NaNoWriMo Begins Again

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Today marks the start of a new NaNoWriMo. It’s an exciting day, filled with anticipation, wonder and the need to do everything but write the novel I’m supposed to be writing. I won’t bore anyone with my strategy or try to make it through another month of blogging-while-writing, because I’ve already done all of that – you can read all of my previous posts on NaNoWriMo here.

Instead, this year I’m going to try to take my own advice my previous years. I mean, I gave some pretty good advice, so I’d be a bit of a moron not to heed it.

Today is also my mom’s birthday. I have exactly 20 minutes before I need to stop writing and start celebrating my mom’s birth. Therefore, I will stop wasting words on my blog and get back to my story.

Current Word Count: 397
Today’s Goal: 1,000 

Half Way with 10K

Preamble: I listened to Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts for the first time tonight and it’s amazing. Great writing music, especially for emotional sections. Listen here.

November 15th is officially over (it’s 12:06 am as I write this sentence)… and I am, at the moment, a full 15K words behind in my word count. I *should* be at 25K right now… but I’m not. So what do I do? I write a blog about it.

What has been keeping me from writing? Well, thank you for asking. The following are a list of all the things that I like to blame for my not writing, even though I know that the only person (thing?) to blame is myself:

  • Work. 9-5 is draining. Yes, yes, I realize there are people out there that work 9-5, have three kids, social functions and whatnot and are STILL writing. These people are amazing. These people are busy. These people are not me. I’d say work is the least of my reasons, but it still keeps me from writing because I have to be working. Besides, I had the exact same job last year and I kicked word count’s butt (I think at this time in 2012 I was at 35K or more by the 15th).
  • Freelance work. This one is an “it’s ok” type of “distraction”. It’s much like work, except I’m choosing to do this because this is my future I’m developing. That being said, I’m actually having trouble sitting down to do Freelance work as well… (hope none of my clients read this).
  • Soccer. For about four hours a week I’m out playing soccer. I’m also the captain of my co-ed team and that takes up another hour a week, just to write emails and coordinate things.
  • Pinterest. Have I mentioned yet that I’ve discovered Pinterest and now I’m hooked? Originally I didn’t understand it (no outsider does) but now that I do understand, I find myself on it for hours just looking at things. And I don’t even realize that time is passing. It’s a very very very dangerous thing, Pinterest. (Also, I’d like to make a public apology to all of my friends that follow my Pinterest account – I’m so very sorry for the sheer number of geeky Doctor Who and Firefly things I pin. I’m pretty sure no one will understand them… And that’s ok.)
  • Procrastination oh max. I wanted to name this particular entry “Writer’s Block” but writer’s block is just a myth we writers like use as a scapegoat. “I’ve got writer’s block” gets a lot more sympathy than “I opened up my word document, took one look at the crap I wrote yesterday, saw how many more words I needed to write today and decided I would watch Supernatural instead.” Yeah. No one’s going to give you any sympathy there. So anyway… I have writer’s block.
  • My boyfriend. He’s very supportive and does his best to keep me from watching Supernatural for hours on end and tries to push me to write more. But I’m a stubborn person and when he’s home, I like to spend time with him. So there’s that.

So that’s what has been keeping me from writing. Well, that’s not ALL there is, I’m sure there are a million other excuses I could come up with. Instead, I’ll share some of the Pinterest images I’ve found in the last 15 days that have *almost* convinced me to open up my Word document and work on my story. Almost.

This one just made me chuckle and say “No”

ANNNND we end with Neil Gaimon. Because Neil Gaimon is the be all that ends it all. Or something like that.

Post-script: I also didn’t mention that I changed stories COMPLETELY after I’d written my first NaNoWriMo blog. I’m now writing a fantasy with a whole bunch of characters and magic and stuff like that. It’s fun. It’s also a fantasy story I’ve been planning for something like two years, so it’s really intimidating. Which is ANOTHER reason why I’m not writing as quickly – my plot and characters intimidate me. That’s weird right? Things I’ve made up scare me. I don’t want to give them life because they might jump off the page and bite me! Or maybe I’m dreaming right now. That is entirely possible.

