Friday, September 15, 2017

NaNoWriMo Plans

The leaves are starting to turn, people are talking pumpkin spice, and there is tiny candy in the stores. That can only mean one's almost NaNo season. For those newer to the blog, NaNo is a shortening of the already shortened title NaNoWriMo, a crazy writing challenge I've been participating in since 2007. The full name is National Novel Writing Month. The website explains that this non-contest is:

"....a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.  On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel."
I call it a non-contest because anyone who finishes the 50k word goal in the 30 days wins. At the end of it you have the start of a first draft (in my case more of a pre-rough draft). The rules are* 1) new piece of fiction, 2) no writing before November 1st, and 3) 50,000 words minimum.  There is sound reasoning behind each of the rules. Accepting the logic (and because I was a local organizer) I followed the rules. But not this year.

This year I am breaking the rules.

I don't need to prove to myself that I can write 50,000 is 30 days. I've done that -Ten Times. I also don't need another pre-rough draft that I can't bring myself to read, let alone revise. My goal is to write consistently in the hopes of creating a habit without burning myself out. I want to still enjoy writing December 1st. In order for me to achieve my writing goals I need to change up the challenge.

I'm going to be a NaNo Rebel.

My rebelling might be beyond the scope of acceptable rebelling (there have been many articles written about what constitutes acceptable rebelling). I don't care. This isn't for them. I was considering not participating at all this year. I can not pour all my energy, focus, and creativity into a project that I never look at again. I need to try something different.

The word goal is still 50,000. I'm also adding a Once Upon A Time card game challenge, which I might explain in another post.The major change is the length, 77 days. That makes the daily word goal only 649 words. I think that will be more sustainable. And so...

The writing starts now.

Well, actually, it has taken me longer to write this post, so.....the writing is going to start in the morning (look at me procrastinating already). The site has editable goal trackers. The intended purpose is to help track revision and editing plans after NaNo 2016. I think it will be perfect for my rebelling.

Only thing I'm sad about with this plan is I'm missing out on celebrating NaNo Eve on October 31st. NaNo Eve was my second favourite event after the Annual Write-All-Night. The anticipation of waiting for midnight to feverishly was fun. However, even without the rebelling I didn't wait up last year. It is not the same without the other Valley Wrimos or the stress of being the ML

*I say the rules "are" because that has been the rules in part years and I believe still the challenges guidelines. My hesitation was only I could find little about how NaNoWriMo works beyond the quote about and the FAQ. It the past there was something more that would explain the why behind these arbitrary goals.

Thankful Thursday #215

It has been a rough day.

It shouldn't have been an off day. Things are good. They day was good. The sun was shining, I saw people I enjoy, had tea with a friend. Yet, in spite of those good things, I felt emotional, anxious, lonely, frustrated, and hangry. There were also moments of clenched fits and tears (not together). Little things that normally wouldn't bother me got under my skin. I found myself unable to brush off things that I normally could and hold tight slights that weren't way too tight.

On my way home tonight I was I was stewing in my own head. In the midst of replaying the bad moments and reliving the negative feelings I stopped. The realization was that I was the one putting myself through this and I had the choice to stop it. This lead to three (almost) simultaneous thoughts. The first thought was a song by Sara Groves, "How Is It Between Us?" The specific lyrics that stood out to me were:
Woke up on the wrong side of the bed,
The wrong side of the room,
The wrong side of the world.
Can't put my finger on the mood.
It's not melancholy, anger or the blues.
I love my husband, my house, my job.
Couldn't be any better,
And really what else is there?
Then I realize I'm forgetting God,
And that's the root of all my misery.
Lord, first of all, how is it between you and me?
The second thought was a follow-up question, "how is my soul?" And the third thought was, it's Thursday. It's "Thankful Thursday!" I will blog when I get home. I use to blog specifically write "Thankful Thursdays" after Thursday youth groups because if it was a good week there were things to celebrate. Or if it had been a day like today, the act of seeking the good reset my brain, refreshed my spirit, and brought me to a place of praise. It was the best thing for my spiritual journey and my relationship with Jesus. All of  which is good for my soul.

And so this good habit of weekly Thankful Thursday writing is being renewed (again). Because nothing is wrong it just seems like it. So, in the midst of that seeming, I am thankful for:

1) my dear friend Jamie has successfully journeyed around the sun yet again, today though I am far from him I celebrate this milestone and say "Jamie I am glad you exist and that I know you.:"

2) I had a lovely tea visit with one of my adult friends

3) the beautiful produce we've been able to harvest from our garden and share with friends

4) another day of driving with no accidents

5) it has been lovely weather (especially after a summer of much rain)

6) my friend Susi and Stuart who are kind hosts

7) for two hoppy sightings. I don't know when it happened by in the last year being surprised by toads or frogs is becoming one of my favourite small things. This is the hoppy mom found clinging to the side of our house tonight 

If you are unfamiliar with Sara Groves, this is the song I mentioned from her Conversations album:

Thursday, September 07, 2017

36 While 36

It was pointed out to me this week that my birthday was over four months ago and I still have not shared the new Birthday Bucket List. It's true. I've had the list finished since May. I was wanting to wait to post in on the 26th and then not being able to post on the day. It just kept putting it off. After the daily blogging in NS I realized I just need to act. So act I shall regardless of the date.

