Guide to NaNoWriMo Health

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This post was originally meant for Preptober, but we all know how that went down! So today we will be talking about health and NaNoWriMo!

The reasons why health is so important should be nothing but obvious but if you aren’t sure it is as simple as:
No health = No you =No novel! Think of it like Legend of Zelda heart containers!

So how can you make sure to stay healthy and safe from harm during NaNoWriMo, or any other intense challenge you ask? You’ve come to the right place.

10 Tips For Being a Healthy Wrimo:

1. Don’t sacrifice your sanity for your novel : self explanatory, just make sure to take time for you and don’t stress out about word counts too much!
2. Water water water water: When you aren’t getting enough fluids, it affects activity in your brain and prevents creativity! So research how much water you should be drinking in one day, and drink that….and a half.
3. Meal planning is your friend: You may not have time to hit the kitchen and prepare meals for royalty! Get some mason jars and plan your weeks meals on one day of the week when you know you’ll have more free time!
4. Healthy snacks: It is so so easy to sit down with a bag of chips and nom-out while wrimo-ing! It is not the best for you though! Get some brain food! Have some yogurt, or some grapes, easy little things! Also prepare them ahead of time so you can just roll in and roll back out to the novel!
5. Get out more: It’s a common misconception that writers are supposed to remain in their writing quarters and to stay focused and undistracted. But sometimes it is so much better to get out and write! Its the perfect weather to go sit in the park all bundled up and write! It’s even better time to hit up a Starbucks! People will see you writing and you may even make a wrimo friend! ❤
6. Schedule time to relax: if you do yoga I RECOMMEND A LOT OF YOGA IN THE MORNINGS! If not, try some meditation, or just clearing your mind completely! Make room for more ideas to come in!
7. Pep talks: NaNoWriMo does a great job of sending out pep talks and motivational messages throughout the month, but try talking to your loved ones about it! if you need a pep talk friends are always willing to help!
8. Make realistic goals: If you are working 50 hours a week, a full time student and already blogging and being an ML then the 50,000 word goal, may not be realistic for you! its worth it to try, but maybe make a back up goal! The point of NaNoWriMo is to reach a goal, and its all up to you what that goal is!
9. Sleep your 8 hours: If you are not sleeping your brain will not work = NO NOVEL… so get to bed!
10. Treat yourself: Coffee as an all the time wrimo beverage is not actually a good idea, but every once in a while if you need that kick in the pants, don’t hesitate to indulge in some fancy fall drinks! *Pumpkin Spice My Life*

I hope this gave you some insight on staying healthy this NaNoWriMo, comment below with some tips on how you stay healthy when writing for deadline!

mazie bones

Canzine Toronto 2017

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On October 21, we were at the Art Gallery of Ontario seeing the Guillermo del Toro exhibition called At Home With Monsters, and when we were walking into the gallery we could see that they were setting up some kind of event downstairs but we weren’t sure what it was. After we were done with our paid exhibit we were walking out to go for lunch when we saw it: Canzine Toronto 2017!

If you haven’t heard of it before, its a festival of zines and underground culture! I couldn’t have planned the day any better. If we had gone to see del Toro any other day we would have missed it. Personally, I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t heard of it before that day but I’m super happy that we ended up there anyway, because I am a true lover of zine culture and that festival was my literal heaven.

I got to meet a bunch of people that I follow on Instagram, both writers, and illustrators, and it was just one of the most pleasant experience being able to be in the presence of hundreds of people that equally love art, writing, and publication as much as I do. Getting to go to that festival, even just for the short time that I was there was so inspiring. I was able to talk to likeminded creators and we talked about our processes, and how to get past that initial wall of “it’s not good enough.” I got to see both super polished zines, and super old school style as well. One of the people there even explained how he printed them all out this morning on his way there, he was folding as we were talking. I honestly want to find out how to get involved in Canzine 2018 now that I’ve been there and felt the vibe. So I’m putting it on my list of goals for next year and I’m going to start working towards it after Christmas!

Zines have always been a way for me to express my views and thoughts and though they don’t seem to be very popular in my city yet, to know that there is such a huge community just down the highway from me was really comforting! I feel like I can make these zines knowing that they will be appreciated and picked up by other makers that know what kind of work has gone into them, and that really settles all of my fear behind personal publication.

