Zachary Quinto’s ‘Coming Out’ Epicness.

Alright. Time for me to admit to the full extent of my epic nerdiness.

I have recently fallen in love with another fandom… Star Trek! πŸ˜€

For some reason, I hadn’t watched the 2009 Star Trek film before, and so about a month or so ago I decided that as a self-professed Sci-Fi nerd, it was only natural that I should. Not to mention, a massive slash fan – Kirk/Spock were the original slash pairing, after all. Felt like I should pay hommage to it, or something. πŸ˜› So… I watched it! And fell in love. The characters are so fascinating, and the cast is bloody spectacular – Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Karl Urban (woo, fellow Kiwi!) Squeee. Easy as that.

Anyway, my new obsession isn’t actually the point of this post – it was just an opportune moment to tell you all, so you don’t find it odd if I suddenly tweet or post about it. πŸ˜‰

…which leads me onto the real reason why I wanted to write this post, now.

Okay, so for those of you who don’t know, that is Zachary Quinto, AKA the actor who plays the new Spock (he’s also in Heroes, which I now feel compelled to watch). Since becoming obsessed with the Star Trek fandom, I’ve also become obsessed with him! Obviously, he is incredibly pleasant to look at… πŸ˜‰ He is wonderfully intelligent, like a walking talking dictionary… *drools* Overall, Zachary is just a really sweet guy.

And he’s also just ‘officially’ come out as gay.

The way Zachary did so was just perfect. The original interview is here, and if you’re not paying attention, you could even miss it! He slips it in almost casually, not trying to make a big deal of it, but at the same time using it to say something really important about the state of our society in regards to this. He’s talking about his role in a play called ‘Angels in America‘Β  – his actual quote is:

Doing that play made me realize how fortunate I am to have been born when I was born. And to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men. And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like I β€” there’s still so much work to be done. There’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed. The undercurrent of that fear and that, you know, insidiousness still is swarming. It’s still all around us. To revisit that world at all, it took a toll on me. It definitely was an incredible experience but it was really daunting at times.

After this admission, Zachary also posted a wee personal note on his website, which states even more explicitly his passionate feelings on the issue (he’s talking about Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide being the catalyst). Here’s the bit that spoke to me:

but in light of jamey’s death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.Β  our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country. […] i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.Β  jamey rodemeyer’s life changed mine.Β  and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner – i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me.Β  now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.Β  that – i believe – is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.

To me, that… it’s just so heartfelt. Almost made me tear up the first time I read it. Because it’s true, every word.

I mean, I can see why Zachary probably hadn’t come out earlier. He seems like quite a private person, and so probably didn’t see why he should have to talk about his orientation – after all, it’s really no-one’s business. If I were in that position, I think I’d feel the same way.

And yet, on the other hand… when you feel truly passionate and committed to a cause, and want to help in whatever way possible, sometimes these admissions are necessary. I mean, I could be completely wrong here, but this is just my (educated) guess as to the reasons behind Zachary’s decision. He has never denied being gay. As an actor in the spotlight, you can’t really blame him for wanting some privacy wherever he can get it. And now that he has come out, I feel fully confident in saying that I believe he will continue on as he has always done, being true to himself.

So, Zachary Qunito – I thank you for being so elegant, so brave, so heartfelt, and so honest about everything. Seriously, I thought I adored him before this. I sure hope it can pave the way for others.

::EDIT:: Look, he’s inspired someone already! πŸ™‚ Dan Kloeffler’s ‘To Boldy Go…‘ post.

It all makes a difference.

Love yourselves,
Bri xx

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NaNo2011: Everyone Needs A Toolkit!

During my first three years of NaNoWriMo, I did very little preparation. I had a few scraps of paper with ‘vital’ points scribbled down – “Wedding! Love Declaration and Explanation!” (errr, yes, that really helps… *facepalm* :P), but other than that, I didn’t even write my plot/character ideas down. In fact, one of the years, I am certain that I only started *thinking* about my novel in the first week of November. In other words… it was a mess.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ve heard of success stories where people decide on October 31st to participate, and off they bounce to successfully cross the 50k finish line. Sounds pretty epic, huh! Sometimes I wish it were that easy for me. But, looking back on my past attempts, I’ve come to a conclusion that certainly applies to me, and I don’t think I’m alone here.

