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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thanksgiving had its ups and downs this year, as any year. The major downer? My car may be on the way out. 😦   We ran into some trouble on the way to my parents’ house, and she needs some work before she’s back in the realm of running. I’m trying to be hopefully optimistic about the whole situation, but my dad was being pretty negative. I don’t blame him for wanting me to consider the worst possible turnout for my car, but at the same time, it’s my car. I’ve had her for eight and a half years now, but I’m not ready to let her go just yet. I’m just hoping that I can get by with an inexpensive fix. I can’t exactly afford a new car or anything right now. *sigh*

On the plus side, I did have a good time visiting family. My gf and I had safe travels, despite the problems with my car, and we both made it back home in the end. I have a lot to be thankful for. My family is concerned for my well-being, my sister is letting me borrow her car for now, and I still have a place to live while I’m continuing to look for a 2nd job. All in all, life could be a lot worse.

Oh! So, I feel a little closer to being an actual writer. I have fallen behind on NaNo, and I probably won’t be able to hit 50,000 by the end of the month, but I’ve gotten a fantastic start. 30,000+ words is a really good boost towards an actual novel. I’m not about to give up on my project, but I’m not predicting being able to finish the remaining 20,000ish words in the next 3 days. It’s been a stressful week. I need to find a way to channel it. But I digress. My writing nature is fulfilled.  I have received my first ever rejection letter! My story wasn’t picked up by the editors at Strange Horizons, so it’s time to try again.

I’ve fallen behind on NaNoWriMo. Several days behind. I could make excuses of things like the books I’ve been reading (on to A Dance With Dragons!), the work I’ve been doing at my actual paying job (and the ever-ongoing hunt for a 2nd one), or the video game that just came out earlier today that is attempting to swallow me whole (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword). I could. But I won’t. I won’t make excuses, because a writer writes, no matter what, and quite honestly, the words just haven’t been there the last few days. Thanksgiving is coming up, and by the time it gets here, it may be too late for me to complete things. However, I have every intention of continuing towards my goal. It means a lot of writing has to occur, and not here. I will not let laziness triumph over creativity. In the meantime, here’s something to boost your spirits! Charles Bukowski quotes! Oh, and just because I’ve found some great stuff via stumbleupon lately, have this, too.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s barely enough caffeine in my system, and I still need to write before I fall asleep. The Sand Sea lies before my characters, and a schemer lies behind them. What fate shall befall them? Only the pen knows, and it’s not saying anything at the moment.

Also, for anyone who’s interested, there may be a Skyward Sword review at some point in the near future. Thus far, art is gorgeous, music is beautifully orchestrated and highly reminiscent of Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, and the gameplay and mechanics are incredibly solid. The Collector’s Edition I preordered from GameStop included a WiiMotionPlus controller (in Zelda gold and emblazoned with a Triforce, no less), so I don’t even have to mess with adding the attachment to a standard controller. Plus, it came with a CD of several fully orchestrated songs from the series’ past. Very impressive. More on that in December, if I’m to have any chance of getting NaNoWriMo done.

There is little that can be said about libraries in America today that can’t be summed up by the statement of Eleanor Crumblehulme.  “Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.”

I wholeheartedly support libraries everywhere. Especially this one. That is all.

A few days ago, Kristen Lamb posted an article on her blog, discussing the problem with editing in mid-writing. I just found it via twitter today, but I think it’s a phenomenal piece on the importance of writing for the sake of writing, and not taking the time to edit until you’re done. This goes beyond NaNoWriMo, and is a great reminder to all of us that there is, whether we like it or not, a definite order to things. Write now, edit later. If you’ll excuse me, I have some writing to do. It is still November, after all.

I’m doing well enough. Better than my girlfriend, I’m afraid. She’s had a rough week of work, as her latest post will tell you. As for me, I’m behind on NaNo again, but I’ve got time today and tomorrow to catch up. I’ve got some pre-fabricated bits of story that I’m going to be able to drop in, so for those of you who’d like to get a taste of what’s to come, check out The Tale of the Sun and Moons Part I and II. The bonus of that is that it’s nearly 1,000 words in rough draft form that I can use to supplement whatever I get around to writing today. Good thing I have Rush to listen to.

I’m sore as hell. My arms are pretty toasted from yesterday. I had the opportunity to fire a handgun for the first time. Now I grew up in a small farming community, so I’m no stranger to firearms and general safety requirements for them. I first learned to shoot with a .22 Winchester, alongside my sisters, under the watchful eye of my father. Several years later, I learned how to handle a 12 gauge pump action shotgun, and eventually a 10 gauge bolt action shotgun built for hunting geese. This was a completely different world. I was using a 9mm Beretta, and it was incredible. I’m not the best shot in the world, and I’ll fully admit that right now. Using the .22 would have been another story altogether, but it was my first time ever using a gun that I could operate with one hand. I’ll get better with practice. At least I hit the target. 😀 I don’t own a gun of my own, and I would love to be able to avoid using one in self defense, but it’s nice to know that I could handle the kick and whatnot of something like that.

It’s difficult to maintain my writing level for NaNoWriMo when Westeros keeps calling me back. I’m now about halfway through the 4th book of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, A Feast for Crows. I want to keep reading until the end, but I know that it’s going to be a while before we see the 6th book, and I’m closing in fast on A Dance With Dragons. I know I’ve said it before, but seriously, this series is the best fantasy I’ve read in years. Words cannot describe how much I love these books. I’m not one who is often at a loss for words. I hope that I can come close in terms of the man’s ability to build characters that you’ll grow fond of and learn to understand. Honestly, even his villains get to be sympathetic at times. It’s crazy brilliant.

There may actually be something happening on the job side of things. I may be a step closer to Goal #1. My current job is 19 hours a week. This means, due to the joy that is human resources, I do not qualify for benefits. Not at all. I would need to work one more regularly scheduled hour/week to get that. That’s just the way things go, and most of the people who have worked or are working less than 20 hours/week are not pleased with it. However, one of my coworkers is currently employed 24 hours per week. She’s also around eight months pregnant, and will be leaving us shortly. It wouldn’t be ideal, but her position would be open, and I’d be able to apply, and it would be far better than where I am now. Additionally, another coworker was interviewing today for a position at another branch. If she gets this job, I’ll be applying for her 40/week position. *fingers crossed*

Last but certainly not least for the day, is this. I’m a huge fan of R.E.M. Additionally, I’m a big fan of Stephen Colbert. Today, I found something that I didn’t expect, considering that the band recently decided to break up. This. Anyway, I really should get going. I’ve got pumpkins to slice up in preparation for holiday baking, and a lot of words to crank out to catch back up for NaNoWriMo. Good luck, everyone.

Rime and Arsus just met yesterday. It’s been rough on both of them. All the same, they’re starting to put aside their differences so that they can survive the crossing of the Sand Sea.

Yes, that’s right, folks. NaNoWriMo is progressing quite well, if only the rest of my life were as on-track. 16,000+ words.

The job hunt is stagnant, as is the search for new housing, but my characters are moving forward! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a city to burn.

Seriously. Chuck is awesome. Read this. You’ll totally agree that he is awesome.

Also, NaNoWriMo is almost back on track after a slow weekend. Topped the 9,000 word mark with more to come. Roughly 1 day’s writing behind, but I’ll catch up tomorrow.

This just in, folks. My NaNoWriMo word count is up over 5,000.  This means that I’m on track with the goal for the first three days of November, and one tenth of the way through my requisite length. Wow. I just realized that means I only have to write nine more full chapters at this rate. I need to introduce some other characters, or make this book a lot longer than the NaNoWriMo goal… Hmmm…

Oh well. Either way, I’m making good progress, and I’ve already developed a bonus character! I’m actually quite pleased with the way things are going. I’ll keep you all up to date, fear not. In the meantime, work and the job hunt are keeping me just as busy as ever. I’m really looking forward to my next few days off. I’d like to be able to get a little ahead of the word count thing, so that I can slow down on a couple of days, if necessary. Like, you know, that holiday that’s coming up, what’s it called? Thanksgiving! Right, that’s the one.

I’ve got a decent strategy going right now. I’m carrying one of my little Moleskine notebooks, like I’ve been doing for the last year or so, and I’m doing my writing in that during the day. It’s a really convenient way to take notes and build on some things that I’ve had running around in my head since I first came up with the idea for the book back in January. I get stuff on paper, and if I feel pretty good about it, at the end of the day I type it up. I’ve still been using Word for this, despite getting in on the Scrivener beta. I think I’ll probably stick to Word for now, at least until I can get a full version of Scrivener, with a few less bugs. It’s a great program, and I’ll most likely actually even buy the software when it comes out. If you haven’t played around with it yet, I highly recommend it. The built-in tutorial is great. It’s thorough and includes as much dry humor as you’d expect from a British development team.

I’m still cranking my way through A Storm of Swords. Martin’s world maintains its grasp on me, and for good reason. Each chapter, for those of you who haven’t read any of A Song of Ice and Fire, is told from the perspective of a single character. This means that you only see little pieces of the overall action at any given time, but it compels you to keep reading so that you can get to that character’s next part. Of course, in between you have five or six other characters, all of whom are just as powerfully written. It’s genius, and I can’t wait to finish this book so that I can dive into A Feast for Crows.

Anyway, it’s early, but I’ve got an eight hour shift at work that starts in 45 minutes, and roughly 30 of that time is commute. Work work work, right? Well, I’ll be playing D&D for a few hours after that, and I have Saturday off. Best of luck to all you fellow NaNoWriMo participants out there. As the great Canadian sage, Red Green, always says, “Remember, I’m pulling for ya.”

Greetings, readers and fellow NaNo participants! Having already topped 1,000 words on the day, I’ve taken a slight break from all of the insanity of the first day of my first ever attempt at National Novel Writing Month to share something with you. This is not the original story I’d planned to post for Sonia M’s October/November writing challenge. I was going to go with something a little more tilted for yesterday’s mood, and you may still get that at some point. This is something that I crafted within the last half hour or so. Call it a writing sprint. I’ve prepared another piece for you that I hope you all enjoy. I present “Masks” for your reading pleasure.


“It’s not who you are,” she spat. “It’s who you keep pretending to be. Why can’t you just be yourself when you’re around them?”

I pondered this, not wanting to fuel her anger. She was upset enough as it was. “I dunno,” I replied. “Honest. I don’t even realize that it’s happening. I guess I’ve just been hiding things from so many different people for so long that I don’t even make a conscious effort to do it anymore.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Her hands were alternating, sometimes crossed over her chest, other times on her hips. Probably something to do with her uncertainty of emotion. Anger and compassion were dueling inside her head, and the movement she made was my only hint as to who was winning at any given time.

“You say I put on a different mask for every group of people I’m around, and I guess that I can believe that. I mean, to one circle of friends, I am a slightly different person, and then there’s my family, and even there I suppose there’s a different face that’s presented to my parents versus my sisters versus my cousins and whatnot.”

“You’re just now realizing it?” Chest.

“It seems that way…”

“Then what’s going on when we’re together?” Hips. Uh oh.

“When I’m around you, it’s like I can take the masks off. I don’t need them around you. Who I am when I’m with you is probably the closest I’ve been to my true self in years.”

“And I’m supposed to just accept that? Do you even know who you are?” Still hips. Defcon 2.


“ARGH!” She stomped away briefly. “Can you at least give me an answer?”

“I don’t remember who I used to be. I’m fairly certain that I’ve been hiding myself from everyone for so long, that I can’t remember what my own face used to look like.”

“Why?” Chest. Maybe still a chance for redemption in this conversation.

“I got made fun of a lot as a kid. I thought we talked about this before. I was the easy target, I guess, maybe because I never had what it took to be an athlete. People seemed to think that was the only way out of my home town. Maybe they thought I was doomed, and so they were trying to toughen me up. Maybe they just didn’t like dealing with someone smarter than they were. The first ‘mask’ I would’ve put on would’ve been to hide the fact that it hurt when they said things like they did.”

A hug. I guess that I’d at least said something right.

“You never got over it, did you?”

“I’m not sure. I think I’ve moved past it, but I still put on these other faces when I’m around them.”

“Then it’s time to change.” She took my face in her hands. “And I know just how to get that first mask off,” she said as she kissed me.