Archive | November, 2010

Quick Hits: Moving Week Edition!

24 Nov

Hey, y’all!

I have approximately five minutes before leaving this lovely land of onlineness¹ and heading back to box-land.  Poor blog, though—you guys probably thought I forgot to bring it to Austin with me.

(FYI, those of you who don’t know me well—yet—this is my second full day in a new city.  Things have been crazy lately, hence the unintentional lack of blogging.)

Here’s a quick-hits list of all things moving-week-related!


Packing Day—Sunday, the day we loaded all of our junk into not one, but two U-hauls—was one of the most taxing days I’ve ever experienced.  However, if you follow me on Twitter (@olsonkayla), you already know this because I flooded you with #ihatepacking tweets.  Sorry about that.


Austin?  Is totally worth the taxing packing day.  It’s fresh and fun and completely awesome.  (PS: Melissa, you can absolutely consider this yet another subtle hint that screams MOVE HERE! in your direction!)


The only downside, so far, is the lack of internet access at our apartment.  We’ll be hooked up soon, but for now I feel totally out of the loop.  I miss you guys. *waves at sweet friends*


Our new apartment comes complete with a zillion awesome places to work on my novels.  Bay window here, fireplace there, two patios, trees, peace and quiet…I’m so excited to get a little more settled in so I can get back to work!


People in Austin are FRIENDLY.  I’m serious.  We’ve already met some of our adorable neighbors—two young, married couples—because they came down and introduced themselves while we unloaded the U-Haul. (Ahem, I mean while we stood around and watched the paid movers unload the U-Haul.)(Best. Decision. Ever.)  Everyone we’ve met has been kind and welcoming.

Okay, that’s it for quick hits.  We’ve got some unpacking to do…whee!  I’ll be back soon(ish).

In the meantime—since I’m sort of out of the loop for a little while—please fill me in on your own quick hits!  I’m doing my best to keep up with all of your blogs, but it’s harder than usual given my less-connectedness.

Wishing you all a special and lovely Thanksgiving!

¹Funny how my made-up word looks sort of like loneliness. (Not that I’m lonely. Just that it’s funny.)

Accio Chopstick Wand!

19 Nov

Remy the Ravenclaw Cat. Yes, that is his wand. And, yes—it IS a chopstick.

Here at our house, ALL of us are excited about the Harry Potter premiere.  This afternoon, we’ll be taking a break from the boxes (the Chick-Fil-A waffle fry boxes, obviously)(sans cats) to go be awed and amazed by what looks to be an incredible movie.

Can. Not. Wait.

No, seriously.  I can’t.  I’m about to throw on that Ravenclaw scarf, whip up some fake butterbeer (vanilla bean ice cream + butterscotch syrup + cream + blender = AWESOME.), jump in my car, and drive to the theater.

Soon, I shall be out of this moving phase and will stop posting pictures of our cats.  Thanks for hanging in there with me. ❤


16 Nov

I miss writing.  It’s only been a week or so, but I miss it, y’all!

As I mentioned in my last post (I know—so long ago, right?!), both of my WIPs are officially on hold until December.  It’s sort of necessary, given this pack-and-move-practically-overnight situation we’re in, but still.  I miss it.

Sure, I have some snippets of time here and there.  I could write something.  It’s largely a focus issue, though—not a time issue.

Revising my WIP into a fourth draft is something that deserves a fully-focused mind, not a mind that’s dealing with huge physical and emotional transition.  And, even though the first draft will be a first draft (read: in need of MUCH work, no matter how much focus is devoted up front), I’d still like to make it as coherent as possible.

I have a feeling December will be full of words and huge progress.  After a) this long break where I’m already itching to work, b) reading some good fiction during times when I would usually be writing, and c) the impending Harry Potter-palooza, I will have no choice but to be inspired.

So, December?

BRING IT ON.  I’m ready to wear off more letters from my keyboard (let’s all take a moment to mourn faithful letters D and C, the first of many keyboard ghosts), ready to dig in and focus, ready to do what’s necessary to make sparks fly on both projects.

But first, I must deal with Cardboard November and the Great Transition of 2010.

Once we’re settled, though: flying sparks. Words like wildfire. Important progress.

And I can’t wait.

So…About Those Goals…

10 Nov

Question: How long does it take November to go from feeling like a WHOLE MONTH! to feeling like oh-wow-only-TWELVE-DAYS-before-we-move?!?!?!

Answer: Not long.

Fortunately, the upside to twelve days is that my writing goals won’t have to be set aside for too terribly long.  And, oh yes, despite my lofty ambitions, they are being set aside—but only until December 1 (extra week of padding time included for the holidays and the unpacking phase).

Packing can get tedious, but I’ve figured out something to make it more fun: a color-coding system!  You knew I would do that, though, right?  Yes, yes, approximately 94.6% of the fun of this packing process is due to mini-post-its, a sharpie, and uniformly shaped boxes.  (The other 5.4% of the fun = the satisfaction of seeing quick progress take place, FYI.)  My system makes for a very pretty, very organized, transitional period.

