Camp NaNo: What To Write?


Camp 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015 starts in one month! Can you believe it?

For those of you who do not know what Camp NaNo is or have never heard of it before, it’s the same thing as NaNoWriMo (you write 50,000 words in 30 days) in November every year.

Camp has a slight twist on it because it’s obviously not in November, but in April and July. Also, based on what you write for the month, you have the option to get sorted into cabins. Cabins are a mini messenger system where you can chat with fellow campers; get to know them and their novels, help each other out, compete with one another, etc.

You can’t choose who is in your cabin, but you do have a good say in what you want your cabin to be like. We’ll get more into that on a later post, though.

Today we’re going to discuss what to write for Camp NaNo next month.

Another twist with camp is that you have a lot more freedom–for lack of a better word–in what you want to write. For NaNo in November you write 50,000 words of a novel. Some people don’t follow this rule in which they’re called “NaNo Rebels,” but there’s nothing wrong with that. For camp, you have a lot of flexibility for what you want to write.

For starters, you can pick your own word count. The default is 50,000 words, but you can choose 100,000, 75,000, 10,000, even 123,456 if you so wish. If you think you’re able to hit 123,456 words in 30 days, then go for it! Me? I tend to stick with the 50,000 word count. I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again. Despite that being my goal, I always trying to get a bit higher than that.

You can also pick the category. In November, you’re “supposed” to write a novel. As stated earlier, not everyone does that and that’s okay. With Camp, you actually have the option to do a novel or something else.

You can choose:

–Short Stories

I don’t understand how some people revise for NaNo, but I know it has been done before. I’m sure writing 50,000 words of poetry would be a challenge, too–but think of all the poems you’d get out of it. I’ve written short stories before (for November NaNo in 2014) and it made for a good variety. I came up with many new ideas.

The script was added because April used to be Script Frenzy. It was a sister site of NaNo where you wrote 100 pages of a script during the month of April. I did it for two years before it closed.

With the different categories and the flexibility of word count in mind, do you know what you’re going to write for Camp NaNo next month?

29 more days until it begins.

Be sure to check out my profile on the Camp NaNo site and also add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website!

Character Spotlight: Barney Florence


Questions for the Author:

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

One of the male characters in Detective Florence is Barney Florence, who is the main character’s older brother. He does not have any nicknames.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Barney looks similar to his little brother, George. He has light brown hair with brown eyes so dark you can barely see his pupils.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Barney has a large family as he is one child out of seven. He tries to keep in touch with all his siblings and even his mother, but it’s hard with his job as a police officer. It’s easier to stay in touch with some siblings over others because they work together in the law enforcement field.

Where does your character live?

Barney lives in a small studio apartment by himself. The apartment doesn’t have a lot of furniture and is pretty bland as he isn’t there very often. He’s usually working or he’s out with some friends.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Barney’s biggest fear is getting hurt in the line of duty… again. While chasing down a couple of robbers, Barney was shot in the leg. He had to take leave from work for a few months. When he came back, he started off staying in the office doing paperwork afraid to get back out onto the field. He has worked his way up yet again and is now a police officer once more.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Barney has never been in love or had a broken heart. He tries to go out as often as he can and meet new people. Being in his early 30s, he really hopes to someday get married and start a family.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Barney always dresses up. If he’s not in his police uniform, he’s most likely in a suit or slacks. It’s very rare to see Barney in jeans or sweats.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

Barney enjoys watching criminal shows on TV. He enjoys watching the mystery and thriller movies in the dark with a big bowl of popcorn. However, he tends to rope others into watching these movies with him because, to him, it’s a lot more fun with other people.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Barney is serious at work and he gets stressed out easily. When he’s stuck on a case, he internally panics. He tries to hide it, but most people know by the look on his face. However, he does a good sense of humor and knows how to have fun with family and friends.

