Saturday, November 25, 2017
*stumbles into the blog post with tired eyes, a half-finished mug of coffee, and a blanket tied around my neck as a writing cape*

The end is near, you guys. You're almost done. You've made it this far -- I know you can make it to the end. *hands you cookies to sustain you through the rest NaNoWriMo (and the rest of this post ;)*

THE CLIMAX IS HAPPENING. THINGS ARE GOING DOWN. I knew this was going to be an intense scene since I first brainstormed it, but... eek. (Though... I'm afraid that my mind thinks it's more climatic than what's actually going down on paper. When I read back on it I might think, "oh, that's it?" BUT OH WELL THAT'S WHAT'S EDITING FOR, RIGHT?)

*sobs quietly at the thought of editing* *banishes that thought from my mind forever*

Today was a break day! Sundays are always pretty busy days for me. Church and work and family and being tired from waking up early. :P So instead I did some reading. I'm currently reading The Book of Lost Things, which is kind of a modgepodge of fairytale retellings with darker twists? I probably explained that wrong but so far it's good. *nodnod*

ALSO. I totally forgot to share this on last week's blog post... BUT LOOK AT NADINE BRANDES' NEW COVER FOR HER HISTORICAL FANTASY RETELLING, FAWKES. (phew that was a lot of caps but this deserves allll the attention)

Isn't it gorgeous?? You can find out more about the book in her blog post where you can enter to win an ARC!

Even though today was a Monday, which means the start of another week of school, it was awesome for several reasons. Here's why.

  • I wrote at the coffee shop today! Which is always delightful.
  • I FINISHED THE CLIMAX?! Guys, I only have the resolution to finish, now. I could be done with this book in a couple of days. o.o *freaks out*
  • After writing, some of my coworkers and I went to go see Murder on the Orient Express. It was a "good" movie up until the twist, which it then became a "great" movie. My mind is still spinning. O.O
  • To wrap up the night I made myself some pizza. (mwahaha)

Today was a good day and I'm very thankful for that.


Ughhh today was another sluggish day and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. It is rather frustrating, but at the same time... I'm kind of okay with the words coming slowly? Because I probably have only around 5k left in this story, and it makes me sad to see it end. I've been incredibly invested in this story for the past few weeks -- it feels so weird to think about not working on it anymore. o.o

So maybe I'll write three hundred words a day for the rest of the month so I can my time with the book last more. xD

Oh! And I saw the movie Wonder today. It was a very emotional and touching movie that I highly recommend. <3

I started this writing day wanting nothing to do with my novel. I developed a strong urge to do nothing but REEEEEAD. I have a massive TBR pile and I want to try to make at least a dent in it. *sobs*

But once I started writing... THE WORDS CAME SMOOTHLY AGAIN. *cheers* That might be because I had pie this evening, so the sugar fueled the words, mwahahaha. It was a chocolate-type-of-something-pie that tasted like pure amazingness. I'm not usually a huge pie fan (especially fruit pies, because I feel like fruit isn't meant to be soggy and baked), but if it has chocolate? SIGN ME UP. 

Also... I'm determined to finish this book tomorrow. O.O I have two more small scenes and an epilogue -- EEK.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (I mean... by the time you read this Thanksgiving will have been two days ago... BUT I HOPE YOUR DAY WAS AMAZING ANYWAY. And filled with lots of food, mwahaha.)

To put it plainly: I'm stuffed. My dad surprised my sister and I with donuts for breakfast, and then we gorged ourselves with all the Thanksgiving food with our extended family. (mmm... dinner rolls... and mashed potatoes... and pie... <3 <3)

After the Thanksgiving festivities I did some writing, and then my family and I watched The Hunger Games. (which... is kind of ironic seeing that we watched it on a holiday that revolves around food) AND GUESS WHAT? 

During the movie...

BOOM. Just like that... I'm done with NaNoWriMo. Typing that out makes it seem a little more real. Wow. *mind explodes*

I think I'm happy with how my novel came out. Obviously there are lots of things to fix, because it's a first draft, but I have a nice little list of editing notes to look back on when I finally decide to improve this story. It ended at 69,000 words, but there'll be lot to add later.

Also, I wrote my first epilogue?? It's a very bitter-sweet experience. *sniff* I think everything about finishing a book is rather bitter-sweet. :P

 [these are stats from the whole month]

words written: 69,237
time spent writing: 41h, 35min
cups of coffee consumed: so many
books read: one and a half (this is a sad number)
movies watched: four
highest word count in a day: 5,441
lowest word count: 0

All in all, it was another successful NaNoWriMo. Is it weird to say that I'm a little sad that the insanity is done? I just really love the month-long thrill of being wrapped up in a story that I created.  And the incredible community that comes together during the crazy month! It's so cool. <3

I guess now the question is... what's next? First, I'm definitely devouring Renegades now that I've finished my novel. I'M SO EXCITED. (and I'm ignoring the negative reviews because I hope with all of my heart that I love this book)

And then for the rest of the month, I think I'm going to take it slowly. Catch up on blogging, reading, painting my room (yay!!), and anything else spontaneous that pops in my mind. ;) My poor brain could use a break. (and my sore wrists)

HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING. <-- I'm pretty sure I've asked that question in each of my NaNo posts so far... but it's a genuine question that the answer can change from week to week. xD

I'll be back next Saturday with my November highlights!

katie grace

have you been able to read any books during nano?


Saturday, November 18, 2017
Phew, this week of NaNo was an absolute blur. I found myself answering comments that were six days old on my last post -- eek! Usually I do that on Sundays, and I have no idea how it escaped my mind. It's just proof that NaNo is chipping away at my sanity. xD

Yup. My total today was a big, fat, stinky, old zero. I intended to keep up my writing daily streak... but once I sat down and opened my document, all of my motivation disappeared. POOF. GONE. (funny how often that seems to happen. -.-) I tried to summon the motivation to find my motivation... but, alas, I closed my computer and went to read instead. (which ended up being an A+++ decision because somehow we're eleven days into the month and I haven't read a single book. *sobs*)

TODAY WAS SO BUSY. I feel like I could say that about most days... but today I was busy from nine in the morning until nine at night and it exhausted my poor little soul. (I'm honestly surprised I gathered enough energy to write 1,000 words. :P)

It's weird being an extroverted writer, because once I'm out and about I enjoy connecting with people... but words! editing! novels! <-- those reasons are why I wish I could have more time at home sometimes.

Currently I'm bemoaning my past plotting self, because I skipped over the details of so many story logistics. Today I literally had to write [insert realistic motives for this character to hate other character] because SOMEHOW I kind of skimmed over that part during plotting?? This is where I need the logical side of my brain to step up and give some input. Usually that side remains suspiciously quiet. xD

Words were hard today. Despite having most of the day open for writing, it took me nearly the whole day to write 3,000 words. (which is a lot, yes! but usually I would've aimed for 5k+) I don't know exactly why they were so tough in coming... but I'm blaming it on the fact that I saw Thor today, and became distracted thinking about the movie.

It seems like lots of people are raving about the amazingness of Thor: Ragnarok. I enjoyed the movie, but I'm a bit disappointed by the different direction they took. It felt completely disconnected to the previous Thor movies and to Thor's character. It was hard to take him or the life-and-death moments seriously, and the plot was too jerky for my tastes. *shrugs* To each their own.

