NaNoWriMo and Other Good Times!

Yes, this silly blog still exists, though it has been growing cobwebs lately. What can I say? November was a crazy time.

The main thing that made it so crazy is that I officially participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the first time. The basic idea is that, during the month of November, you write 50,000 words worth of novel. I would have done it before now, but this is the first November in five years where I haven’t had three chemistry midterms per week all month. So, that was nice.

I actually didn't end up eating all the seaweed. I wanted to, but pregnancy said otherwise.

I actually didn’t end up eating all the seaweed. I wanted to, but pregnancy said no.

The draft isn’t finished yet, but I did make it to 50,000 words. It’ll be finished within a few days, but for now I’m taking a break to catch up on housework and do some Christmas shopping/crafting. Maybe I’ll even read a book.

nanowinner

All in all, NaNoWriMo was an awesome experience. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • I did write by hand this time. No, I’m not a masochist. In high school, I did the majority of my “fun writing” by hand, so it’s the system I’ve always been used to (I had this awesome desk with a roll-out keyboard tray, where I kept whatever story I was working on. I’d have a textbook and a notebook on top of the desk, and when anyone came into my room while I was writing, I’d casually slide the keyboard tray back into the desk and pretend I’d been studying the whole time. It was awesome). Writing by hand also broke me of the bad habit of going back to existing scenes and making them twice as wordy to reach word count goals. It was harder and slower than typing would have been, and I don’t anticipate doing it all the time, but it was instructive.
  • This is easily some of the worst writing I’ve ever done, and that was depressing at times, but it was useful to force myself to push through the awful parts and keep writing when all I wanted to do was shove my notebook through the nearest paper shredder. The prose quality actually improved throughout the month, too.
  • I’m definitely an outliner. This is the first time I’ve forced myself to come up with a rigid, detailed, beginning-to-end outline, and it saved my bacon on more than one occasion. It’s the reason I’m actually going to finish this book, and be reasonably satisfied with the ending. Yay!
  • I can be surprisingly productive when forced. Because I was having so much fun with my family in Utah during Thanksgiving week, I didn’t write a thing for three days. When we got home that Friday, Tom sat me down on the couch and basically wouldn’t let me get up until I was caught up (I love him). I was officially caught up by Saturday night (I’d written over 6,000 words that day and had major hand cramps), and finished up early Sunday afternoon. Total word count for that weekend was 10,518. Not too shabby.
  • There are other novel writers in Beaumont! On a whim, I decided to quit being antisocial and go to a couple write-ins, and ended up meeting some really nice people. There wasn’t a lot of actual writing going on at these events, but I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in awhile.

***

Most of the people reading this are probably more interested in pregnancy/baby news than in weird self-inflicted writing torture challenges. So, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

First of all, we’re having a boy!

Look at that cute little face!

Look at that cute little face!

We are so excited! If nothing else, it’s nice not to have to refer to New Friend as “it” anymore. Tom actually got to come to the ultrasound with me, making the experience extra special.

The other fun news is that I started feeling New Friend moving a few weeks ago. The movements started off really tiny, and could have been mistaken for muscle spasms. But he’s getting stronger every day, and Tom can actually feel the kicks now. On Saturday, I took a suggestion from a baby book and shined a flashlight on my stomach to see if New Friend would respond. I didn’t feel anything at first, but he must have turned around; a few minutes later, he was definitely kicking my bladder instead. It took a few hours of sitting in weird positions (“sitting” on the couch upside down with my feet in the air at one point) to get him to stop.

Other pregnancy tidbits:

  • I now own two pairs of maternity jeans. They are definitely necessary.
  • However, everyone’s been telling me there’s no way I’m 4.5 months pregnant, and that I don’t look pregnant at all. I guess I should take it as a compliment, but it mostly just freaks me out. New Friend, are you okay in there? Why aren’t you taking up more space? Are you getting enough food and stuff?
  • Speaking of food, I’m actually eating these days, just like a good pregnant lady should. Also, I’m craving eggs all the time. Eggs are the best.
  • My mom and sister and I had to decorate onesies. New Friend is going to be one spoiled kid.
This is one whale of a trail. (Rachel's)

This is one whale of a trail. (Rach is my hero. Just look at that smile!)

My mom is super talented. You can see more of her artwork at http://lovelyworldofillustrations.wordpress.com/

My mom is super talented. You can see more of her artwork at http://lovelyworldofillustrations.wordpress.com/

We're still trying to convince Tom that Olaf is a great baby name.

We’re still trying to convince Tom that Olaf is a great baby name.

Yes, friends, life is good. It’s nice to be back in the blogosphere. Feel free to comment with NaNoWriMo stories, what-I-did-over-Thanksgiving-break stories, pregnancy/baby boy advice, suggestions for baby names, demands for my mom to open an Etsy store, or anything else. I’ve missed you guys!

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4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo and Other Good Times!

  1. Still going to go with Baby Thor as a wonderful Scandinavian name. You should narrow it down to two or three Scandinavian names and have a poll on your blog to “decide.”

    Thanksgiving was good. Had the missionaries over, play “football” in 15 degree weather (no one brought a football, but someone had a frisbee), and successfully procrastinated yet another homework assignment. #gradschoolprobs

    Glad life is going well for you, Tom, and Thor/Olaf. Hey! What about Thor Olaf Nysetvold? Best name ever. Or if Thor really is taken by Tom’s brother, Mjolnir Olaf Nysetvold. Can’t get the Nordic God? Settle for the hammer.

    That is all.

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