IF YOU WERE A ZINE, WHAT KIND OF ZINE WOULD YOU BE?

mazie bones

Combatting the NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Rut

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For those of you who have participated in NaNoWriMo, most of you will know about the Mid NaNo Rut.

But for those of you who haven’t witnessed it yet, here is a little bit of a dramatization:

*She sits staring into the abyss that is her Mac Book Pro, her coffee is just a little bit too bitter and her finger just can’t seem to move. Her mind is spinning in every direction except her in the direction her novel is going in, and all she can think about is crying while eating peanut butter and watching vintage horror movies. All she can do is hope that tomorrow she will hit her daily goal, but who knows what tomorrow holds.*

I refuse to admit that this was me last year (IT TOTALLY WAS)

The Mid NaNo Rut is both so easily prevented and so easily contracted, making it so much more difficult to deal with. But here are some ways to prevent it, and get rid of it!!

Preventing the RUT:

– Don’t exhaust your ideas too fast. Yes I know you’re excited but try to steadily write just your word count every day and nothing more. If you don’t give yourself a break every day, NaNoWriMo will be miserable.
– Don’t think about word counts, if you are like me, you will have that NaNo profile tab open and you will be updating that word count every 5 words. It’s not about the count until later in the month!
– If you’re a pantser you need to be super strict in that you don’t go off on too many tangents, sometimes it is so so easy to write in one direction and get lost with no way back. I mean most of the time it’s awesome, but other times you can get some overwhelmed and lose all motivation.
– Planners, don’t over plan. Simple as that. If you want to write a novel, you have to enjoy it at least a little bit!

Getting Rid of the RUT:

– word sprints!!
– twitter #Nanowrimo
– talk to people in the forums, even in your regional forums, see if anyone can talk to you about their novels so far, that’s got to be one of the most motivating things ever.
– linked to the point above, get a little bit competitive, but always friendly competitive, in the end everyone’s a winner, so don’t go sabotaging!
– take a nap! If you have a scheduled time to write for NaNo each day, and you are having trouble writing at that time because of the RUT, you need to go do something else super important during that time so that later on in the day you can go back to your novel and crank out some words!

Really hope this helps, My personal trick for the rut is doing writing prompts that could possibly tie in with my story. It will surprise you how much you can get written from a simple word prompt.

Let me know some of your experiences with the RUT, or how you get past it or prevent it! ❤

mazie bones

Niagara On The Lake Ghost Walk

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On the last Wednesday of October, Drew and I decided to go on a spooky date night! Neither of us had ever been on the Ghost Walk Tour in downtown Niagara On The Lake before, Drew had never been on a haunted tour ever so it was a new experience for both of us and it was definitely an amazing one. * NOTE: I did have a few pictures from this night but they either turned out too dark, or too blurry, I might try to filter some and put them on insta but I can’t promise that I’ll be able to fix them! *

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It was a 90 minute tour and it was actually super affordable in my opinion. The tourists were split into two small groups so it was a bit more intimate and we were able to talk and participate in the tour. The tour guide, Sir Bob was delightful and super entertaining. If you ever get a chance to do these tours, try to get a tour with him, he was seriously the best.

Drew and I both loved the historical parts of the tour, learning about what happened to make Niagara On The Lake the most haunted town in all of Canada. We got to walk through the creepy dark and lonely streets full of old houses, and were able to learn a lot about the different buildings that were there before they burnt it all to ground.

During the last half of our tour we were down near a gazebo that had been used in an old horror film, and our guide informed us that there was a cat that usually joined him for the last half of our walk and sure enough, we were definitely greeted by one of the most enthusiastic cats I’ve ever met. I mentioned it to Drew, and though he didn’t notice, something seemed very strange about the cat, it didn’t walk like a normal cat, and it would literally run to keep up with us if we left without him. It was probably just my imagination but it just felt a bit spooky, and I love kitties!

