NaNoWriMo 2012 Has Arrived!

Today is the 1st of November, which means one thing – the start of NaNoWriMo! Actually, it also means another thing – I have been incredibly slack this year, and not blogged about NaNo at all yet. Crazy, I know! Thing is, this year at university, studying at postgraduate level, it’s really kicked my butt, hahaaa. And so I’ve been scrambling to get my Honours thesis written and rewritten and rewritten again and finally handed in. Hooray! But because I handed it in on 29th October, it means I’ve had little time for NaNoWriMo blogging, for which I am very sorry.

But, anyway. Here I am! And I am fizzing with excitement, ready to spontaneously combust, wheeeeeee! ๐Ÿ˜€

NaNoWriMo truly is my favourite time of year. It’s pretty perfectly placed for me actually – normally, I just about finishing up my study for the year, and summer is starting to make itself at home. NaNoWriMo is like a reward for surviving uni, really. Something which I feel is especially true this year, as this year has been a bajillion times more stressful than my past three years at uni, and I seriously felt like I was losing my mind sometimes. But now, NaNoWriMo. A whole month where I get to write what I want to write, not what I have to write. A whole month of putting aside special time to do something I love. A whole month of writing.

Fittingly enough, this year I’ve decided to write something purely for fun – Star Trek XI fanfiction! As you all might know, I write quite a bit of fanfic (when I have the time!), but for NaNoWriMo I usually choose to write original fiction. But this year… I just had this idea that wouldn’t leave me alone! It’s an AU fic (Alternate Universe) which means that it’s not actually set within the Star Trek universe – instead, my fic is set in a contemporary FBI environment, but using the Star Trek XI characters. It’ll focus on Jim and Bones, two FBI agents. Actually, I might as well paste my synopsis here!

Jim Kirk has been around the block more than a few times, despite being pretty new to “all this FBI stuff”.ย  Jim knows he capable of being an awesome FBI agent though, and has a desperate thirst to prove himself. When his ranking officer, Christopher Pike, sends him off to the only known address of a “retired” Agent Leonard McCoy – a seedy downtown bar – Jim finds himself in a whirl of suspicion, mystery and, inexplicibly, attraction to the rugged agent. Because while Leonard might seem like just a handsome but jaded divorcee, his background at the FBI holds more questions than Jim can find answers for. Jim and Leonard are thrust into a game of cat and mouse with their supposed FBI colleagues – and the stakes are paid with lives. Jim and Leonard must learn to trust each other enough to work together, to discover exactly what the hell is going on, and to avoid getting each other killed. Although they might be more in danger of killing each other, the way they’re getting along. On top of this, Jim has to deal with his new found attachment and attraction to Leonard, which may or may not be returned. Not even love is easy for these two, though – in fact, that might be their biggest obstacle of all.

I’ve always wanted to read a fic like this, so I thought, why not write it myself? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have… an outline of sorts. I’m certainly not as organised as I usually am! But I do have one thing that I don’t usually have – an epic playlist. Music has always been a great inspiration to me, and so compiling a list of songs that are relevant to my characters’ journeys has been so helpful in figuring out what they’re feeling and doing. I also have some awesome soundtrack music from The Bourne Legacy film to get me into the crime/thriller mood.

And, of course, there’s my favourite NaNoWriMo staple songs, about NaNoWriMo, which you can find here ๐Ÿ˜‰ AND this year, there’s a NaNoMusical! *flail* I think this is such an incredible idea – I adore musicals, and I adore NaNoWriMo, so I can’t think of anything more perfect ๐Ÿ˜€ You can find the first episode here!

Now, I wish I’d had time to write a blog post with some advice for any fellow Wrimos out there. I did write a post last year which I still fully abide by, my NaNoWriMo Toolkit. As for the Desktop Calendar, the same artist has a 2012 one here – it’s amazing! I love the inspirational quotes and prompts (and occasional tough love :D). And I’m using an updated 2012 version of the NaNo Report card here!

