An Adventurer's Dream

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The hardest part about writing is that little voice in your head that tells you that you aren’t good enough. That as hard as you try, your words can’t compare to the masterpieces that are already in existence. It’s a voice that you want to slap.

I am working on a novel that I planned in high school and it is such a great story idea. But each time I write, my brain tries to tell me that I cannot adequately write the story I want to tell. The thing is, I know I can do it. I go back and read my work. It’s actually really good at some points. These little pieces of work really inspire me to continue and tell me that I am good enough.

And that’s such a great feeling. Writing something and then feeling proud of it long after. I cannot accurately describe how it makes me feel, other than letting you know the smile that occurs is extremely large. I’m sure you’ve all felt this at one point, even if it isn’t in writing. It’s just something that makes the fireworks go off inside of you and let you feel like you are on top of the world.

So that is what I need to hold on to as I continue to write. I’ll push my inner editor aside. Right now, I have things to write. I have that happy feeling to get, to keep, to hold in my hands. And I will hold it.

And you, dear readers? What is something that you like to do? Would you like to share about a time that made you extremely proud?

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North Pole Interview 2012

Merry Christmas everyone!

I started a tradition many years ago where I write a story about doing an interview in the North Pole. This year’s episode turned out to be a story more than an interview, but it was really fun to write. I always share it with my friends on Facebook, but I thought why not share with all you lovely people on my blog? So, it is my pleasure to post this and spread the Christmas spirit with all of you. Please enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas!

In the midst of last-minute Christmas shopping and working on a novel, I managed to sneak away to the North Pole. My newfound friend from last Christmas season, the wonderful Jack Frost, helped me travel the distance.

(When we arrive outside Santa’s Workshop, a light snow is falling to the ground. However, there is an eerie silence where there is usually the sound of joy and laughter. Jack and I look at each other, both of us a little nervous.)

Me: Did I decide to come at the wrong time or something? It’s never this empty up here.

Jack: No, it’s weird to me, too. I’ve been here a lot more often since I talked with Santa last year and there is always someone outside, no matter what time. Something has to be up.

Me: *points at Santa’s Workshop* Maybe we should go see if anyone is inside. I’m sure there will be an elf for us to talk to.

Jack: *nods* Let’s go.

(Jack and I walk to the front door of the building. When I tug on it, it does not open. Jack makes me step back and tries to open it himself. He has no luck either. We stand there for a moment, stupefied.)

Me: It’s never locked! Something has to be wrong.

Jack: I think we’re going to have to take the secret entrance inside. *points to an area outside of Santa’s village* It’s somewhere out there in a cave.

Me: *hugs myself* As long as we can get there soon. I’m not dressed to be outside too long.

(We walk outside of the village and through the snow-covered forest for a few minutes before arriving at the mouth of a cave. I look at it in awe as Jack enters. He stops in the entrance and looks at me, waiting for me to follow. I hurry up, shuffling through the snow and into the cave. Immediately it is warmer. Jack and I begin walking toward the back and I begin to notice that we are moving deeper into the earth.)

Me: Jack, does this run under Santa’s Village?

Jack: *nods* Santa showed it to me in June so I could check on everything while he was on vacation with Mrs. Claus. They snuck away to Hawaii this year.

Me: *chuckles* Santa does love to surf, doesn’t he?

Jack: And he’s actually pretty good. He got first place in a competition!

Me: *shakes head* Of course he would.

Jack: *freezes* I think I just saw something move further down the tunnel.

Me: Really? I didn’t see anything.

(There is suddenly a noise farther down the tunnel and I start to get a little scared. We are far away from the entrance of the cave and I do not know what will happen if something dangerous comes out. However, my fear is soon abated as a familiar red-nosed reindeer walks around a corner up ahead.)

Jack and Me: Rudolph!

Rudolph: *nose lights up as he walks over to us* Brittany! Jack! It’s so nice to see some familiar faces.

Me: What’s going on, Rudolph? Why is the village so empty?

Rudolph: *shakes his head* There was a security alert early this morning. We were overtaken by an entire pack of yetis. Santa and Mrs. Claus were taken into the workshop and locked inside with the yetis.

Jack: Where is everyone else?

