Friday, December 30, 2016

A few random thoughts on "It's a Wonderful Life" // And a Happy New Year to you!

My family watches It's a Wonderful Life every year around Christmas.  I've seen it so many times now you'd think there wouldn't be anything new to discover; however, that is not the case.  There were several things which stood out to me this time around, which I'd never really noticed before.  Or perhaps I had noticed them, but just happened to appreciate them in a different way this time.

One thing I find so cool about this movie is the emphasis that's placed on the value of life.  Of people as individuals.  Just plain, ordinary, every day people.  The way they relate to one another and care for one another.  And how each person makes such a huge difference in the lives of those around them.

Right.  So now I shall proceed to toss some of my random thoughts at you.  I give no guarantee that this post will  have any sort of rhyme or reason to it, so be prepared for mindless rambling. 

First off, this scene.  Ohhh.  I love this scene!  It's hilarious and at the same time so jam-packed with emotion.  Here's George, grumpy as all get out, and Mary just bursting with suppressed hopes that here at last might be the moment when her childhood dream is realized.  (She's loved George since she was a kid, you see, and now he's come to call on her, and boy! she's not letting the opportunity slip by her.) 

What really stood out to me this time is how very much Mary loves George.  I mean, it's pretty obvious, and I knew that before, but for some reason it really hit me this time.  She's doing everything she can to get his attention in this scene and he rebuffs her every single time.  ("Some joke, huh?")  But when she finally loses her cool and tells him to leave, and he storms out of the house, she doesn't go and break that record because she's mad at George, she breaks it because she's so disappointed that things aren't working between them.  She still loves him.

And a few minutes later,  when she's talking on the phone to Sam Wainwright, and George comes stumping back in looking for his hat, she immediately perks up and makes one last desperate attempt to attract his attention by acting all excited to be talking to Sam.  And it works, people.  They're engaged by the end of the scene. Really, I just love how Mary is so in love with George...even when he's grumpy...and rude.  Everyone of us ought to have someone who loves us like that.  Someone who will love us despite all our quirks.  And just go on loving us, no matter what.

This movie has so many good examples of people who care about others more than themselves.  This comes across pretty strongly in the scene where George unleashes all his pent-up frustrations onto his family; when he yells at the kids, and begins smashing things in the house.  It's absolute mayhem, and the family is shocked and hurt to see him acting this way.  But then, when he finally walks out the door what do they do?  What does his wife do? 

Does she go and cry angry tears in a corner that her husband could be so unkind and unreasonable?  Does she stand on the moral high ground and nurse feelings of ill-usage?  No.  She goes immediately to the telephone in order to find out what kind of trouble her husband is in.  And the kids?  Are they sitting in pitiful little bundles, feeling sorry for themselves?  No.  Their first thought is for their father, and him alone.  "Is Daddy in trouble?"  "Yes," replies the mother.  "Should I pray for him?"  "Yes, pray very hard." 

They're concerned for him, not themselves.  And that's where, in my opinion, this movie takes a step way beyond your average Hollywood movie, because more often than not in a typical movie this sort of situation would be the fuel for igniting that huffy, "poor me" attitude in the offended party.  But in this movie everything else is forgotten in that one deep-rooted desire to make sure "Daddy is okay."

Another thought about this scene (and unfortunately the picture is really blurry, so sorry about that, but it's the best I could find).  The object in the foreground is the object that George kicks over in his fury.  I'd never really noticed it before.  But look at it, people.  It's a model bridge.  This is clearly the section of the house where George is able to create, on a small scale, those bridges and skyscrapers he never got to create in real life.  Those dreams he had of building and traveling and creating.  He'd missed all of it.  And now at this low point in his life the bitterness of what he's missed out on is coming to the surface again and he can't help but take his frustrations out on those objects which bring the remembrance of it so glaringly before him. 

I'd never realized all that was going on in this scene before.  And watching it this time my heart just broke for George.  He's such a caring, unselfish individual.  Time after time he's given up what he's wanted in order to fill the needs of someone else.  And now life has thrown another bombshell at him, through no fault of his own.   And it's just not fair, right?

It's true that living for others is not easy.  And yet, as George learns by the end of the film, such a life reaps a reward far beyond anything we could ever imagine.

