Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Dance Time!

With twenty minutes to spare I crossed the NaNo finish line, earned a purple "WINNER!" bar, heard the cheering and whooping from the OLL staff, and the satisfaction of knowing that I wrote a "novel" (it is really more of a rough pre-first draft outline but it has flying moose) in 30 days. And now it is time to edited...

...hmm nope, let's try that again: And now it is time to edited for a long winters nap...but first it is Victory Dance Time!

*happy dance, happy dance, happy dance*

Also eating cookies, feeding the cats, and cleaning out the fridge, and everything else that I said could wait till December to be done.

Thank you to all my friends and fellow writers. I loved this year but it seemed more challenging. The ideas and words did not flow. It has been an interesting month, as you can see but the progress chart:
I would have given up a few times except for your encouragement. So thank you to everyone not only cheered me on but who put up with my whining and kicked my procrastinating butt into gear. Thank you to everyone on facebook who liked my word count updates. It made the last 48hours easier. Writing is a solo activity, however I don't these 50,294 words exist without you. THANK YOU!

Music also helped, I was listening to many of the NaNo Parodies today. Including Still Alive, a spoof of the Portal credit song Still Alive. It might be my favourite and the Last NaNo Song of 2011:

If you are the type that enjoys singing along, can appreciate a good parody, or just reading fun lyrics here they are:

This was a triumph
I finished my novel
It's hard to over state my satisfaction

I'm done nanowrimo
I've written a book because I can
Fifty thousand words this month
Except the ones who have failed

But there's no sense crying over spelling mistakes
Now it's time to edit - this will be a headache
Though the novel draft is done - don't want to read it, won't be fun
But at least I'm still a-live

I hope I can sleep now
I drank more caffeine than what was safe
I wonder if my family went and left me

I'll show them my novel
I hope they won't throw it in a fire
Maybe they - will e - ven say - "I am so happy for you"

Now my book has plots that don't really make sense
And the prose is boring and some of it is dense
I don't really have a style, and the writing's juvenile
But at least I'm still a-live

This month almost killed me
I don't want to touch the book at all
Need to figure out what I should do with it

Maybe I'll Publish!
Anyway this bed is great, don't think I've seen it this month

Look at me avoiding this draft I just wrote
I don't think it's any good, I can't sit around and gloat.
But the writing is done, and december has begun
Am surprised I'm still alive.

PS: Can you believe it I'm still alive.
PPS: I need my bed and I'm still alive
PPPS: It was FANTASTIC and I'm still alive

Final Thought: Anyone care that I'm still alive.

Final Thought PS: Where are my friends? I Am still alive.



P.S. And with this post I also completed the NaBlogPoMo challenge of posting every day for 30 days! Yay blogging!

So Close....10k Word To Go

I think I can, I think I can, I think I close. 10,000 is doable and so much less then 50k -but it is still ten thousand words. TEN ThHOUSAND! Sigh, I'm on track. This is possible. I will finish. I will have a victory dance. For now I share a NaNoToon that fits my mood:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last of Hal-Con

Hal-Con was two weeks ago and has already received blog space but before I close the book on the subject (till next year's con) I wanted to share a few of my favourite costumes. These are all thanks to Re.
The My Little Ponies

Meeting Rick Castle

Ms. Tardis
A great Dr. Who themed group
And this is Mark's reaction just after seeing me in Katara form:

He signed my costume!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 85

FOR TODAY: November 28, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...I'm actually sitting on Jenn's couch and can not see the window.

I am thinking...mahna mahna -do doo do-do do do doo do. There are many words that need to be written between now and 11:59 November 30th. Also, I really enjoyed the new Muppet movie. Looking forward to seeing it again -mahna mahna -do doo do-do do do doo do do.

I am thankful for...Jenn

From the kitchen...used my crock-pots it was fun and yummy.

I am wearing...pjs because I'm still wrapped up in blankets and just waking up.

I am creating...a novel -it's still November

I am write like a madwoman

I am reading...The Soprano Sorceress by L. E. Modesitt

I am hoping...for at least 10,000 words today.

I am hearing...running water

Around the house...that's December's problem?

One of my favorite night with Jenn +sleepover!

A picture to share...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent 2011: Hope

Ever have one of those days? You know the days when you feel like you should have just stayed in bed? One of those days when it seems that everything that could go wrong does? This Sunday was one of those days; I don't even know were to begin.

It started during the children's moment, I forgot Zechariah's name. In the middle of talking I went blank. I took New Testament survey, I am good with Bible facts, I had just read the story. I completely froze. Then when we went downstairs we discovered that tape wasn't strong enough to hold the "Advent Wreath." Most of the candles fallen down. When we went to use the teaching media the computer rejected the DVD files. There were three different media players and none of them would work. We ended up standing around my office computer, which was crowded but thankfully it happened in the first service because there would never be enough room for everyone in the second service to fit. Because of the technical delays I was still hot gluing crafts when parents were ready to go. That meant the Christmas musical practice started late and ended late. We also couldn't use the CD because the AMAZING! IT guy was finding a video solution for the second service.