NaNoWriMo Begins…

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It’s been a hectic year. In a good way of course! Now it’s November (boy did that ever sneak up on me!) and I’m participating in NaNoWriMo yet again… Though I’m using the word “participating” very loosely. I’ve only got about 600 words so far in my “story” which currently has a prologue, one character and absolutely no plot or setting. The only thing I know for sure is that it will take place in the future because my character is, apparently, driving a flying car.

Yup. This is going to be fun.

Of course, all of this has to wait until after I’ve finished some work.

For all of my NaNoWriMo friends, I wrote quite a few “helpful tips” blogs last year – feel free to browse the NaNoWriMo catergory and I’ll add more blogs when I can. :)

Without further ado, here’s an excerpt from my current NaNo project (the prologue):

The elusive “they” say that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. In an instant, you relive everything significant, embarrassing and horrid you’ve ever experienced or done.

They’re half right.

Your life does flash before your eyes, but it’s not the life you’ve lived… it’s the one you could have lived. All of the moments of happiness and joy – the unfulfilled potential of your existence, whisking by one frame after another.

As the blood drained from my body onto the pavement, coating the shards of glass that surrounded me, I saw what my life could have been, had I not made the one decision. I saw myself in a beautiful white gown, the long sleeves trailing along the red, silk carpet spread before me, my face radiant, happier than I’d ever been. I saw myself holding a newborn in a white room, the boarder of dancing brown bears mocking the real me. My face is sweaty, my hair plastered to my forehead, my smile wide and relieved.

Tears leak from my eyes, tickle the bridge of my nose and drop onto the pavement, mingling with the thick, dark red coating. Cold grips me as the final moments of my life flash; shivers send shooting pains through my back. I’m old, lying in bed. My face at peace. I’m looking at a photo of a family, but I am by myself.

I slip away quietly, knowing I am loved.

The reality hits me harder than the pavement had hit me seconds ago. I will never have that life. My shoulders shake, pain lancing down my spine to my tailbone.

I wish I had made a different choice.

Social Media & NaNoWriMo

Tonight’s post is about Social Media and how awesome it is for writers. Especially NaNoWriMos. I have never felt this connected to a group of I’ve only just recently met, be it online or in person. Period. And all because we all share the same incredible goal of writing 50K words in 30 days.

Amazing.

(anyone who has seen that episode of Bones where Brennan goes on that kids’ science show as the bone lady will understand when I say that I can’t say “Amazing” normally… ever.)

That being said, there are some things I’ve noticed about Social Media that could deter or help a potential success story. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Twitter can be painfully distracting. Especially if you have it on all of your devices. There’s nothing more annoying/distracting than being in the middle of a writing sprint and seeing your phone beep, then hearing your ipod chirp, then seeing the notification on your twitter tab… Granted, my mistake here was opening and signing into twitter on every one of my devices… which is why my advice to you is to keep it open on one device at a time and only check it when you’ve finished your section/hit a wall in your story.
  • Twitter can be incredibly helpful.  It’s a very efficient way of staying connected to the other NaNoers across the globe. You can ask them about their word count, post your frustrations and receive suggestions on how to resolve the plot device you’ve been over thinking… I have even used it to let other people in my area know when I have gotten to a write-in location and where I am seated. In fact, I believe on at least one occasion  my talking about a write-in with another NaNoer convinced a third NaNoer to attend!
  • If you’re on twitter…
    Follow @NaNoWordSprints
    – these guys helped me write 5K in just under 3 hours. Craziness. Granted my hands and forearms hurt like the dickins and I thought my shoulders would never relax, but I wanted to reach 5K and still have an evening out and I did. Because I did NaNo Word Sprints. Do them. Use them. Abuse them. Ok, don’t abuse them, but definitely do them. Why? Because I said so.
    Follow my Writers/NaNo/BookCountry list – I’ve done my best to ensure that all of the people I follow that are participating in NaNo or are writers in general (with helpful writing tips) are on this list. Follow them. Talk to them. They don’t bite, not people they just met anyway… that comes later.
  • Support groups are required for every challenge… and Facebook has become mine. All of my friends and family are there (ok, not ALL, but most) and they have been liking my statuses and commenting when they feel they can offer some support or whatever. I am so grateful and, even though I’m sure that by the end of the month they will all hate me with a fiery passion akin to the flames burning bright in the devil’s land… I will still be grateful to them for their support.
  • Google + … same thing from the point above, just with a different group of people… Ones that are more friends-through-interests than friends-in-person. Except for one guy. One guy is on both sites… he’s a good friend. He has to hear me update my word count TWICE every day. He will probably hate me TWICE as much as everyone else, that’s how special he is. A shout out to him…. if he hasn’t already started ignoring everything I post
  • Chats/Online Hang outs – these are great for those days that are cold and dreary… or that you just don’t want to get dressed. You go online, sign into your region’s “designated” chatting method (in my case, a site called goodchatting where we have a forum for our region) and you chat. That sounds counter intuitive, but it’s not. Because, while you’re chatting someone will randomly suggest a word war. Word Wars are the reason why I’m at 28K. Honestly. On the weekend, I did several 15 minute word wars in a row and wrote 6K. The following day I went to a write in and wrote another 3K via word wars. I’m starting to think I won’t be able to write without a word war from now on.

