Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo: final day

In honor of the end of NaNoWriMo 2009 (you still have 1 hour and 50 minute remaining, those of you who are on the West Coast and still madly typing away toward the last minute), I found a YouTube video - for all we have written this month, be it 50k, or 100k or 10k. We are leaving this month with that many more words of our stories written than we started it with.

Congratulations on whatever you have written or are still to write in the now, 1 hour and 47 minutes.

Way to go, everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNo-Marathon: lessons in acceptance

Well, I walked the half marathon this morning. I suppose I could say record time, since it's the first one I've ever done. But I didn't quite make my goal of 17 minute miles, but I was less than a minute off in miles per minute (3h 55m instead of 3h 47m). I'll take that time; I completed 13.1 miles when a week ago I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to do it at any pace.

It's like with my NaNoNovel - I made the 50k at 1:45 AM on Wednesday 11/27 and feel proud to have done that. But my goal this year was to have completed the story by midnight on November 30th. I will not do that. My story is a mystery about a relay walking team whose quest for personal bests becomes a quest for survival. At my current word count of about 51,500 words, the characters have just arrived in the town the day before the event. I estimate I'll need about another 20,000 or so words to complete the story. Even if I wrote from now until midnight tomorrow (which isn't going to happen), I don't think I could do it. It would be a pace I can't sustain, especially not when I'll probably go to bed early, being pooped from the half marathon this morning. Nope.

Aside from personal accomplishment, each activity also provided me with a great community of fellow travelers in the journeys.

For the Seattle Marathon, there was a great community of friends from the Miss Fit Dragons - Karen, Teri, Kathleen, and Tawna - who agreed to do the event. Everyone provided mutual support and encouragement. This morning, a cousin and a husband joined in the walking - Rob and Angie - and it was great to have them with us. Among our supporters and cheering section were other husbands and a daughter - Louie, Lindsay, and Bob. I also want to say a special thank you to Karen for walking with me and being my personal encourager today; she could have completed the 13.1 miles at least half an hour earlier on her own, but our conversation and her "c'mon, Dot"s helped me keep going when I thought I couldn't do it. And a special thanks to Teri, who showed me some awesome trails, hills, training spots in Portland that I never knew existed. To both of them - thank you for joining me on the 9+ mile walks. It helped. A lot.

For NaNoWriMo, my community of writers went beyond local friends. My writing community included many in the Portland area, and a few from places such as Egypt, Wisconsin, New York, Chicago, and Texas - emails and forum posts helped keep ideas percolating and helped keep me typing. I want to especially thank Jenny for the multiple writing meet-ups at various hours of the day and days of the week and her email support. She is an awesome writer and she is an awesome human being. A big thanks to Christi for all of her support and blog comments and words of encouragement and congratulations. And to Alexander who gave it a shot and met up with us a few times to write. He and I will be working on completing our novels in December - as will, I think, Jenny and Christi.

November was a challenge I took on with excitement and a willingness to try what some people said was impossible: NaNoWriMo and training for a half marathon simultaneously, while maintaining my regular work and teaching. Two major events completed. Personal goals not met, but the minimum requirements met.

I am humbled and on my way to acceptance.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo & Half Marathon

I am on the brink of the finish line for both events. Yes, I hit the 50k on my second nanonovel, but the sprinting continues and the story goes on. As of just before midnight yesterday, my current count is 51,549 words.

With the half marathon, that will be over about 24 hours from now. I picked up my bib and race pack yesterday. They included a chip! I hadn't planned on that, but I find myself with a little more excitement about my pace than I had been. I had almost given up the pace issue - well, accepted that I may not make my pace because of getting that lengthy cold (which is 90-95% gone). But now, with my cold nearly gone, the predicted excellent weather, and a timing chip - well, I may just be able to push myself a little more than I thought I could on Wednesday.

Today, is a "taking it easy" day all around. Stretched this morning. Showered late. Found the lovely Tillicum Place Cafe just a few blocks from the hotel for brunch (the hotel restaurant stops breakfast at 10:30 - on a Saturday?!?!) - where I got a simple, non-spicy, non-greasy, easy on the digestive system small (yay!) omelette, with simple potatoes, and a tasty fruit garnish, and a small pot of french press. Yummy, simple, yet flavorful - perfect for the protein, some carbs, not a huge portion, non challenging to my system, good fuel for tomorrow. Easy.

