November 2011 - further up and further in

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To Those Who Are Searching

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 6
To Those Who Are Searching

I won't deny it: I get some really, really weird referrals from Google. The search terms that people use when finding my site are nothing more than extraordinary, and sometimes, they're just plain weird.

I've decided to offer an apology to those who have searched and have not found.


~~~


Dear person who searched for "keep calm and call batman shirt",

I do not sell that shirt, I'm afraid. I am but a lowly blogger amongst the blogosphere who just happened to blog about it. The post in question that you probably found is, admittedly, rather stupid, and it probably doesn't help all that much. I'm not sure why you ended up here of all places, since I don't really talk about Batman on my blog all that often, and when I do, it usually has something to do with weird dreams and Polyvore sets. Nevertheless, I highly support your search for a place to purchase the Keep Calm and Call Batman shirt! Let me know when you find what you're looking for!

Sincerely,
-Miss Polyvore


~~~


Dear person who searched for "damian mcginty barefoot",

Simply put, you baffle me, and so does Google. I honestly have no idea why those search terms led to my blog, and I apologize for the inconvenience. The only thing I found that seemed remotely helpful is this post, where I just happened to mention Damian McGinty and the word barefoot in the same post. It's fitting because the title of the post is Awkwardly Awesome. I can't decide whether this search term is awesome, or just plain awkward. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Sincerely,
-Confused


~~~


Dear person who searched for "hanging cups white",

Somehow, you ended up here, and I have no idea why. All I can say is... huh???

Sincerely,
-Even More Confused


~~~


Dear person who searched for "owl city wedding song",

I believe I may have misled you. To my knowledge, Owl City has not produced a wedding song. However, I do talk about him on my blog quite often, and I did happen to mention that I may want to have his song played at my wedding. This is probably how you have gotten to my blog. You can find the source of this confusing mix-up here. Once again, I apologize.

Sincerely,
-A Misleading Hoot Owl


~~~


Dear person who searched for "yellow ice cream truck with a bright smile",

Huh???

Sincerely,
-I'm Still Confused



~~~


Dear person who searched for "further up and further in blog",

Your search terms are quite normal, and you are in the right place. Thank you for visiting. :)

Sincerely,
-Me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cats Love Us, Therefore We Must Love Them

Monday, November 28, 2011 3
Cats Love Us, Therefore We Must Love Them
(This post is meant to be read with a sophisticated British accent.)

I have two cats. Their names are Tuxedo and Chessie. However, Tuxedo is the one I'm going to be focusing on today, and he is affectionately known as Tux or Tuxy.

Tux is a Manx cat, which means, among other things, that he does not have a tail. We chose this breed of cat because they don't have the enzyme in their saliva that causes dander. (This arrangement is beneficial to my father, who is allergic to cats and consequently their dander.)

Up until this summer, Tuxedo was affectionately known as my "brother's" cat. Or rather, my brother was known as Tuxedo's person. Whenever Tux desired to be petted, or other such human companionship, my brother was the one he sought. This friendship was accepted and/or tolerated by either party.

However, things change. Furthermore, all things must come to an end. This thing came to an abrupt end this summer when my brother and I switched rooms. Actually, he moved to the basement, and I occupied his room. (I had formerly been rooming with my sister.)

It seems that, with the change of occupants in my brother's former room, Tux has become slightly confused. Somehow, he has managed to mix me up with my brother. Therefore, I am now Tux's person. Every time he desires love and attention, he comes to me.

This is a very annoying relationship.

But, I shall let you see for yourself by watching this video.





Dear Tuxedo,
I love you very much. However, it would please me greatly if you would stop taking over my desk as if you were the emperor of the world. Pretty please?

*whispers like a secret agent, then slams the phone shut* Kthanxbai.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In Which I Cross the Finish Line

Sunday, November 27, 2011 7
In Which I Cross the Finish Line

And so... I won NaNoWriMo.

After being away for three-ish days for Thanksgiving, I hadn't written a word. It was the same story yesterday. I was ridiculously sick yesterday, due to my fatigue from the aforementioned trip, so I didn't write much.

(Not to mention I got my first bloody nose, cried a lot due to being so tired, and threw up. But that's another story for another time.)

My wordcount at the beginning of the day today was 47,540. That was about 2,500 words away. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it, considering I woke up with such a bad headache. (Advil is my friend, though.)

However, I decided that I'd like to finish today, and after my headache lessened a bit, I spent the afternoon writing. I hit 50,000 a little while ago, and I'm excited, sad, and happy, all at the same time.



