Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Words of Wisdom

"You were given life; it is your duty...to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight." —Elizabeth Gilbert

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN

What I'm currently reading: Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

Why I'm reading it: I'm a huge sports fan and I've been watching ESPN regularly for the last decade. In fact, it's become my default channel. When nothing else is on TV and I don't feel like watching a movie or listening to music, 9 times out of 10, I'm turning to ESPN. Interested in finding out about the company and some of the personalities I grew up watching.

Financial Peace Revisited

What I'm currently reading: Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey

Why I'm reading it: While I'm still in a safe and protected environment (my mother's spare bedroom), I've decided to learn the proper financial steps to take once I'm (finally) in the real world. I want (need?) the financial knowledge necessary to not make the mistakes that will land me in serious trouble and boomeranging back to my mom's (again).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Words of Wisdom

"Finish each day & be done with it. You have done what you could. Learn from it; tomorrow is a new day." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 16, 2012

NaNoWriMo Pause for the Cause

It's true. I haven't gone anywhere near Mute since Sunday night, so I'm way behind the curve now. Articles being due, homework galore, and overall tiredness are the causes, but I've turned in the last bit of homework that's due until after Thanksgiving so now I have 10 glorious days to focus on Mute and other stories and to make that final push to get my grad school apps sent out by 11/30.

I will reach 50,000 for Mute by the end of my 30 days. I'll just make it to Day 30 a tad smidge bit late to the party with everyone else who's participating.

I'm refocused and re-energized. I've got this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Potpourri Post

A little bit of a lot in this post...hence the name

Currently Reading: 

Bible Reading:
I'm now 2/3 of the way done as I finished Romans yesterday and started 1 Corinthians today. Now firmly in the New Testament, I'm starting to feel some optimism again, but I have so many questions that don't have answers. Maybe because no one who actually wrote these books thought to question or maybe because they had the answer and didn't worry about it, but there's a lot I don't know. I don't like not knowing because how am I supposed to believe in something where I have more questions than answers. I know I'm supposed to have faith and the like, but if I can't answer the questions for myself, how am I supposed to answer it if someone else has something they want to know? 

Well, that's how I feel about that, but as I get further and as I branch out and learn more about other religions and the history of that time period, maybe I'll figure some things out. 

My Gap Year:
Still going strong. Experiencing some rad things, learning a lot, and building my skill set. Can't go wrong with any of that. I've also almost completed my Gap Year To-Do List, which I'm excited about. Should be done with just about all of it in January, but I'm sure there'll be more to add after that. 

Writing:
I'm falling behind in the NaNoWriMo, but that's because I've been making my academic push to and through Thanksgiving. I have a lot due and still trying to put the last touches on M.F.A. apps, so haven't had a lot of time to work on Mute. I have however, figured out a name for the last Creative Portfolio story (Family Portrait), and have figured out the direction I want to go with Monstrosity #5 (the first in a series of stories that I'm calling Prep at the moment) 

Should be done with the last of my work that's due before Thanksgiving tomorrow, then I'll have 9 or so glorious days of writing bliss because as I have stopped doing homework on Saturday and Sunday, the same goes for holidays as well. I will reach my goal of 50,000 words. I'll be a little late and probably working some into December, but it's going to happen.

All for now. Back to homework for me. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Actually got some writing done yesterday. Wasn't sure I'd be able to, but headphones blaring music during "The Walking Dead" and "Dexter"=success.

Yesterday's Word Count: 2,054/1,667
Total Word Count: 7,805/8,335

Getting closer to being on the right side of the total word count line. And I was able to start reconstructing my Creative Portfolio piece. Still don't have a name for it, but at least I have some direction with it. Better than nothing and all good for a Sunday afternoon spent jamming with friends.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 5

Technically, it should be Day 7, but it's my fifth day actually working on it, so I'll just call it Day 5.

Tonight's Word Count: 2,247/1,667
Word Count So Far: 5,753/6,668

A productive Saturday of watching football, listening to music and getting some Mute writing done. I'll be caught up with where I need to be word count wise in no time. I didn't get to my Creative Portfolio piece, but I've got it somewhat plotted out in my mind, which is the first step in any given writing situation. Maybe tomorrow...

Business Day

No writing yesterday either, but for a different reason than Thursday. On Thursday, I did nothing but turn off the light, watch "Grey's Anatomy" and some football. Yesterday, I had homework to tend to. First things first.

But I was also doing something else yesterday: looking through grad school programs. I know I have my Final Four selected, but there's always the chance that I don't get into any of them. One thing I've learned in my life is the need of a Plan B...and a Plan C...and sometimes, a Plan D.

I'll give it three chances. If only because there's only so much money I'm willing to shell out for something that's not going to happen. Then, I'll focus on working towards an M.A. in English that will allow me to teach at a J.C. and look towards low-res or no-res M.F.A. programs because teaching writing remains a goal of mine, and that's something that I'm going to need in order to do this.

So that's why I didn't write anything last night. But I will be a writing storm today, so NaNoWriMo updates will be back on tomorrow.