Going off of the above paragraph, I just want to say something more about dreams.  Because in this day and age I feel like we're infatuated with dreams.  "Pursue your dreams."  "You can be anything you want to be."  You've heard it before, right?  But what if your dreams don't come true?  What if, despite all your efforts, you never accomplish those things you've set your heart on?  What if in the end your life is nothing but a simple average life, with nothing much to speak of?  Has it all been in vain?  Are you a failure? 

By no means!

George may have been a failure in regards to worldly success, but in regards to what really matters he was enormously successful.   

After all, our goal in life should never be about pursuing our dreams, our plans...but about pursuing the dreams and plans of our Creator.  To do what He has called us to do.  That's not to say, of course, that we shouldn't have dreams, because God Himself gives us dreams and He wants us to pursue them.   But first and foremost our focus must be on Him, and then everything else will fall into place. 

And don't ever measure yourself by the world's standard of success, because the world doesn't have anything on God's measuring stick.  The world wants big impressive, note-worthy stories.  But more often than not it's the little things in life that bring about the true success.  The caring smile given to a stranger on the street; the hug of encouragement to a friend; the money you barely have enough of, but still manage to be able to share with someone in need.  Your life may not be anything spectacular in the eyes of most people, but if God's blessing is upon it you can be sure it will be wonderful. 

There's a new year just around the corner.  Why not live it with a focus on others rather than ourselves?  Let's forget about our dreams for a moment, and look around at all the people surrounding us.  Let's see the beauty in each one of their faces; the way they smile, the way they laugh.  Let's note the worth of that stranger sitting across the room from us, or that friend/family member who knows exactly how to get on our nerves every single time.  And let's remember that, no matter who they are, God loves each one of them with a deep, unfathomable love. 

Let's be like Him.  Let's love them, too.

Happy New Year!

A Christmas-y Screencap Game {Answers}

Here's the answers to last weeks game!  I hope you all had fun with it.  I know I had fun receiving all your comments!
Little Women (1994)
Lark Rise to Candleford

White Christmas

Downton Abbey

Holiday Inn

Emma (2009)

Little Women (1949)

It's a Wonderful Life

Anne of Green Gables

Little Lord Fauntleroy

~The Scores~

Abby P: 80
Blessing Counter: 20
MovieCritic: 60
Miss Meg: 80
Cordy: 80
Kayla Marie: 60
Elanor: 60

Thank you all for playing!  (And now I think we may safely say that Emma and Anne of Green Gables are the two most well-known movies on this list.  Everybody knew those ones!  :))  Good job, everyone!!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Four Delightful Christmas Posts

This is just a short post to share with you a few Christmas-y posts I've enjoyed this past month.  Naturally there are a lot more I could have mentioned, but these are four that particularly stood out to me. 
by Naomi Sarah (Blog: Wonderland Creek)
This post had me close to tears.  It was an excellent reminder to me of what an awesome event it is we're celebrating every 25th of December.  Hope, people.  In this dark, crumbling world we have hope.  Because of Jesus.  Because of His coming to earth as a baby; living; dying; bringing redemption and new life.  It's an awesome and mind-blowing thing, if you really stop to think about it.
by Natalie (Blog: Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens)
This post, though.  Honestly, I found it enormously amusing.  Laughing over cheesy movies is something I positively adore doing, so this post was just my cup of tea.  Natalie's humor is hilarious!  :D

by Molly Rebekah (Blog: A Ramble Through the Woods)
This is another post (like Naomi's) which really made me stop and ponder what it is we're celebrating during this hurly-burly Christmas season.  What is it that makes this season a time for rejoicing; a time for laughing; a time for giving?  Christ Himself, coming to earth as a baby and bringing with Him that unfathomable promise of everlasting hope and joy.  As Molly put it, "...because of Jesus, we have hope, peace, and joy in our hearts." Amen, sister. 
by Abby P (Blog: Lavender Spring)
Abby had so many good Christmas posts this month, it was hard to choose just one.  But I've settled on this one because I found it highly enjoyable and I think you might, too.  I'm sure we can all relate to this in some way or another.  :)  (*whispers* I also really liked this post... just sayin'.)
Bonus post.
Okay, so I realize I already sort of included a bonus post...I think I have five links up there instead of just four?...but there's one more I wanted to mention.  (Just forget about the title at the top now.  I know it says "Four Delightful Christmas Posts", but it's outdated, okay?)
by Naomi Sarah (Blog: Wonderland Creek)
I'll give it to you in three words.  Cute.  Unique.  Hilarious.  End of story.

