Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: NaNoWriMo

A Few Things

It’s gratifying to go back and read things I’ve written here and think, “Huh, sometimes I’m pretty funny.”

I haven’t done anything for NaNo today. I’m going to stick more or less to my usual writing schedule, especially as the goal is a month-long one and my daily average goal of pages to revise is just that–an average. That means I’ll probably work more hours on my writing days, but I’ll still take days off, because I really don’t function well without time to relax.

Also, I stood up in heels for five hours this morning and sang for about three of those hours, and I think that entitles my brain to shut down for a fair portion of the rest of the afternoon. Yes, my feet are connected to my brain through the direct link of my body, so don’t mess with my logic.

In other news, I’m kidnapping Matt later this week and taking him up to the mountains. It’ll be great. There will probably still be snow. And I found a place that will let us bring Shiloh without charging extra. Best of everything! I’m jazzed.

And now I’m beginning to babble, which clearly signals the appropriate time for me to stop typing.


My Turn on NaNoWriMo This Year

After at least ten minutes of debate, I have decided to put my own personal spin on NaNo this year.  Yes, I signed up a few weeks ago as an official participant, but at this point I really don’t need 50k words in a new project. What I need is my manuscript revisions finished.

So here’s the deal: I must polish a certain average number of pages every day this month. It’s a lot, in keeping with the NaNo tradition, but Matt’s the only one who knows what I’m supposed to be doing.  The goal is to fill in the holes and smooth the rough edges and polish and check everything to end up on November (oops) December 1 with something that’s ready to send out to agents and editors.

So that’s my version of NaNo this time around.  Here’s to winning!


A Resolution

I have decided to stop apologizing.  So hah!  Take that, guilt!  For those who wish I would update a bit more often, I’ve added a widget to display my twitter feed in the right-hand column at the bottom of this page, so you can keep up with goings-on even when I’m not finding much time for blogging.

The last few weeks have been busy ones.  I’ve been writing, Matt’s been super-busy with work and classes, and we currently have almost two feet of snow, and it’s supposed to keep coming down for another 12 hours or so.  I do like snow, but this is really early for winter to hit like this.  I have a feeling we’re going to have a whopper of a winter.  Also, we need to get new tires on the truck.  I thought that could wait for another month or maybe two, but with this much snow we can’t put it off much longer.

As I browsed through a bookstore earlier this week I came across a copy of Elaine St. James’s Simplify Your Life on super-sale, and since I usually do better when I have a checklist of sorts, after I paged through it a bit I brought it home.  (I did pay for it first. I’m not always a book thief.)  I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been updated since it was written in 1994, so there are some pretty great time/lifestyle gap things, but the concepts are all very solid and easily modified to apply to life 15 years later.  And the first thing is to clear out the clutter.

You see, we have a LOT of stuff.  We’ve acquired it in the usual ways: purchased back in the day when we had extra money, gifted by well-meaning friends and family members, swapped with friends, salvaged from other people’s trash, and generally accumulated so slowly we never realized how it was piling up.  We even clean out every time we move, which has been once a year lately, and we STILL have tons of stuff we never use and probably never will.

So, following the first two suggestions in The Book, we have been cleaning out the house during the last two days as drifts of snow piled up outside.  So far, we have almost two 18x18x18-inch boxes of stuff to donate and at least two 30-gallon trash bags to throw out.  That’s from the office (and closet), our bedroom (and closet) and two bathrooms.  We haven’t touched the main living area, the kitchen, or the garage.  It feels really good to get rid of stuff that’s just been sitting there, being moved from apartment to apartment.  It’s amazing–there’s room in the closets for things that have been “living” on the floor, getting kicked out of the way all the time.  Crazy!

Also, we bought some cheap plastic drawers for my quilting fabric, which means now it’s not all piled in big boxes, so I can actually get to what I need without taking over the whole office.  There are drawers for my projects-in-process and all sorts of loveliness.  See?

Fabric Stash!

So today warrants hot chocolate and cozy writing time, at least until Matt gets back from his youth ministry symposium.  Then I suspect there will be snowshoeing.  I’ll try to get video of Shiloh–she LOVES the snow and has tons of fun.

