So, um, is it bad that I don’t really remember anything from the past year? I’m pretty sure I got married, but that’s kind of a blur. Pretty sure I went to Mexico and didn’t get Swine Flu, but I could be wrong. Honestly, it feels like last year was ages and ages ago, but I feel like 2009 was the life of someone else.

I’m working another crazy week. I am sitting at 51 total hours for the upcoming week so far, but it’s only Monday and I’m sure I can do better, haha. Justin and I are going to look at another house on Wednesday, so it keeps me motivated to keep me working extra. Since moving out of my parents house I never really felt like anywhere else I lived was home. I could say home is where Justin is, and that is true, but our apartment, while pretty damn nice, is lacking something that would make it a home.

It’s really hard to put my finger on it, but I would say that a home needs to reflect the people that live inside of it. We personalized our place as much as we could, but it will be nice to own our own place.

I did not finish Nano this year, I came in about 8k words shy of the target. All in all I’m still okay with that, I never thought I would have ever collected 41k words in the first place. I really plan on continuing with the story and maybe even sending it out later next year.

Bree and I are thinking about co-blogging a food website. Recipes, reviews, and other goodies….now we just need to come up with a name, haha.

I officially worked 53.5 hours this week. I’ve technically been in the building 55 hours, since there where a few half-hour lunches. I’m a little exhausted, a little delirious, but a whole lot of proud. It’s no secret that I would rather get a root canal than come to work 99.9% of the time, but I feel like I helped out when we’re busy, ergo helping the co-workers that I like, and am also that much closer to a house, because, well, that’s a whole lot of time and a half.

Today I’m working 1-10, so I joked with my husband that I was excited for a “short” day. I’ve been working 11am to 12am most of the week. I keep myself occupied looking for houses and writing for Nano, so I still have a firm grip on my sanity.

Speaking of Nano, I blew past the halfway point of 25k words! I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of that sort of accomplishment, I never thought I would actually push myself to hit that point, but I have some amazing support along the writing process, and I’m even beginning to talk about my characters and discuss their background story as though they’re real people….which is either a good thing or a bad thing, I haven’t quite decided yet. 🙂 I do know though that I will finish Nano and I will win. Right now I’m basically pounding out the frame of the story, the minor and major plot pieces, and then I’ll go back in December and flesh it out. One major surprise with this entire process is that the story just flows as I write. I’ve long since tossed my original outline in the fire and haven’t looked back. My characters are suddenly in charge of the story, and I’m simply giving them a voice. I’m immensely proud of how far I come, and once the story is written I want to have the editing done by the time I’m 23 (which lands on the end of January).

As promised, I would also like to share with you my new favorite food, the panini.

Panini!I call this my “grown up” BLT, minus the L, haha. I have found that instead of using butter on the outside of the bread to keep it from sticking to the hot plates, using pam is a fat-free and crispier alternative! I used butter flavored Pam and it was basically amazing. This sandwich consists of lite mayo, bacon, tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, and onion. I’ve also made steak sandwiches with french fries, ham and cheese, and tuna, all turned out amazing. The thing about the panini maker is that it seriously makes the sandwich look and taste like you bought it somewhere like Panera Bread, even hubby agrees. I’ve had a panini every single day this week and am not sick of them because every one can be different, but the easy prep and quick time is always the same. Love, Love, Love!

16,355 words! I am well above my daily word count, but I am terrified of running out of steam. I should not be blogging right now, I should be torturing my main character or something, but I can’t help it. I need a break.

I have found that having a little audience is kind of cool. My husband and a friend of mine are acting as drill Sargents in this writer’s boot camp, err… adventure in literary abandon.

I’m actually fairly proud of my work so far, although not editing along the way is hard; for Nano you’re supposed to basically vomit words out of your fingers onto a keyboard and see what you come up with. Then go back in December and vomit for real at what you wrote….kidding. I think. Anyway, I share:

“I actually have a question for you,” I looked at Michael. He looked back expectantly.
“Who is this Mansel that everyone seems to think is responsible for my situation. Is he nearby?”
Michael’s normally cheerful eyes seemed to darken and harden at the name. “We do not often speak of him around Bellathese.” He replied. His voice seemed to be shaking. “He is the sworn enemy of Rowan’s family, and the feud goes back many, many generations.”
“I was taken aback by Michael’s suddenly cold demeanor. He must have noticed the look on my face, for he tried to relax his posture.
“Would you like to hear a story?” He asked suddenly. “It’s an old story about this very village, beginning nearly two hundred years ago.”
“Absolutely,” I replied. “Tell me.”
“A long, long time ago,” Michael started, “Back when Rowan’s great-great-great….ah, to be honest, very many greats grandfather ruled over Bellathese, he had help in protecting our people by dragons.”
“Dragons?” I asked, “Real, fire breathing dragons?”
“Surely you know of few,” Michael said calmly. “But dragons are very sparse nowadays. There was something special about these dragons, however. Most dragons are very feral, they cannot be tamed and do not want to be in any sort of contact with humans. Not that we can blame them, man has hunted the dragons until there may not be even enough left to be breeding. But the Bellathese dragons, four in all, were dedicated to Rowan’s family and served them loyally. In return the Tuvalui family returned the respect and kindness to the dragons, offering them massive dwellings and offerings of livestock from the villagers. Bellathese was the safest place in all the land, after all, who would want to anger a dragon?”

I know my punctuation and my grammar is off, please be kind 🙂 I also cannot spell, sorry about that as well.

My goal for the evening is another 2k. Off I go!

So I am off to an excellent start to Nano this year. I am currently sitting at 12,343 of 50,000 words. Basically I need to write a total of about 1,400 words a day until the 30th to reach the 50,00 mark. Can I do it? Who knows.

I feel like my book is finally starting to write itself, if that makes any sense. I find my characters making decisions and saying things that I didn’t necessarily have to plan out. I wrote an outline a couple months ago but that’s all blown to hell and for some reason I don’t care; I like what’s going on right now rather than what I meticulously planned out. It’s kind of amazing.

This is one of the scariest things I have ever done. The only thing that might possibly be more terrifying is when I go back to fix all my grammar mistakes and then….send out the manuscript. REJECTION! Good lord I am so freaking terrified about getting rejected by everyone i send it to. I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve always been told I am a good writer. What if the only people who tell me I’m a good writer simply don’t want to crush my delicate little childhood dreams?

Eep. If I can hit the 50,000 word mark by the end of November then I’m going to assume that I was meant to, and will be dedicating a lot more time (and probably a lot more booze…Hemmingway style!) towards getting myself published. Wouldn’t it be amazing?-

Wow, it’s really getting cold outside.

I’ve lived in Pennsylvania for about 99.5% of my life, but every year fall sneaks up and takes me by surprise. I blame my parents. They had me while living in sunny California and then moved us to western PA. If it were not for the fact that Justin lived over here on the East coast I would continue to be bitter.

I’m looking forward to starting my workout routine tomorrow, week 1 day 1 of C25K. I downloaded the itouch app and everything for it! I think I may have talked Justin into doing it with me, but the real test is trying to get him out of bed tomorrow. I’ll probably be on my own, unfortunately. I’m thinking of taking some “before” pictures of myself in the mirror in my bathing suit to kind of keep me motivated. It’s hard to keep yourself motivated with something like this, so I’m basically just going to try every trick in the book and see what happens. haha.

Another thing that I would like to accomplish this year is working on my novel some more. November is National Novel Writing Month. I always want to participate in this, but I usually bail a couple weeks in. Maybe I can really turn over a new leaf and get back to work on one of my life long dreams…publishing a book!