Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A quote from my sister

"These towns around here are pretty safe, but they are infested with eager cops."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I wonder if I can harness the power of the morning words...

... in the service of NaNoWriMo this year. Because otherwise I may be screwed by the alignment of the days of the week.

I have just realized that my grand plan to take Nov 1 off and get a head start is a massive fail, as November is also United Way month at my office, and I'm the campaign chair, and I should probably attend the kickoff event I haven't planned yet.

Stupid, stupid do-gooding, it gets in the way of the writing, too.

Also, my immediate family thinks NaNoWriMo is a bad idea, because "What will you get out of it?" they asked. Well, another first draft, for one thing. (As if I need more of those?) And a sense of community.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Writing is easier when I turn the TV off

Last year NaNoWriMo was a breeze. I had a really fast start and was always ahead of the game. There was a reason for that: last November started on a Saturday. My system last year was to write 500 words each day M-F, then 5000 each on Saturday and Sunday, which was 12500 words per week, or 50,000 words over November. Friday at midnight I started by writing 2000 words. Saturday I wrote 5000, and Sunday I wrote 5000. So by the end of that first weekend I already had 12000 words, which meant that when I did 500 words per day on the weekdays, I didn’t feel like I was falling behind.

If you write 1667 words per day, you wind up with 11,669 in a week, or 50,000 in 30 days.

This year, November starts on a Monday. I will have 2500 words by Friday, and be 9000 words behind already. Psychologically, this will of course be devastating. I don’t know if I’ll be able to surmount it, but I also don’t know if I can write more than 500 words in a workday. Maybe I should take November 1 as a vacation day and try to write 10,000 words?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Word of the day: disconnect

I must hear it every day:
I hate this tawdry, overused word, and I dread the day I catch myself using it in a sentence.

In other news, I have to decide whether to do NaNoWriMo this year. I want to write the parrot novel, but I'm afraid I don't have the skills for such stunt-writing.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Out there -- Sept 2010

"Unicorn". Waiting to be sent to market #7. Came back over a month ago. Not good.

"Dolphin". Still at market #1.

Apparently these stories won't sell themselves, so I need to devote a time/date to this.

Monday, October 04, 2010

In process -- Sept, 2010

"The Rabbits". Short story. This month I made it through the second draft. I want to get this on OWW, but it needs at least one more draft. It’s down from 14,000 to just over 10,000 words, so it would have to go up in two parts. I’d like to get rid of another 2500 words before I get it critted, but I’d still put it up in two parts... better for the critters, and I have plenty of points to use.

Karate Zombies. I have now read the first four chapters. I’m rewriting the first chapter. I would love to get this on OWW. I even did envelope calculations: I have 47 points right now. I have 24 chapters. If I put up one chapter at a time (2-3K words at a time, a good length for the ‘shop) at 4 points each, I’d have to do 49 more reviews. If I could put up one chapter per week, that would be such a great structure for me to work within.

The Water Leopard. 1st short story draft complete. Need to type it up. Don’t think it’s very good.

“Succubus”. Short story. This became my page-a-day when the water leopard short was done. 30 pages or so done, maybe 5000 words, maybe half complete.

Morrigan. Shudder. I’m about five inches above the armholes on the back, so the end is in sight, I guess. Went shopping for inspirational leather jackets as motivation, but it didn’t help. I am so burnd out on this sweater.
Gift Socks. Finished.
Kingdom Gloves. Finished.
Anhinga. Back started.

What I read -- September 2010

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Started this at the cottage, because I found it in the shed. I don’t think I ever had to read it before, but as I told my dentist, you can’t go wrong with Dickens.

“The Flooded Earth” by Peter D. Ward. I got this out of the library because I read some favourable references to it online, probably in Salon and the Toronto Star, and also because I love true future disaster books. It took me less than a week to read, but I had some problems with it. Like for example, my mind would wander because of the excess of compound complex sentences. There were like two simple sentences per page! He was trying to cram as much information into each sentence as he could, and that’s good, but I would lose track of the subject, or the sentences wouldn’t lead smoothly into each other. It was sort of like reading a really long essay by a precocious high schooler, sometimes. He was very passionate about the content, but sometimes he’d go on a crazy tangent. Like, there were two pages in the section about salt intrusion where he ranted about road salt. I mean, I agree that road salt is really damaging to the environment, and we ought to rethink our excessive use of it, but it did nothing to support his thesis.

I found the rhetorical devices not very subtle, and some of it was kind of Malthusian. I thought the definition of peak oil was over-simplified, and that made me question the rest of the book. I don’t like Stephen Harper (because I have a vague feeling he hates women), and yet I don’t think he’s fairly treated. I didn’t feel like the futures he depicted were consistent with each other (maybe they were and it was a failure of my imagination) from chapter to chapter.

This book was frustrating I guess, because as I think Bertollucci said, you can only argue with someone with whom you basically agree. But for example, I don’t feel like the government ought to be planning more than 50 years in advance, for example. It would be great if they did, rather than planning four years in advance, like I feel like they do, but didn’t this guy read “Foundation”? Doesn’t he know that in that amount of time, the Mule will appear, and all your mathematical predictions will have to be thrown out the window? So yeah, perhaps this wasn’t the book for me.

“Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. Never sure how to pronounce the last syllable of the last name, so it’s just as well I’m writing this down. The boy has read this series, beginning to end, about three times, and he basically forced this book on me. Fortunately, it’s very easy to read 60 pages at a sitting. Goodkind does know how to end a chapter so I’ll say “oh, just one more.” However, I found it kind of emotionless. I had no idea Richard was so filled with repressed anger until I was told; up until then I’d thought he was filled with teenage angst. Also, I found the politics exhausting, especially the gender politics. The fight scenes were fantastic, though.

There were a lot of things wrong with this book. There were things that I found unintentionally funny (the double-down Star Wars ending amused...) But the fight scenes were great, as was that 60-page torture scene. Wow, it made me wonder if Mr. G. had written some hard core porn in a previous life.

Also, looking at his author’s photo, I’d be afraid not to like this book, lest he beat the crap out of me.