1. My past failed attempts were disorganised,Β  I lacked motivation and direction, and didn’t have the set-up to survive the full 30 days.

2. My successful attempt, last year, I had what I’d like to call a NaNoWriMo Toolkit. I was organised, visualising the month ahead, planning my novel and getting a direction for the plot/characters, and the most important thing – all this preparation was making me excited and motivated to win.

So, I’d like to share what makes up my NaNoWriMo Toolkit this year, and hopefully some of you will find it helpful for your own preparation for this November! πŸ™‚

Notebook + Pen

THE staple, most important thing that I have for NaNoWriMo. This is where I write down everything – absolutely everything – regarding my novel. On the first page, I’ve got a wee slice of inspiration – “Rocking NaNoWriMo 2011!” and after that, I’ve got space to jot down my initial novel ideas. I must admit, I haven’t actually gotten further than that yet this year, but my plan is to have…

  • Character Profiles – I’ve always believed that if I know my characters really truly well, inside out, so that I can conjure them up into my mind whenever I like – even dream about them! – then from this, a story will arise. My characters will let me know. After all, everyone has a story. So, I write up profiles including categories like the basics, like age, occupation, and then ones like family, friends, love interests, living space, hobbies, backstory (how they came to be in the position they are currently) and values. It varies from character to character, depending on what’s relevant, and what’s not.
  • Character Pics – So I can visualise them properly. Doesn’t have to be exact, but I either try to find an actor or someone who looks similar (not someone famous, or all I’ll be thinking of is the actual actor!) or if I’m feeling brave, try to draw a (rough) sketch of them.
  • Plot Outline – Once I know my characters, hopefully I’ll also have thought up a clear plot line. I try to keep it as chronological as I can, because that’s the way I work best – I leave lots of empty space in case I want to add more though πŸ™‚
  • Research – At the back of my notebook, I keep any notes that I’ve had to research for my novel. For example, my last year’s NaNo was about a guy with Dissociative Identity Disorder, so I jotted down relevant points that I’d come across while researching.

Plus, the feeling of having a notebook is just plain awesome. These days, I do around 90% of my writing on my laptop, the only exception being taking written notes in university lectures πŸ˜€ So, it’s quite fun to be able to write in a notebook again, so old school and ‘writerly’ πŸ˜‰

Ahh, and the pen. I am just a wee bit of a pen nerd (*cough* collectomaniac!) and so it is really important for me to have the right one. Last year, I indulged myself and purchased a proper NaNoWriMo Pen, squeeee! But… as awesome as it is, some part of me doesn’t actually want to use it, in case I break it or something, hehee. So, I have another pen that I store in the spiral binding, just a plain black pen that is comfortable to hold and writes really well. Honestly, my advice would be to try every freaking pen in the shop. Who cares if the shop assistant gives you bung looks… it will be worth it πŸ˜‰

Post-Its

What a fantastic excuse to do even more stationery shopping! I actually don’t go through an excessive amount of Post-its myself, but they are still pretty useful. I currently have three Post-its stuck to my laptop, one of which was written by my Mum last year, for NaNoWriMo, saying “It’s all sooo worth it!” πŸ™‚ Awww, thanks Mum! So yes, while I use Post-Its for motivation, you can also totally use them for your actual novel. Plot points, random things you want to include in your story, sudden inspiration… anything you like! Go crazy. There’s no such thing as too many Post-Its!

NaNoWriMo Star Chart!

This is something I did last year, and mannn – you can’t go wrong with stickers! Squeee! I actually was talking about this with a couple of my tweeps, as they were curious about the idea, so I decided to take a photo for you guys. It’s pretty simple to make, and fun too – I like to use a lot of colour. Then, you just write in the total word count you need to be at for each day – when you achieve it, you get a sticker!! πŸ˜€ Great for motivation.

…and, a Desktop Background Calendar!

