I threw in the towel about a week ago.  It just wasn’t happening this year, for a variety of reasons.  Reasons, not excuses.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the things that have kept me from writing consistently enough to finish Nanowrimo – excuses are things that couldn’t be helped, and you’d rather have avoided.  Like dental appointments, of which I had two.  They were during working hours, though, so they don’t count as either reasons or excuses.

I kind of wish I’d admitted defeat earlier – the ideas weren’t coming to me at all.  I switched stories three times.  But I couldn’t be blogging a lot, because, gee, that would mean I had enough time to write fiction for my word count, and was purposely wasting time blogging.  So I found myself not blogging, not writing, and stressing about it, like it was a real deadline, and not the fun, entertaining thing it ought to have been.

What did I do instead of write 50000 words in the month of November?

I took up running

I have been firmly in the camp of “I Don’t Run” since grade school.  But I wanted a fitness-ey exercise that I could involve Gwynn in, and then I found this downloadable App for my phone.  I also have an exercise buddy whose level of un-fitness is basically identical to my own, so we huff and puff away and don’t feel self-conscious about it.  I’m actually enjoying running.  I truly believed this would never ever happen.  I was more of the opinion that the only thing that would get me to run any distance was something aggressive chasing me – and that the only enjoyment I would get out of it would be the enjoyment of surviving – not of a run well-done.

We’re doing the Couch to 5K (30 minutes! 3 days a week!  9 weeks!) program whose App you can download HERE .  You can also just get a chart from them that says the durations of walks and runs.   The App costs something like $1.20, and I consider it well worthwhile, if you have the option, because it means you don’t have to be checking your watch to figure out when to start/stop, etc.  The walk and run durations are different from each other and different each day, so an egg-timer is do-able, but not ideal.  The trainer (one of three options) tells you when to run and when to stop running, while the program plays music from your playlist on your phone.  Music – definitely helpful.  Dogs frolicking around you – also helpful!  It’s such a gradual increase in workout that, while you’re definitely getting a workout, it doesn’t feel like you’re dying, much.  I really like that it lets you gain strength slowly and steadily, rather than running until you fall down the first day and then taking a week and a half to recover.



Gwynn Jumped Through Hoops

Gwynn and I are taking a Saturday afternoon Intro to Agility class.  Gwynn is talented!  I am… in need of practice.  We’re both having a great time, regardless of my lack of timing/understanding/skill, and I’m learning a whole lot about body language, and silent communication with Gwynn.  The teamwork we’re building in the class is working outside the classroom as well, and I think that the jogging-with-him thing is both improving and being improved by our agility class.  If anyone’s looking for a thing to do with your dog after the basic obedience training is done, this is a great option – it keeps you practicing training and obedience, and the dogs love it.

I Crossfitted

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I started back into Crossfit this summer, using another fantastic Groupon type deal.  This crossfit place is MUCH closer to my house, and we (my exercise buddy and I) have actually continued past the finish of our 20 classes for 40 dollars deal.  I don’t think I’d recommend crossfit to everyone, because it really depends on what motivates you best to work out.  I really like it because it’s kind of like having a group personal training class that changes every time that you go.  It starts off with a skill or strength exercise, and then you do a timed workout that will leave your legs like jelly, your lungs burning, and your face red.  The person monitoring the gym at that time will yell at you to keep going if you stop midway through the exercise to sit and chug water – that’s not for everyone, but I guarantee, I’d never do this tough a workout alone.  You also see huge signs of improvement in relatively short periods of time.  It is amazing the things that I NEVER thought I’d be able to do that I can now DO!  I can climb a rope.  Scares the crap out of me (fear of falling amplified by knowing that I am the only thing holding me up there), but thrills me to death that I can do it at all.  I’m also very close to being able to do a kipping pull-up without any help.  Help = giant elastic that supports part of your weight while doing the pull-up.  Kipping = kind of a floppy-fish movement that helps jack-knife you up to a chin-above-bar position.  Easier than a straight pull-up, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

I Drank with Dinosaurs!


The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is doing a Friday Night at the Museum event, that I’m hoping will become a regular thing.  The Museum is converted to Museum/bar/club.  It has bars and snack bars (all local and interesting restaurants serving good food) set up throughout the museum, a DJ in the main atrium, bands set up throughout the museum, it’s fantastic.  It’s like going out to a bar, but in a museum, which is so much more fun.  Cupcakes in the Geode Room, lobster rolls in the dinosaur area, random activity centers setup throughout, and themed nights!  They have definitely found a great way to encourage the young adult crowd to come to the ROM, and it makes a great date-night for people of any age.


