Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why I'm Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

I have participated in National Novel Writing Month every year for the last 3 years. Not only have I participated, but I’ve finished, writing 50,000 plus words in the month of November. It is no small feat, and one I am extremely proud of having accomplished. It is fun, it is stressful, it is challenging, it is CRAZY, but it is pretty great.

Today marks the beginning of yet another NaNoWriMo, and this year, after much thought and hard self-evaluation, I have opted not to participate.

I wish I could. I will miss being a part of this crazy community this year, trying to keep up with the daily word count requirements, struggling with writer’s block, commiserating and celebrating with my fellow writers…

But I simply cannot.

My top ten reasons why I’m not joining you crazy NaNoers this year:

1. The novel I started at last year’s NaNoWriMo? The one I KNOW is fabulous and sure to get me published? Yeah, I haven’t touched it since November 30, 2009.

2. The novel I started the year before that? The one I KNOW is fabulous and sure to get me published? Yeah, I haven’t touched that one either.

3. Until those two novels are complete, I REFUSE to start a new one. Nope, NOT going to do it.

4. I realize I could use NaNoWriMo and bend the rules a little, and focus on finishing one of those 2 novels instead of starting a new one, but then it wouldn’t really be “NaNoWriMo” the way it’s meant to be, would it?

5. I need a netbook, because my new laptop is really a HUGE desktop replacement and I’m not taking that with me ANYWHERE outside my house, and writing in my house never happens…and I don’t have a net book.

6. I have made a commitment to work on a youth retreat on Thanksgiving weekend, and the preparation for this retreat is ALL ENCOMPASSING this month, and requires my undivided attention.

7. As part of this youth retreat, I have committed to doing a witness talk, which needs to be written this week, taking priority over NaNoWriMo.

8. I work 40 hours a week, and unlike previous years, I’m actually busy at work now, lessening my available writing time during the day.

9. My social calendar, with church events, friend events, family events, and work events is insanely busy this month, and for once, I’m choosing my social life over holing up and writing.

10. I might actually be dating again…

And a bonus and perhaps the biggest reason:

11. I’m just not inspired this year.

So, although I won’t be officially signing up, unofficially, I am hoping to dedicate a little more time to writing each day. Maybe not a novel, maybe not even work on my two Works In Progress, but on my witness talk, on my blog posts, journaling, whatever it may be…that’s my commitment this month…to WRITE a little each day.

That’s the best I’ve got at this moment…

Have fun NaNoers!!! I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines this year.

Popinjay - Silent

I haven't done Popinjay in a few weeks, but I'm back!

This week's prompt is "Silent".

1. Making no sound, quiet, still
2. characterized by absence of speech or sound
3. unspoken, tacit

On Saturday afternoon, I went for a run over by the river in my hometown. I always run with my headphones on and my music cheering me on. Although the fact that I'm listening to music obviously means that I'm not in complete silence, there is something that happens to me, when i'm running outdoors, blocked from the rest of the world by my music that actually represents a sort of "silence" to me.

I get caught up in the music, and after a while, barely even notice it is there, and what happens in turn, is that the world around me becomes silent, still, foreign, and beautiful in it's quietness.

This is the world I ran through Saturday:

It's hard to not be inspired to run just a little further when this is your view, don't you think?

Make sure to stop by Michelle's to "hear" what silence sounds like to others.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Three Signs O'Fall and a Photo

Even though I'm a total slacker blogger now, in my old days, I was quite active over here on this blog. (Go on, look over some of my old posts...see? Busy blogger then).

Anyway, it was in those olden days that I joined a FABULOUS group of ladies who blog. Individually, they are all amazing bloggers in their own right. Collectively, we are "SheWhoBlogs".

This month SheWhoBlogs is having a contest, and I'm entering. You should too!

For this contest we've been asked to share with our readers (that's all 2 of you reading this right now) what we consider to be 3 signs that Fall has arrived, as well as a photo of what Autumn is to us.

This is an easy one for me, because as much as I consider myself a summer girl, whenever Fall arrives, I realize that it really is my favorite season.

So, what are the 3 signs that represent fall to me?

