last day of nanowrimo – entry 2

Just got to the spyhouse. I wrote about seven or eight hundred words before getting dressed, then spent the last hour reading the GMR magazine that just arrived today from cover to cover. I don’t know if I was procrastinating or just really interested. I resisted the following urges: take nate’s netflix to the post office, go to blockbuster and rent the new Leisuresuit Lary game, masturbate, check my email, go somewhere other than the spyhouse for an “actual” lunch.

Someone stole the table that I was eyeing while I waited in line for my chai and lemmon poppyseed muffin. She looks increasingly like the woman I recommended Nate back into in the parking lot at the post office yesterday. He was talking about wanting to meet new people, and I thought she was hot. He thought she looked like a “skank” in the rear view mirror. She has a white iBook like me.

Back to it. 2900 words to go.

last day of nanowrimo – entry 1

It’s approximately ten thirty on the last day of national novel writing month in 2004. I have three point five thousand words left to write. More importantly, my novel itself is coming to a close. I feel these two goals are entirely within my grasp.

Two nights ago, I confessed to Laura that I don’t think I want to be a novelist for a living. She wasn’t surprised, but I was. It’s always been my dream to be a published science-fiction novelist.

I am resolving that I will not write my next novel over the course of a month, but instead work on it every day for at least a year. It will be a work of literary fiction with sci-fi elements. (Not the other way around.) I may start it as early as tomorrow.

As soon as I am dressed, I leave for the spyhouse coffee shop.

packed and ready to go

I should be writing right now. …on my novel that is. I’m about 4K words behind, and had been hoping to be much farther along by now. I haven’t yet made it to a coffee shop today to write, and at this rate, I don’t think I ever am. I’m still hopeful that I can catch up by the time our six hour drive to Quad cities is complete (sometime this evening). (midnight-ish)

I’ve been writing little segments all day, two to three hundred words at a time, in between packing. Now I’m all packed, and I’ve spent just about the last forty-five minutes reading blogs and otherwise procrastinating.

Earlier I dropped the first ever glob of wet food on my keyboard. You can still see a kind of yucky brownish stain where the burrito hit the keyboard. I have no idea how to pull off individual keys for cleaning underneath, so I doubt it’ll ever go away. Disgusting.

Last year it was sometimes infuriating trying to write at my aunt & uncle’s house during thanksgiving. I don’t expect this year to be any different. I have what I think is a pretty cool gift for all the families, but haven’t picked anything up yet for the cousins…

I feel like I have really been neglecting my friends this month. Some part of me can’t wait for December to roll around so I can have some free time again. Even though I plan on continuing my daily writing indefinitely, (with much less stringent guidelines) I should still have WAY more time after the end of this month.

novel plot haikus

Inspired by this thread over at the nanowrimo forums, I wrote a couple of haikus about my novel today. Reprinted here for posterity:

tides of memory
assassins waiting in wings
truth revealed in dream

cybernetic brains
the smell conspiracy brings
run from everything

lost words

Yesterday I played the new Halo 2 XBox game for twelve hours straight. Just now I woke up and was still dreaming about playing. Even after I woke up, I kept my eyes closed for a long time, and still saw the game behind my eyelids.

I wrote almost nothing yesterday.

And the day before… I’m almost too angry to write about it, but I lost about a thousand words of my novel. I was copying and pasting a section from one file to another. I cut over a hundred lines of text from one file, and then saved and quit, opened the new file to paste into… and it only pasted fifty lines. Exactly fifty. I had just done a word count. I had been AHEAD. Remember my last entry, where I said I’d have to write 2000 more words? I had done that. I had written about a thousand words an hour for two hours.

I did another word count, and I was down about a thousand words. I checked my scroll buffers, I tried to undo, nothing. I had nothing. I sat there and thought about throwing my laptop across the room. I was so angry I almost cried. And it was nobody’s fault but my own. I wanted to give up. I wanted nothing to do with nanowrimo anymore.

I still keep all my old journals. I know half the stuff in them is crap, but I keep it all. I have to. I’m just like that. I have nightmares about losing them in a fire or something. This was like that. This was devastating.

I tried to tell myself that what I’d written was crap anyway, I tried to tell myself I’d write it better the next time around. I tried to tell myself that it was only an hour of work I’d have to re-do. I tried to tell myself that it could have been much worse. I could have erased my whole novel, or worse my whole hard drive could have crashed or something. But none of these thoughts consoled me.

I will be more careful in the future.

memory lack

Why is it that back when I was compiling lists of my favorite science fiction films I didn’t stumble onto the lists!?!? There are dozens of top ten lists on there!

For the last few weeks, on and off, I have been trying to think of the name of this movie that I want to see… it’s probably not even out on DVD yet… it’s a science fiction film that only made it to the “arthouse” theaters… I think it had a number in the title… and I remember really having wanted to see it. I hate my memory.

My novel is not really coming along right now. I’m totally behind, and would have to write something like 2000 words to be caught up. (which is, I’ll admit doable. I hope I can do it.) I wanted to be AHEAD this year, damnit.

I would be lying if I said that no part of my motivation for writing this bastard is my bad memory. My brain is shit, and everyone who knows me knows that I struggle with it. I have days where I can’t even string together a whole complete sentence without forgetting some words, or struggling to find some that fit. So it’s all just wishful thinking, this “headware” I’m writing about.

