Two Happy Happys and a Guessing Game

As my favorite Asheville graffiti exclaims -- YES!

I did it! I won another NaNoWriMo.

The challenges were different this year. I had confidence that I would win -- but that made it easier for me to procrastinate. And even though I KNEW I was embarking upon a month of terrible writing, it was heartbreaking to witness it in action. Last year I was just so surprised at the volume being written, that I didn't care it was horrible! So this time, when volume was a given, the weak language hurt.


I did it. And I'm proud of myself.

My Totally Brilliant Novel (as it has been "saved as") has a beginning, a middle, and an end -- though not necessarily in that order. It has peculiar characters that change repeatedly throughout the text, but I liked by the conclusion. I still don't UNDERSTAND them. But I like them. And I want to know them better.

There is still no plot, but there is HOPE for a plot.

And there are shiny silver threads tucked here and there, waiting to be plucked out this January and held up to the light and stitched together to create a new story.

A better story.

So that's what I've been up to. As you can see from my Handy-Dandy NaNo Word Counter (oh how I love thee, Handy-Dandy NaNo Word Counter!), the majority of my writing took place recently. Very recently.

Which is okay.

Not -- cough cough -- something I recommend doing again next year, but I met the goal, and that's what matters.

Because at this stage in my life, I'm the only person holding myself accountable. There's no agent, editor, or publisher setting deadlines. There is no contract. There is nothing but me and my laptop and a few nighttime hours to get this thing done.

The way I see it, the ONLY option I have is to finish. Graciously accept the deadline and run after it. Tackle it by its ugly, curly horns and wrestle it to the ground and DEMAND IT CALL ME PRINCESS.

'Cause, you know, I've always wanted to be a princess.

Anyway. I did it! Yay for me!

In other good news -- good news that comes without the bittersweet twinge -- I met someone AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING last Saturday. That's right. Someone worthy of three amazings.

In honor of this miraculous feat, I'll give you three guesses:

1. Jim Sturgess?

I WISH! But no. If I had met Jim, you totally would have heard about it by now. I would've written it in the sky or spray painted it onto your car door or, at least, sent you a crazed text:


Guess again.

2. Jim Henson?

So, what, you're just going with people named "Jim"? Yes, this would have also been amazing amazing amazing, especially because HE IS DEAD. Honestly, people. Stop wasting guesses.

3. Kermit the Frog?

Okay. Now you're just being rude.

No. I met . . . JOHN GREEN!!!

John Green as in John Green. As in the guy who makes me want to give up writing because he is SO TALENTED that I bawl like a two-month old with diaper rash just to think about it.

He came to my favorite bookstore in the entire world -- Malaprop's -- and he was very very nice and I tried not to talk too much, because every time I meet someone I admire I start babbling crap and embarrass myself.

So I just stood there with a dazed grin on my face and tried not to lick his elbows.

Because, you know, that's where your creativity is stored. In your elbows. And if anyone licks your elbows, they can TOTALLY steal it.

It's true, I plomise.

John Green, carefully hiding his elbow behind my back

So JOHN GREEN signed his complete works for me, and now I am a very happy Stephanie.

Plus he gave everyone sprinkled cookies. How can you dislike someone who gives you sprinkles?? It is cosmically impossible to dislike sprinkles. Because even if you don't like how they taste, you have to admit the rainbow-colored sugar bits are lovely to look at.

But they DO taste good.

Just so you know.


  1. Congrats on being a winner!
    I'm uber-jealous that you got to meet John Green. I read Paper Towns last Wednesday (loved it, natch) and now I'm anxiously awaiting for John to accept my facebook friend request.
    P.S. You look great in that picture. Your hair is Teh Awesome.

  2. OMG, I love your whole look.

    I'll bet John was thinking, "It is so awesome that people this cool think I'm cool."


  3. Yay for you! And love your look! You changed the color of the streaks in your hair, didn't you?

  4. CONGRATULATIONS! (confetti falling, horns trumpeting) Yay!

    Since you knew you could win and so you did, does that mean I knew I could lose and so I lost again (and that'd all be okay)?

    Oh, and woo-hoo for getting to meet John Green with spinkled cookies on top. I now know why you didn't flinch when I told you I had to stop myself from licking another certain wonderul YA auhtor I recently meant...I just didn't know it was the elbows I needed to lick. Now I know!

  5. Ooh, I love your awesome blouse and your hair rocks in that picture.

    And the elbows? That's funny, because Jim and I think that it's EVIL that's in the elbows, not creativity. Interesting. . .

    And, princess? Very cute. I love this Brian Andreas quote: "Are you a princess, he said, and she said, I'm much more than a princess, but you don't have a name for it yet here on Earth." tee hee!

    Congrats on another successful NaNo!!!

  6. Tag, you're it!

    And it sounds like your book is progressing, even if you're not always happy with it -- and keeping moving on it is the key!!!

  7. AH! You met JOHN GREEN? (have you seen his YouTubes? He is half of the Vlogbrothers. they are 100% awesome)
    I am full of jealousness.

    Congratulations on winning NaNoWriMo!

  8. Gretchen & LK -- Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are ladies are so kind!!

    myrna -- Thanks! It's technically the same color, it just fades as I wash it :) It starts out a dark midnight blue, and I know it's time to re-dye when it hits a pale mint toothpaste color! (I'm about three weeks away from toothpaste.)

    Jolie -- You are SO a winner, girl. I'm proud of you!!

    Laini -- LOVE that quote. And dude. You and Jim are so mistaken about the elbows.

    Auntie Maim -- Ahh, progress. Yes, yes, yes. Must keep reminding myself that all progress is a positive thing!

    Lexi -- YES!! The VlogBrothers are so much fun - so smart, so hilarious. Are you a Nerdfighter? (Love your picture, by the way.)

  9. Congrats on the win! Woo hoo! It's my first time reading you, and YOU are hilarious! I'm going to have to stop by again. I may lurk a little while.

  10. lotusloq -- Thanks for commenting, and thank you so much for the compliment! Wow! I think I feel an ego coming on...