How’s November going for everyone else?  Crazy-busy, like mine?  Rolling right along, without problems, exactly as planned?  Somewhere in between?


Wish I could write/read all day, but it’s back to the boxes I go.



Happy Days are Here Again!

5 Nov

It’s a sunny, cold-but-not-freezing, altogether fresh Friday morning.  It’s a good hair day, a my-latte-is-amazing day, an I-have-a-new-J.Crew-necklace-and-am-so-wearing-it-today day.  Plus, I had fresh organic raspberries in my oatmeal this morning.  So, of course — on a day like today — what else is a girl supposed to do, but belt out the “Happy Days are Here Again” song in her trés echo-y apartment complex walkway on the way to her Jeep, you know?

(Yes.  I did this before nine in the morning.  Perhaps I can blame the amazing raspberries for pushing me over the edge?)

(Fortunately, only one dog attempted to bark me into silence.)

Anyway.  It’s fitting that I’m having a happy day today, since I’m guest posting at Natalie Whipple’s blog about — you guessed it! — happy things.  Every Friday, Natalie does a post for the Happy Writers Society.  This week, my two cents are up.  Check them out here if you haven’t already, and be sure to check out every single other post Natalie’s ever written, while you’re at it.

Big Bowl of Crazy

4 Nov

Why, hello, November!  You are bright and shiny (read: dark and rainy and cold and AWESOME), and I’m so glad you’re finally here—just one question.

When did you arrive, and how did I miss you?

(Oops.  Two questions.  My bad.)

Somehow, the number at the bottom of my screen tells me it is already the fourth.  Wha?!  This would not usually be a daunting number, except that it’s November.  Not that I’m doing NaNo, but still.  My November is turning into one big fat bowl of crazy.  I need every day I can get.

So…isn’t a non-NaNoWriMo November supposed to be calm, lovely, smooth, and entirely stress-free? (HA.)  Turns out, that only happens when you treat November as merely November.  If you replace NaNoWriMo with your own combination of NaNoBlahBlahBlah, all sorts of crazy is possible.

For example, here are all the NaNos I’m n̶a̶ï̶v̶e̶l̶y̶  bravely taking on this month:


NOT the pull-out-your-hair, scribble-till-your-arm-falls-off 50K version.  More like the 500 words per day version that I invented merely to get WIP #2’s first draft rolling.  It’s nice to have a no-pressure outlet purely dedicated to creating something fresh.  So far, I’m reaching this goal about every other day.


The lovely Beth Revis invented this one, and the Rev is for revision.  (Note that Beth has a distinct advantage, since the entire revision process is practically named for her.  If only it was called Olsonision…or Olsonion? Alas.  It isn’t.)  This is the Big Project.  The still-needs-work-but-it’s-kind-of-almost-there project.  It’s going well so far.  I’ve figured out a process that works for this draft (the fourth)(funny how everysinglepart of this process requires a new system, no matter how well your old ones work) and am excited and encouraged about the upcoming changes.  Some are significant, some are minor.  All are needed.


This is what Natalie Whipple is doing this month: a ton of reading.  She plans to burn through her tall stack of to-be-reads.  My stack of want-to-reads is ever growing, but for November, I’ll be happy if I get through one—two at most (James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade).


This is fun to say (imagine Sun’s harsh Korean father on LOST saying this like it’s an order to one of his subservient minions), and I made it up two seconds ago.  It stands for Kayla’s November Gym Month.  Yep: self-explanatory.  My sitting to moving ratio isn’t pretty at the moment, and I am dedicated to getting back into good habits.  Even if that only looks like a 30-minute walk on the treadmill—I’m mostly just aiming for consistent effort right now.


Linda came up with this one last year: National House Cleaning Month.  Though I sort of need to participate, I hadn’t planned on it.  I mean, look at my November plans, y’all!  They’re…daunting.  Possible, but daunting.  To add cleaning to the mix seemed useful, but not ultimately important enough to shove my other goals aside.  Until now…


No, I’m not talking about peaches. (MoMo = もも = peach in Japanese, FYI.)  Nope—it’s Kayla’s November Moving Month.  We’ve had some life transition goals in the works for a while (meaning we’ve been dreaming/praying about them and wondering how/when to actually try to act on them).  Well, turns out November is THE month!  Things have fallen into place quickly and perfectly, and we’ll be making a major move before the first of December.

As you might imagine, this last thing could flatten the rest of November to the ground.  Stack of books to read?  Flattened.  Shiny new WIP?  Pancake.  Revisions?  Roadkill.  If that happens, whatever.  Life happens.  And this transition?  Certainly counts as life.  December will be there, if all else fails.

However—I’m going to try to keep the impending transition from steamrolling over my goals.  Forward progress, discipline, and a calm spirit: those are my only REAL goals for November.  If I can accomplish those, I’ll be happy.

So?  Four days in—how are you guys doing with your various sets of lofty goals?  Updates, please!


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