That's the goal for today: easy does it. I probably won't nano today, but I may work on a piece I'm thinking of submitting for a contest; if I do, the deadline is Monday. I will write a pre-first-half-marathon piece, as well. And strech some more. Walk to Buca di Beppo for dinner with my fitness friends at 5. Then, read, watch tv, take a bath - I don't know - rest. And to bed early because I'll be getting up about 5:30 AM so I'll have time for water and a carb-protein breakfast with time to digest it before the race.

Me, in Seattle, takin' it easy in preparation for my first half marathon and then the final write on my nanonovel. I at least want the novel's main event started before the end of NaNoWriMo.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 27

I wrote a little bit today. Not a lot because I brought the train up to Seattle in preparation for my half marathon on Sunday. One reason I brought the train up was so I could use that time for writing. But I did not get much done for two reasons (1) lack of sleep necessitated a nap, and (2) my laptop battery has a really short life. Really. It went from 97% to 25% in about 35 minutes. Ouch.

Still, I did manage another 600+ words. I may do more in a little while. I spent the afternoon going to Blue C Sushi - my favorite Kaiten style sushi and the only one I know who has Gomasee (steamed spinach piles in a sesame soy sauce). Then I went to pick up my race packet: bib, timing chip (that may spurn me on to go for the time a little! as long as my lungs hold out), race shirt - and, of course, to walk the expo and look at things and pick up a few things. I love running/walking event expos - so much cool stuff to look at.

And I've been back in my hotel for about and hour now, indulging in a little television (yeah, for Law and Order, and CSI). Think I'll write for a little while more then go to sleep.

Yawn. It feels great to be past the 50,000 and I do want to maintain momentum on this story. It would be a very difficult one to put down and pick back up after a month or two.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 26 early morning

At 1:45 AM I became a winner. Yes, I passed the 50,000 mark (50,159 currently). My characters have arrived at their destination, although the event has yet to start.

I am a Winner!

Now, home to sleep so that I can get up and bake the turkey! I haven't done this in years, but am confident I'll remember how, with the help of a recipe. (Oh, look, my contractions are back! Yay)

Marathon Wish

On Sunday, November 29th, I will be participating in my first half marathon in Seattle. (Yes, I have been training for a half marathon and writing the draft of a 50,000+ word novel simultaneously, on top of my regular life.) I really really want it to NOT be raining. Please. So I am really happy to see the following weather prediction for Sunday for Seattle:

Seattle, WA

-Fri----- ---Sat---------Sun
Scattered Showers---- - Showers ----- Cloudy
48° | 42° -47° | 44°- --51° | 43°

All I am asking for is *no rain.* I can deal with the cold (layers that come off and go back on as needed) and a little wind. But, please, no rain. So: please pray or chant or sing or send out energy waves, or whatever you do that Sunday in Seattle there is no rain. I like the above prediction. That would be perfect. Just perfect.

Thank you. *grin*

(Back to the nanonovel; I am currently at 48,832. Almost at 50k. I will make it tonight (which is now the morning, but who's counting, right?))

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

nano nearing midnight update

With ten minutes to go until midnight, my word count on my 2009 nanonovel is 47,581.

NaNoWriMo: day 25

This is the day I was hoping to have the 50,000 done. I don't think I am going to make it, but I am close. And I am at one of my favorite writing spots - one of the few 24 hour joints with coffee and wifi and lighting in Portland. So I will see what I can do in the next 85 minutes. But, as of right now, my total word count is: 45,328.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

nano night notes

Today I spent a couple hours between an appointment, errands, and work doing what? Oh, writing! My evening word count - and perhaps my final number for the day - is:
(and it seems we are getting to the main event in the story - finally!)

illness and body parts and murder, oh my

so, i've been sick this week. not sick enough to miss work (or can't afford to stay home from work is most accurate). but my head has been stuffy and nose stuffy and weak and tired and yada yada. i've been writing bits here and there but it has felt stilted, stale, slow - sluggish. like me.

i whined a little. slept. whined, worked, napped, slept. oh, and ate a little. and drank coffee. whined. wrote.

was feeling a little blah about the story or that we have not gotten to the exciting part yet. everything feeling drawn out.

i let the one character be murdered instead of hurt and in a coma. oh well.

