Thursday, October 27, 2011

NaNoWriMo: 30 Days & Nights of Literary Abandon

National Novel Writing Month (affectionately known as NaNoWriMo) is a challenge to all who have ever thought, “I’d like to write a novel someday…”  Well, this is your chance!  During the month of November hundreds of thousands around the globe (and that is not an exaggeration, as they had 200,000 participants last year) will seek to write a 50,000 word novel (this equates to approximately 175 pages).  Writing begins at 12:01 AM on November 1st and must be completed and uploaded by midnight on November 30th to count.

I have heard about this for years and decided to attempt the seemingly impossible last year; however, less than a week into the month, a charming and handsome man asked me on a date, and I frankly forgot all about novel writing.  Well, it was a whirlwind, but we are married now and settled down a bit, so I have decided to once again attempt the challenge.  I made it to 10,000 words last year.  If I can average 1,700 words a day, then I will make the goal.  That doesn’t sound too bad, until you think about the 2 weddings we have this month, and family vacation, and Thanksgiving…

With hands tied until the 1st, I have a title: The Fall, a decent one-page outline of the basic plot, and the main characters’ names: Madelyn Campbell & Spencer Moore (yes, I will admit that I spent a couple hours looking at baby names online before I settled on these two). 

So please forgive me for being too busy in October to write (my little sister got married last weekend – see my previous post), and I’m afraid I will be a crazy, creative-writing monster for the month of November.  Perhaps, I will post some excerpts from my story if I think they are decent…

The Challenge:  If you have ever thought about writing a novel, will you consider joining me in accepting the challenge?  Join the fun at!  Having NaNo buddies is a lot more fun than doing this all on your own.  If you do decide to participate, let me know by sending me your username, and maybe we can have a writing party!  The more the merrier!!

My Little Sister's Wedding: A Toast

So three months after my wedding, I was delighted to serve as the Matron of Honor in my sister's wedding.  Katie and Iseah dated for three years and have had quite the journey, so it was a joy to celebrate with them on this very special day!  I'm afraid that with all the wedding events, however, I have failed to write any new posts and I have some news (coming soon) which will probably limit my entries for the month of November, but I thought that I would share my Matron of Honor Toast, dated October 21, 2011:

Good evening!  For those of you I have not met, my name is Tori and I’m Katie’s big sister, and on behalf of the Wade family I’d like to welcome you all, and thank you for coming to celebrate with us on this very special occasion!  

As we all know, in this world there are leaders and there are followers.  Although some prefer to wait in the wings, Katie has always been one of those pioneering people who led from her passions.  She was always on the cusp of trends, setting the bar and leading the way.  From shopping to school, she has never been a conformist or apologetic for who she is.  Rather, she steps out and embraces life, especially through seeking to help those in need. 

Katie has been an inspiration to me for her courage and relentless pursuit of social justice.  She has demonstrated her courage from youth, when she served on a missions team to Panama as a junior higher: raising money, traveling to a distant land, and joining a team when she didn’t know anyone else who would be there, and then spending another entire summer working with the homeless in Houston: distributing food and clothing, playing with the children, and even giving some pedicures.  Over the years she has shared stories of some of the troubled youth with whom she has interacted, and it is remarkable to see how she connects with them, gains their respect, and is able to help them.  Even in the face of flying objects, runaway children, and outright defiance, Katie is able to keep her head and deal with the situation.  With her fiery personality and her drive, Katie makes the best sort of advocate, as well as a great friend.

You see, in elementary school Katie and I were close friends, moving often and clinging to each other, that is until, like most siblings, we began to define ourselves by what made us each unique.  We highlighted our differences and had our own friends and ambitions.  Particularly since leaving the nest, however, we have both come to realize that although we are markedly different, we also share some very foundational values – church, family, helping those in need, and enjoying life.

Katie has been there for me in the very times when I needed her most with a sympathetic ear, understanding my perspective and providing her support and encouragement – even canceling her own wedding planning weekend back in July to bring sanity and aid me with mine.  She has been there when others were unable or unwilling, driving out to meet up for sushi or to just remind me with her presence that I am not alone.  She is the kind of person who will drop everything to be there for you when you need her.

Iseah, you are truly a lucky man to have won my sister’s heart.  What a joy it has been to see you and Katie fall in love, and for us Wades to welcome you into the family and to share some wonderful memories these last three years.  You two are such a dynamic and loving couple.  We pray the Lord’s very best for you, our beloved Mr. & Mrs. Angkiangco, as you begin this new and exciting journey of marriage. 

So if you all will join me and raise your glass, I offer a toast to courage, to friendship, and to love…To Katie & Iseah!  Cheers!

~I love you, lil sis!