NaNo Prep Starts NOW | Friday Edits | September 23

My Scrivener binder is an absolute mess right now, but I’m kind of loving it – it means things are happening! I’ve thrown everything I wrote during 2014 NaNo under the ‘Draft Nano’ folder so that it’s there if I need it, but since it’s mostly clutter for now, I’ve swept it under the proverbial rug just to make things seem more doable.

As you can see, I am very excellent with naming scenes and chapters. My goal of finishing a rewrite by October 31 in preparation for NaNo16 will go up to the “Sailing” folder – everything after than will be officially cut and NaNo16 ‘novel’ will be grafted on from there. This means both a stable foundation and a fresh start – and not so much time mired in the mud of exposition.

Seriously, I think a good 2/3 of the original is spent in exposition. From the folder labeled ‘Exposition’ to ‘After Lapu’ can be counted as EXPOSITION. For the love of God, past self… get into gear!!

Luckily, that is just what I’m doing now! We’re moving to chapter two and things are already moving at a faster clip than before. Progress is measured in increments.

I also had a lightbulb moment today during my writing session. In my original draft, the story opened with MC Kaya/Kinah defying her village’s misogynistic ways and attending the traditionally ‘all-male’ hunt in disguise as a boy. First of all, while I love the idea of Kaya/Kinah as a genderfluid person, this suggests two things:

  1. That the village was large enough that one extra boy would not be noticed in the throng, and
  2. That kind of bull still happens, even in this fantasy land that I have constructed and created over YEARS.

Why? Why does she have to fight against sexist traditions, even in a world of my pure imagination, Gene Wilder? Why?

Answer: she doesn’t, so she won’t.

It simply won’t be an issue in this world, because the only thing that really matters post-nuclear apocalypse is how well you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Who cares if you’re a boy, girl, or neither if you can do that, and do it well?

All instances of Kaya/Kinah’s character being undermined because of her gender have been wiped from the slate, because this is fantasy and we have enough of that in the real world. This story should be focused on the characters and their misadventures, not a fantasy version of sexism. Because where’s the fun in that?

The fun is, reader, in the subversion of that trope.

And I’m not talking in terms of misandry. Oh no, I’m talking in terms of making Kaya/Kinah’s twin brother Lapu/Likteh be the one to sneak into a place where he is forbidden. He’s not forbidden because of his gender like Kaya/Kinah was in Draft NaNo – he’s forbidden because he got dealt a shitty hand of fate and the council has decided he should not go on the Green Journey with his twin, which is really in his best interest. Should he listen? Absolutely! Will he listen? Absolutely not – and that is what makes writing this story very fun.

Of course he’s going to sneak around in disguise until he’s past the point of no return. He’ll be the one in disguise because he doesn’t like what has been decreed. At no point will anyone be denied anything because of their gender in this story. That sort of angst we can find aplenty in the real world and other fiction, so it has no place here.

Yes. Lots of progress this week, and I’m feeling fine. See you on Monday for a snippet!


Rainy Days | Wednesday Updates | September 21

Rainy days are my favorite. Today I woke up in darkness, with the pitter-patter of rain against my windows, and my heart soared. These are the days in which I feel most content, and it’s cold enough in the apartment that I actually considered turning on the heat for a hot second. Autumn is upon us and I am so excited.

Tomorrow marks the three-month anniversary of my move to Madison, WI – and I’ve been very busy! I have a new driver’s license, two jobs, two volunteer opportunities I’m pumped for, and I have registered to vote. I’ve been writing, stitching, and working. I’m tired but loving it, because I know that the hard work will pay off. Maybe I’m more of a Hufflepuff than I thought…? I am feeling the side effects of moving to a new place though. I don’t know a lot of people and some days are worse in terms of loneliness and homesickness than others. I’m hopeful that this will change, but it’s manageable because…

November is almost here! September-October-November-December is my favorite stretch of months, because you get

1) a new school year (I know, I know – huge nerd);
2) Halloween all month;
3) NANOWRIMO!!; and
4) Birthday/Christmas celebrations.

I live for these four months! I’m crossing my fingers that there will be some local write-ins for NaNo that I can attend, for the first time in all seven (!!) years of doing NaNo. My plan is to rewrite the first third of Seedsong by October 31, and dedicate November to finishing it up the way I want to. It’s going to be a busy few months!

And now, my favorites of the week…


For anyone who may not know, I absolutely adore Star Wars, in all formats. So when I heard about this podcast, which records the misadventures of the roleplaying crew of the Mynoc, I had to check it out. It’s a tabletop RPG, like Dungeons and Dragons, except set in the Star Wars universe. The cast is hilarious with unique improv humor that is accessible to everyone, not just the nerds. I highly recommend checking this podcast out!


I’ve made it another personal goal to continue my Chinese and Korean language learning, and Memrise is helping me with just five minutes a day. It won’t get you fluent in thirty days or less, but it’s an excellent, free-to-use site and app where you can sign up for any class (over 300k+ and counting!) and go at your own pace. It makes you feel accomplished while actually helping you learn… whatever you want to!

See you on Friday!

Progress | Monday Snippets | September 19

Good morning, readers!

The great thing about this schedule that I’ve made for myself is that it is great motivation to keep writing, because I don’t want to just give you snippets that take place in the same exact scene. I want to get to new and exciting chapters (haha) of my writing, so I have to keep writing in order to make it interesting for both you and myself!

Now onto the weekly snippet…

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The Edits are Actually Happening | Friday Edits | September 16

“Making and keeping a regular schedule is for squares!” I declare, teary-eyed as I look at my empty update calendar and lack of writing for the past two months. “I- I’m still a writer! Even if I haven’t done anything except say ‘I’m a writer!'”

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Achievement GET: Housing | Wednesday Updates | June 8

My jaw may be locking up and my hand may be seizing, but none of that matters at this exact moment in time because a huge goal has been knocked off of the AfterGrad MasterPlan!

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Thanks, Terry Pratchett! | Monday Snippets | June 6

Listen: if you are like me, a person who claims to love writing and yet never seems to do any writing, please do yourself a favor and read this article by Neil Gaiman. Not only does he make me want to read a lot more of Terry Prachett’s novels, he also acknowledges that writing is difficult and even the professionals struggle with it.Read More »


Red Pen Down | Friday Edits | June 3

It’s Friday! And that means an update on my lengthy, seemingly never-ending editing process for Seedsong. I walked to town about forty minutes ago, and am sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops. I’ll miss this one most when I leave. The decor, the music, the ambiance is just great – not to mention the food and the coffee! I just love small coffee shops like this. Hell, I even love Starbucks. It has something to do with the association between coffee and productivity, which is amplified when surrounded by other people on computers. Even if they’re on Facebook (hello, guy in baseball cap!) or Netflix (guilty)!

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