A Little Hiatus is Coming

Hello friends. I haven’t written for a while for a great number of reasons, but the biggest reason has to do with Camp NaNoWriMo. I spent this whole month working on a brand new novel that I will be taking about more at length as I go through finishing and re-organizing it and then editing it for it’s first Alpha read through.

April also marked my read-a-thon where I try to read as many books as I can. Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is over that’s what I’ll be focusing on. So far I have finished 1 book in April, and it was a novella. Now I am making an extra push to finish The Circle by Dave Eggers since I will be seeing that movie when it comes out.

In between those two things I have spent the month and really the last week, preparing for my journey to California! This will be the farthest plane ride I have ever taken, and I’m nervous about it. But the biggest thing is to be prepared. And I am. I have everything I need to make security check with the TSA easy. I won’t wear any socks that day just so I can slide my shoes on and off, I’ll do deep breathing. Hopefully the TSA agents will be pleasant.

I have big plans for California  and it looks like most of them will come to fruition if not all of them. Disneyland is out, but I will be going to Universal Studios. We’ll see some of the Stars on the Walk of Fame, I’ll be able to go to Rodeo drive, and see the hotel where Pretty Woman was filmed.  So many awesome things!

I’ll try and write notes in my offline journal so that I can record them here for all of you guys, pictures included. I know I haven’t posted a lot of pictures lately. Sorry about that. I’ve been really bad about doing pictures lately.

That’s all I have for this post. I’ll see you guys in May!!

Let’s Sing Camp Songs!

Tomorrow is the beginning of session one of Camp NaNoWriMo! So today I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite childhood camp memories. When I was about thirteen I went to a music camp that was funded through the church I was attending at the time. Oh my gosh, that was so much fun.

There was music of all kinds and it was my first experience away from home like that. The camp was Camp Lutheridge, and the summer was the one before Freshman year. I will never forget how excited I was to go. Then how scared I was when I realized that my brother and I were not only in separate cabins (because heck, we’d been sleeping in bedrooms next to each other for years, so why separate us now), but separate groups because of our age difference!

I think I did a lot of growing that year. I learned not to depend so much on my brother, or my mom. I learned more how to depend on myself, and trust others. That took some doing considering all of the bullying I’d dealt with because of my disability. For the first time, I had real friends and “family” that didn’t judge me or think I’m crazy.

When it came time to leave (the session was only a week long, sadly) I was  very upset. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay. But I did come away with new songs to sing, and friends to write. And for a while, we all wrote each other back and forth.

Over the years, we stopped writing, and honestly, I’ve forgotten the names of most of my camp friends. I will never forget Mara or Matthew though. They were two counselors that made my time more fun and helped me to overcome my fears and undertake challenges I may not have, otherwise.

Real-life camp was an experience I will never forget, and that is why,  when I can, I try to appreciate Camp NaNoWriMo. There are no songs that we sing, but words flow, and camaraderie runs deep. We, the writers who do Camp NaNoWriMo, build on each other’s energy and ideas and words.  And that , on it own, is as close to a real camp experience as you can really get.

Heather

My Alter Ego

I just got done watching an old favorite Disney movie of mine called Read it and Weep. It is about a girl who keeps a journal is the style of a fictional world with an alter ego named Isabella, Is for short.  Her journal accidentally gets printed out an turned in as an  essay and ends up winning a school wide contest. The result is that the rest of the journal becomes an instant best selling book.

Jamie (the main character), then, in turn loses herself, and takes on the traits of her alter ego which was named Isabella (“Is for short”). Is is everything Jamie thought she wanted to be.  Through the course of the movie, she learns that being herself is all that she needs to be. And the people she thought wanted as friends weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

Why am I giving you the synopsis of a Disney movie? Well, the thing is, I think every writer has an alter ego. Some writers might say that they have multiple alter egos. For me, I have just one, and her name is Victoria. Victoria is everything I want to be. And that is never more clear than lately.

