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New Beginnings

I graduate in a week and one day.

I’m moving on to newer and stranger things outside my comfort zone.

And thus, due to this and a healthy dose of blog ADD, I present to you this:

The Uncomfort Zone: Foraying into the Sanity-Draining Darkness that is Reality

I hope to still occasionally update this blog with writing-related posts that’ll be cross-posted from my new blog.

Wish me luck as I attempt to enter the real world cleverly disguised as an adult.

Final Push

Here’s my list of what I have left to do for my finals:

History 436:

- Done. Just need to attend class tomorrow to watch other peoples’ presentations :)

Religion 215:

- Done. Just need to check with the prof about emailing him an outline of my presentation
– If so, email prof outline of presentation

English 452:

- Read last 3 short stories and edit
– Write responses to the letters
– Write revision statement of intent
РWrite reflective letter about strengths as a  writer
– Write up 3 – 4 short pieces to put in the portfolio
– Print EVERYTHING
– Turn in portfolio Thursday Dec 9th

Religion 409:

- Read and make notes on the life of St. Augustine
– Supplement with research from his original works
– Outline research paper, set up as a chronology of his life
– Construct powerpoint presentation
– Write up handouts with examples of Augustine’s philosophy
– Practice presentation
– Give presentation on Thursday morning, get notes from Dr. Turner
– Write 10 to 20 page paper on this research, turn it in Monday the 13th

And so goes the madness. I graduate a week Saturday.

Ho. Lee. Crap.

Completion

Where have I been all weekend?

Working on my project for my History class. Tomorrow I will scan all 24 hand-drawn, hand-colored and painted pages for my project: ‘Saints, Witches, Madwomen: An A to Z”. Until then, I am going to drink a cup of hot peppermint tea, watch Battlestar Galactica, and pass out in the hopes that tomorrow I won’t suffer to much for being up so late to get so much done.

The madness is just beginning, but I’ve been through far worse in less time.

Dead week has begun.

Bring it on.

So that’s it. It’s December 1st and NaNoWriMo 2010 is officially over. To all my friends who won, or even attempted this utter insanity, I offer my hat to you in congratulations. Now go sleep for a week. You’ve earned it.

This was a rough NaNo for me. I powered out of the gate, guns and pen blazing like a racehorse covered in napalm, but then I hit stumbling blocks that extinguished my fire and tripped me until I was ass-deep in dirt. I hit 50k on the 15th after two weeks of exhausting myself and then said ‘I can’t keep this up.’

I blame school mostly. I’m almost to the finish line of my final semester of college, and because of this projects, papers and presentations have taken me by the arms and said ‘oh no you don’t!’ and have forced me to pay attention to my studies while leaving my novel projects by the wayside. And I gave in. I chose not to fight. ‘This is my fate’, I said, and allowed the bastardly assignments to claim me.

Normally I wouldn’t do anything of the sort. The writing comes first, hell or high water. This semester is different though. This is the last time I have to put school first. In about two and a half weeks I’ll be done with homework in it’s traditional form and donning my cap and gown at ass in the morning, traipse across that stage and give the University the finger, wishing it Good Riddance.

Then I can get down to the real thing; actually writing.

That’s the real thing I’ve learned this November. That it really wasn’t about the wordcount for me. I’ve discovered that I’m definitely an overachiever, because most of the novels I come up with don’t fit in the 50k frame. I also don’t like to stop in the middle of a scene. I don’t like writing with abandon, because I write fast enough that I have the time to edit as I go.

NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing 50,000 words for me. It’s about writing. Just writing. The act of putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and creating. There’s no right way to do this mad month of noveling, no matter what people may say. And while I love a lot of the community surrounding NaNo, a lot of it just gives me a headache. People being people of course, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or put up with it.

This is my third NaNo, and I will continue to participate, but I will also be taking the spirit of writing daily into my new, post-graduate life. It’s time to put writing first, and even though it stung, even though my idea turned out to be ill-suited for prose novel form, this is, and was, the very last time I have to put school first.

So that’s that. Ghost was a good exercise, but I don’t think it’s the novel for me. I hope to be transferring it to Graphic Novel format as next year progresses. As well as this Jeff and I are looking to start a webcomic together (casually, nothing serious of course), and I’m going to focus my noveling on Strain 10.

And hopefully I’ll end up getting a job so I can support myself without having to eat my own foot.

So that’s my NaNo 2010. Rewarding, but backburnered quickly. I didn’t make it to my minimum goal of 75k, let alone 100k. But I hit the 50 thousand, and right now that’s good enough for me.