Questions for the Character:

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I think my greatest achievement would be going to back to work. I know that might seem a bit odd, but when I got shot in my right leg, it was questionable if that leg was going to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. Thankfully, my leg healed nicely and even though I was nervous about going back to work, I stuck it out because it’s what I love to do. I climbed the ladder again and I’m back where I belong; out in the field.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I hate unfinished paperwork. Most people hate doing paperwork at work because it’s tedious and time consuming, but I actually don’t mind it. It really irks me when I’m delayed in finishing my paperwork. I’d rather fill it all out right away while the information is fresh in my mind.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I don’t have any regrets that I can think of. I’ve always done what I thought was right at the time, so I don’t think that’s anything to worry about. You can’t fix the past and worrying about the past certainly isn’t going to help improve your future.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m very efficient. If there is something that needs to get done whether it has to do with work or not, I’ll get it done right away and I’ll do it right the first time. That’s why my mother calls me all the time if she needs help with something because she knows that I’ll come help her right away.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I work too much. I can admit that. I’m barely home because I’m always putting in overtime at my job to solve a case, finish paperwork, or help someone else with something. The chief has actually had to tell me to go home on some nights because he would catch me sitting at my desk doing research for a case or something of the like.”

What is your hobby?

“I love watching mystery movies. I don’t know if watching movies can be considered a hobby, but I love solving mysteries. I try to find new mystery movies often for a fresh case.”

Who do you most admire?

“I admire my mother the most. She was the one who always encouraged me to go through with law enforcement. She took care of me when my leg was injured and she pushed me to go back to work when I was just about to give up. Plus, she took care of me and my six siblings all on her own. That alone deserves a gold medal.”

Babies And Video Games


Friday: What did I do Friday? Well, I went to work and constantly checked my phone. Thursday night my friend went to the hospital to be induced. The meds to induce her were not working so instead of texting her sister, “was the baby born?” I had to ask, “is she in labor yet?” After work, still constantly checking my phone, I worked a bit on my blog and did my Sunday school lesson plan for this Sunday. I also organized some stuff around my desk. It was very riveting.

Saturday: You ready for this one? Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning, like every Saturday. We got some writing done. I wrote a bit of Detective Florence — just a quick story about the characters, it’s not in any of the novels… although it might be someday. Then we walked around looking at books and decided that we haven’t gotten any books in a while. Kris bought two books and I bought one.

Then we went to Kohl’s because even though I just bought new clothes, I needed more pants. Two pairs of jeans ripped in the rear so I had to throw them out. I also got socks, too because I’m always putting holes in mine.

Then we went to Toys R Us in search of a Wii U SD card. They didn’t have it, but we gawked at all the games and ended up buying two new games for our XBox 360. One of them is Minecraft… yes, we finally gave in to that fandom.

To keep a long story short, we tried to play multiplayer, but one of the controllers died. Actually died, not just the batteries. We went out to Toys R Us again to buy a new controller. They didn’t have them. So, we went to Gamestop and bought one. We went home and discovered that in order to play multiplayer on Minecraft we need an HD port and since our XBox is old, it doesn’t have that. In other words… we fail.

In other news, after being 11 days overdue and being in the hospital for three of those days, my friend finally had her baby Saturday night! She is adorable and I can’t wait to meet her so I can spoil her rotten!

Sunday: We went to church and were there for an extra two hours because we had our annual meeting afterwards. It was long, but I can’t complain. We came home and I helped my dad clean up some of the basement. Whenever this snow melts, we’re most likely going to get flooded. Then I worked some more on my blog.

This Week: I’m going to continue working on my blog posts. I want to get my March posts written as soon as possible to leave room for other things like writing/editing.

I have to edit the first chapter of the second draft of Detective Florence by March 15 to send to my local writer’s group. I have to figure out what I’m going to write for Camp NaNo next month (yes… it’s already a month away!) and I have to outline whatever it is I’m going to write.

I actually have a lot going on in March when it comes to writing and blogging. It’ll be interesting to see how it all goes.

How was your weekend?

