Sarah's Scribbles

The Year of Months

My Month of Non-Fiction... sort of

Ok, so I have a confession to make. I sort of failed on Non-Fiction Month.

I definitely read more NF than usual - that's easy because 'usual' is none - but I did not read an hour a day. Probably not even close, if you average it up.

I don't consider it a total failure, however. I now know that I simply don't enjoy NF reading. Even when I make a concentrated effort, I can't focus on it. I find ANY excuse to do something (anything!) else. It's not my thing and I'm totally OK with that. It is a little surprising though given how much I love to read and how much I love to learn new things. You would think that would be a perfect combination for a NF reader, but you would apparently be wrong. I prefer lectures, discussions and Nova programming.

There are, of course, exceptions. I really enjoyed reading The Numerati and I will occasionally devour a book on an interesting subject. I hate memoirs. There, I said it. Sorry, I can't stand them. Not even a little. I just don't care. Other people think they are 'charming' or 'inspiring' but I think they are 'boring' and 'oh please, gag me now, stop whining.' That's probably just me, though.

I haven't decided for sure yet what February's theme is going to be. I was thinking making it Walk Month, because I hear that these walks are good for thinking out complicated things and helping you find your center - which are two things I could definitely use more of these days. Or maybe Photo Month. What do y'all think?

In other news, I received an @ reply on Twitter from both Laurie Halse Anderson and Firehouse Subs in the past week. Like I told my sister, "I'm pretty much a celebrity now." Haha! No, but seriously, you should have seen K and I when we discovered the reply from LHA. We were like a couple of giggling fan girls at an RPatz sighting.

Until next time...

I apologize...

Dear readers,

I know what you're thinking. Something along the lines of "It's been so long since you posted that I forgot you even had a blog." Or maybe "You tease us with a month of posts and then leave us out in the rain with nary a word." Or even "How did Christina Hendricks fit those things in that dress?"

Yeah, probably closer to the last one. Especially now that you clicked on the link.

Stick with me, dear readers; I have a point. I have received more than a couple messages/comments/texts/smoke signals from some of you lamenting my recent lack of posts. In addition to the guilt and shame, I can't help but feel a little happy about that. ("You like me! You really like me!")

For those of you close to me, you know how hectic my life has been recently. With working my butt off to just make ends meet, looking for a job that will pay me what I'm worth, running still-successful-despite-the-
economy campaigns for the Foundation, attempting to finish the first revision of that darn book, and trying to spend enough time with people so that rumors of my death don't start circulating - there just isn't much time for blogging.

BUT! There is good news. With all the blogging I haven't been doing, topics are starting to pile up in my head so when I do get a spare few hours - watch out! You're not going to know what hit you.

I hope.

So in the mean time, check out my Year of Months Ning and maybe make a promise to Challenge Yourself!

Until next time...

Non-Fiction Month So Far

I was finally able to get to the library on January 4th. Until then, I read Donald Maass' The Fire in Fiction, which I bought sometime last year. That is a great book. If you are an aspiring writer, interested in enthralling your readers (and what writer isn't?), you should check it out.

The first post-library book is The Predictioneer's Game, which as about applying game theory to predict and engineer outcomes of political and corporate situations. I devoured the first 80 or so pages, but I've slowed down now. I mean, this post is evidence enough of that. I am writing it instead of reading!

Most of the criticism of this book talks about how Bueno de Mesquita writes more about his predictions (and how often they are correct) than about the theory, but that's kind of what the book is about, as I see it. Could you imagine if he didn't provide any examples? And where else would he get examples except from his own experience?

I don't know why I'm losing interest. I'm still interested in the subject, but I feel like it's already repeating information - as if this book was meant for a less well-read or intelligent audience. I'm going to bowl through the end and I'm hoping this isn't one of those books that has ended long before it is over.

The Year of Months

Recently, people have been asking me what exactly this Year of Months thing I've been talking about is, so I am writing this post so I can refer people to it in the future. I'll probably update it as each month's theme is decided, but this was originally posted on January 5, 2010.

The Year of Months began in November 2009, though the idea itself hadn't been born yet. I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the second year and finished the first draft of Miranda's Fire. After November, I decided I wanted to do National Blog Posting Month after hearing about it from my friend Angela, so I ended up writing a blog post every day in December 2009.

Halfway through December, the idea of The Year Of Months started to form in my head. I think most people (myself included) want to expand their horizons, but don't have the discipline to do it without setting concrete goals. I realized that a month was a good amount of time to stick to something new; it's long enough to provide you with an experience but short enough in case you end up hating it.

I came up with about fifteen ideas intended to provide me with new knowledge or perspective to fill out the last 10 months of my Year of Months and let my blog readers vote on which I would do. Other than January (Non-Fiction Month - read an hour of NF every day), I haven't decided which month is which yet, planning on deciding along the way. Here are the themes you can expect to see over the next 10 months:

  • Photo Month - take at least one picture every day April 2010 
  • Recipe Month - try a new recipe every day June 2010
  • Bike Month - bike everywhere within 7 miles of my house March 2010
  • Shop Locally Month - includes groceries and restaurants
  • Post-card Month - send a postcard to someone every day May 2010
  • Craft Month - work on any kind of craft every day
  • Walk Month - take at least a 30 minute walk every day February 2010
  • Conversation Month - start a conversation with a stranger every day
  • Vegetarian Month - self explanatory, right?
To see other posts about this, go here.

My friend Paool mentioned possibly doing a Year of Months of his own. If you feel so inclined, I encourage you to do it! I'm really excited about the 10 months ahead of me. If you decide to do it (or even just a month), and blog about it, let me know so I can link your blog from here!

And January is...

January is...

I'm usually more organized than this. You, Dear Reader, know that.

Right?

Until about five minutes ago (originally written around 6pm), I didn't know which monthly challenge was going to happen in January. I had it narrowed down to 10 (out of 10). Then I ate some sausage at dinner, so vegetarian month was out. Some of the months require a little more preparation than what I have time for today.

Luckily, I had the presence of mind to throw Donald Maass' The Fire in Fiction in my bag before work today. As a result, I hereby declare January Non-Fiction Month .

Reading The Fire in Fiction isn't exactly in the true spirit (as I see it) of NF Month so I promise to go to the library tomorrow (or Sunday). It's just too close to my reading comfort zone to be a challenge but it will do for a day or two.

So my question for you is: do you have any recommendations for some good NF? I would like to learn about stuff that I have little to no knowledge on.

NaBloPoMo Wrap-Up

Also, my National Blog Posting Month adventure ended yesterday. I'd like to thank all of you faithful readers who stuck it out with me. It's really not easy trying to come up with a post every single day, but I think it will result in me posting more often. When I started this blog, I only had seventeen posts and this is my 50th. The two most popular posts from December were A Christmas Story and Don't Be a Sore Winner.

Happy 2010!

How was your New Year's? Mine was awesome. I spent it with essentially the same people I rang in 2008 with - and 2008 was a much better year for me than 2009. I hope it will be a great year for all of you! (and me!)

Wordpress

 I recently won a free Wordpress theme and I've been thinking about switching this blog and my website to that, if I can figure out the technicalities. I have some experience with Wordpress blogs, but not the full version. Do any of you have experience with Wordpress? What do you think?

Also, which theme should I pick? I like f0101 and Foreword Thinking and Papercut and ProudFolio.