Tag Archives: writing

Oh, the things that inspire

I’ve been watching these and Vi Hart’s other videos on YouTube and I am pretty amazed at the amount of information packed into <5 minutes of doodles in a notebook. I like the way she instantly grabs your attention by tuning out of her ‘math lesson’ like most people would — to ponder and explore, and then blow your mind with meta math ideas inspired by her doodles.

This got me thinking of things that got me thinking of what I’d like to do more of this year.  In 2011 I did a series on rediscovered obsessions which was a lot of fun so I’ll try that again. But first I need a good topic and your input! If you have any suggestions for specific topics I can create a series from let me know in a comment in the next week. They will work best if the topics inspire me to use photos or video in my responses.

Some examples are:  Favorite things to do in your hometown?

What or who else on YouTube inspires you and why?

What DIY projects will the average Joe/Jane will be able to do in 10 years that they can’t easily do now?

Hope you enjoyed my new hot cocoa mix photos I shared last week. They were delicious.


Writing progress

I am psyched about my progress this week. Regarding my goal to write more letters, this week I wrote two. Technically they were brief thank you notes but it still felt good to write handwritten notes! I was partially inspired by reading a Jane Austin fanfic called Other Side of Pride and Prejudice.

I also updated my website.

On the reading front I did get a little scattered. I am already reading two books– one paperback and one ePub– but I wanted to mix it up a little so I placed a hold on a graphic novel and immediately went to the library to check it out. In my rush to get the book in front of my eyeballs I didn’t check the library’s hours before I left. When I got there I saw that it’s open four days a week and today was not one of them. Whoops.

End of an era

I believe that 2013 will be a brand new world for me.
2012 can be summed up in a few words:

But a few words doesn’t do it justice.

I don’t really do resolutions, but I will throw a few of my goals down.
1) 2012 was the year of reading. In 2013 I plan to write more, including real letters to people.
2) Laugh out loud more often.
3) Read more (27 books is the goal for 2013).
4) Take more photos. Speaking of more photos…

Flickr Freebie – Pro account giveaway!

Woot, everyone gets 3 free months of Flickr Pro! Just go to the link below to activate it (You’ll have to sign in).
Flickr’s Giving Away 3 Free Months of Flickr Pro via Photojojo’s site on Tumblr.

What’s your most achievable goal? Happy New Year!

Goodreads Challenge update + mini-review: Start with Why

Goodreads Challenge (25/25)

Goodreads Challenge complete

Done and done. Today I reached my goal of reading 25 books in 2012.

The final book was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book #6). I am glad to have completed it over a month early, but it did cut into my NaNoWriMo start time. To keep my sanity through November I’ve decided to sit this year’s writing challenge out, however I won’t be completely absent from that world. I plan to lurk on the various NaNo sites and forums and watch my fellow writers zoom toward their goals. Who knows? I may even stop by a local write in.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo?

Mini-review: Start with Why

Start with WhyStart with Why by Simon Sinek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek is an analysis of how visionary leaders are able to cultivate success and others are not. they do this by simply communicating the concept of why they believe what they do which draws others who believe the same thing to their cause. I enjoyed the first 65 pages or so, but then book seemed to start over and repeat the same thing (using the same examples). I would recommend this book for those who want to experience the concept in the author’s TED talk in a different way, but I tend to agree with Loy Machedo’s review.

View all my reviews

Summer writings

My first mobile post!

This summer has found me outdoors more than I’ve ever been (outside of field camp in college). More living outside and less indoor writing makes me look forward to getting my thoughts down. The one drawback is that I am generally wiped out by day’s end to do so.  Trying to reconcile. I’ve missed this.

Writing Humor + Christmas Lights and Art

Writing Humor

Last time I shared a few writing apps. I’m back, now, with some funny grammar. I got these from NaNoWriMo users “hockeygoon” and “amaranth” on that site forum.

1. A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

2. A dangling modifier walks into a bar. After finishing a drink, the bartender asks it to leave.

3. A question mark walks into a bar?

4. Two quotation marks “walk into” a bar.

5. A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.

6. The bar was walked into by the passive voice.

7. Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They drink. They leave.