So, if you’re reading this and you are being a recluse (ie. not participating in write-ins or haven’t introduced yourself on the nanowrimo forums) then get you butt out there. Make yourself known. Draw attention to your word count and your story. Your friends and family will cheer you on, your fellow NaNoers will compete with you AND cheer you on, and I’ll watch, grinning the whole time telling people “I told him/her to do that.”

However, if you don’t know who to contact or don’t have a social media account, at the very least hang out in the forums. Or contact me and I’ll help you get connected. It’ll be fun! And trust me, your word count won’t suffer.

Have any other Social Media tools to help the NaNoers of the world reach their goal? Share them here! 

Annoying Upstairs Neighbours – An Excerpt

On Saturday, when I finally sat down to work on my NaNoWriMo story (after a few hours of procrastination), my upstairs neighbours decided to be as loud as they possibly could. These people yell at each other at all hours of the day and night. I’m also fairly certain they wear their shoes inside (wood floors + shoes = loud. Very loud) Once, the lady walked around all night in heels.

That made me want to hit something.

Anyway, so I complained about the noise to my fellow NaNoers via a chat room that one of my fellow Montreal NaNoers set up for us. They suggested that I incorporate it into my story. In fact, they suggested three different ways to incorporate it into my story:

  1. Personify the upstairs neighbour problem in one character
  2. Have the MC’s father banging around in the attic/upstairs
  3. Write a flashback wherein the MC experiences exactly what I was experiencing.

Then we proceeded to have a word war, where I wrote the following scene. Let me know if you think I succeeded in incorporating the three suggestions!

OH! Before we continue to the story. I HIT 25K YESTERDAY! *so happy* Here I was thinking I’d be behind by now when I’m pretty much half way done. ALSO, I FINALLY managed to get Clara where I want her… thought she’d be there by now, but no, she’s a stubborn creature. Now to write the more exciting part of the story. What WHAT! :) 

Excerpt from Clara’s Story

Clara sat in the living room with Breanna and Lucas. The clattering of dishes in the kitchen was the only evidence that her mother was is residence. Janelle had gone to a friend’s house for a play date.

“Well, that was an interesting Christmas,” Breanna said. She was carefully not looking at Clara. Her face was twisted in an attempt at a pleasant smile.

“Oh be quiet Breanna,” Lucas snarled. He had been unpleasant to her all morning. The family dinner yesterday had been tense, a tenseness made more unpleasant by Breanna’s snide remarks about Clara. Clara stared at the TV. Some show was on, but she wasn’t paying attention to it. Instead, she was thinking about her time in the city and the noise. Here in the country, there was no noise. Nothing to distract you from the sounds coming from the TV. There was no one to make you feel like you weren’t alone in the world.

“What? I thought it was lovely,” Breanna’s voice dripped with sarcasm on the word lovely. It was like she was intent on being inconsiderate to everyone around her. She didn’t care who she disturbed, as along as she was free to do and live as she wished.

There was a clunk over their heads. Heavy footsteps echoed through the living room.

“What was that?” Lucas asked, looking at Clara. Clara shook her head, frowning.

“You dad is setting up Clara’s new painting things,” Breanna said with a frown.

“Oh, the ones that Janelle picked out?” Lucas asked.

“Yes, the ones we’d spent far too much on, after all she’s not going to use them now is she?” Breanna said.

