Sunday, November 29, 2009

The end and the beginning

As evidenced by the cheery little banner at the right side of my screen, I have finished my NaNoWriMo Novel. It isn't complete, exactly--there are huge chunks missing in the middle that I need to go back and fill in, a lot of character development and plot reveals, but it has a beginning, a middle, and an end--and that's the important part. This was probably the first time I have ever written something or tried to write something without having a strong idea of where it was going to go, and it was an awesome experience. I always hear about writers who say that their characters "just do this" or "somehow ended up doing that" but never really believed it; now I know it's true, and it's really fun.

I'm going to use my downtime over Christmas break to edit and fill out the story, and then a select few of my acquaintance will be permitted to read it. Since there's no point in writing this unless I'm honest, I'll admit that I am harboring a few hopes for publication someday. However, being realistic, I understand that (a) it is a first novel and (b) first novels rarely get published. Also, it's more than a little narcissistic to think that it is publication worthy. But I think I'll wait until I get some feedback from readers before i make any final decisions about whether I'm going to try for publication. This is a great first step, though, for someone who has always wanted to write and whose answer, when asked what her dream job is, always starts with "novelist."

With the end of NaNoWriMo comes the beginning, hard and fast, of finals. I am buckling down like whoa to try and study for Fed Tax, probably one of the hardest exams I'll take in law school, and my other classes. Luckily this semester I have only 2 in class finals; the rest consists of a take home and a paper, which already exists in first draft form. Go me!

Fingers crossed that I'll survive this second-to-last finals gauntlet. No doubt I will continue to post as I procrastinate; until then, this fledgling novelist (!) is signing out.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So everyone knows by now but...I am almost done with my novel for National Novel Writing Month!

The project is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of the month of November. So far I have kept pretty well on course (you need to average about 1700 words a day) and at this point I am a little ahead. I am SUPER excited that I've managed to come this far--I have always wanted to a write a novel, and now that the pressure's off for writing THE Great American Novel, it's been a wonderful and exciting journey to just get something down on paper, no matter how awful. A bad novel is still a novel, and it's better to have written a bad one than none at all.

If (when!) I finish, I am going to leave it alone while I take finals and then spend Christmas Break editing it, in the hopes that it might turn into something readable. At this point I'm not even going to hope for publication, since I haven't read it over yet (and won't until I'm done). But it really gives me a lot of faith for the future. Who knows...I might get my name on a bookshelf someday after all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The last time

I just finished registering for my last semester of classes in law school. I'm oddly complacent. I think, even when I was in college, I was a little more emotional about it. Maybe it's the fact that I'm just ready to be done, in general--law school has been great to me, really great, but at the same time I'm prepared to move on to the next phase of my life.

Next semester, I'm heavy on the practical courses, like Criminal and Personal Injury stuff. I think in the long run, this will be more useful to me than some of the more theoretical classes I've favored in the past, like Federal Courts (which is really only useful if you practice in...well, in federal courts...and since I am almost sure that I will be state-based, it's probably a better idea to take advocacy and adjudication courses.

This semester is quickly drawing to a close, and, per usual, I'm not prepared for the craziness that is finals. However, I'm ahead on my directed reading, three of my credits don't require a final, two aren't graded, and one is a take home project. So I plan to devote all my time to the two classes that are exam-based starting next week.

Last but not least, I am proud to announce that after today, I will be done with Week Six of the nine week Couch to 5k I've embarked on. It has been a surprisingly smooth journey--maybe the most surprising because I didn't think I would be able to stick to the schedule for this long. At this point, it's routine--one of my friends told me that it takes 21 days to form a routine--and I'm actually really proud of myself that I can manage a light run for a mile at a time. Today's run is one 25-minute block with no breaks, so fingers crossed I can do it!