Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo and homework

Hey everybody!  This is an update because I haven’t posted in a while.  It will probably definitely be long-winded because I always have a lot to say, but recently I’ve been extra-busy.

First order of business: NaNoWriMo.  Yeah… about that.  I totally failed, with my novel weighing in on December 1st at a whopping 843 words. I won’t even go into how I totally lost my grasp on where the story was going about a week into November.  That’s what happens when you’re taking 7 classes (3 of which are college classes), practicing 3 instruments, and still trying to eat, sleep, and have a tiny bit of time leftover for social activities.  And by “tiny” I really mean “only enough time to go to church on Sundays, check Facebook once in a while, text between homework assignments, and maybe see some of my friends in person about once a week.”  I know a lot of people like to say that homeschoolers have no social life.  Until about 6 months ago, I was a total social butterfly.  Then I realized how much I have to do in order to be ready for college next year and my social calendar went out the window.  Now it’s crunch time.  Fun.  But at least when I get to college, while all my classmates are complaining about the workload I’ll be able to say (like the 90’s kid I am), “talk to the hand”.

Ok, onto homework.  I’m currently a student at an online charter school, so I’m technically not homeschooled anymore. (Even though most of the time I’m going to class in my bedroom, wearing Tinkerbell PJs and drinking hot cocoa.)  Until last week, I was taking 7 classes: 4 classes with my online school, 2 dual-credit college/HS classes online with a community college, and lastly playing alto flute in the flute choir at another community college.  

Flute choir rehearses on Fridays at 12:15.  It’s an hour drive to the school, an hour rehearsal, then I hang around for an hour until my hour flute lesson (my teacher is part of the school faculty), then an hour drive home.  That’s a FIVE HOUR chunk of my day.  So I’m not going to be playing in the flute choir this semester.  I’m really sad about it, because the class was a lot of fun and a flute choir is probably the most ethereal ensemble I’ve ever heard.  But, I just can’t afford to lose so much time.  

Last week my 2 online college classes finished.  Those were hard.  I took Intro to Lit and Intro to Music – neither of those subjects are particularly challenging, but managing my time was.  Those classes take a year’s worth of material and squash it into one 16-week semester.  There were piles of reading assignments and then you had to spend a minimum of 6 hours a week on the class forums, plus a minimum of 4 hours writing papers and working on research projects.  All that on top of 4 other online classes, most of which are heavily reading-based. (Spanish 1, Physical Science, SAT Prep, Algebra 2.)  I felt like one of those clowns trying to keep a dozen plates spinning on top of thin poles.  By the end of the semester, all my plates were tumbling onto my head.  But somehow I finished the college classes and I’m still alive.  Now I’m almost scared to find out what my grades are.

…And I’m about to do it all over again.  In about a month, I’ll be taking 3 online college classes and 2 online HS classes.  I’m also going to be taking Spanish 2 at a local community college, because while I’m good at reading Spanish, I am a weak Spanish speaker and I feel like I need the face-to-face relationship with my teacher and classmates to force me to speak it more.  No, my parents don’t speak Spanish.  Yes, I have friends that are taking Spanish, but a typical conversation with them goes something like this:
Me: ¡Hola! ¿Como estas?
Friend: Hey Shelby, what’s up?
Me: Estoy bien, y tú?
Friend: I’m good, thanks. 

I’m going to make another post right now about my adventure into the world of college applications and what I want to do with my life.  If I put it all in one post, it would be too long and boring.  And boring, my friends, is something a writer never wants to be.


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NaNoWriMo and RP-turned-novel

Hey everyone!  It’s the second day of NaNoWriMo and I haven’t written a thing.  Well, that’s not technically true.  I wrote a little before November.  But I haven’t written anything since NaNo began.  I admit I’m having trouble coming up with the plot for Lady Academy. Phooey.

On another note, I’ve been given permission to write a story based on a role-play I found on the internet!  Yay!  I’m SOOOO super-duper excited about this.  It’s kind of a dystopian-type of story, which I’ve never written before so it should be interesting.  It should also be really interesting to write because the RP has kind of been left to die.  So, I can pretty much just take the beginning that’s been written (tweak it to make it mine, of course) and run with it.

Here’s the story the creator gave us to work with:
Imagine the world a better place – no wars, fights, bullying, or hate. No trash on the ground, no dying animals or humans dying.  Yes, Nobody dies. Everyone is perfect in this world. Tall, thin, blond hair and blue eyes. Everyone walks, talks, and looks the same. You think this world is perfect? Well, it’s not as great as it seems. People are getting tired of being the same. This perfect world better get ready for some change; the characters you create will go against everyone being perfect.
Here’s a sneak peek: the character profile I created. (Because I just couldn’t turn the story into a novel without a character of my own in it!)

(The picture isn’t mine. I found it on Photobucket, cropped it, and added the text.)
Name: December “Dezzie” LaBlanc

Appearance: Tall, slender, with long blonde hair, and blue eyes – well, one blue eye. Her left eye is green. (Before the “perfection”, she had brown hair and green eyes.) In public, she wears the standard-issue school uniform: grey skirt, black shoes, white blouse. At home, she wears whatever she feels like and her parents don’t mind.

Bio: December is 18 years old and the oldest of 2 children. As a child, she was mute, but after being “perfected”, she gained a voice. She is fiercely independent (not a good team player at all). She does get along with others, but enjoys being alone. Almost everyone likes her because she is nice to everyone – even the people she doesn’t like – but she has very few friends. She is usually deep in thought and likes to spend every spare moment either reading or playing her piano. She often wonders whether the “perfecting” is right but doesn’t really remember the way things were before.

History & Family: She had a baby brother, but he died before “the perfection” began. Her mother owns a cake shop. Her father is a scientist. In fact, he was approached by the people who planned “the perfecting” and was made one of the head scientists who spearheaded the research for the project. He had gotten into a car accident years before and was paralyzed from the waist down. As a test, he was the first to be “perfected”. The experiment was successful and he regained the use of his legs. During this early period of testing, there was a glitch in system and December’s “perfection” failed to alter her appearance completely. That is why her left eye is green. Further attempts to “perfect” her all failed and nobody could figure out why.

I think I’m going to switch my NaNo novel from Lady Academy to Perfectly Not.  But I’m not sure about that right now.  I really won’t be able to do as much NaNoing as I want this year because of school and music, but I want to at least do a little something – even if it’s something as small as plotting out one of these novels.  Plotting is the first step to writing a book, after all.  Neither one will go anywhere if I don’t figure out the plot!

That’s all for now!  If you’re doing NaNo, leave a comment and tell me your plan for meeting your word count goal and what inspired your story.

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Long time, no post.

Wow, I’ve been gone a while!  Let me quickly catch you up on what I’ve been up to lately…

  • I went to a summer music camp at local college. I played flute in 2nd chair of the Honors Band (hardest band to get into) and was one of the top 9 flautists so I got to take master classes with the flute professor at the college.
  • I got an alto flute. It’s EPIC.  I got the alto because the college I’m planning to go to needs more alto and bass flutes in their flute choir and I want to have experience playing it solo and with an ensemble before I get there. Also, because it’s EPIC.
  • I turned 18.
  • I joined the flute choir at a local college and I’m playing my new alto flute and my regular concert flute in it. 
  • I won first place in a harp competition.
  • I started taking some online college classes in addition to my current high school courses. It’s been… stressful…
  • My trusty laptop which has served me faithfully for 10 years got a bad virus and is no longer functioning until I can either find time myself or get somebody else to make copies of all my files, completely wipe the hard drive, reinstall the Windows XP operating system, reinstall all my programs, and load my files back onto it. *sigh* Our only other option is to buy a new laptop, and we can’t afford that right now. 😦

    Right now I’m using my dad’s “spare” laptop that goes to some of his medical equipment that he doesn’t use very often. Thank goodness most of what I need is online, but I can’t download any of my programs on it, like Celtx or my school IM program. *sob* I miss Celtx so much!!!  Google Docs just doesn’t cut it for me anymore!

  • I had my first anniversary of playing harp on October 10. Wahoo!
  • I went to a harp camp run by Maeve Gilchrist, a Scottish harpist and singer/songwriter.  It was lots of fun and I learned a TON!  It was so cool to have over 10 harps all in one place!
  • I took SATs.
  • I had to take NECAPs.
  • I took ACTs.
  • The last 3 bullets happened within a 2-week time frame. My brain has been turned to mashed potato and I don’t want to hear the words “test” or “exam” for a very long time.
  • I’m now getting ready to audition (on flute) for All State in November. This has also been stressful as the online school I take classes through wasn’t considered an actual “school” by All State until a few months ago. I am confused by this because my online school is entirely funded by government grants and you can’t get much more legit than that! So, I didn’t find out that I could participate in All State until about a month ago… and most people started preparing at the end of August.
  • I’ve been trying to reconnect with my inner child by re-watching some of my favorite animated movies.  I have been inspired with more story ideas.  Yay!