Short Story Sunday #46

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Everything was a mess. She walked around the entire house pursing her lips and shaking her head in disgust at the mess. Dust clouded every area of the rooms and dirty clothes were scattered about.

“What is wrong with your face? You look like you’re going to be sick.” A young woman, who was sitting on the couch with a cluster of magazines around her, giggled.

“I think I just might in fact get sick, Dorothy. However, I do not dare to enter the bathroom and see what that looks like.” The older woman sneered.

“What’s wrong, mom?” Dorothy titled her head to one side in confusion.

“Have you looked around your apartment lately? How can you not see what is wrong?”

Dorothy scanned the living room with her eyes and then shrugged her shoulders. She looked back up at her mother her face still showing confusion.

“It’s a pit!” her mother rolled her eyes. “When was the last time you cleaned up this place?”

“I have only been living here for a month, Mom.” Dorothy defended herself. “I haven’t really done any cleaning because I haven’t made so much of a mess yet.”

Her mother’s jaw dropped. “A month is a long time to be living someplace and not clean it up. I’m sure you’ve used everything in this apartment to make it messy. You mean to tell me that a ghost has been eating your food and leaving the dirty dishes in the sink? You mean to tell me that you haven’t worn any of these dirty clothes that are scattered all over the floor? You mean to tell me that all the dust around the entire apartment was already here when you moved in? If it’s not your mess, you don’t have to clean it up?”

Dorothy slowly stood up from the couch and held out her arms in defense. “Mom, calm down. I just didn’t think I really needed to clean anything up just yet, that’s all. I know it’s a bit dusty in here, but I haven’t had the money to go out and buy a vacuum. The rent has been really weighing me down.”

“Then ask for help with money.” Her mother took a deep breath and shook her head once more in disgust. “And you don’t need a vacuum in order to dust…”

“Right,” Dorothy cleared her throat and turned away in embarrassment.

“Have I taught you nothing?” her mother sighed. “I thought that you would be able to take better care of yourself and your place. I thought you would be much better off living on your own. I didn’t think that I was going to have to come by here every single weekend and help you clean the place up.”

“Who said anything about you visiting every single weekend?”

“Apparently I’m going to have to come by all the time in order to help you keep order of the place. The kitchen should always be spotless, the living room should be dust-free, your clean clothes should be pressed and hung neatly in the closet, your dirty clothes should be separated in a hamper for whites and a hamper for darks, your bed should always be made–”

“Mom,” Dorothy let out a deep breath of exasperation. “I think you’re getting a little too carried away with this. This is my house, not yours. I can have it as clean or as dirty as I want.”

Her mother lifted an eyebrow.

“Of course I would rather keep it clean than dirty,” Dorothy continued, “but lately I have been really busy between school and work to clean up the house. I go to school then go straight to work and by the time I get home, it’s past dinner. I just throw my stuff anywhere and eat while doing homework. Then I go to bed and I have to do it all over again the next morning. I just don’t have the time to really invest in cleaning the house. Plus, I don’t have the money because I make just about as much as my bills are.”

“Then I will hire you a maid.” Her mother smiled. She pushed some magazines out of the way and sat down on the couch. “Your father and I have been doing very well lately with his latest novel. We could give you money, but–”

“No,” Dorothy shook her head. “I appreciate the offer, but I don’t want you and dad to help me out with any money issues I have. I moved out to be on my own and I want to be a responsible adult.”

“Responsible adults keep their houses clean.” Her mother stated and then quickly added, “can we at least get you a maid? Then you will have some help when you need it.”

Dorothy took a deep breath. Then she slowly nodded her and head and smiled to her mother. “Yes, I think that would be alright. Maybe we can get someone to come in once a week. I can try my best to keep the place clean, but the maid can come in once a week to clean whatever I haven’t been able to get to. Or maybe the maid can just re-clean what I have done to make sure that I did it properly.”

“So it’s a deal, then?” her mother smiled. “You want to have a maid? Your father and I will pay for it. Is that okay?”

Dorothy nodded her head.