But the movie did make me laugh out loud a few times. Especially Korg. IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MOVIE YOU KNOW HOW WONDERFUL KORG IS. I need a miniature Korg. He's basically my favorite character ever now. xD *will rewatch that movie multiple times just for his screen time, hehe*

I also received Renegades in the mail today! It was so hard to gaze upon the beautiful cover and not crack a peek inside. *sniff* But like I mentioned in a previous blog post: since I'm also writing a superhero story for NaNo, I don't want to accidentally borrow anything from her hero world. It's just extra motivation for finishing this novel. o.o

So, after writing all the above... I think it's safe to say that the words were hard because of all the distractions. xD

I've been writing for three and a half years. I've written six novels. I've spent hundreds of hours slaving over fictional worlds. I've written about a lot of different things and subjects, but... for the first time ever...

I got to write about pizza today.

'Nuff said.

Sigh, today was another slow writing day where putting the words onto the paper felt like pulling teeth. Or tugging hair. Or pinching skin. Basically it was just hard.

NaNoWriMo this year has really showed me how much I depend on plotting. Which is weird -- two years ago I was a die hard pantser and didn't plan on changing my ways. But today I'm writing a section where I skimmed over the details during brainstorming. Because of this, progress is sluggishly slow. I need to know what to foreshadow! What are the order of the events?! Help!

I should hopefully finish this tough section tomorrow, and then I'm back onto my outline. AND THE CLIMAX IS NEXT. This book could be finished next week, you guys. How insane is that? o.o

Another smaller word count day, but Fridays are always tough for me since they're my blogging days. So I worked on this blog post you're reading right now during the afternoon and night... and during the evening I went to my second write-in!

So, if you don't remember from my previous NaNo update, the last write-in I went to was a bit, erm, quiet. Which was totally productive! Just... not as exciting as I expected. BUT THIS WRITE-IN WAS TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

There were snacks! Hot cocoa! A super energetic bookstore host! Prompts and popcorn and lots of giggles! I was able to interact with other writers while writing 1,500 words, which is a definitely win-win situation.

And there were prizes?? I walked away with a journal, a ninja eraser (#NadinesNinjas, anyone? ;), an ARC of the NaNoWriMo Pep Talk book (!!), and a sharpie that said: for signing books when you're famous. <-- that's the cutest thing I've ever seen and I will treasure it until that day.

If you have an opportunity to attend a write-in, I say go for it! The NaNo site should have a list of activities in your region. (and you'll get a fancy NaNo computer sticker only available at write-ins. *ooooh* *aaaah*) I can't promise that all of the write-ins will have snacks and prizes... but for your sake I hope that there will be. :P

[i do not know why this image is blurry but it makes my heart sad]
word count: 11,892 [month total: 61,903]
time spent writing: seven hours, forty-six minutes [month total: 36h, 36m]
nights stayed up past midnight: 0! (wut, this might be a record o.o)
mornings with coffee: seven/seven. ahh, it's so lovely to have a working coffeemaker again. <3

This week was a lower word count week, but definitely still a productive one. It's crazy looking forward to next week because THE FINISH LINE IS IN SIGHT. Tomorrow (or... it will be today as you're reading this) I can finally work on the climax. Eek, insanity. o.o

HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING NANOWRIMO? Am I the only one who thinks NaNo is going suspiciously fast this year?? I mean, we only have twelve more days to survive! It's doable! Probably! Maybe! :P 

katie grace
my nano profile

how is your progress going??

NaNo Week #2 // 50,000 WORDS AND MY FIRST WRITE-IN!

Saturday, November 11, 2017
It's day eleven of NaNoWriMo! How are you doing?? Do you need a nap? Chocolate? Seventeen cups of coffee? All of the above?

Somehow, I'm surviving. It's been insane, but a good sort of insane. A type of insanity that only writers will understand. :P

DAY FOUR: 5,024
Like I mentioned in my last NaNoWriMo wrap-up, I went to a write-in at my library today! This was my first write-in, so I was super excited to meet and discuss books with other writers, but... everyone was so quiet. Literally the only conversation I had was with someone commenting on my NaNoWriMo shirt. The rest of the time was just frantic typing filling the silence.