Well, I must be off.  I hope you all had a splendid Christmas!
Good-night, everyone!
(Or rather good-morning.  It is after 1:00 after all.  And technically that is morning, you know...
Oh! don't tell me about it.  I'm going to bed.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Christmas-y Screencap Game

Christmas is a busy time of year, am I not right?  And considering that fact, I venture to assume that most of us are probably in need of a little relaxation right about now.  As Frank Churchill so aptly put it, "We all need to relax, with a simple game."  Well, I've got just the thing.  A screencap game! Perfectly simple in every way.  Just guess what movie each picture comes from and leave your answers in the comments!  Have fun!


Answers will be coming sometime next week!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movie Review // The Shop Around the Corner

Believe it or not I started this review last December with the intent of publishing it before Christmas, but I ran out of time.  You see because my posts must languish in the drafts for at least a few weeks before showing themselves to the world, and in this case Christmas came upon us too quickly to make that possible.  So it languished for a year instead. 
But now at last I'm taking it out and dusting it off, and I hope very much it will be worth the read.   (Because if it isn't, it wouldn't have been worth the writing and then I would have wasted a good deal of my time.  Which would be sad, ya know?)

Without further ado...
The Shop Around the Corner
I love this movie, friends.  It's fun, happy, and touching...all rolled up into a warm Christmas-y feel-good bundle.  And the setting couldn't be more deliciously cozy.  (I mean, that adorable little shop!  Me wants it.) 

There are eight workers  employed at Matuscheck and Company, and every morning they stand outside the shop waiting for their employer, Mr. Matuscheck, to come and unlock the front door so the business of the day can begin.
While waiting these eight employees indulge in friendly (and not so friendly) little chats; all about Ilona's new scarf, or Kralick's dinner last night with the boss, or Klara's yellow blouse with the light green dots (or was it a green blouse with light yellow dots?).  Pepi, the errand boy, is sent off to fetch things for his fellow employees; and Mr. Vadas' jokes are received with the customary eye roll.  (Everybody tolerates Mr. Vadas, but nobody really likes him...and with good reason.  He's not a very likable fellow.) 
But about the shop itself.  It's small and has a very homey feel to it.  With an office for the boss, a locker room for the employees to keep their coats and hats in, and a small spirally staircase (which proves to be an excellent escape route for Mr. Pirovitch whenever his honest opinion  on a matter is called for).  Then, too, there's the back store room, where Mr. Alfred Kralik first confides to Mr. Pirovitch that he's writing anonymous letters to a young lady. 
I like that back store room.  All the labeled boxes.  And the step ladders to get up to the higher shelves.  Seriously, people, I'd love to work in a shop like that. 
Alfred Kralick (played by Jimmy Stewart) is the hero of the story.  He's been working for Matuscheck and Co. for nine years and is currently holding the position of first salesman.  He and Mr. Matuscheck have always had a good relationship, almost like a father and son, but when the story opens it's obvious that there is something bothering Mr. Matuscheck. He is now forever finding fault with Kralick, and constantly irritated by him, for no apparent reason. Kralick is at a loss to understand the change in him.  (And if you've never seen the movie, you'll have to be at a loss, too, because I'm not going to tell you.  You'll just have to watch it and find out for yourself!  Heehee.)
Then there's Miss Novak.  A new employee, she seems to have it in for Kralick from the start, making fun of him in the locker room and just generally picking fights with him.
Needless to say, they don't get along too well.
Which makes it all the more ironic when it turns out she's the very girl Kralick has been corresponding with (and, in fact, falling in love with through letters).  Once Kralick realizes who Miss Novak is it's a lot of fun because she doesn't have a clue and it's so satisfactory to see him one step ahead of her.  The scene where he sends her one of his anonymous letters and then shows up at her house just in time to be there when she reads it is hilarious.  She actually shares part of the letter with him in order to prove to him how vastly different (and superior) her boyfriend is to him.  (Oh!  But it gives me a real feeling of satisfaction to see her so in the dark.)

