One Month

It’s Been Almost A Whole Month…

I fell off the face of the earth again, haven’t I? Sorry about that. Things have been so hectic lately that I haven’t had too much time to do things for myself…like write. Every since school and work started back up again, that’s all I’ve had time to do and to think about.

I got promoted at work. I am now a lead teacher in the classrooms. This also means I’m 40 hours a week. I work 10-6 Monday-Friday. I love it, but it makes me extremely tired at the end of the day. I’m not in the mood to do anything–write, homework–all I want to do is sit on the couch, put my feet up, and pig out while watching TV or playing video games. I don’t want to do anything that requires thinking.

School has been a lot…even though it’s not. I’m taking five online classes. I’m majoring in English, and so far it’s just been a whole lot of reading and no writing. It’s not bad…when you look at the assignments on paper, it looks like a lot, but it’s really not. The only bad thing about it was that school started September 4 and I just finished all my homework for weeks one and two. We just started week three. The reason for this is because my textbooks didn’t come…and I’m still missing one. So it’s not a lot of homework, but it kind of was because I had double homework. As soon as one of my professors found out I had gotten my book, he said, “Great! You should have no problem getting all the assignments done by tomorrow morning.” Um…I had to read like 600 pages, take a quiz, two discussion boards…it was a lot. How am I supposed to get that all done?

But now I’m hoping things will calm down a bit now I have my textbooks. Well…except one. I have five classes, all the homework for each class is due on Sundays, so I decided to work on one class each day. That would mean I would finish my homework for all five classes by Friday night. Not only would I get my assignments done and in early, but this will also give me Saturdays and Sundays off.

Sunday school started, too. Sunday afternoons are going to be spent preparing for the following Sunday. So I guess I really only Saturdays off to do literally whatever I want–whether it be writing or some sort of excuse to not write even more than I already have been not writing.

So, this is what my schedule looks like:

Sunday — Church 9-11:30, plan next week
Monday — Wake at 5:30/5:45am, homework, get cousins ready for school, homework, work 10-6, homework, dinner, homework, bed
Tuesday-Friday — See Monday
Saturday — Hopefully do whatever I want

Seriously, that’s why I have not been writing or updating this thing at all. My life does not include me having a social aspect or creative aspect to it.

With my textbooks and this plan I have for my classes and homework I should find time to write and such. I am going to be writing for at least a half hour a day, though. I have a half hour break at work so I decided to spend it by writing something–anything–in a notebook.

This is all the updates I have for now. I have to get ready for work soon. But I do hope I’m able to start updating this regularly again. I want to get back into the swing of things…that does not include school, but what can you do about that?

The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”

Back To Reality

I Can’t Type…

 

I disappeared for a week, yes. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but I went away on vacation. It was very nice to get away. We had a cottage by the lake, but we didn’t swim very often. The weather was not on our side last week. But it was all good because Kris and I stayed in our room most of the week playing Pokemon and watching movies. We watched Wreck-It Ralph twice, Tangled about four or five times, and the Winnie the Pooh movie about four or five times. It was a good week. That, and we finally got our two cousins into Pokemon. They’re 11 and 9 and we’ve tried to get them into it before, but it never worked because they didn’t understand anything that was going on. They still don’t, but they’re getting through it.

It’s funny because Jackie, the one who is 11, pesters us with questions. She wants to learn everything about Pokemon and wants to do it right. If we tell her to do something differently, she hears us and tries not to do it anymore. For example, leveling up only one Pokemon instead of her whole team. Whereas, Katherine…she’s just going to have to learn the hard way. No matter how many times Kris and I try to tell her that she needs to level up all her Pokemon…let’s put it this way: she was in a battle with an NPC trainer for about two hours. Her highest level Pokemon fainted and the rest of her team weren’t at a high enough level. Not only that, but she does’t understand that she needs to go to the Pokemon Center before they faint. She thinks she’s not allowed to go there unless she entire team has fainted.

This just goes to show that slow and steady does in fact win the race. Whereas Kat is farther along in the game than Jackie, Jackie will probably be the first to beat the game because she’s actually going about it the right way. But at least they’ll both learn…eventually.

