Will I Do NaNoWriMo Again This Year?

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Howdy!

It is almost that time for National Novel Writing Month or  “NaNoWriMo” as some people like to call it. For some writers, they live for this time of the year but for the rest, it’s something that they absolutely dread. I can understand both sides, if you enjoy it, I feel like you are good at being pressured and able to write everyday on your story, but I also know why others fear it too. If you have a very active social or work life at the moment, writing is literally the last thing on your mind.

As for me, I’ve had it in my brain since April, after I wrote my post about not being able to participate in CampNaNoWriMo that I should probably do it, but honestly I don’t see the point in it. I don’t want to force anything that doesn’t want to appear to me in dreams right now, you know what I’m saying?

There is hope though as I am using Pinterest to help me generate the characters and overall setting of my story. I’ve been looking into different people’s photos and have developed a clear picture of my female characters: Angela and Star. I am still having issues with my main character Heath, most because I have a general person in mind but he looks relativity younger than I want him to for my story so I’m trying to keep an open mind to other messy blondes. And Brace is my “complicated” character and he’s always been that way, so finding him has been quite a challenge for me! The others will come eventually at least that what I’m hoping will happen!

Another thing that I’m busy looking into is how to do outlines. I feel like finding the right way to figure out how I want things to go, is the key to my success on completing my first draft. I have a board on my profile for my favorite blog posts, and since November has been coming up, other writers have been writing posts of tips and how-to’s for aspiring NaNo rookies. I have three blog posts that talk creating an outline for their stories and I will have them listed below!

Now if you are thinking about joining NaNo, I have some posts I did last year, if you’d like to look into them. I wrote three updates and I had shared some of the websites I was using to attempt keep my pace together, maybe they will help you out too! I’d like to make a point to say, that I didn’t make it to the end of the month and I explain why that happened in the final post, but I was still fairly impressed with myself on what I did get done.

Am I Still Working On My Novel | 2 Week Mark | Am I Finished Or Not

Before I go, I just want to say good luck to everyone that is doing NaNoWriMo this year! You may not hit your word count everyday, nor will you like everything you’ve been working on, but I can definitely say that’s all part of the process! After it’s all over, you can revisit it, and you’ll see that you produced something awesome. 🙂

Have you ever thought about joining the NaNoWriMo party? What is keeping you back from writing your story?

snowflake

Why I Didn’t Participate In #CampNaNoWriMo

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Howdy!

I know I said that I wouldn’t publish a new blog post for today, but I decided that I needed to put one up today because it’s Monday and we’re starting a new week and a brand new month tomorrow.

Back in November, I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month, or simply “NaNoWriMo” which is where aspiring authors attempt to write out their novels in thirty days. If you want to reach the main goal of 100,000 words, you have to follow a certain word count, but when I started on it, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to hit that quota every single day, so I made a decision of whatever amount of words I did was better than nothing at all. Unfortunately, I didn’t last very long. By the time week three came around, I was basically over it beyond belief. I actually do this while working on blog posts too. Everytime I get past a certain point, my brain just shuts down to where I don’t want to do anything, much less write anything.

I had made plans to attempt to do “Camp NaNoWriMo” this month, which goes on twice a year (the other is July and we all know that won’t happen!) as I was told, apparently it’s the same thing, but you have more freedom so you don’t have to follow the rules of the challenge as you would in the month of November. I wanted to work on my outline a little bit more before I jumped back into this, but I didn’t have the energy to work on it. I actually found a lot of different articles on Pinterest to hopefully look into sometime and write out some of their helpful tips and tricks into my notebook, but I need energy to do all of this and like I said, I don’t have it at the moment.

Here were some of the pieces I found that I’m hoping to look at soon and I thought I’d share them with you so you could get an insight into what I’m looking for right now.

And there are things on my Pinterest board that talk about things like flaws, how to kiss, and there are important ones like how to write characters that have ADHD and/or who are deaf, which have been very helpful since my story does discuss disability. I’m still hoping to find something about writing characters with different physical disabilities, because I have a couple of characters with two different noticeable disabilities in my story that I’d like to showcase but instead of showing them as burdens or as the comic relief, they have a powerful presence to themselves that will hopefully change the reader’s perspective of the disabled community as a whole.

One thing that I really need help on is finding more information about the ins and outs about bunkers. I have thought of changing my original location with another that I’ve recently heard about, but I need to know how to recreate the atmosphere of a bunker and community within it. So if anybody knows of good links that could help me, please send them to me.