Everything wraps up very nicely at the end, with a  highly successful day of sales at the store on Christmas Eve...
"We're going to make this the biggest day ever in the history of Matuscheck and Co."

...followed by everyone rushing off to their prospective Christmas Eve festivities, amidst the glistening white of a beautiful Christmas snowfall.  (And that last scene with Mr. Matuscheck and Rudy?  Can all of you who've seen this movie please join me in a huge sigh of happiness?  Because that scene is just too adorable.)
And the ending scene is pretty adorable, too.  Not to mention hilarious.  (Popkin indeed.  Haha.)
Anyhow.  All that to say.  The Shop Around the Corner is a delightful movie, tinged with just the right amount of humor and pathos, and one that the whole family can enjoy.  I highly recommend it. (Okay, so I hate writing reviews.  What is one supposed to say in a review?  You know?)

Have you seen this movie?
If so, what did you think of it?
If not, well then, my recommendation still stands.  ;)

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Very Merry Tag

Abby created this darling Christmas tag as part of her Advent Calendar Blog Party, and so I'm here today to answer the questions.  (That is, after all, what one normally does with a  tag, isn't it?) 

Does it snow where you live around Christmas? (If it doesn't, you have my sincere sympathy.) How much? Any special snowy Christmas stories?

Sometimes.  Our weather is very fickle, though, so some years it will snow a lot and other years not at all.  Like, for instance, the one year when it was so warm on Christmas day that we actually opened our front door to let some cool air into our overcrowded living room.   (Totally improper behavior for Christmas weather, wouldn't you say?)  

You asked about special snowy Christmas stories.  Well, this isn't a story exactly, but one of my favorite snowy Christmas memories is that one Christmas Eve night when we were all bundling into our car to go to a friend's house, and the snow was falling in a beautiful picturesque manner, just like in the movies.  It felt so completely festive. 

Do you get a real tree or a fake tree?

A real tree.  And we've had all sorts of different shapes and sizes over the years.  Tall and skinny trees, short and fat trees; trees with gaping holes in places, and trees that drop pine needles like there's no tomorrow.  I love the smell of real trees, though.  (And you also don't have to store them all year round, so that's a plus when your house is rather over-crowded with stuff.)

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Probably It's a Wonderful Life.  We watch that every year at Christmas time.  I also really like The Shop Around the Corner.

Where in the world would you like to spend Christmas the most?

I guess just at home.  It's pretty nice here, and I can't think of any other place at the moment.  :)

What fictional/literary character would you most like to spend Christmas with?

Oooh.  Fun question.  Let me see.   ...fifteen minutes later...  Okay, I think I'm making this harder than it ought be.  Think, think, think.  Ah!  Got one.  I think it would be totally fun to spend Christmas with Tommy Traddles from David Copperfield.  Sophie would be there, too, of course--and probably her sisters as well--and we'd all have a jolly old time exchanging presents that didn't cost a good deal but that had a lot of kind thought put into them.  And we'd probably laugh a lot, and tease Traddles, and just have an all around good time.  :)

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Eeek.  I don't know.  There are so many good ones.  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is awful pretty, though.  Let's go with that. 

What is your favorite Christmas book/story (besides, ya know, the story)?

A Christmas Carol.  My dad reads it to us every year, so it's got a lot of lovely memories attached to it.  (Funny story: The process of reading A Christmas Carol is so much the same every year, that we could tell one time when my oldest brother had fallen asleep during the reading, simply because he hadn't laughed at the accustomed places.  ;))

Which do you prefer: multi-colored lights or white lights? 

We've always had multi-colored lights, so I guess I'm partial to those, but white lights are lovely, too.

What time period/decade would you most like to spend Christmas in?

Oooh.  How about the 1950s or 60s?  I find I'm rather in love with that era just now. 

Which period drama has the best Christmas scene/episode?

Goodness.  I don't know.  I can't think of that many period dramas that have Christmas scenes in them.  The one that keeps coming to mind, though, is the scene in Little Women '94, where Beth receives her piano.  I wouldn't actually call it the best Christmas scene, but I do like the feel of it.  The way the house is all decorated and everyone's gathered together; and then how they all sing around the piano.  It has a very nice Christmas-y feel to it.

