Tag Archives: nablopomo

NaBloPoMo completed! Up next are…

Liz Lemon gives herself a high five. Sends it to us.

Liz Lemon sends a high-five to you, writer! Nice work!

Well now I’ve gone and done it. I’ve completed 30 days straight of daily blogging for National Blog Posting Month.

It came at the expense of writing a novel this year for NaNoWriMo, but it’s best for my health that I didn’t seriously attempt to do both. I did start out doing both, but chose to continue only with this one after day three because it’s a lot less time-consuming to blog daily than it is to write a novel. Ask me how I know.

Why did I do this challenge? I’d heard about it for the past few years and I hadn’t tried it before. So, why not? I wanted to see if it would be difficult to do. Like most creative challenges this basically came down to a test of will power to sit down and write.

Three things I look forward to doing now that NaBloPoMo is wrapped:

  • Keeping up with a couple of web series of note
  • Finishing up my last two books for the 2013 Goodreads challenge to read 27 books this year. I have ~200 pages to go in my penultimate book.
  • Checking out the NaBloPoMosphere and reading what others have written in November.

I’d like to say thank you to all who have read and then “liked”, left a comment, or subscribed to my blog this month. It was a bit of a process getting into daily writing but should I scale back in December– and I probably will– I should have a more little time to check out your blogs and perhaps say hi.

Now it’s time to get some rest. December is going to be a busy month!


Got 4-day weekend paranoia? I do.

Four day weekend! It’s been a while since I had one of those. I should feel free. Relaxed. Calm. Ready to take next month by storm. I should be well-rested, well-fed, and ready to rock on through the rest of the year with a clear head. I should… The simple fact is this. I am not used to having a 4-day weekend.

What is going on?

I am notorious for not taking voluntary time off and now my internal calendar– is that a real thing?– is thrown off. It’s not a bad feeling, but it is unsettling. After two days of doing my usual day off routine I almost don’t know quite what to do with the rest of my time off now that’s not related to my work. In any case I feel compelled to fill this time and be somewhat productive. The problem is that what I consider being productive keeps changing from hour to hour. And now there’s that nagging feeling that ‘come Monday I’ll be behind before I start my day.’ And first thing that morning I’ll realize I should have used my time off to catch up on my backlog of stuff that I hadn’t been able to get to earlier and didn’t. Also, that I was supposed to be smarter than this. And finally, that I didn’t really believe I was supposed to use the time off to actually do nothing, right?


My Thanksgiving as told by photos of pie

I had a lovely day which included baking a pie with my oldest nephew, Paul. Though this made up a small portion of my Thanksgiving it was the only part photographed. For posterity I’ll note here that other parts of the day were spent doing such things with my family as sitting by a fire, playing cars and trains with a 3-year old bundle of energy (my youngest nephew), scarfing down bbq brisket, baked chicken, mac n cheese, dressing, collard greens, carrot souffle, sipping hot pear cider, watching The Empire Strikes Back— cause that’s how we roll– and the 1982 version of Annie— the best version, IMHO, and dozing. No turkeys were harmed in the making of this chill(y) Thanksgiving Day.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving part II for which I sincerely hope that it does NOT rain. It is actually in the forecast, however, in LA that means it MAY sprinkle here or there, or not until Sunday.

On to pie fun

unmixed apple pie ingredients

Unmixed apple pie ingredients.

apple pie ingredients

The ingredients, mixed.

apples and spice and everything nice.

Apples and spice and everything nice.

apple pie crust prep

Apple pie crust prep.

apple pie in oven

Into the oven it goes.

apple scraps

What did not make it into the pie.

freshly-baked apple pie

The finished product.

All these photos, except for the oven shot and the pie scraps, were taken by my oldest nephew.
I took one photo with my camera the entire day. It lives here on instagram.


What’s on the menu for Thanksgiving?

I should probably be asleep now so that I can rise early and start making a much-anticipated pie. I am a little bit paranoid about doing so because there’s a huge brisket cooking (for the first time!) low-and-slow in the oven all night. I am not a fan of leaving the oven on overnight or even leaving the kitchen while there’s a flame going on the stove. It allows for distractions and then, boom, overcooked food. I get that it’s not efficient to stay next to the stove/oven for an entire meal that takes hours to cook, but to be frank, I’m more than happy to grab a book or my laptop and hangout in the kitchen for the 15 minutes it takes to boil my favorite pasta.

