Thursday, September 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009!

With NaNoWriMo 37 days away from starting I figured it deserved a blog post!
If you haven't checked out the website yet, do yourself a favour and look at it. Even if you're not into writing, it's a really neat challenge to watch others do.

Last year I did some sort of fantasy novel, about (don't laugh at me here) this girl who's family is abnormally...normal. I know, it sounds really dumb, and I think it did sort of end up that way. But hey, I wrote it in a month. I hit the 50K mark with it, but never actually finished it, primarily because my most recent chapter was basically this guy running back and forth and I'd have to have revised it dramatically to actually get anywhere with the next chapter.

This year I hope to win with a completely different sort of novel, a murder mystery set in a ballet company. It's a bit of a long shot for me since I haven't even read all that many mysteries, nevermind written them, but the idea is stuck in my head now, and it's the only one I've got.

NaNo is perfect for me because I love writing but don't tend to write unless I have either a specific assignment or a strict deadline. Last year I wrote about 5 times more than I ever have before, and in a month! I learnt an incredible amount, about writing, deadlines, and how much coffee helps those two things along.

So, my blogging buddies, my challenge to you is to join me in my writing quest! Comment or make a reply to my post on your blog about what you're doing for NaNo this year!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Make music out of a shoe box!

So recently on this ukulele forum I go on, people were talking about DIY ukuleles. A more traditional version of this being the famed cigar box uke which is a ukulele that uses a cigar box as its body.

Photo of CBU (cigar box ukes) from Wikipedia

Others have made ukuleles out of cookie tins, shoe boxes, and tin cans, and surprisingly, they all sound pretty good.

It's neat that you can make music out of everyday objects, things others would throw away. I think with pollution getting worse and landfills getting full, people are going to have to start looking at things differently.
Do you really need to throw that shoe box in the trash? Even if you can't make a uke out of it (goodness knows I couldn't) you could make it into a drum, or use it for organizing a closet or storing small items.

It makes me think about what I'm throwing away. I don't want to be a pack rat, but I don't want to waste good stuff.
Or how about, if you can't use something, like a shirt that doesn't fit or that cell phone that's still in good condition, donate it to a second hand shop. There's probably someone looking for something just like that.

This of course, makes me want to grab a shoe box and some strings and try. But I think for the time being I'll learn how to re-string my Mahalo. :)

What are your thoughts on this? What things have you made out of scrap materials? Comment!