Quarantine Post #32: National Novel Writing Month- November (NaNoWriMo)

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So I have not been writing blog posts lately because I have been challenged to take part in NaNoWriMo. My friends and I are avid readers but some of the issues we discussed were that there are not a lot of characters that accurately reflect us. Especially within romantic genre. I do a lot of reading (especially since being home since March) and recently I have read a lot of great things in the romantic genre but not anything where I saw myself (more than one characteristic) in the main herione. So my friend called me up and told me about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). There was a deep discussion and when I told my family… I was told when you don’t see something you want to see… It is your job to create it. So I was told to get my thoughts and characters on paper. I shall rise to the challenge.

Now I haven’t written anything in years… and only having been challenged to write a month before I did not get a chance to partake in the abundance of preparation activities that they have available. And they have a bunch. I was actually pretty impressed with the number of exercises to help flesh out characters and story. So next year, I am on it from the beginning of the year. NanoWriMo’s flagship program is an annual, international creative writing event where participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November. I am currently behind at only 14,500 words and it is already Thanksgiving. Since doing the math, I see that to reach that 50,000 number you would have to write 1667 a day. Writers wishing to participate first register on the project’s website (which I did not do this go round), where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopses and excerpts.

The rules for the contest are very straight forward.

Since NaNoWriMo is used to get people writing, the rules are kept broad and straightforward:

  1. Writing starts at 12:00: a.m. on November 1 and ends 11:59:59 p.m. on November 30, local time.
  2. No one is allowed to start early and the challenge finishes exactly 30 days from that start point.
  3. Novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before the end of November in order to win. These words can either be a complete novel of 50,000 words or the first 50,000 words of a novel to be completed later.
  4. Planning and extensive notes are permitted, but no material written before the November 1 start date can go into the body of the novel.
  5. Participants’ novels can be on any theme, genre of fiction, and language. Everything from fanfiction, which uses trademarked characters, to novels in poem format, and metafiction is allowed; according to the website’s FAQ, “If you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe you’re writing a novel too.”

The fifth rule seemed pretty dope because I love me some fanfiction. I am an anime fan so… it only makes sense to me. Also because I have read some really stellar fanfiction. Really on par with some stuff that has been published. I may do a post about that for my anime fans.

Winning isn’t the point here. I know it is to get my to put pen to paper or in my case fingers to a keyboard. No official prizes are awarded for length, quality, or speed, though self-awarded badges are available on the site. Anyone who reaches the 50,000-word mark is declared a winner. Beginning November 20, participants can submit their novel to be automatically verified for length and receive a printable certificate, an icon they can display on the web, and inclusion on the list of winners.

Before this year, I may have heard about this context once or twice before but now with quarantine… I have been needing something to do other than reading my manga and catching up on my watchlist. (My watchlist is so long.) This contest is probably the best way to make sure I stay in this story until the end. I had a tendency of writing several stories over tje course of my high school career that I never finished. So this is a challenge to see if I can actually get this done. I have several great ideas. It is just trying to get ideas on paper. My test readers are great and always give me their honest opinion. So I am sure the editing process will be fun too. If I ever make it to that point.

Because I didn’t really map out the journey… I am getting to know my characters in the process. Some things surprise…. but I was able to capture my mother’s interest… and that is a big deal because she is has several novels published in her own right. My story is going to be a run of the mill romance. Loosely based on me and my friends. I look forward to seeing how things unfold and if I will be able to get it done. I have had a weeks worth of writer’s block but an awesome next phase came to me last night so I will probably spend my Turkey Day doing that and watching some stuff… (more like letting it run in the background.). So if I ever get to the publishing phase I will let you guys know. Wish me luck… because I will obviously need to continue writing into the new year… I have an idea for a second book already. But the hurdle becomes writing the book. I won’t tell a lot here. The main aim is to entertain my friends. If it entertains others out that then that will be a plus.

Quarantine Post #31: Summer and Winter Olympics and X-Games

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There has been a lot of time to sit back on my haunches and reflect on my life as well as reconnect with some of the things I used to love. That tends to happen when you have been working from home for 8 months. I will say that I enjoy strolling back down memory lane. And this post will be my stroll of falling in love with the X Games and the Olympics. I had a conversation with some family members about these topics the other day and decided to write up something up about it.

