NaNoWriMo Updated

Well, I didn’t reach the 50,000 words, but I did way better than last year. At 18,000 words, I have a great start to something new. November was a little rocky as far as work and other things, so I’m not displeased with 18,000. Of course it’s all very rough and I’d like to review, edit, add, etc., but I hope to post some samples soon.

And as the new year approaches, it’ll soon be time for me to review my goals from last year’s post, reflect on 2013, and figure out what I want to do next year. Thanks for keeping up with me. 🙂



I’m at it again. Two years ago I attempted National Novel Writing Month and failed miserably. I got to about 4,000 words before I was distracted by something that I don’t really remember.

This year I’m trying to be more productive and dedicated to things, so I’m determined to make it work. So far, one week in, I’m at 8,000 words. Not too bad. I’m writing stories based off of my experiences here in Istanbul, so there’s lots of constant inspiration around me. What a silly person I would be if I didn’t take advantage of it. I’ll post more updates as the month continues. Maybe once it ends and I’ve done a bit of editing, I’ll even post some excerpts.

NaNoWriMo Part 1 (1058 words)

Word Count: 1058

So after a ridiculous week at work and a complete lack of ideas on what to write about, I’ve finally been able to get a start on NaNoWriMo. I suppose four days late is better than never. So far my biggest struggle has been to turn off my inner editor. I didn’t think I would have such an issue with not editing as I go, but I have been proven wrong. I’m posting what I have so far mainly as motivation for myself to continue (ie something to hold me accountable).  It’s a very very very rough draft and I am trying my hardest not to reread and revise, but to just continue toward the word count. I’ll work for a bit longer on it tonight and hopefully I can manage my life a little better to work on it some more this week as well, because I’m pretty sure that my students have been writing more than me lately. I’ll be posting as I continue. I make no promises regarding the structure, content, organization, or overall quality:



Mr. Pittman, my high school ceramics teacher, once told me a monkey could make something nicer than what I’d made.

“Homegirl,” he’d said, “what exactly do you think you’re making there?

“A bowl?”

He shook his head, lifted his large glasses and rubbed his eyes. “A bowl,” he muttered. “Homegirl, a monkey could make something better than that.” And with that, he’d walked away to his next victim. I liked Pittman. I’d recently moved from the South to Maryland (I chose to ignore the Mason-Dixon Line argument based on the culture shock I’d gone through) and Pittman was from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The first day of class, I’d mentioned that I actually knew of Rocky Mount, North Carolina and I’d been Homegirl ever since. I wasn’t aiming for the favorite, but I didn’t mind being associated with home either.

Mr. Pittman was probably in his early sixties when I’d taken his class. He’s long since retired, but I know he would have kept working if his health allowed. He’d often give us a hard time, but no student ever doubted that Pittman cared. Like I said, he was probably in his early sixties and always wore a blue smock, dress slacks, and dress shoes. He had a deep voice and deep smile lines. Pittman’s dark hands were always cracked and dry—the result of constantly working with clay and not believing in lotion. His large glasses were remnants of the seventies, as was his short, gray afro.  I’m assuming he wasn’t very tall, because I remember constantly looking him in the eyes when we spoke and I’m only five foot six. He’d often tell us stories of when he was enlisted in the Army in the sixties and coming home to race riots and sit ins. When he found out I was Jewish, he told me about Black Jews and their contributions. It was never dull in Pittman’s class.  I took his class three years in a row and there was one day each year when he would give his life speech. Continue reading

And so it begins…

Today is the first official day of NaNoWriMo. Hopefully I can make this work. I’m already semi-behind because of work, but I am determined to get to the word count. Any suggestions for a first-timer are awesome.


What’s the rush, October? I feel like you just got here. Don’t you want to stay a bit longer?

Today I realized that I am far behind where I should probably be.  As a unorganized list maker and continuous idea person, this is

neither new nor surprising.  However, perhaps I should be more nervous than I am. This is the first year I’ve decided to try National Novel Writing Month and I have done hardly anything to prepare. I keep seeing other blogs where people are talking about their plot developments, their chapter outlines, their super awesome advanced planning.  Then again, I’ve always thought the mark of a great writer was the ability to use sudden deadlines as a motivation. True, I’ve been writing more, but what English major doesn’t procrastinate, completely confident in his or her abilities until right before they need to write something? (Unfortunately, this seems to usually work for me, only reassuring my procrastinating tendencies to settle in a bit more.)

Ok, so November starts on Tuesday and I have no idea where to start with this. Maybe I should do some more research and start writing and plotting.  Or maybe I’ll just go to Barnes and Noble and get a hot chocolate and look at the books on the shelves as motivation.

Anyone selling a typewriter?

Take 2

Ok, so I know that it has been almost a year now since I “attempted” blogging. I use attempted loosely here, because I’m not quite sure that 4 lackadaisical posts, only one of which I actually kept, technically counts. I won’t even lie–for a while I forgot I had a blog. However, I am no longer taunted by the blinking cursor that I wanted to magically write my thesis. Now I am just taunted by a blinking cursor. So I mean it; I am really going to try to be successful at blogging. Let me provide a brief update of the past year that might shed some light on this sudden change in attitude.

Over the last year, I attempted and successfully completed many things which I unashamedly admit that I am proud of. I now am a Master of Wizardry (though the diploma says English Studies), have written 70+ pages of legitmate scholarly fun stuff, have a CV that is four pages long, have a 4.8 on ratemyprofessor (not to mention a chile pepper), have bunjee jumped, completed the hardest application of my life, submited for publication (as well as been rejected), faced a few fears, and done some other cool stuff. In short, I’ve done what I’ve wanted, pushed myself past my limits, and somehow succeeded.

Continue reading