Why NaNoWriMo Has It Right

Why NaNoWriMo Has It Right

Why this organization should be near the top of your donation list
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This past Saturday (November 4th), I donated to my favorite organization of all time, National Novel Writing Month. This was part of their Double-Up Donation Day, for which they raised over $112,000! (I'm writing this on the actual Saturday, so I don't know the final number yet, but it should be on their homepage).

I know I've talked about NaNo a lot, (like here... and here... and here...) but it's for a good reason (for a LOT of reasons, actually). Ever since I first joined the site in 2010, I have consistently written with them three times a year, always able to meet my goals and always ready to tell every living creature in sight about it.

Firstly, at its core, NaNoWriMo empowers writers. Before November 2010, I hadn't been able to type 'The End' on any original project over 30,000 words. Since then, I've written it 18 times, all for 50,000+ word novels. If it weren't for NaNoWriMo, I wouldn't have developed a real desire for writing as a young teen, which would never have exploded into a true passion in high school. Consequently, I would never have gone to college for Writing Communications. I would never have graduated, never have freelanced and never have gotten a full-time job as an English TA. (I'm still working on the publishing bit, but the good stuff takes time).

Basically: I kinda owe everything I have to NaNo.

This is what NaNoWriMo is all about. They're nonprofit, meaning they offer writers all over the world a chance to meet their goals for free. Throughout November, they send participants daily emails ("Pep Talks") with tips from professional, published authors just so participants can find extra motivation. They also host virtual Write-Ins (livestream YouTube videos) so writers can write together with organized prompts and sprints, and just have the chance to collaborate with people who are tackling the same challenges.

Additionally, they host the Young Writer's Program, something for which I am so grateful and of which I am most impressed. The NaNoWriMo staff provide FREE materials to classrooms and give young writers the chance to flourish as writers and advance their skills and passions. This is one of the single greatest things about NaNo, period. Speaking as someone who discovered my love for writing as a kid, seeing young people actually getting respect for their creativity gives me hope for the future. And now that I understand how hard it can be for teachers/instructors to give kids these chances, knowing that NaNo does it without charging a thing is astonishing.

Finally, NaNo gets the community involved. Their Come Write In program links libraries, bookstores and other locations to give people places to meet and write together. They create places for writers to build groups, to feel connected and to have a place just to create together. This organization cares about their participants so much, they're willing to actually cultivate their communities into better, more creative places.

This is just the bare bones. NaNoWriMo has done so much more for so many millions of people that I can't possibly fit all of it into one article. Please visit their About page to see more detailed descriptions about what they do and why it matters. If you're really moved (which I should hope you are) please Donate Now.

This organization is doing amazing things for a lot of people who otherwise may not be writers at all. Creativity is one of the few good things humanity has. I, for one, will always give support to people who make it a priority, and of these, NaNoWriMo will always be first and foremost.

Cover Image Credit: George Becker

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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6 Things I Never Miss To Have In My Handbag

My handbag is a 'mini me' and I feel totally clueless without it

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I take my handbag everywhere and carried everything at times even junk, worn out receipts, tickets, coupons for a long time. Thought it would be the right time to come to terms with it. I have started organizing or should I say customize my shoulder companion with things that are needed every day for me so that I could share it with you peeps. I really like my handbag that I became a sucker for naming it and you can see it why.

My Nutcracker Case

It might seem different but that is how I like to call my cute little box with nuts. I fill them up with almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnut and dried fruits and sorts if I go out. My nutcracker case helps me with my hunger pangs and snacking habit. I can munch them on when I have to skip my eating during my studies or if I have some work or travel. It is just a simple healthy alternative I do instead of grabbing fries or burgers. I've been taking healthy choices lately and this idea is helping me a lot. Try it!

My Perfume

I literally cannot survive without my perfume. It keeps me going and it really helps me on the go. My perfume is like a part of me so I am very choosy about it. So that said, I always keep my perfume in my handbag. How do I choose my perfume? My nose has a sharp sensitivity over the fragrances. So it says, what is the best perfume for women.

My Tech Space

I use to put up a fight every time with my handbag in the name of searching for my charger and headphones. So I gave it a thought. My favorite clear pouch came to the rescue and I gave it a name, my Tech Space. I carry my two headphones, my power bank, pen drives, travel phone charger, memory cards, and USB connector within the Tech space!

Money Banks

Well you would have figured it out by now. Yes, it's my wallet . Something I would never miss to have. I do have a separate small coin pouch. I am not a big wallet person so I always prefer a small comfortable wallet with many racks where I put my cards and ready-cash. I don't just put my wallet in my bag; I specifically have them in a zipped compartment. Once I had a bad experience when I left my wallet in the room due to 'bag cleaning'. So from then on, I started to put my wallet in a separate zipped compartment, so that it remains safe even when I occasionally take out the bag.

My Journal

I am still an old school. I will better remember the details when I manually write it down. My journal is also my 'To-Do list' so I pretty much use it for everything. I carry a fountain pen with me which I use, so pretty much I am a very old school indeed.

Vanity

I stash all my skin essentials in this pouch. I will have a small bottle of my daily-facewash, a pack of facial tissues, my moisturizer, a concealer, small mirror and a light lip shade, overall a quick makeup fix. I have a side compartment in my vanity pouch where I keep my sanitary needs. I need my lip balm very often, so I usually put it the bag so every time I don't have to open the pouch.

When you ask me, my bag is more like a non-talking companion who literally has a small version of my room in it. What about yours?

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