Rudolph: Some of the elves are inside as well. But everyone else is hidden down here. We weren’t sure what to do. And with Christmas in just a few days, we really can’t afford to delay any! The elves have presents to make and we reindeer still have to practice some new flying maneuvers we learned this year.

Jack: *confidently* Don’t worry! We’ll get Santa out of there and send the yetis packing.

Me: *nervous* We?

Jack: You don’t want to help save the North Pole and Christmas?

Me: *sighs* You know that I will definitely help out! I just don’t know what we are going to do.

Jack: Don’t worry. I have a plan.

(Rudolph leads Jack and me down the tunnel, which eventually opens into a large cavern. Inside are the bustling inhabitants of the North Pole. I see Tim with his wife and child off to the side, talking to another family of elves. He looks over and waves, then comes over to talk to us.)

Tim: I guess you are having an interesting visit this year, Brittany.

Me: Interesting is a good word to use. Are you all doing okay? How are the kids?

Tim: We’re all doing good. It’s safe down here, especially for the kids. The reindeer are helping us keeping an eye on them. Though, we’re trying to come up with some tactics to save Santa.

Jack: I actually have an idea of what to do. It’s going to be… different.

Tim: Jack Frost! *smiles* I’m sure you have a great plan. What do you need from us?

Jack: I’ll need the ninja battalion and a few reindeer.

Rudolph: *nods* I’ll grab some of the others. Prancer and Comet are anxious to get something done.

Tim: And I’ll get the ninja battalion for you.

(The two leave us alone and I take a moment to look around. While it seems to be a bad time for everyone, they still seem to be enjoying themselves down here in hiding. There is a group of elf and reindeer children alike playing a game of ball. Some of the elves are sitting against the walls of the cavern, heads down as they sleep. I look back over at Jack, laughing as I realize something.)

Me: There are actually ninja Christmas elves?

Jack: Why wouldn’t there be?

Me: *laughs* No reason. No reason at all. It’s just not something that most people would consider.

(When Rudolph and Tim return with their reinforcements, Jack holds a small meeting. We sit down in a corner of the cavern. Jack explains his plan to us. There is a lot of nodding. The ninja elves are quiet, just nodding their heads as they listen. Comet asks a lot of questions – some of them not related to the plan at all.)

Comet: Do we get some of Mrs. Claus’s hot chocolate after this?

Prancer: *pushes Comet lightly with his shoulder* We’ll figure that out afterward. Listen to the plan.

Rudolph: *rolls eyes*

(When the plan is fully laid out, we set out through the tunnels until we are under Santa’s Workshop. There is a wooden staircase that leads up to a metal trapdoor. I watch as Rudolph walks up to it and stick his nose against a square grid on the stone wall. His nose lights up red and the grid has lines running across it that start to glow a bright green. He removes his nose and then places his eye in front of the square. It scans his eye and then a loud beep resounds through the tunnels. We all freeze.)

Me: I hope none of the yetis heard that.

Ninja Elf: *nods*

(The metal trapdoor slides to the side effortlessly and soundlessly. Past it is a very familiar view of the workshop. I can see shelves lined with toys, though some of them are overturned. The group begins to flood through the door and I follow them up, my heart starting to race.)

Comet: Is it time to split up yet? Which way am I going again?

Prancer: *gives him a look that makes Comet go quiet immediately* Just follow me.

Me: *stifles a laugh*

Jack: *slows down and walks beside me* Are you ready for the plan?

Me: *nods and whispers* Yeah, I think I am ready.

(We walk past the rows of shelves. The toys seem to watch us as we walk by. A chill goes down my spine as I look at the big, round eyes of a blonde curly-haired doll. As we walk, we begin to hear the grunts of the yetis in the room beyond. We stop when we reach the end of the hallway that opens up into the room where the toys are made. Inside, Santa and Mrs. Claus are tied to a couple of chairs with two yetis standing over them. There is a table off to the side where four of the yetis are playing cards.)

Mrs. Claus: I still don’t understand why they need us, dear.

Santa: We’ll figure it out soon. *struggles against ropes* We’ll get out of here.

Yeti: *growls*

(I feel a poke in my back and turn around to see Jack staring at me.)

Jack: You ready?

Me: *gulps* Not really.

Jack: You’ll be fine. Just go out there and do what we planned.

Me: *sighs* Okay, I’ll do my best.

