Saturday, October 31, 2009

...and I'm off...

Going to change into my 2009 NaNoWriMo shirt now. Put on my most comfy shoes (my feet aren't bad, but are a little achey from the 11 miles this morning and then the dancing tonight - so need the totally comfortable shoes). And then I will head off to the midnight write-in spot for the official beginning of NaNoWriMo for Pacific Standard Time. All other USA time zones have already started - except Hawaii, of course!

Christi - I hope your 30 minutes went well and that you are either deeply engrossed in your novel or are tucked warmly and comfortably in bed, dozing off to a well-earned sleep! Will watch for your update tomorrow?

Jenny - see you at the not-so-secret meeting place soon! I'll save you a seat if I get there first.

In just seven hours

I will have been working on my new, 2009 NaNoWriMo novel for 6 minutes. I will have six minutes of ...


...something. I will be there at the midnight write-in, with my friend, Jenny, and the 20 or 40 or 60 or more people gathered in east Portland to kick off this thing called NaNoWriMo.

My next post will be after midnight, after the fun begins, after I know where my novel starts. I have a summary - that you can read on my NaNoWriMo author's page (username is dot.). The working title of my new novel is "Cascade Lakes Footnotes." Other than the summary (which I already posted here on my website), I don't know what's going to happen or who will be there or who the guilty parties are. I've been promised a "struggle for survival" - so there does seem to be a bit of a mystery and at least the threat of death, if not one or more actual deaths. We'll see!

I've had to forego the nap I thought would be a good idea since I am excited and there's no way I'd sleep. I thought the 11 miles walk with half-marathon partners this morning would help with the napping - but, no. Now my partner and I are headed off to a dance for a couple hours. Then back home to change into the 2009 NaNoShirt I've had hanging on the wall since it arrived a couple weeks ago. NaNoNerd that I am, I promised myself I'd not wear it until....tonight! Now the only question is: which one? The official 2009 NaNoShirt or the official Camp NaNoWriMo shirt?


It's nearly NaNoTime!

Friday, October 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo: the excitement mounts

In 24 hours I will be at the midnight write-in for NaNoWriMo. No, we won't be writing, yet - but I will be there in order to get a seat and a place at the electrical strip! We will be meeting and greeting, challenging and chatting, playing and - well, I don't really know. Last year I slid in at about 11:54 pm and did, luckily, get a place to sit and a place to plug in. But this is a new place.

Who knows, there may be singing and dancing! I know writers will be appearing in costumes and pajamas and work clothes and whatever is clean clothes. It's all okay. We will be there to begin another year of NaNo-noveling.

So, on the Twitter site, I just saw the stats of participants as of noon or so today:

2009 Tally: 100,335 authors signed up. WOW! $116,887 on the fundometer.

That is really awesome. And there will be more registering tomorrow and Sunday - and even a few beyond that.

Now to sleep, so that I can get up early and go walk 11 miles with two of my half-marathon friends. In the rain. Early. It's all good and will get us ready for the wind and rain and cold we'll be facing in Seattle at the end of November.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo: stat update

Go, Portland! We are ranked 7th in the world for visits to the NaNoWriMo website, so far.

Actually us Pacific Northwesterners in Portland do pretty well on the overall stats. We're right up there in average word counts and total word counts. And now we're high on the list for visits to the headquarters.

Two days from now I will be sitting at the kick-off write-in spot, waiting for the big 12:01 AM on November 1st, "GO"... and the noveling will begin. Jenny and I will both be there at the start line; Alexander will join us a couple days later. We have plotted out some compatible writing times - catching pieces here and there. Hours to boost each other up or commiserate or just be two or three bodies with our laptops and our in progress novels, typing away.

We are Portland NaNoWriMos and proud of it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

writing tools

I think my aching middle finger and ring finger on my right hand are just about recovered from bowling 10 days ago. Sheesh. I haven't bowled in many years - partly due to being an interpreter. Bowling - interpreting, did not seem like a good match; so I didn't. I had a blast, but the middle knuckles on those two fingers were sore right above the joints and stiff and swollen. Could be the ball holes were the wrong size or I was holding it wrong - or the ball was too heavy for the knuckles (but my hand, wrist, arm, shoulders, etc were all fine with it) . I don't know. All I do know is that the middle finger stopped hurting about 4 days ago; the ring finger is still a bit sore, especially when bumped or with a strong bend in it (like producing the letter E) - it's better but achey. It will be fine, I think. But it was a little disconcerting to have them still aching so much later - in my opinion - and with the month of typing insanity called NaNoWriMo on the next block.

I think I can. {strike that} I can.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo: numbers update

From Chris Baty (the founder of the madness) at The Office of Letters and Light:

We just added author number 86,724 to the Roster of Champions, and signed up our 1,100th Young Writers Program classroom!

Look at those numbers climb. There is a thread in the forums with estimates for the total number of writers for 2009, which range from 120,000 (a little low, I think, with how many there are so far) to something like 250,000 (a little high, I think - but wouldn't it be fun to be wrong).