Catch you then.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Oprah's Book Club List

No NaNoWriMo update today. Took last night off because my brain needed it and so did I.

Anyways, one of my Bucket List items to read every book on Oprah's Book Club original list (not Oprah 2.0...yet at least), so here it is. Found this list on http://bestsellers.about.com/od/oprahsbookclub/a/oprah_book_list.htm 

Those that I've already read are crossed off via strikethrough and will continue to do so until I've completed this task. 

Total read so far: 11/70

1996:
  • The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Deep End of the Ocean by by Jacquelyn Mitchard
1997:

  • The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby
  • The Treasure Hunt by Bill Cosby
  • The Best Way to Play by Bill Cosby
  • Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
  • A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
  • Songs in Ordinary Time by Marry McGarry Morris
  • The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
  • The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
  • Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
  • She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
1998:

  • Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
  • Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
  • What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage
  • I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  • Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
  • Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
  • Paradise by Toni Morrison
1999:

  • A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
  • Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
  • River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
  • Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
  • Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
  • White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  • The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Jewel by Bret Lott
2000:

  • House of Sand and Fog by by Andre Dubus III
  • Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
  • Open House by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
  • The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison
  • Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
  • Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Allende
  • Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
2001:

  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy
  • Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir
  • Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
  • We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
2002:

  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
2003:

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
2004:

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
2005:

  • A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • A Light in August by William Faulkner
2006:

  • Night by Elie Wiesel
2007:

  • The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
2008:

  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
2009:
  • Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
2010:

  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Sorry I'm late. Had to go to the newsroom this morning before going in for my test. Didn't leave a whole lotta time to do my usual morning routine.

Yesterday's Word Count: 1,252/1,667
Word Count so far: 3,506/5,001

A little behind, but now that I'm done with tests until 11/29 and will be finishing this week and next week's assignments today and tomorrow, I have a plethora of time to write Mute. (So glad to have a name that fits finally). This includes two Saturdays, as I veg out on the futon and watch copious amounts of football, so I'm confident in my abilities to catch up with where I'm supposed to be.

Only caveat is that my mind is finally churning on what will become the final piece in my creative portfolio, so some of my attention will be on that as well. Still, I'm almost sure that this time next week, I'll be where I need to be.

Just happy that everything is lining up lovely so far. Hope I can keep it up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 3

Yesterday's Word Count: 2,254/1,667
Total Word Count so far: 2,356/3,334

Today's goal: To be honest, probably won't get to Monstrosity #1 (who now has a name btw...at least for the moment it does: Mute) today because I've got homework due and I'm taking my English TExES tomorrow afternoon. First things first, ya dig? But if I do carve out some time, today and the next few days will be spent reading what I already have, cutting and pasting, and adding/subtracting what needs to be done to make Mute flow well.

Goals Before 11/12 (my first-week-in Checkpoint): Be 10,000 words into Mute and still be somewhat on the plan my outline has created; have those 10,000 words somewhat polished because I edit/revise as I go because I may not remember what I wanted to add or change later on. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Yesterday's word count: 102/1667

What happened: So remember how I said I was going to write Monstrosity #1 once and for all??? Checked to see what I had already written to see if anything could be used in this draft. What I thought would be a dozen or so pages ended up being 70 single spaced pages and 28,000+ words in total. Long story short, writing took a (not so) short detour into Readingville, but for someone who can only remember about 4 or so days from my Lost Summer of 2008, some of the stuff that I wrote was not half bad!

Today's game plan: Finish reading what I have now and see if and where it can be used for where my mind is heading now. Once I do this, I can go back to the writing. The good news is that I'm not starting from scratch. The not so good news is that I may be on this detour for a little bit, so I may not be able to meet the 50,000 word writing goal by the end of the month.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 1

I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month. I know that it started on the 1st, but that was the day I took the GRE and my mind's been a tad smidge bit fried since then, so I'm starting today.

I'm going to (finally) write out Monstrosity #1. I started writing it (it because I don't even have a name for it yet) when I was 14 (was that really 10 years ago???? Getting old...) and after a few reincarnations, haven't really touched it since my Lost Summer of 2008 (when I hurt my bad really badly and spent the rest of the summer on pain pills which has left me remembering not a whole lot that happened).

I have an outline and in my head, I've plotted this entire story about a gazillion times (approximately) so now it's time to write it.

I know I have a lot going on right now, but I've always had a lot going on and knowing how I want my life to go, I'll always have a lot going on. I have to stop using that as an excuse if I ever want to do anything. That includes writing.

So I'm doing NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in the next 30 days. That comes out to approximately 1,666.67 words a day (and now that my GRE is over and done with, may this be the last mathematical problem I ever have to solve!) Some days I'll write more; others I'll write less, but by December 1, I hope Monstrosity #1 becomes an actual story...with an actual name.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bucket List: Volunteer and Career

Last parts! Volunteering and what I'd like to do career-wise, so the two make sense together...

