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?-

I recently joined the website Goodreads.com. Good Reads is an awesome community of book lovers, and they seem to have every single book ever written there. They also have nifty little lists people can add books to, I.E. best books of all time, worst books of all time, best fantasy, best romance, worst book of 200x, whatever. I have come to the conclusion that you have officially “made it” as a writer if the same amount of people hate your writing as those who love it.

I’ve mentioned before that I could not get enough of the Twilight Saga. I love it. I love it so much that I downloaded all the books onto my itouch so I can read them whenever the hell I feel like it.

I consider myself a well educated person. I’ve always loved to read and write and probably always will. The Twilight books are not intellectual in any way, shape, or form and that’s not the point. I had fun reading the different opinions on the books on good reads but found myself scratching my head at a lot of the criticisms. One person called the writing amateurish. I’m not really sure how I feel about that. When you’re reading a series like this, or a novel, am I the only one who doesn’t pay attention to the writing so much as the actual story being told?

One of the main reasons I love this series is because it is an amazing love story, one of the best I have ever read. Another reason I love it is because it is written the exact way I would write a love story like this. Stop reading now if you’re sensitive to spoilers.

The way Stephanie Meyer writes about how Bella feels when Edward leaves her in New Moon is the exact way I know I would feel if I were left like that. Zombie. Haunted. Screaming in the middle of the night. I had such a love/hate relationship with that part of the book that I probably cried the whole way through. It was perfect.

One of my favorite phrases comes from Twilight, “Yes. you are exactly my brand of heroin.”

Come ON. Who comes up with that? We all can think of our significant others as a sort of drug, especially those times where you can’t get enough of them 😉 But Honestly, I think that really put into words exactly how I feel in my own love life. I can safely say that besides nicotine and booze I’m a drug free kinda girl, and never went near anything like heroin, but to associate someone you love passionately to an addiction like that is truly raw emotion.

That’s just a couple examples about why I love that series. Not to mention the fact that they get to live happily ever after FOREVER. How’s that for a happy ending?

I love the story. Personally I don’t think the series deserves to be on any bad lists, and I really think the people who condemn them without reading all four are ridiculous. Twilight is the love story we all want, and if we have a love story we appreciate it, if we don’t, we want it that much more.

When I was about 6 I wrote a little story about three princesses. I even drew cute little pictures.
When I was 12 I wrote a goosbumps-like story about friends going camping and a murder
When I was 16, 17, and 18 I wrote short stories and poems about smoking and sex and love, all things I had yet to experience.

Then I went to college, and my entire writing mind frame went to hell. Suddenly I was this small town girl coming to a huge culturally shocking university. I took writing classes. Real, scholarly writing classes taught be real, published authors. I took fiction writing classes, I took creative non-fiction writing classes. I even took every literary history class I could get my hands on. All of a sudden I was this girl sitting in a class with people who had talent oozing out of their pores. I couldn’t handle going from the girl who could write to the girl in a classroom full of people who could write better.

I didn’t start writing again until a month ago. I’ll be 22 in 20 days and I want to be a writer. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on, but I want to be the person responsible for the book you can’t put down. I want to see my name on the cover of a hardback. There are so few things I’ve ever wanted more than this, and I think I’ve finally come to terms with myself enough to really try. I’m writing any chance I get. I stay up late at night in bed making up dialogue between my characters in my head, then furiously typing out the ideas on my itouch or in the notes of my cell phone so I don’t forget. I’m completely obsessed and completely terrified that once I jump in someone is going to confirm my fears from my college classes: That I’m just not that talented.

So, I’m writing a book, it might end up being more than one. I’ve dumped about 10,000 words into my computer and can’t stop. It’s like the floodgates of hell just burst and all I can think about it this one dream that I’ve had my entire life. I’m just so damn afraid that this one big dream I have could come crashing down at any time. It’s not a secret that the world of publishing is cruel. I can handle criticism from those close to me, but getting rejected my an agent or publisher? an expert? I just don’t know. Maybe what I need to find is someone who isn’t quite an expect, but someone who can at least tell me if what I’m writing is crap or if it’s enough to go forward.

Big dreams from such a small town. I’m not sure I’m ready for this, but I think it’s going to have to be sink or swim now or I’ll never jump in.

Stole the title from twilight. Sorry, still a little obsessed. I actually wanted to share a tiny bit of what I’ve been working on lately, my book. Or books, I haven’t decided yet if the story I’m going to tell will be long enough to require more than one book. Anyway, here’s the preface in first person point of view of the main character, Charlotte:

Somewhere in the world is someone for everyone. I have to believe that now, although I did not know that could possibly include somewhere in all the ages, or that I had to go actively looking for mine. I was content with where my black and white life was heading, I never thought there was another path for me. All that changed in an Alice in Wonderland moment, and I have a feeling I will not go back to where my path started.

It’s still rough, but I currently have two chapters done along with a lot of pieces I’ll stick in sooner or later. It’s hard to say where exactly it’s going. I’m working diligently on an outline, that’s one of my biggest writing flaws; I don’t plan where the story will go, I just assume I’ll know when I arrive there. It doesn’t always work so well.

I have a very hard time describing the story. Partially because I don’t quite know what elements I want to include or where I want the story to go. I know where I want it to end, but the journey along the way is the problem for me.

I do have very high hopes for 2009. We’re getting married in August, which is still striking me as surreal. I had all my bridesmaids over yesterday for drinks and meeting each other and whatnot. Three of the bridesmaids I have have been my friends since we were all very young. Tara, Bree, and Kendra I met before my age hit double digits, and of course Lori, my matron of honor and soon-to-be sister in law, who really was on my side and rooting for us to get together, and Brittany, my newest friend who has become close to both Justin and myself along with her fiance. Life is good, really.

Another hope I have to to get myself a book contract. I’ve done some widespread research on it, and I think I’m in for an uphill battle. This is seriously my dream though, I would love to just be a full time writer. Maybe one day!