Anyway, the sub-title says “I can’t type.” Seriously, you have no idea how long it has taken me to write this post so far…being away from a computer for a whole week really takes a toll on my fingers. I checked my FanFiction e-mail and I have a lot of stories to catch up on for my beta-reading. I didn’t open a single one. I can’t type. How am I supposed to correct stories if I can’t type?

There was no wi-fi at the cottage, but my phone still gave me internet. It was great because I ended up playing my HeartGold version of Pokemon all week and I left the guide at home. I brought my Ruby and Sapphire guide because I had just started playing my Ruby over again. Apparently, I changed my mind. But I had my phone to look up the levels of the gym leaders and such. So I was saved.

But that’s not really the point. I was on the internet a great deal, but it was only my thumbs doing the typing. My other fingers got a vacation and now I’m paying the price. I have a lot of correcting to do for FanFiction, I have my own FanFiction to write and I have my own original novels to write. Of course, none of this is going to happen until tomorrow (at least) because my fingers need to get back into the groove of things.

Speaking of writing…Camp NaNoWriMo? What is that again…?

Ugh, yes, I know. I fail. But at least I got something written. Something is better than nothing, I guess. There’s always November…then April…then July again…and so on and so forth.

Well, I’m home now and it’s back to reality…starting tomorrow.

“The Blank Page” Characters

Adair’s A Freak, Justin Lives Under A Rock, And Dominic Is Actually Normal…

 

Can we talk about my characters for a minute? I wrote half of chapter four today and I quickly realized how…interesting (for lack of a better word) my characters are.

In chapter four, Adair bothers the two boys to read a little of their stories to each other so they can see what each other has so far. I have quickly realized that all of chapter four they’re just going to be talking about Adair’s novel. Each chapter is their next meeting, which is only an hour and a half long. With the conversation they’re having about Adair’s novel, there is no way they’re going to be able to talk about all three novels in an hour and a half. Especially since when they started talking about her novel, they already only had an hour left.

In my last post I mentioned that I might plan our their novels a little bit. Well, I forgot to do that and I remembered when I was crawling into bed. So needless to say, I never planned out their books. As I wrote chapter four, I made everything up as I went along. I had Adair read her opening sentence and ask the boys what they thought about it. Well, I can tell you what I thought about it…it was crap. I read it over and over and over again and I said to myself, “Adair is completely weird.” I wondered what goes on in her mind and then I realized…Adair is me. I’m the one who wrote that sentence for her.

Justin rewrote the sentence for her, which came out a lot better, but Adair was pissed because her sentence was 41 words long and Justin’s re-write was 24 words. Then Justin was appalled because he can’t believe her biggest concern is the word count. And Dominic is just sitting there, along for the ride because he doesn’t want to get involved because he’s smart and normal.

But then Dominic and Justin both grilled her about this novel because it is the strangest thing ever. This is what we found out about the novel: Cerridwen is the main female, Zindel is the main male, the novel is in Zindel’s POV, they live in a forest, the plot of the novel is that the forest is in trouble and Cerridwen and Zindel need to save it, Victor is the bad guy, Cerridwen has the power of earth because she apparently is not human and evolved from a plant…which is why she has vines attached to her hair, and Zindel has a power, but we don’t know what it is, yet. Completely strange/ridiculous/I don’t even know what to call it, right? So Dominic and Justin are trying to make sense of this whole novel and are hoping that she changes it drastically. I’m just sad because my mind was capable of coming up with something like this.

Then throughout the whole chapter, Justin is freaking out about the names. I had Adair use obscure names because that’s just something she would do. But Dominic keeps pronouncing them wrong and Justin is just angry because Adair has names like that when she made fun of him for naming his main character John. Plus, Justin is wondering why the bad guy, Victor, has a normal name. On a random note: Justin lives under a rock. So far throughout the novel, Adair has mentioned Mario and Princess Peach, Link and Zelda, and The Sims games. He had no idea what she was talking about for all of them. He is a 27-years-old man and has never played video games…there is something wrong with that picture.