Oh, and I am signed on as a Official Participant for NaNoWriMo 2009, but honestly I haven’t figured out how serious I am about that.  I suppose I should decide, since it starts in two and a half days.

Also, my good friend Venessa Giunta has asked a good question over at her blog:  Do you [as a writer] tell people what you do?

Finally, for those who use Amazon Wish Lists and/or those who wish they could get their hands on a Kindle without paying for it, don’t miss the Kindle Love Sweepstakes.  You can enter through Saturday for the Kindle, and then it moves on to another kind of prize next week.

That’s all for now!  Time for hot chocolate!



Housing issues have me frustrated today. It’s most likely not worth it for us to stay in the apartment where we are now, not with the rent increase that’s coming. . . and we thought we had a good prospect for a place to move, but it turns out they’ve already rented it to someone else and it’s been moved into. Sigh. I suppose we were rather non-committal about our interest, but it would have been nice to have been told, at least.

On the up side, I’ve worked on a quilt Sunday and Monday, just a small one, and it’s coming along nicely. I might have the top finished tonight. We’ll see. I feel good about it.

There’s not much else of any interest. I think I’ve decided that my other priorities are going to overtake NaNo from here on out – there’s just too much to do between now and January, especially since I’d like to start submitting my thesis before residency. So I have a pretty solid start on the idea I was pursuing, and I’ll likely add words to it here and there, but it’s been back-burnered.



You don’t want to know how I’m feeling about my wisdom teeth right now. Or rather, about the holes my wisdom teeth left behind. All things considered, I’m making good progress in recovery. Certain things highlighted, this freakin’ stinks.

We’ve hit a meltdown on both educational and financial fronts this weekend, and are slowly working out of both. These things happen every so often, but they’re not exactly welcome.

I’ve decided to concentrate my NaNo updates on my LiveJournal blog, so feel free to head over there if you’d like to know about the crazy writing that’s going on.

On the agenda for today: way too much. Have to finish laundry, investigate move-out policies and explore an option for moving in the event of the expected crazy rent hike when our lease comes up for renewal, turn the office back into an office (it was a guest room last week), and catch up on my NaNo word count. Anything beyond that is gravy.


The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For

Wisdom teeth removal went smoothly, or so the doctor-man tells me. I don’t remember a thing.

My bleeding stopped fairly quickly, probably helped along by the fact that I was very good that first day about wrapping my face in ice packs to keep the swelling and bleeding down. And by “I was very good” I mean “My Mommy takes care of me.”

Night One went well, with me on the couch and Matt feeding me pain pills every 4 hours. Teamwork, don’t you know.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day actually getting things done, albeit from a reclining position. The bills got paid, emails got sent, phone calls were made (at least two, anyway). I was even thinking I might graduate from yogurt and Jell-O pudding to soft fish today, but then we started with the puking.

So far, there have only been two vomitous incidents, and I’m fairly certain they’re directly related to my prescription pain meds. Since my pain is getting better, I’ve moved to taking lots of ibuprofin (which seems to be doing just fine on the pain front and which might help my swelling). We’ll see if that helps with the puking. But really, how many other people can say they threw up a raspberry milkshake in the Macy’s elevator while sitting in a wheelchair?? Claim to fame, baby.

After that abortive trip to run errands, Mom and I retreated to the house, where I have quite happily not left the couch all afternoon. I read a little bit, napped a bit more, and will endeavor not to puke again tonight, so as to keep the vomit-per-day rate to a minimum.

Oh did I mention that this morning I woke up looking like I stole John McCain’s chin. Happy Halloween! Gotta love swelling.

And now that you all know a whole lot more than you wanted to about me and vicodin, I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled Halloween tomfoolery.

Oh, and speaking of tomfoolery, I do intend to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I even have an idea, but not a very well-developed one. Tom! Fool! Ery!


The Good, The Bad, and The… well, I guess there’s only good and bad.

The Bad:  I’ve written 151 words this week.  This is not the best start to NaNoWriMo.

The Better: I’m going to a write-in tonight, where I will (hopefully) happily spin out thousands of carefree words.  

