Thursday, December 23, 2010

My oh my.

Guess who is undergoing major blogger's block? You got it. This blogger right here. Confession: there are currently 82 published posts on this blog, and 97 under my 'edit posts' tab. That means I have 15 unfinished drafts. I would start one, with varied amounts of enthusiasm, and lose whatever vigor I had after typing a sentence or two. It's not that bad of a feeling, I guess. Blogging is way less important to me now than it was a few months ago, thankfully. It was annoying to subconsciously think in blog posts and not be able to do just about anything without thinking about the post I could write about it. :) Maybe you know that feeling.

Anyway, I don't feel like deleting this little ol' blog, because I have put way too much time and energy to do that without being sure to regret it. I like having it; in case something remotely interesting comes up, I can get people's thoughts on it and have the satisfaction of writing something readable. :) {This post is certainly not an example of readability...sorry!}

I will now stop blathering about the intricacies of a blogger's life and move onto a girl's life. Far more interesting, hopefully. *cynicism*

Christmas is very knew that, right? I went to my old friend's house today to walk around in the snow and eat Christmas cookies and discuss the pros and cons of killing characters in your novels. Very stimulating discussion about the "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" movie took place as well! No matter how much I talk about that movie, I still have trouble figuring out just how much I like it. Because I know I like it, but there are some things that really shave off respectability. Like corny green mist. Moving on.

Are you familiar with Arcangelo Corelli? The radio doesn't stop playing his Christmas Concerto, and that's fine by me. LOVE baroque music! The orchestra I was in long ago played it. I hated it then, but that's changed for the better now. :) Why deny myself good music because of petty dislikes?

My newest bad habit: harvesting five or six good-enough looking books from the library even though I have positive mountains of books already at home that I want/need to read/re-read. It has to stop. Right now, I have bookmarks in The Scarlet Pimpernel, I Capture the Castle, IronHeart, and Wuthering Heights. And then there is a delightful book of Robert Frost that I love. Oh, and I am also reading the best book on photography ever written. It's by Chris Orwig and called Visual Poetry. If you have any interst in photography, you will love this book.

News! The role play blog I take part in has a new makeover and lots of improvements. You really should go check it out. :)

I jusy scrolled over thispost and am aware that it reads like I just dashed it off to post for the sake of posting. Disregarding the fact that blogging is not a key aspect in life, I really didn't. I haven't posted in over a week, probably won't for another one or two, and wanted to remind readers that I am still alive and very well. :)

Well, it has been nice to talk to you again and I will see you again in an undefined amount of time! Thanks for being my readers, followers, and commenters-- I appreciate you all very much. And Merry Christmas! Remeber what God did when He sent Jesus to earth--it absolutely blows my mind.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ~John 3:17
~Margaret ~Who didn't edit or proofread this post. Could you tell?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Electric Color

My brother put these lovely lights up in the windows, and I simply love the vivid light they give off in the cold, winter nights and twilights.

This one turned out a bit cloudy, but... I still kinda like the icy color.

Horizontal, colorful, icicles, perhaps?

And yes, my friends, this is a bokeh shot! Bokeh is still a fluke for me, but when get it, I am very happy. :)

My entry for Hannah's photo challenge:

Electric Color

Aspire Photo Challenge

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


1. Violin.

Okay. I like violin. But my recital is in three days, and my piece is not recital-ready, and that is stressing me out a bit a lot. Ugh. But on a funnier note, here is a story: I was just doing my normal stuff the other day when my little sister, Ruth, emerged from the hallway carrying her little violin. "You should name your violin, Margaret. I named mine Susan," she announced. Leave it to her to apply names to instruments at random times. :) So we thought of names for my violin, looking for the perfect one. It needed to be elegant, because I am a classical violinist, and down-home style, because my violin is a fiddle. Now we can't decide whether it should be Clara or Johnny. It's not that bad of a predicament, I guess!

2. Thumbdrives.
I was going to add more to my NaNo novel on Sunday, but to my small horror, the thumbdrive I the keep the file on had disappeared. A mad racing over the house ensued, with me asking everyone, "Have you seen a tiny silver colored thumbdrive? No? Are you sure?" It was awful, but as I continued to search, I started to realize that losing the first draft of the novel wouldn't be that terrible. That made me feel like a traitor, for some reason... But I eventually found the thumbdrive in the pocket of my vest and of course was very glad to have it back. :) Remember this: USB thumbdrives are devious little implements of matter that will disappear if given the tiniest chance. Do not give them that chance.