I’m at the coffee shop again. I am normally more productive when I come here, but today I’ve written very little. I feel like I’m a lump of unproductive shit on the log of laziness.

Is it bad that I really just want to play video games right now? If you have any ideas about the name of that movie, leave it in the comments, please. (or if you happened to know of a list of science fiction movies that came out in the last couple of years… that might work too.)

procrastination station

Here’s a good read on the 1st avenue fiasco. There’s a couple of interviews, and the clearest picture of what happened and what’s going to happen that I’ve read yet. (Which is to say, it’s not clear, but still better.)

My novel started off great, but now I’m stuck. My wordcount yesterday started off 400 words ahead, and ended up about a thousand words behind. I’m not exactly worried about it, but I’m worried that I don’t know what to write next. I have several scenes planned for the immediate future, but none of them want to come out of me. I’m going to go take a shower and head to a coffee shop for some inspiration.

I should have known it wasn’t going to be easy. On wednesday I was actually thinking I should just stop every day when I reach my word count and start writing on the novel that I abandoned last year after I reached my 50,000 words… I started off thinking this novel was going to be so much better than that one because I have a plot planned… but so far I don’t really think that’s been the case. Writing a new thing has really made me want to revisit the old thing.

I wanted to intermingle these “poetic prose” chapters that are basically memories of this guy’s life, but so far I haven’t written a single one. At first, those were all I wanted to write, but I haven’t done any yet. I should really just write. That’s the important part… I’m gonna go take a shower now.

political gutrot

A day to think things over has left me with a weaker-than-I-had-expected stomach ache of impending doom. An email out of the blue from the Netherlands had me thinking right away about how similar the two candidates really were to begin with. Kerry had never been my first choice, and as a co-worker and I discussed yesterday over lunch, I lost sight of that for a while. When I voted on Tuesday, I was somehow thinking Kerry was going to really turn things around. Now I, (we) really regret not having voted my (our) conscience(es). Nader got way more bad press this year from democrats (that I heard) than from republicans. I was so focused on getting rid of bush that I didn’t ever really even give Nader a second glance this year. (Even though I did get pretty pissed at true majority when they sent out an email encouraging everyone NOT to vote for Nader. I just thought it was in bad taste.)

I feel like presidential campaigning has really become incredibly stupid. I don’t watch TV, and I listen to the radio (college radio) for a total of about 40 minutes a day, so I really only heard a very small sampling of political campaigning. But what I did see and hear, I feel was pointless and misleading. I feel like political campaigning has been reduced to a level more befitting some kind of high school popularity contest. I guess that’s why we’re left with the world’s most high profile frat boy as a president. (link via Nate, if you don’t want to bother downloading it, it’s a video of GWB flicking off the camera and calling it his “one finger victory salute”.)

There is no doubt in my mind that Bush and his administration have lied repeatedly about everything and anything. It’s that conviction more than anything else that has me wondering why we haven’t already impeached the bastard. I mean, Clinton was on trial for lying about something only tangentially related to his office. Of course Chaney is no better, so we’d have to get rid of them both to suit my tastes.

My initial gut reaction was that this needs to happen, (link via Jason, although I have since received it from a few sources) but when I read this live journal post last night I was reminded to look at the big picture again. Yes, things may be rough for a while, but realistically, it could probably be a lot worse.

at the spyhouse

Well, after a full afternoon of writing at a local coffee shop with other nanoers and a playwrite, I have only just barely reached my “necessary wordcount” for today. (50K/30 = ~1700 words per day)

I told myself I wouldn’t go surf the nanowrimo forums until I’d reached my wordcount. So now that I have, I’ve been incredibly unproductive. I’m the last one sitting in the coffee shop. Alone at a table that seats at least four comfortably (with laptops). A friend of mine who uses this place to check his email with some regularity just stopped by and pointed out that you can get a new version of my computer for far less than I paid for it. (And it’s a G4 rather than G3… among other enhancements… of course, I bought mine about three years ago.)

There has been a LOT of forum activity since nano began. I’m not even going to pretend to try and read it all. (Although I may actually try, I won’t pretend to try.) I’m one of those people who mostly just reads it tho, and hardly ever post. But I did just post a little bit ago about an “ideal” word processor.

I’ve always wanted a word processor that took over the entire screen of my laptop. That means no menus, no scroll bars, and no extra stuff. Basically just the text that I’m writing. Obviously, lots of keyboard shortcuts would be great.

This year I’ve decided to write my novel entirely in vim. I had to play with my .vimrc file a bit to get it to auto-format paragraphs and stuff, but I think I like the way it’s turned out. Unfortunately, it breaks my paragraphs up into multiple lines. I’m still not sure if I want to change it to not do that yet. The main reason for that is that almost all other text editors/word processors expect a paragraph to be all on one line, but since I’m just using vim, that shouldn’t matter until I’m ready to edit in another program (with spellcheck).

Copying and pasting out of the terminal (app in osx) is weird anyway, so I think I’ll just stick to this format for now. It’s one command to fix them, so I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

Oh yeah, and I voted today. *crosses fingers*

I’m going to vacate the coffee shop now. This is one of the only entries I’ve ever written from one, I think.