Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I needed 9,300 words for the month of March and I achieved that goal even though I missed three days of writing. I still feel sad that I missed those days, but my other days of surpassing the daily quota paid off and I didn't have to write any extra tonight to make up for those days.

My total word count to date is 23,204 words. That's almost half of what is needed for NaNoWriMo! 

Next month I should add at least another 12,000 words. April will be 400 words per day. I'm also participating in the ScriptFrenzy contest, which should help me with the word quota as well.

Script Frenzy arrives in April!!

I was chatting online with a friend of mine about 12:30 Sunday morning (3/19) when she told me that ScriptFrenzy, the script writing contest created by the people at NaNoWriMo was in April!!! I thought it was in July and that I had plenty of time to work on my story - plot, characters, etc. I was going to use my word count for that month (700 words/day) to write at least one 100 page script. But it's next month!!!!! What am I going to do??????

I'm going crazy trying to learn how to structure a script. I've read various books, websites, magazine articles and I have decided that I do not have the time to successfully plot out a screen play. Will that stop me from participating in ScriptFrenzy? NO WAY!

My plan is to just start writing different scenes. As long as I have 100 script pages by the end of the month, I'll be happy. Nothing in the rules says anything about the quality of the script. I know there if a format, but I'm such a loser I was totally unprepared for this year's contest.

I've also just returned from a conference in Philadelphia. My university uses Banner so the company that makes this database, SunGard, hosted their annual summit. First time for me to attend and I had a blast. I went with three co-workers, flying out on Saturday (3/21) and returning on Thursday (3/26) and since I had already been gone four days that week, I took Friday as a vacation day. Whew. So I had no chance to work on my script idea and structure. 

I also didn't write for three days while I was gone. I started out great, handwriting my daily quota, since I didn't take my computer (my iPod Touch was used a lot though to surf the web) and one night I actually forgot to write. I was disappointed with myself. I ended up skipping the next night, my last night in Philly, and skipping Thursday night as well after I returned home. I finally told myself I needed a break. I wasn't writing to win a prize. I'm attempting to make writing a habit and I think I have done a good job of that. So I may take a few more breaks in the coming months.

So my plans are to participate in ScriptFrenzy, writing 100 pages of a terrible script, but that's OK. I'm happy to just be writing, and to feel the creativeness finally bubbling up and escaping. I've mentioned to a few friends that my stories were trapped by my laziness and if I ever popped that cork, I would have an unending flow of words pouring out and onto the paper.

I'm sure you're wondering about the photo I included. That is a picture of my sewing machine. I finally drug it out of it's case and bought the piece I needed to fix it (two of them actually.) I think April's word count will be about a seamstress/costumer who gets involved with a small town cop solving a cold case. I've had this particular idea for over 10 years. Actually, I don't think I've worked on it since I left my job as a police dispatcher in 1998. 

I came across an article in a newspaper while on vacation about a woman who made wedding gowns. That got me started on a story about Maggie, a seamstress who previously worked in the costume department at a movie production company and who now had her own business creating custom clothing. 

My creativity in writing has spilled over into other areas of my life, causing me to get back into sewing (currently making a pillowcase for the first time) and to start knitting. Those crafts will in turn inspire more writing, creating a beautiful circle of creativeness.

Monday, March 16, 2009

100 Things

I finally made it to 100 posts! Almost like trying to write to a certain word count each night. I started this list in November 2008 and kept adding items as I would think of them. Some times I despaired of actually finding 100 things to say about myself. But I have prevailed.

1. I have red hair.

2. And green eyes.

3. I'm 5'4" tall. Well, 5'3 3/4". Same thing. LOL

4. I'm nearsighted and wear glasses.

5. I'm right handed.

6. But I fervently wish I was left handed.

7. I work in higher education.

8. I have a master's degree.

9. I drive a black VW Jetta.

10. With a manual transmission. Special order.

11. I learned to drive on a VW Beetle. Light blue. Manual transmission.

12. That my dad drove to school. 

13. My dad is 6'4". I am 5'4. You would think I would be a little taller. Thanks, Mom.

14. I took my driving test in a car with a manual transmission.

15. I failed the test. Stalled on a hill. In the pouring rain.

16. State trooper told me I had guts to take the test in a car with a standard transmission.

17. Passed the next time. IN THE SAME CAR.

18. If I could do the math, I would be an architect.

19. Or a forensic scientist.

20. Or a musician.

21. My dad taught algebra, pre-calculas, geometry, chemistry, physics and computer programming in high school. I had all but physics. I know just enough to be dangerous.