The second service's children's moment went well. Then while heading downstairs it dawned on me, both youth that run the sound & computer in the second service had been in the first service. One of the youth helpers had on the spot training, which just added to the fun because the computer continued to be grumpy. I believe in AI...computers hate me. This is when all of Kidsworld paused to pray that things would work, for joy, and that Pastor Liz would have patience and not throw the computer out a window.

The next hiccup came at craft time. I had prepared two extras then our average Sunday kid attendance. There were more than I had planned on, which is a good thing, it just made for some interesting moments. We found extra plates, they were Styrofoam. Styrofoam and hot glue don't play nice with each other. I printed more sheets so everyone had a set. The youth helpers were keep busing cutting extra ribbons, handing out supplies, solving problems, and generally helping me not lose my mind. The most "intense" stress was we ran out of clothes pins. I took apart my sample for a set, I repair a few that had split apart for another set, but in the end we were still three sets short. The solution? I macgyvered bobby-pins to Popsicle sticks.

The theme at Kidsworld for this advent season is Joy. "Joy: finding how to be happy even when it is difficult. " And that is what made today hilarious to me, I became today's children's moment. I became a walking, breathing, living object lesson. No matter what happened the phrase came back to my head and I had to laugh. I had to choose Joy. Everything I said and did reminded me that I can have joy because I trust that God keeps his promises. Today we lit the first candle of Advent, the candle of Hope. Hope is having faith that God will keep his promises even when it is difficult. This morning, whenever something didn't go as I had expected I had to stop and remind myself of the truth I was teaching.Hope is choosing to trust that God will do what He promises.

P.S. I'm going to be writing Simple Woman Daybook posts on Monday during Advent. If you want to make the Advent wreath shown above you can find the instructions here. Now I'm off to write, write, write. Only four more days of NaNoWriMo and I have 32,906 words (17,094 to go).

Kidsworld Crafts: Advent Wreath

I love discovering new ways the family and church traditions together. It is part of the whole reThink "Orange Concept" I am trying to make a practical part of my life and ministry. One of my favourite childhood Christmas traditions was the Advent calendar and lighting the Advent candles at church. So I was excited a few year's ago when I got to be apart of a family living out orange.

I had been invited over for Sunday dinner. On entering the dinning room I noticed neat candle centerpiece on the table. It was an arch with a purple, pink, white, then two more purple candles. As I looked at it I thought, hey that's like an Advent wreath. Just before dinner I discovered I had been right, it was like an Advent wreath when I was invited to join them in an advent themes family devotional that included lighting some of the candles.

I was reminded of that family while preparing for Kidsworld this week. We were celebrating the first Sunday of Advent and I wanted to help families continue celebrating Advent at home. After a google search for inspiration I decided on creating paper plate Advent wreath. If you want to make your own Advent Wreath

You Will Need:
  • paper plate (we used festive plates)
  • five clothes pins
  • an envelope (preferably smaller than the plate)
  • ribbon about 10cm (5 inches)
  • glue (we used hot glue)
  • five "flames"
  • markers, crayons or paint

What To Do:
  1. Draw or print five candle flames on paper. Have children colour and cut out the flames. We also wrote the four words associated with Advent (Hope, Peace, Joy, Love) written on the flames. Put these "flames" in the envelope so they don't get lost.
  2. Colour the five clothes pins. If you want to follow the traditional Advent colour three candles are purple, one is pink, and one is white.
  3. Attach the envelope to the back. We found it worked best when we glued the fullest part of the envelop to the plate leaving the flap side visible. it also made it easier to pull out the flames.
  4. Attach the five clothes pins to the front.
  5. Attach the ribbon as a loop to the back.

