The Blank Paper is Winning

fuck the paper

Day 12 of NaNo, and I have an embarrassingly small # of words. Which is actually fine – I’m really busy, and if I failed my tax quiz so that I could achieve a specific, round # of words by the end of the month, that would be horrible (and I would lose the job offer I recently accepted and would have to spend another winter in Michigan, which would probably literally kill me, to be honest).

Still, I hate to fail, even at arbitrary tasks that I have assigned to myself.

I really want to get to a point where I can at least see where this story is going. I kind of know where I want it to go, but it’s also taking me to unexpected places – which is awesome, because that’s exactly what you want it to do, both for you and your reader.

Anyway, I’m going to keep working. There were also a few days when I didn’t write anything, which for some reason, has failed to increase my word count (sarcasm intended). BUT I am writing more than I would otherwise, which is good. Because school is very busy, and I could literally divide all of my time between school, work, and housework – but that would make me a very dull girl. And we all know what happened to Jack (unless you both read the book & watched the Kubrick movie, in which case, what happened to Jack is very debatable).

How is everyone else’s project going?

NaNoWriMo: A Day Late & Low Word Count In

So, I didn’t write anything yesterday. But that’s okay. If I can “win” NaNo, that’s awesome, and I will probably add a bullet point to my resume, but I am really striving to find balance every day, so I’m not going to beat myself up if a “win” doesn’t occur. I’m winning by writing. (Also, I need to make time for my kid and my grad school reading/schoolwork/etc.)

winning

Anyway, let’s talk writing.

One of the big things I always struggle with, is what to name my characters. I now realize that there is an entire NaNo forum dedicated to what to name things, but, in addition to that resource, I generally find myself using baby name sites. A resource I have used this year is the 25 best-loved baby names. This site is particularly helpful, because I knew that I wanted some popular names for a couple of my characters, due to the nature of those characters.

I hope everyone else’s first 2 days of NaNo went relatively well! Please, share your favorite writing resource in the comments below:

Please to comment below.

Please to comment below.

Fighting While Proofreading: Spaces & Periods

I’m not the best writer, and the American school system did not do a great job of explicating the technicalities of grammar. But the few obscurer grammar rules that I think I’ve managed to ascertain, I will fight about until a Google search proves me either correct or incorrect.

One such fight erupted recently between my boyfriend and I whilst he was proofreading my essays for graduate school applications. Specifically, the fight concerned how many spaces to place between the period marking the end of one sentence, and the beginning of the next sentence.

I said you only need one space; he said you need two.

Proofreading...

Proofreading…

The resulting Google search yielded this link, which tells you that – drum roll, please –

The recommendation is ONE space.

I love being right.

You SUCK! not a love story

For those of you who read my title, and immediately ascertained the Christopher Moore reference, congratulations! You get 10 points. Towards what, I’m not sure, but it seems like you’re on your way to winning.

Moore, ftw! (Did I use that slang right?) #gettingold

Moore, ftw! (Did I use that slang right?) #gettingold

So this post is about on-site interviewing. I was recently invited to an office interview for a Big Four Accounting Firm in downtown Detroit, which was an amazing opportunity that ended in rejection.

reject

I knew the chance of my being accepted was small, because I’m not yet in a program that gives an expected graduation date, and I’m old, and I’m a mom, but it still sucks to be rejected.

Okay,  moping over.

Okay, moping over.

On the positive side of the situation, it is a great opportunity just to be invited to an on-site interview. It means that the initial, on-campus interview went well, that you get to see the office environment you are considering for employment at its’ best (it is, after all, recruiting day), and you get practice interacting with the business professionals you will one day call your peers. Since you would prefer for your visit to end with a happier result than mine, however, I thought I would share my thoughts on important things to keep in mind for on-site interviews:

  • If you are being hotel-ed for the night, make sure that you pack your bag the night before you leave. If you are a breastfeeding new mom, don’t forget your breast pump! The nearby drugstore will not have one available for purchase (trust me, I tried).

dtwdt_phototour19

  • Bring along mints to freshen your breath, especially if you are being served some type of food. Pizza and onion-y good food is often served, and you do not want to feel like “pizza-breath” all day.
Having fresh breath helps you feel more prepared - or, at least, not gross.

Having fresh breath helps you feel more prepared – or, at least, not gross.

  • If at all possible, get a full night’s rest the night before your interviews.
La_Belle_au_Bois_Dormant_-_Sixth_of_six_engravings_by_Gustave_Doré

Seriously – how cool is this Sleeping Beauty pic I found? Also – get enough sleep!

  • Avoid filler words such as “um,” “like,” etc. Practice speaking, and conscientiously try to pause and think before giving a response. It’s an interview, not a race – you don’t get points for getting through the questions as quickly as possible.
I'm sorry, Mr. Owl - you used the wrong interview strategy. (Though you're super cute.)

I’m sorry, Mr. Owl – you used the wrong interview strategy. (Though you’re super cute.)

  • If you are a new mom, bring a shirt that you can fully button, to avoid any possible cleavage mishaps if you forget your breast pump.
Avoid unintentional cleavage.

Avoid unintentional cleavage.

  • Give yourself more time to get to the interview than you think you need. When you get there excessively early, do not go to the interview site yet. Wait at the coffee shop a block away and do your homework until 15 minutes before they want you at the site.
Watch the clock; don't be too early!

Watch the clock; don’t be too early!

  • Try to be confident without being cocky.
No one likes a cock-y person.

No one likes a cock-y person.

  • For the love of peanut butter, do not forget your breast pump! Seriously – being uncomfortable, and feeling like your breasts are enormous while trying to interview is not a fun task. I would wish it on my worst enemy, but not many others.
Forget it, and you'll regret it!

Forget it, and you’ll regret it!

Those are some tips gleaned from my recent interview experience! Any other tips/tricks/jokes I should hear? Or better yet – are you looking for an accounting intern this winter (*wink,wink*)?

The Obligatory Image Attributions from people who are totally awesome & let you use their pics for free:

By Karlavasquez16 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga Commons)(Lmbuga Galipedia)  Publicada por/Publish by: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-es (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/es/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons