Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

March 7

Comments: 1

My Lonely Blog and Heart-Bursting Fear

by Ann-Kat

I know I should blog for myself (at least, here) and for the most part I do. But I’ve slacked off on updating because I just assumed no one read my posts. Well, I received a comment the other day which served as a little wake-up call…people (at least one) read and (I hope) enjoy this blog, so in that spirit, I want to update it a lot more than I do now.

Lately my time has been spent reading or catching up on my Netflix queue. It seems that I’m procrastinating. I’m not sure why exactly. A few weeks ago I started writing this story that ignited such passion in me and then a few days ago I just stalled out. It’s like this fear reached into my chest and squeezed my heart until it felt like it would burst. Not sure why or where it came from, all I know is that I want it gone.

OK, that’s not entirely true. I do know what the fear is: Not getting it right. I’m so in love with my story that I’m afraid I won’t do it justice, like I’m not the person who should be writing it. When I think about it—really think about it—I know it’s silly. That doesn’t make it go away though. And my solution is to distract myself (by reading and catching up on my Netflix queue).

So, at this late hour when the world is still asleep, I’m awake and making a promise to myself. I’m going to power through my fears. I’m going to blog here more. (Apologies in advance if some of the entries sound like random crap spewing from my head.)

I really enjoyed posting my shitty first paragraphs while I was doing NaNo (which I eventually won, by the way), so I think I’ll continue in that vein. Instead of the shitty first paragraph, though, I’ll probably start posting up shitty first pages. I also plan to transcribe some of my hard copy writing journal entries (yes, I have an actual writing journal). I also want to publish some of my short stories here as well.

The goal, ultimately, is to get back on track with my writing.

September 29

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JetPens vs. Tropical Storm

by Ann-Kat

It’s coming down hard outside, but when I saw that my JetPens package had indeed arrived I pulled on my clothes and battled the rain. I cradled the package gently inside the warmth and dryness of my coat until it was safely inside.

And that, folks, is when you know you’re officially an addict and should seek help.


I’m still in love with the index stickers and picked up a couple more packages (I’ll publish a post detailing how I use them for my writing organization). This time I also picked up a couple packs of the tabs—they’re like Post-It flags, except a bit longer and cuter—which I figure I could use for marking important information during my reading.

The other items I ordered include:

One of these days I’ll take a picture that doesn’t display the goodies in less glory than they deserve.

March 31

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Writing Journal Day ???

by Ann-Kat

Writing Sample

I’ve been bad about keeping up a writing journal. I’ve been bad about writing, period. But I’m resolving to update here with my thoughts on the writing process, and at very least my word counts. And since I have no idea which day it would be, I’ll just start my next entry as Day 2.

Today (the past few days actually) I’ve been working on a couple short stories. One is more involved than the other and I’ve hit a point of stagnation. When it comes to that, I’ve learned to just wait it out. In the meantime, I’ve been working on the other story, which is a bit lighter in tone and concept and a bit more fun. (It’s a fantasy whereas the former is sci-fi.)

As far as word counts go I will be rounding off since I’ve been writing these stories longhand. (When I transcribe it, I’ll update with actual word counts.)

Sci-fi short story working title: The Romans
Word count: ~1,658

Fantasy short story working title: The Angel & The Porcelain Doll
Word count: ~476

Both of these stories are less than halfway finished, but I hope to have the first drafts done by this weekend so I can put some spit & polish on them.

March 28

Comments: 3

Feeding My JetPens Addiction

by Ann-Kat

I was down to my final Zebra Technoline ink refill which meant it was time for another JetPens order. This time (just like last time and the time before that) I think I went a little overboard. Not only did I get ink refills, I also snagged seven new pens (Zebra Sarasa Gel Ink Pen 0.4mm in blue-black, blue, and olive green; Pentel Sunburst Metallic Gel Ink Pen 0.7mm in violet, pink, and blue; and Pentel Hybrid Technica Gel Ink Pen 0.5mm in blue) and a couple packets of index tab stickers.

March 2010 JetPens Order

This time, however, is the first time I’m mildly disappointed with JetPens because one of the pens I received was used. It might seem nitpicky, but this pen was: a) a unique color (olive green) which would make finding the appropriate refill difficult; b) a gel pen which means the ink runs down relatively quickly; and c) not disclosed as being used. But I don’t plan to kick up much dirt because the pen was on sale, so I’m not out a lot of money, and I don’t care for the ink color anyway.

Jstory Index Tab Stickers

One product that I am in love with, though, is the Jstory Index Fun Sticker tabs (in bear and rabbit). The stickers are folded over the edge of the page to make a nice little tab. So far, I’m using them in my book summaries notebook to simplify access to the individual summaries.

Frankly, I’m wishing I’d bought a bunch more of them and something tells me I’ll be stockpiling these soon. (I also found some cute ones made by Jetoy on Etsy and I’ll probably get some of those, too.)

December 2

Comments: 3

NaNoWriMo 2009 is Over

by Ann-Kat

On November 30, 2009 sometime around 3pm EST, I was declared a NaNoWriMo winner. However, it’s a Pyrrhic victory in some ways.