And the chapter isn’t even over, yet…

So, like I said…interesting characters, right? There certainly is never a dull moment with these guys. I have to give them some credit though because they really are fun to write.

 

2013: 13,193 Words

Day 27

28334/50000 Words

Lookie! Lookie! Look at the word count!

Ha ha, I tricked you…it’s still the same.

But this is okay…even though I only have, what? Three days left?

Let’s start with this: The reason as to why I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I went away for the Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving, by the way. 🙂 The other reason is because, as you can clearly see from the word count, I have not written anything in a while. This is why:

I went onto my computer and I opened up Saving Each Other last week or whenever it was. It is right at the spot where my outline ended. I also noticed that I tried to write a little past the outline. I have three paragraphs about Blake waking up and being bored while Sierra and Luke are still sleeping. Wow! What an interesting read! As I’m reading this I’m trying to think, “Where was I going with this…?” Absolutely no where! So I told myself that while I was away, I would bring my outline and write a little more in it. Then I realized that I don’t know where this book is supposed to end. Saving Each Other is the first novel of five…or six. I’m pretty sure it’s five, though.

While I was away, I was actually a tiny bit productive because I planned out the gist of what is going to happen in each of the other books. So I realized where Saving Each Other is going to end so I can pick up where I left off on the next one. I started to write a little more of the outline again, but I didn’t get very far. I just kind of came to the conclusion that I’m at the climax of the story, so I really don’t think that I have too much more to write. It will be over 50K words, but I don’t know if it will make it to…say 100K or something obnoxious like that.

Anyway, now that I know what I’m going to be doing for the rest of the story; well, I guess I should say I know where to stop, I finally feel like I can continue. My only issue is that I have a little over 20K more words to write and I have three days to do it. I have school work, finals are sneaking up, I’m still working, and all that fun crazy stuff. I looked on my stats on NaNo and it told me that I have to write a little over 5K a day in order to finish on time. Well, this is going to be an issue because it’s the end of the semester and all my professors are realizing that they have a lot more stuff to teach us.

I guess this just means that I’m going to be staying up late for the next few nights. 5K a day isn’t actually that bad. I have done it before. But I don’t think I had school at the time. So I’m going to procrastinate on my homework–I’ll leave all that for December first to do–and I’m going to write in my two-hour break in between classes today. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write at all tonight (long story short, my friend’s cat burned her paw and my boyfriend is the only person we know with an aloe plant). Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have no idea if I’m going to have any time to write. My sister and I have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword a lot lately and we’ve almost beaten the game. She actually has the day off on Wednesday from work so after my school and my work, we’ll probably be playing that all night. Thursday, I think I’ll be good because I just have one class so I can write while I’m in school, then after work I have the rest of the night. Friday…I’m screwed. That’s the last day to get anything in and I’m not going to be home at all that day.

So I basically only have two days to write (well, I could skip playing Zelda, but we all know that’s not going to happen…Link’s too adorable!) and if I have to write a little over 5K a day, then I guess that means I have to write a little over 10K a day. This is going to be an interesting challenge…I also realized the other day that if I really did write 2K words a day this whole month, I would have ended with 60K. Now in the next few days, if I happen to make it to 60K that would be completely awesome. However, I think I’m only going to focus on the 50K. If I go over, that’s cool. I’m not going to blind myself by the computer screen. Well, I guess I already will be by trying to get to 50K.

On a different note, but I guess it can be half-different because this could be another reason as to why I haven’t been writing lately. I came up with yet another series. I’m not surprised though, I always come up with a million ideas that I never finish…or sometimes even start. But I have to say that I really like this idea and it may just be the next thing that I write. I wrote it down plus with a few ideas for it so that I don’t forget it. However, I am not going to say anything about it now because I know that I’m going to end up wanting to write that today instead of writing Saving Each Other.

As stated earlier, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and weekend and I’ll hopefully update tomorrow with whatever I write today. Wish me luck and I hope all of you aren’t as behind as me! 🙂