then a body part appeared in the hamper. weird. and that thread is going no where so far.
and. stale. ugh. sloshing through the muck.

then today, i was feeling better, had another eight hours of sleep (careful, this could become a habit). even got up and went for a two mile walk (i could not do the eight i was scheduled and was advised to not push my body that much). home. showered. went for breakfast (in true nano fashion, this "breakfast" was at 1:30 pm) at one of my writing spots, along with my laptop.
oooh. so i said the story was getting stale.

well, over breakfast and writing, they (the characters, of course) decided that someone would die. well, another one would die. and this was the dog. omg, i told them. no, not the dog. geesh, what do you want people to think?

then i went to work.

oh well. it is their story. and the dog is dead as i approach 40,000.

back to work.
originally posted at
The Nano Project
on 11/22/09
by Dot

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 22

Time is flying. My fingers fly when I put them to the keyboard. I just need to make sure to get them TO the keyboard.

My word count so far today - which may BE my word count for today - is:

Oh - and I did get out for a two mile walk today. A quick normal pace, not a race pace. But a walk. Yay!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWrMo: day 21

Another day of no writing, I fear. I am at work and it is steady and there are no more opportunities left. So mark this as day two of no writing. Not bad, when I think about it, to only have two days out of 21 with no writing this month. Hmmm - perspective.

Slept in (after staying up late working on something I won't write about in case a certain someone happens to come over here and look at what I've written before it disappears into the archives). It was nice to sleep in for a change. Sleep in with plenty of time before I had to go anywhere. Well, let me back up. Perspective, again. "Slept in" means I got 8 hours of sleep; I was up until 2:30AM - so I stayed in bed until 10:30 AM. My goal is to have 8 hours be the norm. And, normally, during NaNoWriMo I wouldn't worry about it so much.

But I do have the half marathon. I am determined to be there next Sunday. Which requires rest and recovery. Although I am going to try a few miles tomorrow; outside if it is not windy and rainy; and at the gym if it is. And that was another thing on my list of to-dos today - I had an appointment with my massage therapist, who did some body work that I think really helped me get some things lined up and will help, too.

So I worked; had the LMT appointment; then worked some more.

No writing.

Maybe after I get home from work - which will be very late.

And I want to get 8 hours of sleep again, tonight.

Friday, November 20, 2009

nano 20 update

My total word count through 11:59 pm on 11/20/09 is


I can now sleep well. I wrote. And I feel that there is some action about to happen; I was hoping for a bit of it to make an appearance tonight. But I think the characters are ready to move on now and get to the big event. Maybe.

NaNoWriMo: day 20

I am in a funk. I will not call it defeat nor will I call it depression. I have been sick all week. I have had to hold up on my final week of training for the half marathon (in Seattle on 11/29) before the taper next week; I will not be walking eight miles with my training buddies tomorrow or Sunday because I am still not over this head cold. Just walking from my car to the classroom where I teach this afternoon had me winded and increased fatigue. I want to do the half marathon and am getting as much rest as I can, as much sleep as I can, cutting out what I can, and still working - which I have to do.

And - no writing yesterday. A very long day on only six hours of sleep.

So far - no writing today. Here I am procrastinating when I could be writing in my nanonovel. I will write today. Period. I have to.

I will admit that I am losing interest in this story. Not because of the story, I think. But because I have not been working out (other than a divided up hour on two days this week) - which does not help my body or mind or spirit. And because I have been sick. The not walking, not doing strength training, and being sick are making me melancholy and question my overall goals.

Also, my online writing group has ended and I am not doing the next session because of work conflicts and the timing of the workshop.

Sad. That's it. I'm sad.

Then tonight a person who contacted me sent out a post on a NaNo forum. She is behind on her word count and put out a challenge to others who are behind to hang in there and keep it up and get writing. That inspired me.

And my good friend Jenny is about to catch up to me in the number of words. Christi is coming along, too. And I see that Alexander has entered another chunk of words into his novel, too. Thank you.

So, thank you Debil and Jenny and Christi and Alexander for your boosts. All I have to do is press one keystroke, then another, then another. Right?

I .... will .... not .... give .... up..... (on nano or the marathon)....

Here I go - let's see what I can do in, uh, 50 minutes.

Go, Dot, go.

NaNoWriMo: day 19

Oops. Today was a big ol' -0- on the word count. I was planning to write after getting home at 10pm after a very long day, returning the rental car I had because my car wouldn't start when I went back out after getting a sandwich. It had to be towed. I had to get to work then work today. Alas, internet connection was down again (wind storms are causing outages) - the one down side to having novel in google docs. Oh well. I'm still ahead on words and maybe my story will move along after a break. Like needing to rest with this darn cold so I can get well and do the half marathon on the 29th. Life is not cooperating with my noveling.

But here's hoping I can get in some good hours of writing this weekend between walks (indoors; I need to get and keep well!) and work gigs.

I can't check my word count, either. I bet Jenny has caught up to me by now! Christi is not too far back there, either. And I think Alexander is holding out on us.

Off to bed now. I have an early day tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 17

Oh, boy. Definitely at the slo-mo time in the process. I left in the early morning for a personal appointment, then work and work and work; arrived home at 10 pm (the last gig went late tonight - of course). I hadn't eaten dinner yet - thank goodness for boxed Imagine soups! Yummy Latin black bean soup.

Then, finally, I sat down to write. Not many words today, but more than it was looking like at 11:10 pm -- which was a big, round -0-.

Final word count today is 35,035. Not stellar and I think what I wrote is pretty boring. But the story is moving. I'm not quite sure what will happen next, because they're not quite ready to get to the big event. Although I could write that and then go back and fill in later.

As Christi pointed out on Writing Under Pressure, this novel does not necessarily have to be written in the order in which it will appear or even chronologically. So I could decide to skip ahead in the time line.

Or I can just continue to follow the characters and see what they want to do next. Although I do feel like they are avoiding something. We'll see. There's only been one death, so far. Maybe two, I'm not sure if the disembodied foot came from a dead body or is part of a med students exam or what. But - there is something the characters don't want to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 16

No, being home sick all day did not mean that I got to write my brains out and get to 50,000. Definitely not.

It was a hard decision to stay home. And it is not because it's the "piggy" sick, as my friend said. It was hard because it was the last session of the Write Around Portland group I was facilitating. I have a cold and was (am, admit it, it's not gone yet!) stuffy and blowing my nose and a sore throat. But I could have gone if it were just for me. But it would not have been fair or healthy for the participants. So I didn't go and, after talking with the staff, the decision was made to just cancel it rather than send a stranger for the final group.

So I did spend some time making up little envelopes stuffed with the things I was going to give them today. That was fun and took some time - but time I was happy to spend that way.

Then I had to deal with health insurance. What a pain. TMI so I'll stop on that topic now.

And picked up supplements from my naturopath to help get me through this - quickly, I hope. I still have some training days for the half marathon!! Help!

Otherwise, home. Home and taking care of business. And a nap.

But I did manage to sit down tonight and get some writing in; I thought I was going to have a -0- day. But, no, I actually managed to hit...

33,925 just over the minimum daily average needed: 50k, here I come!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 15

I don't think I'll have an opportunity to do any more writing tonight. So here is my official word count at the end of the midway day:



nano midday update for day 15 - hump day

Oh, I am slogging this morning. Slogging mentally due to waking up with the feeling that someone had stomped on my head in the middle of the night, leaving me with cotton stuffed in every space between my brain and the rest of my body and my nose threatening to never take another breath.


A shower alleviated most of the nose and frontal sinus issues. But I still have that cotton-ness between my ears and my brain. Or something. I hear sounds, but there is an ocean in there and voices carry through the thick fog, yet listening is difficult and hearing is harder. Though I do hear; it is weird. This is not a good omen for how my work will go tonight. Hoping for relief from that or that the focused nature of the work to come will help me be able to understand the words I see and hear.

I met with Jenny and we wrote for a bit. I was slow to arrive but could not push myself to go faster. And I was slow to get started with the nano story, but I did, but the ideas did not flow in the same smooth way of this last week.

No worries. I am still making my minimum word count for today; just not much more.

Slogging. One keystroke in front of the other.

As of right now, my word count is 31,631 - not quite at the daily minimum, but I will see if I can squeeze out a few more progressions in the story before the day is done. I have just ended one chapter (they are not really chapters, yet - more like sections; but "chapter" has a common definition that indicates, to me at least, moving from one scene to another - or is one way of moving from one scene to another). This is a good time to pause and get closer to work and then see what I can do in terms of word numbers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 14

It has been an amazing day. Full of fitness and friends and team and fun; ending with some work. And I still managed to get in some writing!

I started with a 12 mile training walk with two of my Seattle half marathon friends. We were lucky to have a clear and sunny - although cold - morning; and no rain. Yay for no rain; after I felt like I was going to freeze last weekend with the rain, I have definitely decided that I am putting in my order for no rain on November 29th in Seattle. I'll take the cold (a friend and I did a 10k in early January and there was ice on the ground; I can layer and bundle for that). Please no rain. One friend took off at her faster pace at about 3 1/2 miles, which is fine; my fast is her stroll - and her fast is about 4 minutes per mile faster than mine. But the other friend and I kept up our pace and we made okay time. About mile 9 I started to hurt a little; about mile 10 I was knowing I could do the half marathon but "knew" I couldn't do a full marathon and why would I even try; at mile 11 I saw the end ahead and was driven toward that. We reached our cars, I stretched a little and rushed home to shower and change and drive to the shoe store, where...

The 2010 relay walking team I'm captain of was meeting for shoe fitting and trying on shoes. Seven of us made it there - it was fun and the staff was great. The last of us (which included me) left 3 hours after our arrival. With shoes. And inserts. And socks.

Then I stopped for sushi.

Then I went to a coffee shop with wifi where I proceeded to make more progress on my nanonovel. I saw myself nearing 30k, just as I'd seen us approaching 12 miles, and I thought, I *can* do this before I have to leave for work (which was just 10 minutes away). So I typed and I typed and what do you know!?!?! I did it!

My ending word count for today is 30,104. And the story is still progressing - yay. I hated to stop because I was getting on a roll (though not as good as last night's roll when I had to stop for sleep due to the walk this morning). Oh well, I get to meet with my nanowritingbuddies tomorrow! Yay.

(I may or may not stop by the all night write-in tonight. Will have to see how I'm feeling when I get done with work.)

p.s. - I probably am going to sign up for the marathon training, after all. The first meeting is in December, with biweekly training walks/runs. After I push through those final 3 or 4 miles, I feel good. Kind of like NaNoWriMo!

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 13

Yay - I made it through the dreaded second week.... almost. Another day to go, but I'm feeling great about my word count. And the story gained a little momentum.

It's interesting. Tonight my partner was working, so I had the whole house to myself. Which is not a common event, given our disparate work schedules. But I did. And I decided, since I have a twelve mile walk tomorrow morning (the marathon is just fifteen days away! - yikes - ) that I needed some carbo loading tonight. It's okay - I can do this once in a while. I will not be pushing myself as hard as I will be for the half marathon in Seattle - but it is still walking twelve miles.

So I found a new to me place to go and I did. With my college ruled spiral bound notebook in hand and a pen. While I waited in line, I continued with the chapter I started last night. My whole day had been full of work, so I had not written anything today. But, standing at the little bar, I started writing. The maitre'd' guy (I think that wearing a plaid shirt and blue jeans allows me to call him this and not even bother to look up how to spell it correctly) told me politely that there was a table for me by the front window.

"Perfect," I said and put down a couple more words to complete the thought as I walked over there, with one eye on the aisle so I didn't run into anyone.

I sat down and quickly decided what I wanted to eat. For any of my friends who read this, they will scoff because I tend to not be a fast decision maker when it comes to ordering food. But, believe it or not, I decided what I wanted in about three minutes. And got right back to writing down my story. The waitress came, I ordered, my Merlot arrived and my beets, walnut, and goronzola on mixed greens salad.

I tried to eat left handed since I knew that writing left handed would be abysmal and I would only get five or six words down. Gave up. Ate right handed, put the last bite of greens and chunk of beets into my mouth and was back at writing. I can drink left handed and write at the same time. Which I did.

Then came the penne with lemon butter sauce, green onions, salmon, and halibut - oh, and artichoke hearts. Dang, I had to put down the pen to eat. But it was worth it and I have an entire second meal waiting for me in my refrigerator downstairs right now.

So back to the writing. Then came the check. And I kept writing. There was only a short line in the restaurant now and I couldn't stop. The story was flowing - although in a different direction that I thought it would but my hand was literally moving faster than I could think and I could not stop it.

Well, I had to stop it after a few minutes. To get home. Then get sidetracked by an email and then a phone call. And it was all good. Because when I did finally get back to my story, I discovered - again - that my by hand word count and the story it contained were not bad at all. And I liked it.