Sadly, my demanding school schedule and extensive music practicing time will really cut into my writing time.  (Right now, graduating from high school is MUCH higher on my priorities than doing much writing.)  I have hardly written anything in the past few months, and my stories are really suffering.  Languishing, abandoned, in a dusty corner of the vast plane of Internet now dubbed “The Cloud”.  Let me tell you, I can’t WAIT until I graduate and I have more time to write and practice my music and stop feeling like a beheaded rubber chicken running around dropping feathers everywhere.  Wait. That’s not it… like a chicken with its head cut off. Yes. That’s it. 

So, now that you’re all caught up on some of the things that have been going on in my life lately, I’ll talk about NaNoWriMo. It’s coming up in 6 days.  I have been thinking about my new ideas and trying to flesh out the characters and get a feel for the plot and conflicts.  I’ve made some progress with one of the stories.  I’m planning to work on it for NaNoWriMo this year.  

I’m going to do the youth section of NaNoWriMo this year again, because they changed it from “17 and under” to anybody still in high school and I LOVE being able to have a very small word-count goal.  Small is the only thing reasonably achievable right now when it comes to writing.  If I tried to write 50,000 words in a month at this point of my life, I would either fail miserably or my head would explode.

Another thing… through NaNoWriMo this year, I have been introduced to Figment.  You make a profile and can use it to write stuff and put things out on the web, meet up-and-coming writers, check out new books from people like you and me, and chat with other writers on the forums.  NaNoWriMo has a group that you can request to join, so you can chat with the other NaNoWriMo-ers.  You can send links to your stories to friends and teachers.  If you have something still saved as a draft and not “published” (available to view by everybody) you can still let your friends see it by sending them a link and a unique access code. I only signed up today and haven’t done much poking around, but so far, I really like Figment.

If you’d like, check out my profile

All right.  That’s it for now. I’m off to write a midterm paper for my college English class and learn some new Spanish verbs.
Happy writing!

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Script Frenzy!

In November I participated in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) young writers event.  There, I heard about Script Frenzy (which happens in April) and thought, “Oh, that sounds fun!”. I then pushed it into the back of my mind – because April seemed like a long way off – and tried to focus on reaching my word-count goal for NaNoWriMo.  
I’m glad that NaNoWriMo sent me a reminder email last week about Script Frenzy, because it sounds like a lot of fun!

I am planning on writing a script for a one-volume comic book.  At first, I had no idea what I was going to write about!  Usually my head is swirling with story ideas, but whenever I thought about what to do for a comic book, my mind went totally blank!  Another Frenzy-er suggested that I forget about writing a comic and just focus on channeling my creativity to see what I came up with.  S/he also suggested that I could take a story idea that was collecting dust and resurrect it as my comic book script.  Both good ideas!

I’ve decided to go with the latter.  I picked a short story I started several months ago called “Set Me Free”. (I got the idea when I had a strange dream which mixed Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” with that animated movie “Treasure Planet”.) It’s basically about a boy named Jim, and the merchant ship he works on ends up acquiring an enslaved mermaid to guide them between some islands that actually move around.  He ends up having to decide between setting her loose or doing nothing… for reasons I won’t go into now – I don’t want to spoil anything for you in case I get my finished comic published!

I have a few weeks until April 1st, when the Frenzy begins and I am allowed to start my script.  During this time, I am going to plot out the story and do some meticulous planning, to ensure I don’t end up writing a 1,000 page script that I will never, ever find the willpower to draw. (Because not only am I writing the script for my comic, I’ve decided I’m also going to draw all the art!)  I’ve done a lot of sketching throughout my life, but never any comic-type stuff, so it should be interesting/fun/hysteria-inducing to try. 

A page on the SF site recommends finding a publishing-on-demand company and seeing if local privately-owned bookstores will carry my comic, because that’s how a lot of comic book writers get their work out.

I’ll make another post about all that sometime this week… Adios!

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