I was inspired by a number of different wreath crafts so I know there are a lot of different ways mine could be improved. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Placing the clothes pins is really up to you. A few kids spreed them around the plate. Some wanted them all at the bottom or all at the top. One girl wanted all here flames to point in. Someone else wanted all their flames to point out. Most didn't care.
  • Instead of using a paper plate, make the wreath out of green painted hand prints or cut out green construction paper hand prints.
  • This is was on of the crafts that inspired my wreath. They used cardboard tubes (toilet paper rolls) to make a great three-dimensional wreath.
  • Attach a magnet to the back of the plate so the wreath can be keep on the fridge.
  • Cut out the center of the plate to make it look more wreath like.
  • Use extra decorating supplies like sticker, ribbons, old Christmas cards, craft foam, or glitter to jazz the wreath up.
  • Allow the children the freedom to be creative. We had a few kids who wanted rainbow candles, that was cool.
  • Some of the kids added words like "Merry Christmas" to the center and someone else suggested that you could glue a family photo in that space"
Tips for Large Groups:
  1. Handout the envelop, flames, and clothespins to the children. Keep the paper plates and ribbon by the glue gun station.
  2. Before kids start cutting or colouring have the write their names on the envelope. We asked them to write on the side with the flap. So that we could identify whose was whose after everyone was done.
  3. Remind children to put their cut out flames in their envelope. This helps to keep flames from getting lost or accidentally recycled.
  4. If you have enough adults and glue guns make the gluing an assembly line. One person glues the envelope on the back, next attach the clothes pins (this might require a few different glue guns as it takes the most time and the line bottlenecks), and the next person adds the ribbon.
  5. Ask kids were they want the clothes pins before gluing. I would ask them where they wanted there first "candle" they would point, I added a glob of glue and stuck it there. It helped to keep them interested and encouraged their creativity, which is always a challenge when adults are needed to assemble.
  6. Have an activity planned for the children finished first. It could be a singing time, another craft, or game that anyone can join as they finish up. We had a video connected with our them ready to go.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Write All Night

The night ended at 8:00am this morning when I crawled into bed but it started with live music. The Chimney Swifts had a house concert and it was grand! I love them! They were great and I can't wait till they have a CD. About 10:30pm, after three sets, I walked over to the Wolfville Wrimos Second Annual Write All Night (it happens every year -that's why it's annual).

The purpose was to write, write, write. I think there was more eat, chat, giggle, chat, eat, write, chat, 4am run to MacDonald's, eat, write, chat, giggle, eat or something like that. My personal word goal was 5000. I managed to put 3,673 words in some type of structure that resembles prose.While it might not have been my best writing ever it was some of the most enjoyable nonsense I have written this month. The lack of sleep lead to some neat additions to my story. This was my favourite twist that began around 2am:
Farwin, our heroic dragon, is going to be eaten by giant spiders if the Hopscotch the iguana cannot enlist the help of a herd of flying moose (flying meece?)

It will need a lot of work in December and beyond but I really like the Sisterhood of Spiders and the Elder Sister who leads the clan of over sized arachnids. The night was wonderful. It is hard to put the 12hours (9 that I was there for) into words so I am going to end with some quotes that stood out to me -my apologies some of them were funnier at 3am:
"This is the funniest night ever, i know it was funny but i was too tired at the time to actually remember what was said but i know it was funny."
"I might be three hours away from cannibalism."

Re: "Liz, don't do that it is a grammatical sin"
Me: "I am a sinner"
Re: "Stop making the English language cry"

Re: "When she looked at him she got weak in the knees"
Jane: "Actually I was look at the nachos"

"Liz, you have a sisterhood of spiders; do they wear traveling pants?"

So that was my Friday night and it was FANTASTIC!

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25's Friday 5

The Friday 5 is about "Leftovers", questions from past weeks that would have been asked if the meme was a Friday 6:
  1. What’s a creature comfort (practically unnecessary) you must take with you on an overnight trip in the great outdoors?
  2. What did yesterday cost you?
    Um, I didn't actually spend any money yesterday, and I am not dividing gas, clothes wearing, or food costs.
  3. What was your excuse the last time you were REALLY late for something?
    Yesterday, there was snow.
  4. What was your first online purchase?
    Not sure, I know my last I just bought books. I think that might have been my first too.
  5. Which of your gifts do you think you do not put to its best, fullest use?
    My little crock-pot, I've had it almost six years and I just used it for the first time this past week.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday -Shari

I am thankful for...

Shari Prime

Shari is wonderful! She is sweet, and wise, and fully of integrity and compassion. She is great to talk with and hang out with and just know. I love having tea with her, actually I love any chance we get to sit down and chat. Our lives keep us both going and it seems we only get a moment here or a hug there but I cherish each one. She is one of my girls and I love her. I am truly thankful for Shari! She is wonderful and I hope she knows it!

I'm also very thankful that she and Scott have a vehicle with four wheel drive and were willing to drive me home last night....or I would have had a sleepover at the church. I definitely appreciated the drive (and this is not the first time I needed them to rescue me in snowy weather.) Yay for Scott and Shari!

Things Unrelated to Thankful Thursday (but important to me):
1. Word Count is 30,153/50,000
2. Write All Night is this Friday
3. Chimney Swifts concert is this Friday
4. I want to be in two places at the same time Friday night

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Dragons Mourn

It is a sad time for sci-fi fans, Anne McCaffrey, the creator of the Dragons of Pern series has died at the age of 85. I have nothing to add that hasn't been said by Wall Street Journal and Digital Journal. Just that it makes me sad. I've been reading her words since high school. Also that the world of Pern feels like a link to my grandfather who died this time last year. I thank her for that.