So, second week, hah! Who cares! I did it. And I faced interruptions (oh, life). And still I ended today with a new word count of, ta da ....


...that is 2,092 words by hand in the space of about 80 minutes, which included ordering and eating!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 12

Another quick update: a pretty unproductive day in terms of writing. Once in a while I just have to pay attention to the rest of my life and there was a lot of it today.

Still, I did manage a few words: my ending total today is 25,913.

Not stellar, but keeping it moving!


quick update before my head hits the pillow: I have passed the halfway point!

25,118 words

night night

...z z z z z...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 11

In true second week fashion, things have slowed. True, I had a great day yesterday by hand. Given my schedule - I felt lucky to get anything written. But I did and it was pretty much on track in terms of average number of words. It was also pretty cool that, today, when I finally was able to get it all typed in to my master document, my estimated word count was only 12 words off from the actual! Not bad.

Then there was this thing I had to do, and that thing I had to do, and phone calls, walking up and down the hill for training, couple's therapy, emails to respond to. And, finally, a little bit of time to write before I have to get to bed.

Week two is notorious for blocks from life and blocks in the story surfacing. I thought I was going to escape that, but no. I hit them today. I had hoped, since it was a day "off" from work (which means I did not have to go anywhere and do the thing that I do to earn money) that I would write more. However, many of those phone calls and emails were about work. So I was not technically off.

But enough excuses.

I did write. And when I saw how close I was to that official halfway point I tried to push it but did not quite make it. My ending word count for today is 24,572 . A gain of 1,550 - so just short of the average. I'll take it.

NaNoWriMo synchronicity

Lynda Barry was the guest cheerleader for Tuesday's pep talk. And what a great one it was.

Seems that she and I have something in common.

Writing with pen and paper. It's great. I'm cool 'cuz I wrote like Lynda Barry. Uh huh.

(Sorry, nanoness is eating my brain. Gonna go walk up and down the hill in the rain. No - really, I am; training for the half marathon in Seattle at the end of this month. But I'll blame it on NaNoWriMo if anyone asks why I'd agree to do such a thing.)

Read Lynda Barry's pep talk here.

Visit Lynda Barry's website (which is where this picture is linked from - it's hers, not mine, in case you didn't know!).

After I return from getting soaked in the rain and sweating under the rain coat I'm going to try, I'll change and wrap up warmly and settle in with a cup of hot something and make some more progress on my story. I just finished adding in the hand-written material and am ready to progress toward the big event. First, I walk.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 10

Today I had some down time on a job. No laptop. No wireless access even if I did (which means no access to my novel, since I'm using Google Docs for writing it). But I had pen and paper. So while the clients were involved in individual activities for an extended time, I went back to pen and paper and wrote. And wrote - always keeping one ear and one eye on the room, listening and surveying in case I was needed.

For 35 minutes, I wrote longhand. I filled 10 pages of lined notebook paper. I did an estimated count of 1,650 words!

This brings my approximate total to 23,035. [update: the official count once I typed in the handwritten material was 23,023.]

I also noticed that my longhand word count was just as quick as my typing word count for a similar time. Interesting. Except that now I'm trying to type in all those words I wrote and I'm noticing that it is actually taking me longer to type in what I wrote than if I was creating and typing at the same time.

What does it mean?

Nothing, I guess. Except: hmmm, interesting!

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNo end of day 9

Oh, what a great day! A couple hours with Jenny at Urban Grind, another 3o minutes alone and a greatly increased word count. Then writing with the members of the Write Around Portland groups (some of which was for the novel - but I haven't added it in yet!).

Then home for dinner and to catch up on grading my PCC student's homework. Well, at least the written part - I wasn't able to get to feedback on the videos, yet.

Then a few minutes of playing Feeding Frenzy.

Topped off with more writing - about 1000 words worth.

So tonight I ended with a grand total of : 21, 385 ....

NaNoWriMo: day 9 midday update

I was curious about the total authors this year (or authors so far - people can still join in; but most of the participants are already involved) - so I popped on over to the Twitter site during a nanomaintenance site down -- and here's what I found

2009 Tally: 157,425 authors signed up with 676,900,348 combined words (from the Office of Letters and Light, the NaNoWriMo headquarters).

