Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaNo Update: Day 20

Progress (word count or a general status update): 30,358--which is close to where I'm meant to be for my schedule, but despite a calendar full of numbers, feels like it can't possibly put me on track to finish by NEXT WEEK.
Current Mood: Exhausted.  I still love my characters, and I even came up with a new bit of plot and a new ending that I'm totally jazzed about, but the actual committing words to paper has gotten way harder and slower lately.

Inspiration: “When I find myself on a death-spiral of doubt and insecurity and comparison and other soul-crushing habits of the mind, I remind myself: Just put your head down and do the work.”
Goals as of Today: I'm meant to be at 32,500 by the end of today.  Mr. S is working late, so I have a little extra time, but I'm still not sure I'll get quite as far as that.  Still, I'll do my best, and I'm vowing not to go to bed before 31,500 at least.  If necessary, I can squeeze out an extra 1,000 tomorrow.
Recent Favorite NaNo WiP Line:
“So, are you an anchovy man?”  Maggie changes the subject and I smile at her gratefully.  

“For you, I could learn to be.”  I’m doing the best I can to make up for my texting faux pas.  

“Gross, don’t.”  I think she means the fish, but then she adds, “I hate it when people change who they are for the person they’re dating.  I love anchovies.  That doesn’t mean you have to.”  

“Fair.”  I nod.  “But if I hadn’t decided to try new things, I would never have gone to Duke’s party.  And I never would have met you.”  She thinks that over for a minute and we walk in silence.  

“What do you get on your pizza?” she asks finally.

“Sausage, usually.”  She makes a face.  

“Does it have those little brown seeds that look like bugs?”

“You mean fennel seeds?”  I laugh.  “Yeah, sometimes.”

She squinches her face up and takes a deep breath.  “Well then, in the interest of trying new things, I will let you have some of my delicious anchovy pizza if you will let me have some of your disgusting bug sausage.  But you have to promise you won’t pretend to like anchovies if you really don’t, just like I promise that there’s a good chance I will spew sausage all over you if it’s as gross as it looks.”
“Wow, you’re quite a salesperson.”  She smacks my arm.  “No, I’m serious.  You really know how to rev a guy’s engines.”  She laughs in spite of herself.  “I promise I will not perjure myself over anchovies.”  
“You better not.  Pizza court is the highest court in the land.”

Non-NaNo News (because life DOES go on): Our Thanksgiving is starting early this year, with a Wednesday night dinner at my in-laws' (who are also hosting the big day.)  They made sweet potato ravioli; I am making these bizarre little jello molds with cranberry sauce, apple, and pineapple (but no nuts because that just seemed a bridge too far.)  I will let you know how they turn out.  I can't resist weird retro foods.
In my downtime (ha!) I’m reading:  I finished The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms!  I feel so accomplished!  Also, it was good--if you're a fan of fantasy and are looking for the adult version as opposed to the YA kind, I definitely recommend it (more on that Sunday.)  I'm also reading Notes From the Blender by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin, because it is also a contemp with dual narrators about what happens when you suddenly get a step-sibling of about your same age.  Other than that it's very different from my WiP and so far it's hysterically funny.  (Awesome boy narrator alert, BTW.)
You should read this blog post: On Hate By: Shannon Hale
Because: I know I just linked to Shannon Hale's blog in my last one of these, but this post is so lovely and such a good reminder about how to be people in the world that I want to spread it around as much as possible.
You should also read this these blog post posts: Dear Teen Me: Listen Up and Dear Teen Jess, By: Jaime Morrow and Jessica Love
Because: This weekend I linked to Erin L. Schneider's awesome video promoting the new book Dear Teen Me, in which several excellent writers/bloggers shared advice to their teen selves in six-word memoir format.  Erin shares her story in that post, but Jaime and Jess have added their own stories since then.  I love hearing stories from bloggers I dig, but I also like reading these posts because it helps me to remember how things felt in high school and how differently I think about them now--important perspective for anyone writing YA.
Gratuitous Photograph:
Pre-jelled mini-Jello Molds.  Fingers crossed!
As always, thanks to Katy Upperman for the template!


  1. Great NaNo segment as usual! I just had pizza with sausage on it for supper and this makes me want another piece. And sweet potato ravioli? Yum! That's a merging of two foods I love. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, this whole scene is making me really want pizza. (Hopefully that's translating into good sensory details as I continue to write it.) I'm pretty excited for the next few days of food, but I will make a mental note to plan on pizza whenever I (eventually) revise this scene :)

  2. Thanks for the shout-out! It was totally fun writing a letter to teen me, though I think I could have gone on for ages. :)

    Love the segment, as usual. And now I'm craving pizza too. Yum! You're doing so awesome with NaNo. I'm very impressed, and I can't wait to read it when you're ready. :) I'm still sitting way back at about 16,500 words. I need to sit down and do some smoochy scenes or something to get back into the swing of things.

    1. OMG, the romantic scenes are totally my favorite. If I could just write those all the time, I'd be at 50,000 already.

      However...it's now 10:30 and even 31,5000 seems pretty far away. Today was not a super-productive day. I may need to just make peace with that and then do word sprints all day tomorrow (let's see...I can do 500 words in 10 minute if I use Write or Die...so that's nine sprints tomorrow to get back on track? Plus all the dishes and a green bean casserole? Sure, if I wake up with my Superwoman cape on!)

      Yeah. Bed now. Superhuman feats of strength/writing/casseroling tomorrow :)

  3. Love the snippet :D And I think you´re doing great at NaNo, even with the little setback...I´m cheering you on all the way from Germany! And can´t wait to read your WiP whenever you´re ready!
    Hmm and that pre-Thanksgiving dinner sounds yummy...really delicious :D
    Have a great time!

    1. Thanks! I couldn't do it without support from everybody (and having an international cheering section makes me feel pretty darn cool!)

  4. I love retro foods like Jell-o molds, too! Let me know how those turn out.
    I am within 10K of finishing my WIP and I always lose motivation in a big way at this point--something about being so close makes me stop working as hard. Go figure.
    I have to say I love your snappy and realistic dialogue. :)

    1. Thanks! I kind of wish I could just write a sweet fun novel about Craig and Maggie, but I fear she might go MPDG on me if she got much more page time. Also there's a whole murder plotline I need to resolve. Sigh.

      I will try to remember to take pictures when I turn the jello out of the molds today (hopefully they come out!)


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