I've been struggling to describe or even give a good name and title to the leader of the dragons the Master Keeper (head of the dragons in my world). I think I'm going to re-create the character to be a tribute to Anne McCaffry. Hope that does not come off as trite or cheap; it is what I have to say good-bye to an author I enjoy and respect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Appreciated, Half Way, and a Song

There is so much good NaNoNews!

First, it's ML Appreciation Day, have you your ML yet? Cause the NS::Elsewhere have. It is unbelievablely awesome all the joy and joyful they showered upon me. The show of love was beyond the moon. OH MY THEY ARE AWESOME! Awesome and organized. It was grand. It started with envelopes with cards for free coffee given to me every fifteen minutes before. For me the thanks and free caffeine would have been enough but then came the gifts. WOW! I was loved. A knit plot bunnies, nano-themed scarf, candles, pens, a notebook, a heart full of words, and a VIP subscription to my favourite writing magazine. Yay for not having to buy it off the rack. I LOVE THESE WRITERS!

Second, I passed the half way mark last night! 25,000 words -done! I am choosing to ignore the fact that the half way point was a week ago.

Third, next years plot idea, brainstorming, and working title is figured out.

Fourth, I'm on a roll gathering points so here is the calendar I made:

NaNo Song of the Week:

NaNo Word Count:
26,180/50,000 (currently averaging 1,190 words not the 1,667 needed to win by Nov 30th at this rate of wording I'll be done December 12th. Much better than the January 18th finishing projected a few days ago)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Plot Bunnies Points & Prizes

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
--John Steinbeck

I love getting ready for NaNoWriMo. Half the fun, for me, is coming up with new ideas for events. Last year, during my preparation, I discovered the "Great Points Race" another region was using to help keep people motivated. After contacting the MLs organizing the race I adapted the points race for my region.

During November writers can earn points. There are points for reaching word count goals or showing up at write-ins. Other points require some more effort like making a donation to the Office of Letters and Lights (the non-profit that runs NaNoWriMo), sharing your writing space in the forums, or for catching up to five plot bunnies. At the TGIO party the person with the most points has first pick of the prizes. The second highest will have second pick till and so on till all the prizes have been given out.

I've been maintaining sixth place and haven't taken advantage of writing space or plot bunny points...till now. First, my writing space. I write where ever my netbook is. This year it seems to be TAN or Jenn's couch. If I'm home I tend to write on the floor next to my bed. Ta da -writing space (for 50 points):
Next the Plot Bunny(plt bn):

1) A plot bunny is a story idea that refuses to go away until it is written. The term's origin is unknown but is known to predate NaNoWriMo. Because plot bunnies tend to multiply quickly, the term is thought to be related to the oft-quoted John Steinbeck quote about ideas and rabbits. -from the Wikiwrimo

2) A creative and fun way to earn up 250 points (5 x 50 points) in the Valley's great points race:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 84

FOR TODAY: November 20, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...gray clouds.

I am mind is full of novel, worry, and Christmas music.

I am thankful for...Jenn and Patrick.

From the kitchen...I bought food. That is as far as it got.

I am wearing...a black dress with multi-colour polka dot dress.

I am creating...there are projects on the go but November is all about finishing the nano-novel.

I am be up all night writing.

I am reading...there is no reading in November. It's November there is only time for writing.

I am write 10,000 words today and maybe catch a nap before Inn From the Cold

I am hearing...worship practice.

Around the's November.

One of my favorite theater. I went to see Fezziwig's last night.

A picture to share...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bright Days

The challenge of blogging everyday is thinking up what to write about. Thankfully NaBlogPoMo has a great list of prompts. The question "What has been the happiest moment of your life thus far?" inspired this list of great moments:

10) Reading the hobbit with my family
9) Standing on the bluffs at Zion Hill talking about clouds with my youth pastor Ken
8) Opening night of Grease in high school (I was Frenchie)
7) Travailing on summer team in 2002 & 2003
6) Ordination
5) Animal watching in African game parts (Kruger, Hlane, Mlilwane, and Mkhya)
4) Climbing Mt Fugi (maybe just the coming down the other side)
3) Any chance to hug my sister and family moments after getting off a plane
2) Riding the Disney tea cups with my family
1) Holding my baby sister for the first time

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18's Friday 5

The Friday 5 site moved locations so November 18's question are based on the word "Moving":
  1. When did you last move residences?
  2. What song leaves you completely unmoved even though it seems everyone else is moved by it?
    I am sure there is a song. I do not know what it is.
  3. On what kinds of mornings is it easiest for you to jump out of bed and get moving?
    When I am excited about activities happening later that day. I guess that would be anticipation.
  4. What object do you get most annoyed about when people move it without letting you know?
    The tape or scissors
  5. In what way are you waiting on someone else to make a move?
    I'm waiting on a decision.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday -Mark

I loved my 2009 nano-novel "Across Eldamar." It was the first story post-nano that I actually wanted to edit. Only the actual editing is taking longer than I had expected. One afternoon mid-winter 2010 I decided to try a cafe a friend recommended while working on the second draft. I was suck and uninspired. I wanted to give up and shove the story in a folder to collect dust.

