// nano progress report //

NaNoWriMo 2017 Participant Banner

hey, guys! here’s some news on how my nano project is going. (making this post is just another way that i’m procrastinating. help.)

word count

i’ve written 10,591 words out of 15,000!

according to some graph on the site, my daily word count is a bit screwed up. sometimes i’ll write a few hundred more words than is necessary. others days, i’ll reach the bare minimum. i don’t know why i do that, but i’m currently about two days ahead of schedule, so it’s cool.

the first week was really tough. i hadn’t written anything since nano 2016, so my skills were a little rusty. i had to discover my style again, but now it’s going smoothly. well, as smoothly as writing can go, which isn’t really saying much.

plot

i wasn’t able to do much plotting before nano because i switched stories last minute. when i write, i like having something to follow, so i started freaking out when i reached the end of my preplanned plot in chapter three. i have this huge empty space in the plot (between my characters leaving titan and reaching earth) that i’m not sure what to fill with. guess i’ll just wing it.

characters

i finally decided on a name for “tommy,” the annoying kid that sneaks onto their spaceship: keirnan. he’s named after this kid in my co-op who was a couple grades below me. i’m pretty sure that boy and his siblings are demons, but *sips tea* that’s none of my business.

i didn’t flesh out my characters very well before i started writing, so it’s exciting to see their personalities develop as the story progresses. zen is a sweet, soft child that must be protected at all costs; taz is already done with everyone’s crap; and lulu has somehow morphed into izzy, my best friend (brilliant, kind of rude, has crazy ideas). a good thing about this is that if i ever get stuck on what she would say/do in a certain situation, i can text izzy and get her opinion.

snippet

some of you asked me to post an excerpt for my novel, so here you go. this is where i am in the story right now. it’s not the greatest thing i’ve ever written, but i’m ok with that, because i’m more concerned with getting the words down than if they’re good ones.


Sleep has almost wrapped its soft arms around me when there’s a thud close by. Then a moan. I open an eye and glance around. Zen is still out cold in the front, likely getting drool on the collar of his favorite sweater. He probably wasn’t the one who disturbed me, then.

“Lu?” I rasp, my voice scratchy and too deep.

“Nope.” She sounds tired. It must be awful, having to pay attention to the creeping traffic for this long. “I thought it was you?”

I shake my head. Not that she’d be able to see.

Maybe it was Zen, after all, twitching in his sleep. Or it could have been the ship. I don’t know. I lay my head back and yawn.

Thump. 

I jerk up. There it is again. “Lu –”

“Check on the engine, would you?” she asks distractedly. I can practically hear her fighting off a nap, struggling to keep herself aware of the pilots around us.

“I don’t know how –”

“Just do it! Unless you want to fly?”

“Uh, I can take care of it. No problem.” The engine is hidden in the floor, concealed by a trapdoor. It’s located right next to the emergency exit, which means that if I accidentally pick the wrong door, I will be sucked out into space and hit by the ship behind ours. That would be an unfortunate way to end the trip. “Lu –”

“Left one.”

“My left, or . . .?”

“Yours.”

“Right, right.”

“No, left.”

I decide to shut up before we get any deeper. Yanking up the trapdoor, I bend close to the engine, craning my ear toward the whirring gears. Heat radiates up from the cavity, warming my cheek. “It sounds fine,” I tell Lulu, shrugging.

She growls in frustration. “Still. Try whacking it with my wrench. The toolbox is in one of the cabinets.”

I let the door fall. “Which one?”

“How should I know?”

I don’t even bother this time. I work my way around the ship systematically, opening each cabinet in turn, giving myself no more then a second to scan the inside for the toolbox. When I’ve peeked into all but the two closest to Zen, I hear a cough from the nearest one. And this time, I’m sure it’s not the engine, or any of us. “Lulu, there’s . . . ah, well, there’s someone in the ship with us.”

Lulu tenses, her back straight, her hands tightening around the yoke. She speaks slowly, her voice low and strained. “I can’t help you right now. The traffic is letting up. Don’t do anything till we get close to the police ships up ahead, where the accident was. They can help.”

