What I’m Writing | NaNoWriMo 2017

So here’s something crazy: I’m trying out NaNoWriMo for the first time. << A year ago, I thought that was the most impractical sentence I could ever write about myself. Writing an entire novel in a month? Me? I could never write consistently for 30 straight days. Impossible.

But I'm doing it.

I won't go into all the specifics of what made me change my mind, but mostly it was the frustration I feel everyday that my story isn’t finished. I have attempted to get this story out of my head, for almost least three years now. But it seems determined to stay put where it is. I’m in love with the story and I feel duty bound to finish, but that hasn’t helped me finish. Imagine my embarrassment when people ask me this question:


“You’re a writer. Great! How many books have you written?”
Yeah. About that.


You might have already guessed that this isn’t going to be a first draft, blank-slate story. (that might mean I’m breaking some NaNoWriMo rule, idk) It’s a story I’ve written scenes to, grown frustrated with, and let it sit untouched on my computer for months. It’s something I want to finish, but haven’t committed myself to actually finish. I hope NaNo will be the start of a cure for that.

The Water is Widemy story. Secretly, it’s inspired by a movie I saw. I stole some characters from it, but it won’t matter because it’ll never be published.The title is based on this songbut I can’t tell you how it relates to the story.

okay now, enough with the secrets. what can I tell you?

T H E • P L A Y L I S T
T H E • P I N T E R E S T • B O A R D







My story is set deep in the Appalachian mountains, in a country rebuilding itself after a civil war.

It’s a story about war and family, joy and suffering – how beautiful those things are in the world together. It’s about how devastating war is – how it leaves the children to pick up the broken pieces and make homes for themselves among the ashes. It’s about the fear of repeating history, and the fear that comes with realizing you can’t control the world.

(do not ask me how long it took for me to decide which characters to include)


• daughter of war heroes • struggles with bravery • feels like she has to hold her family together • wants to be apart of something bigger than herself • runs the family bakery • hunts in the woods and gives the meat to poor families • seventeen •


• lost his father and sister to the war • fierce pacifist • struggles with admitting he’s wrong • singer/songwriter • apprentices at the butcher’s shop •


• Stephen’s mother • works with herbs and medicines • lost both husbands and a daughter in the war • struggles with loneliness • believes isolation from joy is poison •


• next door neighbor • lost her husband years before the war • mother to three sons and a daughter • raises geese • struggles with the loss war brought to her family •


• works in the medicine plant just outside the city • becomes head of the city’s defense efforts • understands the need to rebel from inside • struggles with compromising for the greater good • solid • trustworthy •

M O T H E R (her name is irrelevant)

• war hero • suffers severe PTSD • struggles with living • believes the world has nothing meaningful left in it • taught her daughter the woods are a safer place because animals are never as dangerous as humans are •

F A T H E R (his name is also irrelevant)

• war hero • POW • suffers from PTSD • owns the family bakery • struggles with his role as father • believes that suffering can make you stronger •

So that’s my story – condensed as I can make it without giving anything away (I’m terribly secretive about my stories, sorry). I love where I want to take it, but I don’t know exactly how to get there. This story asks a lot of questions about duty, loyalty, sacrifice and suffering – questions I certainly don’t have the answer to. But the story won’t leave me alone. It’s grown in the past three years, when I thought it wouldn’t. I take that as a good sign.


I read once that writing is an act of listening and naming what you hear. That’s probably the best writing advice I’ve ever heard. And I’m keeping that in mind for tomorrow when I get up to write.

I’m going to listen. Not make things up. Not pull something out of me that isn’t there. Not worry about how much my writing will suck – because it will and that’s an okay reality – for now. I’m going to make progress, whatever that looks like.

I won’t worry about word count (I like quality). I won’t worry if I miss a day (or two). I just want to form habits. I just want all the scenes down on paper, start to finish.

I want to listen and forget that I’m the one writing.



postscript #1: I’ll be taking off the month
of November from blogging. Writing a book
is going to take up enough of my head space
as it is. You understand, I hope?
Good. Now go forth and write.
postscript #2: I owe a lot of my inspiration
to Aimee, Abbiee, and Katie’s posts.
Thanks, guys.


|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? • Is it your first time or are you a pro? + What are your writing goals? (for NaNo, or in general)• Tell me (or link to somewhere I can read) all about your WIP. • Do you want me to write a wrap-up post after NaNo about my progress + lessons learned? • What’s your favorite piece of writing advice?

