Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 30

Way to go, Invisible Lizard and KCGator!

Both of you beat me to 50,000 words this year, well done! Only someone who's gone through NaNoWriMo really knows what a challenge it is to write on a daily/almost daily basis despite everything else going on in their lives.

Good luck, Logician! You can do it! You only need 9000 words by midnight!

(Update - Congrats on reaching 50,000 words Logician! Did you write 9000 words today, or have you been sneakily writing without updating the word count online?)

I have it lucky in that I have quite a bit of free time - which means I have no reason other than laziness not to keep writing until this novel is finished. At a guess, there are probably another 30,000 words to be written before it's finished.

Day 30 - Total Words Written: 50,036

Words Left To Be Written: 0!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 29

I crawled out of bed at 7:30, not long after Cindy left for work. I took my morning walk in the delicious 49 degrees outdoors, had breakfast, washed the sheets and pillowcases, sprayed and cleaned the oven with noxious oven cleaner, then unloaded, loaded, and started the dishwasher.

Now it's 9am, time for a little online play before getting to the work of word count. Only today and tomorrow left for NaNoWriMo? This month flew by. I pledge to keep writing beyond November until the book is done!!

Day 29 - Total Words Written: 48,400

Words Left To Be Written: 1,600

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 28

It's now 10:30pm. I got home from a half day of work and the other half hanging out with friends about an hour ago, and I have yet to write a single word today.

The call of the warm and snuggly wife in the cozy and comfy bed is hard to resist.

Despite the temptation I need to get today's word count knocked out - the thought of having twice the writing to do tomorrow is not an appealing one, as it would take me a good four hours to accomplish. It would be four hours spread out throughout the day, which means it would take over my whole Sunday. No no no, so here I go.


I finished literally at 11:58 with a surprising minimum of distraction. Not too shabby.

Day 28 - Total Words Written: 46,719

Words Left To Be Written: 3,281

Friday, November 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 27

Well it's the day after Thanksgiving, which means 2009 is over, though it does not realize it yet. The Friday after turkey day is like the Sunday afternoon of the weekend - Monday and 2010 looms.

A new scene popped into my head last night, and for a change it involves neither smoothies nor cars. Well there is some travel but I skip it.

Re-reading a scene I wrote many days ago, I just discovered that one of my characters is a smoker - Oops. Maybe they're trying to quit?

Day 27 - Total Words Written: 45,239

Words Left To Be Written: 4,761

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 26

I'm some kind of crazy person - I got up at 5:30 on Thanksgiving to exercise and get the majority of my word count out of the way before we have to start cleaning and cooking. Who does that??


A good day was had with the in-laws, yummy food and dessert were nommed, (big thanks go to Cindy!) and I'm finished with my daily word count by 9pm. Not too shabby.

Day 26 - Total Words Written: 43,400

Words Left To Be Written: 6,600

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 25

Aw shoot. I just realized that my novella is crap. It's mostly people driving from place to place, making quirky observations, being clever, and sipping smoothies.

While this would be a fun way to spend an evening, I can't imagine it would hold the reader's interest for more than a page or two. I might need to come up with a plot of some sort. Yes, this seems like a good time for a plot, now that we only have five days left...

Day 25 - Total Words Written: 41,722

Words Left To Be Written: 8,278

Yo Mama

"Yo mama is so fat, she doesn't digest food; it's spaghettified."

Spaghettification: In astrophysics, spaghettification is the stretching of objects into long thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong gravitational field, and is caused by extreme tidal forces. In the most extreme cases, near black holes, the stretching is so powerful that no object can withstand it, no matter how strong its components are.

The word spaghettification comes from an example given by Stephen Hawking in his book A Brief History of Time, where he describes the flight of a fictional astronaut who, passing within a black hole's event horizon, is "stretched like spaghetti" by the gravitational gradient (difference in strength) from head to toe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 24

Well I've done it again - here it is 9:15pm and I haven't written a single word yet - very similar to the situation I was in on Day 20.

I've welcomed my Darling Cindy home from a very long day of work, then sequestered her in the bedroom, lest her cute snugglyness distract my typey efforts. More later.


I'm back. All right, not too bad - it took 2 hours. A quick trip was taken, memories reflected, setting reinforced - a good scene!

Day 24 - Total Words Written: 40,031

Words Left To Be Written: 9,969

Monday, November 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 23

Today proved to be the frustrating day I wasn't looking forward to over my short one day weekend.