So the X Games was my first introduction to people like Tony Hawk, Dave Mirra (R.I.P.) T.J. Lavin, Ryan Nyquist, and Shaun White. I was about 14 when my brother and I were arguing about what to watch. Since I was the oldest and somewhat trying to be spiteful, I flipped to ESPN and the X games were on. It didn’t take much for all of us to want to see more. (I’ll say from this point on, we switch to ESPN a lot to see what what was on… It is also how we fell in love with the World’s Strongest Man Competition.) That first day we watched it for hours. There was something about the events that seemed unbelievable. At that point in my life, I rode a bike almost every day with my friends but there was no way I could see myself doing a superman seat grab. My mother enjoyed it because it was a time when we kids weren’t arguing with each other about some nonsense. X Games events can vary from year to year, but generally consisted of inline skating, snowboarding, BMX biking, and skateboarding. The events were broken down even more:

Aggressive Inline Skating (Now not apart of the X Games)

  • Vert Skating
  • Vert Skating Triples
  • Vert Skating Best Trick
  • Street Skating
  • Park Skating

BMX Freestyle

  • BMX Vert
  • BMX Park
  • BMX Street
  • BMX Big Air
  • BMX Dirt

Snowboarding

  • Snowboard Big Air
  • Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle
  • Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle
  • Men’s Snowboard Superpipe
  • Women’s Snowboard Superpipe

Skateboarding

  • Skateboard Vert
  • Men’s Skateboard Park
  • Women’s Skateboard Park
  • Street League Skateboarding
  • SLS Select Series
  • Women’s Skateboard Street
  • Skateboard Big Air

I was always partial to inline skating but that was removed from the ESPN X-Games in 2005. The sport was included in the first ESPN X-Games in 1995 and included vertical ramp and street event competitions. It reached its height in popularity in the late 90s, with mainstream movies like Disney’s Brink! and other films. If you haven’t seen Brink… It is on Disney Plus.. and it is one of those movies that still stands the test of time for me. Fun times.

I have been away from the X games for many years but when I returned I noticed that they added several other events like Snowmobile, Skiing, and Motocross (which Disney also made a movie about.) I am always sucked right back in whenever I see it on tv. Being at home since March has rekindled my love for all things X Games (They really need to bring back inline skaters.) I am not sure what the intrigue was and still is. I was glad to see if was a place where different sports from the norm were showcased. It was also where I saw that women were also allowed to compete (and they damn excelled.)

Good Movie… A modern take on Shakespeare but you know….

My love for what little I knew about the X Games at that time was transferred to the Olympics MANY years later when I actually met friends who had watch parties for the Olympics. It wasn’t something that was really talked about in my house. I found out recently that my mom watches them periodically whenever she can catch it. So I showed up to a friends party where we were going to watch the Summer Olympics in, I believe, 2008 where we watched Michael Phelps make history. What was funny is at the time I still didn’t get how the Olympics works. But Google is a hell of a tool. I was able to learn that the Olympic Games are normally held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years in the four-year period. The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for snow and ice sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities, the Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged 14 to 18. The Olympic Games program consists of 35 sports, 30 disciplines and 408 events. The Summer Olympics program includes 26 sports, while the Winter Olympics program features 15 sports. Athletics, swimming, fencing, and artistic gymnastics are the only summer sports that have never been absent from the Olympic program. Cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating have been featured at every Winter Olympics program since its inception in 1924. Current Olympic sports, like badminton, basketball, and volleyball, first appeared on the program as demonstration sports, and were later promoted to full Olympic sports. Some sports that were featured in earlier Games were later dropped from the program.

Again, it was great to see top athletes from around the world competing. It was great to see women competing in the highest stage from around the world. The winners kept getting younger and younger.It was great to see Red Gerard win the gold medal in Slopestyle at 17 in 2018 and Chloe Kim win in vert. In my quarantine time, I have attended attending the Summer, and Winter Olympics. Leah better be ready. We will be all over the world…

Both of these games are really where I usually live vicariously through these athletes. I could not imagine competing on such a high level. I can’t even imagine the training that goes into getting into the Olympics. So as I have been doing I have been living the past 8 months on highlights from the X Games and the Olympics… Watching old Disney movies were I was introduced to the extreme sports. So really I have been falling back in love with and reconnected with things that I have loved as a kid.