Thursday, November 30, 2006

Woooo! 30,000!

You'll note that today is the last day of November, and here I am writing here. People who are finishing their novels by midnight tonight aren't writing on their blogs today, I can assure you. So that's the deal: my novel is lovely and messy and possibly interesting, but it is not 50,000 words long, or even close to it.

It's mildly upsetting to me, not finishing, but it's also a relief to not have to think about it any more. I never really settled into a rhythm--so necessary for high-volume writing--and, admittedly, there were times when I just plain blew my novel off to go to the movies or do something else. I spent a lot of my writing time on Cinema Hype, which is as it should be, but then I didn't always have the time or the brain power for 1,667 words of fiction. I feel a little like a wash-out from Top Gun, or something, but then I'm also just looking forward to the day when I can sit in front of the TV and knit or maybe write Christmas cards without experiencing novel guilt (i.e. tomorrow).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Haiku Friday and more

November has been rough on this blog; Cinema Hype and my novel (and, well, life) are keeping me plenty busy. I hate to neglect this blog, since I've grown kind of attached to it, but the rest of November may be a little sparse as well. I'll be back full-force in December.

But anyway, there's no skipping out on Haiku Friday! My Friday-night dilemma:

Housewarming party?
Or Paul Newman in The Sting
at the Paramount?

The answer: Both, maybe.

In other news, The Novel is coming along; I've fallen behind a fair bit in terms of volume, but I had a major revelation last night in the car that may well save my story and my word count. It's hard to write prolifically when your protagonist is boring, and when your plot seems so far away--there's nothing to say. I've decided that I need to use a non-linear structure, so I can cut to the chase more easily, and I also gave one of my characters a sudden sex change (my hotel maid is now a non-English-speaking handyman). I'm suddenly feeling much better about this, and planning to dig in and get some work done this weekend. 50,000 words shall be mine! I think. I hope.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Haiku Friday; Life Update

Quick, before I head off to Mount Hermon for the weekend:

It's Haiku Friday!

Days off are the bread
and butter of the writer/


Current NaNo word count: 12,018, which places me a little behind, but I discovered this morning that I'm ahead of where I was on this day last year. Not bad. Week Two is the toughest week of the month--it's where most people drop out--but I think my novel is actually going to get exponentially more interesting (I hesitate to use the word "better") in the next few days. I'm still excited, though I need to find places to write that aren't on my couch, just for sanity's sake.

I had a long post about voting and Democracy planned, but I've been too busy with NaNo and Cinema Hype to actually type it out. I'd still ideally like to write it one of these days, but the gist is this: regardless of my political beliefs, I am so pleased to live in a nation where the right to change that nation is built into the infrastructure. Representative Democracy isn't the only system out there, and maybe it's not ideal for everyone, but I am proud to have cast my vote on Tuesday. More later, in my "free time." (That was a joke.)

So: Alive and kicking; just trying not to replace my brain with my laptop.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nineteen down; 49,981 to go

Today is November 1, and I feel like writing a book. Good thing, too, since as of 12:01 this morning, it's National Novel-Writing Month, and I'm participating! By midnight on November 30, my mission is to have written a 50,000-word novel on the subject of my choice. It doesn't have to be good, and it doesn't have to really make much sense, and there can be plot-holes if I so desire, but: 50,000 words. November 30. Midnight.

I got up a few minutes early this morning and wrote a sentence, for ceremonial purposes. I couldn't handle the idea that we would be nearly a whole day into NaNoWriMo--I've seriously been looking forward to this since, like, January--and I would have a word count of zero. So I opened a new file on my laptop, typed 19 words, saved the file, and shut down. I feel so much better, though. Staring at my blank screen for an hour is not on my schedule for this evening. Also, only 1,648 words to go before I meet today's word quota!

I did this last year, and finished ("won," in NaNo terminology). Just so you all know, 50,000 words is a lot of words. It translates to a total of about 175 pages, or 1,667 words per day, if you try to cram them all into one month. It's one of those things that not only sounds crazy, it is crazy. But at the end, you have a novel, or a draft of a novel, or at least something you can say that you worked really hard on.

And anyway, it's fun, in its own mildly masochistic kind of way. I get to hang out in cafes with my laptop, get together with other NaNoers for write-ins, tell people I'm "working on my novel," and....well, I get to write. Because I really do love to write, and much of the time, the hardest part is just sitting down and doing it. Having a ridiculous, temporary challenge just lights a fire under me. I even have a few friends who are participating this year (including my office-mate, which means our cube is going to be a beacon of joy and philanthropy by the end of the month). It's exciting.

I'm sure this won't be my last post on this topic, either moaning about or doing the happy dance when I'm done. Anyway, I'm gonna go write now.


Halloween: Check.

I dressed up as Betty Crocker--that's a homemade pumpkin-praline cake, half-eaten, that I'm holding--which was actually just kind of an excuse to wear a crinoline and heels and pearls for a day, and also to say "crinoline" as often as possible:

Honestly, my favorite part of Halloween is handing out candy, but living in a locked apartment building as I do, that's not part of my routine these days. Instead, I went to choir practice and then to Heather and Erik's house on Treasure Island to hang out and eat homemade applesauce while Erik set out flaming jack-o-lanterns (courtesy of rolls of toilet paper dipped in kerosene). His level of comfort around flaming/exploding things is admirable, or nerve-wracking, or both.

Also, as a kid, did anyone else's teachers tell them not to eat apples from trick-or-treating, because they might have razor blades in them? Apparently, there's never been a documented case of someone giving razor blade-spiked apples to children. However, as far as I can tell, the myth persists (not that it's a good idea to eat non-wrapped trick-or-treat food anyway, but who gives apples to trick-or-treaters anyway?). What a strange idea to put into kids' heads.

And's November! Where did that come from? Scarf weather and pumpkin food and a couple of holidays coming up: all good things. And yet, I'm not ready.