It’s April 30th today. It’s the end of the month and the end of Camp NaNoWriMo. It was an experience that I’m immensely glad I decided to join. I was motivated to write, to finish the first draft of my book. I met some great people that I’m hoping to keep in contact with. It was exciting to finally get to spend some virtual time with some writers, since there aren’t many around here where I live.

You’re all probably wondering, ‘Did I win?’

The answer is ‘yes I did’. I actually finished my first draft and met my goal of 16,397 on the 26th. I ended with a word count of 16,495 written in April. That means that my total word count for my first draft is around 70,900 words.

I know that the word count of a story does not define the quality of my story, but I’m still astounded that I managed to write so many words and, over the course of more than a year, finish my first draft. There’s still a lot to go, but this is a big first step.


Halfway There

You may have already heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), it’s the month of November, but for people who want to write fifty thousand words during it. Why fifty thousand? That’s what technically constitutes a novel.

Well, in April (and July, come to think of it) the same wonderful people hold Camp NaNoWriMo. What is the difference? You can work on whatever writing project you want. Also, you can set your own goals. I, for example, calculated the number of words it would take for my first draft to reach seventy thousand words (the technical minimum length  of a fantasy novel) and set that as my goal. We’re now halfway in and I thought it might be a good idea to do a post from the thick of it.

These are my statistics as I can see them. The main strategy of any NaNoWriMo project is time management. As you can see, I only had to write five hundred and forty seven words everyday from the beginning of the month to meet my goal. But now, you can see it’s down to four hundred and forty six words per day.

I created a buffer for myself on the days when I had a chance  (Days three and twelve spring into my mind) so that other days if I only had the energy or time to write three hundred words, or none, like last night (you may notice that I haven’t written anything today either, that’s because it’s 8:30 and I haven’t had a chance. I’m writing to you guys first.) I wouldn’t fall behind.

Overall this has been a lot of fun, the people in my ‘Cabin’ sort of like a randomly-assigned Ravelry Group have been really nice and even helped me fill in two rather substantial plot holes.

However, now that we’re hitting the middle stretch life seems to be hitting all of us with various levels of suck. Hopefully we can all make it to the finish line in the end, and if not, we still have written more than we had when we started.

PS~ Here’s an exclusive sneak peak of the bind off (I can’t believe I’m already at the bind off!) of Impasto.


Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Year Published: 2012

Category: General Fiction, Coming of Age

*No Spoilers*



Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (which will be henceforth called Aristotle and Dante) is a story about two young boys and the world around them. Aristotle, Ari, and Dante meet unceremoniously one day, and their lives are never the same.

Sáenz uses a style of writing that could almost be called stream of conscious, Ari gives us his innermost thoughts without the filter of self-consciousness that can arise during a typical narration or writing in a journal. Indeed, we even get a few peeks into his journal throughout the book. It’s an intense style where every single word’s weight is determined and only the heaviest are used.

Ari’s family is distant, mourning the loss of his older brother to prison. Dante is bubbly, full of life and a happiness that can only be described, in my mind, as sunshine. The two of them complement each other and the relationship that grows out of their unique (and dissimilar) perspectives about life is most definitely one of the secrets of the universe.

I rate it: 5/5

Goodreads says: 4.33/5 (that’s specific)

Amazon says: 4.6/5


foul language, physical abuse, hate crimes

Resurrecting Dresses (Part 2)

A new Goodwill popped up in the little town where I go to college. It’s been there for a couple months but I had yet to find anything beyond a few shirts I wanted too wear as they were.

A few weeks or so ago I found two dresses that I loved. In a fit of brilliance, though, I forgot to take before pictures. The best I can do are some (rather dodgy) screen shots of the before footage from Episode 32.

I knew when I picked the red dress off of the rack that I wanted to take out the waist panel and to shorted the hem by a bit. The purple dress I was less sure about. I knew I wanted to shorten it as well. My only other idea was to take off the buttons and find other ones to replace them with.

I had the time over spring break to modify them, so I got to it. The first thing I did was to play around with folding the dress to see what it would look like if I made certain modifications since I wasn’t 100% sure how to change it. In the  end I decided I liked the look of it hemmed up and with the sleeves removed so I seam ripped out the sleeves and hemmed them to make it sleeveless.

Then, like I did for the red dress, I put the dress on to see where it fell at knee-length. I folded it up and pinned it. I ended up raising this one even more than I did the red one, a whopping 7 & 1/2 inches (19 centimeters). Scandalous!

After that it looked exactly like what I hadn’t known I had wanted. There was less fabric and the pattern seemed less overwhelming to look straight at.


Enjoyed this post? Check out the first installment where I resurrected the red dress above.