I face the stowaway’s hiding spot, preparing myself to strike. “We can’t. No offense, but the fake IDs might not be convincing enough. We can’t risk it.”

She snarls again. After a moment, she breathes in a trembling voice, “Open it.”

Whoever is in here is scaring Lulu. I can’t allow this. I reach forward, rip open the cabinet, and launch a kick into the small space.

“Ow!” the intruder yelps, followed by whimpering. “Holy Pluto, dude, what was that for?”

My mouth drops in disbelief. Curled up in the cupboard is none other than the bratty nephew of our neighbor Nadala. “Keirnan?!” I sputter, letting go of the door in my shock. It catches his finger as it slams closed.

“Ow, ow, ow!” he wails.

“Lulu!” I screech, rousing Zen with my cry. “Keirnan’s in our ship! Our freaking ship, Lu!”

Suddenly, we’re picking up speed, everyone’s screaming, I’m losing my footing and toppling over. The world inside our fixer-upper, peaceful just moments before, is in utter disarray.

“Zen, take over!” Lulu orders, leaping out of her seat. “It’s just like driving your hovercraft. Well, not really. You’ll figure it out.” She tugs me off the ground and we crowd around the cabinet.

My brother, having just returned to consciousness in a loud, confusing world, sobs as he throws himself at the controls. The ship rears up and down, the result of shaky hands. Vehicles around us blare their horns irritably.


i need to write some more today and decide keirnan’s fate.

anyway, how are your nano projects going? do you think you’re going to reach your word count goal in time?

xo

loren

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// tips for writing stuttering //

i thought i’d post some writing tips in honor of nano. i’m going to be talking about stuttering, because that’s something that lots of writers get wrong.

i’ve seen stuttering done like this countless time: “w-w-well, i . . . i m-mean, you k-know . . .” and it bothers me, because that’s not how people actually stutter. not how i stutter, anyway. it might be different for others.

i don’t trip over my words aloud as much i used to, but i still do it all the time when i’m thinking. i’ll just be talking to myself in my head, and then i’ll reach a mental roadblock. that’s what it feels like. i know the word, i know how to say it, but my mind won’t let me. i’ll just trail off instead while i try to force it out. i usually end up having to change the way the sentence is worded so i can avoid the one that my brain isn’t letting me say.

when i’m stuttering out loud, it’s not just because i’m nervous/shy. sometimes i stutter when i’m excited, when i’m angry, when i’m talking about something personal. and like i just mentioned, i’ll reach a roadblock. if i try to say the word, my throat feels tight and i am literally incapable of saying it.

here are some alternative ways to write stuttering, besides the classic way:

– have them repeat some words

– have them trail off and restart their sentence

– show them getting frustrated/embarrassed

– have them begin the sentence one way, then reword it

– have them pronounce a word incorrectly a few times before getting it right

– have them mix up their words: “i played with my cat today” becomes “i played with my today cat.”

i hope this was helpful! if you’d like to add onto this, leave your tips in the comments.

xo

loren

// my nano project //

hey.

nanowrimo starts in six days and i’m still not prepared. shocking!!

  i wanted to thank you guys for helping me pick a story to work on this year. i ended up deciding on the “angst-y teen aliens” idea and have spent the last few days trying to flesh out the characters/plot so i don’t have to start nano without a plan.

anyway, i wanted to introduce you to my story, and hopefully talking about it will help me sort everything out in my head. details are still iffy, so things will probably change, but these are my current ideas.

characters

 

taz of titan – mc

here we have my beautiful (possible) antihero. he lives on titan (one of saturn’s moons) with his dad and twin brother. do i know anything else about the main character? not really!! but that’s fine, because i have six entire days to come up with his backstory/goals/fears/arc/personality before nano.

 

zen of titan – taz’s brother

you know how some people have a new crush every week? zen is one of those people. he’s probably fallen in love with a toothbrush at some point. who knows. anyway, him falling in love is the whole reason that your favorite teenage aliens end up going to earth in the first place.

 

lulu of iapetus – nerd

(i promise that being a nerd isn’t her entire role.)

lulu and her family are refugees from the moon iapetus. they live in a cramped apartment with two other families. lulu is friends with taz and zen, and she comes with them on their intergalactic roadtrip for the sake of research (and having a good time).