Overall, 10/10 for the Niagara on the Lake Ghost Walks. If you are looking for quality tours of haunted landmarks, check out their site, they do them in a number of cities and towns and you should totally see if they do any near you. 100% worth the trip! Seriously, on our tour, there were 4 people from out of town that had come just for the ghost walk! That’s how good it was. In October they were doing them every weeknight, so I’m not sure how often they do them every other month but definitely, check it out and see! I’ve been raving about it ever since, and I’ve been trying to find the time to do one of their other tours in other cities as well! If I get to do any other ones I’ll definitely post about them!

Whats your favourite haunted landmark?

mazie bones

Being a NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison

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It was a rainy afternoon in August when I received the email from the lovely staff at NaNoWriMo. The email was regarding my application to be a Municipal Liaison for my region of Niagara, an application that I sent the day after NaNoWriMo 2013. I think it was more exciting to me because it had been so long since I applied that I completely forgot about the possibilities. But now that the possibility has become the reality, there are a lot of responsibilities.

This year will be my fourth NaNoWriMo in a row, as a Municipal Liasion of the Niagara region, and many people have reached out to me to ask if I like being one, how I became one and just general ML questions, so I figured that I would round up all those questions and create a post to talk about my experiences and why I keep coming back for more. 

24171676_10155670676731013_202652752_nAlso, this year with all of our NaNo Swag, I also got my 3-year pin (peep that companion cube pin also! Comment if you know what that’s from!) as a gift for running events and organizing communications within the region. This is of course not a single effort though! Christine and I both received our 3-year pins this year and this is Sarah’s second year as an ML. I honestly don’t know what I would do without our team. We are super compatible when it comes to how we organize things, we’re all Bullet Journalers so we’re all super on top of the scheduling and making sure that everything is covered. I’ve even called us a dream team on occasion, and I think that’s a big contributor to why I keep coming back each year!

Another big factor that keeps me on board is our region’s participants! We have such a supportive and unique group of writers in Niagara and meeting them and spending time with them has helped me so much. I don’t know if I would have kept up with this for so long if it weren’t for our amazing members and ML Team.

Being an ML is a pretty streamline job, especially if you have done NaNoWriMo before, (which I believe is a prerequisite to being one if I’m not mistaken). It’s basically the same as being a social participant. I know our region starts planning as early as September, just to make sure that we are on top of things, but other regions might not be as excited as we are! As an ML, you need to post in the forums, check in with members of your region, and help motivate others and let them motivate you. The only different part really is scheduling events, connecting with other local write-ins, sending NaNo Mail, and making sure that everyone behaves in the forums and at events. That all being said, it can be a kind of time-consuming event, and if I didn’t work from home, I don’t think I would be able to dedicate as much time to it as I do. Creating my own schedule definitely brings the added benefit of being able to take a bit of time off to go to all the NaNo events but that’s not always a benefit that other ML’s have! I know that our other two ML’s have full-time jobs that they keep up with along with their ML duties and NaNo writing, so it definitely is doable if you’re working as well if that’s something that you are worried about.

Someone asked me why I do it if I’m already super stressed out with other things, and on top of that, not getting paid to organize the Niagara NaNo, and to that, I can only respond with the word “Love.”  I truly do love the community and it has never been about money for me. I came into this position knowing that I wasn’t going to be paid, and that’s never been an issue for me. The acknowledgment and experiences alone make it sincerely worth my time and every time I go to an event and am surrounded by my writer friends I truly feel blessed.

It’s a volunteer position but at the end of the day it is a job that I hold as a high priority every year and even though it can prove to be a stressful month, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I have on numerous accounts talked about moving out of this city and every time it boils down to the pros and cons, being a Niagara ML comes up and ultimately keeps me here. If you enjoy NaNoWriMo, and running events and making new friends you might enjoy being an ML. There are a lot of regions that are lacking liaisons or looking for second ones, depending on how big the area is, so check out your regional pages and see. I know that personally, NaNoWriMo reached out to let me know that our region didn’t have anyone at the time and that’s why I applied, and that next year Christine and I were picked to be ML’s, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

mazie bones

Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters

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A few weekends ago on October 21, we were able to experience one of my favourite art exhibits that I have ever been to. We got to see the Guillermo del Toro exhibition called At Home With Monsters at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Being big fans of his work, we were seriously so thrilled to be able to look at his collection of art, props, and literature. You may know him as the director of Pans Labyrinth, Crimson Peaks, Hellboy 1 and 2 and so many others. As a huge fan of gothic literature as well as prop and set design, and traditional special FX, I jumped on this exhibit as soon as it was announced.

