NaNo Blues

I’ve hit a low in my novel writing venture.

I’m blogging instead of noveling.

And I’m listening to Shawn Mendes.

Usually not my style. Usually I’m more of an indie rock “let’s go get ’em, guys” sort of music style; you know what I’m talking about. I guess I’m feeling self-pitying.

Here are some excuses for why I am not writing:

  1. I could be blogging
  2. I’m at exactly 21,256 words. That’s behind where I should be at, but, hey, that’s enough words, right?
  3. I could be experimenting with boy bands. Do I really dislike them as much as I think I do?
  4. The answer to the above is yes
  5. I’m going to catch up tomorrow. I swear
  6. I thought of another novel idea. It’s probably better than what I am currently writing. Anything would be better than what I am currently writing
  7. I could be doing literally anything other than write a novel.
  8. When I say literally I mean figuratively
  9. I could be naming all of the things that I could literally be doing. Like some of the above and a whole bunch of other things not including scuba diving

Those really aren’t excuses now that I look at them. They’re more like whines or complaints. Or jumbles. Just like what my novel.

Supposedly, this is the week that most NaNoWriMo writers struggle with the most. I hope that is the case and it won’t be like this for the rest of the month. I’m sure I could muscle through some painful writing all month. Afterall, I’m a pretty badass writer. I prefer not doing that, but I could.

Well, I have to go. I haven’t memorized all the lyrics to Stitches yet.


Filed under Stuff, Uncategorized

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I have decided to write a 50,000 word novel in a month this November. It is a long tradition that I would like to be apart of called NaNoWriMo.

I am terrified.

Not that normal writing is all that hard for me, but novel writing? That’s crazy. And 50,000 words in a month? Even crazier. That comes out to 1,666.6666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666667 words a month! That’s so crazy it’s literally impossible!

Despite all of the insanity, I have made up my mind to write a novel even in the face of seemingly inevitable failure. And I am afraid of failure, so I am going to work like my life depends on it.

Which is why I will probably not write many, if any, blog posts in November. Sorry, adoring public.

I’m sure you are wondering what I’m going to write about. Well.

I have no idea what I will be writing.

My original idea involved Shakespeare, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and college students. Most likely there would have been some witches (because college students aren’t that interesting) and someone would die by overexposure to puns (to keep things realistic).

I thought of this idea near the beginning of October. I had been brainstorming and planning and making outlines and doing all sorts of similar boring stuff.

Now, a week before November, I don’t want to write that story.

It was when I was rereading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, then reading the Welcome to Night Vale book all while listening to Steam Powered Giraffe. I suddenly realized:

I want to write about robots and aliens and a time line that leaks through the pages and into a parallel universes.

That’s it. That’s the whole idea. No setting, no characters, no plot. Just robots and aliens and time is weird. It sounds pretty great to me.

Let’s be honest, nobody wants another college coming of age book. There are way too many already and there is probably a law that says romance is required. I am really, really bad at romance.

When I think about it, my favorite books, and even my favorite music, always had a touch of chaos and nonsense spattered with dark humor. And they always say, write what you know.

So that’s what I’ll be working on this next month. I’m pretty sure it will be a bestseller.

Of course, I am not only dreading this next month. I probably wouldn’t be doing this unless I really wanted to be a novelist. I’ve had this dream ever since I read The Little House on the Prairie books when I was about ten. Now I am finally going to give myself the chance to achieve my dream.

Maybe that’s the root of my fears: I am afraid that I will fail my young self by being terrible at writing fiction. Then I will be a failure at life and never reach for another dream again.

But who cares? Who needs dreams anyway? I’m hoping the process will be enjoyable enough that any disappointment at the end will be a bit softened.

Well, so long until December. Unless I’m too ashamed to write another word for the rest of my life.

But that won’t happen, right?



Filed under Stuff


Oh, boy.

I was going to write a post today. But I currently have a hangover.

At least what I assume a hangover feels like; I’m not as much of a rebel as I to pretend to be.

In fact, to emphasize my inability to be a true teenage rebel, my “hangover” is caused by a weekend long retreat.

My church’s women’s retreat.

But hey, it was really crazy. Like there was a dance party and stuff. Of course, even though I was the youngest person there, I slept on the couch through the whole thing. But I did eat a ton of chocolate. I almost got a sugar high. It was craaaaazy.

I’m trying to think of a name for this sort of hangover. I almost called it an “introvert hangover,” but an introvert hangover would be more like, “Whoa! I’ve read so much Shakespeare today, I can’t remember if people normally speak in verse!”