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*he doesn’t get a collage because i haven’t given his character much thought*

“tommy” of rhea – the annoying child

i haven’t actually picked a name for him yet, so i’ll be calling him tommy until i can think of something better.

he’s visiting his grandparents, who are neighbors of taz and zen. he just so happens to overhear them planning their adventure, tommy decides to sneak into their ship, because everyone loves him, right? he’s incredibly aggravating and everyone wants to launch him out of the airlock until either a special skill, tragic backstory, or heroic move redeems him. maybe. and then they all develop a family dynamic with him at the center, because i need to put my ships in domestic situations for important reasons.

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there’s also going to be an important human character, but idk anything about that yet.

plot

– nasa’s golden record shows up and now my aliens know that humans are a thing

– acquire spaceship

– intergalactic roadtrip part

– earth shenanigans

– ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

i’m only aiming for 15k this year, because i haven’t written since last november, which menas i’m probably very rusty. but if i’m making good progress, i’ll boost it by a few thousand words. we’ll just have to see.

 as you can tell, i have virtually no clue where this story is going. so nano should be incredibly interesting this year.

good luck with your stories, my friends!

xo

loren

// nanowrimo project | help me //

nanowrimo is next month, and i have given it next to no thought. which shouldn’t be surprising, because we all know that i’m a huge procrastinator. i haven’t even decided if i have enough time and motivation to participate in nano this year, but if i end up doing it, i’ll need to have settled on a story.

here are my ideas:

magic thing with cute witches?? idk.

i’ve been thinking about characters and settings for this one for awhile, so it’s the most fleshed out of my ideas. it was originally going to be my nano project, but there’s not much of a plot and i don’t know if i could write convincingly about magic without making it to much of a cure-all.

-mc is a lil guy named sanjay who is pushed around by his brother

-meets ada (the witch) in a graveyard while playing drunk truth or dare

-ada’s parents are gone, they’re trapped in the magic dimension or something

-sanjay, homeless aromantic magician, guy with white anime hair, and ada and her gf form an unlikely crew to defeat magical monsters and save the missing parents

angst-y teenage aliens

i was procrastinating one day and found myself reading the wikipedia article for the golden record nasa sent into space. you know, the one with pictures of humans and information about our planet and how to locate earth in the solar system, so that any aliens could easily find and enslave/murder us. i was talking to my mom about what a horrible idea that was, and she suggested that i write a story about aliens.

-teen aliens steal a spaceship and go on an intergalactic roadtrip

-they find earth, but instead of killing us, they just want to take selfies and maybe see if we taste good

-rom com in SPACE

-details are spotty, but i want someone to teach them the rock and roll sign

the end is nigh

my mom was telling me about this book called cold mountain, which is the odyssey but in civil war times. and my mind went, “the book of revelations but in modern times!!”

-i’ve read revelations maybe twice and all i remember about it is the seals and dragons and “there will be no more death or mourning or pain.”

-i would try to write a guy mc and make him really freaking terrified, because i’m sick of boy characters who are never scared of anything

-i wouldn’t have to do much plotting. i am sold.


i know i barely explained any of my ideas, but it’s the best i could do at the moment, since i haven’t really planned any of them.

so i just wanted your opinions on this. which one sounds this most interesting to you? of course, the final decision is up to me, but i’m clueless right now and would love some help.

xo

loren

// cwwc 2017 | winners //

IT’S FINALLY HERE. HALLELUJAH. I’VE SPENT MOST OF MY SATURDAY COUNTING POINTS AND DESIGNING GRAPHICS AND DOING MATH PROBLEMS IN SPANISH FOR SCHOOL. HALLELUJAH.

