Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A post to just...well...post

Lesseee, what's going on?

I am less than lukewarm about the upcoming chorus concert, which is Not Good. In part it was because there was a Little Too Much Drama this time, and I feel very disconnected and non-essential. In part it's just not feeling terribly involved. I don't feel like my presence or absense makes any difference. If not for Husband's insistance that I maintain it as an activity, and my commitments to the two ensembles, I'd bow out about now. I'm not currently enjoying it. I'm not interested. I'm not preparing. My thoughts are elsewhere. That's too bad, because I usually enjoy the chorus. Feh. It won't make a bit of difference, really, so I'll get through it one way or another.

We are building a new book case for the living room. You see, our house is rather oddly laid out, in part because Husband never intended to live in it that long, and in part because he was a bachelor whose home was his mother's vacation home. So, things are situated to make, in effect, two suites that share a common central area. Once I appeared, I screwed up all his plans, and we've been trying to remake the house ever since. Our bedroom has two doors, one into the library and one directly into the living room. That second door is blocked off on one side by the dog's crate, and on the other by a large chair, since to use it eats up a big portion of the living room, and it's an awkward door anyway. So, we are finaly hiding that door with a book case. Doors people can't open always invite comment, and everyone wants to open them. They are irresistable. So, it will become the Secret Door. One day we may remove it and simply make a wall, but this is easier for now.

Still writing. It's what I think about most of the time, now. I want to finish this book. Yeah, it's a book. I officially declare it The Book. Looks like I have a good chance of meeting my November 30th goal of 60,000 words, and I think I can have it finished (as in ready for the first real edit) by mid December, Christmas at the latest. Someone else will be reading it before the new year.

Nothing Else going on, really. Still got Max, still got floor, still got Husband, still got friends, debating how much actual decoration I'm going to do (love the decorating, but the house is in shambles, sooo)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Little Update

Oh, the Roomba has been named Max.

I'm still working on the novel I started for NaNoWriMo (You thought all that was over, just because I reached the required wordcount? Oh, you foolish mortals.) I'm still maintaining my writing journal, too.

My writing journal must be some of the most boring stuff ever, but I find myself constantly re-reading it. This journy I've taken in the last month is completly new territory. I've found a whole new ability to discipline myself as a writer. This is a huge step, folks.

It's also interesting as the journy of the novel itself. I'm not writing The Great American here. At most, I've got a rather modest low fantasy mixed with an historical -- not an original mixing, I assure you, but none-the-less, that's what I ended up with. Publishable? I have no idea.

I have to finish it, first. Then it has to be edited. I have to find a couple of articulate people willing to read the book and react without trying to rewrite it. (oh, and check for typos and such). Then I have to STOP revising it before I kill it. Oh lord. this is gonna be the hard part. THEN, and only then, can I even think about submitting it. That's too scary a thought to look at right now.

Girl Toys

Having now hard floors through the center of the house, I am aware (well, MORE aware) of how much crap accumulates in 5 hours. Crumbs, lint, cat hair, mysterious cosmic particles -- it all comes to rest on my nice new shiny floor. Swifter not withstanding, I began to feel outnumbered.

The Husband and I discussed getting ourselves a Roomba robotic vacuum for some time -- since I first saw one in a Sharper Image catalog, in fact. Back then it seemed trendy and ridiculous. Now, they show up in Home Depot and Target (I've sworn off Wal-Mart). After spending one day chasing around multiplying dust bunnies, we decided the moment was now. Yeah, pricy. The credit card is weeping in the corner.

But it's CUTE! It's SOOO CUTE! We charged it up, put batteries in the remote and pressed da button. It did a little electronic song and started zipping around the floor. It doesn't SOUND like a vacuum, so the cats are more fascinated than disturbed. For an appliance, it's fun, as you can drive it around with the remote like a tidy RC car. If you pick it up, it makes a little noise like it's talking to you. It makes different noises for different situations.

The instructions are a little...little. Happily, lots of stuff is intuitive (for someone who loves her computers and electric gadgets). I'm figuring it out bit by bit.

As for cleaning - it doesn't have a large capacity so you have to empty it each time you use it, but it picks up a surprising amount. Mostly the little stuff that accumulates constantly, that you have to chase around with broom and dustpan (or Swifter, still my friend). It zigs and zags on its little robotic way, then it parks itself on its charging station. It gets under furniture, it gets in corners, it climbs up on the rugs, it even detects extra dirty spots -- so far, it's all love.

I'm debating whether to name it Rosie, Sally, or Max.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Guess What I Did?