Bright Eyes Project | Graphic Art

If you hang out with the same people on the internet that I do, the aforementioned title probably has you pretty excited. But if you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain:

The Bright Eyes Project is a narrative podcast (at least that’s what I’m going to call it) It’s a story, told by a single character – Trish Odessa, Captain of the Starship Ender. Actually, that’s not quite right.

Milo was supposed to be captain

but…no one knows where he is.

This is Trish’s taped diary, a log of her time in the Project. She has a ship to run and a crew to captain – a crew who doesn’t trust her because they wanted Milo – the real captain. She’s nearly too busy to ask the questions about Milo, and sometimes I think she’s afraid to. Afraid the Institute will make her disappear just like Milo.

We all know he asked too many questions.

Bright Eyes is created by – Amiee Meester, Cyrus Fontaine, and Sydney Fontaine. And it’s grown quite an audience since it launched this summer. Every other Monday, we gather around our laptops and open up our twitters to see if the question – #wheresmilo – has been answered.

The fact that it’s made by people in our circle of the internet is pretty awesome, I think.

But the idea to make any kind of “fan art” didn’t occur to me until after the 4th file launched. I thought to myself, “You know, we really need some killer graphics for everyone to pass around.”

This is my attempt to bring that thought into reality. I started making these a while ago, so I don’t have one for every file that’s come out already. I have quite a few from file 1, though (it’s unashamedly my favorite). Feel free to share these, make them your desktop backgrounds, whatever.

click on the photos to download – make sure you select “full size”




|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Which Bright Eyes file is your favorite? • Have you made any fan art? (link it below, I want to see it)

The Debut

Three years ago, I told my mom I wanted a blog. I remember the day it happened. We were in the kitchen, the air smelling like warm food and feeling like sunshine. We were cooking, it was almost dinnertime.

I started first, “Mom I want to get a blog. I know a lot of people have one. I think it would be really cool, cause I can design it myself and you know, have my own space to write and stuff.” What I didn’t tell her was that I wanted to be cool like everyone else. Because if cool people had blogs, I wanted one; then I’d be cool too. #logic.

My mom didn’t need to think about it. “You need to finish school first,” she replied, as if starting a blog was just like all the other things I couldn’t do because I wasn’t an adult yet.

I hate to say it, but I’m an adult now, so I have to admit hard things: my mom was right. I am the worst procrastinator. I usually choose the jobs I like the best over the ones I actually need to get done. Mom knew this, even if I wasn’t going to admit it.

It’s probably better that I didn’t impulsively start a blog, back then. Sixteen year old me probably had nothing worthwhile to say, and wouldn’t have any idea how to say it if she did. Nineteen year old me has more to say, and hopefully, the writing experience to go with it.

Now that I have a blog, a piece of this vast internet-scape for my very own, I have to spend time with it. I have to engage an audience, people who will show up to hear what I have to say. And to do that, I have to be writing. Always. Consistently. Well.

Something I’ve never been good at doing.

Writing is something I do in spurts. At best, it’s random and messy. So, why did I think I could start a blog? Well, maybe it’s because I want to be better at writing. Because I want to write about the important things. And I know I want to be better at translating the unspeakable into the speakable – to give definition and voice to the things that we just can’t put our fingers on. I’ve always heard, “You learn by doing.”

I don’t always want to write about serious things. Life isn’t always serious, and if it was, I think we’d all give up early. Sometimes I want to write about creativity and music and aesthetics and light and breath and air. I mean, what is life without them anyway?

Maybe having a blog won’t make me as cool as I thought it would. When I was sixteen, I thought being cool was all that mattered. What does a sixteen year old know about being cool, anyway? In three years, I’ve learned a lot of things. One of them is that being cool is far less about what you have than what you do.

I am no longer aiming to be cool. Just to be writing.

Follow along?

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

So..what do you think??? • Do you have a blog? (link it below*) Actually that’s a stupid question because I know ya’ll had blogs years before I did. • Do you remember the first post you ever did on your blog? • Was it exciting or awkward, nervous or both?
Also…nice to meet you.