Well, that's it!  Thanks for the fun tag, Abby! 
P.S. I'm not going to tag anyone today, but Abby has made this tag available to anyone who wishes to fill it out, so...go for it!  And have a very merry Christmas season everyone!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas 2016 Blog Design

I finally redecorated my blog for Christmas.  (About time, right?)  For future reference here's the header...

Art work by Sandra Kuck.  An artist I recently discovered I like very much indeed.  Her paintings are adorable.

I had a rather difficult time picking out a background this time, but here's what I finally decided on.

What do you think of it?
Can you believe it's less than two weeks till Christmas already?
Tell me one of your favorite Christmas traditions. 
(Wow.  I'm sounding rather bossy today, aren't I?)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Story Snippets // NaNo Update No. 3

As you can see I didn't get this post published over the weekend as I had planned.  All I can say is, that's life, people.   And you gotta live with it.   Eh, what?

The story I worked on during NaNo was actually a continuation of this story snippet which I shared with you in a post back in July.  So if you didn't read that post, and would like a little more background information, I suggest you go and read that first.  Then you can come back here and torture yourself with more.  Okay?  Okay. 

Now my story is not about a little girl, but I thought this picture was cute,
so we'll just say this is the heroine when she was young.  How's that?

Without further ado...

My story (or rather, bits of it).


This Billy of whom Rosa spoke so fondly--and whom, at this point, we must assume to be the hero of our story simply on account of his current relationship to our heroine--was not by any means a man to catch the eye of the female population.  His appearance in itself was not prepossessing--in fact, he was extremely ordinary--and his manners were nothing to write home about, for though not bad, they were certainly not genteel (a fact which rendered him rather "blah" in the eyes of romantic-minded girls.)  He was short, which unfortunately has not been the popular stature for young heroes this many a day--a tall man always being preferable where romance is concerned--and he also had a horrible habit, when taking a romantic walk with his girl by his side, of forgetting that he was supposed to be "in love" and acting as if he were merely a young boy strolling down the lane with his best buddy.  No wonder Rosa shivered at the thought of such a man.

     "Anyway!"  Rosa cried, sitting up abruptly and giving her head a good shake as if to clear it of all unpleasant thoughts.  "Why are we sitting here talking about Billy?  I can think of a hundred and one subjects more palatable than that one.  And besides we've entirely strayed from the original thread of our conversation.  Which was, will you come out with me and have a little fun this evening?"

     Nancy turned back to her desk with an air of one bent on conquering a most irksome task.  "No, I think I'd better not.  Anyway, I'm not feeling very sociable tonight."
     "You're never feeling sociable," Rosa exclaimed.  "And you need to stop it.  You wanted to come to college, and a big part of college is being around people.  So interact with them more.  Make some friends, for goodness sake!"

     "I have friends.  You and Eva."

     "We're your roommates.  We don't count.  Come on, Nan.  Make an effort."

     "I can't," Nancy said, with a long drawn-out sigh.  "I haven't the strength for it.  Math's taken everything out of me."

     "Oh!  Would you forget about math already?"


Something inside her snapped.  Slamming her book shut, she shoved it and all her scattered papers into the top drawer of her desk, and threw herself onto her bed.  She was failing at this.  All of it.  Why was she such a weakling?  Why with every thought of home did she grow sad and shaky inside?  It was natural enough for her to feel a little homesick when she first came away to college, but that was eight weeks ago now.  And she'd been home for a visit just about every other weekend.  So what was her problem? 

She had chosen to come to college because she wished to study music.    She and Rosa had, had it planned ever since they were in grade school.  Rosa would write the songs, and then she and Nancy would sing them.  Together they would travel the world sharing their music with vast audiences of people.  It had been a dream they had shared for as long as Nancy could remember, and as far as she could tell, it was still her dream.  What then was this endless tugging of her heart toward home?  Was she just being a fraidy-cat?  So comfortable in her own little corner of the world that she was too scared to step out of it and try her wings? Or was she trying her wings in the wrong direction? 