Other than that, my best advice would be to…

If you like, you can add me as a NaNo Buddy here, or follow me on Twitter here, where I am and will be tweeting madly about #NaNoWriMo!! All that’s left to say is… let’s have some fun this month!

Word Count: 1,308 words
Write on!
Bri xx

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A Mini (and most likely amusing) Exam Rant.

Yes. One of those.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t hold it in any longer! *sighs dramatically* Perhaps some of you shall sympathise with me, or just find my entire agony amusing. I don’t mind, either way ๐Ÿ˜‰

There I was, all enthused – in a way – about taking my last ever undergraduate degree exam. It was for Classics, a Greek Mythology paper. And yes, the material was super interesting, even if I kind of already knew a lot of it. But… the thing about my lecturer is that he is rather pedantic about the way he does things. Like, the way he words essay questions are just that tiny bit more confusing than they need to be. Our graded essays always have those wee comments about grammar. All that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love him as a lecturer. And a person, I suppose, if that’s not too creepy ๐Ÿ˜›

…however, after today, I do not love him as an examiner!

He decided to give us a multi-choice section. Which I hate, religiously, at the best of times. Seriously, give me an essay question that I can far more easily waffle my way through any day. To me, multi-choice is dicey. Yes, you have the answer right there in front of you, but Merlin is it difficult to tell which is the correct one, sometimes!

This particular multi-choice section was just so freaking nasty. We had questions with an outrageous amount of options – the longest having options (a) to (m) – and the difference between some of these options… far out!! Miniscule, absolutely pedantic! Like, I forgot to bring my Sherlock Holmes magifying glass to the exam, sorry. I felt like bursting into tears, or ripping my hair out, or something equally unproductive, about halfway through my initial read-through of it.

I memorized one of the questions just to share with you lot. Aren’t I considerate?

(And yes, I was totally planning this blog post during the exam – a pleasant distraction in an attempt to calm myself.)

In the story of the banquet of Mekone:

(a) we can read an aition of tragedy
(b) we can read an aition of sacrifice
(c) Zeus was angered
(d) spaces between gods and humans are made clearer
(e) spaces between gods and humans and animals are made clearer
(f) spaces between humans and animals are made clearer
(g) all of the above except (a)
(h) all of the above except (b)
(i) all of the above except (c)
(j) all of the above except (d)
(k) all of the above except (e)
(l) all of the above except (f)

I. Kid. You. Not.

Yeah.

My answers:

(a) Errrr, mind blank – what’s an ‘aition’!?!
(b) What the hell is going on with options (d) to (f)!?!
(c) All of the ‘all of the above’ options don’t even make freaking logical sense! In relation to each other. AGH.

So, yeah. In an exam situation, where I have just over a minute to answer these multi-choice questions, I do not have time to be working out what the options even mean. Or the brain power. Then there were those questions asked in a negative format, which always messes with my mind – like, “What is not associated with this?”, with the whole “all of the above” and even “none of the above” thrown in to complicate it even further. Ahh, and then those awesome subjective questions, like “Which is the odd one out?” I could argue for many of them to be the odd one out, it all just depends!

Le sigh.

I believe I took a stab for (l), if you were curious. I don’t really want to remember ๐Ÿ˜€

What really screwed me over was the fact that it was the first section of the exam, and so I had worked myself up into such a ball of stress that I just was really not in the exam-mode that I usually am. As such, I don’t feel that I did as well as I would have liked. The words weren’t flowing, the ideas weren’t connecting. I know that I’m my own worst critic, so hopefully I will have done enough not to affect my overall grade for the paper too much.

So yes. There really is only one response to an exam this gruesome.

Hells to the yes.

Thank you for indulging my rant. I’m totally over it now ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have fun!
Bri xx

P.S. Happy 50th Blog Post!

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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ˜› 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

…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… ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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‘ย  – 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 โ€” 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.ย  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.ย  jamey rodemeyer’s life changed mine.ย  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.ย  now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.ย  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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Dan Kloeffler’s ‘To Boldy Go…‘ post.

It all makes a difference.

Love yourselves,
Bri xx