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Indescribable Books

Ever have those books that you can’t describe? One of those stories that just swallows you up, heart and soul, but for the life of you, you just cannot describe it properly enough to give it justice?

Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus is that book for me.

The book has already been out for a little over three years, but it still seems brand new. I had thought the premise was interesting when it had first been published, if only because the author had written it due to NaNoWriMo. It was exciting to know a fellow NaNoer had broken into the publishing industry and, although I don’t know her personally, I was proud of her success. After the book was published (like, months after, maybe a year later), one of my old friends had thrust her copy of the novel into my hands, demanding that I read it.

Come to think of it, she couldn’t really give me a good, proper description of it either.

I devoured the book. I could not – did not want – to put the novel down. I had other borrowed books, most of them from Rachel’s old boyfriend (who was very confused as to why it took me years to read his borrowed books, but mere days to read The Night Circus, and all Rachel could say was that, while his books were good, they were not as soul-sucking as The Night Circus was for me), but they were abandoned in favor the Morgenstern’s masterpiece.

Alas, I eventually had to return the book, and I had no idea what to do with my time for a while after finishing the story. Eventually, despite feeling as if I had lost a very dear friend, I had moved on with my life for the next two years. Until this past Christmas season, that is.

About half of my Christmas wish list consisted of books, and one of the latest additions to the list was The Night Circus. I don’t know what prompted me to think of the story again, but it wasn’t a thought I pondered about for long. It was a welcome present and, despite the other dozen or so books that I have unread on my bookshelf, The Night Circus was the first book I began to read after the holidays wound down.

My mother asked me recently what The Night Circus was about, and I was stumped. “Magic,” was the first word that popped into my head, then came the not-so-brilliant, “It’s about a circus that’s only opened at night.” Seriously, duh. I started to ramble. “There’s a love story beneath it all, it’s really about a competition between these two magicians, but they didn’t enter the competition themselves, and they use all sorts of magic to help create and maintain this circus. The circus isn’t a typical three-ring affair with lion tamers and acrobats, but filled with many sorts of tents, like one created entirely of ice and a pool where you throw stones to get rid of those weights of the world on your shoulder…”

That’s really all I remember. My mom began to just give me a smile, one of those amusing kinds of smiles that said she was humoring me and enjoying the fact that I loved the book so much.

The Night Circus is one of those stories where you have to read it several times. The first time you plow through the pages and chapters, eagerly getting to the end just to see what happens because you’ll die if you don’t find out right. Now. The second (and the third and the forth and so on) time you read it, you taste it slowly, relishing the small bites, the intricate details you missed on your first flight through the words. It’s an amazing bookshelf addition for everyone who enjoys a world with magic, a bit of romance, and just the fantastical blending beautifully with people.

I hope everyone out there has a book that they cannot properly describe.

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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Home

 

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April 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 1 Word Count: 1873/50000

Last camp NaNo, I had the word count goal of 25000 to make it a bit easier to reach during my busy work schedule. However, I had reached the 50000 word count goal for this past November, so I figured I could try to reach that again. After all, it’s the same amount of days, and if I did it once, I can do it again, right?

Rachel and I are in the same cabin for this camp, along with 10 other campers. We got a big cabin, haha! Most of us seem to be off to a good start, and hopefully the streak will continue all month long.

Some time ago, I found a 30 Day NaNoWriMo Meme on a random tumblr account. I thought it would be something interesting and motivating to do throughout the month, so I am subjecting you to it:

Day 1 – Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before?  If so, which years and what end result?  If not (or even if so, for that matter), what’s your connection to writing?  Why do you want to participate this year?

I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, and have been doing so for a couple of years now. I found NaNoWriMo around 2008, and have attempted to do NaNo since then. I have only ever “won” NaNo once, which was last year, when I really started to take my writing more seriously. I love to write and enjoy creating fantasies and stories, most of which I hope to share with the world one day through publishing. Participating in NaNo helps me practice and churn more words out than I normally would in a month.

Good luck to everyone else in their writing and life! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Home

 

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Define Success

Marva Collins: “Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.”

Success is generally defined as the accomplishment of one’s goals. Whether that means completing your homework or research paper in a timely manner, teaching your dog how to sit, editing that final draft of your novel, or beating your sister’s turtle in a game of hide-and-seek, the meaning of success varies from person to person.

(I’m not kidding about the turtle. During the colder months, she likes to hibernate, and currently I cannot find her buried among the three or so inches of bark in her tank. She’s probably under her pool, I’m sure, but she is definitely the queen of hide-and-seek.)

I’ve been thinking about my journey to success lately. I considered myself successful when I beat the NaNo challenge with 50023 words (the winner certificate is still on my desk) and when I got promoted to a manager position at work. All of that is well and good, but how is my relationship with success towards my dream of writing?

I have two first drafts of novels finished, and the strong start of a few more. I want to write, to make writing my main focus in my life, to be able to share and live off of my works. To get my name out there, to figure out what this publishing business is all about, to work by my own rules… That will be my definition of success.

I’m going to be 24 at the end of next month. Through hard work, discipline, and a bit of silliness here and there, I will be successful. Let’s see how it all pans out.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Home

 

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NaNo Day 7 – Character Appreciation

Dory, from Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

NaNoWriMo Day Seven Word Goal: 11666
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 12170/50000
My NaNo Profile: Winged_Spirit

This year (or maybe previous years as well and I’ve just never noticed it), the NaNo site has a word count validator available all month where one just copies and pastes one’s whole novel into the little box and NaNo will count how many words you have. It’s fantastic if one is like me and bounces from Microsoft Word to OpenOffice, both of which tend to disagree with word counts, with a story. Now I have a tool that will always be able to correctly count words for when it really matters.