So I’ll call this a social hangover. And man, it’s terrible. Headache, stomachache, exhaustion, weepy eyes.

There is no cure other than a really risky one. I might end up with the other type of hangover. But I’m going to risk it all.

Shakespeare it is.

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My Brutally Honest Mother

I thought of a great new series for this blog: horribly sarcastic things my mom actually says to me.

Actually, to be honest, it was her idea.

Let’s jump right in to the first issue:

The setup: Feeling bad about myself and complaining that I was never going to go to college because “I am too stupid,” my mother said in a scornful voice,

You’re totally stupid. You just proved it by saying that you’re stupid.

The setup: We were getting ready for dinner, and I was serving the spaghetti. I was also daydreaming, so I slopped the spaghetti around onto plates and onto the table. When my mom asked me to stop doing this, I said, “I’m pretending to be a ship’s cook… I probably make food as well as a ship’s cook serves it.” My mom said,

You’ve got that right.

The setup: During dinner I was complaining (once again) about how the main side effect for my current medication is acne. All my mom said to comfort me was,

Really? I just thought you weren’t showering.

So much charming, motherly encouragement. I’ll have to keep all these sayings in mind next time Mother’s Day roles around. I’ll crochet them on a pillow.

I want you to know that never once in these examples did my feelings get hurt. I am too sure of her love, respect, and affection for me to get offended or take her seriously.

And now you know where I get my sense of humor.


Filed under My Brutally Honest Mother

My Other Car is a Big Fat Van

Today I drove my family’s big rig, boat, whatever you want to call it.

In other words I drove the big, fat, white twelve-passenger van named Gringo Grande that we must use to caravan the whole family.

In case you didn’t get the memo, my family is fairly ginormous. There are eight kids in all if you’re not counting my sister-in-law. We usually count her.

I was driving our van because the other cars were already taken. And I wanted a coffee. The basic white girls up here in the Pacific Northwest generally go to Dutch Bros. instead of Starbucks. According to some people I know, all you have to do to be labeled a basic white girl is drink coffee . So that’s what I am. As is my mom. (But seriously guys, stop calling girls basic. Nobody is basic.)

This Dutch Bros. drive-through was impossible to get into. It wasn’t even a drive-through. It was more of a drive-around-this-hut-in-a-tight-circle. I went all the way around once and then had to back up in order to get next to the window. No big deal. You get used to that sort of thing. You have to be really good at backing up to drive a van like that. The guys at Dutch Bros. laughed the whole time, but I’m a dignified woman who is rarely affected by other’s opinions.I kept cool.

Only my face burned up.

Once I was close enough to order, the guy not making coffee leaned out the window to talk. Or should I say flirt.

(Can I use this time to complain about flirty dudes? I guess it’s okay in certain circumstances, but while I’m trapped waiting for a coffee I already payed for? That’s an injustice.)

Of course he asked what was up with the van. I briefly explained that my family was on the big side (Stop laughing. Not as individuals. As individuals we are on the thin side). He immediately asked if I was Mormon. (Maybe that was a deal breaker for him.)

Now, I have nothing against members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. It’s just that I am not a Mormon, and it peeves me when people are nosy about personal information. More annoying is when these people assume that the only reason someone would have a big family is because their religion commands them to. This stereotype is not only reserved for Mormons; Catholics, Muslims, etc. are grouped in as well.

Why don’t other more “normal” people have big families?

Why is it that only families that belong to extra conservative sects of conservative religions want to have more than the national average of 1.87 children?

Probably because large groups of children are ridiculously crazy and hard to deal with.

But what is often overlooked is how marvelous, wonderful, and good for families having lots of siblings can be.

I am the second oldest in my family, and now that my brother is married, I’m basically the eldest. Most people pity me because they assume I have too many responsibilities, that I don’t get enough attention, and I don’t get to do fun things that other eighteen-year-olds do. Nope, nope, and nope.

I adore being the big sister of six people.

Of course it’s sometimes hard, and it especially was when I was young and immature. Now I almost always enjoy it. I enjoy the respect I get from my siblings; I worked hard to get that respect and I think they honestly like me. Nothing builds confidence better than a whole clan of people looking up to you.

I have had so much practice being a leader that it comes naturally to me. Being able to lead and speak to a crowd is a skill that has already served me well throughout my young life.

I understand different personality types so much better than I would have. For example, my sister, who is closest in age to me and is my roommate, has the exact opposite personality to my own. If we weren’t sisters and we met each other in different circumstances, we would probably write each other off as crazy and not even attempt to become acquainted. Instead, we are best friends. I can’t imagine being closer to anyone else.