When will customers learn that I can teach them how a software program works, but not how to think? I try to teach them to think, but I'm afraid they've missed something vital during a developmental stage, around age 3.

Writing was anemic today - perhaps I should have been writing a huge fight scene between the customers characters (I actually typed that Freudian slip), but I'm not at that point of the story yet. Also, I didn't think of it.

Day 23 - Total Words Written: 38,535

Words Left To Be Written: 11,465

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 22

Today was a blah Sunday. I worked yesterday, and I need to be to work early tomorrow.

It was a dreary, rainy, stormy day and we had to unplug the electronics in the middle of a productive computing period - Cindy was working on work stuff, I on NaNoWriMo from the coziness of our side-by-side desks. Even the cat was doing her part.

I put down a very necessary scene, which ended up as mostly dialogue with very little description. I'll need to go back later and flesh it out, which is usually what I consider a writing warm-up task.

Good luck, my fellow NaNoWriMo'ers!

Congratulations to KCGator (here I mutter a curse in Chinese), who finished her 50,000 word count last night!

Day 22 - Total Words Written: 37,704

Words Left To Be Written: 12,296

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 21

Er... I don't know what happened. I somehow got carried away and wrote 2,387 words today. Yes, it does seem so. I did the math three times.

I had to work today (boo!) but only a 4 hour shift (still necessitating an hour and a half total commute, boo!). Work went fine - really we're just a cleaning team on Saturdays, with limited interactions with clients (yay!).

I tapped out about 700 words this morning, and then somehow, in the midst of not really wanting to write this evening, I got into a whole 1,687 word scene that was never meant to exist, and now we have conspiracy, adultery, espresso and high art danish. Okay then.

Day 21 - Total Words Written: 36,009

Words Left To Be Written: 13,991

(Cindy hates odd numbers, and will no doubt say to me "You couldn't have written ONE MORE WORD?")

"Nope." I'll say. "The scene ended."

Freeway Snaps #15

Friday, November 20, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 20

I skipped my morning workout, accomplished virtually no writing during lunch, and now here I sit, at 9pm with a headache and a mouth that tastes of sinus drainage.

I just put in the first of two loads of laundry, and I have to work tomorrow. More later.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Okay it's later. My session tonight didn't start out as particularly auspicious, but I did get my word count finished by 11pm, in a way - luckily I was a bit ahead from previous days. Tomorrow I plan to be completely done by 9am.

Day 20 - Total Words Written: 33,622

Words Left To Be Written: 16,378

A Real Tree

This looks like a Halloween decoration, but it's a real tree.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 19

Cindy had a well-earned day off today, so I managed to write half today's word count this morning and the remainder during lunch.

This left my evening free to enjoy Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which is so well done and well known that I need not link to it.

I'd heard the songs before, but we watched it for the first time tonight. Great fun.

Day 19 - Total Words Written: 32,177

Words Left To Be Written: 17,823

NaNoWriMo Encouragement Day 19

Come on Invisible Lizard! You can do it! You've been ahead of the game all month.

Logician, you - unlike the great Lizard - can't do it. I'm sorry. Give up now. Should I denounce your given name, start calling you "Quitter" immediately and beat the rush? (Sighs, shakes head, sheds tear).

Everyone needs their own flavor of encouragement, I've found.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 18

I usually need a certain amount of time spent thinking about upcoming scenes before I actually have anything to say.

Lately I've been very tempted to play hooky from the thought process during my 45 minute each way commute, and instead of pondering I listen to podcasts - namely, the 'Stuff You Should Know' from (Chuck rules!).

And by tempted I mean, I listen to the podcasts rather than ponder. I have very little will power, especially if I can justify an activity as even potentially educational, which of course these podcasts are.

I wrote 200 words this morning, 1000 at lunch (an all-time record) and then around 600 tonight. Tonight was all padding, though not all of it turned out to be useless.

What would happen, I wonder - if I didn't stop writing 1667 words per day when NaNoWriMo ends, but I just keep doing it forever? I wonder this every year, but have yet to actually do it. Perhaps even 1000 words per day - that would give you a full sized novel in just over three months.

Day 18 - Total Words Written: 30,312

Words Left To Be Written: 19,688

Back Up Your NaNoWriMo!

