A compromise compromised.

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Earlier this month I took on a challenge which was a self-designed compromise from the more daunting, national challenge of National Novel Writing Month.  I knew I couldn’t complete a 50,000 word novel this November, but declared I would, instead, complete two chapters of my graphic novel (which I now speak of rather freely… hm, go figure.  So much for self-propelling mystery!) Well, to put it bluntly, I was crazy.  There is no way I’ll have two chapters done by the 30th.  This story has been unfolding just fine at its own lazy pace and I would only screw that up by forcing myself to write words and draw pictures that aren’t coming of their own volition, when they have been doing so quite nicely prior to this.  Yes, it’s an excuse, but those are allowed on occasion.  I will hereby compromise my challenge and say that I would like to complete ONE chapter this month.  Just one.  It’s a compromised compromise, but it’s still a challenge.

All right, now that business is out of the way, I have a few other things.  First of all, don’t take this as sounding ungrateful, but I am really creeped out by how low gas prices are getting.  I drove past a station that advertised $1.85 a gallon today, which means that other places in the country are probably getting down near a dollar.  Yes, it’s great, it’s cheap, we can all dust off our hummers again, but it’s still freaky.  I feel like I’m living back in the late 90s.  And who the heck likes the 90s?? (Okay, Alex, I know you do.)

Next, I had another dream about my late cat Pepper again last night.  This one was a different kind of sad, though, because of how realistic it was.  Usually when I dream about her (which is often) she has somehow been resurrected, enjoys full health, and seems perfectly unaware that she was ever dead, to both her and my delight.  But last night she was weak, small, and frail, just like she was in real life before she died.  In my dream she barely had the strength to jump up onto the bed, so I picked her up and she crawled under the blankets where we cuddled.  Just like real life.  I feel like I write about these Pepper dreams every time they happen (which is often) but I did a search to link to some past ones and couldn’t find any.  Maybe that is a good idea for a blog-reader-challenge.  Locate the Pepper Dream Posts!  Whoever finds any wins… a photograph of Pepper.

I had a few other things to say but I think I’ll save them up for days when I have nothing.  Which, you’ve come to know, is most of the time.

National compromised challenge month.

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

It’s November, which means it’s National Novel Writing Month, which means, if you choose to accept the challenge, you might write a 50,000 word novel over the course of the next 30 days.  Last year I did it, which I’m still proud of (and have even dusted off the old first draft, finally, so that it just may see the light of day before this year is over!)  This year there is no way I could do it.  I’m just too busy.  However, in the spirit of creativity, diligence, production, and self discipline (I’d venture to say those are the four spirits of National Novel Writing Month) I am still going to set a personal goal for myself regarding writing, the writing of my graphic novel to be specific.  There are 30 days in the month, and by midnight of November 30th I would like to have the next two chapters finished in my story.  At first I was going to say I would like to have the entire draft finished (which would only be an additional three or four chapters) but I don’t want to force the story, which has been unfolding thus far at it’s own pace.

This post is pretty dull, eh?  I guess it’s mostly for my sake.  Unless you’re really interested in my personal goals.  In which case let me know and I’ll give you my current list!  (But not really.)

Nothing, okay? Bits of nothing.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Our internet was down at work today. I think it may have been in response to the comment I made in my last post which read, “Can you remember life before the internet? I wonder if we could ever go back to that. Hyperventilation.” It was a little bit like hyperventilation, at some points. But mostly life went on.

Today I opened new checking and savings accounts with a new bank. Before I met with a banker, the teller handed me some brochures outlining the different checking options and associated fees. I developed a slight crush on the gentlemen on the cover of the brochure, but relationships based on checking account literature are almost always doomed to failure so I put the fellow out of my mind.

I’m thinking seriously about purchasing a Wacom tablet. I’m still a little bitter about the whole Wacom phenomenon, because I know in my heart that the idea for a pen based navigation tool was originally mine, back when I was a youngin’ and thought, “Hey, these computer mice are cool but kind of clunky. Couldn’t we do the same thing with the roller ball, but like a ball point pen?” Should’ve gotten a patent.

Speaking of inventions, I need to get back to my NaNoWriMo draft… Speaking of drafts, it’s been windy but so nice out! Speaking of nice, I like you. Thanks for reading. 🙂

It was an overreaction, are you surprised?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

You know, I think I spoke too soon when I dashed my first draft down as a “piece of crap.”  It’s not so bad when I get through to the good parts.  It’s just going to take some serious editing.  I had only read through the first quarter of the story when I said those things, and of course it was pretty  weak then, because I didn’t yet have a plot figured out.  I just read through the first half (and remember, it is a story in two symetrical halves) and feel a lot better about things, like maybe it wasn’t a waste of a month.  Phew, as they say.

