TricksToTrade

Trading tricks since 1989

Did that just happen…2013 in review

So much for my last post. I had definitely not planned on taking an even longer hiatus. In April of 2013 I got a new job and have had a lot less time for my writing this year. I did however make a lot of time for my relationship, my friends and family, my new job, my old job and traveling so I can’t say that I am disappointed that I haven’t written much. But I can say that I miss it, and I want to make the commitment for 2014 to myself that I will make more time.

Two things have come up in the past couple of weeks – one is that my boyfriend and I will be buying a new computer which means I won’t be stuck using a laptop from 2006 and might actually want to spend time on my computer. And secondly, a close friend and I have a blog in the works focusing on gluten free and dairy free living on a low budget and also our experience with hot yoga. We are both busy ladies though so I am hoping that we will be able to follow through with this plan.

My end of the year is going out with a bang though, I’ll be spending three days in New York City, seeing family, friends and Phish. We are going to spread all kinds of Christmas cheer and I hope to post the highlights, then I will be heading up north the second week in January to enjoy a few days of skiing with my parents. Until then.. happy holidays.

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2013 trip to Washington – The Gorge

Dropping off the face of the Blogosphere

Well, I am back, after a short stint away. I think I may have been burned out after the holidays. I traveled home for the holidays, I was in the New York City for four nights of Phish and I also managed to squeeze in some skiing in New Hampshire in mid-January. There were also some changes at work – a change in management caused me to have to take on some more responsibility in the interm-time.

Time flew by.

When I dropped off the blogging radar I lost one of my important ways to reflect. I still spent a lot of time reflecting but I never wrote any of it down. I feel like the act of writing slows time. Writing narrows and aims thoughts like a laser. A glass etching laser that records litle things here and there and creates a timeline. Even if its not an explicit timeline it is still a timeline of reference. I can reference emotions and thoughts that correlate with different days – weeks or months out of my year through my writing. Without writing I’ve been in a whirlwind everyday. I am never exactly sure where I am going or what I am doing and because of that I have lost time. I have literally lost time.

So I am back, after what I like to call – my experimental time off – now that I have had time to reflect on my lack of reflecting, I realize how much I value writing. (Not that I didn’t know that before) but now I have really felt it, and comes to terms with its importance. I hope I’ll keep up with it, if not here, in some journal.

Has anyone else out there taken long times away from their blogs? If so, how did you get back to blogging? What caused you to stop/start blogging?  

Playing Hide and Seek – Reflections on a month of Literary Abandon

I get a fancy badge!

Winner 2012! NaNoWriMo

Bittersweet.

^^^That is how I feel crossing the finish line of NaNoWriMo. I will miss my stats page and the peptalks from all the amazing author participating. I can only hope that I can replicate such a stat page in Microsoft Excel (I am sure I can – but I’ll do that tomorrow). Tonight I will celebrate, by taking the time to read and relax and think about how my novel will continue, because although I wrote the 50,000 words – it is far from done. And right now I am having a bit of difficulty seeing the end result. But I’ll keep writing daily and chugging along letting my wonderful characters show me the way.

To all my readers and followers who participated, I hope you had as rewarding of a month as I did – and I hope you all continue working on the stories you want to, or have to tell. If anyone out there wants to share their Nano story with me I’d be happy to read it, or if anyone wants to read mine – I’ll reluctantly hand over my unfinished story. J

Just Write.

That is what I have learned from doing a novel in a month. Even when you can’t see the outcome or solution – it is always there – it just might be playing a game of hide and seek – the solution evades your ever search. Other times the solution will seek you out when you are hiding – that is, when you are away from the constant clicking of the keyboard on your computer – taking care of other responsibilities (how dull). Sometimes the solutions to your biggest novel problem will seek you out. (That’s my favorite way to play the game).

Keep Going!

See the cabin in the distance? Me either…

Congrats to all those who participated – even if you didn’t finish – you still have words on the page and a story in your heart. Just keep going!!!

As the month draws to a close…

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can you hear the sound of the clippity clappity keyboard?

I am taking some time for a welcomed break from my nano novel. After Thanksgiving weekend I was very behind. I wrote nothing for four straight days! *Gasp* anyone involved in NaNoWriMo knows this can be devastating if you aren’t ahead – which I was not. So yesterday I buckled down and wrote 4408 words, and today I hope to do the same. I will be caught up to today’s count of 45,000 if all goes well and I should have smooth sailing from there.