The very first one, and my most favorite one, is the air. It's something that is hard to explain, and if you don't live in an area where Fall is a "real" season, you really have to experience it to understand it. But those of us who live in areas where Fall makes it's presence known, well we know it well. The air changes. The smell, the weight of it, the breeze, the color of the sky, all of it, is suddenly, almost overnight...different.

Suddenly, you step outside and and breathe and...BOOM there it is. Autumn has arrived. It's a beautiful thing.

The second sign of Fall, at least here in New England, are the pumpkins. PUMPKINS EVERYWHERE! Pumpkin farms spring up in neighbors back yards. There are pumpkin pies, pumpkin spiced coffees and lattes, pumpkin's decorating front stoops, pumpkins spilling out of every store front...

I don't actually like pumpkin. Not the pies, not the fruit (vegetable?) itself...but I just love the sight of them, as it signals that Autumn has arrived.

The third sign of spring, once again, especially here in New England, is by far my most is, of course, the changing of the leaves. It starts early enough, sometimes as early as the beginning of September, and on a good year (as this year has been), it lasts well into November.

Slowly, here and there, a tree will have a yellow leaf, or a red, orange, almost purple one...

Then, within weeks, a few more trees take on this rainbow of colors.

And then, as if overnight
, driving down a highway on the way to New Hampshire, it's as if you were caught in a whirlwind of reds, oranges, yellows...breathtaking really.
I'll never get enough of it, and it almost makes the long, cold, dreary winters worth it.

Okay, that's a lie...but, you know, at least we have the leaves.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All The Boys - Run Karina Run

Oh, God has the greatest sense of humor. Can you hear Him laughing from where you sit? Because I can. He’s having a jolly old time right about now, laughing at (okay, with) me.

Let me explain.

When I was in high school, I was not athletic. At all. In fact, the last time I did any sort of sports activity was when I ran track in the 4th grade. Then puberty hit, and I was all set with sweating. I became a girlie girl. Sports were not for me. By the time high school came around, I was one of those girls in gym class who would walk laps around the gym in order to not have to participate in the volleyball game.

And running? Up until about a year ago I used to say that “I’ll run if someone is chasing me”.

I was not a jock.

Recently, as in, within the last year, I've started running. I love it, I'm addicted, but I'm still pretty much a newbie.

You need to know this, because it'll come into play later.

The other thing you need to know, if you are just tuning in is that I don't date much (ahem, at all), and haven't for a really long time. My last date was quite a while ago, and the date before that date? I don't remember.

Initially this not dating thing was a choice, a decision to work on myself, to take some time for me. And then...well, life, and being in my 30's and living in the suburbs, and not really meeting anyone outside my "circle" (and we won't discuss the disaster that dating INSIDE my circle turned into...nope, we won't).

So, yeah, I don't really date. I've wanted to get back out on the dating scene for a while now, but the pickin's? They are slim.

So, anyway, those are the things you need to know.

And now, begins the comedy portion of this post:

In high school, I met this boy. Let's call him Pretty Boy. Pretty Boy was a sweet kid and we had a “thing”. As far as high school things go, this was of the most innocent and secretive kind. He was friends with another boy I had an on again/off again thing with, and he was a little shy, so, we hung out, but it never really amounted to much of anything.

If I remember correctly, and my memories of high school are hazy, mostly because I’ve blocked a lot of that time in my life out of my memory completely, we discovered our mutual attraction far too close to graduation to really pursue it.

I never saw him again after graduation, and to be honest, I don’t think I ever thought of him again. I pretty much forgot he existed, and I’ll venture to say it was a mutual thing.

Then about a year ago, FaceBook suggested him as a friend. Surprised to recognize both his name and his face, I sent him a message asking if he remembered me. It took him so long to reply that I once again forgot he existed. When he did reply, he apologized for the late response, explaining he was never on FB, but said of course he remembered me. I’d like to tell you that at that point a conversation ensued, but…I believe I responded to that message, but never heard from him again.

As he’d said, he’s never really on FB, and, in all honesty, I once again forgot all about him.

Until this week.

Because this week, after I went running one day, and posted a status with my run stats, I heard from him.