Nancy had never known any other home than the little white house on the corner of ----- Street; the white house with the dark red shutters, the spacious front porch, and the gray window boxes (which window boxes by the by never had any flowers in them anymore because the Roths were experts at killing plants, and had finally decided--after a great many successes in that line--that growing things just to kill them was a bit counterproductive.  Not to mention a waste of time.) 

So yes, there were no flowers in the window boxes, but that didn't keep the Roths' home from being one of the prettiest spots in the neighborhood nonetheless.  And in Nancy's mind, one of the prettiest spots in the whole world.


     "I do miss home so much, though," Nancy said, dropping her head onto Billy's shoulder and sighing audibly.

     Billy put his arm around her in a comforting, protective manner, and assured her that "home missed her, too."

     "And Billy?" Nancy asked, peering up at him with a smile.  "Does he miss me?"

     "All the time."

     "Funny," Nancy mused, with a mischievous twinkle in her eye.  "Seems to me I heard him say this very day how I was coming home too often, he never had a chance to miss me."  She sat up and gave him a triumphant look which said plain as plain, "There now, young man, I've backed you into a corner.  What are you going to do about it?"

     Billy just grinned.


Billy was a firm believer in the old maxim: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Perfection was something he never strove for.  He'd seen enough from watching his oldest brother to know that it was a never ending pursuit, and frankly he didn't have time to worry about such things.  Life was too good, and too short, to waste time chasing after stars.


All of a sudden Nancy had the sense that someone was watching her.  Ending her song abruptly she turned around and saw him standing at the back of the room.  The young man who had stared at her with such admiration at the end of last week's choir practice.  That him whom she'd almost forgotten about and yet remembered so vividly now that he was standing before her. 

     "I'm sorry if I startled you," he said, smiling apologetically.  "It was just too pretty to pass by.  You sound like a chirrupy little bird when you sing.  (Oh, dear.  I do hope that was a compliment.  I definitely meant it to be one.)"  He added quickly.

     Nancy laughed and stammered out something about it "being a very nice compliment indeed."  She felt enormously awkward knowing that he'd been listening to her sing without her knowledge, but she couldn't help but respond kindly to him all the same.  There was a sweetness about him that endeared him to her somehow.  Perhaps it was the way his right eye almost winked at you whenever he smiled.  It gave him the look of a mischievous little boy, and truth be told, Nancy had a weakness for mischievous little boys. 


"Maybe it was something I did.  Oh, Rosa.  Do you think we've grown apart since I've been at college?  Maybe I've changed.  Maybe Billy doesn't feel like he knows me anymore.  Maybe I've been too distracted and busy to realize that we're going in two different directions."

Nancy's face was a perfect picture of despair now, and Rosa's heart smote her.  She had no idea Nancy would take it this way.  She had been so upset by Billy's behavior and so eager to smash him for it, that she hadn't realized she'd been depending all the time on there being a logical explanation which would totally clear him and make everything right again.  And she had expected Nancy to have that explanation.  Yet here she was, totally taken aback by this report and actually questioning hers and Billy's relationship.  This was far worse than Rosa could have imagined.

"I think I've lost him, Rosa.  I've lost Billy, and it's all my fault."


Well, there you have it.  And now, confession time.  First, the second to last snippet was written as a snippet, specifically for this post, because I haven't actually written that scene yet, but I wanted to introduce you to the "other young man of the story" anyway.  (Just because.  I thought it would be more interesting that way.)  Also, the last snippet was a scene I wrote out of order.  I'm definitely not that far along in the story yet.  But I wanted to include that, too, because...well, I wanted to have some sort of suspense for you all.  And it is suspenseful, right?  I mean, you're all really confused now as to whether or not I've changed my mind about Billy and Nancy ending up together, right?  RIGHT?  (Don't give me that knowing look.) 

Okay, so please tell me what you think.  You can be honest with me.  I hardly expect you can be more critical of my writing than I am of it myself, so tell me truly.  What did you think of these?  Any glaring faults?  Are you--even the tiniest bit--curious to know more?  And just because I enjoy talking about my characters, is there any one character in particular that you'd like to read more about?  

