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Slow Hopping

It’s pretty obvious that Plotting Bunnies has gotten quieter in the last month. Those weekly posts I promised aren’t so weekly anymore. So the first thing I’m going to do is apologise for the absence! Next thing I’m going to do is present my excuses.

1) I got a casual job! So thrilled about that. I work 2-3 days in a retail store with some kickass coworkers and love every bit of it. Double love for the money :P

2) I’m spiraling down into exam period in a couple of weeks. In fact, I did my last two assignments the night before they were due. One word to describe how I feel about end of semester exams? Pretty screwed… wait, that was two words.

3) I started driving lessons! Yes, yes, I know. Turning twenty next month and only starting to get serious about driving. Trust me, it was for the greater good. But I love driving, no matter how many heart attacks I give my passengers.

So yeah! I’ve been so busy lately with not much time to myself. I haven’t worked on my novel all month – but I have been thinking deeply about it! It actually helps to have more time to think about it. Sometimes the story just isn’t ready to be told. When it is, we’ll know.

It’s been busy but I still love writing and I still love sharing that love with you guys. There’s so much backlog of cool stuff I want to post! While it may be quiet around here, I’m still here! Still reading all the comments, still forgetting to reply and still mentally composing blog posts that have traffic-jammed themselves at my fingers. Things will pick up after exams, pinky promise.

Happy writing!
Christine

P.S. Having a job makes your savings look 7x handsomer :P

P.P.S. I’m super excited because I just commissioned an artist to draw one of my characters! Can’t wait to see the final result!

Are you writing?

It’s that time of the year again. Standing at the bottom of the mountain, staring up at that endless summit with your ‘50,000 words’ flag clenched anxiously in your hand. There’s less than one month until NaNoWriMo, folks!

Let’s rehash – what is NaNoWriMo? Why, it’s National Novel Writing Month, an online event held every year where writers do what they do best: write – and lots of it. The goal is to write 50,000 words in November, which comes to about 1,667 words a day. It’s a monstrous challenge for most, a walk in the park for some and pretty worthwhile for everyone involved. The best part is, you don’t really lose out if you don’t make the 50,000 words. Even if you only got 5,000 words in, that’s 5,000 words you didn’t have before and that’s not counting any inspiring epiphanies you might’ve had in the process.

Oh wait, I lied. That’s not the best best part – which is, of course, that it’s free! And the best best best part is you’re not alone. The forums are always bursting with activity, from day-to-day chats, to Wrimos answering each other’s research questions, to adopting pet names. It’s a great atmosphere to be in.

… Now here’s where I get booed off stage for admitting I probably won’t be taking part in this awesome ordeal this year. I’d really love to! Camp NaNo was great (even if I did make a mad rush in the last 24 hours). I’ve got exams and work going on in November, and my preparation for my novel isn’t really mature yet. BUT! I’m certainly going to be doing a little writing challenge of my own! To be honest, I will probably never have the right timing and speed to hit 50,000 words while I’m a student. So my goals are usually smaller. Maybe I’ll try for 750 words a day. I might even sign up for NaNoWriMo despite not being in the same race – the atmosphere might give me a boost! I don’t know what I’ll be doing specifically but I do know one thing – in November, I’m going to write.

Which is probably what some of you do every day anyway. So why did I make this post?

Because I haven’t been doing much of it. Writing, that is. I’ve been really bad with progress lately, being so busy with uni and my new job… and taking naps… and playing Skyrim… and watching anime… and telling myself I will write tomorrow. It feels like I’ve hit a motivational rut for everything, not just writing. The only good thing that came out of it was realising I’m probably not the only one with this dilemma. We all get stuck sometimes. Realising we’re stuck is the first step. Pulling yourself out of it is a downright sprint.

That’s why I really hope you guys will consider joining NaNoWriMo this year, or making a solid writing goal for yourself. To anyone who is suffering a bout of laziness, demotivation or a plain period of busy life, I just wanted to tell you that I’m right there with you! And that in the slowest, laziest way possible, I’m gradually dragging myself out of it. I just needed a big push of willpower. And I’m not saying I’m back on track (because I’m pretty sure I’m still way south of it), but I’ve got a novel that I can’t bear to leave unrealised. I’m quite terrified of never finishing it by the time I die. I am that unbelievably unproductive. I admit it.

My belief is that if you create a character, they trust you to tell their story. They can get tired of being let down time after time, just like us. Maybe one day they’ll leave us, their good for nothing creators. You never know when that day is just around the corner, so get writing! NaNoWriMo is a beacon of what any writer would love to achieve. But don’t give up just because you think, or even know, that you can’t do it. Just get as far as you can. There’s a story itching in those fingers that only you can tell – you, one in 7 billion. No one else will be able to write the same story with the same plot, the same characters, the same development and the same writing style – not even if you told someone to ghost write it for you. Now that’s a thought!

Dear writers,

You have a world in your hands. Don’t drop it.

