Tag Archives: nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo Fail, Midnight Hobbit Showing Win?

There’s no way I’m going to reach 50,000 words in the few days remaining this November NaNoWriMo month.  I’m okay with the failure, though.  I intend to keep plugging away at my story on lunch breaks and weekends that aren’t already full.  I just wasn’t able to get much writing done at all in the last week, because as I predicted, my dwarf beard project took over.  One cannot commit to two massive time-consuming projects concurrently with any success, or at least not if one also wants to continuing such habits as “sleeping at night.”  So, yes, I chose to crochet dwarf beards and sleep when I wasn’t working this last week.  The beards have a December 13 deadline, and even though I did nothing but work on them through this whole four-day Thanksgiving weekend I only have 1o of the 13 crocheted, and then there’s still the additional, who-knows-how-much-time-it-will-take step of adding yarn “hair” to be braided and styled for each character.  I’m pretty sick of yarn at the moment, and depressed about the likelihood I will be able to finish or that they will turn out looking great.  But, extreme pessimism is a natural phase of my party planning method.  I come up with great ideas, I start executing them, and in the middle I think it’s all total crap and too much work and why do I even bother, but then (usually) it turns out fine.

This is basically what the crocheted structure looks like for all of them, in various colors depending on the character. I think this is Oin’s.

This is Kili’s; I’m cheating and just giving him a goatee because, really, how does one make a 5 o’clock shadow out of yarn?!

Bless you, Balin, and your lack of a mustache, which makes it so much easier!

The one that’s worrying me the most right now is Nori, because I’m just not sure how I’m going to do the three cone things with the hair on his head.  I’m also going to have to crochet eyebrows for that one since his eyebrows are braided back into his hair, which is just so…dwarfish.

Nori character poster from The Hobbit.

I hope the 12 friends that will be standing in line with me will have fun wearing these beards and keeping occupied with themed activities while we wait for midnight.  I’ve started collecting Hobbit-related prizes for people to win, so I’m trying to nail down what sorts of competitions we can have to pass the time.  (I’m also hoping they release some movie-merchandise stickers or buttons or some cheap tokens like that; I bought a calendar thinking I could cut it up into 12 small posters to give out as individual prizes, but the design of the calendar is making that difficult as each picture overlaps onto the date-page beneath it!  Tricksy hobbitses…)

Activities I’ve thought of so far include dwarf markmsanship, (recycling my toy boy and arrow from The Hunger Games premiere and aiming at a goblin target; potential second round could be throwing a foam axe at the target, assuming I can make a foam axe in time…), riddles in the dark, (obviously! Although it probably won’t be dark, and I’ll just have people pull a random riddle out of a jar to test their opponent with so it’s fair and they’re all guessable), a rune memory game, (I’m thinking I could use the Dwarven Word of the Day posts on the official The Hobbit facebook page to create cards where you have to match the runes to a picture of their meaning; I could include the runes in smaller print on the picture cards to make it do-able for anyone regardless of rune knowledge, but people who studied up would have an advantage), and then maybe something like who can pose for the best picture or who can read a passage from The Hobbit in the best dramatic voice.  I want to do something with music, too, especially since the soundtrack will be out by then, but how do you make that a game?  “Describe what you think is happening during this song”, most creative answer wins?  Maybe we can all just sing the Misty Mountain song from the first trailer together.  And for that we all win the prize of being awesome.

As far as themed snacks, I’m trying to come up with a way to incorporate Sting with something blue, like maybe blue raspberry candy canes with handles attached to make them look like swords?  I’m definitely going to have an accomplice bring us hot pot pies to eat at some point, possibly with runes carved into the tops for air vents.  Maybe I could do something with the trolls or the ring, since they’re sure to be in this film and I haven’t incorporated them yet…or Gollum, for that matter.  If I can’t come up with something better, I can always just make sugar cookies in whatever shape is needed, but sugar cookies are so unimaginative!  Maybe there’s a way I can make dwarf axes out of, like, pretzel sticks with candy bars on top?  Help me out–if you have ideas for Hobbit-related snacks, (other than the infamous Denny’s menu), let me know in the comments.