Yeah yeah, you use some fancy mirror drive cooled with liquid helium, connected to a fiber optic network to an offshore data storage facility in a bunker deep under the Atlantic.

Take a moment to email your novella and your outline to yourself. It can't hurt, and it might help.

No, I haven't lost any data - just being cautious.

Second Breakfast

Chai Tea, a bowl of fresh cranberries, and some holiday leafies

Here's my after-breakfast snack, which I believe is known in the world of Tolkien as 'Second Breakfast'.

This just in: Fresh cranberries are vile, horrible abominations. It's a good thing I already had a big bowl of cereal with sliced bananas.

I applaud the cranberry industry for finding a way to make these bitter little pills palatable. Have you tasted the chocolate covered cranberries? To kill for.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 17

Somehow I feel as if I cheated, writing-wise today.

I wrote about a hundred words this morning, about seven hundred during lunch (yay for our little netbook!) and then about eight hundred and fifty while relaxing at Panera Bread.

The overly enthusiastic Panera worker with the LOUD battery powered carpet sweeper notwithstanding, Panera is a great place to hang and get your write on. Free wifi, and people are more laid back than at Starbucks.

This just in: Panera now offers Mac and Cheese, and it's pretty darn good.

Day 17 - Total Words Written: 28,638

Words Left To Be Written: 21,362

Eye Movement Boosts Creativity

Take a look at this article from Scientific American which suggests that scanning your vision left and right improves hemispheric communication in the brain.

Does this explain why I'm so often inspired while I'm driving to and from work? Thank goodness for my Voice Memos app.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 16

Surprisingly, 2009 has been the easiest year for this contest - perhaps because I'm picking up the story from last year's NaNoWriMo.

Today was the first day this month I really had nothing to say. My writing session this evening was a babblefest about the main character's childhood as an Army Brat in Germany.

I don't know how much of it will remain the final novel, but at least I am not behind. It would be nice to have enough of a word count to be able to take a day off, but that doesn't seem likely this month.

Day 16 - Total Words Written: 26,917

Words Left To Be Written: 23,083

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 15

Sundays can be hard on productivity because for one thing, you know you're going back to work the next day.

The Sunday urge to wile away the day in a snuggle - nap - read - tv mode is strong.

It typically takes me about two hours do pound out my word count, which I suppose means that I write about 834 words an hour when focused. Time to focus then.

Day 15: Total Words Written - 25,217
I have passed the halfway point, woo!!

Words Left To Be Written: 24,783

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Truncated Driveways

There's a neighborhood in Gainesville that has odd driveways and walkways leading from the houses toward the street.

The driveways and walkways end about fifteen feet from the street, coming to a stop with grass in the wide gap remaining.

If this was only a house or two, or this was new construction, I'd expect that the city had plans to come along and add sidewalks and finish the driveways - but these houses have been here at least twenty years, still waiting to be finished.

Do any of you smart folks have any idea what's going on here? I'm curious.

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 14

Today's Writing Party at the comfy KB homestead made it almost too easy! The jasmine tea, the spiced rice balls, the devilish eggs, the cookies - Good Lord, I am spoiled!

If I spent much time at all in such an environment, I would weigh five hundred pounds and have dozens of published books on the market.

Also, I found out today that Dollhouse has been canceled - and don't think my characters didn't have a few choice words on the subject, because they certainly did.

I'd say writing a piece set in the present day makes it easier to come up with conversation topics for the characters. Though I guess if you look at it from the right angle, every book is a period piece, even if it is a present period piece (as you're writing it, at least).

Day 14: Total Words Written - 23,542

Words Left To Be Written: 26,458

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 13

It was a slow Friday at work, which is always hard to take. There's always some sort of busy work to be done, but luckily no one else had called out sick, left early for a doctor's appt. or etc.

I left work at 2, when I typically start my lunch. I gassed up the car, picked up some groceries, and then headed home.

I let Cindy's netbook charge for an hour, and then headed out to the Barnes and Noble where she works, about an hour away. (There's a new B&N about ten minutes from me, but my sweetie does not work there.)

I decided to take a different 'shorter' route for some reason. After getting lost in cow/horse country for about fifteen minutes, I found the store just before dark, yay!

Cindy sweetly served me up some tastiness from the cafe (Pumpkin Bundt and hot cocoa) and I got to work on the netbook, pounding out my word count. I wrote exactly 1667 words today, something that makes me worry for the rest of the month, but not overly.