It wasn't a bad thing, since I got lots of writing done... but still very different from what I was expecting. We were all so silent and still that at one point the lights turned off since they were motion-activated. xD

I'm glad I went, because I got a "NaNoWriMo superpowered noveling" sticker for my computer! It makes me ridiculously happy.

DAY FIVE: 5,017
I GOT TO WRITE A PLOT TWIST TODAY! I've been looking forward to this twist since I brainstormed it in October. I already know that this scene is going to need lots of editing... but hey! At least I have the bare bones on the page. xD 

And by the way... it is so tough to write a story with a large cast. I just... there are so many character arcs to juggle! So many backstories and fears and hopes and dreams and struggles and relationships and different personalities to sort out! Ugh, it's exhausting, and I already know that editing is going to be a nightmare. At least I'm passionate about this story so I have one thing going for me. :P

DAY SIX: 5,041
Ahh, day six of NaNoWriMo. It's a Monday: the start of another week of school and a thirty-hour work week. *collapses from busyness* But at least all the working means all the coffee drinking. ;)

OH! And speaking of work, the greatest thing happened to me today. A little boy came up to the register with his dad and ordered a hot chocolate. I asked him for his name, and he said in a small voice, "Landon!"

Um. What. Landon is one of my main character's name. O.O I couldn't stop grinning for a solid five minutes. I hope he grows up to be a reader and devours my book someday. <3

I also hope that he's not angry at me for putting his character through some rough stuff. (oops)

DAY SEVEN: 4,007
Today I was tired and unmotivated, so I stopped writing after I hit 4k instead of doing my usual 5k. I'm totally okay with that. Hypothetically, I could've stayed up until midnight writing... but... I wanted keep my sanity in check, so. xD (and if I continued writing, the words probably would've come out as nonsense so it's a good thing I stopped when I did)

Other things worth mentioning about today: Twitter exploded with their new 280 character limit. Obviously that makes it the perfect opportunity to scream about NaNoWriMo:
(this is one of my most popular tweets so I fear for the well being of all the NaNoWriMo participants XD)

DAY EIGHT: 5,002 
Guess. what. happened. today? I GOT A NEW COFFEEMAKER! My morning coffee will return! The caffeine consumption rate will rise! My fingers will be blurs of movement across the keyboard while coffee spreads throughout my veins. (MWAHAHAHA. :P)

Today I worked hard at finishing all my writing in the afternoon, because I had holiday setup at Starbucks from eight until midnight (decorating, updating menus, unveiling all the new cups, coffee, etc). I had a crazy fun time singing carols with my coworkers and eating pizza in the empty store at eleven at night... but it is not fun trying to change the drivethru menu boards in five degree weather while it is snowing. 100% do not recommend because you will end the night with frozen fingers. 

Otherwise, I had a blast. xD

DAY NINE: 5,108
Are you starting to sense a pattern with my word counts yet? Once I type that five thousandth word, it's rather difficult for me to summon any motivation to write more than that. But I'm getting soooo cloooseee to 50,000! If I manage to do 5k more tomorrow... there's a possibility that I can hit the big 50 on day ten. o.O

DAY TEN: 4,803
I DID IT! I HIT 50,000 WORDS! *collapses forever and ever*

One of the questions that keeps coming my way is: how close are you to finishing your book now that you've hit 50,000? 

My answer? I DON'T KNOWWWWW! I wish I was good at estimating. I know that I'm nearing the climax, but... I have no idea how many words it'll take me to actually finish the story. 75k? 80k? 90k? Somewhere in that range? I'll keep you updated on that mystery. xD


body count: just one! go me!
word count: 34,002 [month total: 50,011]
time spent writing: eighteen hours, forty-eight minutes [month total: 28h, 50m]
mornings without coffee: five
mornings WITH coffee: two!
nights stayed up past midnight: two (this is such an improvement from NaNo '16)

So, overall, this week of NaNoWriMo was a success. I'm feeling good about my story (albeit a little unsure about the characters/flow), and I'm excited to keep cranking out those words!