I Wrote All Night… ish

I might have abandoned Nano-ship, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do things with Nano.  Nanowrimo’s GTA region hosts a variety of events, most of which I don’t go to, because weeknights are tough to stay up late on.  I do, however, go to at least part of the all night write-in they host.  Sanctuary is an old church converted into a community center.  It’s a potluck – lots of baked goods, chips and pop to keep your blood sugar high!  Lots of late-night shenanigans!  I don’t stay all night anymore, because the first year, I slept on the couch for 5 hours in the middle of it, which frankly seems to defeat the purpose of staying there all night.  I am not an all-nighter-able person.  I got about 8000 words written in my 4ish hours of actually being there this year, though, which was certainly helpful to my word count.  Plus socializing!

I found some one-of-a-kind things


i know a few adventure weiners that might appreciate these green doggies!

The One of a Kind show in Toronto is a place to get some interesting and original gifts for people for the holidays.  Also samples.  SO. MANY. SAMPLES.  Food is delicious.

Fajita-Pecan-Princess Night!


My friends and I are not necessarily wild and gallivanting about town.  This kind of cooking+movie night is more my cup of tea.  We made Fajitas, we made Pecan Pie, we made Whiskey Sours, we watched Brave, and Tangled and Beauty and the Beast.  Our hostess made us all princess hats!  There were sparkles everywhere as we all napped through the second half of Beauty and the Beast, in a full-on sugar coma.

Congrats to everyone who finished Nanowrimo successfully!  I’ll try again next year, but I figure that at least this year I had fun with all the things I was doing instead of writing.

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  1. Oh girl. You’ve been busy! Love the Couch To 5K program but haven’t been brave enough to try Crossfit yet. Everytime I see a photo it’s someone doing some crazy one-armed bench press thing and I get a little intimidated 🙂

    • So far the couch to 5 k is great. It’s nice how slowly it leads you to being able to do longer durations of running. My goal is to be able to run for half an hour. 5k? maybe. But if I can go out and do a half-hour run/jog + a walk, that’ll make me happy.
      The crossfit is excellent. It does have some people like that, but it also has people like me… who have to be reminded what each exercise is every class before we start. They make sure you’re being safe, and that you know what you should do (and with proper form), but then they also encourage you to go further, and harder, than you (or at least, I) would do on your own. And I love how quickly you see changes in your ability – really nice personal pep talk, seeing how much easier something gets over time.

  2. It does sound like you have been busy having fun. Your friends sound fun! I don’t think I would be able to write if I committed to do for a month. It would seem to much like work and I would get nowhere. Good for you for writing as much as you did. 🙂

    • I think that’s exactly what happened this year. Not sure why it wasnt an issue last year, or the one before that, but this year, it just wasn’t happening. My friends are a ton of fun – the kind of people who not only think that a fajita-pecan-princess night sounds grand, but are also planning a gingerbread Tardis building/xmas movie night in the near future, probably with bow ties 🙂

  3. Woo hoo! It sounds like you have lots to celebrate and enjoy, even if the whole novel thing didn’t meet your expectations. Agility and running are both two of my favourite activities and I am so glad you are getting involved and have caught the bug! Agility is not easy, especially for the human, but with a lot of practice I bet you will surprise yourself.

    I want to drink with the dinosaurs…

    • The agility is awesome – so much fun. And I definitely got more enthusiastic about the idea of trying it, hearing about your successes, and the fun you and Shiva have had trying it out. It’s amazing the things i’m subconsciously telling Gwynn that are causing him to go rogue on the tiny courses we’ve done so far 😛
      You should see if the museum or art gallery in Halifax has something similar to the ROM’s friday night event. Tons of fun, and apparently a lot of museums and galleries in the states do that as a regular friday night event.

  4. Wow! You were busy. I tapped out at 37,335 words. I probably could have done the whole 50,000 if I hadn’t taken days off to do things!! But I bet you had fun and you certainly have some interesting things in your area!

    • I’m impressed – didn’t get anywhere near that far in it. Good job doing what you did, while also having time for a life 🙂

  5. Sounds like you’ve been having a great time, and that’s all that counts! 😀

    • Absolutely, that’s the way I’m looking at it. There are months in which nothing happens, and in those months, I write a lot more.

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