Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Festivities and Advent Calendars

December 1 is a mere twelve minutes away, so I felt that it was time to update this blog again! November was a heck of a month. Gooligan and I are settled in after our mad dash around Europe, on the job hunt, doing odd work where we can find it, and trying to take advantage of our copious amounts of free time by enjoying the holidays this year. 

In between tutoring and a part-time internship writing online petitions, I've been wrapping up my last semester of graduate school. December is going to be a big month for me school-wise. There's all the standard work that the end of any semester entails (turning in my last packet, preparing for workshop by reading everyone's stories and writing comments on them), but there's a lot of additional work, too. I have to turn in my creative thesis, which includes 140 pages of my polished fiction. It's pretty exciting, though.

This past month, Gooligan and I also competed in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and I'm proud to say that we both won! As of just a few hours ago, we both hit our goals. Gooligan, who has never written a novel before, wrote 50,000 words over the course of the month. I pushed myself a little bit, and wrote 80,000 words--and finished the first draft of my third novel.

I'm glad that we both did NaNoWriMo this year because it was incredibly fun to participate in a creative venture together. I am excited for Gooligan to edit and let me read her novel, since I think it sounds amazing. But I am also glad that I accomplished my goal this month, because in about five weeks I'm going to graduate with my MFA, and ideally I'd love to be able to work on getting something published while editing something else while generating new writing (either short stories or novels). 

While writing is my main creative pursuit, I enjoy a good craft day as much as anyone else. I stumbled across an amazing post on the Etsy Blog with a free template to make an advent calender of trees! Paper crafts aren't my strong suit, but I had everything I needed to make them: lots of different light card-stock paper and a scoring tool, so I went ahead and made them!

These are the first twelve lined up on the window sill in the dining room. The templates include three separate sizes. I decided to mix things up a little and include some pattern card-stock in addition to plain tree colors.

Since Gooligan and I are still looking for consistent full-time work, I'm working with a limited budget, but I've already filled the first seven trees with free and/or inexpensive items (date ideas, coupons, tiny trinkets). While I would love to give Gooligan everything her heart wishes for, my goal for this advent calendar is to let Gooligan know how much I appreciate her on a daily basis by doing activities together that we both love, trying new activities, and anything else that celebrates our common values/interests.

I plan on updating this blog each day for the next 24 days to let you know how it goes.


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