Jayme Woods

Writer. Geek. Adventurer.


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NaNoWriDOH!

November has been a crazy month – and not, as the blog title suggests, because of NaNoWriMo. I’ll get to NaNo in a second, but first some context.

My month kicked off in rather epic fashion. For starters, I visited FOUR castles.

Not pictured: Prince Eric’s castle. Also: yes, Rapunzel’s tower totally counts as a “castle” ;)

Not pictured: Prince Eric’s castle. Also: yes, Rapunzel’s tower totally counts as a “castle” 😉

On top of that, there was the little matter of the best concert ever. All of which was awesome, except very little (read: no) writing got done at the Most Magical Place on Earth. Which would’ve been fine except I also came back from vacation with a tickle in my throat.

Famous last words.

How disgustingly ill was I, you ask? I still haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World. Anyone who knows me knows how sick I’d have to be for that to happen. I blinked and a week of my life vanished – an entire week. Another seven days where writing fell to the wayside while I babysat Flu Jr.

If you’re wondering, I call it Flu Jr. because it wasn’t as bad as the full-blown flu, as evidenced by the fact that I’m typing this. But it still made me feel like this:

GIF credit to the fantabulous Chrissy

GIF credit to the fantabulous Chrissy

Only worse.

So there I was. Two weeks. Limited writing. That may not sound like the end of the world, but I was kind of crushed. Why? Because this year I’d made up my mind to attempt NaNo. I knew my vacation might throw me off a bit, but I’d still decided to write my little guts out in pursuit of that elusive 50k. That goal seemed pretty unlikely when I woke up on November 11 with just 2k fever-induced words. That’s right. 2,000. As in, 4% of 50k. Not gonna lie, I was a little discouraged.

Then I stumbled across this: How I Won NaNoWriMo in 9 Days . That’ right. Ava Jae hit 50k in 9 days – and her friend Taryn hit that mark in just 3 days. Do not adjust your monitor. You read that correctly. 50k in 3 days. My mind was officially blown. I’m still not sure I can churn out 48k in two weeks, but I’m sure as heck going to try.

So here’s my challenge, fellow writers*: forget about the last 15 days. Maybe, like me, your word counts haven’t been what you’d hoped. Maybe you’ve been watching from the sidelines and you’re now ready to join the fray. Either way, the time is NOW!

And remember: you don’t have to “win” NaNo to come out a winner. We’ve got 15 days left, people. 1500 a day will mean 22,500 by the end of the month. Squeeze out an extra 500 words per day and you’re up to 30k. We can do this!

Do you have a NaNo war story? Are you ready to show the second half of November who’s boss? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or over on Twitter. #NaNoWriDOH

Until next time, WRITE ON!

*Unless you’re a fellow writer who’s already won NaNo… in which case, go celebrate. 🙂

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How Hanson Makes Me a Better Writer

I just got back from Orlando, and my ears are still ringing from the best concert EVER. Six concerts, actually. They spanned two nights and featured none other than my favorite band: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem!

electric mayhem

Kidding. It was Hanson. They dropped into Epcot November 4-5.

Clearly I was too excited to hold the camera steady.

Clearly I was too excited to hold the camera steady.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Hanson (or if you haven’t heard anything since MMMBop), here’s the cameo-studded video for their new single, Get the Girl Back (yes, that’s Kat Dennings and Nikki Reed and Drake Bell and Drew Seeley and… you get the idea). The song starts at about :35. Consider it the soundtrack for this post:

Awesome, right? So now you all understand the depth of my excitement when I found out Hanson was coming HERE. To Florida. To say the wait was long would not do it justice. By 5:29 November 4th I felt like this:

This guy's from the The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney Hollywood Studios, btw.

This guy’s from the The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney Hollywood Studios, btw.

Only better fed because, you know, theme park food:

The soft pretzel loves Hanson... and that random dude in a baseball cap. But mostly Hanson.

The soft pretzel loves Hanson… and that random dude in a baseball cap. But mostly Hanson.

To top it off, my shiny new camera has [in my best Po impersonation] legendary zoom capabilities that are the stuff of legend!