“Breanna, that’s enough. Stop being a bitch ok? You’ve made your point, now leave off it.” Lucas glared at his wife.

“I won’t Lucas. I won’t leave off it until you see the truth. Your sister is…”

Clara drowned out the noise of her sister-in-law. She didn’t like what she heard, but she didn’t want to say anything about it. Everyone is allowed their opinions. Everyone is allowed to do as they want, when they want. Clara knew now that there was something off about the past few days. She reconsidered the poisoning angle, become more and more certain that that was what was happening. Someone in this household was poisoning her so that she wouldn’t realize that they were keeping her from Nathaniel and Logan. She knew that now, she just didn’t understand why.

A bang echoed through the living room, followed by the heavy thumps of someone walking.

Clara’s mind drifted back to her apartment in the city, the first one her and Nathaniel had shared. It was a large two bedroom in an old building. The wood floors were a beautiful yellow with hints of auburn in the complementing grains that ran through each panel.

The only problem with them was that everyone could hear you walking around.

Their upstairs neighbours persisted in wearing their shoes everywhere, had no carpets to muffle the sound and had a young child that ran around all day, every day.

The second week they were there, she had just finished setting up her easel and paints in exactly the way she liked them. Her and Nathaniel had agreed that the extra room would be his office and the guest room. Her “studio” was a small corner of the living room, directly beside the windows. There was plenty of light; the balcony was right there if she chose to go out for some fresh air and the TV was close if she chose to play a show in the background.

The only problem was that their upstairs neighbours loved spending time in their living room. The child loved to run around. She glared up at the ceiling, wishing a painful death on the noise makers, then sat down to work on her latest project.

The child decided to skip rope.

The thumping reverberated down the walls, echoing through Clara’s skull like a jack hammer. Her hand shimmied across the canvas. A large blue-black line crossed over the large puppy dog faces that stared out at her, nearly complete.

“No!” Clara exclaimed, frustrated. Nathaniel ran into the room.

“What happened? Are you ok?” He asked. His face was the picture of concern. The banging upstairs continued. He looked up and winced. “Don’t tell me…” he said, looking at her canvas.

“I’m done with them Nathaniel! You need to go up there and tell them to shut up or I will go up there and ram my paintbrush through their eyes,” she gripped the paintbrush, knuckles white.

“Now Clara,” he started.

“Don’t you take that tone Nathaniel,” she said. “This is a consignment piece. A PAID piece. I’m supposed to be done it by tomorrow morning and it’ll take hours to fix this mess!”

“Ok, ok. Relax my love. I’m not going to go up there to talk to them, because I really would rather not. But why don’t you set up in my office. The light is good and it’s quieter. Just bring your stereo and you should be ok.”

Clara looked at Nathaniel, thinking through his proposition.

“Fine,” she grunted, arms folded. She glared at the ceiling, wishing death on the inhabitants. “Stupid friggin inconsiderate assholes.” She turned, putting her paints and brushes back in their carrying case.

“It’s going to take forever to get myself set up again,” she whined. Nathaniel’s hand thumped down on her shoulder, patting her.

“There there, you’ll succeed. You always do.”

“Yeah, after I pull an all nighter and ruin my eyesight squinting in the poor night light. Can you help me carry my supplies in?” She asked. He smiled at her.

“Fine, let’s get this done. I have to finish washing the dishes and then I have work I need to get done.”

“Thanks love,” she said, kissing his cheek. “You’re the best.”

“Yes, yes, come on,” he said. He grabbed her easel, careful of the wet paint on the canvas. She stacked her painting supply cases on the chair and followed him down the hall, around the corner and into the office.

The office was a clutter of boxes. He put her easel down by the window and moved all of his boxes around to give her more space.

They finished setting up her  station. She looked at the ruined image of two beautiful puppies laying on a pillow. Taking out the colours of the animal’s fur she’d mixed three days ago, she started fixing the black smear that she had created earlier. It wouldn’t take long, but it was a painful process of trying to match the shading and colours she had completed. Her music played in the background, a light and comforting background sound that kept her mind from wandering too far from the task at hand.

A bang echoed through the room. Then another. The upstairs neighbours had followed her.