22. I'm a beginning knitter. 

23. I'm an experienced cross stitcher. 19 years experience.

24. I have two sisters and one brother. 

25. Odd numbers are my favorite.

26. I love frogs.

27. I love practical jokes.

28. Blue is my favorite color.

29. I played the flute and piccolo in the school band.

30. I have been to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC at least once each month.

31. I have never been out of the country.

32. But I do have a passport. Everyone should. You never know when Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome (with blue eyes) will show up and ask you to leave with him.

33. My avatar is a somewhat accurate description of what I had on the day I created it. My hair looked worse that day, though.

34. I'm older than the cartoon character Scooby Doo.

35. I'm in love with Edward Cullen, AKA Robert Pattinson.

36. Hawaii 5-0 and I debuted in the same year.

37. Most of my pets growing up were "rescues" - not from the pound or rescue groups - they were dropped at my house because I live in the country. There's a serial killer for you - murdering people who drop pets because they don't want them any more.

38. I saw the Twilight movie 4 times in theaters. 

39. I love cemeteries. Don't ask me why.

40. Age 40 was pretty sucky for me. I hope 41 is better.

41. I wish time travel were possible.

42. I have never broken a bone in my body.

43. I like to read mysteries.

44. I've met Alton Brown, host of Good Eats (Food Network).

45. I've also met William Shatner. Live long and prosper, Captain Kirk.

46. I've discovered that knitting is a much more expensive hobby than cross stitching ever was.

47. I love horses.

48. I'm fascinated by snakes, but also scared of them.

49. I can play the piano. 

50. I want to make a quilt.

51. Smallville is my favorite TV show.

52. I love ghost stories.

53. If I can teach myself to write in a higher level programming language, I may embark on a 2nd master's degree in Information Systems. Maybe.

54. I've pre-ordered three different versions of the Twilight movie on DVD. And pre-ordered it from iTunes as well.

55. I own a Macbook and an iMac.

56. I plan to grow pumpkins this summer.

57. I spent 6 years working as a police dispatcher.

58. I joined eBay in 1998 to purchase a VCR that played and recorded the in the formats PAL and SECAM as well as NTSC

59. Said VCR cost me $400.00. And is still working today.

60. I have a real copy of the Song of the South movie. PAL format (VHS).

61. I want to build my own house.

62. I now have a huge poster of Edward Cullen on the back of the door in my TV room.

63. I learned to cook so I could eat certain foods more than once or twice a year. Example: homemade crescent rolls. My mom would only make them for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can now make them anytime, but I will admit they taste the best during the holidays with all that turkey and mashed potatoes.

64. My first dog was a German Shepherd named Sam. He died when I was 12.

65. My current dog's name is Scooby-Doo.

66. I've had my new car (black VW Jetta) for 15 months and already have over 27,000 miles on it.

67. My favorite board game is Monopoly.

68. My next favorite board game is Trivial Pursuit.

69. I also like Scrabble, Clue and Yahtzee.

70. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. Also has to be colored green too.

71. I've owned three VW Jetta's and a Jeep Wrangler. 

72. I've been certified as a CPR instructor by the American Red Cross.

73. I've been certified as a CPR instructor by the American Heart Association.

74. I want to drive on Germany's Autobahn. Really.

75. My license place is personalized now. It's the name of my favorite TV show.

76. I won 2nd place at my junior high school in a DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) writing contest.

77. My boss B gave me the highest compliment the other day. She called me irreplaceable. I almost cried.

78. I want to work on a master's degree in Forensic Science.

79. I would like to visit Germany for a month.

80. I have over 6 thousands e-mails in my inbox alone, not counting the hundreds in various folders in Outlook.

81. I currently have six pairs of glasses with the same prescription. Yes, six. Three with black frames, one with silver, one with gold and an old, old pair of blue frames.