You will not read my masterpiece of crap.

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

I spent some time yesterday reading through the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel.  And, ugh.  It is terrible!  I don’t even know if it is salvageable, which is to say that I doubt any of you will ever be reading it.  I think I’m learning that I’m not a fiction author.  It’s not that I don’t have the imagination, I just don’t have the guts to put any of it down on paper.  And I’m not smart enough in anything or willing to do the research to be a non-fiction author.  Which pretty much means that this is it, this blog here.  I’m a blogger about nothing and it’s time for me to accept it, or embrace it, whichever feels better. 

And thanks Arek for taking a look at my code and unveiling the first of hopefully just a few shortcomings of WordPress.


Friday, November 30th, 2007

The time is 7:23 pm, Central Standard.

The official word count is…………………………………………………………………..50,220!!! I did it! I did it! I wrote a novel in 30 days!

Somewhat miraculously it came together in the end! My characters surprised me in tiny ways! I even have a title! I even get to go out and be social tonight, which I certainly wasn’t expecting! Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exclamation points aside, I’m hesitant to go back and read any of it, and I’m certainly hesitant to share it with anyone else. Even a synopsis here in this blog might be too much. We’ll see, okay?
To anyone who has been following along since November 1st, thank you for patiently enduring these posts. Thank you for giving me this month to write almost nothing of interest here, and instead pour any trace of creativity into my story. You are very kind, and I am very relieved to be done with this challenge. One more exclamation point for the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NaNoWriMo – Day twenty-seven.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

And now? Four days behind!!

NaNoWriMo – Day twenty-six.

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Everyone thinks these NaNoWriMo posts are getting old, even me. Fortunately we’ve entered the final week, that is to say, by Friday at Midnight it’s all over, whether I’m ready or not. And of course I’m not. Let’s see, I’m about 3 days behind?

Anyway the point is, I’m ready to start writing about other things! I’m ready to kick this blog into high gear. I’ve been reading about ways to become a better, more widely read blog. Lot’s of talk about RSS feeds (which I admit I still don’t understand!) and pings and SEO, and also a strong urging to switch all blogging activity to WordPress. I am very hesitant, though, to leave Blogger. For what I do it seems perfectly adequate, and it is just so comfortable by now.

I do think, though, that this blog needs a face-lift. What is “Wear Four Thwart” anyway? Or “Wherefore Thou Art” for that matter. These titles are nowhere near as poignant or even as apropos as past blogs “Pacific For Now” or “Reign Blue” or even my “Diabolical Domestic Agenda” (may she forever rest in peace!) I think I’d like to launch the new blog sometime around the new year, and will probably announce it a hundred times here before, so you don’t have to worry about missing it. In case that is the kind of that keeps you up at night worrying.

NaNoWriMo – Day twenty.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Last night I had what felt like my first terrific night of writing–once again I am caught up! And such wonderful scenes! Not to sound boastful, it’s just that everything was clicking, for once. “Rarely had the words poured from my penny pencil with such feverish fluidity!” (Is it too soon to start quoting A Christmas Story?) I already feel like the second half of my book is so much better than the first half. Oh, and this whole “split novella” thing? Not so original–turns out it’s pretty much the same thing that Salinger did in Franny and Zooey, at least structurally. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me sooner.

I ran a poll by my friends at MySpace–they didn’t know it at the time, but they were deciding the course of this story. Well, they were the voice of the people, anyway. Given seven themes, I asked them to rank them in order of interest. Here is what they, as a group, came up with:

Loneliness – 33
Faith – 31
Romance – 26
Greed – 24
Revenge – 24
Doubt – 22
Justice – 13

(Those numbers are a composite score, not individual votes.) In some ways these answers were consistent with my preexisting thematic leanings, while others were a surprise. (“Greed rules!” Really? Does it?) Probably there will be some elements of each. So, okay, that’s what I’ve got to say today.

NaNoWriMo – Day nineteen.

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Oh crap. I knew it was only a matter of time before it hit, the synchronization of Thanksgiving, my comic strip deadline, and NaNoWriMo (which, by Thanksgiving I anticipate being at least two days behind if not more). Also, I’m breaking my newest rule by writing this blog before I’ve met my daily word count. Dang!