As well as my Star Chart, I’m going to use a calendar as my Computer Background too! Doubles my motivation, and all that πŸ˜‰ There’s an official thread to find these on the NaNo forums here, if you want to flick through and find one that you like. The one I’m going to use is here – it’s absolutely fantastic, with the word counts AND the words of inspiration! Brilliant πŸ™‚

NaNoWriMo Report Card 2011

One final kind of calendar/motivation thingy, which I swear by, is this beautiful NaNoWriMo Report Card. I used the same one last year, and this kind person has updated it to fit this year. I am nuts about statistics like this, and thankfully I found this one because my Excel skillsΒ  aren’t exactly up to par… πŸ˜‰ You record how many words you write per day, how many writing sessions you have, even your morale levels throughout November… and you get awesome statistics to look at! And a graph! Squeeee! πŸ™‚

Q10

So SO thankful I stumbled across this piece of genius! *grins* Q10 is a minimalist writing program – it looks exactly like the above screenshot. It means I don’t get tempted by clicking idly on the internet, or whatever, because it blocks out everything else.Β  You can change the text and colour and all of that, but I love the default text as it looks like a typewriter – AND, Q10 comes with typewriting sound effects! It may sound silly, but it makes me feel EPIC to hear the quick noise of the typewriter when I’m writing my novel πŸ˜€ Plus, it has a brilliant alarm setting that lets you set it for a certain time – just like a NaNo Word Sprint. I found that writing furiously for 15min blocks helped immensely, as I was racing against the time, and trying to better my previous amount of words written in 15mins – leading to a massive boost for my overall word count! Very, very fun, and it’s free to download, so why not give it a go?

NaNoWriMo Hoodies + T-shirts!

*grins* I won’t deny it, I’m a tad obsessive here… but yes, I own 2x NaNoWriMo hoodies, and 2x NaNoWriMo T-shirts! πŸ˜€ The first one I bought was the Black Hoodie, as a reward for last year’s win. I actually would live in hoodies if I could, they’re just so darn comfortable! Which is why I bought… ahem… the Gray Hoodie too! πŸ˜€ (Confession: I’m wearing it as I write this blog.) I just figured, it’s a great way to support OLL, and they’re actually great conversation starters – I’ve had a couple of people recognise it, which always gives me warm fuzzies! *smiles*

But, I didn’t stop there… to celebrate my first NaNo win ever, I purchased the NaNoWriMo 2010 Winner T-Shirt πŸ™‚ I couldn’t NOT, really! Bring on summer, when I can actually wear it…! Plus, I also have the Camp NaNoWriMo T-Shirt – too epic, really! Actually, I did kind of attempt Camp NaNo this year, in August, but I wasn’t really trying to get the 50k. I ended up with 30k which I was perfectly happy with πŸ™‚ So yes, bought the shirt, because I am most definitely planning on winning a future Camp NaNoWriMo πŸ˜‰

And finally…

NaNoWriMo Song Playlist

This is always a heap of fun to make. My staple songs in any year’s NaNo playlists can be found in my previous blog post, to add a bit of motivation. Other than that, I go with what fits my novel’s genre, and my plot/characters. So far, I have the Star Trek 2009 OST, a smattering of Doctor Who Soundtrack songs (mostly from Season 5!), “Luka” by Suzanne Vega (one of my character’s names is Luka), and “Think You Can Wait” and “Sorrow” by The National (some sweeeet Indie!). Only just started compiling it, so there should be much more come November. You may be able to guess what genre I’m writing now… but just to keep being mysterious, I won’t say anymore than that just yet! *grins*

So, there you have it! My own personal NaNoWriMo Toolkit. What do you guys have in yours? Do you think I’m missing anything? Did I inspire you to add more to your own? Did I inspire you to have a Toolkit in the first place? πŸ˜€ Let me know!

16 days to go!
Have fun!
Bri xx

NaNo2011: The NaNoWriMo Song(s)!

To celebrate the relaunch of NaNoWriMo’s website – it’s so shiiiny! – I decided I’d do a quick post to inspire you all. And to entertain you, obviously πŸ˜€

Here we have my three favourite songs during NaNoWriMo. About NaNoWriMo, actually!

Yes. That’s right.

Kristina is a genius. ‘Nuff said. She loves Harry Potter, loves NaNoWriMo, is awesomely nerdy… squeee!

*giggle* Ohh, this one. The lyrics are absolute gold! πŸ˜€ All true, every single word.