There are many, many more benefits to big families, and I didn’t touch on how great it is to be one of my younger siblings. But it has to be awesome. Sometimes I’m so jealous of my siblings because I don’t have an older sister that is as awesome as me.

An amusing discussion I had with my roommate demonstrates how much we believe in the value of family. We were talking about all the weird and sad people we know and how their weirdness and sadness could have been avoided. Our conclusion was, if they had more siblings most of their problems would be solved. Throw an extra sibling into the mix and family life will immediately improve. Guaranteed. (There is no way to scientifically test this theory, so we are going to assume it is an entirely accurate conclusion.)

Girls with brothers aren’t as catty. Boys with sisters are better at communication and relationships. Of course these are over generalizations, and there are plenty of men and women who have acquired these virtues in other fashions, but in my observation, these things are usually true.

[Disclaimer: I didn’t raise me or my family so maybe all of these benefits are because my parents are magical miracle workers. Maybe all of us children are simply magical miracles.]

So Mr. Dutch Bros., I’m not Mormon or Catholic or crazy. My mother is not a “baby making machine” as one person once said. Neither does my father have strange beliefs dating back to more chauvinistic time periods. We just love human life. And those human lives make my boat totally worth it.

Now get out of my face and give me my coffee.


Filed under Storytime!

Shakespeare Meets the Doctor

Of late, wherefore I know not, I have been inundated with Shakespeare.

That’s not true. I know why exactly.

Shakespeare is crazy awesome.

Originally, I was going to write this post about Hamlet or about scholarly something-or-others. But last night I saw something that changed all of that: Much Ado About Nothing starring Catherine Tate and David Tennant. (Otherwise known as the Doctor and Donna.)

The Doctor and Donna

Of course I wanted to watch this because Much Ado About Nothing is one of the first plays I ever read. David Tennant was my first Doctor and my first Hamlet, so I feel very affectionate towards him. Catherine Tate was my first and favorite (?) Doctor’s Companion. Now she is one of my favorite actors.

When something like this Much Ado About Nothing comes along, you should always prepare yourself for disappointment. It is probably too good to be true. If you are prepared, you won’t be devastated if it is disappointing, and you have plenty of room for pleasant surprises.

The play began and I thought it was in modern English. Disappointing. But then I realized that Catherine Tate’s acting made Shakespearean English so understandable that my brain assumed it was in modern English. Pleasant surprise.

This version of the play made me adore Beatrice, and Benedick, all the more. Their love story is adorable and their battle of wits is admirable.

This picture sums up their entire relationship

This is a picture of Beatrice and Benedick’s relationship

I even liked Constable Dogberry in this version. (The bumbling officer that takes way too much time to say anything.) And I almost liked Claudio! (The jerk with the happy ending.)

My favorite line in this play was probably when Beatrice was yelling at Benedick. (That could be every line in the whole play. I mean specific line.) This time she is shouting about Claudio,

“O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace.”

And Benedick has this face:Tennant's Benedick

Which I will interpret for everyone:

“Beatrice, dear. I don’t know what kind of men you have met, but we don’t generally do that sort of thing.”

Oh, Beatrice: I love thee too much.Gansta Beatrice

Shakespeare died in 1606. For those of you who don’t understand math, that was 409 years ago. And yet, here I am, an eighteen year old with access to a billion cat gifs, laughing out loud at centuries-old jokes. There is only one explanation for this.

Shakespeare is a genius.

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Ha Ha! Just kidding!

I couldn’t remember what my last blog post was about, so I just now checked. I didn’t read it. I only saw Sherlock jumping up and down, and it made me laugh.

Because I had been crying.

That’s the funny thing about mental illness. As soon as you say you’re doing better, you’re not anymore. That’s why it’s hard to give any news on progress.

“Better” can mean so many different things. Better could mean equal amounts of good days and bad days… or fewer good days than that. It could mean doing really, really well for a week and then going down in a blazing, explosive crash on the weekend.

Setbacks are normal; I have to keep reminding myself that. They can happen because I need to adjust some meds or because I need to chill out and stop taking on too much too soon.

But more often than not, setbacks just happen. Progress likes to move slowly. And it likes a lot of false starts and then false falls. That jerk.

So I guess my point is don’t trust anything I say. Or nothing is sunshine and rainbows. Or something.

Actually, I don’t think this post has a point.


Filed under Depression