To be honest, this was one of the worst weeks I've ever had. But now that I've reached 50k, my novel is still going at least reasonably well, and we're decorating for Christmas tonight, I'm thankful. This is the perfect ending to my weekend. The rest of our evening includes putting ornaments on the tree, and watching Elf. 


I'm so glad that good times in life come along with the bad. I'm even thankful for the bad things in life - especially the bad things, I think.

And yes, I'm really thankful that I finished NaNo! There's just one problem: my novel is really, really long. My ending is nowhere in sight, and I have a lot of plot to cover still. Hmm...

At any rate, my Christmas tree needs to be decorated. If you'd like to read more about my noveling journey this November, check out The NaNo Diaries.

And as a final note, this explains perfectly how I feel as NaNoWriMo draws to a close.

Granny Wendy: So... your adventures are over.
Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live... to live would be an awfully big adventure.
- Hook

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Writerly Sort Of Update.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 4
A Writerly Sort Of Update.
[Yes, I like to make up words, such as writerly.]


It's day 22 of NaNo, and we're nearing the end of week three. So, I thought it was high time that I gave you all an update, considering this blog has been sparsely updated as of late.

I'm currently plugging away at my story, and have managed a wordcount of 46,103 as of yesterday. (I haven't written anything today. *gasp*) As for how my story is going... well, I have my ups and downs. It's... interesting. And I'm learning just how hard writing can be.

So, I'm exactly 3,897 words away from the finish.

I can do this.

I think I can, I think I can... ;)

The nice thing about NaNo is that it actually forces me to write. I love to write, don't get me wrong, but it's the actual writing part that's hard. In other words, I have an insane amount of plots but 0% motivation to begin/finish them.

However, this year I've realized how much I missed this. I've missed just sitting down and typing my heart out. Spilling words onto the page, be it in the form of ink or keystrokes. I want to write for the sake of writing, because I love it so much. I can't stop.

So, this is my official post letting you know this one thing: I've started writing, and I can't stop.

As for post-NaNo plans, I hope to edit Silver Tears once it's finished, and try to polish it as much as I can. Editing... well, it's going to be interesting. I'm not quite thinking about that yet. ;)

Ironically, I'm plotting another novel to work on when my NaNo novel, Silver Tears, is finished. Hopefully you'll be getting some sneak peeks of it soon. :)

Also, please forgive the lack of coherency in this post. It's been sitting in my drafts since earlier this afternoon, but I think I'm going to hit publish now before I keep going. I'm braindead, can't you tell?

Oh, one more thing! If you'd like to read a synopsis of my novel, you can go ahead and check it out on my writing projects page here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, lovelies!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beautiful People - Holiday Edition

Saturday, November 19, 2011 0
Beautiful People - Holiday Edition

Hello, and welcome to Beautiful People! In short, BP is a monthly blog party for writers hosted by myself and Georgie Penn. If you'd like to learn more, you can find out by reading the introductory post or check out the FAQ.

Now that that's out of the way, read on!

This month is our holiday edition, including questions about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Holidays are something that I don't really think about in the context of novel writing, so I think it'll be interesting to find out what my characters think about it.

If you're a fantasy writer like I am, adapt these questions the best way you see fit. I'm sure your characters celebrate somehow, right? Even if it's just a birthday celebration or a banquet, we want to know how your characters celebrate and have fun.

One last note: We'll be taking a break in December from Beautiful People since the holidays tend to be very busy for most people. So after this round of questions, we'll see you in January! :)

Here are this month's questions.

1. What kind of holidays do they celebrate, if any?
2. What are they most thankful for?
3. Do they have any family traditions?
4. What is their most memorable holiday memory?
5. What is the most memorable gift they have ever received?
6. Do they consider it important to be with family during celebrations?
7. Do they usually wait till the last minute to purchase gifts, or do they buy them ridiculously early?
8. Favorite Christmas song? For fantasy authors, is music a part of their celebration?
9. Do they celebrate for religious reasons?
10. How do they celebrate the beginning of the new year?


Don't forget to sign the linky!


Sparks of Life

Saturday, November 19, 2011 1
Sparks of Life

One thing that never ceases to baffle me is the process of writing. I know, I know... I've been writing for years now, so I should be accustomed to it, right?

Wrong.

I don't think a writer ever gets used to writing. And if they do, it must be a very boring experience.

