Sunday, November 29, 2015

Not the Reaction I was Expecting


While she posed for the obligatory photo of such an amazing accomplishment-- 


--her overall reaction has not been what I expected. 

Maybe it hasn't hit her yet that she has reached her goal because her story isn't actually finished. 

Maybe she can't really wrap her head around how huge of an accomplishment 30,000 words is. 

Maybe I didn't make a big enough deal out of it.

She IS relieved that the pressure is off, but also concerned that without the pressure, her novel will not get finished. I assured her I wouldn't let her novel go unfinished. There are too many people who want to read it! 

So, here are some writing related photos from the last week or so. 

After breakfast, she sits down and starts her writing with no complaining. 

Sometimes doodling helps the writing process. Sometimes. 

Marveling over the diminishing pencil. 

and then using the longer one to pick her nose. 

24,000 words- another milestone!

My nightly ritual of typing up Emma's writing from the day. This night I had "help" from Jared and Bailey. 

Much needed rest/nap on Thanksgiving. 

So close to the next milestone!

Yes! 27,000 words!

Surrounding herself with our encouragement. 

Writing despite the fact that she's really cold (from eating ice cream for breakfast).

Write-in at Hastings. 

Starting a second notebook and writing up the last of her 30,000 words!

I think as the day goes by, her massive accomplishment will start to sink in. And if not, maybe the surprise new sled and our family sledding adventure/celebration scheduled for later today will help!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

I am just going to pretend that I have written more recently then February 2015. Yikes!

Seeing as I could spend the next week writing about all that has happened so far this year, I'll spare you all and just stick to the highlights.

Uh, actually, I'm gonna skip the highlights. Thanks to a concussion (or multiple concussions) sometime between April and June, my memory is worse than normal.

Enough about me!

I am so proud of Emma. The list of reasons would be long to list and probably not super interesting to read, so let us focus on the biggest reason I am so proud of her right now.

She's writing a novel.

No, seriously, the kid is writing a novel, like tens-of-thousands-of-words type novel.

Apparently November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Basically you spend every day in November writing with the goal of writing a first draft to a novel by the end of the month. You pick a word goal, and work hard to achieve that number by the 30th. I first heard about it last year, but we were no where ready to tackle a writing project like this last year. But this year, for whatever reason, it was in the cards.

Emma and Chicago

A little back story. In September, the place Emma does her horse lessons, Windy Walkers, got a new horse. The horse is named Chicago and he is beautiful. Emma and I both fell in love with him when we first saw him. We of course asked Joeleen (owner of Windy Walkers and Emma's instructor) about Chicago as soon as we saw her and she explained that no one wanted him because he has an ugly scar on his forehead under his forelock (think bangs). So, while Emma was riding, I went over and gave Chicago a little love and checked out the scar. Yup, ugly scar, but hardly visible under his forelock. Then it hit me. The scar is in the perfect spot for Chicago to have been a unicorn and have had his horn cut off!

So, being the homeschooling mama that I am, I told Emma that by next week she needed to write a short story about how Chicago lost his horn. She loved the idea and so did Joeleen.

The short story was written and it was pretty good, but then I realized that NaNoWriMo was coming up. I also remembered that they have a young writers program with a workbook for the kiddos to fill out during the month of October to help them plan out their novel.

When I suggested to Emma that she turn her short story into a novel, she was a little hesitant at first, but once she started filling out the work book, I think the story started to grow in her mind.

Emma's writing space

Fast forward to today, November 17th, 2015, and this kiddo of ours has written (by hand no less) 15,177 words. I know this because I type up her work every night before I go to bed.

Just for a little reference, 15,177 words takes up 22 pages in a word document typed up in size 12 Times New Roman font, single spaced.

If we were to pretend that the average book is about 1/2 the size of a regular sheet of paper, that would mean that currently, her book would be about 45 pages long.

And she has another 15,000 words to write to hit her goal of 30,000 words.

She blows my mind everyday how much she adds to her novel. Yes she goofs off, fidgets, pees a LOT, doodles, and talks to me if I am in the room, but on average she is writing over 1,000 words a day. One. Thousand. Words. Per. Day. That's six hand-written pages in her notebook!

She's going to need a new pencil soon!

Man, I can't explain how proud of this kid I am.

A few days ago she was stressing over not hitting 15,000 words on the 15th (she started out her writing a little slow, but I didn't want to overwhelm her before she even got started). When I mentioned to her that she has written more for this novel than her Da or I have ever written for a single college paper, she seemed to feel a little better.

A daily dose inspiration in the form of a quote. 

While our lives are mostly about supporting Emma in her novel writing, we try to make sure she gets some mental breaks. Today we stopped by a local pond for a quick walk. It was wonderful (despite the crazy wind).

Emma and Bailey at Powwow Park.

So, that is our life right now. She spends the majority of every day writing, and for the most part she enjoys it. That being said, we are all looking forward to November 30th, and the break she will get from writing during the month of December.

Because once January rolls around, that's when the revisions begin!