Sunday, November 29, 2009

A bit of seamstress-ing


Yesterday I splurged at JoAnn Fabrics, and today I set to work to make the first of my intended projects. I used Butterick B5390 and did a bit of trimming at the sides to make it more flattering. The sleeves got a little too puffy on the top, and I'm not terribly sold on that. I'll see whether washing brings the volume down, or otherwise I'll have to do a little tinkering with it.

It's not intended to be a really fancy top (despite the lace trim) but rather something comfy (read - looser) that I can do work in when I don't want to wear a t-shirt.

I've seen a stroke of Brilliance...

...yes, I COULD be biased because Lady Rose is my Marchen sister, but I really do think that her parody for the December I&F is beyond AWESOME. Of course, one does sort of have to be on the forum to get all the inside jokes... but for those of you who are, it will be priceless!

For you non-forum members there will be plenty of other goodies in this month's issue - though we're delaying the release until December 5th to make it as good as possible. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 27, 2009

For a Festive Spirit



For over a year I've been an avid reader of Regina Doman's blog House Art Journel. She has many wonderful ideas for decorating and family life, but one of my favorites have been her seasonal house shrines (if that's the right word). Not being a Catholic, I don't have quite the same motivation, but I love the concept and have been waiting for a long time to set something up in my room. It was just a matter of getting the time and the physical energy to clean the place up (which is no small feat).

However we decorated our house for Christams yesterday, and events conspired to drive me to finally accomplish my goal. I cleaned my room and set up this little creche on top of my smallest bookcase.

The added perk is that I found this absolutely beautiful little porcelain nativity set for only $2.25. It's really finely crafted and doesn't look cheap at all. The roses are a collection I've been working on for a long time, and the pine needles are trimmings from our tree.

What's really special is that the cross on the wall was handmade by my great-grandfather several years ago.



Then, because I cleaned my room, I thought I'd show you another little nifty thing I use. I found this little candle holder at a craft store a year ago for just a couple of dollars. For awhile it drifted around my room without much of a purpose other than ornamental. (I collect red glass objects)



At some point it ended up on my nightstand and I found that it was the perfect place to hold the objects I use several times a day in this area - computer memory stick, chapstick, hearing aids, etc. The beautiful thing is that not only does it contain these objects, but if I want to tidy up and hide them away, all I have to do is slip the glass cover on! And sometimes I can even put objects away through the hole in the cover without having to remove the cover at all!



And finally, a just-for-fun cool picture I took of my chinese lights that hang over my dresser. They're really fun moodsetters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ICE by Sarah Beth Durst

"Once upon a time, the North Wind said to the Polar Bear King, 'Steal me a daughter, and when she grows, she will be your bride..."

Little Cassie Desent was raised on this fairy tale, just as many children are raised on fairy-tales. The only differance was that her Grandmother claimed this one was true. And because of it, Cassie's mother is held prisoner in a troll castle, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," and Cassie is someday destined to be the bride of the Polar Bear King.

Of course, as Cassie grows older, she learns that fairy tales are not true and she puts aside her dreams of freeing her mother for more realistic dreams of working at her father's research center, studying the lives of the artic Polar Bears.

And then, one day, the Polar Bear King comes, and Cassie learns that the fairy tale was true and she now has a chance to save her mother... but to do so, she must give up everything familiar and venture out into a world of ice, magic, and promises that cannot be broken.

With the plenthora of novels that have suddenly appeared based on the fairy-tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," I can't believe that I never read it in childhood. However, I've fallen quite in love with it and am enjoying the differant adaptations out there.

"Ice" is quite differant from the last novel I reviewed on this tale. Whereas that one stuck very close to the original fairy-tale, "Ice" travels it's own road. Sometimes for better... sometimes for stranger.

"Ice" is first and foremost a love story. It's powerful because it contrasts many differant kinds of love, even though the central love is the romance between Cassie and the Polar Bear King. It's beautiful and moving and not at all what I expected.

The theme of this story might be stated as - "How far will you go to protect those you love?" And it shows the beauty of unconditional love over, and over again, going further than I've ever seen a YA book go before (Regina Doman, of course, excepted). Cassie and Bear will do anything for each other - and not only for each other, but for their families as well. And ultimately, it comes down to - could you save one person at the sacrifice of another?

