Monday, November 30, 2009

The End

Ah! It's over! NaNoWriMo is over! I can now go back to watching TV and other useless activities in the evenings!

(I think I just overdosed on exclamation points.)

I think I kind of cheated. My novel ended up being this long rambling inside the minds of four characters. It got badly out-of-focus and off-topic and working on it was like pulling teeth for the last two weeks, because I wasn't going to start all over again. So tonight I spent my last thousand words modifying the "It was only a dream" cop-out . . . I mean, "construct." My version was, "It was only a NaNoWriMo novel gone wrong," and I had two til-then never encountered characters talking about the inconsistencies of the characters and whether it was a good story or not.

Look. I'm agreeing with you. It was a cop-out. But also look. It took me 48,500 words to get to the point I had intended to write about in the first place, so I wasn't going to be wrapping it up any time soon, and I had to, by midnight tonight. And . . . I wanted to, because if winding it up took this long, I sure didn't want to to see what wrapping it up was going to look like.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I shall give you a new list of things I've learned from this process, or otherwise bore you with the philosophical musings this has brought up. Meanwhile, take a gander at that nifty little new badge in my sidebar.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This Just In

One of the life eaters (whose label I'm going to have to change because I somehow forgot about the Harry Potter Death-Eaters--which are not the same thing) just ate his human sister's arm and now she is about to turn into a life eater, too. (They're kinda like zombies, because I couldn't think of anything else in "character" that acted more or less like cancer.) I didn't think that was going to happen. I thought . . . well, I thought other things were going to happen. This half-eaten sister happened to be one of the characters from whose perspective I was telling this NaNoWriMo tale, so now I am about to be telling part of the story from the point of view of a monster. Or cancer. Which is the same thing.

If I succeed, I might actually be a good writer. Or crazy. But good writers often are, I've heard . . .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Run-ins

So I've had my new car for about three weeks. Two nights ago, I got pulled over already.

I was driving home from work right around dusk, and had just gotten off the highway and was taking this short-cut bumpy-road home. I had just turned onto it when a car going the opposite direction suddenly turned into a police car. It flashed it's blue lights but then, as far as I could tell, kept on going. So did I, but you can be sure I was being pretty careful about the 30 mph speed limit.

All of a sudden the blue lights reappeared. What?! I pulled over. I rolled down my window. (Actually, I now have a car for which I don't have to roll down the window. Convenient for getting pulled over by cops.) I put my hands on the steering wheel. Oscar, quiet little black dog, sat up straight and still in the seat beside me. We both waited.

It seemed like it was taking this officer quite a long time to come over and tell me I had been speeding--which I was pretty sure I hadn't. Finally a dark shape started moving in front of the really bright headlights shining into all my mirrors. I looked up. The cop shone his flashlight into my face.

"You know you need headlights, ma'am?" he asked, sounding like he was trying not to laugh. "It's a little dark out."

Oh brother. There are only two things I miss about my Corolla: the tape deck (yeah, I said it) and the automatic day-time lights. I apologised and thanked him, because I am a Grosser and that, apparently, is what we do. (We also cry a lot, but I didn't do that this time.) I turned my headlights on. He shook his head disbelievingly and went back to his car. I get that a lot.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaNoWriNotes

National Novel Writing Month is just beyond half over, and I am just below the number of words I should be at, and I could be writing some more, but instead I thought I'd let you in on what I think of the process so far.

Week 1:
Two thousand words a day. If I just write 2,000 words a day, I'll be all set, and actually exceed the 50,000 word goal. Two thousand words isn't that many. I can do this.

The novel is begun. This is the first piece of writing I've ever tried which tells the story from multiple character's points of view. It's kind of fun. I always thought I couldn't do such things, but they even all have their own "voices," though I'm writing in the third person.

Week 2:
English-Jayne is here, but I still have a little time to write. If I get slightly behind, I can catch up easily enough.

I am reveling in watching the characters do their own thing right before my eyes. One of the advisor-priests (priests in this imaginary world are priests of science, not religion . . . although really? what's the difference) has suddenly and unexpectedly become a main character and, it turns out, is in love with the queen. The queen is best friends with a cook in the kitchens. And the way you can tell if a person has turned into one of the monster Life-Eaters is that they start growing extra appendages, while their original ones wither and fall off.