I'm going to a Settlers of Catan / Writing Party tomorrow, so I have no doubt I'll get my word count done in record time.

Day 13: Total Words Written - 21,731

Words Left To Be Written: 28,269

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 12

I got waay to late a start this evening on my word count. As I started writing this, it was 9:30, which is typically the time I start to fall asleep on the couch. (Laugh it up, youngins! Your time will come.)

With two doubles of chai tea to fortify me, I dove in, not knowing what I would write until the last second. Well what do you know about that, I've always got something percolating on the back burner. But I did not expect to be writing about scooters today.

Day 12: Total Words Written - 20,064

Words Left To Be Written: 29,936

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 11

Cindy and I were off together this Veterans Day, and made sure to ruin many a workers day by showing up at several retail stores and Chick-fil-A.

Speaking of Chick-fil-A, if you have one in your area, I highly recommend the 2010 Calendar - it has lots of fun literary spoofs, they're pretty well done.

(There are a number of coupons included, if you're into such things.)

I couldn't find any pics online from the 2010 calendar, but you can check out a few pics from a previous calendar year here.

Contrary to my hopes, I did not get up at dawn and get my writing out of the way. I did not write double the normal word count today.

In fact, I went over my 1667 word quota by only 57 words (thank you, custom Excel sheet) which makes today the day I have written the fewest words this month.

I have no excuse but that holiday retail crowds do sap the energy out of a man.

Day 11: Total Words Written - 18,394

Words Left To Be Written: 31,606

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 10

I wrote a segment at 8:15am, and then finished it at about 9:30pm. That isn't the best way to accomplish good continuity, but that's what the editing phase is all about, right?

It wasn't too painful to get the word count out today. It might have helped that it was a snarky scene between two ex lovers. Snark comes easily to me, my poor Cindy.

Day 10: Total Words Written - 16,930

Words Left To Be Written: 33,070

Monday, November 09, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 9

Hey, I'm off Wednesday for Veteran's Day, how cool is that?

A surprise short week is always welcome - it's like finding a ten dollar bill in an old coat. I feel as if I should make really good use of Wednesday and do a double word count or some such.

Today's word count was total crap. Yuck.

Day 9: Total Words Written - 15,239

Words Left To Be Written: 34,761

Sunday, November 08, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 8

Today's word count was too easy. I finished and said "Really? I'm done already?" which felt odd.

I almost want to ask Microsoft Word for second opinion: 'Hey, count this again, would you? It wasn't nearly a painful enough process'.

In fairness - there was a dream sequence involved, but it was a very normal, almost completely possible dream sequence, except perhaps for the sexy Star Wars Underoo's.

Well, I'll see how much of today survives in the final cut, but I think most of it will.

Day 8: Total Words Written - 13,554

Words Left To Be Written: 36,446

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 7

A fun though draining day. We crawled out of bed at the BCOD, showered, and then into the car for an early morning book sale at one of the small local libraries.

I had hoped that I would leap out of bed a few hours pre-dawn and get my daily writing done before we left, but I was ever so tired and did not.

After enjoying the vast warehouse-like floor of the Gainesville Friends of the Library sale just a few days back, this book sale was tiny. The little library sale was packed to the gills with Patterson, Connelly, Grisham, and the like, with very little of the compelling variety that Gainesville had thanks to its state university.

Next we hopped on the turnpike and drove to Orlando, enjoyed the mall and all the scrumptious people watching, technology browsing, dinner and dessert that an actual city has to offer.

When we got home, I was spent. I passed out for two hours, then roused myself. Part of the reason I woke up - it was hot in the room. The AC has gone out (apparently just the blower-fan, not the AC itself) and I can't sleep if it's too warm.

While Cindy slept on, I opened most of the windows and let the cool night air in - it's supposed to get down to 56 degrees tonight, so it's really the best possible time to be without a working air conditioner.

Once the house was aired, I had a snack and got to work writing. Unsurprisingly, I wasn't really feeling the mood, so I took advantage of the fact that I was a few hundred words ahead from previous days to write a bit less today, though I'm still where I need to be for the month.

Day 7: Total Words Written - 11,869

Words Left To Be Written: 38,131

Friday, November 06, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 6

The writing party was great fun, thanks to KCGator and Logician for hosting! There was pizza, sweet tea, guava pound cake, and a dissertation on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers FanFic, just to set the scene for those of you who could not attend.