There's a well developed mythology at the heart of this story, that may capture your interest or repel you. The Polar Bear King is one of a race of semi-spiritual beings called Munaqsri who are basically "soul-keepers." Each race - animal, plant, human, - has at least one Munaqsri who watches over deaths and births to make sure that every soul is captured at death and given to a new baby at birth.

This may sound odd, but Durst actually makes it work quite well. You have to accept it in a mythological sense - in the same way that you'd read "The Illiad" or tales of the Norse Gods - or fairy tales in general. It's a concept that allows talking bears and mermaids and naiads and the four Winds to cross paths seamlessly. So if you accept it as a fairytale (as I did) and not as a real theological concept, then you should have no problem enjoying this story.

I will say that it's intended for an older audience. Probably 16+. Not that there is anything really bad, but Cassie and her Bear King (who takes a human form at night) DO get married right away and there are referances to a "wedding night" and bearing children to carry on the Munaqsri. It's very tastefully and appropriately done, but I wouldn't hand this book to a 13-year-old. Unless, of course, they'd already read all the Twilight books, in which case I'd hand it over easily enough. ;)

This is not a conventional story. But it is an entertaining and intriguing one that is well-plotted and engaging. It falters a bit on its very last note - but that's the only sour drop in a bowl of otherwise very pleasing sweets.

HP and the Cartoon Prince #20

Sorry for being a day late with this one!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Breaking News!

There have been reports that the supposedly dead plot of "Across Two Dreams" was discovered still breathing in the morgue. The plot was immediatly airlifted to the emergency room of the Plot Hospital, where it was given immediate surgery work by Dr. Bowman and Nurse Elenatintil. Early reports say that the plot has been sucessfully stabilized, and further surgeries this week should bring it back to health before the holidays set in.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon


I have to put up a quick note saying that "New Moon" has my tentative stamp of approveal (can't verify that until I can watch it with captions). My sister and I saw it in theatres today and I spent pretty much the whole movie going "this is so much better than Twilight! I love this!"

Costume, make-up, special effects, cinematography, casting... it was all at the level that it should have been in the first movie. The pacing was still a leeeetle off in some places, but the added action in this installment really helped. And the action is quite well done. I was impressed. They ironed out the kinks in the speed and they actually pretty much made giant wolves work.

Visually, this film is much easier to watch because (as many others have already stated) it is shot in a more traditional (read "less jerky") format, and skips the blue fliter that the first movie had. Also, the vampire's make-up no longer looks like make-up, and the costumes definetely got better. Some people have been giving the costumers a hard time about Alice's clothes, but my sister and I both agree that except one horrid coat in Italy, Alice dresses as chic and prettily as usual.

There are still a few "laugh at Edward" parts, but he was more believable this time around. And thankfully there were plenty of genuinelly supposed-to-be-funny parts that were no chore to laugh at. ;)

As far as appropriateness goes... pretty much on par with the first film. Actually probably a little less sensuality. Bella deals with extreme depression after Edward leaves, but this is not nearly as hard to watch as it was to read, and some nice bits of humor (as mentioned previously) give us plenty to enjoy, even while we understand Bella's heartache.

I think the scriptwriters did an excellent job of giving us the vital bits and trimming off the excess ones. Fans should be satisfied, and newcomers should enjoy it. (Guys will like this installment better than the last one!)

And the ending. was. perfect. :)

We mourn the death of a plot.

My facebook status:

My plot died last night. I stayed up with it late into the wee hours of morning... but it refused to live, no matter how many times I did CPR. So I killed it, and formed something new out of the ashes.


We'll see what happens now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

50 Followers

I just noticed that I hit the 50 followers mark... thank you all for being interested enough in what I write to add yourself as a follower! I really appreciate it, particularily because then I can get an idea of how many people are seriously following my blog.

If you have a google account and haven't signed up as a follower of this blog yet, would you take a moment to do so? I would very much appreciate it, and then my updates will appear right on your dashboard!

Toothpick City

When I was a little girl, my siblings and I used to make huge houses out of popsicle sticks. For being 10, 11, 12 years old, they weren't bad.

So I'm getting a big kick out of this website, in which this guy is building 10 foot long world famous structures out of...toothpicks.