Yep. Word total is 50.720. Story is not done. At least anoter 10,000 words. I'm right on the edge of all the action. There are at least 4 more chapters, possibly five (every time I turn around the chapters multiply).

I'm still damn happy I did this. I'm pleased with myself that I not only finished this little word count goal, but did it ahead of schedule! I mean, I used DISCIPLINE! I KEPT AT IT! I DIDN'T GIVE UP!

So, new goal -- 10,000 more words by the 30th, or the end of the story, which ever comes first. If I need a new goal after that, I'll set it.

I can do this. Everything else will come later. I can do this now.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The End is Near

I am closing in on my word count goal. I lack a little under 3000 words to reach the magical 50,000 -- not including my notes, which I pulled out already. With those, I'm already over the limit, but I have enough story to get there at this point.

So, yeah, I'm still going. And I intend to FINISH the damn thing, with luck before the 30th. I'm just setting goals and heading for them. I'm amazing myself that I am doing that. I've been keeping up with notes on my writing journal as well, for those few of you who actually wander over there.

Oh, the new floor looks FABULOUS! I can't wait to move the furniture back into place.

Thanksgiving went very smoothly and I have a new favorite cranberry relish recipe. I'm going to try it in a variation for a pie filling. Letcha know how that goes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

FLOOR! we have FLOOR!

The new wood floor is halfway down and looks FANTASTIC. The cats are a little freaked out. I'm sorta looking forward to Bea's first high speed foray. Well, actually I'm looking forward to the expression on her sweet little kitten face when she realizes she can't dig into carpet to stop her sideways slide anymore...(she has no brakes and very little steering, even for a cat, but it doesn't stop her. Walls stop her.)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Specific Gravity

It's been an eventful day here. I have been packing all my china and crystal into boxes ahead of tomorrow's floor installation. Almost all of what I have was previously my mother-in-laws. My mother's china and crystal are now (and will remain as far as I know) in the custody of my ex-stepfather. This stuff is nicer anyway.

Our living room has one very high wall under its very high ceiling, and about 2 years go we installed a set of glass shelves on that wall and on another in the kitchen. They displayed some of the art and antique vases I've collected and a lot of dust because they are, well, pretty high and no one goes up there with a white glove to inspect, and I just don't worry about that stuff.

I was sitting on the floor having a conversation with a cat when one of those shelves came crashing down. I was about 3 feet from it and protected from the flying glass by a large ottoman. Also lost was one small antique cobolt blue vase bought on our honeymoon; a cheap tall blue vase filled with marbles and silk flowers, purchased at Wal-mart some years ago after the tall mate to the antique was destroyed by a certain cat in this household, then a new kitten; the shelf itself, a heavy thing that cannot be replaced because they are no longer manufactured; our nice looking but relatively useless fireplace accessories; the wood mantel of our faux fireplace. I've been picking up the hunks and the marbles, but I've snagged enough splinters to rest for a while.

As unnerving as it was having all that crash just a few feet from me, I had been cleaning things from that area all morning. I could have been right under it.

Stranger still is that nothing but entropy brought it down. The wall was unmoved, untouched. The house didn't rumble. No trunk or sterophonic boomcar went by. There wasn't even any wind. Someone turned up the gravity right there and WHAM CRASH TINKLE TINKLE (no, that wasn't me going tinkle tinkle, although the thought did cross my mind while I hunkered behind the ottoman).

Far too interesting a day.

Weather Bulletin

To all my shivering, shuddering frostbitten friends in the Northlands.

Today's Weather

Yes, a balmy 81 degrees F (that's 27 C) I started today in sweatpants but I'm changing into shorts because it's too hot. My roses are blooming. It's humid today because a cold front is pushing rain this way, and tomorrow we expect it to be a chilly 62 degrees F (18 C). Brrrr.

I'll have to find a sweater.


It's funny how many times I've thought "Wow, I should post about THIS in my weblog" and then didn't

Because I am Doing NaNoWriMo.

Little things are going on around here -- we are getting new floors this week. Byebye cat- and dog-pee carpet, hello (mostly) hardwood, from the foyer through the living room and around into the kitchen. I'm excited because I've wanted this for a few years now, but I haven't really gotten too worked up. You see, all I could think was

Is this going to interrupt my NaNo writing time?

I was originally slated to Cook the Thanksgiving Meal (whoo hoo) for Husband's family and haul it to my mother in law's house. However, the floor interfered with that. It was supposed to go in last week, but there was a shipping problem and it was pushed off to this week. They have to pull out my appliances and such so we will be eating take out this week. I didn't really mind the cooking duties (Just the hauling ones), and yet my thought was

Oh yea! More time for NaNo.