Monday, October 26, 2009

countdown: 5 days, 4 hours

...but who's counting? oh, me... right... and thousands of other hopefuls.

And so I've entered the final week before NaNoWriMo. Am I prepared? Maybe. Am I ready to jump into this novel? Yes, definitely.

Maybe I should be making lists. What I need and when and where. Or maybe not. Life has been hitting me from right and left these last two weeks and I feel like I've been in a battleground. I won't bore you with the details nor expose personal garbage by spilling it here *grin. So the one thing I have done is put out a request to the universe to stop with the messes and get those stars aligned because I am going to write another novel beginning at midnight:01 on November 1st. And I need a little help getting things straightened out before that time.

Despite all the drama and the too many things to do in too little time, I am excited. I am excited to see where this idea leads me. All you see in my last post is what I know. I don't have specific characters in mind nor specific incidents. I don't know if what I wrote as a synopsis will be a scene, the start, or the setting in general.

But it will happen. It will go somewhere. It will be completed. As I work, and teach (which is work, yes) , and finish out the last three weeks of the writing group I'm facilitating, and wrap up the final two weeks of the writing workshop I'm taking, and train for and walk my first half marathon. I can.

Friday, October 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo: 10 days to go and I have....

...a title and a synopsis. This is far more than I had last year at this time - and I will have no more until 12:01 AM on November 1st. No - no outline for me. No cast of characters other than the basic few mentioned below. I will wait to see who shows up on my page as I type and where they take us. But, for now, I have a spark of an idea for the setting and I do have a working title.

Welcome to my 2009 NaNoWriMo Novel:

"Cascade Lakes Footnotes"

Eight women walkers, their two drivers, in two vans, encounter more challenges than they expected in the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon.

The members of Mighty Maude's Marauders are new found friends who decide to take on the challenges of the 132.4 mile walking section of the Cascade Lakes Relay. They joined the event with fitness in mind and each with a personal goal. As the race continues, they discover that at least one of their members has some well-hidden secrets.

Join the Might Maudes as they traverse through the blaring sun and thunderstorms, walk up breath stealing inclines and down I.T. Band crunching declines, and climb higher and higher on the Cascade Lakes Highway. The excitement they stepped off with at Silver Lakes out past LaPine is replaced by fear as they cross over the base of Mount Bachelor and head toward the final miles into Bend. The quest for new personal bests is replaced by the quest for survival.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the countdown is official

Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, sent out a message today that there are 11 days and counting until the fun begins. The fun. The sweat. The caffeine. The spontaneous competitions. The write-ins. The hair pulling. The sleep minimizing writerly pursuit of 50,000 words in 30 days.

Yes, we can.

Yes, we will.

da da da dum. Here come the wrimos. In the mid-eighties in Salem we sang, "here come the leaping lesbians" (yes, that was actually a song; now I have to go look up who it was because I forgot). But now I'm humming, "here come the wrimos, the furiously typing wrimos". Okay, I made that one up.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CLR 2009 video contest

My team is having our first meeting for the 2010 Cascade Lakes Relay this week. I'm excited to get together with everyone and excited that we are going again. This week CLR announced the winners of this year's video contest (I'm hoping we'll have our own entry next year). This is the second place winner, from the team Out Chasing Booty. Watching all the entries has me totally jazzed to do it, again. And I needed a little jazzing about right now - the 9-10 mile walks sometimes get boring when I'm going it alone.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


I will admit I reached overload this past week. A couple of things had situations come up which necessitated additional attention. And time. Time I didn't have and didn't allow for. Nothing major or serious. But I found myself only being able to deal with things from most critical to least and in order of deadlines - triage. I hate it when things get that busy.

Choices. I made choices.

And I made another choice today to take the next Wayward Writers online workshop-course with Ariel Gore. It will begin a month after the first meeting of the 2010 Cascade Lakes Relay team, which is a month before the first training meeting of the MissFit Dragons which will be two to three days a week. I'm captain of the relay team and tiller for the dragon boat team - I'll be there. And I'll still be writing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I remember...

The NaNo posts are multiplying. Strategies being exchanged. Challenges thrown down. Parties and meet-ups and write-ins planned.

And I remember last year, about this same time, questioning my decision to go with the flow. Or should I plot and plan and outline? And it resurfaces from time to time.

Until I remember that I did it last year with a totally blank slate and it was great.

I'll try the proven - for me - approach again. Although I will admit to having a very bare idea of a setting which may prove to be only a scene!

Monday, October 5, 2009

NaNo-ers to date

Okay, so I'm not going to wait until November to start the NaNoWriMo posting. I thought I would. But I've already started here and there, so let the real NaNo blogging begin - shamelessly and boldly and unapologetically.

The once annoying number of forum posts to which I subscribe (three) kept growing beginning October 1st (there were a few before - but very few). Now that the boards were wiped clean on October 1st and the new threads begun, I have many arriving everyday. Mostly I get them from the Portland region - my choice; I get a smattering of posts from Vancouver and Newport (I only have limited permission granted for those regions).