It's awesome. Check it out!

Little Women Website

A long time ago, back when I was a high school student, (which isn't so far back as the dark ages, but is definetely pre-Obama campaign), I made three films.

"Little Women" was the last and (imho) best.

It took us a year to film, another year to edit, was shot entirely in one house, and we used the XL2 camera to film and Vegas to edit.

I have been wanting to find a way to offer it online, and I'm now working on getting a website and paypal system set up. So soon, if you are interested, you should be able to order this film on DVD for around $10.00.

So keep an eye on the website, which can be found at littlewomenfilm.blogspot.com. It's a work in progress, but I've already got some pictures up, so it's worth taking a look at.

HP and the Cartoon Prince #18

Friday, November 13, 2009

Because it's Funny...

Because Lady Rose posted this on her blog and it made me laugh, I thought I'd post it on my blog and see if I couldn't make YOU laugh...

First, list twelve characters from any fandom, then answer the questions below.


1. Blanche Brier

2. Wolverine

3. Alice Cullen

4. Robin Hood

5. Hermione Granger

6. Darth Vader

7. Jane Eyre

8. Legolas

9. Jo March

10. Sherlock Holmes

11. Miss Marple

12. Inigo Montoya


1. Who would make a better collage prof, 6 or 11?
Miss Marple would totally OWN Darth Vader. Because Darth Vader's lecture would be... "DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE!" and then he'd destroy the classroom.


2. Do you think #2 is hot?
Wolverine? Is there any rational female who doesn't?



3. 12 sends 8 out on a mission. What is it? Does it succeed?
Inigo Montoya sending Legolas out on a mission...mhmmm...now that has humerous possibilities. Legolas is used to following orders, so he'd probably do it...until Inigo got drunk. And then he'd look very disgusted and walk away. I'm sure the mission would have something to do with the six-fingered man.

4. What is or what would be 9's favorite book?
I think Jo March would LOVE LOTR.


5. Would it make more sense: for 2 to swear fealty to 6, or the other way around?
Wolverine and Darth Vader? OI. No fealty there. Just a huge all out fight and the destruction of another Death Star. (And Wolverine would win.)


6. For some reason, 5 is looking for a roommate. Should (s)he room with 9 or 10?
Hermione Granger with Jo March or Sherlock Holmes? Jo March, of course. It would only be proper. But I think the two of them would get along just fine.



7. 2, 7 and 12 are going out to dinner. Where do they go and what do they discuss?
Wolverine, Jane Eyre and Inigo Montoya? HA! Wolverine and Inigo would want to go to a bar, and Jane wouldn't dream of setting foot across a disreputable premise. So Wolverine would suggest a japanese restaurant he knows of and they'd go there. Then Wolverine and Inigo would discuss all the differant ways they'd murdered people. Jane would keep staring at Wolverine, being freaked out because he reminded her so much of Mr. Rochester. She wouldn't approve of the killing, though.

8. 3 challenges 10 to a duel, who wins?
Alice. Sorry Sherlock Holmes, but you can't win against a precog. Even with your brilliant powers of deduction.


9. If 1 stole 8's most precious possession, would (s)he get it back?
Um, yes. Because I'm assuming we're talking about Legolas's shampoo bottle, and Blanche would only take it by accident and give it right back when she realized it wasn't hers.


10. Suggest a story title in which 7 and 12 both attain what they desire.
Love and Revenge.

11. What kind of plot device would you have to use if you wanted 1 and 4 to work together?
I would have Robin rescue Blanche from whatever blonde drug user had kidnapped her this time. I would then have Robin inform Blanche that Rose and Bear are being held captive by ANOTHER blonde drug user, and they would go rescue them together.


12. If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would it go?

I would try to get Jane to talk, and then she wouldn't approve of my DVD collection. So we'd get our drawing tablets and do art together.


13. If you could command 3 to perform any service or task for you, what would it be?
I would ask Alice to please introduce me to her family...and not kill me, thank you very much.


14. Does anyone on your friends list write or draw 11?
No. Miss Marple isn't very artistically inspiring.


15. If 2 had to choose sides between 4 and 5, what side would (s)he choose?

Wolverine over Robin Hood and Hermione Granger? Hmmm... I'm leaning towards Hermione. Sure he'd be annoyed by her know it all attitude, but he'd think Robin Hood's arrows were wimpy. Plus Wolverine has a soft spot for intelligent young ladies, even if they're impertinent.