“Ugh!” she groaned, putting down her paintbrush and throwing open the door. She wanted to scream at them. She wanted to beat them over the head with her palate. But she couldn’t do either of those things. Instead, she could only passive aggressively complain.

“Nathaniel! They’re at it over my head. I can’t deal with this anymore!!” she yelled as she walked down the hall to the kitchen. He met her in the hall, drying his hands on a dish towel.

“Why don’t you put some headphones in?” he asked. He looked bemused. Anger shot through her. She hated it when he was bemused at her inconvenience. She hated her upstairs neighbours. She hated that she couldn’t finish this stupid picture of dogs.

She wanted to be painting the unseen, the fanciful things that only she saw. She wanted to paint the patterns she saw in the world around her, so that others could see them too. That’s what she wanted to be doing, not painting puppies for some dog lady with too much money to spend.

She said as much to Nathaniel.

“I know my love. I know. We’ve been over this though. We need the cash. Your job at the pub isn’t exactly going to cover the bills and my student loan is only stretching so far while I’m still in school. It’s only for one more year and then you can paint what you want and I’ll work to pay our bills.”

She looked up at him and sighed.

“You’re right, I know you’re right. I’ll go back to the painting. I’m sorry for yelling.” She kissed him.

He smiled down at her, his rugged face sending shivers down her spin.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you too.” She walked back down the dim lit hallway, smiling to herself.

“Clara? Earth to Clara!” Her brother Lucas’s voice echoed through the apartment. Confused, she looked around.

“Lucas?” she asked, not sure when or how he got there. There was no sign that he’d been there and Nathaniel didn’t say he’d showed up. Which was so unlike Nathaniel.  “Where are you?”

“I’m right here silly,” Lucas’s face was in front of hers. His brown hair and blue eyes floated in front of her eyes. She blinked and focused on his face.

“Lucas?” she said. Her parents’ living room was unnaturally bright. Confused, she looked over at Breanna, who stared at her with daggers in her eyes.

“Yep, that’s me. Where’d you go?” he asked, concern written all over his face.

“To the place in Toronto with those horrible upstairs neighbours.” Clara shot a look over at Breanna. Her sister-in-law glared back.

“Oh, I remember that place. You lived there a long time ago, didn’t you?”

“I guess,” she said, fidgeting with her sweater. The living room was warm, very warm. The patterns along the walls were continuous, dancing around. The grain of the wood panelling matched the floral patterns of the couch upholstry. Lucas touched her hand, his grip soft and cold.

“Well, welcome back to the living room. Sounds like dad is done upstairs. Did you want to go check it out?” He stood, holding his hand out to her.

“Yeah… yes. I do. I’d love to start painting again.”

That’s the excerpt. What do you think? Did I succeed in my attempt? Or did I fail miserably? 

The Case of the Stalled Word Count

I haven’t written more on my story since…. Tuesday? Did I write on Wednesday? I think I did. Nothing yesterday and most decidedly nothing tonight. Ok, not most decidedly. There’s a chance I’ll write something tonight. But it’s a slim one. Slim like a ruler… when you have it sideways. Slim like a piece of paper. Slim like a thread. Slim like a … um.. slim thing.

I doubt you’re wondering why my word count has stalled. I’m going to tell you anyway. There are a few reasons, and here they are (have you guys noticed that I’m loving the lists nowadays? I really am. Lists make me feel happy.)

1. The First Week is Over

I have a commitment problem. I am only committed to things for a percentage of it’s duration. And by things I mean projects. At least, personal projects. Do you remember that Photo Album project I mention earlier in my blog? (last year, I think). I suppose only people who have been reading for a long time will remember that, which is why I made that link there. Click it. Read it. It’s informative. It might even be entertaining, but I’m not quite sure because I don’t remember how I wrote the information, just that I did. I could reread it now to provide a better break down of it’s entertaining-ness factor, but I’m lazy.

So, that project hasn’t really gone anywhere since I wrote that blog. I THINK I managed to complete one more album, but if I recall correctly, the photos all came out funky colours (photo printers are awesome, but can be problematic at times)… so I didn’t continue. Maybe over the Christmas holidays. Maybe. Probably not.