i got entries from the names in bold:

ellie (hope in full)
rebekah (head in the clouds)
jordan (daythinker nightdreamer)
daisymermaid (the girl with auburn hair)
audrey (please just one more page)
allison (a farm girl’s life)
mia (creative castle)
c.a. peetz (cliff’s brink)
katie

points from this round: 17

sarah
lauren (comma hangover)
clara (clara and co.)
sari (penumbra reviews)
rose (sun on a cloudy day)
hope (the nerd notebook)
poppy
arunima (dreamer’s dreams)
madi

points from this round: 23


olive (hidden hollow ag crafts)
jess (the artful author)
danielle (near but far)
suzy (ends&odds)
k.a. (bursts of inspiration)
dara
wysteria (head in the clouds)
charis (charis rae)

points from this round: 26

 chloe (my hobbit hole)
megan (a barefoot gal)
annecy (free fallin’ girls)
orchid (crochet buddies)
sarah (for all who wander)
kiki (the thoughts of a girl with aspergers)
nicole (worlds beyond words)
anika (this journey called life)
carol (peeking through a kaleidoscope)
madi (madi grace)

points from this round: 20

if you wrote a story, but don’t see your name on the list, let me know so i can fix it.

three of the teams had members who didn’t submit stories for any of the challenges. since it’s basically the same as not having enough writers on your team, those three (narnia, hogwarts, and half-blood) will be receiving thirty-two points for each “missing” member (4 extra points x 8 challenges = 32).

ready to learn who won?

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a lovely girl named kitty sent me a drawing she did of me. isn’t it amazing? she’s incredibly talented.

she used this picture of me as a reference.

kitty, if you’re reading this, i absolutely adore the drawing, and i’m going to print it out and put it in my room once our printer is working. :)

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your scrolling is now interrupted by some dumb things i’ve found on the internet.

(i’m just trying to waste your time.)

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Valentines tumblr

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sorry. i’ll stop procrastinating.

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total points: 237

GOOD JOB, TEAM HOGWARTS.

total points: 262

YOU DID AMAZINGLY WELL, YOUNG DEMIGODS.

total points: 269

SHIRE PALS, GO CELEBRATE WITH AN AFTERNOON TEA.

before extra points were given for “missing” members, team shire had the most points: 269.

(or you can use this graphic, i don’t care.)

total points: 277

FOR NARNIA AND FOR ASLAN.

i hope everyone enjoyed cwwc 2017! if you want, you can leave suggestions in the comments on how i can improve it for next year. just make sure they’re polite, please. :)

have a lovely day!

xo

loren

// cwwc | challenge eight //

hello, my friends!

we’ve reached the final cwwc challenge. make it count. and it would be great if everyone who is participating could try to submit a story for the last challenge. :)

i got entries from the names in bold:

ellie (hope in full)
rebekah (head in the clouds)
jordan (daythinker nightdreamer)
daisymermaid (the girl with auburn hair)
audrey (please just one more page)
allison (a farm girl’s life)
mia (creative castle)
c.a. peetz (cliff’s brink)
katie

points from this round: 19

total points: 164

sarah
lauren (comma hangover)
clara (clara and co.)
sari (penumbra reviews)
rose (sun on a cloudy day)
hope (the nerd notebook)
poppy
arunima (dreamer’s dreams)
madi

points from this round: 29

total points: 183


olive (hidden hollow ag crafts)
jess (the artful author)
danielle (near but far)
suzy (ends&odds)
k.a. (bursts of inspiration)
dara
wysteria (head in the clouds)
charis (charis rae)

points from this round: 25

total points: 224

 chloe (my hobbit hole)
megan (a barefoot gal)
annecy (free fallin’ girls)
orchid (crochet buddies)
sarah (for all who wander)
kiki (the thoughts of a girl with aspergers)
nicole (worlds beyond words)
anika (this journey called life)
carol (peeking through a kaleidoscope)
madi (madi grace)

points from this round: 30

total points: 248

if you wrote a story, but don’t see your name on the list, let me know so i can fix it.

here are the prompts for the eighth challenge:

Writing Prompt

x

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thevalley

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your stories for the eighth challenge are due by midnight on september 1st.

write a story/poem/whatever inspired by these prompts. you’ll get two points for posting the story within the time limit, and one point for every prompt you use.

at the beginning of your cwwc post, please make sure to say how many prompts you used. this makes it so much easier for me to count up the points.

once you’ve finished your story, leave a comment on this post with a link to it. for those submitting their stories by email: send it to me at happyhouseofag@gmail.com.

feel free to display your team’s button on your blog.

have fun. :)

xo

loren