Nanowri-uh-o ~ Day #2

Short update today since I’ve had a long school day today and am going to be helping out with HKU’s info day tomorrow.

Today I’ve been catching up on the student blogging challenge commenting, since I am a bit behind on them. So cool to see all these different bloggers from around the world being creative with the blogging medium! (They are also much more consistant with posting than I have lol)

I’ve got quite a bit to do over the weekend, as I need to catch up on some of my homework and upcoming projects. In particular, there are a couple of field courses coming up that I need to read about as well as a debate for a history class I have on Drugs and Alcohol in Colonial Asia from 1750-2000.

Only need to type about 500 words today since my commentating is about 1000 words more or less (I tend to leave pretty long comments).

Still will be a bit short though as I need to prep for other things.

It will be my first time helping out with info day with the Faculty of Science, as I’m helped out before as a Student Ambassador with the Equal Opportunity Unit (handing out fliers and attracting people to our booth for hot chocolate & souvineers). It was quite a bit of fun last year, so we will see what this year brings!

I’m stationed at P4 for one of the talks tomorrow. Not quite sure where that is (since I missed the briefing due to a lab) so I’ll probably get there a bit early so I can catch up on stuff.

Literally as I typed this sentence out, I noticed there is a little word counter on the bottom right had side of the text box area… why have I not noticed this sooner? Since I’ve been copying and pasting my stuff over to an external word counter to verify how many words have been typed…

I seriously need like a tutorial for wordpress since I keep missing little things like this until I do Nanowrimo or Daily Post challenges. I think the last time I did something similar, I learned about tagging my posts so that people can actually find them in the first place.

So according to the counter, I’m at about 380 words (assuming it is accurate). I’m probably going to type up to 420 words at most, then end this post off.

Why?

  1. Because my favorite number is 42 (Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy anyone?)
  2. As previously mentioned, I can’t spend that long typing today
  3. Like my cold turkey post from yesterday has shown, when I start making lists with no substance, I’m already scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes for things to write about

So I’m just going to quit this post now while I’m still ahead. Until tomorrow!

-Rebecca

P.s. Oh shoot, I need a title for this thing… Quick! Think of an awful Nanowrimo pun that sums up how I feel about the challenge so far!

 

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Journey into the Mind of Someone Who Added an Extra Zero on Cold Turkey Writer – Day #1

This was written a few weeks ago, but with added info of the context behind it being written today for Nanowrimo. Basically, the bits in quotations were written earlier, I’m just counting the new stuff

So if you are anything like me you have a problem writing and getting stuff on paper.

Not like coming up with words to write, more like you feel as though you have no idea how to get started and the blinking cursor just makes you want to turn off the computer in despair before you get started.

Of course, this means you have downloaded your fair share of productivity helping apps, computer software and other miscellaneous methods to try and convince yourself that a little pain and bordom now is much better than the tired all nighter you will need to pulll to get your assignments done.

Not finished or polished off.

Done.

As in I just barely squeeked over the word count but close enough I don’t have time to edit before I need to run off and print the dang thing.

Most of the time, the downloading is an excuse to procrastinate more on that assignment you have due. It also has the added bonus of being just productive enough where you feel like you did something but not strenous enought where it is a pain to do.

But every once in a blue moon you stumble accross something that actually works, like legit helps you to focus, hunker down and just get to work typing away like your life depends on it.

For me, that app is cold turkey writer. (the app I’m using during Nanowrimo as well!)

Basically, the thing shuts down your computer until you hit a certian word count or time, before it will unlock and let you use your computer again without restrictions.

Oh and it doesn’t have spell check or that annoying AF blinking cursor taunting you. Just mocking you for not typing more….

In short, your computer goes full on into type writter mode. No side bars, no white list, no “logging onto google to do a bit of research and oops I’m now binge watching the entire avatar the last airbender series again while looking up things to do in Reckvick… Ryecavik… Rykavich…. The capital of Iceland and oh by the way i haven’t touched that book in 6 days” (which is spelled reykjavikbtw)

Bit extreme? Maybe yeah.

Effective? Oh heck yeah.

