

Working Title: ReWitched 
(This is going to be a YA Fantasy novel)
Synopsis:  Alena is the daughter of the King and Queen of Oranthia, a magical realm. Years ago her parents were killed by a mysterious stranger who stole their powers. However, when he tried to turn on Alena, he was too late and she was rescued by Vina, a fairy and servant to the Queen. Alena's powers were bound and she was raised in the mortal realm without any knowledge of her magic. Years later, when the stranger becomes increasingly close to finding Alena, Vina must unbind her powers and teach her the ways of their realm. Both their lives depend on it.


Vina’s hand reached for a container lying next to her. She stuck her hand in it and when she pulled it back out she had a handful of white dust.
She continued to mutter but yelled the last words of the incantation, “Return thy powers to thee,” and threw the white powder into the pot. A loud bang resonated around the kitchen once again and a cloud of smoke flew into the air, throwing Alena backward onto the floor.
“Are you ok?” Vina said as Alena coughed and they both waved their hands to clear the smoke. When it cleared a bit more, Vina looked down at Alena with wide eyes. “I think it worked.”
“How do you know?” Alena coughed again and continued to wave at the smoke though it was clearing almost as rapidly as it happened.
“You’re glowing.”

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tower Heist- P.P.M.R (Positively Positive Movie Review)

What do you get when you combine Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena and Casey Affleck? A laugh riot! What do you get when you throw in Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) and Judd Hirsch (Taxi)? An all-star cast that's almost worth the price of admission! Now, in order to really make it worth the money because, let's face it movie tickets are running around twelve bucks a person these days, you need a good story to support the cast. Luckily, Tower Heist doesn't disappoint. 

Stiller leads the cast in a Bernie Maddof-esque story where the employees take revenge on the man who stole their pensions. Alan Alda plays this movie's Bernie, Arthur Shaw, who is charged with embezzlement. Stiller plays the manager of the hotel the man lives in, Josh Kovacs. After Kovacs finds out that Shaw not only stole their pensions, which he asked him to invest, but money from a worker he decides it is time for payback. They obviously can't pull this off alone so they enlist the help of a hardened thief named Slide played by Eddie Murphy. The rest of the movie follows the workers who team up against Shaw and their efforts to bring Shaw down. 

If you want a movie where you can sit back, turn off your brain and just laugh, this is the movie for you. If you want a movie that is highly plausible and completely believable...well, you might want to stay home. Some on the antics might have you saying, "Really? Come on!" However, these same antics will have you rolling in the aisles. I think my favorite parts were Affleck's shared fears of his wife's childbirth (it's hilarious!) and Matthew Broderick's slightly paranoid way of avoiding eviction from the hotel. You will also enjoy watching Stiller, Broderick, Pena and Affleck trying to prove their thieving skills to Murphy in order to gain his help. You won't expect a scented candle to appear where it does...and that's all I'll say about that. Don't be fooled by the movie poster, Stiller and Murphy are awesome but the supporting cast truly takes this movie to the next level. I was a bit worried when I saw so many talented actors in one comedy because usually one of two things happens: 1.) Actors are underused OR 2.) There is too much going on to be funny. This movie combined all the talent together to make a great comedy.

So, should you watch this movie if you want tips on how to pull off an ingenious robbery? Of course not! I can almost guarantee you would fail miserably. However, if you want to watch a hilarious movie about bringing down a rich man with no heart, you are in for a treat. I was even surprised by a few things in this movie and I can usually predict comedic plots down to the last second.

Movie Rating: 1 Spoonful, We Needed a Little Sugar-Coating.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5, Still Alive!

Sorry for the cheesy rhyme but I felt it was necessary to have a little fun after a long, LONG day. I'm proud to say that, despite working one of the biggest days of the season for our store, I exceeded my word count again. I didn't get to write as much as I wanted to but I did what I could. There are only so many hours in the day, right? Speaking of that, tomorrow is Daylight Savings time! We "fall back," which means an extra hour to write (or sleep before writing if you choose to think of it that way)! After closing the store tonight I open tomorrow so I will get to my writing at around 2pm. This leaves a nice open to time to write before I drudge through my homework. I am looking forward to tomorrow!

So here is where I stand after Day 5 of National Novel Writing Month:

Words Written Today: 1,870
Total Words Written: 12,071

I am officially out of the 40,000's when I look at how many words I have left to go. That's an awesome feeling! I am also still two days ahead of schedule according to their word count graph. I am close to passing the word count needed for Day 8 and I hope to pass that tomorrow. I'm still on track!

So here ends another day of writing. I hope everyone is feeling as productive as I am! Sidenote: Kortnee, I saw your word count for the day and you are kicking butt! Keep it up! And as I have been chanting this lately, I will finish with this: Just keep writing, just keep writing. What do we do? We write! Goodnight everyone! Enjoy the clock change!