Did you participate in Camp NaNoWriMo? If so, how did you do? Do you have any advice for those who have issues getting going in the first place? Plus, does anybody else have like a certain week in a month where they have a hard time concentrating? 

snowflake

NaNoWriMo | 2 Week Mark

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Hi 🙂

Today marks two weeks after I started on NaNoWriMo or NaNo as I keep calling it! I wanted to write this post as a way to give others who are considering on doing it next year. I figured by the time I was going to write it, I’d be saying “let them figure it out for themselves” but luckily for you I’m not that mean! I made a second commitment to do this post for you and that’s what I’m doing today.

I watched a couple of a NaNo related videos on YouTube throughout the first full week and I watched one by Felicity of GoWithFlick – she is also doing NaNo and even though she’s never really heard of it, but she’s decided to give it a go this past month.  In the video where she announces that she’s participating in it, she says something that really hit home for me. She read a quote for an author that described her sentences to author John Green’s “perfect” sentences and how much we wish our sentences looked liked his and we sort of feel really down about it when our stuff doesn’t look like it should basically, at least this is how I took what she was saying in this section, it made perfect sense though.

During the first day, I was pretty proud of myself on how much I went on to describe about my main character and what had been going on with him for most of his childhood, because that’s one of my issues is that I’m not good at describing things that I’m seeing in my head as I go along. Another thing is dialogue. In almost every story I’ve ever written in a notebook or on here, I’ve tried to leave it out. I’ve been somewhat content with what I’ve done so far. I’m describing what the characters are seeing; my MC has ADHD and so I’ve been told that people with this have a hard time focusing, can be easily distracted and notice almost everything around them. He’s also pretty vocal though, so this has been an interesting experience so far! I will I might’ve picked the perfect condition to test this out or I will either hate myself once the month is over.

I am in the middle of writing the sections between ACT I and ACT II right now, and I haven’t exactly started on my antagonist’s story. I do think I should add it in somewhere, because he was the real reason why I never finished my outline in the first place! I’ve been told from other people to not edit anything while working on NaNo, but right now it’s all about the main character’s story, which isn’t bad because so far his story is easy to write and I know where I want it go, but I still feel like my bad guy needs to be in there, as he has a big role in the telling of the story too. Has anybody have any tips for me do to? In a random chapter, should I just add a section about him and see how it goes with the plot itself?

Okay, now it’s time for some of my own tips that have worked for me!

One of the things I had decided about two days before I started writing my novel was I wanted to figure out a system of what part of the day I should write. I thought about what times would be good to reserve for writing and I kind of quickly realized that as long as I was fed and went to the bathroom before 1pm then I could start there and if I wasn’t able to do it at that time, I figured I needed a back up time so I picked 4pm for a later session.

The first day I put the time start into effect, I actually wrote for about two and a half hours and I was so shocked! It was after the weekend that everything kind of went to hell. I don’t usually write anything on Saturday and Sunday, and even though I did write quite a bit I am glad that I didn’t force myself to do anything on Sunday, as my sister and brother-in-law came down that afternoon. I’ve seen a lot of people say that the weekends are perfect to “double up” your word count, but self-care is important too whenever you’re doing something like this that requires a lot out of you everyday. So as I’m not entirely okay with breaking my rules for this, and if I don’t feel like writing that day, then I need to step back and wait until I am ready to write again.

So okay, the last thing I wanted to share on here was my daily word count.

In my first post, I told you that to be able to hit the 50,000 word goal at the end of November, that you needed to get to 1,667 words daily. A lot of aspiring writers actually make goals of how many words they wish to hit everyday for NaNo, but I knew early on that  I wouldn’t be able to do that so I just took whatever amount I did was good. I mean, at least this way I didn’t put so much pressure on myself and I was still feeling good what I had written so far too.

I even decided to stop writing the very beginning of my story. I got through two chapters, before I realized that I wasn’t exactly ready to explore the next section so I actually moved on to a distant chapter that I knew I was ready to work on and I’m really glad I did that because I was discouraged before this and I knew if I had continued, I would have stopped working on it entirely. So unfortunately, my word count as a whole is a bit different since I had two different sections now. I didn’t add today’s word count as I schedule my posts so early in the mornings, so I will include it in my final post at the end of the month!

Day 1: 2,615
Day 2: 1,285
Day 3: 143
Day 4: 1,525
Day 5: 0
Day 6: 346
Day 7: 933
Day 8: 483
Day 9: 1,431
Day 10: 1,344
Day 11: 1.056
Day 12: 0
Day 13: 956
Day 14: 0
Day 15: 545

If you’re on Twitter, I’ve been trying to post my word counts and I’ve been doing pretty good at not feeling too horrible whenever I look at the progress everybody has been making on theirs, but I feel pretty happy for everyone who has been working on their novels too. This is all I have to say about the last two weeks of doing NaNoWriMo, I hope you all have enjoyed this!