The cafe had a local artist's work on the walls. It was all seemed to be set in this epic adventurous world. As I played with the wording and story ideas the art encouraged me to keep going. It gave voice to the world, almost like it showed me what my world could be like. I loved everything. It was beautiful. I wanted to buy every piece. I asked who the artist was and was told it was a guy in Wolfville. The girl gave me a website and I found where I could buy the first of his comics. Without that afternoon I think I would have given up. For this reason I am thankful for...

Mark Oakley

His paintings and art work inspire me. I love them. My Hal-Con costume was based on one of his characters -I am a fangirl. But I appreciate Mark for more than just the comics and paintings. Since that afternoon in the cafe we've met. It think it was through Donna. And then we got to know each other and hang out. I was so surprised that this amazing artist who had inspired me and saved my working wanted to be my friend, it's awesome. We are friends. He is a great addition to the writing group when he can make it. I love his stories and ideas. I love listening to him talk about anything. I love days when we bump into each other and sit down for a chat about anything and everything. He is such a neat person.

I wish everyone could meet me friend Mark. He is fantastic. I love his perceptive, sincerity, joy, creativity, and passion. He cares about people and listens. He writes great stories and exciting adventures. And I love when he gets excited and does his happy with life bouncing dance. It is for those reasons I am truly thankful to call Mark my friend!

OH! If you are interested in Mark's work visit I Box Publishing.

Things Unrelated to Thankful Thursday (but important to me):
1. Word Count is 15,208/50,000
2. I have a new working title "The Dragons of Eldamar"
3. Noveling made me cry last night
3. I may or may not expound on the cause for tears in the future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Making a Weekend Sundae

The NaNoWriMo site is down, again, so I am unable to update my word count making this a perfect moment to recount my favourite moments from the weekend. And the metaphor I'm using is a yummy tasty sundae cause I like ice cream and I liked Hal-Con (and I am sleep deprived and my brain is being silly).

If this weekend were a sundae then the ice cream were the people I spend it with. Ice cream is the foundation of a good sundae and so were my friends. I love my people. They are great; they made Hal-Con awesome. I think I would have been happy sitting and chatting with them the whole time. That would have been good enough but the fun didn't stop there....there was more than just ice cream. There were tasty toppings:

1) Mark Oakley knowing and liking my costume.
2) Earning a free book in a writing panel for asking a good question and being witty.
3) All the costumes. There were so many amazing characters. Once Re uploads her pictures I will share them.
4) Good moderators
5) The Inner Space guy remembering my names hours after we chatted
6) Someone asking for my picture because they thought my costume was well made.
7) Making plans for a group costume for next years Hal-Con
8) Making connections with two authors to possible visit Best Word.

Inner Space has a two minute video up on their site that give a great overview of the con. You should be able to find it here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaNo Novel-ing Update

Did I just add spitball warrior iguanas to my novel?

I think I did.

I love the desert warrior iguanas they entered the story last night in a writing challenge to include cherry pie, an iguana, a silver dollar, and a spitball fight. Writing prompts and "I dares yous" are making writing fun. Other than those challenges the noveling is going well...ish. I am starting to like the concept of my story and there have been some unexpected silliness that makes writing fun. The biggest issue at the moment is catching on word count. My current daily average has me finishing January 8th, 2012.

This is one of my favourite scenes so far:
Tray decided magical clouds were horrible creatures. If she never had to fly by cloud again it would be too soon. The journey had started well enough. She was dry and content then her cloud got into an argument with passing cloud. The disagreement escalated into a full thunder storm that left Tray soaked and cold for the last half of the flight. Clouds are very temperamental.

NaNo Song of the Week:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Best Word Joy!

Hal-Con was the bestest of weekends. There was so much joy and joyfulness hanging out with friends, seeing all the costumes, dressing up, sitting in on workshops, and just plain geeking out. There were so many highlights that covering everything in a single post would be silly. Over the next few days I am going to try to cover my favourite starting with the writing workshops.