And of course, there was writing! It went very well!

When I write at home, I'm distracted by a thousand small things, everything from all the cleaning chores that need done (I would rather clean than write, that probably is a bad omen for my future productivity). "Wow, look how spotty my monitor is, let me Windex it. Oops, I got some cleanser on the desk - I might as well scrub the entire desktop..."

I actually had a far easier time focusing in a group setting than I had expected, and I pounded out my daily word count in about half the time it would have taken at home.

I'm looking forward to the next writing party!

Day 6: Total Words Written - 10,494

Words Left To Be Written: 39,506

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 5

I slept in an extra hour this morning, packed a lunch and then forgot it in the fridge, wasted a ton of excess (but delicious) calories going out to Moe's for lunch, and then devoured way too many calories this evening in the name of blood sugar = word count.

I keep starting new scenes rather than attending the boring task of finishing the existing ones. Maybe I can sell the half-assed effort as a stylized work of art - yeah, it's not clumsy if I meant to do that!!

Tomorrow I'm going to a NaNoWriMo writing party, and I have to wonder if there is writing garb out there. There's garb for everything else. Writing gloves? Thinking cap? Assless chaps?

It will be interesting to see if I can actually get writing done with other people around - I tend to sequester myself away, put a song on repeat and get my stereotypy on.

Day 5: Total Words Written - 8689

Words Left To Be Written: 41,311

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 4

Bleh. Another rough day. Every word was a struggle. Dammit. It's too early in the month for the process to become a pain in the ass.

Waah waah whine complain gripe grumble.

Day 4: Total Words Written - 6969

This Just In: China Rules!

Sure, they're Communist...

But they are also Anti PJ's in Public!!

They're making a big deal about the PJ's because of the upcoming 2010 World Expo - they want to portray their city in the best possible light. Good idea, but don't just behave well on special occasions - behave well everyday.

I might just have to relocate to Shanghai.

The news story reminds me of one of my posts from 2007.

Seriously though - I love civil freedoms, but I'm all for a 'Put some actual clothes on before you leave the house' law. (This includes shoes, you flip-flop loving hippies!!)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 3

Today was rough. I wrote only a few hundred words before I left for work, which gave me a decidedly uneasy feeling. I get up at 5, and My energy level peaks around 9 or 10 in the morning, so if I'm going to accomplish something, it'll likely be in this time frame or before.

I managed to finish the remaining 1400 words at work during lunch, thanks to the thoughtful loan of Cindy's cute lil HP Netbook. Thanks Darlin!

Day 3: Total Words Written - 5230

Monday, November 02, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 2

I finished my 1667 word count by 9am this morning, which means I can relax until tomorrow.

And by relax, I mean stress about it, claw through my brain for something, anything to write about tomorrow.

It's not as if I don't know what's going to happen in the story, or what's coming next... The actual process is like giving blood or giving a one-hour massage - there's a definite amount of energy being burned during the process.

Day 2: Total Words Written - 3490

Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Day 1

I'm working on this story for this year's NaNoWriMo - I'm just picking up where I left off after last year's NaNoWriMo story, so maybe I'll come close to finishing the novel this year.

Congrats to fellow NaNoWriMo'ers Invisible Lizard, KCGator and Logician - you guys are kicking butt on word count!

Day 1: My Words Written - 1780

'Lost Time'


Sam is a single father with a dangerous past who’s worked very hard to maintain an orderly life. His sixteen year old daughter Kate is dealing drugs and confronting neighborhood dealers.

In the middle of a meeting for a corporate merger, Sam has a seizure and is hospitalized.

Waking up after the seizure, Sam has lost memory of everything that’s happened during the past two weeks, and is affected by a strange phobia he’s never had before. Sam begins taking anticonvulsants, but the seizures continue at random. With each seizure, Sam loses more memory and more time – and then loses his job. He begins psychotherapy – through it all, the only constant is the phobia.

Sam and Kate try to keep his condition secret from Social Services, who is scrutinizing the small family after Kate’s drug bust six months before. As Sam loses weeks and eventually years, he loses the will to control his demons and the person he once was begins to surface.

Eventually a pattern emerges, shedding light on Sam’s hidden past and the trigger for the seizures, which drives father and daughter across thousands of miles tracing the ultimate source of Sam’s regression.

I'm not in love with the title, so if one of you smart people have a suggestion, I'm wide open to a better title.