20. I am thankful for Nanowrimo. I have wanted to write a book since I was in the third grade. Several times I made attempts to write short stories and always got distracted and never finished them. For about five years I've had this story idea and I attempted to write it about three years ago. I did pretty good and actually had over 40k words on it (I checked when I started this challenge because I wanted to have an idea what 50k would look like). The story idea was the same that I am doing this time, but I couldn't make it work and I didn't know why. The worst part was that I had no idea how the story would end.
I had set a goal back in September to actually find the ending to my story before the end of 2008. I started by doing some research on the science aspects of the book, and a little bit on the fantasy part. The fantasy is still harder for me for some reason. Anyway, I gave what I had written to a good friend and asked her to read it and be honest with me. She was awesome! She brought up a lot of good questions and showed me where the weakest points of the story were. After talking with her I knew that I needed to really work on developing my characters before I started writing again. I needed to know who they really were and what motivated them. So, that is what I was working on in October when another friend introduced me to Nano.
My characters had aged 10 years during that month and had new backgrounds that would help motivate them to accomplish what I needed them to. Although the plot was still the same, I had new characters and so all the events changed. I did keep the dream sequences, and the ancient history (which totalled about 12 pages) but I had to rework those as well. Lanna, no scene that was kept went untouched, so I don't feel like too big a cheater. :)
The best part of Nano is that it helped me get started again and I have moved passed the wall that I had hit. I know how the story is going to end and I've even mapped out the events I need to get there. Nano is the deadline that pushed me to work harder on this story than ever before. I know there will be lots of editing and changing to do before it is readable, but for the first time in years, I have the hope again that I can do it!
21. I am thankful for sunny days in the winter. There is something about the grey cold days of winter that make me want to hibernate (curl up with a good book on the couch and let the house fall to pieces). But give me a blue sky and sunny day and I wake up once again. I love the way light falls through the branches in our backyard, and through the windows in our house. I will often sit in the living room with my bare toes wiggling in the sunny patch on the floor. No wonder cats love to nap in those coveted places! Sunshine is good for my soul.