Also, shout out to my word warring buddies. I definitely wouldn't have hit 50k this soon without the motivation and accountability. o.o

How are all of you faring?? Keep in mind that I'm a naturally faster writer than most, so try not to compare your progress. NaNoWriMo is an extremely tough challenge, but ultimately the purpose is to get words on the page. And if you're doing that, you're doing well. <3

katie grace
nanowrimo profile


Saturday, November 4, 2017
NaNoWriMo has arrived, which means my weekly NaNo updates are back! I'm doing them the same way as I have previous years -- daily updates, rambles, and then a few wrap-up questions at the end of the post. 

You'll notice, at the end, that I have a "time spent writing" section. I recently stumbled across a post by Marissa Meyer where she tracked the total time she spent writing/editing/outlining/etc for her novel, Heartless. That was incredibly interesting, so I'm going to do the same thing. Hopefully I can stick with it. xD

It's a short wrap-up this Saturday since there are only three days of NaNo to recap... but that just gives you more time to write. (Mwahaha, SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!)

DAY ONE: 5,339
Like I do every year, I started off NaNo with staying up until midnight, which was really weird because I haven't stayed up until midnight in over a month?? I'm a natural night owl, but just with school and work it makes more sense for me to go to bed early, so I've been trying to do that more. IT'S INSANITY. It's like -- gasp -- being an adult. o.o

But, since I don't have the talent to be a functioning adult, I broke the coffee machine. I was reaching for the microwave, and when I opened the door, my elbow jerked backward and knocked it off the counter and onto the ground. The coffee pot shattered into a hundred tiny pieces and all I could do was stare at it and imitate Luke from Star Wars, "NOOOOOOOOOO!"

SERIOUSLY, THOUGH. NaNo is the one month where I consistently drink coffee every morning. (throughout the rest of the year I usually don't if I work later, since I'll just get coffee there.) But with NaNo, I need all the caffeine I can get to act like a semi-normal human. Of course I break it on the first. day. *headdesk* 

(I spontaneously made a pizza at ten o'clock, which was definitely the best way to end the first day of NaNo. It helped offset the broken coffee pot disaster. :P)

DAY TWO: 5,259
Day two of NaNoWriMo is the day in which I realize that this book might turn out to be a monster novel. Long books aren't bad, don't get me wrong, but I prefer reading, writing, and editing smaller books, so I'm hoping that I'm able to condense it without making it awkward.

Also, whoever thinks that writing doesn't take logic is completely WRONG. I made the mistake during plotting of saying, "ehhh, I'll figure out the details later!" So now I'm stuck trying to figure out the motives and the timeline of events with a tired brain. #fail 

DAY THREE: 5,411
Today I discovered this neat writing tool called Fighter's Block! It's an online writing app that is set up like a RPG and motivates you to get the words down, whether they're good or not. It's a nice switch from staring at a word document all day. And if there's no one around to word war, then you can literally war against a fake monster. :P

It also snowed again today. (UGH.) I know that winter comes every year, but for some reason that doesn't stop me from complaining about it. I already can't wait for spring to come. xD (I do agree that the first snow is beautiful... but it's cold. The snow would be perfectly fine if it was warm! Wouldn't that be weird? Just a giant, fluffy heating blanket. o.o Ahem. Anyway.)


body count: three
word count: 16,009
time spent writing: ten hours, two minutes.
mornings without coffee: three
stayed up past midnight: only once on the first night! woohoo!

katie grace
nano profile | about my nano novel

(by the way, I'm going to my first ever write-in tomorrow! this is the first one that the library is hosting, so I'm just crossing my fingers and praying that I won't be the only one to show up. :P I'll let you know how it goes next week!!)

how did the first few days of NaNo treat you?
what's your current body count at (hehe)?