As for me, I passed the 20,000 mark just a few minutes ago. Which is why I'm taking a short procrastination break from my novel. Which is still plodding along, although I feel there is a little movement in there now. We'll see. One of my main characters is taking a little diversion down memory lane, which had me a little irritated because I felt like we were finally starting to head towards the actual plot. But no, she had to go back to a recent event, a recent personal discovery.

So, I followed. Then I hit 20,031 and she said I could rest a bit, to check in with the rest of my life.

I have a little bit of time left to write, then I get to go facilitate the Write Around Portland workshop I'm doing this session. Only two more of those left. I will miss them - they have been a great group and awesome writers, spectacularly strong and brave human beings, and so supportive of each other. And I will be glad to have those three hours on Monday afternoons back for the rest of November. I have set them aside for writing.

Okay, my main character says, time's up. If I need to go to the bathroom, now is the time because there is only 30 minutes left and I have more to tell you.

Gotta go - my novel is calling!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

murder in nanoland: day 8

Word count update: 17,478 ...

The following was originally posted at
The NaNo Project blog
by Dot.

I was typing away, blissful in the productivity I was able to attain once I actually got to the writing meet-up with my buddy this morning. (It took a while, we were both late, but we did eventually make it.)

Then, all of a sudden, from out of the blue, it happened.

The story wants one of my characters dead.

I'm not ready to kill someone off, yet. And not this character. She was going to be one of the primaries once I get to the exciting part of this plot. But, no - they want her dead. I'm currently deciding whether to overrule with my author's privilege and just have her be injured and taken to the hospital - I'll even give them a coma if they want. But I don't want her dead. No.

Who wins? The characters or me? What will I lose later if I try to play god in my story now? Or am I already god and this is their way of rebelling?

Oh, a NaNo dilemma.

I don't mind killing off a character. Really. And it - to be totally, brutally, honest with myself - is about time something exciting happened; I will give them that one. This plot needs to move along. Although I suppose that slow and plodding has its benefits during NaNo. But still.

Oh, what to do?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 7

originally posted at
by Dot

Today has been stormy. I overslept. Which is to say that I slept. A full 8 hours - no, not 8 hours all together - 6 hours, woke up, back to sleep within 20 or 30 minutes for another 2 hours. I still had just enough time to go for my 10 miles walk and get back in time for the next thing. But I did not make it 10 miles - only 6 and with 4 legs of hills. I have run a little low on sleep until last night (only 12 hours total for the previous 3 days) - and my body said no way was it going 10 miles. Plus it started to rain a lot heavier than I was dressed for. I was dressed for rain - layers, a waterproof rain jacket - but not the downpour that started, so I headed home, 2 miles away from the house. By the time I got home it was torrential; truly. About 5 minutes later there was a lot of thunder and the rain kept pouring. Later there was a rainbow and I was wet and still cold to the bone; a phrase I don't often use because I have not experienced that feeling until now.

But you know what? Guess what started to come out in the next chapter of my novel. One of my characters decided to go for a training walk and it started to rain! Woo hoo. She is talking herself through it now -- or was when I had to stop to get to work.

I had a massage after a hot shower (I didn't plan to get soaked before the massage, but she has a table warmer so it was actually perfect!), went out for a quick dinner with my partner, then to a friend's art opening and sale.

Then, finally, to SE Grind for a couple hours of writing. And after a few minutes, the story started to unfold about one of my main characters heading out for a training walk, in the rain, and all she wanted to do was go home...

The Art of NaNoWriMo - imitating life.

Current word count is 16,597.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 6

An extremely sleep deprived day. I did not get to sleep immediately upon arriving home from work in the week hours of the morning today. Right now I cannot even remember what it was that was so important to do when I got home - but it was, I swear! I did it quickly, but it still delayed getting to bed for an hour. Then I had a very early job so that my number of hours I had to sleep was absolutely horrible. I did squeeze in two 10 minute naps today - which helps.

I came up with a new metaphor. These last two days have felt like the "old days" when you scrounged through the sofa and the car seats, collecting whatever coins you could so you could drive to the gas station and buy 5o cents or 75 cents of gas to get you around for a couple of days.

I've been scrambling around in search of long enough blocks of time to take a nap: 10 here, 15 there, another 10, and even a 30 last night. Just long enough for me to catch a little down time, eyes shut, lessening the chatter in my brain, to make it do-able to get through the next stretch of work.