I'm charging my way through the novel. There are over 40,000 words in that there thing, I'm reaching the center of the story where all my set up starts falling into action, just like those dominos people stack up to knock over. I'm not surprised at all how hard it is, although when I really sit down and just do it, a lot happens. It's the sitting down and doing in -- everything in the world is more interesting. I've folded laundry to avoid writing. I can see the story in my head (mostly) but translating it into words on paper is a different event. What looks simple in my head becomes full of questions. How did this character get to that spot to do this thing? I know he DOES this thing, but why is he doing this thing? And how will it affect that character over there? And does it make any sense with what I had happen before? I have these thoughts all through the day. I dream at night and try to work out the plot of my dreams. The novel centers my life and takes over my life. I am not giving much time to anything else -- not chorus, not gaming (well, a little, because it's a nice distraction, but then I'm all anxious to go write), certainly not housework. This book I'm writing is the white meat of my life. Everything else is garnish. So I guess what I have on my YIM comment is true.

NaNoWriMo Owns My Soul.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Let us pause and ask why

Why am I writing in NaNoWriMo this year? A friend of mine refered to it as a stunt.

Respect this friend as I may, and knowing full well he most likely did not mean it as I am taking it, I found that deeply insulting, in part because the word stunt (from Mirriam Webster Online) means

an unusual or difficult feat requiring great skill or daring; especially : one performed or undertaken chiefly to gain attention or publicity.

I'd submit then that marathon running, going for the X-prize, or any sports competition from fencing to football, is a stunt. Becoming a musician, a dancer or an artist could be seen as a stunt activity, since often attention or publicity is at least one goal. Any challenging or difficult thing a person tries to do that could get attention or publicity is a stunt, or could at least be seen as a stunt. The word carries connotations of doing a thing only for the publicity, which in our society is both condoned and condemned (would you know who Paris Hilton is otherwise?), heavy on the condemnation. Stunts are Not Worthy.

I'm not doing NaNo as a stunt. There's no attention or publicity to get, so I'm not thinking about it. No one is likely to read what I write. Chances of publication are slim to none. Only those few who read my blogs know I'm doing it. I don't expect anything much to come of it, except what I gain on a personal level.

So, what am I gaining? What am I learning?

I'm learning that I don't have to block myself up with judging my writing as I write it. I've learned that when I focus on an arbitrary goal, like word count and deadline, I don't have time to worry about all the other stuff that usually corks my writing up tight. I'm learning that if I don't spit out that rough draft in all its awful, rough, nasty glory, I have nothing to refine and edit and polish. I'm learning that I can discipline myself to the task, at least for a short time.

I'm doing this to tell myself, for all future dates when I am frustrated, when I berate myself for wasting time, squandering effort, pretending I have talent, torturing others with my drivel -- when I am hating myself, my writing, and the entire alphabet -- that I did finish something. I ran that race. I got to the end. I set a goal and made it.

Which means I can do it again.

Stunt? Maybe for some, but not for me. And I'm not swallowing any goldfish.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

No Explanation

  1. Hold up both your hands in front of you so that they touch, wrist to wrist (or close enough).
  2. Point your fingers in the famous "Look, I got a gun" position -- thumbs up, index fingers out, other fingers curled in.
  3. Pretend to fire said finger guns
  4. While firing, yell "YIP! YIP! YIP!" in a high pitched, doggy-like voice.

What have you got? Double muzzle Chihuahua guns.

Don't ask me why, but this kept the Husband and me laughing most of the weekend.

Yes, I'm still writing. Doesn't this TELL you I'm still writing? Would any person who isn't trying to pump out 50,000 words in the form of a novel have time to think of Chihuahua guns?

(It's even more fun if you say it, a la Les Nessman, "chi-hoowa-hoowa")

Friday, November 11, 2005

Still writing

Setbacks not withstanding, I'm closing in on the halfway point. I posted an except (heaven help you all). Just think of me leaning over my laptop, tapping away nonsense you won't have to read, unlike the usual drivel I put here which you, stalwart and loyal folk that you are, still somehow poke through occasionally.

I guess it is a little better than folding socks or cleaning the cat box.

NaNoWriMo owns my soul.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm writing, I'm writing!

I'm actually still doing the NiNoWriMo -- yeah, actually still doing it. I'm amazed. But I'm lonely. Go talk to me over there so I know you still care.