NaNo Day 25: The Meaning of “cavyheart”

At the beginning of the month I said I’d eventually explain what my NaNoWriMo username, “cavyheart,” means. I use this username or variations of it for pretty much everything, and it’s kind of really random and weird, so I figured I should give some back story on it.

At this point in time, “cavyheart” is basically just an inside joke with some of my writing friends, harkening back to the days when I thought that was actually an acceptable username to choose on a website–aka, the ancient and far too embarrassing year of 2007: February of seventh grade. Twelve years old. The year I joined the Scholastic’s Write It forums for teen writers (basically Figment before Figment was Figment, only more close-friends-and-community-like).

New Figment WI Group LogoPart of the Write It community involved lots of terrifying inside jokes, like threatening one another with banana poisoning if we didn’t update stories quickly enough and Larry the Man-Eating Hamster if a plot twist didn’t turn out the way a reader wanted it to. I’m not sure how the moderator of the forums put up with us, but thank God she did.

The most popular types of usernames on Write It, in 2007, combined an animal in the first half and then either “writer” or “heart” in the second half, with “writer” being the most popular. Being the analytical, pretentious little middle schooler I was, I decided to go with “heart” so that I’d be “in” but not TOO mainstream, and then it came time to choose an animal.

Other users had things like “pug,” or “cat,” or “horse.” Totally normal favorite animals to put. Me? I loved guinea pigs. I’d been obsessed with guinea pigs since the fourth grade, ever since I got over my gerbil obsession. So I wanted to do something with “guinea pig” for my username, except that that’s really long, and hey–I was a weird, pretentious little self-absorbed jerk, right? (I’d like to say “who wasn’t in middle school,” but I don’t want to implicate anyone else in the level of jerk I was, because I’m going to assume until proven otherwise that you’re a better person than me.)

If you know guinea pigs well, you know that their more formal name is “cavy.” I figured most people wouldn’t know what “cavy” meant, which meant that if I used it I would have the privilege of explaining it often to my far less sophisticated peers and thus looking uber intelligent and AWESOME (I am shuddering with revulsion as I write this).

So, I chose “cavyheart” as my username on the Scholastic’s Write It forums for teen writers. And the rest–as cliche as it sounds–is history.

The first Chapter One Young Writers Conference solely involved Write It users, so that it wouldn’t be as much pressure as we tried to figure out the whole “running a writing conference” thing. We all got t-shirts with our Write It usernames on them. This is me greeting conference attendees at the train.

Now I continue to use it because it means I get to laugh at how stupid I am and it makes it easier for my Write It friends to find me at different places on the internet. But seriously, it is REALLY weird. I’m not sure if I would go back and change it if I could, since it does do a good job of defining the little weirdo I was in middle school (not that I’m not a weirdo now, but I like to believe I’m a slightly more socially acceptable version of one), but it is a little embarrassing whenever I have to explain it to someone new. (Although hey, now I can just refer them to this blog post and avoid the whole blushing, mumbling, staring at my feet in agony bit, right?)

Have you ever had a really weird username somewhere that the majority of people didn’t understand? Any awkward, strange nicknames from when you were younger? (The people from Write It took to shortening “cavyheart” to just “Cavy,” so a fairly large group of people now know me essentially as “guinea pig.” It’s fantastic.)

Because I was up so late writing Saturday night, I was exhausted yesterday, so I only ended up writing a little under 1.5k, about half of my goal for the day. Which means that I’m behind again. But hopefully I can finish up the rest of the stuff I need to do today quickly enough that I’ll have a chance to catch up. Again.

day 25

Hope you’re having a great day!



NaNo Day 1: Blogging Every Day in November

Hey there! Today’s the first day of November, which means that it’s also the first day of National Novel Writing Month, more popularly known as NaNoWriMo.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a competition during the month of November in which you try to write the first fifty thousand words of a novel. (Or you can be a NaNo Rebel and do something else writing-related during the month. The only real requirement is that you write.)