I'm of the opinion that I want every one of my novels to be different than the first (unless of course, it's a sequel). This is a recently acquired opinion of mine, to be completely honest, but nevertheless, I believe it. I don't want my writing to get stagnant by reusing the same plots. I want the characters to be different, with different dreams, goals, and ideas. And most of the time, I get my wish.

I'm sure all writers feel the same way.

However, my characters have since taken this matter into their own hands. They enjoy torturing me with their unique personalities. Even though I want each story to be different, this story has become a quilt of all my different stories that never went far. All these ideas and characters have formed together into one cohesive story.

Isn't it amazing how one idea can spark something so much more? It's amazing how our characters somehow graduate from being words on a page to being someone real; someone living and breathing. Or, almost alive.

Ironically, I'm writing this during week three of NaNo. I'm 36,000 words in, and admittedly, my characters are seeming rather stagnant. But I have to go back to step one, when my characters were sparks of life. Those sparks will become a flame, fueling my words and my story.

One word of advice for writers: Choose your characters wisely. After all, you'll be spending thousands of words with them, and it's always good when you don't mind them... too much. Sure, you will mind them sometimes. They may even turn into two-dimensional problems. Yes, they will annoy you... but so will writing. It's not for the faint of heart, people.

Tell me about your sparks of life. Do they inspire you, frustrate you, or baffle you? How do they manage to surprise you, even after all this time?

Friday, November 18, 2011

let go and let grace

Friday, November 18, 2011 4
let go and let grace
i have some drastic news to tell you.

you can't earn God's grace.

i know, it's hard to accept it. but it's not possible to live life by yourself.

you will fall. you will mature. you will get back up again. you will fall again. you will fail. you will hold onto God's hands.

and you will grow.

grace and growth go hand in hand. grace takes growth, and growth takes grace.

and growth and grace take God.

you can't do it by yourself.

you can't.

Christianity is not about trying to make yourself better. 'self-help' books that they sell in Christian book stores drive me crazy sometimes, though not all of them do. i think it's just the genre that i resent. 'self-help'? what's up with that?

we can't help ourselves.

we have to just be us. love God. hold onto his hand. and let the potter refine the clay.

what are you holding onto? your pride? i know i am.

your hope? i know i am.

Jesus? i know i have to. otherwise i'll never get through.

grow. let God. let go. let grace.

why do we have to depend on religion to keep us in tact? that will never work. in fact, we'll only fail. we'll never measure up to the standard.

but Jesus did. and does.

we have to let go of our guilt to have his glory. we have to admit that we are nothing, and he is something.

as I read on this blog this morning, "I am enough because I AM is enough."

what more could be said than that?

a radical change of love could overtake the church. the bride of Christ. but it's only if we let it.

sometimes i wonder if it's us that are holding us back. you know? i'm holding myself back from abundant life. from joy. i'm choosing to be anxious. but i can't do that. not anymore. i have to step outside my box and be free.

i have to let go, and teeter on the edge of this precipice.

and trust God to catch me when i fall.

linking up with Five Minute Fridays @ The Gypsy Mama. this week's word is grow.
>>click here to participate, too.<<

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Authentic People Blog Party: This Is Me

Saturday, November 12, 2011 5
Authentic People Blog Party: This Is Me

 I'm linking up with Abigail Kraft for her Authentic People blog party, so if you'd like to join the fun, check it out here.

First off, let me introduce myself. For those of you who haven't been here before, my name is Kylie.


Despite my Blogger username, which is Sky, I do not mind being called by either name. In fact, I have a lot of different names, such as Charlotte (Charlie) Penn, Mountie, and Samwise, just to name a few. (Yeah, I collect nicknames. Who knew?)

I started blogging in 2006 and I absolutely love it. Over the past five years, I've met so many great people and even have had the opportunity to meet them in person. The people I've met through blogging remain some of my closest friends.

I am a writer with many thoughts, ideas, characters, and words. I love composing things, whether it be a novel, a poem, a blog post, or a song. I write because I have to, otherwise these ideas would never get out.

I have an amazingly overactive imagination, which can be both good and bad. I have played guitar for about 2 or 3 years now, and my favorite chord is G. I love coffee and drink it every morning. I love watching movies and reading books. (In fact, my mom just came in bearing an armload of books for me to read. :P)

Oh, yeah, and... this is me.




{1} What's the nerdiest/geekiest/weirdest thing about you?