Anyways, I’m still doing well with NaNo, and I’m hoping to continue this streak despite the coming Week Two, in which most NaNoers feel the pressure, and the temptation to slow down the challenge is huge. My characters are being awesome, especially this random side character named Eddie. He’s a classmate and a student to the main characters, and has already proven to have a good sense of humor, leadership qualities, and seems to be supportive of everyone. He may have to have more of a prominent role in the story…

Here’s hoping that everyone else is having good luck with their writing, characters, and life in general. 🙂

Also, here’s the obligatory link to Rachel’s blog, because we always link to each other with every post, haha!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Home

 

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NaNo Day 5 – Atmosphere

Ray Bradbury: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

NaNoWriMo Day Five Word Goal: 8333
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8514/50000
My NaNo Profile: Winged_Spirit

Yay for being on par with NaNo! I’m a little ahead with a couple of hundred words from the daily goal, which I am proud of.

Rachel and I tend to try to write together when we can, and lately the place where we write is at our kitchen or dining room tables. During the summer, we always tried to go to our local Barnes and Noble during my day off. We’d hit Dunkin’ Donuts for a quick, sugary breakfast, then order drinks from the convenient Starbucks that was inside our B&N before plopping ourselves at a table and firing up our laptops. It was a fantastic writing atmosphere, with all the reference books we would ever need and easy access to caffeinated beverages.

I admit, half of the time we distracted ourselves, but it was all in good fun and we always made some sort of progress on our writing dreams, whether it be typing up a new chapter, creating character lists, or editing the first draft of a novel.

Being the school year, Rachel has her homework to worry about as well as her full-time hours at her work. I recently got promoted and, while the work isn’t too different, there are definitely more responsibilities on my shoulders along with some interesting hours. During this month, we do our best to keep up with each other’s progress, asking about word counts and character tidbits when we do see each other. We’re doing our best to devote Sundays to each other, grabbing Starbucks after church before heading home to write for as long as we can.

It would be easier if our den/video game room was all set up for us to use. Lately we’ve been having gentlemen work on the house’s insulation, and they’ve been cutting holes in the walls upstairs where our den and bedroom are located (we had to sleep in the living room a few nights due to this). Those brand-new desks we have can’t be put to use with our writing just yet! Hopefully everything will be all set soon.

Rachel and I have contemplated staying at the Starbucks we visit after church to do some writing. It’s fairly small and cozy with awesome workers and a little lounge area with a FIREPLACE. I want a fireplace. There are outlets under most of the seats and tables. I do feel as if we would be a bit too loud for the place, though. It’s why we don’t go to write at the library, haha!

For the most part, we’ve been doing well making up our own “writer’s atmospheres” at home. We get distracted often enough, of course, with the animals and kids (and parents, haha — Hi, Mom!), but as long as we can keep writing, then I guess the atmosphere works in our favor.

Happy writing everyone!

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Home

 

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Catch Up

Ernest Hemingway: “Write drunk; edit sober.”

NaNoWriMo Day Three Word Goal: 5001
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 1702/50000

Starbucks, Coffitivity, and a work-in-progress novel. Life is good.

So, NaNoWriMo is in effect! Yay! I’m already a day behind! That’s nothing new… In my defense, I literally worked all day yesterday then made an appearance at a friend’s birthday party… then came home and went to bed.

Good news is that I have all day today to write. I should be able to catch up fairly easily. It only took me about an hour and a half on the first day to reach the word count goal. Rachel of course is ahead already, which I’m simultaneously proud of her work ethic and envious of her typing speed, haha!

I hope everyone else is doing well! If you’re doing NaNo, look me up: Winged_Spirit. Happy writing!

Also, check out this tumblr. It is one of my new favorite things.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Home

 

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Never Ending Journey

Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Obviously I haven’t been on here in a couple of months. However, throughout those few months, I have finished my novel “Bloodmage,” and it sorely needs editing, but it’s FINISHED! I also got promoted at work, and my older sister is engaged. 🙂 So, happy stuff has been happening.

I’ve been doing my best lately to get more into a writing habit, either by actually writing on a novel or doing character interviews or planning with sticky notes or whatever. November’s NaNoWriMo is right around the corner (like, literally a week), and Rachel and I have been prepping (in between bouts of Pokemon and Ace Attorney, I’ll admit). She found a bunch of poster boards so we each have a poster for our respective NaNo novels filled with sticky notes and index cards for the characters, plot ideas, settings, etc.

Last night while Rachel was at a workshop for work I was writing an “interview” for my main character, and it was FANTASTIC because I had a couple of breakthroughs for the novel when November comes around. Literally, I would stop writing in the middle of a sentence in the interview to throw up a new sticky note onto my poster!

Then Rachel came home and informed me that it’s, “the 4th annual Cat Week on the Ellen DeGeneres Show!” So we watched some cat videos from the show. And a Kevin the Cashier segment. And Ellen’s monologue about bags.

Yep. We’re writers!

On that note, I’m Winged_Spirit on NaNo. Look me up!

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Home

 

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