Most of the panels and workshops I sat in on were about writing or storytelling. I connected with two Nova Scotia writers and talked about them visiting my writing group. I won a book in one panel for asking a good question and being witty. And I bought a writing book that I think is going to be very useful for planning future workshops for writing group. I enjoyed all the tips and answers the I gathered. This is what I learned or was reminded of:

1) Story is king -it is the point so make it good. Everything else is a device to help or hinder the main character
2) Create a dossier, scrapbook, or a binder with important details like characters, pictures, notes, timelines to help visualize the novel and keep facts consistent
3) Write short stories in the same world and with same characters to better understand how the universe operates
4) Have faith in your reader, they won’t get lost, start in the middle but give them a direction and a character to care about.
5) Don’t give the reader all the answer. Give hints and the promises of answers.
6) Create complex characters and let them be true to who they are
7) The action and pace of YA books are faster
8) Teens don’t have set expectations about a novel so experimenting with point of view and other elements is more acceptable
9) If you want to write for teens you need to like teens and respect teens and spend time with teens and get to know them.
10) How do you starting turn on the computer and write
11) Write it six times before showing it to a proof reader/beta
12) Write, then edit, but write first
13) Read stuff out loud
14) When you are reading, even silently, you breath at the punition marks. Short choppy sentences gives a feel of excitement in the reader subconsciously. This works for actions scenes.
15) The term "voice" has two uses in writing. The writer has a voice and the characters have voice.
16) If you feel like a adverb is needed you are using the wrong verb
17) Repetition of patterns (he said, she said, he said, she said) boring and editors will trash the manuscript
18) Great heroes worth reading have flaws
19) Readers like complex characters. Get people emotionally connected and you have them hooked.
20) Read Stephen King's On Writing

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 83

FOR TODAY: November 13, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...just woke up so the blinds are closed. If they were open I could see downtown Halifax.

I am thinking...sleep is wonderful and this weekend has been grand.

I am thankful for...Steven and Hannah -they are awesome and made Katara costume possible. Also, Re and Justine because they've made my weekend so much fun.

From the's the middle of NaNoWriMo there is no cooking at home. Friday Night the boys club at the church had a spaghetti supper. It was awesome, the food was great and I didn't have to cook or do the dishes.

I am wearing...currently in my pjs debating wearing the Katara costume a second day or going in jeans and a tee with my "doctor" blazer. I could borrow Re's sonic screwdriver.

I am creating...there are projects on the go but November is all about finishing the nano-novel.

I am the second day of Hal-Con.

I am reading...between books -it's November.

I am catch up on my nano word count I have 10,008 I should be at 21,1667 by the end of the day. It's not going to happen but I do need a catch up writing day soon.

I am hearing...Re and Justine chat.

Around the's November I am happy that dishes got washed this week.

One of my favorite things...Rory the Dragon (who was dressed as Captain Hammer because Re was Dr. Horrible).

A picture to share...
Me and Rory

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Introducing Katara

Today I stepped into a new world of imagination at Hal-Con and it was wonderfully fun. This is my first convention. It is also my first attempt at a making a costume for a con. As soon as I knew that I was going with my friends I began considering costume ideas. There were so many possibilities. Then I found out Mark Oakley was going. Mark is the incredible indie comic creator of Thieves and Kings and Stardrops (a strip that runs in the Wolfville Grapevine). I decided that I would go as his character Katara. This is how it turned out:
My greatest fear today was seeing Mark and him not knowing who I was dressed up. I had nothing to fear. Mark's reaction was...word's do not express how wonderful his reaching was. Thankfully Re and Justine took many pictures of the moment and all the great moments from today. Once they have pictures up I'll share all the joy and pretty costumes. A HUGE, HUGE, HUGE thank you to Hannah and Steven who gave up a day and a night to help make this costume possible.

I've already broken the con survival guide of "3,2,1" -three hours sleep, two meals, and one shower per day. Friday I woke up at 9:30am I had a short 20 min nap Saturday morning at 5am....and it now 1:29am Sunday morning. It is time for bed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11's Friday 5

November 11's question are based on the phrase "What to take":
  1. What do you usually take to the beach?
    I take the youth group to the beach. So, I have the permission forms for all the kids, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe for the kid that doesn't believe me that he could burn, my own towel, an extra towel or two for the kids that forgot theirs, change of clothes, an extra t-shirt for anyone not in an appropriate youth group swim attire, a book, lunch, snacks to share, juice, water, extra water for the kids that forgot or didn't think they would get thirsty, money for the snack shop, and plus a large blue tub with all the games and things we will be playing with like frisbees and footballs.
  2. What do you find essential for a trip to the mall?
    My purse...and money
  3. What’s something you take to the ballgame?
    I don't go to ballgames...or any sports event. I would imagine a blanket, team hat, money for food.
  4. What do you take to the movies?
    Friends and a purse with money.
  5. This one may not have broad enough a relevance, but what do you take when you go to the symphony?
    It isn't really relevant but if I was to go...a cute clutch with my id that matched my cute "symphony" outfit.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday -Hannah

I am thankful for...

This girl is fantastic! She has so much energy, creativity, joy, and passion. We met this summer shortly after she moved to the area from BC and hit it off. We've got so many hobbies and interests in common that it is a joy to be able to geek over craft supplies with someone.

