Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Careful: Elf on the Shelf is Watching

  Am I the only one who finds the whole Elf on the Shelf phenomenon a little disturbing? As if it's not enough that Santa sees you when your sleeping and knows when you're awake, now children everywhere are  being spied on by this miniature elf with his creepy plastic grin.

  I was introduced to him last year while working at an in-home daycare where he was doing his watchful duty. One day something happened, I can't remember exactly what, but it had to do with one of the kids not being good. (Some things that were defined as not being good were pretty insane: a two year old pooping in their pants and then expecting help changing them? Bad. But I digress.) A note showed up from Elf on the Shelf saying that he was so sad that he had to go away because the children there weren't good.  I, in my naivete, believing that the elf was meant to be a fun tradition for the kids, assumed he would come back. He never did. Luckily, the kids didn't seem to miss him. At all. And can you blame them? I mean, look at him. It was like he wasn't even there for fun,  just as another way to guilt the kids into being good.

  To be fair, I have seen some pretty fun, creative scenarios that some moms have come up with for the little guy.  I especially like the pics over at Holly at Nap Time because that elf is just as bad as any kid, even going so far as to steal from their mother's wallet.  Maybe my strong feelings against the elf hype are because of my own negative experience of him being used as a method of tricking kids into behaving. But I still don't think that if I had kids, I would feel like I needed to tell them that the elf was alive and watching them.

Come on guys, he's creepy, right?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 3 NaNoWriMo Recap

  Where have I been all month?  Happily, I can say that I have been writing!

A short summary:

Week 1 - Not bad, kept up on word count.  Getting words out was a bit more like pulling on a glob of molasses than a literary miracle.

Week 2 - Best week so far!  Though this week is reportedly a dreadful week of horror for many Nanoers, words seemed to fly out of me and I even got ahead on my word count.  I remember one amazing day that week when I was so wrapped up in my story that whenever I sat down to write a strange, blissful euphoria overtook me.  That day made me feel like a writer.

Week 3 - Thought "spending Thanksgiving week at my parents' house won't affect my writing much," proceeded to go to said parents' house, experienced sheer terror and panic when I began to fear I was going to fail miserably. Decided that maybe stranding my main character alone for a large portion of the book, as planned, wasn't a good idea considering that dialogue is what makes my scenes and that without it I feel like an extremely clumsy person on ice skates. Got back on my feet.

  And that brings me to now, nearing the end of Week 3.  Deep breath.  I have overcome so much this month, just letting myself write without worrying that what I was writing was essentially a pile of shit.  Honestly, I thought it probably was.  Imagine my surprise on reading over some of story today when I realized it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared.  In fact, it has potential and I might not even have to rewrite every single word after November's over.  Keep on writing, fellow Nanoers.  We can do this thing.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Need some hilarious NaNo inspiration?

  I know, I know.  One of the greatest pieces of NaNo advice is to get off the Internet, and yet here I am.  But I think you'll appreciate my finds over at Terrible Minds.  First, here is an excellent article called 25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo.  Second, Mr. Wendig has left us with a prayer: less a supplication to the universe than a stubborn, slightly maniacal rant.  He encourages us to stand in front of a mirror and recite it to ourselves.  I dare you to do it!  I double dare you to do it without peeing yourself.
This book is almost complete. But challenges shall dog my every step. 
My hamstrings might snap like high-tension cables and take out one of my eyes. My back may bend and bow until my scoliosis allows me to pleasure myself with my mouth. My knee caps might shoot off, striking a Yeti in the eye which makes him really mad and so he comes over and tears both of my arms off and beats me about the head and neck with my own gore-spewing limbs. My mind may crumble under the assault, driven to the very precipice of sanity, staring down into the deepest yawning yawping abyss and as the Yeti howls and my synapses fire I will smell the scent of funeral flowers wafting up from that abyss and I will find it peaceful and comfortable and will realize how easy it would be to just pivot my hips just-so and go tumbling down into that satisfying darkness, the darkness of ease, the darkness of acquiescence, the milk-livered niddering darkness of sweet sweet cowardice. 
But I will do no such thing. 
I will soldier on. 
I will grab one of my severed arms in my teeth. 
I will flail my neck around until I slug the Yeti in his Yeti balls with one of my own dismembered limbs, and I will watch as he cries, “MROOOOOooooo!” 

  You can check out the prayer in its entirety here.  My word count is currently standing at 4500, and I need 6600 by the end of today.  So I think it's time for me to truly tell the Internets adieu.  So adieu.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Synopsis

  I promised my NaNoWriMo synopsis, so here it is!

Aubrey has gone to Brazil on a biology research internship to study the endangered Boto dolphin, which lives only in the Amazon river.  Living in a small village of stilted houses on the Amazon, she is exposed to the raucous and passionate world of Brazil's less-privileged.  As she begins to talk to and learn the ways of the locals, she learns that some are open, like the merchant's wife, but some are as closed as a musty, unused cellar, like the man who looks barely older than herself and lives on the edge of town with no human contact.  When she meets an alluring man near the Amazon one night, she has no way of knowing that her world will be forever changed.  Is he what he seems, or is there something to the superstitious murmurings of the locals? Does she know as much about the dolphins of the Amazon as she thinks?  This chance encounter throws Aubrey headfirst into the eerie underbelly of a small Brazilian village, with its strange inhabitants and common acceptance of things she has never dared to imagine.  Can she survive the terror that overtakes her, and if so, will she know the girl who emerges on the other side?

So that's that.  I got 2200 words yesterday morning, and I haven't written yet today but am going to a local NaNo write-in with my husband tonight.  That's all for now!