16. What might 10 shout out while charging into battle?
AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sherlock Holmes would not shout anything. He would move stealthily and creep up on his enemies from behind.

17. If you had to choose a song to best describe 8, what would it be?
"O Where is My Hairbrush" by Larry the Cucumber. ;)


18. 1, 6 and 12 are having a dim sum at a Chinese Restaurant. There is only one scallion pancake left, and they all reach for it at the same time. Who gets it?

Blanche wouldn't even try. Inigo WOULD try, but he'd find himself getting a force choke...while Darth Vader calmly levitated the pancake onto his plate.



19. What would be a good pickup line for 2 to say to 10?
You know, knowing Wolverine, he'd say something inappropriate just to make Holmes loose his cool...


20. What would 5 most likely be arrested for?

Picketing the Malfoy's house with all the freed house-elves.


21. What is 6's secret?
The scar on his face in movie III isn't from battle...it's from slipping in his bathtub. Don't believe me? Ask George Lucas...

22. If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?
Jo March. EXCEPT...Miss Marple could contrive a way for Jo to be delayed, so that even though she's old and slow, she'd arrive there first.

23. If you had to walk home through a bad neighborhood late at night, who would you feel more comfortable walking with, 7 or 8?
Ya know, that's a hard question...I'm really not sure that thugs would be that afraid of Legolas...but then he's a dead shot so I guess it wouldn't matter. We'd just have to make sure that we had a good defense planned when we got called into court the next day...


24. 1 and 9 reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4's sinister secret organization. 11 volunteers to help them,but it is later discovered that s/he is actually a spy for 4. Meanwhile, 4 has kidnapped 12 in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5, they seek out 3, who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fic?

Blanche and Jo working to save the world from Robin Hood, are betrayed by Miss Marple (who probably knows more than she's saying). Meanwhile Robin Hood kidnapped Inigo Montoya (after a drinking game, no doubt) and is holding him hostage. Hermione advises them to go to Alice Cullen, who tells them that in order to defeat Robin Hood they need to talk to Miss Marple, because Miss Marple is never, ever, wrong, so Robin's secret evil organization must not actually be evil after all...

I'd call this, in true Christie fashion - "Mother Knows Best" or "Precogs can ALWAYS find a bloodless solution"


Mhmmm....most fun. And now, following Rose's example once again, I tag anyone who finds this interesting to repost it on their own blog or facebook. Just let me know so that I can read it and laugh at YOUR interpretation of the fictional world!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Best Way to Research Your Novel

What is the best way to do research for a novel?

Have your grandparents stop over with ice cream and answer all your questions!

Of course, technically I couldn't eat the ice cream (on a special health diet now...more olive oil tonight) but just seeing my grandparents was much better than a bowl of custard, (even from Culvers). Then they answered all sorts of questions about living in a small midwestern town in 1963. I learned all sorts of interesting facts.

For example. Did you know that in those days, families would rent out freezer "lockers" at the local meat market? They'd bring half of an animal of their choice (usually a pig or a cow) and the meat guy would chop it up into steaks and stuff, and then he'd put it in one of his big freezer.

I also found out lots of details about dairy farms and phones and kitchens and housewife routines and fabric and dresses and dates and drive-ins and wages. Still have to contact a great-aunt and uncle to learn more about parties and dances...

Oh, and on top of all this fact finding, I also wrote about 4000 words today. I feel very satisfied.

HP and the Cartoon Prince #16



Mhmmm. I'm going to have to sit down and make some more of these before next Monday...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fairytales and SciFic

It's really not surprising that with NaNoWriMo, I don't really have time for long blog posts. Plus I've been suffering from headaches lately, which makes it painful to think sometimes.

However, for you fairytale lovers, I just wanted to tip you off on the "Once Upon a Time" series from Simon & Schuster. They're written by many differant authors, and, though short, are entertaining and fun quick reads. Especially if you're sick and dying for good light fiction.