But tonight - I will go to bed and I will sleep. I can't sleep as long as I want, since I have to do a 10 mile pace walk tomorrow. But, if I can wrap this post up and get to bed right now, I should be able to get a full 8 hours before I walk.

My reward will be a massage in the early afternoon.


Oh, and my current word count? Give it up for me, who has passed another major milestone: 15,608 ! Yay.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 5

I've hit the sleep wall a little too early in the process. Ouch. I did manage one 15-minute nap, one 10-minute nap, and one 30-minute nap today; amazing for a person who doesn't generally take naps! But they were severely needed.

A couple more hours of writing tonight between work gigs, and about 45 minutes or an hour with Jenny. She is awesome and a wonderful writing partner and friendly competitor. It's nice to have someone you can truly mutually inspire and be inspired by, as well as have all in good fun rivalry!

My new word count is 12,472. Woo - the words are moving along nicely, even if the story seems to be taking a while to get to the synopsis I wrote. Oh well, the characters have a bit to say, I guess, before we get there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 4

Today was a day off. By which I mean a day off from my regular income producing work. Because it was not "off" from my life nor "off" from appointments; on the contrary, it was full of appointments and meetings, almost straight through from 10:00 AM until, well, now.

Right now it is just past 11:30 PM and I am sitting in the cafe with Alexander. Jenny was here earlier; she left about half an hour ago. I'm done with my goal for today (exceeded it actually, which is cool) and so am doing a quick scan of emails and Facebook, but think I'll skip Twitter tonight.

Alexander is just wrapping up his story for the night, too. This was his first time joining us for the nanowrite. I gave him a block buster tool which I made from the one I received a few months ago from Ariel Gore. It's great to have another friend in this experience with me.

So, as I close up my writing shop for the night, I leave the story at 10,103 words!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo: day 3

Today is a lower word count - as I knew it would be. The day has been full of work with minimal time in between. Luckily there was a good 30 minutes of down time in one job and I managed to hand write about 500 words.

Then one assignment ended about 30 minutes early, which gave me enough time to run by my PO Box and - yes, there was a check. Thank you, universe! Deposit it, stop by a cafe with free wi-fi between post office, bank, final job of the day. Where I ate dinner while typing up those 500 words and adding a few more. Type a paragraph - take a bite - sip some coffee; repeat.

My ending word count for today is 7436 (or right about there; I know it's 7,40o plus a few).

And I just had another two characters show up. Sheesh, this novel is getting crowded. Wait. I did say a team of eight plus two drivers. Oh, right. I'll still have to pick up a few more along the way somewhere, because two of the characters so far have refused to do the relay.

Speaking of which: tomorrow night is the second meeting of the walking relay team. I am printing out a handy dandy checklist for team members tomorrow, which goes with the clinic we'll be having (thank you, Nikki!) and with our field trip to a giant shoe store weekend after next.

Life is good.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNo note for November 2nd

I arrived at the designated cafe about 20 minutes ago to meet up with Jenny and write. I was a little later than I'd hoped, since today was my pace training day and not a short one at that. I was scheduled to do five miles, fast - or fast pace - something, whatever, language escapes me at this moment, which is not a good thing.

So I was supposed to do five miles - and I did five miles. After talking myself into getting out there to do it. "Skip it," I taunted myself. "No," I replied. "Yes, one day won't hurt. Go write. You know you want to." I almost caved. Then I thought that I really can't skip at this point because - well, the half marathon is only 27 days away (now if this was in my nanonovel I would have written twenty seven days because that gives me a word count of three instead of two - but I'm not so you get the contractions and the digits normally).

I did the five miles at a decent pace. And ran into construction on the way here - typical of Portland in the fall.

And now I have food and coffee and water and my laptop open, with Jenny in front of me.

Distracting myself.

Her I go, back to nanoland. My beginning word count for today is 3,956. I'll let you know where I land when I have to rush off the get to the trainers. Before the Write Around Portland group. And then end with a stint of work.

Procrastination is ending now.

NaNo - ho!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo: 1 hr 30 min

...updated word count is 2151 words...

(I promise I will not be posting updates every hour or two from here on out)

NaNoWriMo - the first 30 minutes to a good start: my goal for this first write-in was 1500 words in 2 hours...

...first 30 minutes just passed and I already have 1326 words...