Small Milestones

So, according to the nifty little stat tracker on my Dashboard page, this post will mark my 50th blog since I started this here website. This is without doubt the furthest I’ve gotten with blogging besides my excessively whiny friends-only Livejournal, so I will permit myself a post of celebration.

here, have a LOLcat

Because every celebration is better with LOLcats.

 

I’m a Facebook addict. It’s not even something I’m embarrassed to admit, most people in college and high school are addicted to the social networking website. However, I know that Facebook consuming one’s life can be distracting, especially post college, so as an addict, I’m going to begin weaning myself off the Facebook Crack.

Here are my steps to reducing my Facebook time. They’re just my method, but if people have any suggestions, feel free to post them.

As a note: No, I am not intending to delete my facebook page at any point in time. Facebook is my most effective way of staying in touch with friends from high school who went to college in different states as well as my old friends who live in England.

1. Cease using Facebook Chat

This is the simplest one, and one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. As a client Facebook Chat is clunky, unreliable, inefficient and inconvenient. There’s no way to set one’s status except as their overall status on the network, on some browsers the receiving of a message prevents you from doing ANYTHING until you have looked at and responded to that message. I have lots of friends on Facebook, but the first step is informing them that if they wish to chat with me, I have a perfectly good AIM / MSN account.

2. Set facebook to maximum privacy

I did this when Facebook first came out, but due to changing terms and conditions and new features, new issues of privacy have come up. Thus, in order to maximize privacy on facebook, settings need to be adjusted both under Account Settings and Privacy Settings to Friends Only.

Why did I go for this? I don’t want people being able to search for me on Facebook. Facebook is not networking for me, it’s a place for keeping in contact with old friends. This is a fairly optional ¬†step, but I consider it essential, especially as a person about to seek employment in the age of the internet.

Why does this help reduce Facebook usage? Less friend requests essentially. Nothing fancy, but it reduces Facebook as a Social Networking site for meeting people, thus reducing time.

3. Reduce Profile Information

By Profile Information I mean things like relationship status. Likes and interests. Things you post that give your impression on the internet. I say delete ‘em. Get rid of them. Make them insignificant. Give the message to the internet that if people want to get to know you, they’ll have to work harder than just looking at your Facebook page. also, Relationship Status. For the most part, the information of who is dating whom leads to nothing but drama. Whether you’re single, married, divorced or anything in-between, keeping that information off Facebook can lead to less stress and drama.

4. Before checking Facebook, Check your email

Facebook sends updates to your email account, yes? It’s one of the primary functions of the site. Thus, checking one’s email allows the checking of facebook, and if you have no new messages from Facebook, then there’s no real reason to go to Facebook. This takes time, and practice, but it’s probably the most effective way to reduce Facebook time.

Why is reducing time on Facebook a good idea to me? Because we live in an age where internet communication is taking priority. We’re drifting apart and becoming more alone in our connections. And I’d rather a friend give me a call or meet me in person than talk to me on Facebook. Ultimately, I know I’ll be better for it.

So Jeff and I watch a lot of TV in our spare time (the joy of Netflix), and lately we’ve been watching the show Angel, Joss Whedon’s excellent vampire drama. I’ve watched it before a few years ago on one of my long summers working at the Library, but the only exposure Jeff’s had to Whedon shows is Firefly. So we’ve been settling in over the break and enjoying mini-marathons of episodes of Angel.

Last night we decided to get a little silly and turn a couple episodes of Angel into a drinking game. For those of you who have some knowledge of the show, we’re in the middle of Season 2 and last night we watched ‘Blood Money’ (2.12) and ‘Happy Anniversary’ (2.13).

Here are the rules we came up with for the drinking game:

1. Every time Angel looks at the camera with a brooding expression, take a drink.
2. Every time Gunn says something excessively stereotypical / ‘token black dude’, take a drink.
3. Every time Cordelia has a vision, take a drink.
4. Every time Wesley says something excessively stereotypical / British, take a drink.
5. Every time Angel has an awkward conversation with a member of the opposite sex, take a drink.
6. Every time Cordy acts excessively obsessed with money, take a drink.
7. Every time Wesley adjusts his glasses, take a drink.
8. Finish your drink if at any time you wonder to yourself ‘how was this show considered PG?’
9. Take a drink every time the Wolfram and Hart lawyers are avoidant of a question, or blatantly lie to another character.
10. Drink every time Merl gets the crap kicked out of him.
11. Drink every time a character warbles through a bad karaoke routine for the Host.

That’s all we’ve come up with so far. Hopefully on various occasions as we watch this show together, we’ll come up with some more. What drinking games do you play with TV shows, especially Whedon shows?

(Also, for any curious parties, we were drinking screwdrivers. The subject matter would probably beg a more appropriate drink, like vodka-cranberry or a bloody mary, but all we had was vodka and OJ).

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