On the menu this year, aside from the brisket, will be chicken, roasted veggies, mac and cheese, cheese biscuits, apple pie from scratch (yay!), banana pudding (yuck!) and probably something else I forgot to list here. What’s on your menu?

I will try to get some rest, for tomorrow it’s time to cook and bake some more. And I’ll post photos!


Instagram, here I am

About a month ago I finally joined Instagram. At first I was very excited about the possibilities, but at this point the excitement has all but died down. This is for 2 reasons.

1) Most of the people I know on Instagram cross-post to Facebook or Twitter or another social network I follow. There’s nothing new to see by going there explicitly.

2) There’s not much to do there for the effort involved. I realize it’s a phone app, but I find myself wishing it had more functionality when trying to figure out where to go from the home screen. On my phone it’s quite tedious to attempt to scroll ‘for days’ through the explore tab, which I don’t mind doing on my laptop for some reason.

I’m @socalmad if you want to follow me there.


On being home for the holidays

One of the best things about being a ‘townie’ in LA is that I’m already home for the holidays. I get to relish in the light traffic and the time and money saved that I would have to spend if I had to travel elsewhere requiring some mode of public transit and a lot of luggage. There’s a specific level of appreciation that is felt when traveling around town during this time of year, knowing that I don’t have to deal with this unless I choose to go somewhere far away of my choosing (requiring packing for fun).  I will never take for granted the amount of effort some people need to expend to spend time with the people they love around this time of year.


You are not alone, NaNots

Today I was listening to my podcast queue, catching up on all of the updates I’ve missed over the last week, while doing little to no writing, when I came upon the latest episode (24) from Mur Lafferty’s “I Should be Writing” podcast.

It appears that the topics have taken a turn from her progress to her non-progress to her continuing to encourage the writers out there who are keeping up with their word count. I gather she is not likely to finish NaNoWriMo either. Just like me.

I wasn’t really looking for that sort of commiseration in particular but now that I know we’re in the same boat I feel better since I am not alone in stopping that project, yet continuing others.

The big lesson here is to develop a habit of writing consistently. If you write, you win.


5 things I’m looking forward to the most next week

Here are the top five things I’m looking forward to next week.

5. Thanksgiving. It’s the start of a new season and for me it means time with family and friends and checking off things on my to do list of fun. See #3 and #2 for examples.

4. Writing. Maybe surprising myself with a NaNo win outta nowhere. Hey, it could happen.

3. Reading. Finishing reading my 25/27th book of the year. Goodreads challenge 2013, you’re going down!

2. More writing. Finishing NaBloPoMo so I can celebrate attempting and maybe conquering one new (for me) super challenge of awesomeness.

1. Thanksgiving! I spent some time tonight planning the menu. I’m most excited about the pie!


When do you think for yourself?

I have this thing that I do. If I don’t put in the effort to sort some things out in my mind each day, then I am not sure how to deal with a lot of daily stressors, aside from sleeping it off. So I’ve been using my usual evening drive as a way to reset my mind from the day and prepare for the next one.

I sometimes find myself in a flow state while I’m driving. I particularly enjoy solving various scenarios, or crafting story scenes with random characters and situations, or songs with the lyrics that I’ll never be able to remember once I arrive home, as I hurtle down the freeway at full speed. Sometimes I don’t even recall entire legs of my drive because I’m lost in thought, rehashing the day and wondering what I could have done differently or what I may have forgotten about. Today I think I let quite a few things slip my mind, only to come rushing back to me when I was sitting in my car. I feel torn about that. It’s like I don’t have enough time in the day to think to myself, so I only do so at night. Does that make any sense?


NaBloPoMo: Twenty-one days later

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups.
All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an “A”, 40 pounds a “B”, and so on.
Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”.
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.
It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work-and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Art and Fear- David Bayles and Ted Orland

It occurred to me three weeks into the month to pay another visit the site that spurred this month of blog activity. I have been perusing some of the blogs of other registrants this evening and I’m impressed at the variety and depth of these bloggers. Do they know that what they share hits home with so many others? Or at least me? How did I even get on this list? Oh, right. Chris L. told me about it and I jumped right in. Thanks, lady.

I am glad I did this challenge and though it may have cost me the price of not finishing NaNoWriMo it was good to mix it up. At the very least I’ve written thousands of words more than I would have otherwise.

I hope to explore more of these blogs soon. If you want to read some check out the list below.

National Blog Post Month

This blog is number #1789.


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