On top of participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I’m taking on the extra challenge of blogging every day in November. This is probably a bad idea, since I’m also doing fifteen credit hours this semester (with projects, papers, and tests due in all of my classes in the next couple weeks), applying to internships and study abroad programs, figuring out housing for next year, and attempting to be a functioning human being (i.e., showering and occasionally going outdoors). But you know, the challenge is half the fun (or at least that’s what I’ll be telling myself two weeks from now when I’m ready to take a sledgehammer to my laptop).

What all this means is that you can expect one blog post a day from me, every day for the next thirty days. Wednesdays posts will continue to be Wordy Wednesdays. Probably a lot of the rest of these posts will be super short and random and poorly written. Probably you won’t want to read all of them, and that’s okay–I’m sure I wouldn’t want to read all of them either (and then, you know, there’s also that pesky having time to read them thing). But I’m doing this thing anyway, and I’m excited to have you along for the adventure.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If you are, what are you writing?

Feel free to add me to your buddy list on the website:

(Maybe the story behind my weird username can be a later blog post.)

Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 1,947



Write On Con 2012

The conference is coming! The conference is coming!

For anyone who doesn’t know, Write On Con is this super awesome annual writing conference that I adore. Wanna know why?

Okay, well I’m going to tell you anyway.

  1. It’s online. Which means that I don’t have to move my butt out of my chair to attend it.
  2. There’s this great workshopping element to the conference where you can get critique on your query letter and the opening scene of your novel and stuff.
  3. IT’S FREE. Oh my gosh it’s FREE.

As somebody who’s been blessed with the opportunity to attend more than a few writing conferences the past couple of years, I can guarantee you that it costs a lot of money to go to one. A LOT. So imagine the pure, five-year-old-on-Christmas joy I felt when I first found out about Write On Con. I swear: it was like getting a puppy.

Say hello to Sammy as a puppy. Even back then people were confusing her for a boy.

Write On Con was created a while back by some authors for the purpose of providing all the perks of attending a writing conference–sessions from publishing professionals, networking with other writers, etc–without all the cost, and they’ve stayed true to that ideal ever since. Plus, they’ve worked in ways for attendees to get lots of great feedback on the things that matter most when submitting your writing to literary agents and editors through their forums and forum events. You can even get feedback from literary agents, who snoop around during the conference as “ninja agents,” critiquing and requesting material based on what they find in the forums.

The one thing Write On Con lacks is the fun of being immersed the entire conference-straight in writing related things; eating, breathing, sleeping in the same space as other writers. But really, when it’s free, who cares?

So anyway, I’m super excited for Write On Con, and I hope you are too, because it’s a great event. Information for attending:

Who: You!

What: The biggest online writing conference ever (and it’s free!).

When: Monday, August 13th through Wednesday, August 15th


Why: Because really. If you’re a writer, and you’re breathing right now, why wouldn’t you attend?

See you at the conference! (Also: You can look me up on the forums, if you’d like.)


I am a Crazy Cat Lady

So as a brand new blogger, I feel the need to introduce myself to whomever out there might be reading this (hi Mom): My name is Julia. I am seventeen years old. And I am a crazy cat lady.


I say this not because I go around doing this, because I don’t (or at least not in public), but because – now here comes the depressing part where you all go “AWWW! THAT SUCKS!!” – my cat Jesse died a few weeks ago, and now my other cat Willy is really sick with seizures and might not live that much longer.

I found out yesterday night at around 11:00 PM and I’m currently skipping a Christmas party I really wanted to go to because I don’t want to leave him alone, because I have a massive fear of being alone, myself, thanks to an unfortunate zip lining experience in Costa Rica over the summer (word to the wise: don’t take me zip lining ever again, emphasis on the EVER). So while I have a perfectly justifiable reason to leave Willy by himself for a few hours, involving spiced cider and Christmas cookies, I just can’t make myself do it.

So instead I decided to make a blog. (Aren’t you all so happy?)

And yeah. That’s basically my intro post. Let’s recap:

  • My name is Julia.
  • I am seventeen years old.
  • I am a crazy cat lady.
  • And I am terrified of zip lines.

Such pertinent facts. 🙂

… And now that I’ve basically just rambled on and on and made a humungous fool of myself, I’m going to go back to watching cute kitten videos on Youtube.