Also, if you're an X-Man fan, see if you can get ahold of some of the X-Men: First Class comics. They're cleaner and more appropriate than a lot of the newer comics, and they also are single-issue storylines which makes it possible to pick one up and not be totally lost. The premise of this title is the "unknown" adventures of the first class of X-Men: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel and Iceman. It's pretty funny and especially good for anyone who may be new to the X-Men or Marvel universe. There are also some fun cameos from other Marvel titles like Fantastic Four, Spiderman and The Avengers.

HP and the Cartoon Prince #15

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNo Story - Common Denomination Misconceptions

This is specifically towards those of you who are Catholics, although the questions could be reversed for those who are Protestant.

In my NaNo novel I'm dealing with the interaction of a Protestant Girl and a Catholic Family. Now I've had a lot of interaction with Catholics myself, but I want to make sure that I'm getting a wide scope here. So if you could take a few minutes to answer these questions for the sake of the book, that would be awesome.

Just as a warning - by answering this question, you are giving me permission to use your answer or question in my novel. If I do so, I will put your name in the awknowledgements.

As a Catholic, what do you think is the most common misconception Protestants have about you? How would you answer it?

Also as a Catholic, what misconceptions have you had, or questions do you still have about Protestantism?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monk publishes Pro-Harry Potter Book

I thought this was pretty cool...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harry-potter/6468179/Benedictine-monk-publishes-Christian-reading-of-Harry-Potter.html

HP and the Cartoon Prince #14

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scary and Freeing

I didn't expect to feel this scared during NaNo.

I've written a LOT in my lifetime. I've hit the 80,000 novel-length wordcount twice in the past three years. Output doesn't scare me.

But it's terrifying not to go back and constantly refine and edit and second guess...It's like hanging off the edge of a cliff.

And yet it's so freeing. I love being able to write and just let my characters live.

Don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't have a plot. I do. I've got a beginning, stuff that happens in the middle, and an end. I've got a first turning point...although I don't have my last free choice figured out. But I know where I'm going. I've got a theme.

So why am I scared?

Because my perfectionist side is screaming "LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! That paragraph isn't going to work! You've got to revise it!"

Oy.

That's my melancholic side. Melancholics don't do well with pure output. They like to plan and edit...and plan and edit...and write...and edit and plan. My melancholic-dominent friends would completely die trying to do NaNoWriMo. They'd have to work ten hours a day to achieve the output and not feel crazy.

That makes me feel guilty.

But hey. It's one month. I can tear this to pieces in December or January...and it WILL get torn to pieces if I ever am brave enough to show it to the three editors I'm going to be living with this winter...

*goes and hides under a rock*

Oh wait, my point was, I can tear it to pieces after November and polish it and make it perfect. I know I'm writing good stuff, and once it's out I can copy and paste and cut to my heart's delight. If it doesn't work, then it's only one month wasted (and being sick it's not like I have anything better to do) and if it DOES work then...well...

So much the better.

I guess the truth is I always freak out about whatever I'm writing, no matter how much time I take to write it. Only in normal cases it's better edited so I can actually show it to people and get enough positive feedback to keep going. That's not possible in this case, so I just have to be brave and stick it out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Merry Game of Words

Sometimees called MAD LIBS, I wrote out this story for our last party on the Fairy Tale Novel Forum. The Party was Shakespeare theme, so I wrote up a short version of Romeo and Juliet, pulled out key words, and then asked forum members to give me the types I needed (verbs, places, names, etc), and filled in the blanks exactly as I was given. The members had no idea what story I was telling, so the result was one of much hilarity!

If you're in need of a smile, take a look at it. :)

In the old city of Corioles there were two families, the Capulets and the Shylocks. They had been fighting each other for as long as anyone could remember, and often sparred in the marketplace with their fairies and daggers.

The son of the Shylocks was named Valentine, and he was hopelessly in love with young Rosalind. Her crimson hair and gold as soft as sunlight eyes inspired him to write dozens of loons in her honor. He would wander around Egypt all day dreaming about her.

Now Valentine's mother and father were worried about him, so they sent his cousin Benvolio out to discover why he was dancing all day. Benvolio convinced Valentine that he should meet other young ladies, so they decided to crash the Capulet's bachelor party that night.

They went to the party wearing tams and were unrecognized by all except the fair Capulet, Tybalt. Tybalt wanted to gnaw them, but his uncle detered him. Meanwhile, Valentine set eyes upon the prettiest girl he had ever seen...the Capulet's daughter, Virgilia.

