Sunday, October 25, 2009

NaNoWriMo: The Return

Well, after hemming and hawing for the past week, I've decided that I'm going to do it. Mostly because I realized that one of the statements in my previous post is entirely inaccurate. Yes, it's true that I never plan to write professionally. And yes, it's true that I have far too many interests to devote as much time as I'd like to all of them.

But this -- "I just can't seem to get excited about it" -- this is 100% false.

Why did I write that? I honestly don't know. Perhaps I was just so focused on all the other things I mentioned, and thinking that my life would be so much easier if I wasn't excited about NaNo, and hoping that putting it in writing would make it so. Or maybe, in that instant, I really wasn't excited about it (which seems to be the far simpler solution). I don't know. But whatever the case, once I remembered how much fun it was, I got excited very quickly. And basically over the past week, the two halves of my brain have been fighting with each other, and finally the fun half won out.

Because the thing is, it was never NaNoWriMo that made me burn out on writing and wonder why I spent so much time on something that was "just a hobby." It was all of the other writing sites I got involved with, most of which were geared toward turning writing into a career. And that was never my intention anyway. And suddenly the whole "just a hobby" thing became more of a reason to participate than to not. Because, while several people have gone on to publish their NaNo-novels over the years (including one of the people who got me started with NaNo back in 2005), it's really just wild and wacky fun. And, quite honestly, I could use some wild and wacky fun right about now.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I'm conflicted. NaNoWriMo starts in a couple weeks. (If you don't know what it is, click here.) And a part of me really wants to do it, and a part of me just says, "What's the point?"

I've done this two previous years. My first was 2005, right at the end of my first semester of my last year of college. And I still managed to pull it off. My second was 2006, right in the middle of wedding planning. And I still managed to pull it off. I didn't do it '07 or '08, mostly just because I didn't think about it. But now I am thinking about it, and it's just over two weeks away, and I just can't seem to get excited about it.

See, the thing is, I really do love writing. I always have. When I was young, I wanted to be an author, and I can remember writing stories (though I can't remember what any of them were about, and would probably be horrified to read any of them). I started keeping a journal when I entered high school, then switched to online blogging which I've been doing on and off since college. And, in addition to the two "novels" that I wrote for NaNo '05 and '06, I've worked on a plethora of other things but could never seem to finish any of them. So, I guess the thing I've discovered is that, though I enjoy writing, and keeping a blog is a great way to keep active with it, fiction writing may not really be for me.

It's not that I can't come up with ideas. I've got lots of them. They just never really seem to go anywhere. And I've joined online writing groups and read blogs and taken workshops to help me refine the skills involved, but . . . I don't know. I still wind up frustrating myself, and I guess it just seems like I shouldn't be spending so much time and effort on this one thing, when it really won't make a difference in the long run. It's not like I'm looking to become a published writer. It's just a hobby.

The problem is, really, that I have too many interests. And I seem to go through phases. Right now, I'm in my reading phase. I am reading constantly, and the funny thing is that it all started as a way to help with my writing. But once I (re-) discovered how much I love to read, I didn't leave myself any time to write.

Earlier this year I went through a music phase, where I was basically continuing studying where I left off in college, checking out books and CD's from the library, looking up scores online, even polishing up a composition that I started about five years ago. And, since I hope to eventually go back to grad school and study musicology, this is obviously a very worthwhile pursuit. Writing, as much as I enjoy it, seems less worthwhile.

There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I meant to do this post a couple days ago, but we've actually been pretty busy. (Though I have no excuse for not posting for the entire previous month, other than that absolutely nothing of interest has happened.)

After wanting to get one for about three years now, Pat and I finally got a cat! Pat's more of a dog person but he likes cats as well. I'm more of a cat person but I like dogs as well. (Ironically, his family had cats growing up, and mine has always had a dog.) But since we're going to be in apartments for a while, cat seemed like the better option to start. But circumstances have just never really lined up right. First we were in a very small apartment that barely had room for the two of us, let alone a pet. Then we moved into a bigger place, but were planning to move up to the suburbs soon, so decided to wait until we were a little more settled to get one. Then we moved up here, but had no money. We still really don't have money, but we're more stable now than we were several months ago. Still, we probably wouldn't have gotten a cat yet, if it weren't for the events of the past few months.

Our friends Nathan and Taylor found a cat abandoned on the street back in June. No collar or tag, no ID chip implanted. They asked around at various places but didn't find any reports of a lost cat. And they probably would have kept him themselves, but between the two of them they've got three dogs, plus another couple cats, so they're pretty much at their max for animals. They didn't want to just leave him at a shelter though, so they've been keeping him in Taylor's garage until they could find him a home.

Well, we weren't really in a position to take him, but right about the same time, one of Pat's friends was commenting on Facebook that he was looking into getting a pet. So, they hooked up and passed ownership onto him. After a couple weeks, though, he decides that it's not working out. Taylor was worried that maybe there was something wrong, the cat was misbehaving and causing trouble, and didn't want to pass him onto someone else without knowing what the problem was. But Jon assured her that, no, nothing was wrong. It just wasn't a good fit at the time.

So, the cat's back in Taylor's garage. And, aside from keeping him isolated from the other animals, Taylor and Nathan were both treating the cat like one of their own. He had all the essentials: litter box, food, water, toys. They made sure to go out and spend time with him. It's not like they just tossed him in the garage to get rid of him, they were just waiting until they could find him a good home, one that wasn't so crowded.

Honestly, after all these months I was starting to think that they would just cave and keep the cat themselves. I mean, if they really didn't want him, and couldn't find him a home, they surely would have taken him to a shelter by now, no? Well apparently, my husband the plotter (I'll relate the story of how he proposed sometime) had been talking with them about the cat, and the reason they hadn't either passed him on or fully adopted him is because they were holding him for us, until we could take him ourselves. Which we finally did this weekend. I, of course, was kept in the dark about the whole thing until we were on our way to Taylor's.

It's been a couple days now. He's getting used to us, getting used to the new place. Actually he seems pretty well adjusted, it's us who are getting used to having him around. Of course we're both still completely fawning over him. As you can see, I've been taking lots of pictures. Part of that is because we need to register him with our apartment office (waiting until after his vet appointment Friday) and they need a picture. Part is that I'm practicing being a camera person for when we someday have kids. And of course part is because I want to show him off, even though I have enough sense to know that most people aren't going to care all that much.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the name, Nathan and Taylor came up with that one; they found him in the parking lot of White Castle.