My first name is the 34th most common name in the United States. My last name is the fifth most common last name in the US. My name doesn’t say original. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun…. My first name means “She Who Ensnares” and as it’s a direct translation from my Hebrew name (Rivkah), it has the same meaning in that language. “She Who Ensnares” doesn’t sound like a boring girl who is going to lead the same life as every other Rebecca out there. It sounds like the title of a dramatic book. With names you can’t go by looks and sounds alone. Scratching the surface is what it takes to make an impact.

So I don’t come up with character names off the top of my head. I prowl more obsessively than any expecting mother ever did. If a name sounds good I scroll over it to see the meaning. If the meaning doesn’t fit my character or at least a hint at a more interesting person, then I move on, even if it’s the prettiest sounding name on the website.

This year for my NaNo novel, I decided to step it up a notch. I’m working from lists of specific name ethnic origins. All the characters from my main character’s country (we’re talking about an alternate universe here) have names from Latin, Polish, and Welsh origin. All the country names come from Turkish origin. I think choosing names in this fashion preserves the cohesiveness across the story, makes it look like this world has exited for an eternity.

And main characters Perrena and Arrian sound far better together than Kayla and Umberto!


Midnight Advice

I told myself “Tomorrow there are no classes, so I should go to bed early and wake up early to start being productive!” Instead internet, blogging, and NaNoWriMo consume my mind.  Plus I simply don’t feel tired…. 

Browsing through blogs I’ve subscribed to I came across a post about NaNo advice.  I thought it was excellent advice and thus set to thinking about what advice I would give a NaNo newcomer or even an experienced NaNo veteran.  Would my advice even be rules I can keep myself? So I’ll set a challenge for myself and anyone and everyone who wishes to join me.  The following will be a handful of rules that I’ll try to stick to from November 1st to November 30th:

1. Forgive yourself for the days you don’t hit the mark because Scary Scripting Sunday is coming.  Treat weekends as catch-up time.  Assign a day (or two) every week before the week starts on which you will go on a writing marathon.  3,000 words in one day can’t hurt… can it?

2. Swear off the netflix.  Swear off the live television shows.  Only watch the news (and really Newspaper might be a safer bet). Every minute in front of that screen could be a minute in front of a different screen.  Netflix will wait. DVR exists.  Okay, so really, I’ll just limit it to one or two per day because I’m human, but no movie marathons!!!!

3. Homework when the sun is up. NaNo when it goes down.  I need a divider and the sun has served as an excellent one for billions of people for thousands of years. Sun goes down and it’s no longer safe for CavemanJoe to go out to hunt because the beasts are prowling.  Well then that’s an excellent time to turn into a NaNo beast.

4. Do. Not. Edit. if you misspell fine, but it is not time to tweak a scene and nobody needs these sentences to be smooth and perfect yet.

5. Grin like a maniac when you tell people that you are currently doing NaNoWriMo. Really.  Don’t groan.  High morale has won many battles! I’ll get back to you on a historical example….

Now enjoy the last two days of NaNo-less freedom! Ehem, I mean try to survive the next two days before noveling heaven.

No Candles Allowed

I live in a dorm, inland in New York State where hurricanes don’t happen.  But later today that rule will be shattered for the second time in recent history.  This time I am not at home with the comforts afforded to me by that position.  So it is necessary to take certain precautions.

I have three flashlights at the ready and if the power should go off and stay off long enough to deplete the batteries, I have two booklights as back-up.  But really, who likes carrying around a flashlight?  Candles are so much easier! Light a few and set them up in key locations and you’re good for hours! But that was at home.  Rumor is that in a power outage in the dorm our fire-alarms would still work and if 600 students all started burning candles we would be in severe trouble.  Nobody wants to go out into a hurricane to avoid a fire. “Out of the frying-pan and into the fire” anybody?

So flashlights and praying the batteries hold out it is! Though all is still calm here right now.  Best wishes to those of you in the eye of the storm.

NaNoWriMo 2012 here we go

I won NaNoWriMo. Once. Three years ago. And then I failed once, one year ago.  This year I am an incredibly busy college freshman-sophomore, and I think that the time is ripe to try again! So I’ve typed up a 600 word outline for myself, sketched a rough map of the world’s newest alternate universe, and updated my NaNo profile. Now I’m poised at the ready, glimpsing carelessly past halloween to a truly crazy November.  My genre is fantasy (as always) and the title I’m working with is Expiration.  Sound intriguing? I certainly hope it is! Who doesn’t like a girl with a dead-end fate who is willing to fight to change not just her destiny, but that of all those around her?

Hello world!

I was playing around on the internet tonight and I decided to start a blog! One day I might post about college (I’m a freshmany-sophomore) the next I might post about novelling and then about the world at large! It’s whatever is on my mind.  This post could be followed by one about the origin of bagels (Poland loooong ago) if it strikes my fancy. Looking forward to interacting with the world outside of my dorm!

Run your fingers over the stones

Why walk out the front door? At home there’s the internet; you’re on it right now in fact.  You can buy everything you need on it, including groceries, you can run a home-business on it or get an online education, you can interact with friends, and you can watch videos of the amazing places in the world.  All in your pajamas!

So why leave? Because the computer can’t blow your hair back like the wild wind.  Because you can’t hug your internet friend, and for an instant feel their heartbeat.  Because the internet is, at its core… ordinary in this day and age.  Anyone and everyone can look at the colosseum, but if you walk out that door and just keep on walking, you can run your fingers over the aged stones and stand above a massive crowd.

So really, humans at leisure still leave the home because we can, not because we need to.