First things first: I've never actually seen "The Bucket List." I actually came into doing this from a show on MTV called "The Buried Life" where they asked "what do you want to do before you die?" My first answer was to live. Then came another idea. Then another. And another. This show and a book that my mentor teacher got me as I was leaving called 96 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime by Rebekah Shardy helped in formulating my rather long list. I have many many many things I want to do before I die and now, I'm to the point where I've split them up into categories.

I'll continue posting as I cross items off, crossing them off on here (via strikethrough) and adding more things to do when necessary (new items will have a different colored font).



Volunteer

  • Donate bone marrow
  • Work with newly arrived immigrants
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen/Meals on Wheels
  • Go on a mission trip
  • Organize a day spa for women living at a domestic violence shelter with services donated from a local beauty school
  • Teach someone, besides a child, to read
  • On the hottest day donate matinee tickets to a movie theater to kids living in a homeless shelter
  • Bring a meal to an exhausted ER crew that’s worked a holiday
  • Serve in the Peace Corps
  • Be a poll worker
  • Participate in an Alternative Spring Break program
  • Help in Haiti


Career

  • Start a non-profit
  • Teach English abroad in Europe
  • Work for a publisher
  • Work for a literary magazine
  • Help students get their G.E.D.s
    Freelance regularly
    Regularly write for a community paper

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bucket List: Places to Go

First things first: I've never actually seen "The Bucket List." I actually came into doing this from a show on MTV called "The Buried Life" where they asked "what do you want to do before you die?" My first answer was to live. Then came another idea. Then another. And another. This show and a book that my mentor teacher got me as I was leaving called 96 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime by Rebekah Shardy helped in formulating my rather long list. I have many many many things I want to do before I die and now, I'm to the point where I've split them up into categories.

I'll continue posting as I cross items off, crossing them off on here (via strikethrough) and adding more things to do when necessary (new items will have a different colored font).



Places to Go

  • Manhattan
  • Haight-Ashbury
  • a film festival
  • SXSW or ACL
  • the Grand Canyon
  • D.C.
  • the Four Corners
  • every Presidential Library
  • travel down Route 66
  • Overseas
  • every U.S. capitol city
  • the Mayan Pyramids
  • Mecca during the Hajj
  • a Drive-In
  • Branson
  • Dollywood
  • Savannah
  • Major Civil Rights locations in the south
  • The filming of a TV show
  • The filming of a late night show
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Seattle Space Needle
  • The Smithsonian

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bucket List: Earn Enough Money To...

First things first: I've never actually seen "The Bucket List." I actually came into doing this from a show on MTV called "The Buried Life" where they asked "what do you want to do before you die?" My first answer was to live. Then came another idea. Then another. And another. This show and a book that my mentor teacher got me as I was leaving called 96 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime by Rebekah Shardy helped in formulating my rather long list. I have many many many things I want to do before I die and now, I'm to the point where I've split them up into categories.

I'll continue posting as I cross items off, crossing them off on here (via strikethrough) and adding more things to do when necessary (new items will have a different colored font). 



Earn Enough Money To


  • Buy a hybrid car
  • Get out of debt (and never get back into it)
  • Help each of my cousins and each of my friend’s kids go to college without having to take out a bunch of loans like I did
  • Financially help friends and family when they can no longer help themselves
  • Donate to a different charity each month without it hurting my budget
  • Live comfortably without becoming foolish
  • Get my mom that townhouse/condo with enough room in the front for a garden but not a big yard she’ll have to be responsible for
  • Have the need for a savings account again
  • Not have to worry if there’s ever a time I’m unemployed for a month or two (or more)
  • No longer need a credit card to use when emergencies arise

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Currently Reading

Bucket List: Things to Do

Rabbit Rabbit! Happy November!

First things first: I've never actually seen "The Bucket List." I actually came into doing this from a show on MTV called "The Buried Life" where they asked "what do you want to do before you die?" My first answer was to live. Then came another idea. Then another. And another. This show and a book that my mentor teacher got me as I was leaving called 96 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime by Rebekah Shardy helped in formulating my rather long list. I have many many many things I want to do before I die and now, I'm to the point where I've split them up into categories.

I'll continue posting as I cross items off, crossing them off on here (via strikethrough) and adding more things to do when necessary (new items will have a different colored font). 



Things to Do

  • Participate in a karaoke contest
  • Drive a motorcycle
  • Participate in a Slam Contest
  • Bungee jump
  • Skydive
  • Work with a community theater
  • Take a film class
  • Publish a novel
  • Get a Tarot reading
  • Get my passport
  • Make a podcast
  • Get an iPod
  • Ride a mechanical bull
  • Go down a zip line
  • Surf
  • Stay in a convent for a week
  • Conquer one fear each year
  • Write an autobiography about the life you didn’t choose
  • Buy one significant piece of original art
  • Lead a protest or commit an act of civil disobedience
  • Mail a care package to a service member
  • Be an extra in a TV show or a movie 
  • Read every book on Oprah's Book Club list (added 11/6)