Seriously, let's talk about it!  :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

What I Learned // NaNo Update No. 2

(Sorry you have to endure two posts from me in one day, but I'm going to be working all day tomorrow and I really wanted to get these updates published so that I can stop thinking about them.  The third and final post will be coming sometime this weekend, hopefully.  And no, you needn't worry, it's not going to be another long rant about how I can't write because that would be silly, especially as I shall be sharing story snippets in that post and there's no point in stating the obvious.  :P  (I'm sorry.  Do I enjoy insulting myself, or what?) 

Moving on to the subject of this post.  What I learned while participating in National Novel Writing Month...

~I am a very lazy writer.

If the words don't start flowing within the first five minutes or so, I give it up as a bad job and decide that perhaps after all today is not the day for genius to burn.

~Keeping track of how many words one writes can be very rewarding.

But mostly discouraging, especially when one's word count is rising at the rate of 9 1/2 words per hour.   (Yes, I did the math.  30 days.  720 hours.  6948 words. Average it out and it comes to just about 9 1/2 words per hour.  Yeah, I think it's pathetic, too.)

~With all the time in the world, writing a 50,000 word novel in a month is an absolute cinch!

But do I have all the time in the world?  No.  I don't think so.  (There was bound to be a catch somewhere.)

~Practically everyone believes in me!

Practically everyone, that is, except that one stick in the mud, me.  (Spoil-sport.  Look, I know you don't like to go with the crowd but on a matter such as this, couldn't you be a bit more obliging?)

~I have a talent for saying way too much in my writing, while at the same time saying very little. 

It's the art of overly-descriptive, semi-repetitive, jibber jabber.

~I'm horrible at transitioning from one scene to another. 

Okay.  Forget transitions.  I'm horrible at writing scenes, period.  I have such a hard time making my characters do things.  I can make them talk, but what do I make them do?  How do I move them from one room to another without describing every single step they take?  How do I make a scene come alive with just a few simple words? 

~It's commonly said that NaNo is a risk to one's sanity...and even perhaps to one's life.  Well, it had nothing on me.  I survived it quite easily.

It's called admitting when you're licked and knowing when to beat a retreat.  Like one week in, perhaps, before the stress really begins to do things to you.  Just fall back.  Chill.  Give up.  Quit.  Ruuuuuun!  (Hey, it worked for me.  It can work for you.  Just trying to preserve lives here.)

~I hate my writing with a vengeance.  It makes me SO mad.

Because it rarely does what I want it to do.  And it rarely sounds how I want it to sound.  It's just the orneriest thing ever!

~Making up stories is fun!

No.  Making up stories is tragic.  Especially when you're bursting to get your characters out onto the page so you can read about them...but they simply won't be got out.  They're stuck.  Oh! the pain!

~It's one thing to know what sounds good in a story, and quite another to actually go and write it.

Couldn't have said it better myself!  (Wait!  I did say that!)

~Some people simply don't know when to quit.

I am speaking specifically of Natalie.  Honestly, people, I tried all month long to set her a good example of how to quit, but she never caught onto it.  She just kept going, going, going.  Like she was in the middle of a writing challenge or something.  (Mwhahaha.)  Seriously, though, she did an awesome job!   I won't tell you what her final word count was because she may want to tell you that herself, but I assure you, it totally and completely put my word count to shame.  YAY FOR NATALIE!

And while I'm on the subject of congratulating those strange people who stuck with this thing through the whole month, I have to mention Kate Marie.  Because apparently she didn't get the "it's time to quit" memo either.  She went and wrote 50,000 some!  And did it all by hand, too, which ...*shivers*... let's not even talk about that, okay?  Congratulations, Kate, my friend!  Remind me never to try and race you in writing a story. 

~Failing to reach a desired word count is nothing compared to failing to express oneself properly. 

I'll be honest and say I'm still a little shaken about my ability to write.  I mean, I'm writing right now, so obviously I can write.  But what I mean is, my ability to write stories.  Because it's a completely different ballgame.  And actually I'm beginning to think I really don't know how to do it. 

In other words...


But somehow I have a feeling I'm going to go right on doing it just the same.  Why is that?

For those of you who participated in NaNo this year, tell me, how did it go for you?  Are you glad November is over?
And for all of you, how was your November?  Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Talk to you soon! 
Sincerely, Miss March