Thursday, July 30, 2015

Went to the Zoo Again and Had A Blast!

Despite it being extremely hot, we went to the Indianapolis Zoo. We went early to see the animals when it was a bit cooler, so they would be willing to move around a bit. By 10AM we were sweating! The animals that had water were in it. The animals that had dirt, shelter, or shade were in it; anything to stay cool! We brought umbrellas because the weather forecast was 60% chance of rain, but the only rain we saw was on the drive in. It was already hot, then, too.
I took 475 pictures. I shared 100 of them on facebook. I can't possibly do that here. Well, I could, but we'd be here forever! I'll share the highlights of my trip.
Firstly, being early, we were able to watch the 10AM Flamingling. Flamingo-Mingling. They let the flamingoes out to see the public!

 This is how close the flamingoes got to my boys. It thought maybe they would come closer but my sons kept moving and scaring them off.

 I love all the birds in this tree. This was the first year we got to see the birds. For me, the more colorful the better!

We saw all the traditional aniamls, lions, tigers, bears, sea lions, walruses, polar bears, giraffes, elephants. Oh, here's a baby elephant.
This zebra picture is one of my favorites.
Then we were able to see the new orangutan exhibit. This building allows them to go climbing outside!

We also got to go to the butterfly gardens. I had not been inside this building before.

Since it was now blistering hot, we spent time in the oceans section with the penguins, sharks, fish, and dolphins. We ended the day with the dolphin show. This year, I actually got some pictures of the dolphins. They move fast, so I was unable to capture them previously.

Dolphins are my favorite animal. I'd go back to school and get a degree in Biology for them. I have so many more pictures. If you want to see an animal, request it in the comments and I'll add it to this post.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Draft, What To Expect at 20,000 Words

A quick update on Camp Nanowrimo, I'm over 20,000 words. :) Yay! Most of them are crap. 

However, I would not have gotten this far in without outlining my novel. I'm in love with the way I set up this novel almost more than the novel itself.

How I Outlined My Novel And Why I Love It

What do I mean by most of my words in my first draft being crap?

Sometimes the words are just exposition, setting up the scene in a very blazé way that even bores me, but they get me started. (Unnecessary backstory) It's not that they aren't important, because they are. It's that they do not move the story forward in an engaging way. I write them out. I call it word vomit.

Then suddenly, I'm in the scene, I'm creating dialogue, my characters are alive and the story moves along quickly. The next thing I know, I have a 1,000 words for the day.

You got it, Terry Pratchett with a third 'T', not Prachett as this meme screws up his name!! The first draft is the place for meeting your characters, them changing the outline and plot in ways you hadn't thought of, and lots of word vomit as you tell yourself the story. The rewriting and editing phases are when you cut out the backstory and keep it hidden from readers until that crucial moment. It's where you take the parts of your characters personalities you learned by the end and put them into the beginning where they felt flat.

I can't wait to get there. At 20,000 words, my characters are beginning to fight for their goals, to care, to meet each other, and to interact. Things should escalate quickly. This will be good.

Getting here was a struggle some days, but from here, the story will tell itself.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Slice of Life, Summer Edition: Plus, Where I Learned to Outline My Novel

This summer has been very rainy. My garden has gone nuts, which means a huge harvest, but it also means it's too muddy out there to weed. I lost a tulip tree. It sat in a swamp that used to be my backyard for a week. Bye bye. The lake in my front yard kept coming back.
We tried to go to Holiday World in early July, supposed to be the hottest summer month, but it rained.
Now, a scattered showers and overcast day is the best time to go. No lines! We got to ride some rides twice in a row, or some rides for the first time because there were no long lines in the hot sun.
But this rain was relentless, and eventually cooled the air temperature down to uncomfortably cool when wet. They closed the park early, before a lightning storm hit, and took names of people for free admission on another day. I'm looking forward to it. even though this theme and water park is exhausting. It's built on hills and those water slides have 7 or 8 flights of stairs to the top. That walk back to the car (even though we got good parking because attendance was low) is killer! I'm working out before we go again!

Also, I made a whopping 8 cents. Found in the parking lot. I love finding money.

You know what's going to happen. We are going to go back to school in early August, and that's when it's going to finally be summer. It'll be hot and good swimming weather and we have to make the kids stay indoors and learn. 
But let's not think about that now. I have a couple more weeks before I have to think about that. Sort of. I've already been planning. Shh.. don't tell anyone that part of my brain is still on teaching mode.
I'm distracting myself with writing for Camp Nanowrimo. I have over 10,000 words. I'm pretty pleased with myself. I couldn't have done it without writing up an outline and using Scrivener. 
Here is the basic outline idea.
Scrivener makes this easy.

Love Weiland and Scrivener!