So while it is a useful program, it only works well if you treat it with respect… what do I mean by that? Well, read on ladies and gentlemen!

Here is the story of the time I f-ed up using it a few weeks ago. Enjoy my misfortune I guess 😛


So I screwered up majorly using cold turkey writer

Not that the system failed or anythign, far from it.

I actually have written more than I expected. like a good 10x the amount I set out to do (you can see where this is going can you…)

Context: I was writing a popular science article-esque blog post for a class on insect ecology, and had left it til 2 days before it was due instead of working on it during reading week… yup… nothing generates inspiration like last minute panic!

I sat down for a short writing session of just 500 words. Should take me a couple of minutes max right?

I accidently typed in 5,000…

And then clicked the button of no return, which just so happens to cover the little bit where the number is typed in…

Basically, my 1,000 word project is done, and I’ve typed the phrase “The quick fox jumped over the lazy dog” so many times (its a quick and easy phrase for me to type) that I’m about to go insane. I’ve switched to All work and no play makes jack a dull boy but after a while it just loses its subtle charm and stuff.

so now I’m going all meta talking about me stuck in this app for now in the hope that it will make a good post or something in the future… and just padding my word count.

The first thing I do as a prisoner of my computer, slavinng away typing as fast as my brain can think and my fingers can move? Describing/complaining about my situation

They really should have a bold lettered you are about to commit to like xyz letters, are you super duper sure or did you like me accidently hit an extra zero and are now regretting your life choices deeply.

Basicically instead of my new laptop I have an expensive 21st century typewritter! whoop!

except without the special dingy thing or anything that makes typing on a typewriter somewhat enjoyable. you know like the clicky bell thing or the slidding mechanism (I would look up the official name but again you know, I’m stuck with this stupid computer at the time being… Like I mean at least with the modern computer there is like a delete button which asaves on the whole needing whiterout or correction tape thing, but that isn’t really helping in my situation at the momen

Note that while there are some made up words in there, it is more or less coherent and any weird spelling or typos can be justified due to my situation. It gets worse suprisingly quickly.

List o mundo time now I guess IDK just yeah come one this is stupid, I wish there was an exit button option for the olrd turkey writer, I mean I guess there is the fact that it would sorta destroy the purpous of the whole thing but at the same time like this js jist crazy man

Let us start with 3 cus why not?

3. right now I’ve gotten to lets say about 55% of the bar filled up so I guess I have several thousand workds at the moment, of which only 1000 are my actual essya

4. this would be really good for the whole nanowrimo thing ut given how busy i am these days heck no am i writting 2,000 words well 2,667 words a day after ive spent forwver working this on like thjust ugg

5. i guess this is how writters write, just word vomit on a page over and over until they edit the stuff out at the end, i should try writting a novel….
no that is just crazy idk like i have zero writting expereince etc

6. why the heck am i numbering these things its not like the numbers od anything and just are padding words out

The typing slips as it dawns on me that I have a bunch of words left to go…  I realize that deleting words will just prolong my crazy suffering so start leaving the terrible typos in.

how the frik are there still words on this right now like im pretty sure i have typed over 1000 words from the lsat tiem i checked, then again my ee was like 4000 and that just took legitimatly forwver to finish but finish i did

I start not captializing things now as I realize that that takes a few milliseconds of time that could be spent typing. Yes, that’s how desperate I became at that moment just to get my computer unlocked.

A turing point happens as I go off to another class.

test if this disappears I am screwed….

Since it was my first time using the app, I didn’t know what would happen if the computer went into screensaver mode and shut itself off to save battery. So I left a test before I went off.

If I returned and I didn’t see those words, the shut off quit the app and all the work I did on my project would be gone. If I still saw them…

so it didn’t disappear like I first thought, even thought my computure turned itself off brilliant!

I was still stuck in a particular brand of writer purgatory… great!

I then try to get clever and find topics to type about (since my phone is unlocked and I can access the internet unrestricted through it. I try my hand at transcribing… which goes as well as you would expect

its not that i didn;t have a healthy respect for the classics the classics

okaky so I suck at transcripbugn just realize how quick people read well speak compared to houw quickly people type currently listening to austin mcconnel video on silent films which is pretty good you should like check it out and stuff lets see what else can talk about as i killltime and my fingers writting away on this thingy

It’s around this point I’m concerned about the specs for my computer….