If you’re doing NaNo this year, how are you doing so far? What kind of tips do you give others who are thinking about doing it too? 
snowflake

Photography 101 | How To Hold Your Camera

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Howdy!

I am pretty open about my life on the internet. I honestly like educating people about my condition Arthrogryposis and figure out how to adapt to my surroundings. I don’t really remember the day I picked up my fork to feed myself or put the pencil in between my toes to write, it just happened. I love being able to do things for myself. I love not having to depend on a family member or one of my friends to do something for me. I’ve always been resilient and I don’t like to give up easily.

I’ve always tried to post my own pictures on here. Unfortunately, when I first started blogging, I think I was too afraid to show the world that I was real. There is a face to this disability, she has a name and a story. One day I just started including my own pictures from my phone every once in a while. I was really inspired to edit and use filters on the pictures but also being able to make up a complete blog post with a photo was pretty fun!

Last year, I hosted a blog chat and our theme was photography and what kind of props we like to use for our posts. I was very proud of myself for just thinking of it off the top of my head! I gave you a sense of what I liked to use but I never shared on how exactly I do any of my photography for my blog!


I would say from the end of 2015 to now, I’ve hit a new level of photography. I still don’t consider myself a “master” at it or anything, but as far as getting a certain angle, I try my best to get it on my own.

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One of my beloved angles is from the ground view. It’s a simple way to take a photo of anything with a flat surface, but in my case it’s my most popular pose to snap a picture at our cats!

I have learned to go slow, don’t rush the experience. I know with dealing with cats, they are not interested in getting their pictures taken. Okay, maybe Nelson and Bear-Bear like it, but that’s about it. Everybody else just tolerates it I think. I know for a fact that Midget and Bootsie absolutely hate it because I can rarely get them to stay put to capture them on camera.

And sadly, sometimes they will be laying on something high up like dad’s grill or sitting on the post at the back door and I can’t get to them no matter how hard I try. It’s at those times where I holler at my mom to come outside and get them all around so I can take photos of them. Sometimes they lay in certain positions or on my lap and I’m not able to get the shot myself so she’ll take the reins and the ending result is something adorable like this!

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The rest of the time, I do everything else. The pictures are taken by me. I do everything on my blog, nobody does it unless I’ve granted them access but I haven’t been asked by Blondie or anybody else in a few years so, everything that you’ve read on here that doesn’t say “Guest Post” in the front is by me.

I don’t use that Dragon software. I actually hate it. I don’t like the easy road and when we got to try it out in my computer class freshman year, I could have cared less, especially when everybody kept coming up to me saying, “Meghan, this would be perfect for you!” No, thank you. I have enough trouble trying to speak, I can’t imagine how many issues I’d have with that. However, if it works for you. That’s fine.

The Simple Forward:

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I think this is the second simplest way to hold a camera of any size with your feet. I’m naturally a left footer, so this works really well for me!

I know it’s a little hard to tell, but both of my feet are deformed and my right foot is called a clubfoot. A good chunk of it is pointed to the far right where my heel is headed to the left. I have a section of my bones on the left side of the foot and it makes for a slight flat surface. If I were to lay my foot out straight without twisting the leg at all, I can hold a fairly large book or notebook on top and balance it and move to one side of the room. It takes a lot of practice and I still spill things, but it works.

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As far as holding my camera though, I put the camera at the edge of the bones so that it standing flat on the area of the foot. Thankfully, there is just enough room for a small camera to stand straight for a good even-leveled photo. For some added security, I place my left foot on top where the “palm” of it is keeping it from tipping over and using my big toe to push the button to finally get the shot. This is my nana’s camera, so hers is lighter and kind of smaller in width, so it doesn’t fit as well in the space on my right foot as much as mine!

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I’m still doing the pose here, but the difference is that whenever I’m sitting higher up whether it’s on my bed or in the wheelchair, I will naturally tilt my camera forward to get a closer look at whatever I am wanting to take.

Example:

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This was taken at the side of my bones because of the entire angle of the colored pencils. Whenever I take pictures on the side of my right foot, the item will ultimately be at a horizontal line. I try my best not to do this but I do feel the most comfortable with this technique!