Last Monday, Hannah volunteered her time and photography skills to take pictures of all the little heroes at my church's Trunk or Treat. It was awesome! And tomorrow she's going to help me create a costume for Hal-Con. I am so excited because we've been wanting to have a craft day for awhile. I'm also excited because there is no way I could get everything done without a friend. For these reasons and just because she is who she is I am very thankful for Hannah!

Things Unrelated to Thankful Thursday (but important to me):
1. Word Count is 8740/50,000
2. I started my sword for the Hal-Con costume
3. There is still so much to do on the Hal-Con costume
4. Hal-Con is this weekend!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Where Is My Sonic Screwdriver When I Need It?

I was watching youtube the other day, procrastinating, when I found this video 5 Things I Don't Like About Doctor Who:

I love the Doctor and was expecting to hate the video. I was pleasantly surprised;it was well done, humorous, and made some valid points. I especially loved number 2 "Sonic Screwdriver Has Unlimited Functions" (it starts at 1:13).

I think need a sonic screwdriver....I have a huge plot hole!

Late last Friday night, very very late. I was trying to make word count but I was bored with the story. I made the choice to spice things up with an earthquake. The catastrophe killed a minor character. Then I didn't write on Saturday and totally forgot about the earthquake/death by Sunday and have been writing as if neither event happened ever since.

Oh well, I can fix that in December....right?
8320/50,000 Word Count

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

When I Write and the Search for a Working Title

Yesterday's three hour write-in was successful. I wrote and not just blog articles, forum comments or IM messages. Words were actually added to my novel. This is a cause for a happy dance.

*pause for dancing and merriment*

I realize the success of me writing at a writing event might not seem that monumental to anyone but me but it is. As my area's ML I find that I don't write at writing events. The time is normally spent welcoming new comers, explaining what NaNoWriMo is, answering questions, awarding points (for my regions points race), running word wars, and just being there.

Last night was an exception; I accumulated enough words to move my finish date from December 28th to the 19th (we'll ignore that today's stats is estimating a December 26th finishing date). The night also helped rekindle my interest in the story. I am getting excited about my Moses-dragon-action/adventure/quest-story. I want to find out how Farwin (my dragon) saves the world. I want to figure out how he leads a Eldamar-wide dragon rebellion. Writing is fun again *more celebrating and dancing* I think it still needs a better working title. Working titles help give direction and purpose and might lead to my novel being selected for the 30 Covers in 30 Days. So far I've been using "Let My Dragons Go". I have also considered:
  • Farwin's Quest
  • The Dragon Liberation Movement
  • Return to Eldamar
  • In Search of Wild Dragons
  • More Than Dragons
What do you think my working title should be? Voting in open now. Choose one of my ideas or add your own suggestion in the comments below. I'll reveal my shiny new title Saturday.

NaNoWord Count:

Monday, November 07, 2011

Need More Words

NaNoWriMo is entering the second week. I am feeling discouraged about finishing. It has felt like the third week writing blahs since the second day. And the novel stats have NOT been helping. The stats have all these new features that I am guessing should encourage and motivate but they aren't. It tells you how many words you average a day (849). The words you've written today (0). When you will finish if you keep writing that the current rate (Dec 28th). And the most helpful/discouraging the words per day I would need to write to finish on time (1836). I am so far behind and I hate my novel.

There are plot holes, lame characters, cliches, and just bad prose. Not sure where to go with the story next...and I'm procrastinating by finding great NaNo themed songs like this one:

NaNoWriMo Progress:
5944/50,00 words

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 82

FOR TODAY: November 6, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...morning.

I am thinking...something has to change with my novel or I will never finish it because at this moment I hate everything I have written.

I am thankful for...daylight savings and an extra hour of sleep. Just to explain for those who might not know. I'm a youth pastor and I took a group of my teens to Encounter a two day rally at Bethany Bible College. Last rally ended at 8pm last night...then we drove home. It was a very late night.

From the kitchen...ate cafetria food all weekend (at Encounter) and now my body hates me.

I am wearing...the Supergirl costume, again.

I am creating...there is only noveling happening.

I am sleep for the the next year.

I am reading...who has time to read?

I am fix my lost plot and fall in love with my novel.

I am hearing...the band practice.

Around the house...there is time for only noveling at home.

One of my favorite things...sleep after a youth trip.

A picture to share...

Robin and Supergirl at Trunk or Treat

Saturday, November 05, 2011


I'm at BBC with my youth group right now for the annual Encounter (booster) weekend. This might be my favourite one yet. The activities and comedy have been great. I like the "Let's Talk" segments. They gave everyone "mustaches." We went bowling this afternoon. Also Mollie, Seth and I rolled down the big hill (video to come later)

Favourite sermon quote: "you don't want to be religious. Religious people killed Jesus."

