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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writers with Drinks

Oh man, it's been a while. And I don't really have an excuse because I have spent more than my share of time consuming Web content. Now it's time to find a little time to blog again...cause I love looking back on where I've been as I plot out where I want to go next.

First, a failure or two.

Untitled I had planned, by this time, to know enough about programming to be building my first C# program. Despite a pretty strong start, I petered out as life got busy. Now I need to spend a week just going over the stuff I "learned" before I can even get back in the game. I'm thinking of trying to find a programmer as a private tutor, so I can leapfrog into actually developing my program. It's called "Copy Break" and it's a word game that  I hope to give to all of you and any potential clients down the road. Yeah, this is more a business than pleasure venture, but man, I do enjoy learning to program. Am I a nerd, you ask. Hell yeah. I thought you knew that.

Then there's this failure I'm still working on. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month this year after a 3-year hiatus. In order to make this one a smooth ride, I plotted out about 50% of my planned novel so I wouldn't be caught suffering from blank page syndrome. Problem is, I wasn't able to work on it at all for the first week of November, so I'm already horribly behind. After I finish this post, I'm gonna dive back in and see if I can't clock in another 1,500 to 2,000 words before calling it a night. If successful, I'll still be horribly behind, and hitting 50,000 words at the end of November will be a daunting task at best. So I'm chalking this up as a failure before it even happens. I'm prescient that way.

Ghost Story Weekend 2007 004Ghost Story Weekend was a blast. Got to hang with a dozen interesting (quirky) folks in the wilderness. Got creeped out more than once by the remoteness and the palpable darkness out in the middle of the big nowhere. But then I started in on my story and worked on an idea that was very personal and painful...while writing it, it flowed pretty well, and I finished it about an hour before it was time for us to read them to each other. When it was my turn, about mid way through the reading of the first page, I began to cry. I composed myself and began anew. And cried again. I cried all the way through the reading, actually. The oddest part was that while writing the story, I had no idea it would hit me like this. The creative process is odd, to say the least.

Okay, now the flip side.


My National Novel Writing Month novel is called "Spirits of the Undead: A Tale of the Shadow Walkers", and you know, I rather like where it's going. Oh sure, I only have half an outline, and I'm horribly behind on my word count, but hey, I like it so far. I have a feeling that by the time I reach the end of the stuff I've outlined, things will be rolling along on their own and I'll know where to go with it. Already, a couple of days ago, while thinking about the novel, an idea (concept, actually, my stories seem to always start with a concept or idea) for a nasty little short story bubbled up. So National Novel Writing Month is already working its magic on me.

Work has gotten busy, but it's still good. I like the people I'm working with -- that's half the battle -- and most weeks, I work from "home" three days or more.

WWDs Another good thing has been my friendships. I have let more people into my life than ever before...and that's a major accomplishment for me. In fact, last month I attended Writers with Drinks with five friends! I was edgy all night -- babbling nearly incoherently because I was out of my comfort zone, but in the end, despite myself, I had a good time. I went to Writers with Drinks again tonight, too. By myself this time, and it was fantastic...the readers were all good -- which rarely happens with these things, so I was grinning all night. Afterwards, I walked to my favorite cafe for a soy latte and to work on the novel. Unfortunately, I got their at 9:30 and they now close at 10 pm rather than midnight. That was a major bummer, but the latte was perfect and I managed to crank out about a thousand words during that time.

And finally, I found a new person to do my hair (: Okay, that's a bit strange, but there was too much drama with the former hair dresser. I'm not going to go too deeply into it, but I worked for nearly a year as her personal tutor for some classes she was taking in exchange for her doing my hair...she's now playing a vile-olin and asking me to reduce the amount she owes me in services AND pay 50% each time I visit. Oh, and she informed me that her prices went up 25%. She owes me over $1,000 in services...so finding someone else was a relief (:

Okay, it felt good cataloguing the things that matter to me today. Right now. And saving it for future ruminations. I should have never let this go for so long.


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't know you were doing the NANO thing. Interesting title. Keep us informed as to how things are going. There's just no way I could ever do this as I see things now. November is just too much of a work month for me.

Clifford said...

Charles, I've done nano four times in the past, so I can attest to the fact that its very doable. You just have to squeeze out a few hundred words in those little blocks of free time that we generally fritter away. At the end of the month, when you print out that inch-high stack of pages and realize you've created this, in a month, the rush you get is nearly orgasmic!

Kate S said...

Wow, I turn my back for a minute and everyone updates their blogs.

Like you and Charles, I've been so busy lately I haven't had time to update my own.

Also doing Nano. Or, I should say, WAS doing Nano. Am actually not too far behind at this point, but my energy level has really petered out. I've got a bit of your precognition. :)

You sound like you're doing well overall, though, so congratulations. :) I hope things continue to go well for you.

Clifford said...

Hang in there Kate, and remember, even if you don't hit the vaulted 50,000 words, you've made a hell of a lot of progress in November...much more than you're likely to have done otherwise.I'm hoping to find more time next week, but we'll see. The best laid plans and all...by the way, despite my meagre word count, I'm enjoying my novel. You?

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.