(I walk out into the room, wondering why I agree to this plan. A sudden silence falls over the room as the yetis stop to stare at me.)

Me: *gives a small wave* Hey, all…

Santa: *surprised* Brittany! What are you doing here?

Me: I’m here for my North Pole Interview, just as I am every year, Santa! I am really, really interested in interviewing these lovely yetis. *turns to yeti* So… I love your fur. It really brings out your, um, claws.

Yeti: *growls*

Me: *flinches* So, what brings you to the North Pole this year?

Yeti: *growls*

Me: Could you repeat that? I’m not quite sure I understand enough to relay that to the readers.

(Suddenly the room is in chaos. While the yetis had their attention on me, the ninja elf squadron and the reindeer had circled around the room. They jumped on the yetis now. Growls and ninja stars were in the air. Rudolph’s nose lit up the battle, its red light giving a harsh glow to the battle. Within moments, the yetis were corralled into a corner and the Claus’s untied from their chairs.)

Santa: *looking down at the yetis* It was not a good choice to attack this village just nights before Christmas.

Yeti: *growls*

Jack: Does anybody understand them?

Comet: *moves to the front* Actually, I do!

Everyone: *stares at Comet*

Comet: What? I can do some things!

Santa: Please, tell us what they want. We need to get the workshop running soon.

(A series of growls commences as Comet communicates with what I am assuming to be the leader of the yetis. Comet nods and then turns to all of us.)

Comet: Well, Santa. They were upset because you haven’t visited them in a while. And you don’t bring them presents anymore.

Santa: I didn’t know they liked the presents! I found them untouched for a few years in a row and just assumed they didn’t want them. *frowns* I apologize.

Mrs. Claus: The poor things! It’s been so rocky between them since the incident in the ‘90s.

Me: What incident?

Santa: I don’t think that is something I want your readers to know about. *chuckles* But it’s nothing bad.

Mrs. Claus: *mouths* It’s a tale of tragic love.

Me: Now I’m curious.

Santa: *looks at the yetis* From now on, we will visit you and bring you presents every year. Please know that we care about you just as much as our entire family here at my village.

Yeti: *growls*

Comet: *nods* He says that they will help us fix the damages they did this year. And that they would like to join in with the toy making. Why, Santa, that would put you all ahead of schedule!

Santa: Then, let’s celebrate! Dear, why don’t you make some of your famous hot cocoa for everyone?

Mrs. Claus: That sounds splendid! I’ll grab some snacks as well. *hurries out of the room*

Santa: *looks at me* Brittany, I think you should let your readers know that I might need some more cookies left out for me to eat this year. I’ll need them after all of this.

Me: *giggles* Will do, Santa.

(When Mrs. Claus comes back, we all drink a cup of hot chocolate and eat some cookies she had stored in the kitchen. Rudolph goes and grabs the refugees hiding in the underground cavern. In no time at all, there is Christmas music blasting in the air and a party going on. We all dance, but eventually it is time for me to go back home. Jack, ever the gentlemen, offers to take me home as he had brought me to the North Pole.)

Me: Thanks, Jack! I appreciate you bringing me home.

Jack: It’s no problem at all. It was good to have your help to save Santa.

Me: Yeah, about that, please tell the yetis not to do that next year. *laughs* Though, it was an interesting visit.

Jack: I think they’ll be friendly from now on. *waves* Merry Christmas, Brittany, and I’ll see you next year!

Me: Merry Christmas, Jack. *smiles* Bye!

It was only after Jack Frost left me alone in my front yard that I realized I didn’t much of an interview this year, unless you can count the growls I received from the yetis. However, I know that my adventure gave me just as much information as the interview would have. So, it is with great excitement that I sit here and type up this year’s “interview” adventure. Remember to put out more cookies this year and have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

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I Can’t Describe My Emotions Right Now

I really can’t. At least, not well enough.

I am working on writing – which is enough a good emotion for me to begin with. Writing is my favorite thing and it has been too hard to do for too long. I am overjoyed that I am able to work on something that I am really passionate about and I can feel that this will be really great when I am able to finish it.

The book I am working on is really great. It’s original – I’ve built a whole world that is based on something I really love. I worked on perfectly the storyline a few years back and I think it really has a great punch. There is romance and adventure and deception and amazingness. Reading the few parts that I wrote before makes me tingle with excitement.

