30 November 2015

The end of NaNoWriMo

If you're still wondering what NaNoWriMo is (and maybe how to pronounce it), go here. Beyond that, there isn't much I can do to help you.
Anyway, I can't believe it, but I finished my novel. That's right, I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. As I've mentioned before, the writing is atrocious and little short of deletion-worthy, but editing will fix all that. But first, starting in December, I'm going to edit my first novel. It's going to take a long time. But it will be a nice change from writing over an hour a day. And now that I'm sick of hearing from one set of characters, I can go back to the other. It's really a win-win situation.
My advice to people interested in NaNoWriMo: Don't do it unless you know you'll have an hour a day to spend writing. It's too stressful to try busting out thousands of words in one sitting. And it's not rewarding. The whole ordeal is really only slightly rewarding...you slave away in front of the computer for 30 days and all you have to show for it is 50,000 words of questionable writing. But even though I'm saying all this, I really enjoyed doing NaNoWriMo. It was a fun new challenge, and it taught me a lot about using my writing time as efficiently as possible.
At some point I'll start my third novel...yes, I have an idea for a third novel. But for now I'll be an editor.

28 November 2015

Thanksgiving Festivities

It was an enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend, despite the fact that I got sick on Thanksgiving. But no worries, I didn't get really sick until after Tessie and I sang for 8 am Mass. It was relaxing and fun to spend time with family, cooking while the boys watched football, etc. And, of course, Tessie had a birthday on Friday! She is 15 years old!

The table awaiting the edibles.
The table with edibles and people. 

Playing board games, obviously. I went up and took a nap. 

19 November 2015

Another quiz bowl win

On Monday was the fourth quiz bowl of the season, and my team's second first-place win! Our other team got second place. It was a huge quiz bowl--36 teams in all. I was happy because there were some great literature questions, including ones about Jane Eyre, Gone With the Wind, and The Divine Comedy, with side stuff thrown in about Faust and Paradise Lost. And it was light on the math and science. My kind of quiz bowl!
Photos courtesy of Mrs. McLaughlin.

18 November 2015

The second half...

A few days ago, November 14 to be exact, I passed 25,000 words in my NaNoWriMo novel. That's right, I was one day ahead of schedule. Now my total is around 31,500. I've had a few really busy days and was only able to write 600 or so words.
I can't believe we're in the second half of November! The month is shooting by, with quiz bowls, tests, random events, and TONS of writing. It's fun.
It's strange because some days I sit down to write and feel like I was doing really well, then realize that I've only written 900 words. Some days it's the opposite. On Sunday I wrote 1,779 in one sitting, which was a bit much. The most important thing right now is that I have a writing group to talk to. It makes such a difference when you can talk to other people who are undertaking the same insane task as you are, and encourage one another. It's bad writing. It's awful writing. But, as they say, "you can't edit a blank page." So we're keeping our eyes looking forward, not back (thanks to light gray font), and plowing on despite the disheveled trail of abysmal writing we're leaving. There's always time to edit come December.

10 November 2015

New Desk!

I got a new desk! It's wide enough for both my computer (for online classes) and my laptop (for writing) to fit on it. Plus there's a lot of storage. It makes my room feel bigger, too!

I took the opportunity to do some lettering art on Sunday evening:

08 November 2015

Beautiful Things

First of all, I found out ten minutes ago that I got 100% on my most recent math test. That's my first 100 in math since I started high school!
An old family friend stopped by on her way to North Dakota and spent the night with us. It was a fun, short visit!

Kind of an awkward picture but you get the point!
We went for coffee after Mass this morning.

On Friday we went to Sioux Falls to see my friend's Schola Cantorum (of the Cathedral) perform a Requiem Mass by Cristobal de Morales. (What a name, right?) It was absolutely gorgeous. In each part the soprano voice would open with one line of the chant from the Requiem Mass, then sing the chant melody very slowly while the lower voices filled in the overlapping harmonies.
A lot of us friends met up at the concert.
The program.

The last piece of news is that I made it into North Central Regional Honor Choir! I'm overjoyed and excited to have such an experience. Shoutout to my voice teacher for helping me audition!

02 November 2015

18th Birthday

Today is the 18th birthday of two of my very special friends. This past September marked the 10th anniversary of our friendship...and it has come such a long way! I was talking to them two nights ago and we realized that though we've grown and changed a lot together, it's hard to distinguish specific stages in our friendship. Everything is a blur of laughter, tears, occasional anger, and always love.
One of my worst fears used to be that after college I would lose touch with my current friends. Now I know that's not going to happen. We'll always be there for each other, just as we already have for the past ten years.
And now my friends are 18, and embarking on a new and beautifully unique adventure. Next year they'll be away at college, starting their lives as new adults. I know I'll miss them every minute and cherish the time we have together when they're home on breaks. I'll also probably send them way too many texts asking about college life!
I'm so proud of my friends. Wherever they go to school, that school should consider itself lucky to have such bright, caring, and determined students. I know they will make an impact wherever they end up. I'll never forget the impact they have made on my own life.
Today my childhood friends are all grown up, and I couldn't be happier for them.
Happy birthday, Sus & Ceal!