The list is goals and challenges I hope to accomplish during the year. The tradition is my attempt to not go through the routine of daily activities forgetting to do what fills me with joy, love, and adventure. The list is also a way to enrich the year, help foster memories, and develop areas of my life. This year is no different. Even though this is the first public sharing of my Birthday Bucket List, I have been working on a few of these challenges already. I'll share the progress on Sept 26.

1) Choose a 2018 Word
2) Make a 40 Before 40 List
3) Send/give Christmas Cards (36 minimum)
4) Marry Someone
5) Be a NaNoWriMo Rebel
6) Memorize Philippians 4:4-9

Second (or Third+) Chances
7) Finish Reading New Testament
8) Draw Regularly (12 drawings)
9) Write Down My Children's Stories
10) A Day of Silence
11) Cosplay a New Character
12) Make a video

Eighteen Items off the NS Trip List
13) Hug all of my people
14) Brunch with The Brunch Club
15) Attend the Wednesday Games Group Games Night
16) Picture with a giant lobster
17) Watch the sunrise over the Bay of Fundy
18) Swim in the Atlantic Ocean
19) Eat Lobster
20) Eat Muscles
21) Eat Scott Skins
22) Eat Chicken Curry Fries
23) Eat at the Korean Place
24) Eat at the Naked Crepe
25) Visit the Look-Off
26) Visit The Wolfville Farmer Market
27) Visit Halls Harbour
28) Visit Port George
29) Visit Luneburg
30) Visit Mahone Bay

Six Items off the 40 Before 40 List
31) TBA
32) TBA
33) TBA
34) TBA
35) TBA
36) TBA

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Day 18: Going Home

Yesterday I shared about the sorrow of leaving a place that holds a piece of my heart. Nova Scotia
will always be home. At the same time, I was looking forward to hugging family, seeing friends, and getting back into a routine. Ontario is also my home, it is starting to feel like home. It was good to be on the road back to people we loved.

To keep the trip joyful, especially when we were still in Nova Scotia, we added a number of stops to specifically take pictures. It made us getting in to Moncton later than planned but also enriched the journey.

1) The Girls Road Trip begins (we forgot to take the picture before we started, it was actually taken in Quebec)
2) big lobby (lobster in Bedford)
3) The Mastodon in Stewiacke, which is half way between the North Pole and the Equator

4) Lighthouse at Masstown Market. We found this hoodie that I loved, sadly, it did not come in Liz size.
5) The Giant Blueberry in Oxford
6) Pizza Delight in Amherst

7) Started a new project at Best Friends
8) Actual Day 18 adventure lead us to these two in the blue canoe.
Other than those finds, the trip was uneventful. We got in 10:16 local time, tired but happy.

Day 17: Farewell Nova Scotia

I am no longer in Nova Scotia.

There were tears when I said goodbye after brunch today. There was weeping and nashing of teeth when we crossed the boarder into NB. Leaving is hard.

It is not like we didn't know this was coming. It is the inevitable conclusion of any trip, the need to go back home. I loved every minute of being in Nova Scotia, a place that still feels like home in so many way. This past week, as today loomed closer I kept thinking of the 10th Doctor's goodbye:

Even with the sadness of leaving there was still much to be joyful about. We had a quick visit at New Hope to see some people I hadn't figured any other way to connect with, then we were at King's for worship. Ross gave a great message on love. We went to a brunch at Paddy's with the Brunch Club. Followed by my losing horribly at a game of Loot.

Then there were many, many, many good bye hugs and the previously mentioned tears. I was good till Timothy asked, "couldn't you just stay permanently?" Followed by Jamie hugs, MFA hugs, stop in Windsor for tea with Lucas and his daughter. All this allowed be to feel comfortable crossing off the top item from my bucket list -Hug All of My People. There have been so many hugs. Not all were captured digitally but here are three that were:

That wrapped up the big 38 item Nova Scotia trip bucket list. Mum and I accomplished almost everything. There were four items (listed in this colour) that we weren't able to fit into our schedule. I am beyond pleased, tickled pink even.

1. Hug all of my people (with the exception of friends who do not appreciate hugs)
2. Brunch with The Brunch Club
3. Attend the Wednesday Games Group Games Night
4. Participate in a day of board games with Aurora
5. Go to the Valley Drive-In
6. Live music
7. Attend a party with spontaneous jam session
8. The Wolfville Farmer Market
9. Swim in the Atlantic Ocean
10. Visit Crystal Falls (or another falls)
11. See the Blue Nose (is it out of dry docks yet?)
12. Drive Ridge Road (Greenwood to Wolfville)
13. Halifax Harbour/take a hopper tour
14. Visit Port George
15. Ghost Walk
16. Watch the sunrise over the Bay of Fundy
17. Go to the Look-Off
18. Find the cement houses
19. Go geocaching
20. Attend the worship service at Kings
21. Lobster
22. Muscles
23. Scott Skins
24. London Fog, yes they have them here but I miss my cafes
25. Eat at the Naked Crepe
26. Eat at the Pita Hut
27. Eat at the Korean place
28. All you can eat sushi
29. Have a donair with real donair sauce
30. Maybe a donair pizza but garlic fingers for sure
31. Halls Harbour visit
32. See a lighthouse
33. Picture with a giant lobster
34. Chicken Curry Fries
35. Johnny's for a burger and/or poutine
36. Meal at Troys
37. Luneburg
38. Mahone Bay