I wonder if keyborads have like absolut typing thing like how many times you can jam the keys o a keyboard until it just like fails on you like just falls appart

then again people don’t well the english lang doesn’t use each letter as many times in a sentence or in the lang as others, so i guess the e would lose its springyn edd the quickest. Then again tlike just vowels in general would prob die. I thing the leas dy one is the esc key cus when is the last time poeple use it well actuall the print screen button would prob lose aka come last as well

This madness goes on for a couple more paragraphs before I start noticing something… the clicky noise of key on a key board is slightly addicting…

So uhh… I go off the deep end a bit. Lets play a spontaneous game of guess the song!

just keep typing just keep typing, what do we do we type type type

do we dooo do we doooo do do doooo di di du di dooooo di dooooooo di dooooooooo whooosh

dum dum da da dum dum da di dooooo doooo do di dooo dooooo di da do di da do di da do diiii doooo di da diiiii doooo di da dum du dum di dum dum da di

de da di du da di du dummm de da di du da di da dummmm

da da da dummmmmm da da da dummmmm da da da dummmmm da da da diiiiii

bu dida bum dida bum dida dum do do do do di do do do do do do doo di du dudu

do di do di do da du di duuummm do do di duuuum do do di duuuuum

If you guessed the following:

Finding Nemo (Dory’s just keep swimming), Doctor Who theme song, Game of Thrones, Uptown Funk, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor, Bach’s Suite No. 2 Badinerie, Beethoven’s Für Elise

If so: You win.. nothing!

This is just a blog post, I don’t have prizes on offer.

Back to the train wreck, I then switch up the language cus all the English is getting a bit sore on the eyes, if you can even call what I typed English any more. Cue the German!

Hallo leute! Ich bin Rebecca und ich komme aus den USA, aber habe seit 8 Jahren in Hong Kong gelebt und studiert. Ich bin 20 Jahre alt und lerne sehr gerne Deutsch (auch wenn mein eigentliches Deutsch ziemlich schlecht ist). Willkommen in meinem interessanten Blog!

Yeah, it’s pretty bad. But I haven’t been learning it for that long… so hey, I tried my best!

Wrap this post up since it is getting a bit unwieldy. But for the curious basically the last bit of the entire thing is just me going like this:

qwe rty uio pas dfg hjk lzx cvb nmq qaz wsx edc rfv tgb yhn ujm ik, olp poiuytre kgd zxcvbn tg tyh uj ik f eyk fiyiy hasdf adsf asf asdfas dfasdf asfd af asfd sfa fasa sfdasd hpuh iuhiubpu h iqiuhiub uu pb fjqknf nnn ioeh;b

This goes on for a bit, then it goes to the next day where more of the same continues until I FINALLY MANAGE TO UNLOCK MY COMPUTER!


So yeah, that is why you should always check the number you key in before activating Cold Turkey Writer.

Or you know just use the timed version 😛

– Rebecca

P.s. And before you ask why I didn’t just copy and paste something over and over again… the app disables that as well… they really did think of everything!

Back for Nanowrimo… sorta

Hey, so it’s that time of year again where I make a huge commitment toward blog posting that I later decide is a terrible, terrible idea!

YAY!! /s

So for the unaware, Nanowrimo stands for “National Novel Writing Month” where crazy people decide to write a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days.

Which comes to 1,667 words a day.

Yup.

This is actually a thing that people do.

Key point here being that its quantitiy over quality aka just type away and edit in December.

So essentially Cold Turkey writer but without accidentally locking your screen because you typed an extra zero into the word goal… (a story for another time that I’ll probably talk about when I’m scraping the bottom of the preverbial idea barrel)

Except given my previous failures and because I have school assignments due in the month so I’ve modified the challenge slightly.

Instead of working toward a fiction novel, I just post a ton on this blog + I also count all the words I write for assignments and the like.

So instead of an insanely long, single story, I’m going to be posting unconnected short things.

