Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo- I won!

I've been celebrating madly for the past hour...Why? Because I hit 50K as you probably guessed from the title of this post!
I'm so thrilled that I made it, and so grateful for NaNoWriMo. It's a truly amazing program, and both last year and this year, I learned so much about writing, about what it means to be a novelist, and how if you can let that part of yourself that tells you that whatever you create is crap (and I know mine doesn't like to leave!), you can do anything. And you can write a novel in a month.
To all of the rest of you doing NaNo, I wish you the best of luck! You can make it!
Anyway, I'll leave it at that since it's nearly 1AM and tomorrow is an early start.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My ongoing experiment/goal

Lately I've noticed that most staff that work retail look pretty down in the dumps. Not all of them, but the vast majority for sure. I don't blame them, they probably get some pretty annoying customers, and I don't think a lot of them really want to be there. So I started a little experiment.

Now, when I'm going through a check out, I make a point of making eye contact and giving them a big smile and greeting. My goal is to get them to smile back and look happier. When I leave, I always thank them and tell them to have a good day, and for the most part, I do manage to get a smile.

My thinking is, that if I can brighten one person just a little bit, maybe they'll smile at the next guy in line, and maybe he'll smile back. Maybe that guy will smile at the next person he sees too, and maybe, just because I gave that tiny little bit of effort, I can make several people's days just a little bit better.

I love their surprise as I tell them I actually do want them to have a good day. They sort of blink at me like "oops, that was my line" and then usually give me a stunned "you too!" and often a bit of a smile.

This worked especially well for one grumpy Subway employee who was working alone one afternoon. She was irritable from the beginning, but with just a little bit of small talk and lots of smiles, by the end she told me to "Take care, sweetie!" and had a big grin on her face. We probably gave her at least 10 minutes of smiles in the middle of a nasty work day.

So smile! Bring them that little bit of cheer! It'll make them happier, and it'll make you happier too!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Wow, look at that! 2 posts within 7 days of each other.

Anyway, today in my poetry class, we were reading a poem by Robert Service, called Comfort. Before I comment on it, I'll let you read it:


Say! You've struck a heap of trouble --
Bust in business, lost your wife;
No one cares a cent about you,
You don't care a cent for life;
Hard luck has of hope bereft you,
Health is failing, wish you'd die --
Why, you've still the sunshine left you
And the big, blue sky.

Sky so blue it makes you wonder
If it's heaven shining through;
Earth so smiling 'way out yonder,
Sun so bright it dazzles you;
Birds a-singing, flowers a-flinging
All their fragrance on the breeze;
Dancing shadows, green, still meadows --
Don't you mope, you've still got these.

These, and none can take them from you;
These, and none can weigh their worth.
What! you're tired and broke and beaten? --
Why, you're rich -- you've got the earth!
Yes, if you're a tramp in tatters,
While the blue sky bends above
You've got nearly all that matters --
You've got God, and God is love.

I think this poem is SO true! No matter what life throws at you, you've got God, and the world He created to live your life in. When you're poor in materialistic things, you are still rich in nature, and in the love of God.

Just wanted to share this with you guys, and hear your comments about it. So please do comment! Discuss! What do you think of this poem?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo- An update and an excerpt

Well, we're coming to the end of week one, and I must say it's going pretty well! I'm at 18,042 words at the time of writing this (hoping to hit 20K tonight, or rather, tomorrow, since it's close to midnight) and my story seems to be coming along.
If you read my other NaNo post, I think I mentioned that it was a murder mystery set in a ballet company. So far I have 2 murders, and have drifted to the sub-plot, which is kind of irrelevant...Basically a ramble about the main character's roommate and her dialysis treatments. It'll probably get edited out in December if I can't figure out a way to tie it in some how.
Anyway, I promised an except in the title of this post. Here it is, I apologize for any spelling/grammar/bad writing:

I can’t get the images out of my head. There’s a knock on the door and Karen gets it. I sit on the couch, numb, as the artistic director walks in.
“Are you okay?” Greg, the artistic director says.
What a stupid question. I just found a murder victim, and threw up. Obviously I’m not okay.
“Yeah.” I mumble, stupidly, but what else am I supposed to say? I’m sure he means physical condition, not emotional. That’s all he cares about. No broken bones, no major muscle problems, that’s all that matters in his mind.
He tries to talk to me about what I saw but I ignore him and just mumble either yes or no, whether that’s relevant to his interrogation or not.
Eventually he gives up and leaves. Greg isn’t very sensitive. In my career as a pretend therapist, one of the things I’ve learned is that you have to give people some time before they’ll be willing to open up. It’s just a cardinal rule with pretty much anyone.
I feel pretty sick still, and I try so hard not to think of it, but the image of blood clouds my head.