I also have a second way to hold it, especially for those closer or low takes. It’s the same method I’ve explained above, the only difference is instead of putting the camera on my bones on the side. My camera is in the middle of my foot, directly behind my toes and I do have to keep my foot straight throughout the whole time. It’s a good pose but I feel better with the first

Example:

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If you ever see things straight like this, this means I have used the second technique as it would be easier to everything in one shot.

Going Vertical:

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This one is actually pretty easy to do, you just have to work on keeping steady because it is an awkward pose to do.

The best way to describe this angle is like grasping something, like you would hold a bowl of cereal or warm soup with both of your hands. However, the difference with using your feet is that, especially with mine, I’m not able to basically wrap my feet around my camera fully. I’m only able to hold in a small enough space in between both feet. I usually try to go high enough so I can reach the buttons, but I’ve learned that if I get my right foot too high then I’m not able to see the screen very well, kind of like in this picture above!

Example:

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The Downward Spiral:

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This one requires both practice and patience in the beginning, mostly because in this pose you moving the camera to face down on the floor, not straight ahead, so if you are not paying attention to what you are doing on all sides, you will drop and might possibility break your camera!

The way I hold my camera for this pose is like the forward, because I am depending on my right foot a little more stability while my left is around the buttons. For this, the camera is mostly between the “mountain” of bones and the side of my heel. One side is resting on the bones where the rest is in the space in the middle of that area. My left foot on top of it, but I’ve flipped my foot to the side and the upper part of the camera is in between the arch of the foot. Sometimes I can click the keys with both my big and “index” toes, it just depends on how far over I’ve got the camera in the dip.

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There is another bad part about this pose. Since you are placing your camera directly on top of what you want to take a picture of, you are also cutting off a bit of your light that would be helpful to brighten up the product or whatever. Everybody says, “don’t use your flash” because sometimes it is too bright and can reflect a glare if it’s plastic or glass, but my advice for that is if all you can use a simple digital camera and can’t afford Photoshop, use the flash! Sometimes it can be your best friend, you never know!

Example:

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As you can see, to be able to get everything in one shot, you have to lift the camera as high as you can. For those of us in wheelchairs, this can get pretty tricky because sometimes you can’t hold the camera up that high and still be able to see what you are shooting in the first place!

The reason why I’m calling this the “downward spiral” is because of the many times I’ve dropped it from this position and the batteries would end up on one side than the actual camera, so it had spun around as it hit the ground! And I’ll be honest, I just wing it while I hold it up in the air. I check it after I’ve taken a couple every time to make sure I’m at least in the right direction! This was a lucky shot! You may not be able to read all of the labels of the bottles but you do see everything and that’s the whole idea!

How do you take your pictures? What is your go-to position to get the perfect shot?

snowflake

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Valentine’s Day: Moments & Tips

So it’s almost February, and I’m actually not obsessed with wanting a Valentine’s Day gift this year. Last year I hated pretty much every dude I ever liked because of the fact I gave them so much attention. Being nice to a guy for me is easy. Getting over them, not so much. I haven’t seen a guy who I actually flirted with since September, so I’m out of shape, but I’m kind of happy this way though. Valentine’s Day was never invented for people like me. As much as I know I bugged a lot of people last year for not having somebody to call my own. I did have my dad. I still have my little balloon and rose. He was nice enough to give me a fake rose because I’d be a bit upset if I got a real one. Fake flowers are the only thing that I like that’s in the “fake” category. I think I’m going to keep me this Valentine’s Day and that’s it. Relive it. It’s finally taken a few years but I think Valentine’s Day is just another holiday that gets over exaggerated as time goes on.

Lots of couples also think it’s the only holiday to show the one you love what they really mean to you. That’s dumb! You have all the time in the world to show that person how much they mean to you. Taking that person out to eat on that day and not any other day after that doesn’t show them anything. Girls like surprises. Take her out next week after Valentine’s Day, do something new in the relationship to show them you really care. Now girls, I know as much as we don’t want to admit, but it isn’t just the guys who should do this. Even though the guys seem to hate it more than we do. Trick them to get dressed up nicely and take them out to eat. Differences between women and men in food places, women like the more fancy places and men would rather go to a steak house. For some girls. like myself I don’t mind both. If I know ahead of time, I’d rather go somewhere really fancy. If I don’t, I’m going casual. Guys, dressing nicely doesn’t ALWAYS mean nice T-Shirt and tie. Best pants and shiny shoes. Sometimes you can dress in a nice shirt, but that means NO stains. NO rips or holes. Pants wise, you can wear jeans they just better be a good pair. You can wear your boots as well. They just better be clean!