Week 3:
I can't get caught up. I like my ideas, but this story is progressing like molasses. I have taken all the hyphens out of all my made-up roles, like advisor priests and life eaters and my word count is still down. I have more blog-posts in my head than normal but I can't write them because I have to write this super-boring story, simply because I said I would. What if I quit? Can I quit? Why are all my stories boring? I will never get another book published because I put my own self to sleep with everything but Trees in the Pavement.

The individual voices are merging into one, boring, somewhat grumpy voice. (I wonder why.) Plus the advisor priest who is in love with the queen is probably going to turn out to be an unwitting villain. That could be interesting, but right now it's just annoying. Not enough things are going wrong for the characters, but the things that are, are the wrong things. Ugh!

So there. Back to writing. I figure I need to write about 6,000 words today to catch up. And I'll only get behind again, because this weekend I have an all-nighter with the youth group. Sigh.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Signs

God and Moses are having their little back-and-forth about whether God knows what He's doing in choosing Moses to get the rest of the Israelites out of Egypt, and whether Moses is going to do it, and God says, "Here's how you'll know it was me who sent you to do this: after you guys all get out, you'll come back and worship me on this mountain."

The first time I really noticed that (and many times subsequently), I thought, "What kind of a sign is that? It's after the fact." You really have to step out in faith for that kind of thing . . . only finding out if you went the right way or made stuff up after you've tried it.

Well, Moses and the Israelites got out of Egypt, and they did worship God on that mountain, but it wasn't exactly easy sailing (or hiking, or whatever) anyway, and the Israelites were more prone to say, "Why didn't you let us stay in Egypt? Huh? At least we could eat leeks and garlic there." (I like leeks and garlic--a lot--but I have often thought that was a strange thing to choose as a consolation for slavery. You'll say anything when you're desperate, though, I guess.) Even though that worship-on-the-mountain sign was after the fact, it ended up being before a lot of other challenges, in the end, and I wonder if Moses hung onto that when the people he was more or less babysitting for forty years got particularly annoying. "Well. I'm not entirely sure how wandering around with this lot is God's will, but He did say we'd worship Him on that mountain, if it were true he sent me to get them out, and we did it, and here we are. I guess I'll carry on then." I suspect there were times, though, when he wished for a few more signs to keep him motivated.

Right now I have a much less history-altering (I think) application of this same after-the-fact-but-you-aren't-out-of-the-desert-yet-honey sign principle. Remember how I was trying to figure out if I should get that car? And I was wondering if the $2 over the monthly amount I was wanting to spend was significant or not? Then I made the decision to get the car after all, and took out a loan from a local credit union. Not only did I get an excellent APR (relatively speaking, of course), but I also learned that the amount I thought I'd have to pay per month was $27 less that $202. (It is not difficult to do the math. I just wanted to write it that way. So there.)

This, I thought, was kind of like one of those retroactive signs: "As a sign that I have chosen this car for you, you will have smaller monthly car payments that you asked or imagined." Pretty cool.

Only . . . then I discovered I'm not out of the desert yet. My car insurance rates just jumped up with this purchase, and I didn't realise just how much excise tax and all that stuff was going to cost, so I probably should've asked for a slightly larger loan, and in the meantime, my health insurance changed hands, so I'm now paying for premiums and deductibles again, and I have no financial buffer. Is this evidence that I made a bad decision and should have waited on the car? Or is it the Red Sea and dearth of water and the plague of poisonous snakes and the battle with the Amalekites? These are just some of the things I'm thinking about these days . . . but I'm kind of a fan of Moses.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Things That Make You Go "Hmmm."

Today I went into a Starbucks I'd never been to before. The guy taking people's orders looked like quite a nice young man, and sort of like someone I might have seen before. I decided that was probably because he looked like a Type. This is the thought that went through my head after I decided that:

"He looks like he might be an evangelical Christian . . .

. . . Or gay."

Then I had to stop and think about that. From a whole lot of angles. I'll bet you are now, too.

Respond.
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