Anyway, so my commitment to a personal project goes something like this:

  • First 1/4 of the time it takes to complete a project – YEAH! WOO! PRODUCTIVITY! I LOOOOOOOVE DOING THIS! HELLO YOU’RE AWESOME! AND I’M AWESOME! LET’S BE AWESOME TOGETHER PROJECT! LET’S! WOOOO!!
  • Second 1/4 of the time – I should really work on that project. I did want to complete it. It’ll be awesome when it’s done, because then I don’t have to think about it any more. Buuuut, I worked really hard and it’ll be ok if I don’t do it today. I’ll work on it tomorrow… yeah. Tomorrow. Tonight I’ll just relax. Yeeeaaah. I like my couch. Ooh, TV!
  • Third 1/4 of the time – *works on project for five minutes* phew! That’s done. Time to go *insert random task/activity here*
  • Last 1/4 of the time – Friend: Hey! How’s your project coming? Me: My what? I don’t know what you’re talking about *scuttles away in shame*

In the case of NaNoWriMo… well, the first week is over. There are four weeks. I am now on the second quarter. My “plan” is to write 5K tomorrow. I’ll let you know how THAT goes.

Hahahahahahaha.

I mean… I have total faith in myself.

(Just to clarify, the above schedule of my dedication to projects only applies to ones of a personal nature. Ones I’m doing for myself. If I’m doing a job, where I’m in an office or for a freelance project, I’m the complete opposite. Complete. Opposite.)

2. My MC is a Crazy Biatch

The plot of my story is sort of contingent on the reader believing that my character is ok and sane and normal. Basically, I need the reader to empathize with my MC (her name’s Clara. I’m just going to say Clara from now on) and believe that her family is withholding something from her. Right now, Clara comes off as a crazy biatch. Seriously. You read it and you think – whoa, she’s disturbed. Someone get her some help, stat! Which means you’re not believing her… which means that my plot twist really isn’t going to work.

I tried to write through it, to make her more believable.

That didn’t work.

Now I’m hoping that if I just stay away for a day or two the solution will pop into my brain randomly in the middle of the night.

It hasn’t. Not yet anyway. But with my track record, it never will…. (see point 1)

3. I’m “Busy” & Lazy

Here is what I hope will be an amusing debate I had with myself today…

  • I’m busy… I play soccer twice a week now (my second league started on Tuesday). That’s an excuse because last Thursday, I wrote almost 2,000 words…. so I met the daily minimum to complete the 50K by the 30th…
  • My place is an absolute pig sty and I have to do laundry Hahahahaha, because I’m cleaning and doing laundry right now? Bahahahahahaha. 
  • My boyfriend is feeling neglected. If he is, he’s not pushing to hang out… because he supports me and wants me to succeed. And he’s awesome. 
  • My brain aches from working too hard today and I need a break from the computer. Nu uh you lazy person you. What am I doing right now? Huh? What? I’m typing a blog…. And what am I typing it on?? Hmmmm?? The… the… *hangs head and whispers* computer.. I win. 
4. That debate crushed my spirits

It didn’t really, but I felt over dramatizing this would get better results. In reality, even though I KNOW I should be writing for NaNoWriMo, I’m also still… uh… 1,000 words ahead of where I should be today (Day 9) and thus I feel it’s ok to slack off.

There’s nothing worse than telling yourself it’s ok to slack off people.

And yet I have. I am. I’m currently telling myself it’s ok. So I’m going to sign off, proudly proclaiming my hypocrisy and spend the evening doing something that may or may not be writing. Though I’ll probably end up writing sometime later tonight. After all, I have commitment problems (see point 1).

Anyone else finding that, now that the first push of NaNoWriMo is over, they’re having troubles keeping their momentum? Or am I the only one?? 

My Phone Adventures

Tonight I’m taking a break from blogging about NaNoWriMo to share with you a horrifying story of triumph and despair.

Act 1 – The Loss

Picture, if you will, a dark night. The cold breeze almost moving the autumn foliage that litters the ground. Almost, but not quite. A young lady (myself, if you must know) walks at a brisk pace toward the bus stop. A heavy engine revs behind her. She turns her head, spotting the bus she wants mere blocks away. Panicked, she starts to run.

A heavy object bounces at her feet. She looks down and then behind her as she continues to run onward.

It must have been a piece of garbage, she thinks then dashes for the bus.

*time passes with an uneventful, and short bus ride*

The young girl disembarks, amazed at how soon she had arrived.