Favourite this a kids has said: "Liz, I was hitting people with swords; it was fun."

Only downside has been the lack of free time. My NaNoWriMo writing has suffered.

Friday, November 04, 2011

November 4's Friday 5

This week's five questions theme is Hanging Out
  1. Where did you hang out with friends when you were a teen?
    Mostly each others homes.
  2. Where did you hang out with friends when you were in your twenties?
    In college we went to Tims or the student center
  3. Where do you hang out with friends now?
    T.A.N, the market, or each others places
  4. What’s great hanging-out memories do you have?...strange question to answer. I know I have stories that happened when different groups of friends got together but mostly "hanging out memories" are just that memories of friends and people I spent time with and the sum of those times was good.
  5. What ingredient makes hanging out better sometimes than others?
    My mood, other peoples mood, and the weather

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thankful Thursday -Michael

I am thankful for...

Michael Van Meekeren

I love all the Van Meekerens. They are all great and amazing and awesome family. I think the kids are great because their parents are great. They make me smile. Michael is excellent. What he says matters. What he gets involved in he is passionate about. He loves his wife and his family and it is a joy for me to watch them all interact. I am thankful that he has been a youth leader with the group. He gets involved and does what needs to be done. I love how much he cares about youth. He brings much wisdom to every situation but is able to keep things light and fun. I am very thankful that he'll be driving up to BBC for Encounter with me. I am very thankful for Michael!

Things Unrelated to Thankful Thursday (but important to me):
1. Word Count is 4040/50,000
2. NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo have both begun... and I almost feel okay being successful
3. The youth group is driving up to BBC tomorrow (my greatest concern, when will I find time to write)
4. Hal-Con is a week away!
5. This week is too busy to keep up with the 20/20 home cure :(

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The 30 Day Survival Plan

I love NaNoToons. This one made me giggle, well they all made me giggle, but I'll share this one because it is about a stressed out ML:
I'll admit it, I freak out. I'm trying to keep calm but there is a lot going on this month. Everything is happening this month. My goals, beyond completing a novel and being the best ML possible, making sure the cats get feed, there is no science experiments growing in my fridge, and that I don't completely burn out. In past years I've armed self with chocolate, tea, and many phone calls to my mum (she talks me out of panic mode). I do not thing these things will be enough this year. There is more on my plate and too many things I can't forget.

My solution: The 30 Day Survival Binder. The idea was not original with me, I discovered the FLYlady's Control Journal in August and adapted my binder to fit the next 30 days. My binder has everything in it. EVERYTHING -calendars, shopping lists, checklists, pep talks, lesson plans, daily routines, contact information, schedules, to do lists, and pictures that inspire me. If it is important then it has a section. So far is a section for:
  • all things NaNo related from ML duties (including keeping track of the great points race) to novel planning
  • general apartment care, cleaning routines, and the 20/20 home cure
  • menu planning and shopping lists
  • NaBloPoMo reminders and blogging ideas
  • Church details and reminders like children's Christmas musical, Trunk or Treat follow up and Youth Group
  • Christmas Planning
  • I need to add Hal-Con section and knitting projects.
I've been using the binder for the past two weeks and it have become a strange mix of security blanket and life line. I do not know how I would keep track of everything without the binder....wait I just wouldn't and the cats wouldn't get feed till December 1st. Don't get me wrong, I still need chocolate, calls to my mum, caffeine, chocolate, friends, downtime, games nights, and chocolate. I just need something to organize the rest of my life till November is over.The cats are thankful for the binder.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Let the Writing Begin

November is here!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful parents!
Happy November First!

Early this morning, about a half hour after November began so did my novel writing. It was painful. The words are just not coming out. It is going to be a long month. It's the first day and I have writer's block.

In past year’s by mid-September I’ve had outlines and ideas and scenes all mapped out in my head and a title or a possible working title. By the last week of October I was counting down the hours till I could write. This year...nothing. Well, a little something. I started getting the first hints of ideas about a week ago.

My main character is a dragon, I’m setting it back in Eldamar with it’s magical talking clouds, giant pigs, and witty trolls. It’s going be a story about friendship, hope, and liberation. I was talking about it with some friends and they commented that it was a dragon Moses story something like “Let My Dragons Go”. Yep, something like that yet I still don’t know what to call it and I’m looking for title suggestions. Any idea what I could call my novel about a dragon freeing the dragons? If so leave a comment, if there are enough suggestions I might open title selecting to a vote.

Also Happening This Month:
Day Seven of the 20/20 Home Cure -buy more flowers for the apartment. I’m going to do that on my drive home.

NaBloPlMo -posting everything day in November. We'll see how that goes.

There are a lot of talented NaNo youtubers out there. Over the month I'm going share some of my favourite nano and writing themed songs:

Monday’s NaNo Video:

NaNoWriMo Progress:
824/50,00 words