Happy writing,
Christine

10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People

You know, I always thought I would be hard to psychoanalyse. Like I’m a perfectly normal person, just with something a little… off. Too unruffled, too lazy, too unconventional, too boring, too curious, too sentimental. Like I’m everything at once and nothing particular at the same time.

But somehow, I’m always nodding my head to the articles, pictures and whatnots that float around the writing community. The ones like #youknowyouareawriterwhen, and stuff like 10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People. A quick glance had me blinking. And blinking. And blinking.

Well, damn! Does my own mother know all of this?

Are you one of those creative people? Take a read of the article and see if what’s on the screen matches up with what’s up there.

Happy creating!

10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People

A Writer’s Wisdom: Neil Gaiman

A legend indeed :)

Persephone Writes

Neil Gaiman‘s 2012 commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia is a moving testament to the beauty of following your creative vocation, no matter where it takes you. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and be prepared to be inspired.

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Epiphanies of Gratitude

Has anyone ever thought about the things they are good at and been truly glad for it? Like running fast or unfailingly burning toast; sketching comics or creating a world of words. I never really had a moment like that even after so many years of writing. In fact, it was only recently that I started to realise I wanted to be a writer; a dedicated writer, not the whimsical hobbyist I started off as. I can’t say that’s going spectacularly right now, but the new resolve sure makes me feel better!

I was listening to the radio the other day and a pop tune was playing. Now, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the hot hits on the airwaves these days. Pretty much most music older than me would hold my ear better. So you might say that I might not have had this light bulb moment if ABBA had been playing instead. What I thought was: Gee, it takes a lot less effort to sing a popular song than to write a novel.

Then I scowled at myself because I hate catching myself being judgmental. My dad gave me a pretty funny look.

I righted the thought. All forms of art require effort and time, and deserve respect, whether it’s an abstract spatter of paint or the Mona Lisa. Sure, some products might take less time than others, and some may be more acknowledged than others, but if there’s one thing they have in common, it’s that the people who made them tried to put a little bit of themselves into the process. At least, that’s what I like to think.

Writing a song, practicing it and getting it recorded takes more time and money than radio-listeners appreciate. A single piece of paper with a simple landscape drawn in oil pastels might have taken half the time you expect, but twice the years of experience to get right. Then there’s the actors and actresses, magicians, comedians, etc. No one gets to snap their fingers and have results appear out of sheer friction.

But damn, writing a novel can take a very long time!

And then I realised: I’m actually glad that it does. For the first time in my life, I realised that I was grateful to be a writer rather than another type of creative artist. I knew I was in the right place.

Again, I admit the pop song pumping beats about partying all night and one night stands probably glorified my epiphany. It’s obvious work had to go in to produce such a song and it’s popular for that reason. What I was glad to realise was that to write something, anything, I had to dig so much deeper into myself than I would writing a pop song. The moment I decided to write a novel (more like a series but let’s use euphemisms at this stage), I committed myself to a schedule of headaches and heartaches and feeling like an unproductive slop of radioactive goo. Even if the words I write are utter garbage, I’m still writing them one by one, so slowly. It’s something I’ll be doing for a while, something that doesn’t really have a shortcut. I’m not a fast writer so this pet project could very well take me a decade. And I may not even truly accomplish it.

But I’m still grateful to be a writer, grateful to have something I love and can actually do. Because every spark of creativity is a climb and the longer it takes, the more you see yourself reflected in the final product.

Call me crazy but I write to see myself on the page. I want to see the world through the eyes of a character I brought to life on a plain white page, and breathe in words I wrote one by one. I reckon it’ll be worth it. Just maybe.

Treasures

Look for gold closer to home. You might find something amazing, like this piece :)

What Matters.

If you can look at the power to work as a blessing, you are gifted.
If you can see obstacles and hardship as opportunities to expand, or turn bad to good, you are noble.
If you do not blame and wail, but keep a stiff spine, you have attitude.
If you meet vice and evils beyond your comprehension, and are determined to carry the burden with grace, you are brave.
If you have lived long enough to understand and feel that we are here for each other, and that virtues alone can pour your cup of joy, you have unlocked the unconditional capacity of your heart.
If you have had the chance to grow a rich inner life; to see the beauty in the way people meet challenges, in the way people stand up for themselves and others, then you are lucky.
If you get the chance to live for…

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Scrivener Giveaway: And our winner is…!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway with their rabbity comments! Names have gone into my lucky hat and one of them has popped out.

The winner of the draw is:

Hikmet Kocamaner

Congratulations, buddy! Please shoot me an email at munchkinwrites@gmail.com so I can send the coupon code over as soon as possible. I hope you can put it to good use!

Again, thank you so much to everyone who took part and spread the word. It was a pleasure to host and I would love to do more of these in the future (this may motivate me to win NaNoWriMo more consistently, haha). Have yourselves a good day!

Words are oxygen,

Christine

GIVEAWAY: 50% off Scrivener coupon

I figured I’d the deadline for this giveaway by one week to give you guys more time. That’s Thursday, 22 August, people! Interested in Scrivener or know anyone who is? Share the word around! I’m parting with this coupon no matter what ;)

On a related note, it looks like the developers of Scrivener have gotten around to releasing a Windows beta for Scapple, their mindmap-ish software. Excitement abound!