What time is it anyway, she wonders, reaching into her coat pocket.

Her light, half empty coat pocket.

What? Her hands dart in and out of her pockets, searching for that one item that has managed to keep her connected for years. That one line to the outside world, the world of family, friends and colleagues; the world of facebook, twitter and email; the world of alarms so that she can wake up relatively on time in the mornings…. or at least know how late she’s going to be if she doesn’t get up.

Her phone was gone. Missing. Lost, if you will, from her sight. Forever? Maybe not.

She stood at a crossroads. No, literally… there were two roads she could take, one leading to her destination and one that didn’t. Of course, she also stood at a figurative crossroads. Would she jump on the next bus going back to where she was almost certain, but not quite 100% certain that she’d dropped her phone. Or would she continue on to her destination – the soccer field, where her teammates waited on her and wouldn’t know she was going to be late, because she had no way to tell them.

The dilemmas! The suspense! The drama! The uncertainty! The panic! The in…. I digress. It only took her a few seconds to know that she would continue to her destination and search for her phone later. After all, it’s just a phone. Right?

Right?

Act 2 – The Panic

I’m will breeze over this part a little bit by writing it like a normal person. After realizing that the piece of garbage I’d kicked was my cell phone, I really did panic a little. No hyperventilating or anything (given I was playing soccer, that would’ve been very bad). What I DID do was tell everyone on my soccer team individually and together about how I lost my cell phone. I’m pretty sure only two of them were listening, one of whom called my cell for me. Or at least dialled my number and gave me the phone. No one picked up. I determined that that could be a good thing or a bad thing and thus was an inconclusive action.

A few seconds later, I had roped in a friend to call my phone repeatedly after the game until I found it. We decided that if someone answered, she should get them to stand on the corner of the street until I arrived. In fact, here’s our conversation:

S: So, I’ll tell them to look for the forlorn girl

Me: yes, tell them I’ll be looking at the sidewalk, crying a little and I’ll be wearing. uh… clothes.

S: Right, and if they’ve taken your phone and gone home?

*pause*

S: (triumphantly) I’ll Facebook you!

Me: Yes! Because I can STILL ACCESS FACEBOOK without my phone! Fantastic!

Me: I’m worried about tomorrow morning though, I use my phone as an alarm.

S: Well, I can just call you in the morning if you want.

Me: Yeah! that’d be great, th… wait.

S:Oh yeah…

(you can’t make this stuff up people!)

So, after much complaining and drawing attention of myself-ing, I decided not to bring it up again. Instead I went over all the reasons why losing my phone wasn’t sooooo bad. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • I’d get to upgrade from a BlackBerry to an iPhone (depending on the cost of course, but there has to be some place, some where that are selling iPhone 4s on the cheap)

That was all I got. Seriously.

Here is the list of things that were horrible about losing my phone:

  • No Alarm to wake me up – my phone is the only alarm I have. I used to have a cheapo Ikea alarm clock, but it died after less than a year (not surprising, it was only $2)
  • No calling my boyfriend or, well, ANYONE for at least a day – my cell is the ONLY PHONE I HAVE. I do not have a landline. I could use my phone at work, but who would be available to talk between 9 and 5? No one, that’s who.
  • No contact information – all of my contacts are in my cell phone, including my best friend’s new phone number in Toronto, which I haven’t memorized yet and have NO WHERE else. Oh the agony! Oh the distress!
  • How would I tell what time it was?! – this one is irrational. I have an iPod that tells time. And a computer clock. And a microwave (though I haven’t set the clock on it yet… I should probably do that) but still, rationality does not pan into your reasoning when you’ve lost your phone
  • Someone could pick up my phone and access all of my emails, Social Medias and etc. – except my phone locks (THANK GOODNESS) but again, rationality plays no part in panic mode.

There are a few others I came up with, but now that I’m no longer in panic mode, I can’t remember what they are.

At one point during my soccer game, I subbed off and had a moment where I wasn’t in panic mode. Then I remembered and whispered “I lost my phone”. My friend (the same nice guy who let me call my phone from his phone) was standing beside me… he said something funny that I can’t remember. Which helped. Laughter always helps. If you ever meet someone in my situation, make them laugh. Tell them funny jokes (not phone related) and get them to play soccer because nothing makes you forget your problems like laughter and soccer! And pain in your joints!

