Thursday, November 29, 2012

Racing Toward the Finish Line....

Well, I picked a very busy month to attempt to write 50,000 words before November 30th. Unfortunately, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) occurs every November, right in the middle of one of my busiest months of the year. 

So what have I been doing this month?

I've been inundated with essays to grad for my co-op high school writing class--two sets of essays from a class that's full past the class size limit. And the essays required a lot of commentary from me--corrections, encouragement, suggestions, praise. 

In other words: time-consuming.

Then I also am completing my online high school MLA research essay course with twice the number of students I had last year. And this month they submitted outlines, first drafts, and final drafts of their research papers, all of which required detailed grading not only of content and usage but also of all of the nit-picky details of the MLA format. 

In other words: crazy time-consuming. 

Then, add to that the fact that I'm trying to finish editing the first draft of an e-book on grammar for work, and we have complete and utter chaos.

And then I decide to try to finish my novel and write 50,000 words during this insane month?

I really should be committed. 

There are two days remaining of the NaNoWriMo challenge, and I have 13,000 words left to write. 

Well, that's a vast improvement over last year's challenge in which I posted 14,000 words on the final day, making the midnight deadline with a mere eight minutes to spare. 

This year my goal was to complete a first draft of Pinned but Fluttering while still posting weekly chapters (the editing along with the writing is positively killing me!) and perhaps finish a couple of one-shots I've started. 

I doubt I'll be getting to any of the one-shots. But I am starting the final chapter of Pinned but Fluttering and the next chapter is ready to post for tomorrow...I mean, later today.

And I have time to write tomorrow (Uh, I mean, today) both before and after teaching my writing class, and Friday is fairly clear. I still have the grammar book to work on and a chapter of Pinned but Fluttering to post online, plus three teen boys to homeschool, but I am finally seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the NaNoWriMo tunnel. 

 Even if I am writing this post at 2:00 in the morning. 

Okay, going to sleep now so I can teach and write tomorrow--uh, I mean, TODAY. 


Writing furiously,
Cassandra :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bella's Ring from Pinned but Fluttering

This is my great-grandmother's ring that I started wearing when my own set of engagement and wedding rings could no longer fit over my swollen fingers, thanks to rheumatoid arthritis.

Sorry the pictures aren't the best; my hands also shake a bit, and even with the normalizing setting on my camera which is supposed to minimize shaking, I still have problems.

This ring was dated to the late 1880s-early 1890s, so should be just about right to belong to Edward's mother. I love it almost more than my own set because of the old-fashioned styling. I remember my grandmother wearing this ring all the time when I was a child, so I'm thrilled to wear it now.

When I have time, I'll write my review on Breaking Dawn Part 2--which I liked much more than I thought I would!

Take care!
~Cassandra :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Photos to Accompany PbF Chapter 48

Chapter 48 of Pinned but Fluttering requires illustrations, so here they are:
Part of the cottage

This stained glass window was designed and created by my husband, K, as a commission for our doctor. It looks amazing in their home, and we had it hanging for a couple of weeks in our house, too, before the installation. It's quite large--four feet by five feet.

Another view of the cottage...inside the picket fence
The fireplace in the cottage--which is actually the fireplace in our mountain cabin (pine walls and all).

Painting of the grapes inside the cottage--a watercolor painted by my mother-in-law and hanging in our home (on the pine walls)

I'll post a photo of the ring when I can--it's on my finger and belonged to my great-great grandmother, and yes, it dates back to the 1890s. 

I hope you enjoyed Chapter 48!! I am currently drafting Chapter 51 of PbF, so NaNoWriMo is really helping my productivity!! 

Have a wonderful week!!

~Cassandra :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2: Worth the Wait?

Image from Breaking Dawn, Part 2

Yes, there are fewer than two weeks until the final film of the Twilight Saga is released.

And know what? After seeing Breaking Dawn Part 1, I'm not dying to see Part 2.

I admit--Twilight, the first movie of the series, was well-cast but had its cringe-worthy moments: the big vampire reveal was horribly written and acted, and Bella being saved by Edward in the dance studio is simply horrid--Rob looks like he's going to puke at any moment. And the vampire growling scene on the baseball field--laughable. The movie had its good parts, too--don't get me wrong. But they're rather few and far between.

By the time that New Moon came out, my daughter was a real fan, so we attended the midnight showing together, seeing Twilight as the first part of a midnight showing double feature (for the first time on the big screen). And I admit--New Moon was practically seamless. The only part that was laughable was Aro reading Alice's mind and seeing Edward and Bella, both as vampires, running through the forest. But Rob runs like a girl, and the whole thing still makes me snort with derision. But otherwise, the movie is amazing...and the soundtrack is even better than the first one.

And yes, we watched both Twilight and New Moon before seeing Eclipse as the third part of a triple feature, the other two playing earlier in the evening and the third installment at midnight. And Eclipse was nearly seamless as well. I can't think of any cringe-worthy elements except for Ron Howard's daughter not knowing how to growl like a vampire. (Yes, they should have kept the first Victoria!!) And again, a stellar soundtrack followed.

So it was with high hopes that we attended the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn Part 1--all by itself this time. Parts of it were great--the wedding was beautiful (but NOT the reception-ugh!! Those speeches made me squirm with embarrassment!! I don't care that making us totally embarrassed for B&E was the point. I hated it.). And Isle Esme was well done. But the talking wolves had me laughing right there in the theatre--and it's supposed to be one of the points of high drama as Jacob takes on his birthright in order to protect Bella. But, no, I was stifling giggles the entire scene. And Edward was played all wrong once they returned from Isle Esme--whether that's the directing or Rob himself, I felt that he was emotionally dead rather than emotionally a wreck. Bella becoming concentration-camp thin was amazingly well done, and parts were okay, but overall, I was not satisfied with the film. And my daughter refused to buy the soundtrack since it consisted of famous pop musicians rather than up-and-coming indie artists.

Images from Breaking Dawn, Part 2

So we're skipping the midnight madness associated with the fifth and final installment of the Twilight Saga. If she isn't working, I'll take my daughter to the Friday morning matinee (one of the advantages of home schooling: FIELD TRIP!) I know they changed the ending to a fight scene...or at least a partial fight while the book made Bella's shield the deciding factor in avoiding a Volturi vs. Cullens & their allies battle. I can understand that change because it would feel even more anticlimatic on film than it did in the book. So we'll see how Breaking Dawn Part 2 shapes up. And I'm not holding out for a terrific soundtrack, either.

So, any thoughts about the fifth and final film in the Twilight Saga?

Take care!!

~Cassandra :)