Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's over but it ain't over yet!

It's the end of November and the minutes are ticking away on the last hour of the official National Novel Writing Month for 2008. I "only" got 9,665 words written on my manuscript so I will not rise above the 'Official Participant' status to the winner circle this year but it is SO not over. What did I get out of my participation? I am officially a writer now - no longer merely an aspiring writer who talks about someday writing or one day I'm going to or any of the other crap I've been saying for 20 years. I am still going to finish my novel and one day maybe people will actually make a trip to a cash register or cart checkout screen with it in their grubby or even virtual hands, or download the eBook and read it on electronic readers everywhere. It is hard work and it is like having another job on top of all the other things you do - one that is like an apprenticeship where you do all this hard work and never get paid until the bitter end and then only if you are good enough to get hired. But I've come this far so why stop now. Look out world, I AM A WRITER! I AM AN AUTHOR!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's harder than it looks...

It probably escaped no one's notice that it is November... the 18th to be exact. So, at this rate, I should be deep in the middle of writing my much touted and much anticipated novel for National Novel Writing Month that started exactly 18 days ago. If we were being scientific (some could argue OCD) which I am, the daily word count goal to stay on pace to complete with no more effort on any given day than another would be 1,667 words per day. Not a lofty goal when considering one of my longer blog entries can easily approach that number and they mostly just roll off the proverbial tongue. So then, the calculations for daily word count at the end of day 18 would be - 30,006. Where am I in my word count you might ask? (drum roll....) 8,242. No, not a type-o! (Perhaps I should be wondering why it is that here I sit typing a blog entry instead of more words on the manuscript, huh?) So, I have tons of rationalizations - first, I am just barely getting over whatever killer bug I caught that had me feeling under the weather for 4 weeks; second, I had house guests for 5 days where I thought I could burn the candle at both ends and entertain then write late at night and/or early in the morning which didn't happen; third, and probably most important of all, it's a lot damn harder than I thought it would be! I got waylaid in chapter 1 and got so obsessive about editing and re-editing so it would be perfect that I let parts of the story slip away from me. In fact, I skipped the second chapter almost entirely instead of continuing with the drivel and am hoping that what goes in it comes back to me at some point soon. Now I'm on vacation where I had pictured lazy warm days spent entirely on the beach with my trusty laptop and tons of inspiration to catch up on the slow start. It worked pretty well yesterday with almost 1500 new words and exciting things to write about again and so I'm trying to keep the momentum alive. My perfectionist and competitive nature is tugging at the bootstraps and keeping me in the race. Hopefully I can actually finish with something worthy of at least editing which maybe will lead to something folks might want to read. I'm beyond thinking I'm going to just upchuck a perfect first draft that will be ready for publishing which was the delusion I started out with. That only happens in fiction after all.... With all that said, I know that if this thing ever actually makes it to print I already have a group of people to acknowledge from my newly-formed writing group. You guys know who you are and I couldn't have gotten this far without every single one of you, even the non-writing members! Well, let's be honest, I probably would have gotten this far but it would have been shit without you guys!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A break to talk about the election

I'm taking a break from my novel writing - no, not because I am stuck but because I don't want to let the moment pass by without commenting on the history that was made tonight in the good ol' US of A. Imagine, the first black man in the oval office. Hell, I'm happy enough that it is a Democrat!! Of course, it isn't the Democrat of my first choice and it is not one above all reproach with his questionable acquaintances of the past but hey, is there really one out there above all reproach no matter which party you look for it in? I'd like to take a moment to address the one point that made me cringe the most when toted by the "flaming red's" as I like to refer to my fellow citizens of (and I quote) "the reddest state in the Union". That would be the comment that Obama had no experience compared to John McCain. Please... The facts (which I actually took the time to check!) state that after getting his law degree from Harvard and leading the Harvard Law Review while he was there, he practiced law and did community organizing and then worked his way up in local government before being elected to the US Senate. What does McCain have on his resume in the form of experience? Well, after his stint as a POW in 'Nam (which yes, is tragic and horrible and noble but does not in any way count as experience in leading a country in my opinion) he was a beer distributor. Yes, you read it right, a beer distributor and then was elected to the Senate where he's been for decades. No doubt using his POW stories back then to get elected. Now you tell me why one or the other isn't just as good as the other. Personally I'd rather have a lawyer who knows the laws of the land he is tasked with governing than some beer distributor who calls himself a maverick and continues - election after election - to think that he has anything that the majority of us Americans want. We didn't want you in 2000 and we don't want you now. I'm putting my hopes on Obama and look forward to the next 4 years that, at the very least, will not be 4 more years of Republican rhetoric! No matter if upon looking back the "Change" we were promised and that we're all hoping for actually happens or not, I can say that I was there and paying attention while the things of history were happening!