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National Novel Writing Month – the Exciting Conclusion November 29, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, writing.

Well, that’s it. I’m done–not done with the novel I’m writing, unfortunately, but done with the first 50,000 words. I’m only about halfway through my tentative outline, but I will happily put this thing aside for a while.

What did I learn about myself this year?

I learned that I am capable of sucking it up and writing, even when I am not making a lot of sense, even when I am writing stuff that I don’t think people will find very entertaining (and keep your comments about that being analogous to this blog to yourselves, please), even when I know that I will probably delete pages and pages of what I have written when I begin the editing process.

Yes, I am a writer. I learned that last November. This year I learned a skill that can be more important than writing. I learned that I can just type. I can disconnect my brain and just clatter away at the keyboard, coming away with 50,000 words.

I am a typist, which is like being a writer, I guess, but without the perks.

What will next year’s NaNoWriMo bring?

Good luck to all of you who are still hammering away at this thing.

NaNoWriMo Day 23 November 23, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, writing.
1 comment so far

Caught up today, after being behind my count for much of the last week. The lack of posting on this site means exactly what you would think it means: I am having a little trouble with the novel this year.

I am trying to go easy on my self. My wife says that this one is much harder to write because it takes place in the real world, where the plot devices that drove last year’s nano-novel, a comic-horror story, would look silly and contrived. It’s true, of course. Some days, though, a monster, a bit of magical realism, an explosion, would really help tack on more words.

Here’s a picture of my desk (click to enlarge).


It’s like pulling teeth every day. But somehow, they all grow back overnight.

NaNoWriMo Day XII November 12, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in National Novel Writing Month, writing.

Nice to get a holiday in the middle of November like this, one where you don’t have to go somewhere to feast and all that.  I managed to catch up to the appropriate number of words today, as you can see by the new NaNoWriMo counter installed as a sidebar widget there on the right. 

It’s a good motivational thing, I think, to have that progress meter right on your blog where everyone can see it.  I mean if they (everyone) visited your blog.

NaNoWriMo 2007 – Day 1 November 1, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in literature, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Other, writing.

NaNoWriMo starts today, and I only got four hours of sleep last night (too tired to get up to turn the heater down, too warm and itchy to sleep, plus too much work crap to think about).  But this morning I find in my inbox a pep talk from Tom Robbins. 

Tom Robbins is one of those people who made me want to write, way back when.  I think I was a Junior in high school when I read Still Life With Woodpecker.  There was a time when I could quote the first chapter of the book, or the forward or whatever, verbatim.  Just having Tom urge me and the other 89,999 participants on inspired me.  Thanks, Tom–love your stuff. 

So, despite being tired and preoccupied, I’m doing this nano thing once again.

It’s going to be a little different this time, my approach. (do you like how wordy that sentence is, compared to how short it would be with active voice?)  Last year I posted the whole novel as I wrote it, finishing on the last day of November with the denouement.  So, completely linear.  If I hadn’t written it in a linear fashion like that, anyone reading it, day to day, would have been confused (more confused than necessary, I mean).  This year I’m trying to write a better novel, so I’m not going to be so linear.  I’m going to give myself the freedom to go back to chapter whatever and add some more, whenever I want, or start with chapter 15, if necessary. 

So I won’t be posting the whole thing.  Maybe some excerpts, if I think people might be interested.  Good luck to all the others bookmarked here who are participating, MoonTopples, strugglingwriter, Kaitlyn Gallagher, WritingGB, and the ones I forgot to list.  Let’s do this thing.

I am a Bad Blogger October 18, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in blogging, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Other.

Lately I haven’t been posting much, again, or responding faithfully to comments, or commenting on the sites of friends and those on my blogroll. 

I could blame it partially on the job, I suppose.  I took a position in May that is really quite taxing, mentally, but that’s not the main issue with the job thing.  I think that the main issue is that it absorbs a lot of attention and thought, and yet I cannot blog about it.  There are a few people who know who I am, and would, therefore know who I am writing about, if I posted about my job. 

It’s not that I don’t have things to write about, either, or that I don’t visit your blog.  I do, and then I intend to comment, going so far as to click on the little window.  And then I stop.  Whatever I was going to write seems suddenly trite.  Not a good way to be entering NaNoWriMo, two weeks hence.  I need to break out of this. 

Life outside of work has been really busy, too.  School has started again, so this means my son is on a travel soccer team, and has cello lessons, which means there is slack to pick up even when I don’t have a kid to pick up or drop off.  He is attending private school in the far-off land of Andover, MA, and the commute is killing us (but not him, really; he does his homework while we do the driving).

I’ve started lifting weights–for strength, not appearance.  This is quite taxing as well, I find, mentally as well as physically.  There was a time when I was living at home and attending the local university and I ran three times per week.  I rode my bicycle to the track at the high school and then locked it up with a combination lock.  I did this because when I exercise I get dangerously stupid.  I’d pull out into traffic, jump curbs, race trains, whatever.  Best to cool down first.  Usually took me 15 – 20 minutes before I’d remember the three-digit combination.

Unfortunately, the effect this has on weight training (with free-weights, at least) is problematic.  This morning I put 10 lbs too many on the bar when doing the bench press and squats.  The blood apparently leaves my head after the first set of exercises and I can’t add (in the mathematical sense of the word).  But the beginning weight training program I am undertaking stresses gradual buildup of weight to build axial strength.  So, wild and unpredictable fluctuations of 10 or 20 pounds are a pretty bad thing, particularly for a beginner like me who really needs to pay attention to correct form.

Anyway, apologies to anyone out there who still checks this blog, periodically.

NaNoWriMo 2007 October 3, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Idaho, Lowell, Massachusetts Drivers, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Other, writing.

Careful readers of this blog will note the new sidebar widget proclaiming my participation in this year’s National Novel Writing Month, which is held annually during the month of November.  These widgets just showed up on the NaNoWriMo website, so I grabbed one. Later it will be replaced with a progress meter, then a “winner” banner on December 1.

My job does not offer me the flexibility that it did last year, which is on balance probably a good thing.  But despite the lack of free time, I’m doing it again.  I plan on triumphantly completing my second novel, or at least 50,000 words of it, by the end of November. I may post excerpts of it, or even the whole thing, like I did last year.  I’m not yet sure.

I have been thinking about this particular novel for several months now, even going so far as to jot down the names of principal characters and a rough outline.  I hope that doing so is within NaNoWriMo guidelines, but I can’t help myself.  I am chomping at the bit. 

The setting of this one is Idaho, so it is obviously another comedy.  But it is not another Cthulhu-mythos-inspired comedy set in the fascinating world of university fundraising.  I’m sticking to the real world, or as close as I can come to the real world with a novel set in Idaho. 

Working Title: Being the Odds