Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TGIO! Thank Goodness It's Over (this post is a long one)

It's December 2nd, and the pens and clacking keyboards are finally silent. We have started going through and finding our success stories and those "almost" stories, but the takeaway of everything is that the students had a great time.

My success story is that I finally finished NaNoWriMo after a two year dry spell! My story is not done, but the competition is and I feel relieved that I was able to make it. Another proud moment on my side is that throughout the entire month of November, there was only one day that I did not write. That, in and of itself, is a huge accomplishment on my part. I may not have met my specific word count for the day, but the perseverance and continual work helped me reach that goal.

Looking back on everything, it surprises me that I was actually able to finish. There was a lot going on in November. I just found time where I could.

I started by prepping for NaNoWriMo, getting all the gear and supplies that I would need to write 50,000 words.
What's not pictured here is my Nock Co. Hightower which eventually replaced the homemade pen case. Not all the pens made it through November as well, but pictured from left to right are:
  1. Zebra Sarasa Clip
  2. Monteverde One Touch Stylus
  3. TWSBI Classic EF nib (J. Herbin Poussire de Luna)
  4. Kaweco Sport (Diamine Pumpkin)
  5. TWSBI 540 F nib (Noodler's Baystate Blue)
  6. Uni Style-Fit multi pen
  7. TWSBI mini 1.1 mm stub (Sailor Jentle)

Most of these were constant companions, minus the laptop that was too bulky to carry around everywhere.

The first distraction was the beach. We had a family gathering in Port Aransas (to make up for a rather disasterous trip to South Padre last June...). It was relaxing, but not always conducive to putting pen to paper (six adults and fours kids ranging from 6 years down to around 18 months, all staying in the same condo, made things a bit distracting at times).

 I ran out a notebook and a pen while there (the Moleskine Hobbit notebook and the Kaweco Sport with Diamine Pumpkin), and cracked open a new Franklin-Cristoph notebook and uncapped my TWSBI 540. Noodler's Baystate Blue has a love/hate relationship with pens owners, but for me, it is my favorite color. There is just nothing else like it.

Of course time had to be taken off for family things. There was the beach, nature all around, and my daughters favorite, dolphin watching.


There were a lot more dolphins than these three, they're just
hard to catch on camera.

Cute kid!

Work always gets in the way of writing, but that is the nature of it all. Thanksgiving rolled around, and as usual there were more distractions (but good ones for sure).

Writing by the light of a fire pit was something new for me. Smores and hot dogs were the order each night we were there.

Once again it was a family affair (only this time with my side of the family). Six adults and only two kids made it a touch easier to write over those five days, but the scenery caused the distraction this time.

Sunset over the Hill Country
Not everything went off without a hitch though. There were a couple of casualties during the frantic month of writing, and unfortunately, both of them were TWSBIs. I notice at the beach that my favorite pen -- the TWSBI 540 -- was beginning to develop some cracks in the cap. I wasn't really surprised as many have had the same issue, but when your favorite pen starts to show its age, you can get a little sad. The pen still works beautifully and will continue to be used on an almost daily basis until the unthinkable happens, or I get a replacement 580 (maybe a 580 USA model? Merry Christmas?).

The second was my fault completely. My TWSBI Classic developed a crack in the feed, most likely from over tightening. Eventually, it failed completely. To TWSBIs credit, their customer service is impeccable and there is a replacement part already on its way. 

50,000 words in the bag and the story is only about halfway done. Even considering the hiccups, I would definitely say this was a successful NaNoWriMo, and a great November.

Happy Holidays everyone, and may your stockings be full of pens and pencils this Christmas!

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