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We spent the hour, wandering through this maze of set concepts, storyboards, pieces from his personal collection as well as actual props from his movies, like the actual jacket that Hellboy wore, and all of the guns and weapons he uses in the film! I couldn’t keep my composure at all. Seeing his work up close was so inspiring to me. He is a true creative, and a lover of literature and is just constantly coming up with new and even creepier things.

He had two rooms dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe, one of my favourite gothic poets, and H.P Lovecraft, one of my all-time favourite authors. The rooms housed what I think were first editions of some of their publications and life-sized sculptures of each writer, in a setting that made sense to their history. Edgar sat reading in front of a window, looking out at the rain, and Lovecraft stood in a room where a live pianist played. It was truly such an insane day trip. I wish we could have stayed there forever.

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There was a wide variety of art installations, like a huge and iconic Frankenstein head that hung from the wall, projection poetry on the dark walls in the hallways, and a strange shadow perspective box where you could either see a young boy or a creepy figure depending on which way you looked at it. At one point we turned out of a room that was dedicated to the collection of all things occult, and into a room that was completely lined in cartoons, from floor to ceiling! It really was an experience that I can imagine ever having again. I went with the perfect people, my partner and his step-dad, both really big fans and appreciators of Guillermo del Toro.

Our day was wrapped up with a walk through the Canzine Market that took place downstairs in the museum, and then lunch at Momofuku, my favourite ramen place ever.

mazie bones

Plan and Wine Meet Up

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Two weekends ago I was able to spend an awesome afternoon with a super inspiring group of women! If you are unfamiliar with the online planner community, you might want to do a little bit of homework before reading this post! The coles notes version though: There is a huge online community full of people who love planners, getting organized and being bosses in their careers/lives! I’ve been a part of the online community for about 3 or 4 years now, but I’ve been meeting with this Ontario Planner Girl group for a little over one year! Every time we see each other it’s more fun than the last time! We’ve had holiday themed meet ups, we’ve had Michael’s workshop style, even a Tim Hortons/Boston Pizza meet up, and a couple weekends ago we met up at a beautiful restaurant in Niagara On The Lake called The Old Winery Restaurant. Everything about the afternoon was completely amazing!

I have some pictures from the event, not all of them are mine, One of them was taken by Sunshine from The Crafters Marketplace and some of them are from Rachel-Anne, and Rachel (Who puts together all of our amazing events!)
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And since I love to support these beautiful and inspirational women, here are some links to their shops or instagrams! (If I haven’t included your links, its because I haven’t heard from you yet, if you want your links posts, please facebook me or respond to my post in our event page)

Ontario Planner Girls:
Shannon – www.etsy.com/ca/shop/shannonjanine
Romessa – www.etsy.com/shop/blanketplanner
Rachel – www.instagram.com/hellomsrachel/
Sarah – www.instagram.com/__sarsi__/
Andrea – www.instagram.com/yoga_with_andrea/
Sunshine – www.facebook.com/craftersmarketplacemanila/

It was a super amazing afternoon, and I actually can’t wait for our next one!
Thanks for the awesome day ladies!

mazie bones

 

Fall Bucket List Update: Howell’s Pumpkin Farm

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A couple weeks ago Andrea and I crossed another activity off of our Fall Bucket List. We finally went to Howell’s Pumpkin farm! For those of you not in the Niagara region, Howell’s is a beautiful family own activity farm, that opens up every fall for some super spooky halloween fun! There are animals, wagon rides, all kinds of neat displays, and a spook barn! And don’t forget these delectable pumpkin donuts, the real reason I go there every year!

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Seriously they should sell these all year round! and in grocery stores! I would buy them all the time!

22751261_10155565315011013_648984892_oThis is just one of the super nifty animatronic displays! There is a video of it in action on my instagram here.

