concept: AU where I have enough money that when I’m out of state visiting family I can rent a car and get a hotel room and then go to Wild Ace Pizza and Pub in Greer, SC, ask the thick blonde hostess out and, after a couple of laughs and drinks, ring her southern bell instead of sitting in guest bedroom covered in cat hair posting on Tumblr
Welcome to National Novel Writing Month. Thirty days of madness, caffeine, and writing abandon lie ahead!
you ready to get started on your novel? If you’re me this year, the
answer is “heck yes!” If you’re me from 2009-2014, the answer is…like,
the shrug emoji.
If you belong to the first group, you probably
have a small novel-sized binder of notes, plans, and maps. If you’re
part of the second, you probably have a sentence written on the back of a
gas station receipt, outlining the basics of your plot.
for all of you, NaNoWriMo doesn’t discriminate. It takes all comers and
offers the same prize: 50,000 more words on whatever you’re writing
than you have right now.
Still not quite ready to go forth and do battle? Here are a few tips, tricks, and inspirations for the challenge ahead:
1. “Infinite possibility is a creator’s worst enemy.”
shamelessly nabbed this quote out of Monica Byrne’s brilliant Ted Talk.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing “A sci-fi vision of love from
a 318 year-old hologram” and you have 12 minutes to spare, I highly
recommend it. It is a tiny master class of creativity and character
building. But if you can’t watch it, and can only take on thing away
from this post, it’s this: the more space you give yourself to create,
the more daunting the task will become. The beauty and the brutal
simplicity of NaNoWriMo is that you are bound to a deadline. Suddenly,
all words are good words – or, at least, all words have merit. In
December, and in all the months to come, you can edit and polish to your
little heart’s content. But in November, you will feel constraint and
you will create.
2. Delete nothing
above, “all words have merit?” Your objective is not the next great
American novel. It’s 50,000 words. Nobody has to read them. You can turn
the text white, or black highlight whole chapters (I’m guilty of this).
But you wrote those words. Don’t give them up. Backtrack if you must,
but don’t shoot your goals – or your book – in the foot by editing it to
death. November is for courage. December is for judgement.
3. Give yourself permission to suck
wanted to call this bullet point “permission to fail,” but that’s not
quite it. NaNo isn’t about success or failure in the way we like to
think about those words and their relationship to writing. NaNo is about
honesty, self-expression, and creativity. And the truth is, those
things aren’t always pretty. In fact, your prose this month might by
downright ugly. But what you’re doing is building the marble from which
your statue can be carved. The only failure here is refusing to try,
because embracing the ugly in our own work is hard and scary. It’s okay
to suck. And, in time, you’ll suck infinitely less.
4. Push through Week 2
is NaNo advice and life advice, all rolled into one. Never give up on
something after just one week. Seem like common sense? Probably, but
somehow, every year I do this, Week 2 kicks my ass, and in my region
alone I’m in good company. It’s hard to keep the momentum of Week 1
going, real life starts to tug on our shirtsleeves, Halloween candy
bribes begin to lose their appeal. Stay strong. Push through. Trust in
your outlines and your instincts. You got this.
5. Never doubt that you are infinite
is another quote, belonging to a NaNoWriMo author whose name I have
long-since lost. She said this is reply to a post I made, a
self-depreciating, angsty piece about my failures as a writer, how much I
hated my book, how dumb I was to even try. And this user, among many
others, took time out of their day – and their own frantic climb to 50K –
to tell me something I’ve never forgotten. “You are infinite.” This
story is only one of many within you and it deserves to be told. Maybe
you won’t get it right this time, or the next, or even the next. But
someday, all of the pieces will begin to fall into place and that little
piece of infinity you planted will grow. All it needs is a chance to be
exposed to the light.
Go forth. Write boldly, make mistakes, talk
to other writers, and most importantly, have fun. November is asking
something of you that may seem insurmountable at times. Just remember,
it is the difficult that yields the extraordinary.