Despite the temporary depression I’m feeling due to the intimidating amount of preparation I need to accomplish during the next three weeks, I’m incredibly excited for this movie to come out.  I watched the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings two and a half times each this weekend while I crocheted, first just with the film, then with cast commentary, now I’m halfway through the director and writer commentary.   I love these filmmakers and I love this franchise, and I can’t wait to see their latest portrayal of Middle Earth while I sit with my face covered in a yarn beard surrounded by fellow nerd friends.  It’s going to be awesome.


Filed under movies, nerd, partyplanning

One Week of NaNoWriMo-ing

Here’s an update on my NaNoWriMo experience after one week of participating.  Because even though I’m behind in my daily word quotas, I somehow find time for unproductive distractions like blogging.

Overall I am pleased with my progress.  Yes, I’m behind, but I’m going to look on the positive side, which is that I have contributed to my manuscript every single day so far except one, (which was Tuesday because I was watching election results.)  I can’t write while I’m at work, but I have managed to get 800-900 words in during most of my lunch breaks this past week.  I’m actually a little surprised at how fast 1600 or so words can fly by, and therefore a little ashamed that I’m already behind, but I just have a lot of other things to do every day!  I’m not going to berate myself for failing to meet quotas yet because I have been dedicating myself to this project for some period of time each day, and I haven’t been on tumblr or started reading any new books since I started.  (For a reward after I finish I’m totally going to start reading A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin).


pic of pagelady's hands on a keyboard

pagelady’s NaNoWriMo-ing fingers


My main concern for not being able to finish on time is another project I’m working on that competes with NaNo-ing for my free time.  It’s on a similar deadline, too; I’m making dwarf-beards for me and 12 friends to wear to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit!  Actually, the deadline for that project feels a little more imminent;  I can always finish writing later, but it just wouldn’t be the same to go dressed up to a movie that’s already been out for a week or more.

Things I’ve learned so far in this NaNo process include:

  • It is easier to get a lot written when I sit down knowing what scene I’m going to work on.  Even if it’s really vague, like, “she finds out” or “they talk about X”.  Now I try to have two or three possible scenes in mind or on a post-it note when I start typing, just so I don’t sit there staring off into space trying to think of what happens next.
  • I definitely see why so many people cautioned “don’t let yourself revise, just keep writing!”  It is so hard not to go back and fix things.  I feel like I’m barfing bad storytelling all over the screen.  I’m keeping a separate word document going in which I include notes for things I’ll definitely need to revisit or change, including names.  A lot of characters don’t have real names and others have names I hate.  I have a file of potential names I’ve been keeping for years but I don’t have time to comb through it right now.  The story must be barfed up first!  I haven’t used it yet, but I’m already thankful for the “find and replace” function.
  • For some reason it is easier to write when my hair is pulled back and my nails are freshly painted.  I seem to be writing a “shiny black nail polish” kind of story so far.

Word Count so far: 7654

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Filed under Books

pageladys Does NaNoWriMo 2012

I have decided to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo, which starts tomorrow.  I have several story ideas, two of which I have been kicking around and fleshing out for a couple of years, and it’s time I get serious about sitting down and writing one of them.  Since I’ll be struggling to get over 1500 words typed each day on top of my full-time job and, you know, life, I won’t be able to blog during November.   I know sometimes I go for a spell without any new posts anyway, but I wanted to preemptively announce that this time it’s because I’m being productive!  Hopefully.  Also, by putting my intentions out there publicly, it adds some external pressure and accountability for me to stick with it and meet my goal.

I don’t want to give away too many details about the story I will be writing, (what if somebody steals my ideas!), but it is fantasy/sci-fi and takes place on another planet which is inhabited by three types of physiologically distinct sentient beings.  It explores themes of cultural division and unity, and of seeking spiritual truth in a world with no scriptures and competing oral traditions.

I *might* still blog some new posts in November, especially the one on the British slang in The Casual Vacancy that I have nearly finished.  But blogging will take a lower priority over novel-writing for the next 30 days!  I will definitely be tweeting NaNoWriMo updates throughout the month as well if you want to keep up with my progress.


Filed under blog