He said “Wow, I’m proud of you, that’s a great run time, I can’t do that well just yet”. Something along those lines.


Out of nowhere.


And, something inside me said “hmmmmm”.

So, without allowing myself time to hesitate, second guess, and chicken out, I replied to his comment, saying we should go running sometime, I’d love to catch up.

I put it out there, and I walked away.

And later that day I had a private message from him saying he’d love to go running, perhaps this weekend, giving me his number to call him.

I wrote him back, saying this weekend was good, telling him I’d call him “later this week”.

Today is later this week.

I just called him.

The conversation was short, because he was at work, but it was comfortable, easy, fun. We caught up a bit, talked about work, and then he asked "So when do you want to go running?"

We decided on Saturday afternoon.

He said he's really looking forward to catching up.

I said "This should be a lot of fun".

He had to get back to work, we hung up.

I’m out of practice with this dating thing.

I'm a little bit nervous.

I'm a lot bit excited.

I’m well aware this could be non-romantic in all aspects, I’m not pinning a whole lot of hopes on this.

I’m also aware that this has potential. I’m a little “teenage girl” giddy.

Also…God is laughing. Because I? Am going RUNNING on a potential date?


With a guy.

A guy I haven’t seen in 17 years.


Yep, God has a wicked sense of humor.

Thank God for that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Picture It Outside of the Box - 2 - Flare It Up

Last week I participated in Aiming Low's photography challenge, you can see that post here.

This week's "Picture It Outside of the Box" challenge is "Flare". You can read more about photography flare over there, but here is my entry:

Make sure to stop by Aiming Low to check out the other entries!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Picture It Outside of the Box - 1 - Aiming Low

In an effort to revive this old blog of mine, I've decided to join yet another photo challenge, because, well...why not?

So, I'm joining in on Aiming Low's "Out of the Box" Weekly Photo Challenge.

Here's how it works:

The Challenge: How It Works

  • Each week, on Friday, I (meaning Mishelle Lane at Aiming Low) will announce the “Picture It Outside of the Box” photo challenge theme.
  • You can submit one photo for the theme by the following Tuesday. Enter your direct link (to your blog post, your photo Flickr, or the like) in the thumbnail Linky Tool at the bottom of the post. Keep in mind the linky-loo will close down on Wednesday at 12:00 AM .
  • FIVE submissions from our readers will be showcased on Friday, and the new theme will be revealed.
  • Basically: you play along, you have fun, we show each other our awesome photos, we share inspiration….it’s a win-win situation!
Sounds fun, right? This week's challenge is to “Aim Low”

It’s all about perspective! And, this week I want you to change yours. Get down low and shoot. Even if you don’t look through the viewfinder to compose the shot.

I have to be honest, I had a hard time picking just one shot...

Should it be this one:

or perhaps this one: Hmmm...nope, I think I'll go with this one:

Monday, October 04, 2010

So Many Questions...

Driving past a funeral home today, i saw they have this fancy electronic LED sign with a scrolling message.

So many questions from that observation alone...what? A funeral home? Why? Really? Huh?

But wait there's more.

What caught my attention was not the sign, not even the message on the sign...which again, was mind boggling on its own:

"Flexable people don't get bent out of shape"

What? On a funeral home's sign? Really? But why?

But what caught my eye, as i'm sure it's already caught yours as well, was the flagrant, big as day, in bright shining LED billboard letters, spelling mistake.


Not flexible.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Popinjay - Smooth

This week's Popinjay prompt is Smooth:

free from projections or unevenness of surface; not rough:smooth wood; a smooth road.
generally flat or unruffled, as a calm sea.
free from hairs or a hairy growth: a smooth cheek

This photo was taken at Rockefeller Center in New York City a few weekends ago:
So pretty isn't it? And so smooth, it makes you want to go up and touch a purely innocent, curious way...

But smooth also means:


elegant, easy, or polished: smooth manners.
ingratiatingly polite or suave: That salesman is a smoothtalker.

This shot was taken at Madame Tusseau's Wax Museum...

I'm not even a fan of P. Diddy, but he's oh so smooth, so suave...

Make sure you stop by Michelle's to check out the other Popinjay entries!!!