Kommo-o is a powerful Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Sun and Moon, and is this guest scientist’s favorite Dragon type. One of Kommo-o’s defining features are its unique scales. These scales are extremely durable, and are responsible for Kommo-o’s attack Clanging Scales. According to Kommo-o’s entry in the Sun version of the Alolan Pokedex, Kommo-o also uses these scales as a defense mechanism in order to scare away enemies.
In order to understand Kommo-o’s defense mechanism, we need to understand the animal species it is based off of. Overall, Kommo-o is based on a Komodo dragon, as its name would imply. Komodo dragons are the largest living species of lizard. They grow to be up to 10 feet long, and can weigh up to 150 pounds. Like all monitor lizards, Komodo dragons are carnivores. They utilize an anticoagulant within their saliva in order help incapacitate their prey. One thing they cannot do, however, is rattle their scales as a defense mechanism. So where does Kommo-o’s defense mechanism come from, then?
As it turns out, Kommo-o’s Clanging Scales attack is actually based on rattlesnakes! Rattlesnakes have modified tails that they used to scare off predators. A rattlesnake’s rattle is made up of keratin, the same substance used to produce human hair and fingernails, and reptile scales, claws, and shells. This keratin is used to create a series of hollow, interlocking segments that are each made of the scales covering the rattlesnake’s tail. In order to make the rattling sound, special vibration muscles located in the tail to vibrate against one another. These muscles are some of the fastest known, firing off an average of 50 vibrations per second, and can fire for as long as 3 hours.
As the rattlesnake sheds its skin, it adds another rattle segment to its tail. However, this is not a reliable indication of a rattlesnake’s age. Their rattles are actually rather fragile, which is why rattlesnakes prefer to keep their rattles above the ground while travelling. However, Kommo-o’s scales are stated in Alolan Pokedex entries to be used for attacking and defending, and make explicit mention of how durable its scales are. This is a logical adaptation for Kommo-o to possess, as its Pokedex entry makes explicit mention of how Kommo-o seeks out strong opponents.
In summation, Kommo-o’s scales are made of extremely durable keratin. These scales work much like a rattlesnake’s tail by acting as an intimidation tactic to scare its enemies, but are equally useful in physical defense as well.
Kommo-o’s scales are made of durable keratin. They produce a rattling sound when it shakes them, used to scare off enemies.
At customer service:
*me, obviously busy doing something important*
Customer 1: walks up to me immediately, throws a bag on top of the other things I’m doing and says “return”, ignoring my greeting
Customer 2: waits at “line starts here” sign 6 feet away silently, I look up, greet them and wave them over, they still hesitate, I have to say “If you are ready I can take you at this register” and then still ask them what they need after that
There is no in between. And I can’t decide which one infuriates me more.
With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up frantically planning, brainstorming, and prepping. Throw that on top of being a student, working full or part time, and well, even the sound of it is exhausting. I didn’t even mention eating, sleeping, hydrating and taking care of yourself in general. If you’re looking for tips on pacing and staying healthy in November, this post is for you.
Pacing and Scheduling Your Writing Time:
You have a whole 30 days to write 50,000 words.
Some people like to write every single day from November 1st-November 30th. That’s a minimum of 1,667 words per day.
Others devote several hours to bashing out a week’s worth of words. That’s a minimum of roughly 11,669 words in 7 days.
But remember! Your story, your rules, your pace. How much you’ll write in a day will depend on you, your schedule, and how much time you can devote to writing.
Now it’s time to figure out what kind of writer you are.
Sprinter, marathoner, or fast walker, in the end what matters is crossing that finish line on November 30th. Realizing your writing pace saves a lot of struggling to fit into a breakneck schedule that might not even be compatible with your pacing. Do you prefer writing for 15-20 minutes at a time? Or perhaps you feel more suited to writing for longer stretches. Once you figure out your pace, you can move on to figuring out exactly when in the day you can allot time for writing.