But now - the posts are helping spurn me on towards the start of the actual event. Instead of annoying, they are inspiring! Part of me says this is a stupid endeavor; I'm already stretched beyond the max - what do I think I'm doing. For example, today I had to make a decision between lunch and a nap. Really, it wasn't a choice. I had less than minimal sleep last night, then an out of town job this morning which necessitated leaving pretty early, a short 2 hour break after getting back to town before the writing group during which I had to get the snacks for today's group and could either (a) sleep or (b) eat because after the group, I would meet with my organizational liason, and then off to work until 1 am ... So it was a no brainer even though I considered it. So a nap (and I actually DID sleep - miracle - and it helped)! Then an apple and a protein bar on the drive to the group.

So, why am I taking on NaNoWriMo again?


It's a challenge, fun, exciting, and I want to. I'm a writer and this stretches me and I have some really good stuff to work with when I'm done. And a bunch of stuff to just toss - but it's fun. And when I'm done - what an accomplishment!

So, in the nanoworld news: Today from the OLL (Office of Letters and Light) - here is the number of NaNo-ers signed up to go across that start line at 12:01 AM on 11/01/09:

After four days of sign-ups, we have 15,363 brave and crazy souls dedicating their Novembers to the high-velocity noveling arts.

If you're ever curious about the current population of NaNoLand, you can just sign in to the site, and head to the Authors Search page. Leave all those fields blank, and click on the "Search" button. Presto! You'll see a list of everyone who has signed up.
Hanging out on the Author Search page is sadly one of my greatest hobbies in October and November. I just searched again, and we're now up to 15,421 participants.

Thanks to some search magic implemented by Dan this year, you can also get a list of people writing in your genre who also live in your home region, find all the Wrimos in your age group writing this year, and discover exactly how many people joined JediDiplomat in listing James and the Giant Peach as one of their favorite novels. (Answer: 334.)

The Author Search will get even cooler on November 1, when we add word count!

Now at 15,709 participants ....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

update: today's Mayor's Walk results

originally posted at "Run Around for Write Around Portland" - reprinted with permission from the author. wait. that's me.

I set a new personal record today for walking the 10k. I shaved about 3/4 of a minute per mile off my record time, which I set mid-July at the Smith Rock Sunrise Classic. I also looked back at my time last year for this event - which was with a friend and the early stages of getting fit - and I bit off a huge chunk of time from that: I finished 24 minutes earlier today than I did just a year ago. Things are looking up.

And that's a great number of funds raised for Write Around Portland. I'm leaving my donation widget up on my website, The Writing Vein, for another month so people can still donate if they find some extra cash lying around and they want to give it to an awesome cause.

Thanks, everyone! For being you, for being Write Around Portland, for the financial support to the organization and the personal support to those of us who participated in our various ways in the event.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

tomorrow I walk

This morning I picked up my bib and goodies bag, information for other events, some new socks (same kind of socks, just new ones! which I will not wear tomorrow but will get them broken in for Seattle in November), and other stuff.

I ate breakfast.

I ate lunch.

I wrote some feedback to a writer in the online class I'm doing with Ariel Gore.

I took a nap. Woke up and stretched.

I drank some electrolytes.

I'm going to eat dinner soon.

And the plan is to be in bed by 8:00 pm. Notice I didn't say *asleep* - just in bed. We'll see how that goes. My night is usually just getting started at 8 pm - but tomorrow I have the Mayor's Walk. Yesterday I said, "but it's only 10k" to a couple of people - who looked at me with that are-you-kidding-me face or in the tone of their voice. A year ago the 10k was a really big deal and walking 6.2 miles is not "nothing."

I am planning on walking it fast (for me). It'll be my pace day for the week. My Achilles is taped up by my chiropractor and all will be well. I realized about an hour ago the one thing I didn't plan for was cold hands. I'm heading off to look for gloves now - I have some somewhere in the house. It's time to dig them out, anyway - I just need them a little earlier this year and for a different reason.

Being downtown by 7:00 am to get a parking place and hop the shuttle to go to the start of the walk. It's predicted to be only 45 degrees at 8:00 AM when I plan to step off and head back downtown. Brrr. So - gloves needed. My attire is otherwise laid out and ready to go, my breakfast planned, electrolytes for during the walk ready to be put into water when I get up, and carbs in the Camelbak.

It's only 10k, I think, again. But I'm not going for a stroll, I remind myself. It IS 10k and that's good.

Then tomorrow afternoon and night it's back to work. And back to writing and feedback and making final preparations for my Write Around Portland group on Monday.

Which reminds me: thank you to everyone who has donated to this awesome organization. And you can still give a little if you want; I'll leave the link up for a while - the FirstGiving website will be active for a month after the event. Thank you!

Friday, October 2, 2009

...and we're live...

October 1st and the NaNoWriMo website is updated and off to a great start. New technology and clean forums. Let the connections begin as we all ramp up and make room and stretch to be ready for the noveling to begin at 12:01 AM on November 1st.

...and we're off....