Here’s a shot of all the guys:

group shot

Isaac killing a guitar solo:

isaac

Taylor making everyone jealous of that random person with the blue watch:

taylor

Zac going all Animal on the drums:

zac

Also, here’s one of Zac on piano. Because hair like this needs to be appreciated. Go ahead. Take a moment. I’ll wait.

zac piano

If you’re jealous of my mad photography skills, don’t be. 90% of my pictures came out like this:

blurry isaac

And all 90% of them are still eating up memory on my computer – because those blurs are HANSON BROTHERS! 😉

Which brings me to the “better writer” portion of this blog. Just before the very end of the very last concert – I’m talking end of the whole shebang – the lights went down. For a second, I thought it was over… and they hadn’t played my favorite song. My thought process went something like this:

I am a grown person. I can deal with this. An awesome time has been had. Epic poems shall be written. Or perhaps epic picture books. Because:

issac taylor

What’s one song to all that?

Then the lights came back up, Taylor whipped out a harmonica, and the band started in on – you guessed it – MY SONG!!! And I died a little. Okay, a lot. Just so we’re absolutely clear about the level of awesomeness involved, here are more exclamation points:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!

In that instant, I was twelve again. When I left, I turned to my sisters and the exact words I’d used after our very first Hanson concert *cough, cough* years ago flew out of my mouth: THAT WAS AWESOME!

It’s in all caps because, by then, I was kind of deaf from loud music. It was totally worth it.

As someone who writes MG, experiences like these are golden. It’s easy to forget how powerful firsts are. The first day of a new school year. The first time your best friend betrayed you. Your first crush, first dance, first heartbreak.

And, yes, the first band that totally *got* you.

What about you? What songs/memories instantly take you back to a point in time?

Wishing everyone a Hanson-tacular weekend!


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Happy Sister’s Day!

It’s just been brought to my attention that today is Sister’s Day. My first thought was: How did I not know this?! I have the best sisters ever!

My next thought, as it often is, was The Goonies:

goonies brand edited

Poor Brand. As much as I love Mikey, I have to admit: Brand’s sort of missing out. Sisters are special things. You might fight with them – but never as hard as you’d fight for them. You can tell them anything without ever worrying they’ll spill because, let’s face it, you’ve got just as much dirt on them. Sure, when you split lemon meringue pie your sister might eat all of the lemon and leave you nothing but meringue…

GIF credit to the fantabulous Sara

GIF credit to the fantabulous Sara

…but she’ll also swap her Red Ranger card for your lame Madam Woe because she knows Red is your favorite. She’ll do your hair and makeup for your first dance – and your first photo shoot. And, if your sisters are as awesome as mine, they’ll sing “That Thing You Do” with you nonstop for the entire drive to Disney (sorry, Mom and Dad) because it really is that great a song.

So to all you sisters out there thanks for being awesome! And to my sisters: thanks for always being there, even when “being there” meant reading endless drafts of manuscripts and query letters and *gasp* notes to boys. Y’all are the best!


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A Long Time Ago in… Space: the Final Frontier

Okay, I’m probably going to catch all kinds of flak for that title, but here’s the thing. I love Star Wars. AND I love Star Trek. In my perfect world, Scotty, Chewy, Chekov, and Lando would hang out Big Bang Theory style. When Kirk gets flirty Leia would call him a scruffy-looking Tribble herder. Han Solo would give Spock a great big live long and prosper high-five. Because, really, how awesome would that be?

This has made the last week fairly exciting. Why? For starters, I finally rounded up the gang to go see Star Trek Into Darkness. And it was just as mind blowingly awesome as everyone said. Spock putting the smackdown on Sherlock – I mean, Khan. Priceless. Sulu taking the captain’s chair. Scotty realizing just how much damage Kirk can do to his ship in a day. I could go on and on. And on.

But never fear Star Wars fans. I didn’t trick you into this post just to gush about Star Trek. The past several weekends have also happened to be Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I couldn’t actually make it this year, but I’ve been in years past, and it is something to behold. Stormtroopers patrol the park gates. You can meet awesome celebrity guests. And the Dark Side really does have cookies – and cupcakes. Deliciously evil cupcakes.

Living vicariously through all the pictures and videos on Facebook just wasn’t cutting it, so my sister and I whipped up an awesome office supply X-wing. Check it out:

office-supply-x-wing

If you want to make one of your very own, we found our inspiration here.

Now, please excuse me while I imagine R2-D2 piloting said X-wing to a robot speed dating mixer hosted by Lieutenant Commander Data.

Until next time, may the Force be with you as you boldly go where no one has gone before. 🙂