And, finally…

NaNoWriMo by John Anealio

You can listen to it online for free, or purchase the song for just $1 – bargain! πŸ™‚

All three of these songs are just brilliant at getting me enthused for NaNoWriMo! But, be warned – they are ridiculously catchy. Seriously. They just get stuck in my head so easily, and I randomly find myself singing the lyrics – sounding incredibly weird too, I bet! Totally. Worth. It.

19 days to go!
Have fun!
Bri xx

NaNoWriMo 2011, Here I Come!

Firstly – phew, long time no see! I know, I know… I’m terrible πŸ˜› In my (somewhat lame) defence, study has been incredibly hectic this past month. It’s always the way, everything’s due at the same time… *wipes forehead*

But anyway, I couldn’t resist making time to write this blog post, because…

That’s right! It’s October, which means November is well on it’s way, which means… NaNoWriMo! πŸ˜€

Now, in case any of you have been lucky enough to avoid my rambling on this subject, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Well, technically, it’s International now, but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Yep, so… writing 50,000 words in one month. 30 days. 1,667 words per day, actually.

*beams*

This year is a pretty special one for me, because it will be my 5th NaNo! Of course, I have actually only completed the 50k once, which was last year, but I still gave it a go during the years before that. I just wasn’t as great as multitasking… or something. I failed rather epically. Still, over my past 4 years of NaNo, I’ve written over 75k, which isn’t too bad considering.

Now that I’ve won once, though, I am determined to cross the finish line again. Which I will be doing this November πŸ˜‰ No doubt about it. My exam timetable and study stuff is being relatively kind to me – more kind than usual! – and I actually will have all my essays and exams over by Nov 7th. Meaning I can focus completely on NaNo after this! So, you see, I really do have no excuse for failing.

I also hope to be able to do a few blog posts during this time. What’s that, I hear? More writing during November? Am I completely nuts, you ask? …well, yes, but I’m sure you already knew that. πŸ˜‰ No, I would just love to be able to blog a bit about how I’m progressing through my novel, what’s exciting, the grief my characters are giving me, how badly I’m procrastinating, when I just want to curl up and die because my whole plot is falling apart… stuff like that. πŸ˜› NaNoWriMo was the reason I joined Twitter this time last year, and so it’s only right to add another social media tool to the mix for this year.

(Yes, I shall still be tweeting during November, naturally. Enthusiastically. And compulsively!)

On top of that, I’m planning on writing a few blog posts before NaNo actually starts.Β I’ll keep a list here, once I’ve actually written them. They’ll be about the planning side of things, the fun preparation… and, about my actual novel, believe it or not! *gasp* I know the genre, but I’m not going to reveal that just yet πŸ˜‰ Love a bit of mystery. I’ve had one mini planning session thus far, at the Borders cafe – writerly much? – but don’t have that much plotted out yet. Just vague snatches of inspiration, moments in time that I know I want to include, somehow…

And that’s what makes this truly exciting. Anything is possible, at this time. I love it! There’s a whole world out there, just waiting for me to dive into, to fall in love with the characters, and to tell their stories in the best way I can.

I know, however, that there is no way I can do this without all of your support. You know, checking up on me, asking me how much I’ve written today, encouragement, threats, guilt tripping… it’s all (mostly!) welcome πŸ˜‰ I truly believe that’s why I won last year – I told pretty much everyone what I was doing, and so I had no choice but to finish it, otherwise I’d have to live with the eternal shame of failing. Clearly not an option!

Of course, I would just LOVE it if some of you actually decided to do it with me! I will unashamedly boast now and say that I’ve managed to convert two of my real life friends into giving NaNo a go, one in 2009 and the other in 2010. Gee, better not ruin my record now… anyone keen? πŸ˜€ Check out the NaNoWriMo website for more details – you might want to wait until tomorrow, because the awesome OLL team are launching the all new and improved website! *dances*

You know you want to.

My posts about NaNoWriMo 2011 so far…

Hope that you enjoy the ride with me – it will be an epic November, I can promise you that πŸ˜€

21 days to go!
Have fun!
Bri xx

Episode VI: The Return Of TheΒ Blog