Note that the 1,667 words is a guideline/target so some of these posts will be a lot shorter if I have a busy day and don’t have the time to write more – but I still need to make it up at a later date.

So yeah, here goes nothing!

-Rebecca

Day #6 – Zero ideas? Time for another “30 Minute Story” (#2)

Okay, so its only day 6 of this thing and already I’ve hit a writer’s block.

Well, it isn’t that I don’t have any ideas at the moment, more like I have a few ideas that either need more research, need more time to write about or are dead ends (like I was going to have one talking about how awesome the Dewey decimal system was, but turns out the dude was pretty terrible, stuff like that)

Since I’m running out of time, I will be doing another 30 minute story challenge.

See here for the rules, but the basic gist of it is a randomly generated first line from this website, and 30 minutes of pure typing with no deleting.

Ready? Set? Go!

Continue reading

Day #1 – Und so beginnt es!

And so it begins!

In German for the title because why not, I know how to say it (have been learning the language for about a year now) and it makes for a more interesting title. Plus the explanation bumps up my word count slightly since to be perfectly honest 500 words per day is a bit… ambitious for 30 days, but I don’t want to fail this challenge before it even really begins 😛


I titled this challenge the “ Sudo-wrimo” after the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge I would normally do during November, where people across the world attempt to write 50,000 words in a month (see the previous post).

Note that it is spelt “Sudo” rather than “Pseudo”. Why? Well because I am a terrible speller and have always been annoyed by silent letters, so it is spelled phonetically and since “Sudo” is much shorter and reminds me of the Pokemon Sudowoodo, so hey.

pokemon-1513925_640
Couldn’t find a photo of Sudowoodo labeled for reuse, so enjoy this generic pokeball courtesy of  Pixbay

 

This entire introduction pretty much shows the tone of the rest of this challenge, very casual and not formal at all, with barely any editing – just me practicing quick turnarounds of thoughts -> words on a page/ screen, since that is quite a useful skill and I need to practice my writing skills.

I’ve been typing for a while and am still only at around 250 words…. Great….


 

Since I didn’t do an 🎃 October recap 🎃 last month due to midterms, I’ll use my remaining words to give a short overview of my classes and other things that have happened since my last goal update (not giving the course code at the moment since I’d rather not have this be one of the first things that pops up when you search “HKU-course code” )

Biochemistry – Did a midterm few weeks ago, 1 point below average so not great in the grand scheme of things, but considering it is one of my weakest subjects and I felt as though I failed it after the exam, I am pretty dang pleased with how I did.

Economic History – Got the same score in both the Book Review essay and the mini quiz (A-). Was hoping for a better score on the essay, but did a lot better on the quiz than I thought so I’ll take it!

WWII Pacific History – Finished and turned in the midterm document analysis essay, haven’t gotten it back yet, but really should not have procrastinated on it. Still think I did okay on it, but we will see.

Common Core – No real midterm, just a bunch of assignments here.

Ecology – I went on a field course trip during reading week and IT WAS AWESOME! I’ll probably write more about it sometime later, but have started updating my formal website portfolio with a lot of photos I took on the trip. Felt I did really well in the midterm MCQ in that “the-test-felt-a-bit-too-easy-not-sure-if-is-because-I-studied-well-or-because-I-crashed-and-burned” kind of way.

So that is all for today, be sure to check in tomorrow for another 500 words in my Post A Day “Sudo-wrimo” challenge this month!

-Rebecca

 

A Very Belated Update…

So its already the end of October and I still haven’t gotten around to making that October goal post yet…

The punny goal name I was thinking of was “Braving and Overcoming Obstacles in October” or Booo!👻 for short ( in honor of Halloween of course) but:

a) that is super cheesy.., like wow…

&

b) it turns out that I spent so much of my time overcoming said obstacles (ie mountains of midterms, EOSA things, tutoring intensity, first ecology field course etc) that I never really got around to making that goal post in the first place

So this monthly goal update post is more of a “Task Completed, (though with mixed success)! Moving on”


Now normally around this time I would be planning for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) – aka where you attempt to write 50,000 words in November (1,667 words a day) in a quantity over quality, zeroth draft just get it on paper kind of novel writing.