And I am really excited. I have a code through NaNoWriMo to have five free print copies of a book from CreateSpace. While I should use that on my NaNo from this year, I realized that the storyline made no sense. So instead of trying to rethink the storyline that I didn’t work on to begin with, I am going to work on this book instead that I have been anticipating completing for years. I am only about 11,000 words in and there is still so much story to tell, but I cannot stop smiling as the words flow from my fingers into the word document.

I did tell you that I built the world, right? I have notes upon notes inside a journal that I’ve determined is just for this book, which I believe I had determined at one point to call Crescendo. There are words that I made up for the world, a specific type of lifestyle, a certain form of magic, and an entire religion that circles into the book. I am not a very religious person, but it was really fun to discover what was important to this world that I came upon. It took a while to get it just right – I can see that in the way my notes transformed about the religion – but it turned out very well. The character development is good, but I am going to work to get it to amazing. And then I shall have a real book. And I shall get it published. No ifs, ands, or buts. I won’t rest until I see it in print.

Maybe that will help me pay for college next year. That is another thing I need to focus on, but that will be a thing for another time. Right now is the time to write. Write now.

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Mission Complete

And so on the 20th day of November, it was passed that I should reach the 50,000 word mark of my NaNoWriMo Novel.

I think that’s a really good fancy way of saying, “Booyah! I reached my NaNo goal!” I’ve been going overdrive this year on my novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for you newcomers). I made an excel chart that shows me what my goal is each day. I made it so that I could see my overall word count, the number of words that I wrote each day, and how far ahead I was from the actual goal of the day. I don’t know if that helped push me, or maybe the fact that I have more free time than I used to. However, I ended up getting to my 50,000 goal eleven days before it is necessary. Let’s just say that I am kind of proud.

Does this mean that I am finished with the book? Not at all. There is still a little more until the end of the novel – I’m reaching the pivotal climax of the story. However, I have a lot of editing to do. Because I was so focused on getting my word count out, I just wrote whatever came to me. I didn’t even have a plot planned out – just basic ideas. I didn’t even touch on all the main points I had wanted to. I’m considering my NaNo a very detailed basic outline for the final novel that I plan to put together. Isn’t December supposed to be NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month)? Who knows, maybe I’ll even come up with a sequel.

Good luck to everyone out there still working on their NaNo novels and congrats to all of those who have finished!

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30,000 Words

Writing a book is a struggle at times, but I am finding NaNoWriMo this year to come easily to me. I think a part of that is because I really don’t have a plan – I am just writing. Of course, there are specific plot points and arcs that are in my head, but I am not letting the fear of getting from one point to another prevent me from writing. In fact, I really have no fear of that “write now” (Haha! Lame joke, but it’s the best I can come up with on the spot all of a sudden).

As of today, I am just past 30,000 words. It’s exciting. Only thirteen days and I am 96 pages into a book that I am actually loving at the moment? It’s a flawless feeling and I am just so proud. I have not been able to do this before and I think if I was still where I was last year, I would not be able to be so into my book. Mostly because I had work keeping me busy in my free time, but partly because I think I have grown as an individual since then.

There is no thing in the world that can replace the feeling you get from writing something and seeing it blossom into a full book. I am not quite at that spot, but believe me when I tell you that I am so extraordinarily excited. Life is so wonderful right now and NaNoWriMo is just really helping to boost my confidence.

Plus, I can’t wait for the prize of finishing where you get five print copies of your book. 😉

How are all the other NaNoers out there? Even if you aren’t working on NaNoWriMo, I’d love to hear from fellow writers sharing their thoughts and feelings about writing and finishing a book.

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It’s November and every write should know what that means – National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The beginning of this treacherous journey to 50,000 words began at midnight. I stayed up ’til about 2:30 AM this morning, typing away on my computer and working toward completing my novel. I managed to get to a little over 2,300 words. I’ve started working again on my story and am now in the 3,000s. However, I’m finding myself already tired with what I am writing. I know NaNoWriMo is based on quantity, not quality; but I can’t help feeling that I am a terrible writer.

And, time to get off of the internet. I need to focus. I need to put on my writing goggles and do just that – write, write, write!

Wish me luck, readers! Wish me luck.