NaNoWriMo 2017: The Midway Point

Today marks the middle of NaNoWriMo 2017. We have survived the first 15 days. But I still have over 25,000 words to write in the next 15 days to reach 50,000 and the end of NaNoWriMo 2017.

At this point, it’s easy to be fatigued. To wonder how can I possibly survive these next 15 days. To worry that I’ll never reach 50,000 words. To feel that everything I’ve written is just awful.

Is anyone else feeling something like that?

Well, my advice to surviving these next 15 days is to be like Doryjust keep swimming.  Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo 2017: The First Week

The first week of NaNoWriMo is mostly fun with a side of anxious. Fresh ideas abound even if you secretly worry about hitting 50,000 words by the end of the month. And with the excitement of getting the words on the page, hitting the 1,667 daily word goal seems fairly easy at this point.

I usually have my best writing days during the first week. Continue reading

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo: Holy Fish Nuggets, it’s November 1st!

For me, fall is all about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), with the prep happening in October (and even earlier for those super planners) and the writing occurring in November.

Yesterday I wrote about the three types of NaNoWriMo writers—planners, pantser, and plantsers. Where planners and plantsers spend the month of October prepping for November. And pantser spend October thinking they have plenty of time before November 1 and then panic on the actual day.

Despite my wishful thinking and good intentions, I remain a pantser.
Continue reading

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo: Planners versus Pansters

Tomorrow starts NaNoWriMo 2017. (That’s National Novel Writing Month which starts November 1.) And after my weekend in Ellicott City, Maryland attending Hallowread and talking to many of the authors, I am rather stoked and motivated to write my 2017 NaNoWriMo novel.

Now if you’re familiar with NaNoWriMo, you know that traditionally NaNoWriMo divided writers into two groups—planners and pantsers. Continue reading

I’m About to Begin Whole30: Round 2

In July/August, I participated in a Whole30 challenge (read about it here and here). I had good success (numbers went down) and I definitely felt better. So when Composition ID announced Whole30 Round 2, I immediately signed up.

Round 2 will commence this Sunday, October 22 and go through Monday, November 20. 30 days of focused eating. Like last time, you get a before and after DEXA scan. So I went this past Saturday for my Round 2 “before” DEXA scan.

My before scan showed that since the end of Round 1, I have gained a few pounds. But . . . the pounds I gained were all lean muscle mass.

Let me back up a bit. Continue reading

PSA on ISPs for October 17, 2017

So here’s my lesson learned for the week. I share this with you all so you can learn from my mistakes.

In this modern age of technology, internet service providers (ISPs) are a must-have. Without a internet at home, I cannot stream binge Netflix, check my email or Facebook or any other social media, work on my blog, lose hours on Pinterest. And did I mention Netflix? Sure, I can use my phone and my data plan to do these things, but that becomes burdensome and potentially expensive (or at least slow when AT&T decides I’ve logged enough time). Plus, streaming TV on a small screen just isn’t the same.

Like many urban dwellers, I get my internet service from my cable provider. It’s a package deal because somehow it’s cheaper to do both cable and internet (or all 3 if you also get phone) than just one service. (It’s the kind of math I don’t understand, but there you go.)

So I had cable and internet through Cox Communications, the local service provider for my area. When I originally signed up for service, Cox talked me into a big package by promising me a gift card after 3 months of service.

WRONG!

No, you only got the gift card if you signed up for the triple-package (cable/internet/phone) and my account showed my service changed from the triple to the double-package. (That is not what they told me when I signed up, but apparently “[I] misunderstood.”)

My irritation revolves around cable. I had this big package with eleventy-billion stations and of course, a larger-than-I-wanted-to-pay bill. I actually watch about 6 stations because there is never anything on the other eleventy-billion-minus-six that interests me. (Honestly, I prefer to wait until the entire season of a show hits Netflix and binge the whole thing in commercial-free bliss.) So when they told me I “misunderstood” about the gift card option, I immediately said, well then I want to cancel cable. 

Now this is Cox Communications. And if you’re familiar with Cox, you know that unlike Comcast, Cox doesn’t give two cents whether you cancel or not. You try to cancel with Comcast and they will miraculously find you a new deal or a slightly different package that costs less. Not Cox. The Cox representative simply said “Okay, please hold while I cancel your cable.”

After putting me on hold several times for a total of ten minutes, the representative finally came back with a “I have cancelled your cable service.” And then she dropped the next bomb. “With no cable, the price of your internet service will be $110.”

WTF?!?

That was not that much less than what I was paying for both cable + internet. When I expressed this, she told me the cheapest internet-only service she could offer me would still be $80.

Seriously? Um, no. $80 is like Comcast’s bestest internet option. I had paid around $40 for my run ‘o the mill internet with Comcast. (Of course, cable/internet prices, like gasoline, varies by zip code. A lesson I learned last year when I moved from one zip code to another even though I was still in the same city.)

So I immediately said, I want to cancel internet. Just cancel the whole thing.

Again, Cox doesn’t argue because clearly the customer is always right. The thing I didn’t consider was that Cox cancelled all my services right then because I didn’t provide an alternative shut-off date.

But at the time, I didn’t think about it. I was just irritated and wanted to be done with Cox and the ridiculously large bill. I already had priced Verizon’s Fios (which luckily is available in my area). And once I was off the phone with Cox, I turned around and called Verizon to set-up service.

The Verizon rep was fantastic. I explained what I wanted and he walked through the various packages with me. And Verizon offers this neat-o option where you can choose your TV stations (they have 6 different pre-set packages based on interests, so I’m not loaded down with those stations I never watch).

But here’s the hitch. This all happened last Tuesday. The earliest the Verizon tech could come out and set it all up today, a week later.

Seven (7) whole days without internet.

SEVEN WHOLE DAYS WITHOUT BINGING NETFLIX!

Okay, yes, I realize this is a total first world problem. And I clearly I overcame the lack of internet by going to my friend’s house and using her internet (because I posted on this blog yesterday) and by taking my Chromebook to the local Starbucks (thank goodness for coffeehouse wifi).

But learn from my mistake. If you’re going to change ISPs, schedule the install for your new one before cancelling your current one. Don’t be forced to live a week without Netflix.

You’re welcome.