Act 3 – The Search

I left the game almost immediately after it ended, pausing to change out of my cleats. Even so, I still missed the bus going home. When I checked the time, it said that the next bus wouldn’t be for ten minutes, so I figured I would walk. My reasoning was that I would get closer to my phone, faster.

For once, this proved to be incredibly true.

I ended up running/jogging most of the way (panic mode had taken hold of me) so I got to the bus stop where this entire story started before my bus even arrived.

Once there, I first asked the lone person waiting for the bus if they’d seen/heard a phone ringing (because my friend S had said she would call me repeatedly and all). He looked at me weird. Then said no. Then continued looking at me weird. I walked onward, head down, one foot shifting leaves as I walked to the end of the street where I was fairly certain I had dropped my phone.

My search continued for a few minutes, fruitlessly. Then, the most angelic person in the whole wide world appeared, her long black coat and cute brown hair framing a wise, youthfully aged face.

“Did you lose something?” said this angel.

“Yes, my phone.” After which I proceeded to tell her my woeful story.

“Would you like some help looking?”  she asked.

“Oh my goodness, yes, thank you!” After a second, a heart beat really, she stopped.

“Why don’t you call your phone now, just let me find mine in my cavernous bag,” (she really did say cavernous, it was awesome). I continued to search, still finding nothing, when she finally found her phone. (ooo, alliteration!) I called and heard the most beautiful sound in the world.

“It’s ringing! It’s ringing!! It’s over here. And it’s ringing! I’m so happy!” I was so excited and busy yelling with said excitement that she was the one that finally flipped it over (it’s a black, blackberry that was face down in the dirt buried under leaves. How I thought I was going to find it, I don’t know) It was at that moment that I was grateful for two things:

  1. That my phone wasn’t on silent or vibrate as it usually is on a work night… or really any night, because I always forget to change the settings.
  2. That there are people like this fantastic woman who are willing to stop and help complete strangers

Also, I’d like to note that she isn’t actually an angel, just a really nice lady who, according to her husband, is too nosey. If I ever see her again (which I won’t) and she’s with her husband, I’ll make it a point to tell them both how NOT too nosey she is.

So, I hugged my phone tight to my chest, thanked the lady profusely (I think it went something like “if I weren’t all hot and sweaty from playing soccer and then running here, I’d hug you”) After we parted ways, I called my boyfriend to tell him about my adventures.

This is not where the story ends my friends.

Act 4 – The Fall

Upon entering my apartment building, still talking on the phone (because I can! Because I had a phone!!) I felt my newly re-acquired device shift from between my ear and shoulder (my hands were full trying to open the door). I dropped what I was holding, throwing my hands up to catch my poor black berry. It bounced off one hand, ricocheted off the other, bounced off the first hand and smashed into the floor. The back went flying, skidding and sliding until it hit the wall and the battery bounced out.

I was horrified.

I’d just gotten it back after thinking it lost for good and this. THIS is how I repay it? By being careless?! With shaking hands (ok that’s an exaggeration) I put my poor humpty dumpty back together again and prayed it would work.

It did.

Act 5 – The End

So, that was my phone adventure from this evening. I hope you enjoyed this thrilling tale of the trials and tribulations that come with losing your beloved mobile device. Or mine at least.

What have I learned? Well, 1. You should always back up your contacts so that if you DO lose your phone, you won’t lose “everything” and 2. Always wear/buy/have zipper pockets. This entire situation wouldn’t have happened if I’d had a zipper on my pocket. Just sayin’.

My phone is working and still in good shape. The only damage seems to be 4 tiny nick marks on the bottom curve. It’s not even dirty! (though it was really cold when I found it). I think I might get a silver sharpie and write “Nokia” on the back, because it seems to be handling everything really well.

One last thing before I sign off! If I’m missing tomorrow… it’s because my phone was waiting for me to sleep before seeking it’s revenge. I’m almost positive it’s going to do something horrible to me tonight. I think I might leave it in the living room. Except… it’s my alarm.

Crap.

Ps. this blog is roughly 1,950 words long, so I guess you can say I met my daily word count for NaNoWriMo!! Too bad blogs don’t count.