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

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Day 24 β€” Whatever Tickles Your Fancy: My Bookcase

I did have a vague idea of writing something serious and proper for this post… but bahhh, couldn’t muster the energy. Or inspiration. Besides, this is much more fun! πŸ˜€

I decided to go through my bookcase and write down every 10th book shelved, in order to try and show a selection of my personal library and its vast differences!

  • The Symposium – Plato
    (studied it in Classics)
  • Under Western Eyes – Joseph Conrad
    (pretty good actually)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare
    (one of my favourites!)
  • Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
    (a must-read, really!)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K Rowling
    (no surprises there…)
  • Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them – “Newt Scamander”
    (I detect a Harry Potter theme going on…)
  • What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7? (MuggleNet pre-DH theory book) – Schoen Spartz
    (I’m a nerd… teehee)
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
    (must reread this before the movie)
  • Prince Caspian – C.S. Lewis
    (love it!)
  • The Other Side of Dawn – John Marsden
    (last of the Tomorrow When the War Began books, amazing series)
  • Sabriel – Garth Nix
    (so glad I read this trilogy!)
  • Boy Meets Boy – David Levithan
    (super cute)
  • Pack Animals (Torchwood Novel) – Peter Anghelides
    (one of my favourite TW novels!)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
    (great classic)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
    (haven’t read this yet, can’t wait!)
  • Moab is my Washpot – Stephen Fry
    (his first autobiography, also on my to-read list)
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    (*foams at mouth* A newly purchased beautiful leather bound, gold-edged pages edition… I’m in love!)
  • The Code of the Woosters – P.G. Wodehouse
    (utter brilliance!)

*grins like a maniac* Who said that I’m addicted to buying books? …well, I’m proud of it πŸ˜€ The only thing is that I’ve run out of room on my bookcase shelves, so I have these steadily growing piles of books, all sitting precariously on my desk… *shakes head*

See, much more fun – and less effort – than a proper blog post πŸ˜€

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 13 β€” A Fictional Book

The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays – Tom Stoppard

Okay, so I’m cheating πŸ˜€ Yes, this is a fictional book… but really, they’re plays. However, Tom Stoppard is too brilliant to pass over, so I couldn’t resist…

I found this book at a MASSIVE annual second hand book sale for $2, and out of the 10+ books I picked out that year, this one is certainly my favourite. It wasn’t the first I’d heard of Tom Stoppard. In my first year at University, I was lucky enough to be able to study The Real Inspector Hound, and even see it performed by – wait for it! – by very own lecturers! As if it wasn’t already a comical play. And so, with this lovely introduction to Tom Stoppard, I dove into reading this selection of plays.

Firstly, I have to say that this collection does not have all of Tom Stoppard’s best plays. ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ is definitely one of his better works, but a couple of the ones included in this book were a little on the bizarre side to me. More bizarre that you’d expect, that is. Certainly, the utter craziness of Stoppard is one of his merits! πŸ™‚ However, this collection also includes Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth. This was a joy to read, and I bet it would be even better to see performed! It’s technically two plays, but they are meant to be performed together, and indeed, one wouldn’t make complete sense without the other! The way that Stoppard twists Shakespeare is a true marvel to experience.

Which leads me to my absolute favourite Tom Stoppard play, which is regrettably not in this collection (but, never fear, I’ve just ordered myself a copy online!)…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead!

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about comedy, and meta-theatre, and wit, and… genius!

Here, Tom Stoppard truly shows his flair for Shakespeare. As you might have guessed from the title, this play is about the minor characters from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. It tells the whole play from their point of view – it’s hilarious to see that Hamlet is now one of the minor characters! I have also had the opportunity to see the play performed earlier this year, and I can truthfully say that it is the best performance I’ve seen in theatre for a long time!

And as a side note – it’s always interesting reading a play as opposed to watching a play. I mean, plays are obviously written to be performed and watched, but it’s a merit to the work when one can read it and enjoy it as well. I’m rather used to reading plays, what with all the Shakespeare I study, but it’s a fun thing to think about. I believe that once you’ve seen a play performed though, it gives a reading of the same play extra dynamics and elements – definitely recommend it. πŸ˜€

So… yes. Tom Stoppard is a genius. I sure hope I can see more of his work on the stage!

How about you lot? Any other Stoppard fans? Any thoughts to add about reading plays, as opposed to watching them be performed? Leave a comment, or two! πŸ™‚

You can sympathize with my fellow Ninja here!

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 06 β€” Whatever Tickles Your Fancy: Fiction Is My Reality

Fiction Is My Reality.

It may interest you to know that this idea was the very prompt I needed to create this blog. I decided to use this 30 Day Challenge ‘Freebie’, as it were, to give you all a taste of what goes on in my mind, and what the future of my blog will likely relate to!

In a loose, roundabout way, at least. πŸ˜›

Whenever I care to stop and think about it, I can’t help realising that during an average day I seem to slip into the World of Fiction a lot. So many of the important parts of my ‘real life’ are somehow twisted, infused with fiction.

For example, while…

  • Breakfast: I often read fanfiction updates that have littered my email inbox.
  • Walking to uni/town: Either I’m listening to music, or (more often) daydreaming about my favourite fictional characters.
  • Bored during a lecture: Daydreaming, again…
  • Lunch: Either watch a short episode of a TV show, read a chapter of a book I’m currently reading, or more fanfiction perusing.
  • Gaps between lectures: As a compromise for not doing *real* study, I read the novel that we’re currently studying in my English course.
  • Dinner: Always seem to watch an episode of a TV show, or a movie if I’ve the time.
  • Evenings: If I’m caught up on my assignments (or even if I’m not… *cough*), I often do any number of things that I’ve mentioned already – or, if I’m feeling in the mood, I’ll write a fictional-something myself.

I suppose that it doesn’t seem remarkably strange, or out of the ordinary. After all, it’s just a part of my daily routine. But when I got to thinking about all of this… a startling question occured to me.

Do I enjoy the time I spend in the World of Fiction more than the time I spend actually “living my life” in Reality?

A near frightening thought.

What if I was escaping my life by living in all of these fictional realms?

But… I don’t think this is the case. I mean… I don’t hate my life, so it’s not like I actively want to escape it. And yet at the same time – I do enjoy engaging with all of these types of fiction. I love watching my favourite TV shows, reading fanfiction, reading books, watching movies. Obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be engaging with them.

To be perfectly honest, sometimes it does feel like the highlight of my day is an episode of Sherlock, or whatever. Perhaps I’ve just had a bad day, or a boring day. But I don’t think this is the crux of the issue.

I don’t think that my need for fiction has anything to do with how much I like my life, my reality.

Instead…

I think that it has everything to do with the fact that there’s something special about fiction. Something that captivates me, that draws me in. Makes me stop and stare in absolute wonder.

Creativity.

I can’t help that I get obsessive about fictional characters, or am forever off daydreaming in my own, fictional world. It’s just the way my mind works. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love it. πŸ™‚

I live my life through fiction.

Somehow, I don’t think I’m alone on this. So crawl out from under those blankets – I know it’s warm! – and tell me your thoughts about it. It might prove to be a fun topic to delve into – and I’m sure it will help me understand it more myself! I have by no means provided a lengthy exploration here… there’s always something more to think about.

Leave a comment. Start the fictional ball rolling.

Hope you all enjoyed my first ‘proper’ blog post! πŸ˜‰

Have fun!
Bri xx