Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wretched Water Worries


So, yesterday, the pipes at my house either froze or broke. We have absolutely no water.

We've been hoping the pipes only froze, because if they broke we are in deep manure. See, fixing a broken pipe--and the only metal pipe we have left is buried underground--would cost roughly a thousand bucks, which we definitely don't have. All we can do is wait and see.

Needless to say, it's been really difficult dealing with the lack of water. My mom had me hauling in about a dozen buckets full of snow (at least, for the moment, we have about a foot of snow outside piled up from all the storms we've had over the past week or so...) to melt so we have water with which to flush the toilet. We had almost no drinking water whatsoever yesterday, which was an issue; my four rats went almost the entire day without water. Luckily, we had some frozen water bottles in the freezer, so when those thawed out we had at least a little.

Today, some friends from church are supposed to come over and bring us some bottled water. So things should be good, at least until we figure out if the pipes froze or broke.

Whew... writing about real-world worries is strangely exhausting. So now I'll touch a bit on some writing news.

Last night, I discovered something odd: I managed to use three examples of very obvious alliteration within 350 words of each other.

"bored beyond belief"
"seemingly solid surfaces"
"some semblance of sanity"

I really hate alliteration. I very rarely use it. My excuse for the above atrocities is that it was eleven at night and I was freaking out about whether or not I'd get my 2k done. Somehow I managed, and I also wrote 230 words about what's going to end up happening next, so I don't think I have to worry about running out of materials too soon.

Water trouble + alliteration = really tired Lilli.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wordle Mania

I officially blame hope101 for this post. Without her amazing post about Wordle, I would never have discovered the procrastination-worthy fun of making word cloud things. (Note: I apologize for the linking frenzy. But the pages above are just so... linkable...)


Wordle: Dreamers

And that is the word cloud thing, made with Wordle, for my current WIP (work-in-progress). The working title is "Dreamers," until I find something I like better. Like "obfuscate." "Obfuscate" is a good word. Yes, it is.

Funnily enough, "that" did not feature as prominently as I expected that particular word to feature. That's odd. I use "that" altogether too often, at least that I know of. (Ha! Ha! See what I did there? I think that I'm clever...)

And in other writing news, I have discovered two wonderful little things--let's call them "feathers"--that I am putting away in my writer's toybox to use later in my WIP. Last night, I discovered, in the course of getting my WIP up to 14k, that certain little things happen in my stories that might have a chance of appearing later. Like demon-amoeba-in-a-jar. (No, I am not making that up. It's urban fantasy. Sort of.) And the natural leader of the little protagonist group going missing. Turns out she's been kidnapped by a crazy demon. Which will definitely affect the way future events turn out.

Woah. Like, seriously. I totally had not realized until just now how that character's absence would affect the other characters.

I so cannot WAIT to write that part! Too bad it's still a good 4 or 5k away... Sniff...

Wordle: Wordle Mania

And this one was made from the content of this post (excluding this paragraph). And now I know why "that" was missing from the first one: apparently, Wordle ignores the word "that," because it is a "common English word." Meh. Oh, well. We all know where "that"'s rightful place is!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Joys of the Writing Life

So far for 2010, I have managed to write around 2,000 words per day. Naturally, this makes me EXTREMELY happy.

NaNo was a really good idea for '09, and I can't wait for November of this year to roll around. In fact, it turned out so well (even though I failed miserably), I've decided to attempt a personal NaNo every other month in 2010, starting January. Conveniently, my "personal" NaNo schedule includes November, so I'll be doing the official NaNo this year, too.

For those not in the know: NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Long story short: you write 50,000 words in 30 days, for about 1667 words a day.

I can write fast, as I discovered during NaNo. I can pound out 2k in an hour and a half, easy--assuming that I'm not having trouble stringing sentences together, which happens more than I'd like. Of course, the stuff I write doesn't turn out to be the best quality, but considering that the NaNo pace (for me) isn't different from my taking-the-time-to-consider-the-options pace, the first-draft quality of both turns out roughly the same.

So, NaNo taught me the value of backing up. Sometime around the seventeenth--I forget the exact date--I had a really bad writing day. Like, REALLY bad. It took me an hour to write a hundred words, and I ended up scrapping those. In desperation, since I had no idea where to take the plot next and I had not quite accepted the NaNoer's philosophy of "it doesn't have to make sense," I printed out what I had to show to my brother, who usually serves as my first reader, to get his take on it. Luckily, I had a good 2k extra words from better writing days in the past, so I'd still be on track if I didn't write that day. My computer had some problems when I took the flash drive out, but I thought nothing of it. My ONLY copy of the 30k or so words I'd written was on that flash drive.

The next day, I found that my file was corrupted.

I tried everything to fix it. I even downloaded some freeware off the Internet that promised to save the file (stupid, stupid, stupid--the freeware gave my computer a very annoying Trojan virus), though that didn't work. Nothing worked. If it weren't for the fact that I'd printed out everything I had up to that point, I'd have lost everything.

The whole thing upset me so much that I quit NaNo at that point. It didn't help that it fell right in the middle of my school play drama. So I completely failed NaNo in '09.

But I discovered something: when I set a regular writing schedule (as in words per day), my writing output increases dramatically. I'm less likely to put off writing, and when I write so many words a day, eventually I have to finish something. Thus, the personal NaNo goal was born.

At the moment, I'm somewhere between 12k and 14k in the novel I'm working on this month, and I haven't fallen behind even once. I like the story, I have a fair idea what's going to happen that should last me to at least 30k, and I also have some things that happened before the point I started the story at that I can work on if I hit a plot block once I run out of chronological material. (And it's saved to four different files in several different physical locations, so hopefully I won't lose it this time.) I AM going to "win" this personal NaNo, even if it kills me!

...well, maybe not quite. But it's the thought that counts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Death Is Me -- Not

I did NOT die.

So, with school and everything, I started losing track of that wonderful little thing known as "time". Before I knew it, one week had gone by... then two weeks... and then there was a HUGE issue with the school musical, which somehow screwed with my schoolwork, health, and writing. Which reminds me, I have good writing news to share. Well, okay-ish news.

I am not dead, and I think I will try to resuscitate this lufferly little blog, but no promises. I am now going into the second semester of my junior year, and I need to prepare for two or three AP tests and the ACT while simultaneously dealing with craploads of schoolwork, idiotic classmates, and trying to keep to my newly made goal of 2,000 words per day.


Typing all that up has now made me very, very terrified. It so doesn't help that I already know the novel I'm working on now has to be trunked, as I don't have the skill to pull off its execution quite yet.

I should probably go write now. Le sigh...