“Excellent,” her mother stood up and headed for the front door. “I’ll go home and tell your father. We’ll hire someone together. When would be a good day for you to do interviews with the potential maids?”

“How about next weekend?” Dorothy suggested.

“Wonderful!” her mother left the apartment.

Dorothy watched her mother leave and sighed. She looked around her apartment and then realized what a mess it was. She couldn’t believe that she had allowed her mother to see her house like this. Without hesitation, Dorothy began to clean.

My Year Of Meats By Ruth L. Ozeki

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Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ruth Ozeki’s mesmerizing debut novel has captivated readers and reviewers worldwide. When documentarian Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job producing a Japanese television show that just happens to be sponsored by an American meat-exporting business, she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone called DES. Soon she will also cross paths with Akiko Ueno, a beleaguered Japanese housewife struggling to escape her overbearing husband.

To be honest, the summary makes the novel sound better than I think it really is. I had a tough time reading through it.

At 361-pages, there are 12 chapters. Each chapter bounces back and forth between the characters’ point of views. There are three different female characters we follow, but one character is only followed two or three times throughout the book. The other two bounce back and forth; one being in first person, the other being written in third person. Sounds confusing? It is.

We follow Jane Takagi-Little through her journey of “meats” where she documents for a Japanese television show. Through this, she meets a woman named Akiko Ueno and discovers she is having problems at home with her husband. Jane also meets other women and discovers they have problems of their own due to the meat industry. Jane herself ends up running into a bit of trouble.

A huge theme of this novel is feminism. We follow most of the female characters and the men in the book aren’t exactly “women-friendly.” The point of the Japanese TV show is to have the “perfect” family with “attractive” wives.

I couldn’t attach myself to most of the characters. I didn’t create that character-reader bond with any of them. I felt a little sorry for Akiko, but I think that was mostly because that poor woman just could not get a break. Ruth Ozeki really made that character suffer and didn’t let up one bit. The characters drive the story and if I don’t think the characters are likable, then I’m not going to enjoy the plot.

My Year Of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki gets 2 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm. –Ruth L. Ozeki, My Year Of Meats

Reading Takes Us Places


Via Pinterest

Via Pinterest

February: Thrift Shop


For February’s #YearOfHappy I’m supposed to go to a thrift shop and buy something for myself that happy me happy, no matter how weird it may be.

Well, lucky for me, my church has a huge thrift shop. It has clothes and shoes for men, women, and children, toys, books, jewelry, handbags, small furniture, blank cards, little trinkets and figurines, CDs, DVDs, etc.

It’s open every Friday morning, but I always browse around Sunday morning before Sunday school starts. The store is a hit or miss; sometimes I find a few things I want and other times I don’t.

However, I kept a special eye out this time. I wanted to buy something new for myself and this post, even though I just bought some new clothes which made me extremely happy.

Guess what I found?

A couple of Pokemon toys.

Yep; I bought two small Pokemon figurines.


If you know me at all, you know I love Pokemon. I have most of the games, hoping to one day get all of the games (but the older they get, the more expensive they are). I have a few stuffed animals, a bunch of figurines, and of course a ton of Pokemon cards.

I like to collect everything Pokemon even though I don’t really use them. I just like to have them. Every once in a while, if I need a mindless, relaxing activity, I will sit in the middle of my bedroom and reorganize every single Pokemon card I own… it takes a long time.

It’s a weird hobby, I know.

I don’t usually buy this stuff for myself because it’s not something I need. I’m still paying off my school tuition and I’m trying to save up for a new car. So, if there’s something Pokemon related that I really want I’ll ask for it as a birthday gift or maybe buy it myself if I have a gift card.

So, when I found the Pokemon figurines at the thrift shop I was super excited!

I bought the only two there and ended up getting them for free. The ladies who run the thrift shop didn’t let me pay because I already do so much for the church, which was very nice of them.

If you’re joining in on the #YearOfHappy challenge, I would love to hear about what you bought this month.

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