8. A split infinitive began to confidently walk into the bar.

9. A run on sentence walked into a bar, and, spotting a likely looking verb or two, ordered a round of drinks for the house, paid the bartender, chose a song on the jukebox, danced for a measure or two before sitting down and drinking, hoping all the while that his cool had been firmly cemented in the minds of all around him.

10. As the sentence fragment walked into the bar.

Christmas Lights and Art

For LA locals, if you’re not too busy shopping, cooking, eating or volunteering, here are a couple of other fun things to do in town.

Christmas Tree Lane – A bit of a drive for me, but maybe you live closer to Altadena?

Pacific Standard Time – Getty initiative of LA art exhibits from 1945 – 1980 showcased around town.

LA mag’s list of PST showcases – This is a little more informative for specific exhibits than the link above.

Post-NaNo recap: TGIO, writing apps, and how I did

Thank Goodness It’s Over (TGIO)

This weekend I carpooled to Santa Monica for the NaNo LA region’s TGIO party. That was a fun event where the LA region’s Municipal Liaisons (A.k.a. MLs) hosted and congratulated all who showed up for participating. I chatted with others, ate Japanese fast food, and took a group photo. To boot, I even won a nice prize from a raffle. One dark and white chocolate later I was officially ready to start my December, by reading.

The raffle prize I picked up was Wake Up Your Muse: 1001 Story Starters for Fiction Writers by Jan Christiansen. It’s a short read of 1001 first line prompts of stories you can write. I’ve already noted a few starters that will make for fantastic prompts for me and I can’t wait to use them.

A few gems from the book:
“I didn’t know I had an uncle until I read the obituary.”
“They arrested every girl who had attended the slumber party.”
“She took one look at the handsome doctor and vowed never to eat apples again.”

Writing apps

I have discovered a few apps to help you keep writing. If you use them, may they lead you to lots of productive movement of your progress meters for whatever you choose to write:

750 words – Write a daily quota of 750 words to keep that ingrained habit of writing consistently. Fortunately this is far less than the 1667 words a day required of NaNo’s effort.
Instant Boss
 – This is meant to micromanage your time spent writing.
OmmWriter – This one uses pretty colors and sounds in the background while you write. Oh, boy!
Mac Freedom – All the cool writers use this one, apparently.
Write or Die – A place to write to a predetermined goal or else…
Written? Kitten! – A kinder version of Write Or Die, but with KITTEHS!

How did I do?

I accomplished the challenge itself, but as for my personal goal to do this by writing consistently… Well,  I knew from my previous efforts that I could write relatively quickly– over 2K words per hour when in the zone. Just look at the beautiful exponential curve of effort there toward the end on my author page. Those stats don’t lie.

I’m a pantser, meaning that I intended to write this with no outline. This year I decided on a whim to download a writing tool promoted in the NaNo forums called Storyist. This tool made it easy to outline my story’s setting and create a background for each of my characters so I did just that. It helped a bit to know in advance how my characters would act or react in certain situations. Unfortunately, I somehow changed a page layout setting in the program using a keyboard shortcut that I couldn’t figure out how to undo. I finally managed to undo the changed layout setting using the tool menu after about a week. The program was otherwise easy to use and I felt like I was creating a publishable manuscript which was cool.

Leave it to a looming NaNoWriMo deadline for me to get more sleep each night and have cleaner dwelling than I have in all the other months of the year. I knew I wouldn’t let myself get to the point of non-progress where I couldn’t possibly catch up, though mentally, I was much more hare than tortoise.  And like the fable it’s true that it wasn’t much fun being anywhere near the point of getting too far behind. Just knowing that I had to write so much quickly just to “catch up” to the daily word count made it harder to get started each day. Fortunately I knew from previous years to expect that feeling and I did not let it stop me from starting.

I learned several other things about my writing over the last month which I may detail later but today I’m gearing up for a trip to my local museum row for a relaxing day away from my computer screen.

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