Plotting Bunnies

I started this blog at the end of April not really knowing what to expect. What am I doing?What do I want to get out of this? Honestly, I had no idea! So I tried reaching out to the writing community, reading up on interesting posts, leaving comments and pretty much having a good time from my computer chair. I didn’t expect anyone to reach back, but you did. Now, months later, I’m pretty sure this was what I wanted all along. You guys made it possible.

I’ve been trying to find a way to thank you guys before Plotting Bunnies even hit 100 followers. Now we’re up to 200 ninja bunnies picking up my posts in their reader. Some of you followed for the sake of following, but I’m always so happy to hear from those who like what they see. Now the wonderful people behind Camp NaNoWriMo…

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Time is like water

This is something beautiful that popped up on my youtube feed this morning. Watch it all the way through to the end. The simple message is profound :)

The film is La Maison en Petits Cubes. My butchered knowledge of French reckons it translates into something along the lines of The House on Small Cubes… I obviously didn’t get much out of that class.

GIVEAWAY: 50% off Scrivener coupon

I started this blog at the end of April not really knowing what to expect. What am I doing? What do I want to get out of this? Honestly, I had no idea! So I tried reaching out to the writing community, reading up on interesting posts, leaving comments and pretty much having a good time from my computer chair. I didn’t expect anyone to reach back, but you did. Now, months later, I’m pretty sure this was what I wanted all along. You guys made it possible.

I’ve been trying to find a way to thank you guys before Plotting Bunnies even hit 100 followers. Now we’re up to 200 ninja bunnies picking up my posts in their reader. Some of you followed for the sake of following, but I’m always so happy to hear from those who like what they see. Now the wonderful people behind Camp NaNoWriMo have given me a chance to give something back to you guys – what I hope to be the first of more giveaways to come!

This is a biiiiiiggggg thank you to all the readers who dropped by Plotting Bunnies, even once. Yep, just once. That means you.

Very recently, I won my first attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo, beating my goal by an impressive two words. Those two words earned me a pretty certificate, a colourful selection of blog badges (which I can’t wait to put up!), and a single coupon code to get the writing program Scrivener for 50% off. Surely you can see where this is going.

NaNo3Screens

Yup, one lucky person will inherit my 50% off Scrivener coupon. Hurray!

“Wait, I want to know more about Scrivener!” Sure thing, buddy! You’ll find all the information you need on the official website, as well as my own review of the software. Scrivener’s full price usually goes for $40 USD.

“GIMME, GIMME, GIMMEEEEEE!” Sure thing #2, buddy! Follow these quick steps so I can write your name on a piece of paper and add it to my rabbit hat!

RULES

1. Do your research. Is Scrivener suitable for your use? Reckon you’ll like it? Please only continue to the other steps if you are truly interested. Don’t be the one who lets a perfectly good coupon collect dust and expire!

2. Say hello in the comments. “Yo, whassup, hi, ohayo gozaimasu” etc. I’ll say hi back! I just like meeting people.

3. Continue commenting! Say whatever you like – with just one catch. Your comment must contain the word ‘rabbit(s)’ at least twice. Hah. It can be as random or sophisticated as you like, from “I’m a rabbit that likes rabbits” to “The weather is absolutely spiffing today. I’d also like to inform you that rabbits preserve the same rights as homosapiens and should therefore be represented in international affairs by a dignified Rabbit Council TM.”
(Feel free to leave a spectacular rabbit message even if you don’t want to be included in the draw. Simply let me know in your comment.)

4. Share this post around so others can join in! Quickest way is to reblog but you can also tweet it, email it – anything. The more the merrier!

5. Check back in 7 days! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if your lucky name is picked out!

THE REST

  • Everyone has an equal chance of winning. If only one person participates, they have as much chance of winning as their non-existent competitors (but because they’re non-existent they are automatically disqualified, so that’s a big 100% certainty right there pfftt, just messing with ya).
  • With the coupon, Scrivener will cost $20 USD. You can download the trial version from the site for free and test it for 30 runs before entering. I’d really appreciate it if the winner put the voucher to use :) That said, you’re more than welcome to pass it on to a friend.
  • The quality of your, uh, rabbit comment doesn’t matter at all. Blabber away!
  • Once I see that you have completed all the steps, I’ll write your name on a piece of paper, chuck it into a draw and mess it up good. A week later, I’ll get my lovely mother to pick one out for me. Just because I love her.
  • Entries will close at midnight on Tuesday, 13 August Thursday, 22 August. That’s Sydney, Australia time for me. Just type ‘Sydney time’ into google and you’re set. Winner will be announced in a post on this blog the next day, so make sure you come back!

That’s it! All that’s left from me is another THANK YOU! Now knock yourselves out with those rabbits.

Words are oxygen,

Christine :)

The winner has been announced!

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