Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I won! I won! I WON!!!

It went down to the wire... as suspenseful as my novel (at least I hope my novel is this suspenseful)... but I did it! I won! I reached 50,000 words in a month!

Woo hoo! Yippee! Hurray! OMG, I am so happy!

Hope your November was as (ultimately) productive! And here's looking forward to December!

Now to finish the novel...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Best Laid Plans... or... I HATE WAITING

I tend to be VERY easy going. It's the Piscean in me, willing to flow along with what everyone is doing, as long as it's not attending a live football game with a bunch of rabid football fans. Okay, so I've been to my share of live football games with rabid fans, too.

I do, however, make plans, and even with my easygoing nature, a falter in plans often makes me irritated. I had planned a trip to a museum in Tallahassee for weeks--and it was to happen today. My kids were out of school, I wasn't teaching a zumba class anywhere, and the Titanic exhibit was still there. We'd have breakfast, take off for the museum district, and have a grand time.

Only it didn't work out. First, my poor kitty has a swelled lip--I'm not sure the cause, nor is the vet, but he's given us antibiotics to treat it, and now kitty should be fine. But it also means I spent the morning at the vet. I also had to call animal control, for when I looked up in the attic for the cat carrier, I instead found a glowing pair of eyes waiting for me. That took up the rest of the morning... and we still haven't found what was up there.

My poor kitty has been battling fleas, too--so I called my bug service. The only time they can come in and do a flea treatment? Today, in the early afternoon. I still held out hope, though. If they came right at one, we could leave shortly afterwards... and we'd still have a good 2 1/2 hours to explore the museum before it closed.

Only the pest control still hasn't come.

So now I wait, NOT going to this museum, NOT getting anything done that I actually WISH to do. (Okay, so I do like blogging... but it's not the same thing, not today). My kids are trying to make the best of it, but they are also disappointed. And not I'm in the last minute of the hour range the pest control person is supposed to arrive... but no one has come. I'll have to call again and see why they aren't here. And if they can't come, the hubby will have to spend another night picking the cat's fleas off his own ankles.

The next time I can go will be winter break--but Titanic will be long gone. I am utterly devastated thinking about it.

What should I do now? What do you do when your plans are thwarted?

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNoWriMo Lesson #1: Stats Induce Panic

Free Digital

So far, the writing for NaNoWriMo is going very well. I've managed at least 2,000 words per day (beginning on the 6th, when I was finally able to begin work), and I'm meeting my personal goals for this.

Even better, I really like my story. The main character is fervent, passionate, and rebellious--all things I am on the inside, even if they exhibit themselves very little on the outside. And her love interest, well, he's blisteringly handsome and as passionate about his purpose in life as she is. Did I tell you she was a mermaid? And he was a British ship's captain? And that all of this was occurring in the Caribbean during the mid-1830's? Yup, costumes, fighting, underwater stuff--it's all there.

Each day, as I finish the necessary 2,000+ words, I enter my new number diligently in the NaNoWriMo website. And there is my problem. I click on my Novel Stats, and there I get a glimpse of my progress through their meters. Sure, I'm doing fine, but the meters don't take into account my late start. After the first day or so, I was projected to finish the novel on February 14th. February 14th!! Aack!

Of course, the day after that took it to January something... and now I'm supposed to finish on December 6. And my little chart shows my word count slowly moving up to meet the line of expectation. I know, logically, why I haven't met it yet. I do. I swear I do.

I just can't quell the gut check I feel every time I see I'm not there yet, that panicky lurch in my stomach when I realize it's HALFWAY THROUGH NOVEMBER and I'M NOT HALFWAY THROUGH MY BOOK! EEK!

Why are my expectations so unreasonable?

Then again, I noticed my Municipal Liaison (the person who helps coordinate all us Georgia people who don't fit into any metropolitan area) has already written OVER 50,000 words. I congratulated him, and he replied, "I just need to finish the darn story now! That's my trouble every year."Even the successful ones--who have reached 50,000 words before the midpoint of the month, mind you--seem to expect more out of themselves.

Perhaps that's not so bad. I still ADORE writing the book. Sometimes it's been tricky fitting it into my day of chores (Damn you, laundry! Dishes again?), but I'd rather write on my novel than do pretty much anything else (Zumba excepted). And lofty goals help--without them, I wouldn't have a single novel written.

What about you? Goals? Expectations? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants, living in the moment?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Even Numbers

I must just hate the traditional 1,667 words per day that come up for NaNoWriMo, for I've put off writing the novel for five days just so that I can finish this other short story.

But it's done, just in time for my daily word count (to be a winner) to add up to an even 2,000 words per day.

Thank God. If there's a number I hate, it's 1,667.

Now I'm off to outline, without having an unfinished short story hanging over my head.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Three Cups... A Review

My kids started earning an allowance a few years ago, and at the time I tried to have them set some money aside for savings. I didn't know what I was doing, and I've made some modifications since then, but I'm likely to modify further now that I've read Tony Townsley's Three Cups, a book I received for free from the publisher.

It's a children's book, meant to be read to children (or for children to read on their own, I suppose), but what the book does is begin the conversation about what we should do with our money. Kids with new sources of "income" will be eager to spend every last penny of what they get, and if that's what they do, they will continue that pattern for the rest of their lives. This book sets up the groundwork for doing more with what one has, in a simple, tangible way, by putting the money into three cups, and not just one.

The cover's simplicity gives away the system (this was from the Amazon webpage):

Three Cups

When children get their allowance, they divide their earnings into three cups. They give some money away (charity, church, good causes), save some, and then spend the rest (or collect more in their spend cups so that they can save up for something bigger and more expensive). It's simple, yes, but the strength of the book is that it isn't bossy at all. It doesn't dictate a particular percentage go in any given cup (that's presumably for parents to decide), but what it does do is show the positive effects brought about by each cup. Saving means that the children have some security in the future (adults could learn from this), giving money to causes makes other less fortunate people happy (and makes us feel warm inside), and earning money to spend also brings joy. 

It's almost too bad we don't have an equivalent book for adults... but if we read it to our kids, perhaps we can learn from it, as well. In any case, it's time for me to dig through my cups and find the six I will use on my two children... to encourage good habits at an early age. 

What are your spending habits, readers? Do you do all three? I don't do enough of the giving and saving... but that can change.