82. I've been making homemade napkins like crazy. I like the idea of doing my bit for the environment.

83. If I keep up my monthly writing exercises, I will have written over 250,000 words by the end of the year.

84. I would like to teach myself a foreign language or two.

85. I've also discovered that sewing is a much more expensive hobby than cross stitching ever was as well.

86. I plan to participate in ScriptFrenzy and NaNoWriMo this year. 

87. Current songs on my iPod include: Runaway and Dream on Dreamer by Cascada, Convoy by C.W. McCall, Will you still love me by Chicago.

88. I once tracked down a television movie I had watched as a child on Saturday morning on the CBS Children's Film Festival. I could remember only that it appeared to be based on a fairy tale and had an owl with three silver acorns that were actually wishes. Tri orĂ­sky pro Popelku is the name of the movie. Better known as Three Wishes for Cinderella. The language was Czech with English subtitles. I finally found a VHS copy of it. For more info on the CBS Children's Film Festival click here.

89. I've learned that patience is a virtue. I've waited for HDNET to air the NCIS episodes from JAG. They're FINALLY airing on March 18th and I've set the Tivo to record them. I hope the power or cable doesn't go off.

90. I don't know whether to believe in ghosts, but I would love to meet one.

91. I actually enjoy playing solitaire. On the computer or with real cards, especially if they're my Scooby Doo deck.

92. I collect USGS (United States Geological Survey) topographical maps (7.5 min quadrangles) of places I've been. Or of places I would like to visit. The last one I bought was for Forks, WA of Twilight fame.

93. I like windows. My house will have lots of them. 

94. I love strawberries, will eat a banana if I have to and I will suck the juice out of an orange but I won't eat the pulp. Ick.

95. I'm currently reading The Reader. I hope to get Revolutionary Road next.

96. I made myself my first pair of pajama pants over the weekend. I love them and look forward to making a few more. 

97. My goal for Christmas 2009 is to make handmade gifts for my family and friends.

98. I love BBQ potato chips, popcorn with extra butter and crunchy Cheetos. But not all at the same time. ICK.

99. I plan to get a motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license next summer if not before.

100. I have red hair. Here's the proof. This is a school photograph of me from, I think, the first grade.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the return of the time traveler

This month my goal is to write 300 words a day. Ok. I've been doing that but I can't seem to stick with one story. I started out good, writing a murder mystery one, but I soon strayed from it and begin writing other stuff. Which isn't to say that's a bad thing, but I ended up writing something different each night. So here I am, March 12th, and while I have the word count quota, I don't have anything else worth keeping.

Now I know you'll say that at least I was writing, practicing my craft, but I would at least like to have something I can come back to at a later date and edit into something that might one day be published.

So I've brought back Mac, my time traveling teenager and her story. I wrote about 20 single spaced pages about her and her friends Freddy and Tessa last month. I'm hoping they can get me out of the funk I've been in this month. 

I want to use Mac's story for the short story contest sponsored by The Writer I mentioned in an earlier post. I think this will be what I need to actually write something, edit it, then send it off for a review. I hope I can do it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to my MOM

My mommy is 69 years old today.

Thanks for your love and wisdom and encouragement and cooking lessons. 

I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Monday, March 2, 2009

two dead bodies in less than 1000 words

I'm pitiful. I've written less than 1000 words so far (970 to be exact) and I've already murdered two people. Haven't decided how they died or why, but one body has washed up on the beach and another was found in his home, I think. LOL

I'm writing a new story and just going with the flow. I have six new characters and no idea what to do with them. I've got a doctor (GP), a veterinarian, a maid (dead body #1), a cop, the cop's father (dead body #2), a housekeeper and someone else I can't remember right now. Too many to keep track of already. I guess I need to drag out the character list I use with NaNoWriMo and start writing them down.

I finally made my cookies tonight. I was mixing them up yesterday evening and found out that I had no brown sugar! Well, no brown sugar that was usable. All of if was hard as a rock. So I had to buy new stuff today. It's all in the fridge now, waiting for me to come home tomorrow. I cant' wait.