The Best: The only real condolence for this sad state of writing affairs is that the house and office actually look like sane people live here, rather than a pair of somewhat demented 5-year-olds.  Also, there is Real Food in the fridge for the first time in at least a month.  Woohoo!  With any luck, this return to normalcy in living arrangements will trigger a return of writing inspiration.   

What?  Why are you laughing?   


Mmmm Leopard

I’m still alive, I promise.  

MileHiCon was a fantastic time.  Well worth it, even if I did stay up too late and wake up to early.  I got things done around the house and ran errands on Monday, and took the entire day off Tuesday to read two books.  I stayed in my pajamas until 5pm, and it was lovely.  

The last half of the week always involves work, but I ironed out my idea for what I’ll write and submit for the January residency and solidified more about what I’ll be writing for NaNo.  Of course, I haven’t started my nano novel yet, but I’ve still got four hours or so until bedtime.  

More unlikely things have happened.  

Also, I’d like to say that Leopard (the latest operating system upgrade from Mac, for those out of the know) is absolutely fabulous.  Time Machine will save my butt one of these days.  I can feel it.  iLife’08 ain’t bad either.  

In other news, I’m not going to get enough done this weekend, and there could be something coming down the line at work, which could be either very good or a big step back.  Only time will tell.  That’s about all I’ve got for you this time around.  


Dance With Me

That’s right!  It’s time for the end-of-term dance!  *dances like a fool*  I emailed everything off last night mere minutes before Official Deadline Time.  It might not all be shiny, but it’s not slop either.  I’ll take that.

Speaking of shiny, Leopard comes out today.   Please excuse my drool.  Lucky for me, I converted Matt to Mac last year, which means he’s just as excited as I am, and we’ll be buying a family pack license for the upgrade.  If he can get it before their big grand opening hoo-hah this evening, I expect it will be waiting for me when I get home from work.  Otherwise, tomorrow.

Not that it will matter much, since I’ll be spending this weekend at MileHiCon, meeting some people in person for the first time, taking some books to get signed (Carrie Vaughn will be there! Woo!), and generally having a good time sans deadline.   Carol Berg will also be there, and will be reading from Breath and Bone, which comes out this January and which I will have in my hands as soon as it’s available.

And then I get three days to finalize my decision about what to write for NaNoWriMo, develop as much of that plot as I can, and it’s off to the races again.

How’s your week going?



It’s that time of year again.  The time when thousands of people around the country begin scribbling incomprehensible notes on napkins and praying that the plot bunnies will be kind in preparation for NaNoWriMo (known to people who like to say full, recognizable words as National Novel Writing Month).  That’s right!  The annual 30-day race to record 50,000 words that may or may not be a coherent story and may or may not incorporate ninjas or blue-skinnned joblawoks or any number of other entities that may or may not be real begins in 14 days.  If you need more information, feel free to leave a comment – or just click the link above and hit up the FAQ section, which should take care of all your initial curiosity.

And, of course, I’ve signed up as a participant despite the fact that I’m already working on a novel and I don’t really have time to take on more projects at this point.   This will be my third year as a participant, and although I missed the goal in 2005 (in my defense, I also started 3 part-time jobs that November) I proudly stomped the 50k monster in 27 days last year.  You can find my profile here, which will only be helpful in two weeks, when it starts reporting my progress (assuming I update it, of course).  If you’re going to join in the fun, feel free to add me as a writing buddy.  I like buddies.

The jury’s still out about whether I’ll use NaNo to catch up (and finish) my current manuscript, whether I’ll use it as a chance to explore some other aspects of the world in which I’m writing to better inform the current project, or whether I’ll take the opportunity to give my brain a break and work on something completely different for a while.  If the third, I would commit to turning out a certain amount of my “regular” novel in addition to the 50k on a new project.

And of course, I must note that if I AM going to start a new project, I have no blessed idea what in the world that project will look like.

So feel free to throw out suggestions, either in terms of which of my three options I should pursue or ideas for that hypothetical new novel or, you know, what I should make for dinner tonight.  Any and all thoughts accepted, on any subject.

Have a good one!


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