So now, take a look at your schedule. Where can you fit that desired writing time? Along with your pacing here are a few more things to consider:
Can you write every day? If not, that’s okay!
When in the day, do you prefer to write?
Will you have get up earlier or stay up later?
Where will you be at a projected writing time? In between classes? In a bus/train?
Will you be in an environment that’s conducive to writing?
If you have a schedule in mind already, great! Set alarms, pen it into your schedule, whatever you need to do to remind yourself to get that word count in.
Now let’s talk taking breaks.
We all know that feeling. “Just a little longer”, you might say. “I’m so close to finishing this scene!” It works for only a little bit, but honestly? Sometimes the best thing to do is step away and give yourself a breather. Again, this depends on your writing pace and schedule.
Taking a short break. (Generally 5-10 minutes at a time.)
Listen to a song
Watch a video
Get up to refill your water or grab a snack
Fix that posture/sitting position
Devote a couple of minutes to deep breathing and/or meditation.
Taking a long break. (Roughly 15-30+ minutes).
Watch an episode of your TV show
Take a walk or step outside for a bit
Walk a pet
Text/message/talk to a friend.
Take a nap. (Did you know you can reach REM sleep with 1.5-2 hrs of napping?)
Awesome, so you’ve figured out your schedule! Not so fast! Now that you’ve added more things to your schedule, I have a few suggestions on staying healthy with your new load.
Self-Care during NaNoWriMo:
Hydrating. Just because it isn’t summer (or even if it is, depending on where you are), water is still very important. Every single organ system in our bodies needs water, especially our brains, and we need to replenish it every day! Ideally, you want to drink 8 cups of water per day, more if you’re working out. What about juice? Juice can be great, but I strongly advise not substituting juice for water. Juice can contain a lot of sugar that can lead to sugar crashes. This goes doubly for soda. Also, Gatorade all those other energy drinks? I’d only suggest using those if you work out and need to replace the lost water and electrolytes.
Speaking of soda, step away from that night time caffeine. Put down the energy drinks.
If you like citrus, grab an orange or a clementine for a quick energy boost before a writing session. Your body breaks down that glucose quickly and it gets to the brain within 30 minutes. Plus, you get that daily dose of Vitamin C in and help boost your immune system’s defenses.
If you like tea as a writing drink, I suggest going for something that’s not so heavy with the caffeine. Substitute the black tea for green tea, herbal tea, or decaf.
Napping. Let’s face it, especially if you’re in school, a solid 6 hours of sleep is hard to come by. But did you know, that you can get REM sleep with long naps? That’s about an hour and a half or two hours, to reach the REM cycle, if you can fit that into your day. But even shorter, 20-30 minute naps will help.
Washing your hands. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t just use hand sanitizer (which FYI can really dry out your hands if you use it frequently). Wash your hands with soap and warm water and really lather up. The soap only helps remove any dirt and oil off of your hands. The friction is what helps remove any transient germs. Especially those of you who live on campus at a university, or live with siblings or kids. Humans can be gross! A lot of people don’t wash their hands after sneezing, coughing, or using the bathroom. Handwashing is the best thing you can do to prevent yourself and someone else from getting sick, especially with flu and cold season starting up.
With your writing schedule in hand and a handy dandy waterbottle at your side, you are on your way to having a successful (and healthy) NaNoWriMo!
E.G. Letine is a nursing student by day, fantasy writer by night, and an avid gamer. She has two rescue dogs and an aquatic moss ball. You can find her at eggletine.tumblr.com.
T : “And it’s decided! Joining me in answering your questions from the 20th to the 27th, you have picked Shizuo! Can’t say I’m surprised, he seems like a fan favorite here already… You guys seem to like having him around.
Anywho, you know the deal, if you have a question for either one or both of us – anything you’d like us to do or answer, send it this way! We’ll do our best to get through as many of your questions and prompts as we can during the next week!”