I'm writing this post in HTML mode in Blogger so that I don't have to deal with any unnecessary formatting. Is that not geeky to you? :P

Other than that, I wear glasses. I have very weird fashion sense that tends to be defined as "hodge-podge." And I'm a writer who has characters that seem very, very alive.

Oh, I also have a hard time picking just one nerdy thing about me. Hehe.

{2} If you could live in a fictional universe from any book, movie, or television show, what would it be?

Oh, um, seriously? Do I HAVE to answer this?

I live in fictional universes all the time. I'll bounce from my own imaginings to another created world, like Narnia, Middle-Earth or Locksley.

But if I had to pick a place to stay, it would be Narnia, hands down.


{3} Little or big, practical or frivolous, what is one of your favorite items in your house?

My room. After sharing a room for almost my whole life, I just got my own room this year. It's so great to have a place to relax in. I would like to say that I keep it perfect and clean, but I don't. In actuality, I should be cleaning it right now. Shh. :P

And followed in close second is my laptop. It's my portal to pretty much anything, whether it be reading blogs, meeting people, chatting with friends, or writing.

{4} Do you like animated movies? If so, what is your favorite?

Um, yes. A thousand times, yes.

My favorite is Tangled.

I even have my own frying pan. See?


And yes, I do use it as a weapon.

Other favorites include Beauty and the Beast, Over the Hedge, The Incredibles, and pretty much any other Disney/Pixar film ever made.

{5} What is your favorite household chore?

I don't have one.

Seriously, I don't have one.

But if I did have to pick one that I at least minorly appreciate, I'd say cleaning off the mirrors in our house. (It's the easiest job I have.)

{6} What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop)?

For the longest time, it was steamed milk. Then I actually started liking coffee and drinking it on a regular basis, and so my mom's love for white chocolate mochas rubbed off on me. (Which is actually really ironic since I don't like white chocolate at all. I'm a fan of dark chocolate all the way.) If I'm feeling especially frivolous I'll order a peppermint white chocolate mocha.

Sadly, I don't go to Starbucks often enough, but I do drink coffee every single morning. A cup of coffee with cream and sugar is the best way to wake up.

{7} What is your favorite pizza topping?
Pepperoni, sausage, and/or bacon. Which, again, is ironic since I don't like sausage in any other way, shape, or form.

My family tolerates three-meat pizza, but a lot of them like pepperoni & pineapple. (I don't like the pineapple so much.) My little sister likes cheese pizza. So overall, we have a lot of different tastes in our family. :P

{8} Waffles or pancakes?

I am finding these questions exceptionally hard to answer.

Pancakes. But waffles are pretty great, too. Anything with syrup that can be served with eggs & bacon is fine by me.

{9} Do you like to play games? If so, what is your favorite?
Apples to Apples and Clue. Apples to Apples because it is downright hilarious, and Clue because I love solving mysteries. :D

{10} Have you ever let anyone win a game?
Yeah. A lot. But in my defense, I have a soft spot in my heart for those who are more disadvantaged than I am (i.e., younger kids).

{11} Have you ever dyed your hair?
No, I haven't really had to. I had very blonde hair when I was younger. When I was but a wee tyke, I wished that I had brown hair, and voila, my hair changed when I got to be around 5 or 6. Sometimes I wonder if I'd still be blonde had I not wished for brown hair. And my hair story is proof that dreams do come true.

It is also even more proof that I am secretly Rapunzel.

{12} Do you make your bed every morning?
I'd like to say that yes, I do make my bed, and my life has no disorder whatsoever.

However, that would be a complete and utter lie.

No, my bed remains unmade.

{13} Picasso or Norman Rockwell?
Norman Rockwell. Yep. Since I don't know much about art, I can't say too much about that. :P

{14} Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors?
Oh, there are advantages to all three. Carpet is perfect for getting out of bed in the morning when it's freezing and your feet are likewise. Tile is very multi-purpose and isn't too hard to clean. Hardwood floors, however, are wonderful for sliding around on in sock-clad feet. (Sadly, I have no hardwood floors.)

Let us consider all three a tie, with different and unique benefits to each. (Don't I sound so diplomatic and indecisive? :P)

{15} If you could put one thing in a safe under your bed, what would it be?
My journals. I've journaled off and on throughout my whole life, and it chronicles my journey as I've grown into who I am now. I'd like to keep them forever, but like all things written by a 10-year-old, they can tend to be embarrassing... hence the reason I'll keep them in a locked safe. ;)

{16} What's your favorite condiment?
Ranch dressing!