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22472147_10159354067820034_850991140_oOverall, it was an amazing trip! We managed to get through the corn maze, and the spook barn and we got a wagon ride! We didn’t get to do everything, but I’m hoping to go back to pick up some pumpkins this coming week!

Definitely check it out if you haven’t already!
What fun halloween attractions do you have near you?

mazie bones

 

 

 

Fall Bucket List Update: Balls Falls

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A few weeks ago I posted my Fall Bucket List and promised that I would be posting updates whenever I cross an item off the list! Well, here I am with that first update!

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Yesterday we attended the Balls Falls craft show! Andrea volunteers there every year and runs a vendor relief program so we decided to go and visit with her, and while we were there we got to check out a lot of awesome makers, food, beer and just overall autumn fun.

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When we were driving out, the weather was super cold and rainy and I was super bummed about it, so we made a pitstop for umbrellas and better shoes and then when we got there it was so hot and sunny we were actually sweating, (in regards to my outfit, definitely fashion over function).

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After we were done at the festival we went up to visit my parents, they don’t live that far from there so it wasn’t out of the way. We visited and meal-prepped a bunch, I think roughly 25 mini freezer shepherd’s pies so that we don’t have to stress about dinners during NaNoWriMo. We didn’t get to visit for long, but we’ll be able to catch up more on Monday for my family’s Thanksgiving.

As for today (Thanksgiving Sunday), we’re having our very first turkey dinner. It will be my first time cooking a turkey, though it’s from a pre-cooked turkey kit, it still needs to be stuffed, and put in the over and all the other dishes need to be made too. It’s a good first turkey, hard to mess up, and I’m pretty excited about it.

So happy I got to spend some quality time with some of my favourite people yesterday. Seriously feeling so thankful for all the positive people in my life right now.

What are you thankful for?
mazie bones

 

 

Etsy Launch, Navi and Why I Haven’t Posted

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It’s been a hot minute since I posted last. A couple days at least, which is rough for someone who said she was going to post EVERY week day. I was so enthusiastic about the blog earlier this week, Monday specifically. But then our little fur babies kind of threw a wrench in my plans.

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It has been kind of a rough couple months for our 3-year-old rescue baby, Navi. But to be honest, it has been kind of a rough go ever since I found her. Over the past 3 years, it has kind of been a veterinary roller coaster. Between food allergies, broken ribs, ulcers, and now a scratched cornea, we’ve been through it all with this kitty baby. I finally got caught up paying off all the vet expenses from her issues last year, but now it’s getting a little more serious.

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Over the span of just this past month, I feel like we have spent more time at the vet with her than we have in her entire lifetime. She has been dropping weight drastically, vomiting blood, and just constantly gagging. And now, after the past couple days, it looks like the vet bill is about to get 5x larger.

Navi is having some serious intestinal issues that are calling for all kinds of testing and scans, services that I’m having a hard time budgeting for at the moment. As a way of hopefully making some extra money for her vet expenses, I have created the “For Navi” line in my Etsy shop and my Redbubble shop. I’ve got a few different designs available in prints (4×6) and stickers, as well as digital versions and custom options for your own kitty babies!

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Numerous friends have told me to start a GoFundMe account for her since the expenses keep stacking up, but I’d much rather feel like I’m working for the money, or earning it in some way! If the shop doesn’t take off the way we are hoping it might, then I might eventually start a fundraising page, but I’m hoping it doesn’t get to that point.

All money made from the sale of these products will go towards getting her healthy again. When we have enough funds to cover her vet bills, all extra money made from the sales of this line will go to our local animal shelter which helped us with her when we first found her, to help them rescue more fur babes!

If you aren’t able to help financially or aren’t really a cat person (but seriously what are you doing here then?! Just kittens!) that is completely fine and super understandable, but maybe consider sharing the link to this post, or the link to my shop with someone who might be interested! It would seriously mean so much to us.

We all want to thank you, from the bottom of our (sometimes fluffy) hearts for keeping our little fur/no fur family in your thoughts! I seriously love all of you and your fur babes so much!

I’ll be back with more posts soon I promise! Thanks for being patient with me while I take care of our little Navi buns!

mazie bones