I did not finish this novel. It was well mapped out, but as I wrote, new scenes kept popping into my head.  Looking over the mind map on my NaNo board, only about half of those little bubbles (which are scenes) have been completed. But for now, I’m going to set aside this work and let it marinate a while because something else happened during NaNoWriMo.

My mind kept floating back to another WIP. It’s been a work in progress for a long time and the characters have grown on me. In fact, they’ve become my imaginary friends (and some enemies). And during NaNo, they all started screaming so loud and talking about all the things they’ve been through and begged me to write about it.

Finally, I broke down. I took a day, sat down, and wrote the MC’s introduction. The one that he’s been pleading with me to write since I first conceived of him. That very introduction was then entered in the Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest. Here’s to crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

In the meantime, I’ll continue moving forward with it until the vicious roar of their voices settles back into a soft lull.

November 29

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Discovering Novel Writing Music

by Ann-Kat

I think I love Franz Liszt.

Actually, there is no think about it. I love Franz Liszt.

He needs to be resurrected from the dead so I can have his babies.

I’m being serious.


November 25

Comments: 2

More JetPens Booty (Whoohoo!)

by Ann-Kat

More JetPens Booty

Koi WaterBrush (#6 Medium); Zebra Mildliner Soft Color Highlighters (Cool & Refined); Kuretake 2 Way Flat Head Waterbrush; Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint Pen Refills (Black and Red); Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint Pen (Wine Red)

November 24

Comments: 2

I’m an Addict and JetPens is My Dealer

by Ann-Kat

JetPens First Haul

Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint Pens (Green & Pink) and ink refills (Black) • Uni-ball E-Knock Erasers (White & Pink) and refills • Pentel Ain Supplio Nanotech Scented Mechanical Pencil Lead (Positive & Refresh) • Sura John & Mary Small Pencil Pouches (Black with Blue & Pink with White)

JetPens Second Haul

Pentel Ain Supplio Nanotech Scented Mechanical Pencils in Positive (Pink) and Healing (Green) • Akashiya Sai Outline Brush Pen (Black) • Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pens (Summer Colors)

(Yes, scented mechanical pencil lead.)

November 22

Comments: 1

Purposeful Paper (or Why I Heart Photoshop and My Personal Laser Printer)

by Ann-Kat

Writing by hand can be exhilarating. It’s my preferred method for starting a story and I’ll write until I feel comfortable enough to continue on the computer.

Custom PaperThere are many pens with which I love to write. Lately, I’ve been using the one I purchased abroad. It’s a Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm ballpoint (it’s smaller than any ballpoint pen readily available in the US).

My handwriting varies based on the writing instrument. With such a fine point, my writing becomes “microscopic”, to quote a friend.

That’s not the problem. The problem is my anal retentiveness when it comes to whitespace on a sheet of paper. Frankly, I prefer to avoid an excess of it between rows and considering that I can fit three lines of writing per single college-ruled line, it was becoming a problem.

After searching high, low, and somewhere in the middle for a narrow(er) ruled paper, I decided enough was enough and fired up Photoshop. The result was a striking success. I even took the liberty of creating a space up top for the project title, session date (which I’m always forgetting to jot down), and page number.

The exact specs of the paper are:

  • 1” margins all around
  • Line height is a little less than half the size of college rule (0.125” or ~3mm)
  • Faint grey lines

The rows may seem excessively narrow, but I can assure you they are the perfect size for ultra-tiny writers. I can even squeeze about 800 words on a page.

Here’s how the finished sheet looks:Custom Paper Example (Click image for full-sized view. And since I’m praying I know I’m not the only writer out there with tiny handwriting, I’m providing a printable version for download.)

In the future, I may even add some custom illustrations or decorative nuances to help jolt my muse from slumber.

November 14

Comments: 2

NaNoWriMo Day 14: State of the NaNo Board

by Ann-Kat

Word Count: 18,697
Remaining Words: 31,303

Time flies. It’s cliché, but true. We’re already two weeks into NaNoWriMo and I should be roughly halfway through my novel. I’m not. But I’m not fretting (yet). I am, however, (much more than) halfway done with my NaNo board.

NaNo Board - Almost Done

I’ve finally found the face of my female MC, Tessa Harding, and that face belongs to Christina Milian. She has the perfect balance of sweet cuteness, and sultry sexiness.  Christina Milian

I also managed to find the faces of two supporting characters, Sydney Averdale and Christian Cooper, portrayed by Meagan Good and Ian Somerhalder.

Meagan Good Ian Somerhalder

At one point, when I was adding the additional character photos to the board, I became choked up. It’s the moment I realized that I love my characters, even the flawed (and some might say, downright evil) ones. Granted, I love those characters in a different way; I’m trying to figure out how they became such broken people.

NaNoWriMo Novel Mind Map

I’ve finally added my mind map, which should help with the journey—no more needing to dig through my notebook to find sequence of events and such.

Just looking at the board gets me fired up, but I still see whitespace and that must be rectified.

And I’m not entirely sure this is NaNoWriMo related, but I’ve been inspired to write more short stories lately. Frankly, I think it’s a stalling tactic my mind conjured up to aid its procrastination efforts, but some of the ideas I’ve had are exciting. But I’m just jotting down the bare minimum of notes so I can write them later and focus on NaNoWriMo now.


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