Christmas Tag Fun

‘Twas the night before Christmas…and the lovely Deborah tagged me with some Christmas-y fun!

What is your favourite Christmas treat?

My favorite food during any holiday is a dish my family calls green jell-o. It’s a lime/pear jello with whipped cream in it and it’s so fluffy and light and yummy.  😛  Basically, I’m in heaven whenever I’m eating it.

Are there any special traditions that your family has to celebrate Christmas?

For a few years now we’ve had the tradition of going to the movies on Christmas evening with friends.

How do you normally celebrate Christmas?

With my parents and my sister; we sleep in and then have a lazy morning of opening presents and snacking on various sweet things. Before breakfast, we open stockings; then we eat.  After breakfast we break into all the presents.  The rest of the day is spent lounging around the house, until we go watch a movie in the evening.

Do you enjoy getting presents for your friends and family? Do you buy your gifts or go the homemade route?

Yes; I love gift giving! Sometimes I do homemade, sometimes store-bought. Most of my homemade stuff is in the form of a plushie, usually from a favorite book/tv show/movie/etc.

Is it cold where you live? Have you ever had a white Christmas?

This year we’re having a strangely warm Christmas. Very rarely do we get a white Christmas—the snow likes to hold off until the middle of January and February, when it’s most inconvenient.

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Volumes from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, a Pusheen wall calendar, a couple movies and some other stuff; I actually scrounged up a list this year.  😛  In the past I’ve had a very hard time coming up with a Christmas list.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

GAAAAH this is hard. I love Home for the Holidays (it’s a Thanksgiving-y song, too), Holy Night, Mele Kalikimaka, Dominic the Donkey (if you haven’t heard this one, you should go look it up).

What does your Christmas Tree look like?

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What are you reading in December? (Anything festive?)

I’m currently reading Winter (going slow, but not because it’s boring; I’ve been busy and lazy).  I’ve also started the manga Bleach.  Neither are very festive.  😛

How early do you start to get into the Christmas spirit?

As soon as the Christmas music starts on the radio! The season passes by so fast I enjoy as much of it as I can.

What Christmas movies do you like to watch this time of year or what’s your favorite?

White Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie. It’s just the right amount of fluff, funny, and happiness; also, I love the dance scenes.

What’s your favorite Christmasy book or book with a favorite Christmasy part?

I read The Harry Potter series around Christmas, so those books will always feel Christmas-y to me. It’s so cute when Mrs. Weasley makes all her kids ugly sweaters.  And then gives Harry a nice sweater.  😛

As I finish writing this post, Christmas is only a couple hours away…eep, I can’t wait! I wish you all a very merry Christmas!  How will you be celebrating tomorrow?

 

Emma’s Adventures in NaNo Land

 

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Last month, I did something I’d never done before: I wrote more than 50,000 words.

I finished NaNoWriMo on Thanksgiving morning–then collapsed into a happy little heap and ate Thanksgiving, went Black Friday shopping, and began gobbling up the books I had accumulated during the month.

I was under the impression that NaNoWriMo would easy and breezy and no one would be able to tear me away from my story.  “Pep talks?” I scoffed as I perused the NaNo website. “I don’t need pep talks.  Psh, I got this.”

I had no idea what I was getting into.

Day 2 of NaNo I almost quit.  I hadn’t actually written a new story in over a year; my first drafts are very rough.  It was painful watching myself murder the beautiful plot I had come up with.  “This scene is supposed to cool and epic!” I would tell myself.  “Why can’t you make it so?”  All my writing buddies on the NaNo website were doing so much better than me.

The second night of November, my dad cheered me on just as I was about to quit.  And then I made my decision: I was going to finish this book.

So I slogged through.  And guess what?  I really enjoyed the experience!  Sure, writing is hard work.  Most of the time the story didn’t just flow from my fingers onto the page.  Some days I felt like I was writing the same 10 words over and over and again.  There was a lot of staring blankly  at my computer screen.  I gobbled up those pep talks and tried to tune out my inner editor.

I think Stephanie Perkins described my experience best in her pep talk:

“There will be a time when your journey grows tough. The idea that seemed so shiny and cool in your head… doesn’t seem so shiny and cool on the page. It’s not quite what you had in mind. The rush and thrill of the adventure is fading, and reality—the time and work it’ll take to reach those 50,000 words—is sinking in.”

Her pep talk was my favorite.

My cheering squad helped a lot, of course: stuffed tempura and a derpy walrus.

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Also, I had some pretty awesome writing buddies cheering me on.  🙂  Thanks, Caroline and Deborah!

Most of my writing happened at night (because I still had school and life and more school during the daytime); I discovered that I can comfortably churn out 1,000 words an hour.  I also learned that fight scenes are hard to write…which became a problem since my book was a superhero story.  Another thing I learned was that I hadn’t really developed my world.  “Scifi should be fun, right?” I told myself.  Um, no.  It became to struggle to come up with something creative while not ripping off the Lunar Chronicles.

Did my story turn out like I thought it would?  Yes, for the most part.  The writing is a lot more rough than I though it would be, but I followed my plot.  The world needs a LOT more development.  At the beginning, I couldn’t decide if I would write in the present or past tense and kept flopping back and forth.  So there’s definitely editing to do.

But I’m so happy I stuck with NaNoWriMo.  Now I stand victorious on the other side of November, with a first draft actually written.  It’s given me a creative boost.  And despite how hard it was to eek out 1,666 words some days, I’m not fed up with writing.  I actually miss it now; my evenings feel empty.

So if you’re thinking about doing NaNo next year, but aren’t sure, you should go for it.  You CAN do NaNo and school and other stuff at the same time.  Sure, I had to sacrifice some things, like skipping Agents of SHIELD and waiting to read books I had preordered.   BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT.  November was an awesome month.

How about you guys?  Did any of you do NaNo?  How did it go?  I’d love to hear all about it!