But honestly? I’ve got bigger fish to fry, mainly with exchange preparations and final exam preparations.

I know November is a bit early to start, especially for me, but I really need to tackle these tough classes now before they overwhelm me in December.

Specifically Biochem…

So instead this will be a bit like Fall Post a Day blog challenge, with a post a day about what I am doing/learned/studying etc, though upping the anty to 500 words a day for a total of over 15,000 by the end of the month.

👩‍⚖️🎓Rules to make this more official:📝📚

  1.  500 words a day for each day of November
    1. There is no regulation about where I write to meet the word count, provided it is not required for class work – i.e. if I write 500 words for my official website/cv page, that counts, but notes or lab reports for classes don’t
  2. Posts don’t need to be well edited, just typed out and published
  3. Topics can be chosen ahead of time and partially typed out as long as at least 100 words were written on the day the post is published.
  4. Quotes and the like don’t count in the word count – aka I can’t just post a poem as my 500 words since that I kinda plagiarism and cheating

So yeah, the theme (subject? target?)  for November is “Study Notes! Part revision, Part writing, All in preparation for December”

… Yeah not really good with coming up with names for these things, but hey practicality over style is more important on this front.

so that is all for now! See you in November

-Rebecca

Day 19- Writing Self Critique and Camp Nanowrimo

So I’m reading through yesterday’s 30 minute story and….

Wow. It is stunningly bad…

Part of me wants to throw it in a black hole where it will never see the light of day or drastically change it so it doesn’t look that bad, but hey I didn’t use the delete key in the original writing of it, so the roughness of the story is understandable.

Still, I am definitely getting rid of that rule the next time I do another story challenge, since there are a lot of repeated words and sloppy mistakes that just look unprofessional.

In this critique -esque post, rather than going through and editing it word by word, I’m just going to list off some of the weird things that just don’t work in the story:

  • Too much description, not enough characterisation – Blue hair was a nice touch of weirdness but why should anyone care? It feels like I am just listing descriptive words for the sake of it, rather than any character or narrative driven reason. Show don’t tell and all that.
  • Where is the character located right now? – its funny that I didn’t notice this while writing it, but I never really say where or when she is. Theoretically, I could have written an excuse it (like she doesn’t want to record it for safety reasons or whatever) but by not mentioning how long ago it was since the kidnapping, there is like zero tension whatsoever
  • Lots of my own “isms” have snuck in – This tends to pop up in my acting (well, what little acting I’ve done at school), where I have little traits (messing with glasses, moving my hands around a lot) that pop up when I am trying to keep it together but failing. In my case, it’s the excessive use of ellipsis and commas, combined with run on sentences that just seem to never end. Oh and the use of “Yup.” since that certainly is something that has stuck around in this semi dystopian world the story takes place in… /s
  • The grammar…. – ‘Nuff said about that train wreck.
  • Where is the plot? – There is a lot of ideas present, but nothing even resembling a coherent narrative. I mean the diary thing at the end was slightly interesting, but there isn’t any reason to care about it. I seem to think throwing things out there without explaining is “mysterious” or something, when in actuality it feels like a game of madlibs with giant “Insert plot here” sections that were semi-filled without care

So basically, what I’ve learned from this trial in improv story telling is that it is pretty freaking hard to do it. Kudos to those who can by the way, though I suspect the reason the works of so many authors seems leaps and bounds ahead of mine, other than their inherent talent and loads of practice, is the editing behind it.

But since it was pretty fun while it lasted, I’ve decided to join Camp Nanowrimo for July.

Normal Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November (which I did try it in 2016, but stopped after a few thousand words due to exams), but they are both based off of the same principle. Quantity not quality, just write and put things down on paper.

Which is a bit like what I am doing now, if you think about it.

In the regular one, the goal is to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month, but since it is the Camp and I get to set my own goals, I’m going with a half Nano with 25,000 words in 30 days, toward a story idea I’ve had rattling around in my brain for a while.

So from this point forward, the post quality may go down slightly as I shift focus over, but hey, this blog was never a shining example of good writing, just a way for me to fill up the summer months doing something more productive than binge watching youtube 😛

That’s all from me now! Catch you later.

Rebecca