3. Tangled.
Have you seen it yet? It's really great. Rapunzel makes a lovable heroine, and the details added to the story are just perfect. Good movie. :)

4. Flickr
It's so fun! I started one the other day and have really enjoyed it. But I still have stuff to learn about it, too. :) Click here to see my photostream!
Well, I am off to do algebra, bake cookies, and prepare for a busy weekend. Have a lovely winter day and thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winning NaNo

*Warning: this post is a wanderer*

I won NaNo! It was a week ago today that I officially validated the word count and won, but technically, I haven't attained the title of Novelist yet and don't have those glorious bragging rights, because my novel is certainly not completed. The last place I stopped writing was when Secondary Character is thanking Primary Character for doing something valiant (kinda). Bad place to leave readers hanging.

NaNoWriMo is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and I highly encourage anyone, writer or not, to try it out. :) It's amazing what it can do to your level of jubilation. Before November, I had never written more than eight consecutive pages of anything resembling fiction. But as of November 27, I had over seventy pages of pure imagination. It felt incredible.

After finishing a writing session, I wouldn't be able to help jumping up and down the stairs, almost crowing with satisfaction. My family was a little creeped out, but they are very understanding, thankfully. ;)

Yes, the going was sometimes tough, like the night I briefly took my fists to my computer out of frustration (true story), but altogether, the ecstasy outweighed the misery and it all was amazing. The only thing I am keeping myself in blissful denial over is the fact that my novel is so meaningless it hurts. There are not a lot of solid reasons why any of my characters are doing what they are doing. Yes, I know that this is the first draft, but seriously, I am almost worried about how big the injections of purpose it needs will have to be.

Anyway, I am going to finish the first draft, not let anyone read it, and alter it until it isn't quite so laughable. Then I will pass it on to willing editors (grandparents, a friend or two) and cross my fingers. I am very glad I used a story idea I am not too fond of, because if I had put my characters from The Pace [pet story of mine, but you already knew that] through the humiliation I put Cadish [MC for the NaNo novel] through, I would would never have been able to forgive myself.

Aside from having a good, satisfying time in November, I learned some stuff, too. Like when to indent. :) I also learned that writing to reach a strict word count goal with a plot in mind is detrimental to your sanity. I was constantly worried, especially in the early days, if I was writing too much introductory stuff to get the main plot going before it was too late, or if I would reach the climax by 30,000 words by not writing enough intro (aka blather). But by November 15 or so, I realized that I had committed the former and would certainly reach 50,000 before the climax was within sight. That was a comfort, but also a bit of a let down. Winning NaNo with a gawky, semi-big, unfinished novel is not overly exciting and induces feelings of guilt, for some reason. But don't get me wrong! I am very grateful that I made it with room to spare. Next year, though, I am going to head into NaNo with absolutely no plot or characters in mind. The story will probably need to have a contemporary setting, but I am OK with that. But it will be hard keep my imagination off of that unknown plot for the next eleven months.

I also learned just how much I love my characters from The Pace through NaNo. One night, quite early in November, I was experiencing frustration with Cadish and Company, and, out of desperation for people I knew, I scratched out a few paragraphs for my other idea. Writing with a pencil felt wonderful, but writing the names of Pace's characters felt even more wonderful. (Footnote: writing this post is also feeling very nice, because I don't feel guilty for using don't and isn't instead of do not and is not. It's very refreshing to not need to worry about the meaning of an extra word. :))

Perhaps you remember when Cadish and I weren't on the best of terms. That changed, because she changed. She was supposed to be this regal, perfect, person, but she has turned out quite a bit more insecure than I had envisioned her being. But that's okay. I can either fix it later or learn to live with.

Anyway, this has been a very rambling post and I should stop here. I could write about NaNo for quite a lot of time, but I will spare you. If you got this far, I thank and admire you for your patience! It's beautiful day where I am, and I spent the morning shoveling seven inches of snow off of the driveway with my family, which was very fun, and now I am foreseeing a trip to the library. I hope that your day is a blessed one!

~Margaret R.

PS- Check out the daily quote in my sidebar: A goal is a dream with a deadline. ~Napoleon Hill
I have no idea who that is, but what he said is ideal for NaNoWriMo. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This Christmas

December 1st! Christmas draws near! Everyone I know is excited. I am, too. I love Christmas. But this year, I think that I might be loving it in a different way.

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth. Before it partially morphed into a day in December centered around buying stuff, decorating stuff, and doing stuff that you usually don't do {bringing trees indoors, etc.}, it was for remembering Jesus and the awesome things God used Him for. I have really lost sight of that. Of course, my family reads the Christmas story from the Bible each year and lights Advent candles and keeps it real, but it had become simple routine for me.

Due to changes in the family and such, this Christmas is probably going to be without lots of the usual trimmings, and now I see that God planned things thus so that I could get a really good perspective for seeing the real meaning of Christmas. The Jesus meaning. While family and thankfulness and love are nice themes to attach to Christmas, it is really for the remembrance of Jesus' arrival on earth.

So this year, I am going to look for God's Son everywhere.