Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for January 2012

I’m an introvert and I’m proud of it

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There are two books I’m dying to read, once I’ve finished my library books and can reserve them, or once I can purchase them.

One is The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

The other is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

At UMD, I took a tutor training course as part of a requirement for volunteering as a writing tutor in the Tutoring Center. As part of the class, we took the Myers-Briggs personality test. I scored as an INTP. A couple years earlier, I’d taken it in Freshman Comp, and I’d been an INFP. That’s because the opposing items (Thinking & Feeling) in this case, are scored on a scale, and I’m pretty much in the middle on that one. For the Introvert vs. Extrovert one, though, I’m aaaallll the way over on the scale for introvertedness. There’s barely a scrap of my personality that leans to the extroverted side. One of the discussions we had in class was about one of the big differences between Introverts and Extroverts: to “recharge”, or relax, Introverts need to spend time alone, while Extroverts like to socialize to recharge. That doesn’t mean we don’t like socializing, it’s just that for us, socializing drains our energy, and we need a break sometimes.

I’ve been thinking a lot about being introverted lately and how much energy I’m drained of by working in a school setting. Not only am I with kids all day, having to be “on”, I’m also coordinating and supervising volunteers, training them, communicating with parents and teachers, and more. Luckily, for my introverted self, email has become the way of the future and I can do most of my communicating in that introvert-friendly way. However, I am so tired after pretending to be an extrovert all day every day! I firmly believe I can learn any skill I need to learn to be good at a job (it’s how I roll), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t tire me out to learn the social things that don’t come naturally to me. But then, I happen to be at that point in my year of service with AmeriCorps where many people experience a “mid-year slump,” and have been fretting over whether I should continue on for another year of being paid next to nothing in exchange for being able to make a difference and awesome job experience.

So, I’m excited to read these books to reaffirm my personality type in this world that values so many extroverted traits. I’ve also enjoyed this article, 10 Myths About Introverts for telling me how awesome I am for being an introvert.

Here is a picture, because I like how cool my blog looks on iPads when there is a picture that goes with every post. Tashi decided to lay where the sun was shining. That spot just also happened to be on my notebook.



Written by nikkinbird

January 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Sleep on the couch day

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This is pretty much what I look like right now:


Written by nikkinbird

January 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm

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Chris’s sweater almost complete!

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I’m getting closer to done on Chris’s sweater. I shouldn’t really say “almost complete”, because the sleeves will take longer than they seem like they would. Here he is trying it on yesterday after I bound off on the bottom. We determined, however, that it was just a couple inches too short, so I had to rip back and am currently knitting a couple more inches before beginning the ribbing again. It may seem demoralizing to have to rip out hours’ worth of work and start over, but this is a fact of life for a knitter. Or at least, I’ve accepted that it is, and the acceptance has made my knitting life better. Yes, it may suck, but it’s nothing to get upset about. If anything, I’m just getting even more enjoyment out of my yarn. $50 in wool yarn (and that’s inexpensive as far as nice wool goes) keeping me entertained for well over 50 hours seems like a good investment to me.

(Yes, we still have our Christmas tree up. We got it late, and we never got to actually putting decorations on it because we were so busy, so we’re enjoying the cheerful lights a little while longer. I suppose February might have to be the cutoff huh?)

To rip back, I used the needles to pick up one leg of each stitch around the sweater (see below). Then, with the needles in place where I wanted them, all I had to do was rip, rip, rip! I didn’t have to worry about how far I was going, or catching the live stitches with the needles again. It just stopped unraveling when it got to the needles 🙂 Well, I shouldn’t make it sound so simple. There were a couple of spots where I picked up a stitch from the wrong row, and the yarn stopped unraveling even though there were still live stitches that needed to be pulled back. I got it with some shifting of stitches back and forth on the needles, though. I’m excited to start the sleeves, and equally excited to know that, despite the initial length, the sweater seems to be the right size. Now I just have to find out where I have my size 6 double pointed needles for the sleeves.

Project details:
Pattern: Incredible Custom-fit Raglan Sweater
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic Heathers
Needles: Size 6


Written by nikkinbird

January 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Rough draft complete! Look!

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Last night I spent most of the night doing this:


Why I chose to take this long and torturous approach to making flashcards, I’m not sure, except that the answers show through the printer paper, and I couldn’t find the printable sheet of double sided flashcards I’d used at the beginning of the year. These will be very pretty, at least. I still have to laminate them, too. Whew.

But on to the real subject of this post, look!


Look at that stack of paper!

Look at it again! Now in its pretty binder.


It’s my finished rough draft of my novel. It even has an ending that makes some kind of sense. Even though it’s only a rough draft, and far from finished, it’s still a finished novel! This is a first for me. I’ve started stories before, and I’ve done NaNoWriMo before and made it to 50,000 words, but I’d never actually finished the story. I’m excited to revise it, and fix everything that needs fixing, but for now I’m going to follow the oft-repeated advice of taking a break between drafts. Have a nice rest, novel!

p.s. I forgot to mention that I printed them double sided. So, if you think about it, it’s actually double that amount of pages. Just sayin’.

Written by nikkinbird

January 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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Another ice photo

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I forgot one! There were a few photos still hanging out on my phone that I hadn’t uploaded to flickr yet when I posted. The flickr iPhone app has two steps that require me to click before they upload, and I forgot to tap the button the second time. This photo is a closer version of the waterfall in the first picture in my previous post.


Written by nikkinbird

January 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm

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Cool ice on Tischer Creek

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I haven’t walked on the trail near our house for awhile because of how icy it’s been. The weather keeps alternating between warm and cold, causing lots of thick, smooth ice everywhere. Today, I walked down the hill on the roads, and came back up on the trail. It’s harder to slip when you’re walking up a hill than down, so I wasn’t as afraid to bring the dog that way!

I took some iPhone pictures of the cool ice over the creek. You can hear the water running under it. This is the section of trail alongside Tischer creek between 4th street going up to St. Marie St/Vermilion Rd.

Written by nikkinbird

January 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Being busy and making kids cry

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Today was just one of those days. In the two separate half hour chunks of time I had to get things done, I couldn’t do it all, and felt pulled in so many different directions. Then I finally reached the home stretch. I prepared little baggies of goldfish for afterschool classes. I checked in all the kids for Homework Club, then marched them up to my room instead of the Library, because I’d forgotten that a staff meeting was using it today. Finally, to top it all off, I made two kids cry during homework club, one of whom was still crying when his mom came to pick him up. I felt horrible. And I still have about 5 different things I’d like to have done by tomorrow, which I’m not going to do tonight because my head feels like it’s going to explode.

On top of that, the Destination Imagination tournament is coming up fast (on March 10) and in trying to schedule extra meeting times for the teams, I’m seeing just how few calendar weeks are left for these kids to work on their projects, which they’ve barely started. I also had hoped that none of my teams would make it to the state tournament, because the fees get expensive. I found out, though, that one of the teams is almost guaranteed to go to state, because they are the only elementary team to pick the challenge category they’re in! So they are competing against noone and will advance by default!

Here is a picture that I like:

Written by nikkinbird

January 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

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