It was love at first sight, though neither knew who the other was. When Virgilia discovered that Valentine was a Shylock, she was confuzzled. She ran up to her computer room and began monologuing her woes, wishing that Valentine's name was anything other than Shylock.

Now Valentine had dashed around the house just so that he could find Virgilia, and he heard her speaking. “What light from yonder window breaks?” he asked, comparing Virgilia to a candle.

When Virgilia heard him she was filled with sorrow and tried to send him away, but he told her that he loved her. He asked her to meet him in Antarctica the next day so that they might be married. Virgilia agreed, and after many more minutes of love-speeches, they separated.

The next day Virgilia arrived at their appointed meeting place and Friar Tuck married them in secret. However, not long after this, Valentine swooned in the marketplace by Virgilia's cousin Tybalt. Valentine tried to avoid a fight, but Tybalt drew his sword. Valentine's friend, Mercutio, drew his jelly gun and jumped in to protect Valentine. However he quickly flitted by Tybalt.

Valentine was full of dreamy-eyed love and drew his whip, hurrying forwards to cry upon Tybalt. However, just as Tybalt reveled, the Prince of Corioles appeared, and declared that in retribution for his evil deed, Valentine would be banished from NeverNever Land.

When Virgilia heard the news, she was heartbroken. She and Valentine bade each other trecherous farewells, and he hurried off before daybreak.

Lord Capulet then summoned Virgilia to the Grand Ballroom to inform her that she was to marry her suitor Constantinople. Virgilia was horrified. She couldn't tell her father that she was already married, so she did the only thing she could think of. She went to Friar Tuck for help.

Friar Tuck told her that she must drink liquid mercury that would put her into an insane sleep, convincing her parents that she was dead. Virgilia, though terrified, agreed. That night she drank the liquid and fell asleep...

The next morning her poisoner arrived and screamed upon realizing that Virgilia was dead. The whole family was afraid and prepared Virgilia's body for burial.

The news traveled quickly throughout the countryside. Valentine, who was in Illyria, heard the news and realized that he could not sing with out his roun d Virgilia. He rushed to a confectionary and begged for a poison that would end his mischevious life.

That night Valentine crept into Virgilia's book and found her seemingly lifeless. He drank his potion and immediately leapt. As he fell into his eternal sleep, Virgilia poked him. When she realized that her merry Valentine was dead, she pulled out his Volscian and stabbed herself.

That morning their parents arrived at the basilisk and were overjoyed to discover that their children were in a swoon. They decided to raise a feisty glove in memory of the two intelligent people and their love.

HP and the Cartoon Prince #13



Now Officially Appearing Every MONDAY, WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY.

(unless it rains.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November "Ink and Fairydust"



We had some conversion issues with the text in this issue. However, if you are on our mailing list, you will have recieved the full glory .pdf.

Either that coffee is actually decaf or...

...or I was just up REALLY late last night! It's only 10:11 and I'm tired.

I spent two more hours writing today and got my total NaNo WordCount up to 4224 words.

To get my family into the game I made up a "NaNo Thermometer" Poster. It's marked off in 1000 word increments, and every time I write, I use a blue highlighter to fill it up to the corresponding level. Now my family doesn't even have to use words to get engaged in this - they can just glance at my door and see how I'm doing!

Plus it's just fun to fill in the "temperature."

NaNoWriMo Begins!

It's here! It's here and we're writing!

I counted down the minutes as I made coffee, read a few chapters of "Vienna Prelude" to my sister (because I love reading aloud to her even though she's more than capable of reading herself) and puttered around my room making sure that all the lights were just right.

Less than a half hour before Midnight I realized that my iPod was out of battery. Horrors! And I hadn't set up iTunes on my new laptop and the charging wasn't working very smoothly -

I just narrowly avoided a panic.

But minutes before the clock ticked over to 12:00, I managed to get lovely music streaming through my speakers and then - joy of joys - the NaNoWriMo website WORD COUNTER finally ACTIVATED!

(I think part of me honestly thought it wouldn't happen)

I pulled open my files, glanced over the chapter and a half I had already written....then forged ahead full-steam into the tale of young Vivian Hedlund...