There was more to the day after we left the Valley but I am going to include that in tomorrows post. We made a much shorter list of silliness for the trip home. If you are interested in the earlier Nova Scotia adventures or missed a specific day, you can find an account of each day below:

Day 16 -Saturday, September 2, 2017
Day 15 -Friday, September 1, 2017
Day 14 -Thursday, August 31, 2017
Day 13 -Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Day 12 -Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Day 11 -Monday, August 28, 2017
Day 10 -Sunday, August 27, 2017
Day 9 -Saturday, August 26, 2017
Day 8 -Friday, August 25, 2017
Day 7 -Thursday, August 24, 2017
Day 6 -Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Day 5 -Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Day 4 -Monday, August 21, 2017
Day 3 -Sunday, August 20, 2017
Day 2 -Saturday, August 19, 2017
Day 1 -Friday, August 18, 2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

Day 16: Sunrise, "I Do's", and Dancing

Saturday was our last full day in Nova Scotia. We decided to make the most of every moment.

Mum as I started the day early in Wolfville waiting for the sun to get out of bed:

We might not have been fully awake as we waited.

It was worth the wait, and not just because I got to cross something off my silly bucket list (that is just a bonus). This was the prefect start to a full and very beautiful day.
There was a visit to the Wolfville Farmers' Market, paper cutting for table numbers, and revising of the ceremony notes. Mom helped wherever she was needed. Before we went and got dressed for the wedding.  It was an honour to be a part of Becca and Chris big day. The whole day was beautiful and fit them so well. I want to say more, but am sleepy enough that I am finding it hard to put my thoughts into clear words. Also, I  didn't get any pictures of the wedding. This one comes from my friend Kim's facebook.

After the reception was over, the dancing had finished, the decorations were packed up, and cake storage solutions were being considered I headed out to say good bye to a few friends I knew were still awake post concert. I ended the night at the Night Kitchen after party. There was continual live music from before I arrived till long after I left. The night was gloriously good and filled with hugs, cookies, the meeting of neat people, and great conversations. 
Nova Scotia Trip Bucket-List Successes:
7. Attend a party with spontaneous jam session
16. Watch the sunrise over the Bay of Fundy

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Day 15: Good Times in the Maritimes

Friday is honestly a bit of a blur; it was mostly wedding prep. Mum and I had errands in Wolfville. We managed to squeeze in a visit to Troy, the last restaurant on the travel to do list. I was really proud of my Mum; she tried new and different foods. She even liked more than half of what she tried. I just ate too much. The best part of our visit was Jamie was working!!!
The rest of the afternoon, post-Wolfville, was wedding prep or wedding rehearsal prep. All of the stuff for the rest of the day and evening was delightful. Sadly I was too focused to take any photos.
Nova Scotia Trip Bucket-List Successes:
36. Meal at Troys

Friday, September 01, 2017

Day 14: Mark Drama Training

One of the hopes of my trip was to connect with Jo Hockley (formally Wilson) to be trained as a Mark Drama director. The hope became a plan earlier this week when our schedules worked out, and the plan became a reality yesterday. I drove up to the city and spent the day with her. We talked, prayed, and I did a lot of learning and absorbing all the things. It was great with a yummy shawarma lunch in the middle.

I had supper with Jenn! For those keeping count I have managed to hug all five Jenns. My apologies that I was not able to get a picture. I didn't think to take any pictures. I ended the night with good chats and watching a horrible, yet well produced movie, based on the Dark Dungeon Chick Tract. Yep, that's a thing. Sigh.

Day 13: Small Changes and Much Food

My last haircut was May 2016, it was time for a change. It wasn't as drastic of a change as I have done in the past, maybe next time. Here are the before, during and....
Overall I think I am happy with the cut. There were two things I asked one of which didn't fully happen and the other that was ignored. However, it's hair and I can try something else next time. Also, it will look better for the wedding Saturday.

After the cut and blogging I stopped in to hug a dear family to me. Their kids are so much bigger. I know, I know, that's what kids do. It really shouldn't surprise me. It is more the realization that I miss them and seeing them grow up. Then Kim and I hung out before our big Sushi Fang meal. Oh, so much food. This is half of what we ordered. I was a very happy Liz.

The end of the day was watching Serenity. It was Timothy's first time. As the credits began to roll he echoed a sentiment many of us feel, "but there needs to be more." I agree Timothy, I agree.
Nova Scotia Trip Bucket-List Successes:
28. All you can eat sushi