{17} Have you ever thrown up on someone (excluding when you were a child)?
Not recently, no. When I was a child, however, it is a much different story. :P

{18} What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Uh... reading over old blog posts and coming across a picture of the character Gwaine from Merlin. (Read this post to see it, if you must.)

Yeah, if I didn't have to be completely honest with you guys for this blog party, I would have probably left that out. ;) I hope you realize what a great honor it is to be graced with the embarrassing moments of my day.

{19} Think fast...what's the first song that pops into your head?
I've Got A Dream from Tangled.

(I think was partly influenced by the fact that Abigail listed "I Have A Dream" for her song, and my mind did word-association. :P Oh well.)

Since some of you probably came over from Abigail's linky, I wanted to say thanks for stopping by! 

I'd love to meet you. Comment and tell me a little about yourself, if you feel so inclined.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

oh dear

Wednesday, November 09, 2011 4
oh dear

Today I found myself typing the above phrase.

Oh dear.


It seems so nostalgic. Two words with multiple meanings. These words could be interpreted differently depending on the context.

"Oh, dear, this is terrible!"
"Oh, dear, you make me laugh."
"Oh, dear, we have a flat tire."
"Oh, dear, you are ridiculous."


Or, if you're me, you find yourself coining the phrase, "Oh my dear word." A combination of oh dear and oh my word, of course.

Saying oh dear makes me think of days long past. Of British tea-houses and dainty tea cups. Of cardigans and Irish coasts and wedge shoes.

So I'll sit here, trying to stay warm. No matter what I do, my feet are still cold. I'm wearing both fuzzy socks and fur-lined clogs, but there's still an edge of coldness beneath all the fluffy layers.

I tried drinking green tea a few minutes ago, but gagged once I reached the last mouthful. I made one of the weirdest noises I've ever made when I realized how bitter it was. I really should remember to put sugar in there.

Also, this is a rambling pointless post because I really don't know what else to say... except, Oh dear.

P.S. - I know I've been a bit slack about blog posts as of late, but if you'd like to keep up on my NaNoWriMo journey, I've created a Tumblr just for that purpose. Check it out @ The NaNo Diaries.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

in which i am discouraged & brain dead

Sunday, November 06, 2011 5
in which i am discouraged & brain dead
ok, so i'll be honest.

despite all my pep talks about NaNoWriMo, and how awesome it was going to be, and how much we'll have fun...

i am burning out.

it's the end of week 1 and i'm wondering if we'll ever get done. if i'll ever have a real, true, cohesive novel in my hands by the end of this month.

i probably won't.

and that's what frustrates me.

yes, i'll have written a novel. i'll have written 50,000 words. but then i have to EDIT. *cue scary music*

can you see why i'm beginning to freak out now?

not only that, but my outline is falling apart. i don't know what i'm doing or what my characters are going to do next. i think i need to poke them with a cattle prong, but the only thing that would work to do so is scheduled for chapter 7, not chapter 5. what am i going to do for 2 chapters until then?

sigh.

okay, i know that you NaNo'ers are probably feeling the same way. so be honest. are you burnt out yet? what's the hardest part of NaNo so far? and are all your perfect plans turning out less-than-perfect?

yeah, mine too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

remember to breathe

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 4
remember to breathe
Hello, WriMos (aka, those who are undertaking the NaNoWriMo adventure). How did your first day go?

Mine started out awfully. I hadn't slept well at all last night due to excitement and a bit of anxious anticipation. When I woke up, I began doubting my decision to ever undertake NaNo, and thus became very anxious - even more than I was when I woke up. I started my novel anyway, but it felt a bit lackadaisical, and my poor prologue suffered.

I took a break from writing to do school, chores, and live life. During this time I prayed. Hard. I still got the same sense: I am supposed to do NaNo. It's good for me. I need to write and abandon my inner editor. Or better yet, shove my inner editor into a closet. Either one.

God basically reminded me that if he told me to do this, He'll give me the strength to follow through. I need to remember why I write in the first place. Remember that this is for fun. And best of all, remember to breathe.

Guys, we can do this. Just remember to take some time off. Try to forget about your novel for at least a little while. Spend some time with your family. Watch a movie. Play a video game. Read a book.

And best of all, remember to breathe.


Letters from the NaNo home front: After my initial breakdown, I started chapter one. Getting into my main character Riah's perspective really helped the story flow, and I'm ending the day with 5,000 words, though it took me a while to get there - I've been writing all day! :P What's your current wordcount?