Victoria…Tori, she likes to be called, is a classically trained soprano (which I used to be) , she’s good with children (which I am), and she tries really hard to be loyal to those who are good to her (also me).  When she gets hurt by those she thinks of as friends, she tend to take it personally for a day or two before deciding that they probably weren’t really friends to begin with. That’s something I try to strive for, but let me be perfectly honest here: I take a lot of things personally. Especially when it’s me personally they’re hurting.

I wonder how Tori would’ve handled the recent and blatant bullying that I’ve recently encountered. I won’t go into detail, but let’s say that my self-confidence has taken quite the hit. I know this might sound weird, but I need to meditate and see what I come across with her guidance? I just… never thought I’d encounter that  with elderly people. I thought the days of being bullied were behind me.

But yeah. Someday I might have to start a journal similar to the one that Jamie had in Read it and Weep. I don’t know if Victoria would feature, but it would be an interesting experiment to see how I see my family, friends, and enemies, in a fictional setting.

Feeling Energetic

So I woke up feeling so energetic this morning. Even though it was only 6:30 EST.  I don’t know why my cat insists on waking me up so early, but today I’m kinda glad she did. I must have slept just the right amount. I can’t check to find out because I forgot to put my FitBit back on after the pool at my neighbor’s last night.

This has had an interesting effect on what I do. I cleaned my bathroom, vacummed both my room and my craft room, and I finished up the dishes. All of this in a span of 2 hours.

I forgot to mention a couple of entries back that I started writing a new, interesting piece that came out of a recurring dream I was having. I won’t give details here, but trust me when I say that I will probably post a snippet in my writing section of the site soon. I am getting a lot of positive feedback from those who have read what I’ve got for now.

Jeanette and her fiance came over again yesterday. We had some fun, listening to different music and looming. I made a new bracelet in the linked closure style. I used solar bands to do it so it changes to purple when it’s in the sun or in bright light outside. It’s so cool looking, and the kid in me loves watching it change into different colors.  I attempted to take pictures of my newest creation, but not sure the solar one came out well enough to post.

Okay, so it did turn out. That’s great! The only thing you don’t see is exactly how purple it gets. I will try and get another picture while I am out and about today. I am going to the clubhouse to do some uninterrupted writing on my stories. And some uninterrupted reading, too.

Well, I still have a few things to do before I go, so I’m going to end with saying that my life seems to be picking up from a few months ago, and I am glad! I feel like I finally belong in Florida instead of having been dragged along because I had no choice. I have a life here now, and I’m loving every second of it.

Heather

Preparing for Camp

That is, I am preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. Every April, I try to finish or work harder on on specific piece of writing. Just like with November, I like this because it forces my muses to pay attention to me. This year I am using Camp NaNoWriMo to focus my attention away from my upcoming vacation and spending money prior to it. As long as my hands are on the keyboard pounding out words, I won’t have time to really do any kind of shopping.

So how am I preparing for Camp? 500 words per day minimum. If I can just write 500 words, a little at a time, my work in progress will get done. For  November’s NaNoWriMo,  I average anywhere from 1k to 5k a day. It really depends on what I’m doing that month.  But Camp session, I want to actually get into the meat of my dystopian. and that’s been me for last two years, because this dystopian is such a fresh idea that I don’t want someone else to take it. (I don’t know who’d actually take it, okay? It’s author paranoia!)

Next week, the next to last week in March, I will probably be doing 1k words per day just to prepare even further. I think with 500 words, and sometimes more, I can easily  do 1k per day.

I don’t tend to push myself too hard on Camp sessions because the real prize is NaNoWriMo, when I have plenty of support and positive things going on. But this year I want to take it a little more seriously because last year I did nothing except read. Which  reminds me…

April is also my month long read-a-thon month. I think my goal this month will be finish all the books I’ve started. Whatever I don’t finish in March will be my April books. That means City of Bones, The Circle, The Magicians and The End of Oz are all contenders for April books.

Of course I’ll probably finish The End of Oz  before April. One thing I love about Danielle Paige is her ability to tell an epic story without making book huge. (No offense to the other authors I read! I just like a quick read every now and then. But it has to have substance, and Paige really does this well!)

So that’s what’s on the table for me for April. A lot of reading, writing, and then California! I can’t wait to write to you guys about Califronia adventures! I’m excited about it!