I thought I’d take a break and write a little bit about the end of my journey. I often worry about my story being too structured. I wonder – does it follow too much pattern that a reader would get bored?

I read for the twists and turns in a book, I don’t want to know what comes next! Otherwise, why would I read it? I like the surprises a book can have hold and I want to replicate such surprises for my future readers. Today, my story took some unexpected turns and I happily chugged along with great speed. I had worried about where the story would go next and it didn’t come to me until I was right there writing it. It is amazing how things like this can just fall into place. This added scene helped my MC evolve and show some of her spunk that might have been lost in the last 20,000 words. She started out a spunky girl but somewhere along the way lost some of confidence.

I hope all my NaNo friends out there are enjoying the last days! I know I won’t stop when this is over; I am shooting for a story that is about 70,000-80,000 words and it will only be the first in some sort of trilogy I hope. So lots more will come from it and I welcome more of these surprises.

Has anyone else experienced surprises like this from their story?

Can’t Buy Me Love – Black Friday Rants

I have only shopped on Black Friday once in my life. I went to a discount menswear store and bought a very nice priced suit for my boyfriend. Overall it was a great deal. I was completely satisfied, but it took no more than an hour of my time.

I don’t think there a whole lot wrong Black Friday (if you want to spend your time this way, by all means go for it) but I think there is something wrong when Kmart is open on Thanksgiving. It is completely disrespectful to the holiday of Thanksgiving. I work on Thanksgiving, but I am in the hospitality industry and let’s face it hotels never close. Stores, on the other hand, they use to close. They use to be closed on all holidays and even on Sundays. 

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Let the madness begin!

What irks me the most is that people would rather show their appreciation and love through gifts of material items. Gifts that probably are will break because they’re cheap and mass produced and things that end up cluttering and complicating your life. There are families who will cut their Thanksgiving short today to go on this ‘exciting hunt’ – or whatever you want to call it. Its guess its fine because some of these people will be bring along their family and friends. But what underlies this excessive buying spree is our inadequacy in showing love and compassion.  

Whatever happened to homemade gifts? Whatever happened to quality time? My grandmother always tells me she wants the gift of time. She wants to spend a day with me – doing things we enjoy together. We got for a cup of coffee – catch up on everything under the sun. (The coffee costs me a total of $10 – which is comparable to a great deal on Black Friday) I’ll help the with projects around her house – whether is scrap booking (something I truly loathe) or decorating her Christmas tree. It’s the same for me, I don’t want a lot from her, just to know that shes is happy, healthy and enjoying life. It really can’t get much easier if you think about it – that is what most humans fundamentally want.

My second problem with Black Friday sales is that companies are still making money off these sales, so why can’t Barbie be $2.99 everyday. Why the huge price cut? Am I over paying for the other 364 days in the year (yes I am). I am sure quality gets cut, workers get less money, our environment suffers and so on and so forth. Maybe someone can explain to me how they afford it… I’ll just avoid it like every other year.

Its like the Beatles song – Can’t Buy me Love!! That will be my song tomorrow.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all!

It’s Donar Day

I sneaked in ! Phew, only an hour and a half to go on Donar Day! Donate if you can, NaNoWriMo wouldn’t be possible without all of our generous donations. Now I get to post my cool badge ;) Happy Writing!

20,000 Milestone!

So I just made it to 20,ooo word in my nano-novel. I thought I’d share what that looks like!

So here it is…

5,000 more words till I’m halfway there

I think that 20,000 words is a good time to relect on my experience so far this month. I have been a pantster, which is strange and new to me because I usually a pretty good planner. But then again, I havent written fiction in a while and this is my first nano.

One observation I have made while being a pantster is that my characters have been developing on their own. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing and I know other writers out there have this same experience. For instance, I was getting a little bit stumped with where my plot was going. I was working through some scene description when my character discovered something about herself while investigating her new surroundings. We were both very surprised at this discovery. So surprised, that she isnt even convinced she was able to do what she did and she brushes it off. That discovery that my character and I made together has opened up a whole new path for my novel to continue on. I could have never planned this new ability of hers, even in my skeletal outline that was floating around my head – never exisitng on paper – I wouldn’t have thought she was going to develop this skill.

I also find myself drawing on contemporary issues – which makes sense but it wasn’t intentional. The environment and sustainability seems to pop up here and there in this novel and that is an issue I feel strongly about. I never thought that this novel could be a platform for those issues – in a creative way.

What discoveries has everyone else made about their writing? Are your characters acting on their free will yet?

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